Crispy Onion Chicken

This morning I thought of my little brother while I was cooking and how much he would hate this recipe. Why? He hates onions. I never met anyone who hates onion as much as he does. I mean he hates onions the way I hate beets, with a mad passion. Beets are the one food I won’t eat under any circumstances, not even to be polite. He is the same way with onions. The only difference is beets aren’t the flavor foundation of every cuisine ever. Beets are much easier to avoid.

I am not sure I would know how to cook without onions. It would be an interesting experiment but not one I am going to tackle today. Today I am piling on the French’s Fried onions and loving every second of it. The onions don’t really stick to the chicken even after you dunk the chicken in the butter. Don’t worry about it. Just pack the onions on top of the chicken and bake. I used a 2 1/2 oz can of French’s Onions and it covered the top of two chicken breast halves.

Crispy Onion Chicken

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 8 oz chicken breast halves

1 2 1/2 oz can french fried onions, crushed

In a shallow bowl, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, mustard, , salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the butter mixture and coat with onions. Place chicken in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with any leftover onions and drizzle with remaining butter.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Butter Chicken (Whole 30)

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Wednesday I gave you a recipe for ghee.  Today I give you a recipe to use it.

Butter Chicken

Adapted  From The Castaway Kitchen

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 TBS lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 ts garam masala

2 1/4  tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 TBS ghee , use butter if not Whole 30

1/2 large sweet onion, diced

1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1/2 cinnamon stick

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

Pre heat the pressure cooker using the saute function.  When hot, add the ghee.  When melted, add the onion, garlic, ginger and bay leaf and saute 5-6 minutes.  Add the chicken, all the spices and salt; stir well.  Add the lemon juice, vinegar and cinnamon stick.  Stir well.  Cook until the chicken is lightly browned,   Cancel the saute function.  Lock the lid and cook on high for 20 minutes.  Naturally release the pressure.  Open the lid and cancel the pressure cooking function and set the saute function.  Stir in the chopped almonds and simmer 10 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. 

Ghee ( Whole 30 )

IMG_4447One of people’s biggest complaints about the Whole 30  is that it is expensive.  I agree it can be very expensive to do the Whole 30 but I say it doesn’t have to be.  You can do a Whole 30 on a budget.

First,  the Whole 30 doesn’t insist on organic, grass-fed meat or organic vegetables.   They encourage you do buy the best meat and vegetables you can afford.  If the best you can afford is Aldi’s or Walmart that is perfectly okay.  You are still eating more healthy than you would be if you kept on eating all the processed food you have been.

Second,  watch the reduction bins.  I never did this before my first round. and it makes a huge difference.  The first time I hit the reduction bins I got 3 pork roasts, a couple of nice pieces of steak, pork chops and some chicken. It was bout 15 pounds of food for 35 dollars. I ate off that stash for the whole 30 days of my first round.  In addition to the reduction bins, watch sales.  Also beware of a stores’ unique offerings.  My local Cashwise store offers a meat bundle for 20 dollars.  It has chicken thighs, chicken drum sticks, some kind of pork and some kind of steak.  It is about 7-8 pounds of meat.  For me,  that is 5-6 meals at least.

Third, live by the rule not to buy anything you can make yourself.   The Whole 30 has a ton of great products to help you on your Whole 30 but they are not very budget friendly.  Save them for emergency food when you travel or have an exceptionally busy day.     In the meantime, learn how to make your own ghee, bone broth, salad dressings, even ketchup.   Yeah, it takes time, but with the exception of the bone broth, not much more than 10  minutes to make the recipe, many things take considerably less.

It is not impossible to do a Whole 30 on a budget.  It just takes a little time and effort. Aren’t you worth it?

 

Ghee

Adapted From I Dont remember where

1 lb unsalted butter

Cut the butter into cubes.  Heat the butter over medium heat until completely melted.  It should be bubbling and beginning to foam.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 10 -15 minutes.  The ghee will  pass through several stages.  It will foam,  go almost clear and then foam again.  Once it foams for the second time it is done.  Let cool for a few minutes then strain through cheese cloth or a very fine mesh strainer to remove the toasted milk solids.  Don’t skip the straining step as it is what removes the milk and makes ghee  Whole 30 compliant.  Ghee will last a month at room temperature or longer if kept in the fridge. 

 

French Dijon Rub for Chicken

I guess I am not the only one “suffering” from an excess of chicken parts in their freezer.  So here is another great way to season chicken.  As the butter melts it bastes the chicken leaving the seasoning on the chicken.   If you want more chicken, just double the recipe.

French Dijon Rub for Chicken

Ingredients

1 1/2 TBS softened butter

1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 1/2 TBS Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp chili flakes

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  Set aside. Gently insert your fingers between the skin and meat of the chicken thigh, separating the skin from your chicken meat.  Gently insert some of the butter mixture between the skin of the chicken thigh and the meat of the chicken thigh.  Roast the chicken in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink.

Steamed Carrots with Garlic Ginger Butter

I try a lot of new recipes. Once in a while I get a recipe that is so bad, there is nothing I can do to make it better. Most of the time I find recipes that require a little tinkering to make it fit my tastes. Most rare, is trying a recipe that is absolutely perfect the exact way it is written. I can’t think of one, single thing to change to make it better.

This is one of those most rare recipes. I found it in an old issue of Cooking Light. I really don’t know what possessed me to try it because I don’t usually like cooked carrots unless they are a part of a bigger recipe. I ate the first batch of these carrots right out of the pan while standing at the stove. I decided to make another batch to take to work with me the next day and ate half that one too. I see a lot of carrots in the future.

Steamed Carrots with Garlic Ginger Butter


Ingredients
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb baby carrots
1 1/2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 tsp cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

Place a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and let steam until crisp tender, 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the garlic, ginger and cilantro; set aside. When carrots are done, remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the butter to the pan. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and ginger. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots back to the pan. Add lime juice and salt. Stir the carrots to coat with butter mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.