Where’s the beans?

Grilled chicken thighs and garden salsa

Bravo.  That's the worst picture on the entire blog.  Possibly the entire internet.

Bravo. That’s the worst picture on the entire blog. Possibly the entire internet.

First of all, let me apologize for possibly the worst picture on the internet.  A 90’s GIF of stars twinkling would have been better.  I’m guessing I need the paid version of WordPress to insert a GIF, so we aren’t going to find out which is worse.  So I apologize for this crime scene photo of a half eaten piece of chicken and some scattered salad.

Second, the chicken is fine.  It’s grilled chicken with a marinade.  We made it with bone-in, skin-on thighs and adjusted the cooking time.  That was fine too.

Third, and here’s where I really have something to say, the salsa needed beans.  Let me back up.  Do you know what Texas Caviar is?  It’s that salad with the black eyed peas, tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, etc and a basic vinegarette.  You’ve seen it at cookouts.  I promise.  It’s usually served with tortilla chips.  It’s amazing.  I had a hard time eating this salsa because it’s just beans and jalapenos away from being Texas Caviar.  That and the total lack of tortilla chips.  Always a problem.  So while this was tasty, the constant reminder of something tastier ruined it for me.  By the way, there’s an awesome Texas Caviar recipe in Martha’s American Food.  Ah, yet another 50 state cookbook that I own that could be used for some kind of dinner party theme, but is not.  Sigh.

Upshot: make some Texas Caviar and recommend some photography lessons.


Where do these editors shop?!

Alright folks, boneless skinless turkey thighs don’t exist.  I looked.  G looked.  The bear looked.  You can’t find them.  So unless you want to cut the legs off a full sized turkey, then bone and skin the thighs, skip the turkey and go for chicken.  I am of course alluding to the Turkey Kebabs with Cabbage Slaw recipe.



I really enjoyed the flavors in this recipe.  I don’t know if it is necessary to make them into kebabs (especially when one doesn’t have the option of grilling them).  I think it would have actually been better in my case to cube up the thighs and marinate them, then toss them in a pan and fry them up.  There would have been a lot of caramelized/seared goodness on that chicken.  The marinade is a keeper.  Malt vinegar is definitely a good thing.  And the slaw tasted fresh and healthy.  

This recipe came with a bonus next day suggestion.



It basically consisted of throwing the leftovers into a whole wheat wrap.  I do not know what this tastes like.  I made the kebabs the night before I came down with the flu and thus I was in full “soup only” mode when it came time to eat the wraps.  The bear said they tasted good, but a touch dry.  I believe he added mayo, however the fever may have addled my memory.

Sauerkraut with Chicken Leg Quarters and Sausage

Sauerkraut with Chicken Leg Quarters and Sausage

IMG_0947I have just a few things to say about this dish.

1) I love sauerkraut. I love its vinegar-y bite.  I was pretty excited about this because it mixed wine with sauerkraut.  Unfortunately, the rinsing and the wining ended up taking away the sourness of the sauerkraut. It was alright, but it wasn’t as glorious as I expected.

2) It has pretty much no carbs.  Which generally speaking can be ok, but the bear tends to get hangry without carbs.  I sort of wish there were some potatoes in this mix.  We served the leftovers with pierogies so that kind of took care of that problem.

This dish wasn’t a total flop, I would just have to work on the carb situation and the lack of sourness if I make it again.


Chicken fat fries, and I don’t care

Roast chicken with parsnips and swiss chard

Sorry for getting "Jimmy Crack Corn" stuck in your head.

Sorry for getting “Jimmy Crack Corn” stuck in your head.

This is one of the “take five” recipes in the November issue with five ingredients.  Our five for this adaptation are:*

  • 1 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled, halved crosswise then lengthwise (big ends quartered lengthwise)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin on-chicken leg quarters (leg and thigh combo) because they were insanely cheap at the store, and I couldn’t find the bone-in, skin-on breasts the recipe called for.  Cut apart the thigh and the leg
  • 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, leaves coarsely torn and stalks cut into 1 inch lengths.
  • 1 T white-wine vinegar

Roast those parsnips at 450 in one 1 T of oil, seasoned with salt and pepper.  Push parsnips to the side, add the chicken, and then the fun really starts…  Roast to 165 degrees, about 30-35 minutes.

The fat renders off of the thighs and legs and fries the parsnips in chicken fat making chicken fat fries.  So rich.  So good.  I’ve heard that some cooks are trying to bring back schmaltz.  Hurry up!

Sautee the stalks in the remaining T olive oil until crisp-tender then toss in the leaves.  Toss and turn those leaves, adding more as it cooks down and makes room.  It takes about 5 minutes to get all of the leaves cooked to tender.  Remove it from the heat, stir in vinegar.  Serve it all together.  This chard side reminds me of when D and I were in a community garden and we always had way too much chard.  Our one criterion for a chard recipe was that it use a ton of chard.  Our favorite was chard pie.  This recipe probably would have made the cut because it uses a whole bunch, but it’s no chard pie.

Over all, this was a great meal.  It’s the kind of recipe I would have probably ignored back before I had to make everything.  Plus, chicken fat fries.  Yeah.

*all recipe information adapted from Everyday Food Issue #47 November 2007 p. 148