Teryaki Chicken

Hey Guys, if you have time, check out the Facebook page for Gallery 4 and see two of my feathered friends, Squeak and Beau, being extra cute and feathery.

So I can hear all you guys thinking, do I normally bring my bring my birds to art galleries? The answer is no but I was actually invited to bring my boys. A few weeks ago, my friend, Steph and I, were wondering around downtown after lunch. We ended up a Gallery 4 just looking around. There was an exhibit called For The Birds, which really spoke to me, of course.

I got to talking with the lady sitting at the front desk and discovered she was the artist who did all the bird pictures. I showed her pictures of Squeak and Beau. The artist said she always wanted to draw Cockatiels. I jokingly said if she needed live models, I would gladly bring them to the gallery.  I didn’t expect to get so excited about it and say sure bring them.

So this morning, I loaded Squeak and Beau into their carry box and headed for the bus.  I always love watching people’s reactions to seeing my birds.  People are always are always so surprised and delighted to see them.  Like there aren’t  birds flying around everyday.  I’ll admit my birds are exceptionally cute and feathery but not all that unusual.

I was a little worried about how they would behave in a strange environment around so many strange people after an unusual, for them, bus ride.  Squeak and Beau amazed me, as usual.  Once my friend, Steph, arrived and they got out of their travel box, they were exemplary gentlemen.  Squeak even let Marcy, the artist, take pictures and he hate cameras and phones with a mad passion.

Squeak and Beau enjoyed waddling around the gallery and looking at the pictures with me and Steph.  They enjoyed the attention, not only from Marcy, but from every person we came across who realized I had birds in that box.  It was quite the enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

Teriyaki Chicken


adapted from I Heart Umami
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs with skin on

salt and pepper, taste

Toasted white sesame seeds, optional

Chopped scallions, optional

1 1/2 tsp ghee

Teriyaki sauce

3 1/2 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS fish sauce

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp grate fresh garlic

Pat and dry the  thighs and remove the bone.  Lightly season the chicken skin with salt.  Heat the 1 1/2   teaspoons  ghee over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken skin side down.  Fry until the skin is crispy about 10 minutes.  Flip the chicken thighs and fry until cooked through.  Set the chicken  aside and wipe out the pan .

To make the sauce, add the coconut aminos, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, ginger and garlic to the pan.  Heat the sauce over medium to medium-low heat.  When the sauce starts to get thick, add the chicken back to the pan.  Coat the chicken with the sauce.

Wait 5 minutes before slicing  the chicken.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, if you want.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Today’s post is going to be about random  stuff that made me happy today.  I got an email shipping confirmation saying my Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not Cookbook is on its way.  My best guess is it should be here no later than when I get home from work on Saturday.  Ever since I got a sneak peek for preordering the book, I have been dying to have it in my hot little hands.

My rats are totally dorking out.  When I feed my rats they each have a place they like to hoard food.  Callie takes her stash into the left hand corner of the cage.  Bug takes her share of the stash into the little wooden cave they have.  Today I watched each of them try to steal the others stash.  As Bug would come out of the cave and head toward Callie’s stash, Callie would head into the cave to steal Bug’s stash.  Sometimes they would have to climb over each other to get to the other’s stash.  This went on for about 5 minutes until Callie had enough and laid on her stash so Bug couldn’t get it no matter how hard she tried. Silly ratty girls.

The grocery store near my house had Mocha bars.  Mocha bars are just slices of angel food cake frosted with buttercream frosting then rolled crushed peanuts but they are my absolute favorite summer treat. The store doesn’t make them very often because they are labor intensive.

I tried a recipe for Whole 30 approved Sweet and Sour chicken.   I love Chinese food but it is definitely not the healthiest choice out there.  I certainly didn’t think Chinese food would be something I could eat on my next Whole 30.  I found a blog called I Heart Umami.  It is filled with Whole 30/Paleo Chinese food. Some of the recipes are a little more involved then I usually make but the recipes are not difficult.  They definitely taste amazing and are worth the effort.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

adapted from I Heart Umami

1 1/2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced or cut into small chunks

1/4 green bell pepper, diced

1/4 red bell  pepper, diced

Aromatics

1/4 of a yellow onion

1 scallion bulb

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1-2 slices ginger, chopped

Marinade

1/2 tsp kosher salt (if using soy sauce, salt to taste)

2 1/2 TBS coconut aminos (sub soy sauce, if not Whole 30)

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 TBS egg white

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2 1/2 TBS pineapple juice

2 TBS dried apricots,   chopped small

1 TBS coconut aminos (sub soy sauce, if not Whole 30)

2  1/2 TBS rice vinegar

1 1/2 tsp tomato sauce

1 pinch salt (salt to taste, if using soy sauce)

1 -2 TBS water or chicken stock

In a small pan over low heat, combine the sauce ingredients. Cook the sauce until the fruit is soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 -2 tablespoons water to thin the sauce.  Mash the fruit until the sauce is the consistency you like.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade.  Thinly slice or cube the  chicken and mix with the marinade; set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee over medium-high heat.  When hot, lower the heat to medium.  Add the chicken and fry until golden brown.  Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, melt the oil.  When hot add the aromatics.  Season with a small pinch of salt.  Stir fry for 5 – 10 seconds.  Add the diced bell peppers. Stir fry for 5 -10 seconds.  Add the chicken back to the skillet.  Add the sweet and sour sauce.  Keep stir frying the chicken until cooked through.

Chicken Curry Hot Plate

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I got a really good deal on boneless, skinless, chicken breasts at Hornbachers on Saturday so this week is going to be chicken week on A Solitary Feast.

Let’s start chicken week with an idea I stole from Melissa Joulawan’s Well Fed Cookbook.  Melissa’s idea is brilliant in it’s simplicity so brilliant it hurts.   Her idea is called a hot plate.  She cooks up a couple of kinds of protien at the beginning of the week then uses the basic formula of  3 – 6 oz of protien + 2 cups vegetables + seasoning + good fat to get meals on the table during the week in 15 minutes or so.  Like I said, the idea is so brilliant it hurts.  Melissa then gives over 40 different hot plate ideas to try.

The problem is I am not much of a meal prepper so I am probably not going to have pre cooked proteins laying around.  I love the idea so much, though, I have been playing around with it to see if I could make them totally from scratch and still keep the prep and cooking time to 20 minutes or less.  The good new is you can.  I will be posting more of my hot plate recipes as  I go along.   I used my homemade Madras Curry powder.  You can find the recipe here.  You could use any curry powder you have if you don’t want to make your own.

Chicken Curry Hot Plate

adapted from Well Fed Cookbook

1 6 – 8 oz  boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 small onion, diced

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 – 2 tsp curry powder

a big handful of fresh spinach

1 tsp olive oil

salt, to taste

In a 12″ skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add  the onion and saute until translucent.  Add the chicken, tomatoes, curry powder and salt.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, 10 minutes.  Add the spinach and cover until the spinach is wilted.  

Whole30 Day 5 — Chicken Apple Sausage I

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I had my first Whole30 food dream today.  In my dream I had a whole bottle of pink decorating sugar in my mouth before I remembered I was doing a Whole30.  I tried to spit it out but, of course, it didn’t work.  I woke up pissed as hell I ruined my Whole30 over something sooooo stupid.  It took me quite a while to realize I was still in bed at home and not at work where I have access to big bottles of pink decorating sugar.  It was just a dream.

The literature says dreaming about eating non compliant food is your brain’s last-ditch attempt to get you to go back to eating the way you did before your Whole30.  All I know is my food dream was the start of the hardest day of my Whole30 yet.  I spent the whole day battling the desire to get in the kitchen and bake and the desire to eat all things. I watched movies, took a hot bath with a good book, dug through the Whole30 blog, crocheted, absolutely anything I could think of to distract me from the thoughts going through my head about baking and eating.  I am proud to say I won this round of Julie’s brain fights back but it was a close thing several times.

I have a hard time finding some of the compliant premade foods that the people doing Whole30 talk or when I do find it is so expensive I can’t afford it on my budget.  I am constantly looking for ways to make homemade versions of those things.  This one version of chicken apple sausage I found.

Chicken Apple Sausage I

1 TBS coconut oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1 lb ground chicken

1 tsp ground sage

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a medium size bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the coconut oil.  Mix well.  Form into equal size patties.  In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil.  Add the patties and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. You could also cook it without forming it into patties and use it in salads, omelettes and breakfast bakes.  Keep covered in the fridge for a few days or freeze for a few months.

 

C leaning Out The Pantry #4 Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Have I told you lately how much I love my pressure cooker?  Today all I wanted was chicken noodle soup.  Not any old can or packet of chicken flavored soup like substance but real, like my mom makes it chicken noodle soup.  Problem was, even though it isn’t a complicated recipe, it still takes about an hour and a half to make on the stove.  I didnt get  home from work until after 8 pm and was totally exhausted from a busy work day.  I didn’t have an hour and a half to spend in the kitchen plus time to let the soup cool down enough to put in the fridge before I was going to be out like a light.  So I decided to try making my mom’s chicken noodle soup in my 6 quart pressure cooker.  I just threw everything except the noodles into the pressure cooker and about 25 minutes later had the chicken noodle soup I so desperately wanted.  The best part it was sooooo good, possibly the best chicken noodle soup I ever made.  Have i told you lately how much I love my pressure cooker?

Pantry items used – Chicken boullion cubes

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup In The Pressure Cooker

1 – 2 stalks celery, chopped

1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped

6 cups chicken broth

2 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, skin removed and excess fat trimmed

1 cup raw egg noodles

Chicken boullion to taste

Toss celery, carrots, chicken broth and chicken thighs into the pressure cooker. Lock the lid.  Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.  Use a quick release to release the pressure.  Turn the pressure cooker to the saute setting and bring the soup to a boil.  Add the noodles and chicken boullion to taste and cook until they reach the desired tenderness. Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the bone and chop.  Add the chicken to the soup.  Place in bowls and serve.