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Stewed Chicken with Peaches & Zucchini

In Poultry, Soups and Stews On August 25, 2017 0 Comments

This succulent chicken dish is made with our present bounty of peaches and zucchini. Once the chicken is stewed with these ingredients, it is sweet and perfect with rice and/or green salad. These sides balance the luscious flavors of the stew. Enjoy!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 to 55 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil
One 2-1/2 to 3-pound chicken, skinned and cut into pieces (with bones)
-OR-
3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half –AND-
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium-large brown or white onion, finely chopped (a contemporary addition)
1 cup white wine
1-1/2 to 2 cups cold water
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
4 large, fresh peaches, peeled, pitted & cut into 1-1/2 inch slices
–OR-
One 16-ounce bag frozen, sliced peaches
1 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch rings (discard ends)
6 to 8 fresh mint sprigs (minced and scattered over chicken or used as garnish)

Directions:
1. In an 8-quart saucepot, heat the oil.

2. When oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides on medium-high heat.

3. When chicken has browned, stir in the onions; cook onions 2 minutes or until they are translucent.

4. Add the wine and cook chicken, on medium-high heat (uncovered) for 7 to 8 minutes or until wine has thickened. Stir occasionally.

5. After wine has thickened and slightly reduced, add 1-1/2 cups water, the cumin, black pepper and 1 tablespoon honey.

6. Cook chicken 14 to 15 minutes on medium-high heat until liquid has thickened.

7. After 14 to 15 minutes, stir in remaining ½ cup water, peaches & .

8. Cook chicken on medium-high heat, covered, for 10 minutes; stir occasionally.

9. After 10 minutes, add the zucchini rings and cook 2 minutes or until zucchini is crunchy-tender.

10. Taste the stew. Adjust seasonings and honey, to taste.

11. Transfer chicken to serving platter, garnish with mint sprigs; serve immediately.
Text & Photographs ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real

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Belcampo Butcher Shop – Santa Monica, CA.

In Nancy's Articles, Poultry On May 31, 2017 0 Comments

A few months ago, I discovered Belcampo Butcher Shop in Santa Monica. When I walked in, I could immediately sense the great welcome I was about to experience. Meet Belcampo’s manager, Charlie.
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Poor Charlie – I whined about how I missed that pure, wild chicken meat that we served at family meals in Italy. Charlie asked me to elaborate and I did. I told him that chicken used to be gamey and you literally had to “pull” the meat off the bone. So he pointed to the fresh chicken breast in the shop’s refrigerated case. Now, poultry doesn’t get any fresher than this. See the chicken stock bones in the background? That’s right – you can make a delicious broth without buying an entire chicken!
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Charlie told me that Belcampo gets poultry from farms where chickens are pasture-raised. This means the birds live on the ground, scratch soil and catch bugs. I learned that any supplemental feed (grains) given to these chickens does not contain GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). They are NOT treated with antibiotics or added growth hormones.

Look at this chicken. Although not plumped-up perfect, its color tells you the meat is healthy. Compare it to chicken we buy at local supermarkets where the chicken meat is yellowish-white (i.e., it’s possibly chlorinated).
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After being educated on good poultry by Charlie, I asked about other food items sold at Belcampo. I was impressed by the sausages. Again, notice their bright pink hue. Yup – they’re super fresh. The eggs are deeply-colored. This is how you can tell the birds are cage-free and forage.

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On a final note, I went home with a Belcampo chicken; I stewed it. It was indeed gamey and I had to pull the meat off the bone – just like the pasture-raised chicken in Italy. I’m so impressed!

Belcampo also carries beef, pork and salumi, as well. Check it out – you’ll love all of it!
Belcampo Restaurant and Butcher Shop
1026 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA. 90401
Tel. 414.744.8008
http://belcampo.com/ask-belcampo/

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Chicken & Veggie Stir-Fry

In Poultry On June 18, 2016 0 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy fresh meals every day. I usually start with a protein selection and then add lots of vegetables.

This chicken and vegetable dish is simple and fast! In a matter of minutes, you can serve an impressive meal to all. And yes- the quality of this dish is higher than that of a restaurant!

Inactive Prep time: 1 hour (marinate chicken)
Active Prep time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons organic Tamari sauce (this is organic soy sauce)
3 to 8 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
2 medium yellow or white onions, peeled and finely sliced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely sliced
5 celery stalks, peeled and finely sliced into 2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups sugar snap peas
4 green onions, roots cut and discarded and onions cut into 3-inch pieces

Directions:
1. Using shears, cut chicken thighs into 2-inch pieces and set in a glass or porcelain bowl.

2. Add the Tamari sauce and mix well; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables (peeling and slicing).

4. After the chicken has marinated 1 hour, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a stove-top wok or 12-inch skillet.

5. When oil is hot but not smoking, add all vegetables to the skillet except for the sugar snap peas and green onions.

6. Stir-fry the vegetables over medium-high heat until they look crunchy-tender.

7. When vegetables are crunchy-tender, transfer them to a glass or porcelain bowl; set aside.

8. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet. When oil is hot but not smoking, stir-fry the marinated chicken pieces.

9. Cook and stir-fry for 5 to 8 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked through (taste a piece to be sure).

10. When chicken is cooked, add the stir-fried vegetables to the skillet and toss.

11. Stir-fry chicken and vegetables for 3 minutes.

12. After 3 minutes, add the sugar snap peas and green onions; cook and stir-fry for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

13. Add salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

14. Serve Chicken & Veggie Stir-Fry immediately, accompanied by steamed white or brown rice.
Text & Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real

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Chicken in Tomatillo Sauce

In Poultry On September 25, 2015 0 Comments

This chicken recipe is from Mexico. It seems impossible to find this dish in a local Mexican (Los Angeles). My friend, Lina, introduced the recipe to my husband, Victor. Yes – you guessed it – he’s the one who makes this dish and I get to sit and enjoy it.

And so, I decided to try my hand at this recipe and it turned out delicious. You should try it, too!

Prep time: 35 to 45 minutes (includes 15-minutes for tomatillos to cool)
Serves: 4 to 6

For the Tomatillo Sauce:

2 pounds tomatillos (12 to 14 count), husks discarded
1 jalapeño or red chili pepper, stem and seeds discarded
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Wash the tomatillos and place them in a 4-quart sauce pot.

2. Bring the tomatillos and the jalapeño or red chili to a boil.

3. Boil the tomatillos and chili for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are soft.

4. Carefully drain the tomatillos, taking care not to let them burst; set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

5. After 15 minutes, transfer the cooked tomatillos to a blender.

6. Remove stem from chili and add the flesh to the tomatillos in blender.

7. Add the garlic and salt to tomatillo-chili mixture in blender; puree the mixture until it is smooth.

8. Taste the tomatillo sauce and adjust salt level; set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken:

For the Chicken:

1/4 cup vegetable oil (safflower or sunflower oil preferred)
2/3 cup chopped white or brown onion
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into 2 to 3-inch chunks
Salt, to taste

Directions:
1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil.

2. When oil is hot but smokeless, add the chicken chunks; stir fry on medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the chicken turns white.

3. Stir in the onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until it becomes translucent.

4. When onion is translucent, pour the reserved tomatillo sauce over the chicken mixture in skillet.

5. Simmer the chicken on medium-low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes or until it is cooked through.

6. Taste and add, if needed, add salt.

7. Serve Chicken in Tomatillo Sauce immediately with steamed white or brown rice.
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real

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Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Cranberries

In Poultry, Soups and Stews On November 29, 2013 1 Comment

Enough with turkey now. Why not make a delicious chicken tagine which brings to mind all those luscious flavors of Morocco? Tagines are slow-cooked meat stews with dried fruit and/or almonds and lots of exotic spices. Here’s a great recipe. And yes – you can substitute the chicken with turkey breast and thigh pieces.

Accompany this chicken tagine with a side of Couscous with Zucchini, Yellow Squash & Red Chili Peppers (previously published on this website).

Prep time: 20 minutes (to prepare ingredients)
Cook time: 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1/3 cup olive oil
2-1/2 to 3 pounds chicken breasts (about 3 half-breasts), skinned and cut in half (to make 6 pieces)
1 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced
1 cup pureed fresh tomatoes
4 to 5 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger root
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1. In an 8 to 10-quart stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil.

2. Add the chicken breast pieces. Fry the chicken pieces on medium-high heat until they are browned all over, about 6 to 8 minutes.

3. After the chicken pieces are browned, stir in the onion, bell peppers and ginger root.

4. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.

5. After 2 minutes, stir in the tomatoes and 1-1/2 cups of the broth.

6. Bring the chicken and liquid to a high simmer and cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes.

7. After 15 minutes, stir in cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chili pepper flakes, ginger, the sugar with 1 cup of the broth.

8. Cook the chicken on medium-high heat for an additional hour or so, stirring occasionally. As the tagine becomes dense, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup broth every 10 to 15 minutes.

9. After one hour, taste the tagine. If the flavors are too concentrated, add 1 cup water and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.

10. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the apricots and cranberries.

11. After 5 minutes, taste the tagine. If needed, add salt.

12. Serve Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Cranberries and a side of Couscous with Zucchini, Yellow Squash & Red Chili Peppers.

Note: To substitute the chicken with turkey, cook the turkey tagine. for at least one more hour. Add one additional quart of broth in 1-cup increments, every 10 to 15 minutes.

Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real