A Good Post-Pilates Meal

Tonight was kind of hectic. Jon had to go back to school to do some lab work and I had a pilates session, taught by Tresa Meussling, with the lovely Leah Chester. We usually eat dinner early in the evening, but tonight, it was after 8 before we were ready. This meal was totally worth the wait and though it doesn’t receive an “ah mazing” rating, it was “pretty darn good.” Beer-and-Onion Braised Chicken Carbonnade with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, “with the skin on; it gives you vitamins,” Jon emphasizes. That makes all the difference.

Braised Chicken Carbonnade

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 large chicken thighs with skin and bones
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar, divided
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Jon replaced all spice with Chinese 5 spice, which was actually only 4 spice because he whipped it up himself. “We don’t have any fennel seed!” He also replaced the red wine vinegar with balasmic vinegar. “I am pretty sure that will make it better,” he said.

    Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and allspice. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until brown, about 4 minutes per side; transfer to plate.

    Add onions and 2 teaspoons brown sugar to skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and sauté until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in bay leaves, mustard, and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Add chicken, skin side down, then beer, broth, and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Uncover skillet and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, turning chicken occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and more vinegar, if desired.

    *Jon took some of the juice out of the chicken pan and thickened it with flour to make a gravy. “That was a super smart idea!”

    Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes, a Jon Recker original

    • 2 Organic Baking Potatoes
    • 1 head of garlic, roasted
    • 1 tablespoon parsley
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Cube the potatoes and boil them until soft. Peel off the outside of the garlic, leaving the individual clove peels on. Slice off the top of each clove, place them in foil, drizzle olive oil over top of all of the openings, close the foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes and put them back in pan. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the pan with potatoes, with butter, parsley, milk, salt and pepper. Hand mash to ensure you have some lumps. (These ain’t no instant mashed potatoes). Taste, salt and taste again…. and probably add more butter.

    Drum roll please…

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