Chicken Thighs with Mayonnaise and Chimichurri

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 25 MINS

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If you’ve never used mayonnaise to marinate chicken or pork, you are in for a real treat. The mayo breaks down the fibers in the proteins and leaves it deliciously moist and succulent. Make your own chimichurri or buy store-bought though home made chimichurri is fresh, bright and worth the effort! This dish comes together in just minutes and will become one of your family’s favorite chicken dishes.

INGREDIENTS

* 4- 6oz Bone in and skin on chicken thighs
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup or more homemade chimichurri. See chimichurri recipe here
* Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Slather equal amounts of the mayonnaise on each side of the chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for minimum of 60 minutes or more up to 24 hours.
3. Remove the marinated chicken from refrigerator and spread a teaspoon of the chimichurri on each side of the chicken.
4. Heat a medium sized oven proof pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons avocado or other high smoke point oil to the pan
5. Add the chicken skin side down. Cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes or until browned.Be sure to move the chicken around in the pan so it doesn’t stick.
6. Flip the chicken skin side up and pop in the preheated oven and cook for another 12-15 Minutes or until the chicken registers 165° with an instant read thermometer.
7. Remove from the oven and spoon some additional chimichurri sauce over the thighs. Serve with remaining chimichurri sauce.

NOTES

Use skinless, boneless thighs for a healthy version.

Chicken, Greens and Peanut Butter Stew

YIELDS | 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 20 MINS

COOK TIME | 30 MINS

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This filling stew is jam packed with flavor and with even more nutrients. It will fill you up on a cold winter’s night and freezes well to enjoy. But it is so good you probably won’t have extras.

INGREDIENTS

* 4-4 ounce chicken thighs or breasts, boneless skinless
* 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
* 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons neutral oil of choice
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3 medium carrots, diced
* 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced, more to desired degree of heat
* 1/2 cup peanut butter of choice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3 cups cubed, peeled or frozen chunks of butternut squash
* 3 cups, Kale, Swiss chard or other favorite leafy green, stemmed and chopped
* A few sprigs chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the oil.

3. When the oil is hot add the chicken to the pot and cook until browned on all sides about 4–5 minutes per side.

4. Move the chicken from the pot and set on to a plate.

5. Add the chopped bell pepper, onion and carrots and cook for about 4–5 minutes and until the onion is soft.

6. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute more.

7. Whisk the tomato paste into the broth and then pour into the vegetable mixture, stir.

8. Add all of the remaining spices and the bay leaf and stir to incorporate. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

9. Add the chicken and its juices, the greens and squash to the pot.

10. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 15–20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

11. Uncover the pot, remove the bay leaf and cook for five more minutes and until the stew has thickened

12. Taste the stew and add any additional kosher salt or freshly ground pepper is needed.

13. Dish into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, if using.

NOTES

Substitute any nut butter, add any favorite greens and play with the heat level.

Chicken Cacciatore

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 60-90 simmer time

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Cacciatore means “hunter style” in Italian, and this savory, slow cooked dish features chicken with loads of peppers, tomatoes, wine, garlic and fresh herbs. The bacon adds a smoky flavor and mixes beautifully with the vegetables to create this simply delicious simmered stew. I serve this over thick spaghetti but any pasta will do.
Double Duty Recipe: make a double batch of the cacciatore and spread on top of toasted Italian bread topped with mozzarella, broil for one minute and cut into bite-size pieces and serve warm as an appetizer with your weekend cocktails.

INGREDIENTS

* ½ pound bacon, chopped
* 1 lb button or cremini mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed and sliced
* 6 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
* 1 4 ounce can tomato paste
* ½ cup dry red wine or chicken broth
* ½ large red onion, cut length wise and then thinly sliced
* 1 each small red, yellow and orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
* 1-14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
* 3 tablespoons capers, drained
* 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
* 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
* 2 to 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
* ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* A few sprigs fresh basil, chiffonnade for garnish
* 1 lb thick spaghetti, cooked for serving
* 1/2-3/4 cups Parmesan, grated, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400.

1. Fry the bacon in a large oven-proof pot with lid or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside, leaving the fat. Add the onions and stir until slightly browned.
4. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate.
5. Add the mushrooms to the fat in the Dutch oven and cook over medium-high, stirring a few times, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and lightly brown, about 10-12 minutes.
6. Add the chopped garlic and stir until fragrant.
7. Pour in the wine or broth into the mushroom mixture and let it come to a simmer. Scrape the browned bits up from the bottom of the pot.
9. Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, capers, oregano, red-pepper flakes and stir to combine.
11. Add the chicken, season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few good cranks of fresh pepper and stir.
12. Put the pot in the oven on the middle rack. Cook on low until the chicken is very tender and the flavors are blended, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
13. Remove the chicken from the pot and on a large cutting board, using two forks, break the chicken up into large chunks. Add the chicken back into the pot and stir in the parsley, add more salt and pepper if necessary.
14. Serve over spaghetti and garnish with basil and Parmesan.

NOTES

Best Combinations to use to stuff inside a chicken

STORY

A combination of Rosemary, Thyme, Onion, Garlic and Citrus⁠ make a wonderfully aromatic amalgamation to pop inside chicken for a bright, moist bird every time. Let your imagination run wild. The secret to a succulent chicken is to stuff the cavity with ingredients that will produce moisture such as fruit, veggies, herbs and other aromatics. Always try to add an onion for depth plus here are a few examples and combinations to consider:

* Any savory herb and or combinations such as thyme, rosemary, parsley, tarragon, cilantro
* Halved limes sprinkled with cumin and cilantro
* Halved oranges mixed with honey and thyme
* Carrots, turnips and celery with your favorite herbs
* Halved lemons, garlic and thyme

Chicken with Smashed Cherry Tomato Sauce

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 20 MINS

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This mouthwatering dish bursts with sweet cherry tomato sauce and juicy chicken. The sweet basil brightens the cherry tomato sauce. The mushrooms and spinach add an additional layer of flavor. This recipe comes together in a pinch and is perfect for weeknight meals. Serve with pasta and a crisp, green salad for a complete meal.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 Tbsp olive oiln• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts n• 2 cloves garlic, mincedn• 1⁄2 Tsp saltn• 1⁄4 Tsp ground black peppern• 2 cups or 8oz fresh mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed and slicedn• 1⁄2 cup onion, choppedn• 3 cups red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved. See Kitchen Tips on how to easily and quickly slice several cherry tomatoes at once.n• 4 cups or 5 oz fresh baby spinachn• 1⁄4 cup basil. cut into ribbonsn• 2 Tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated

INSTRUCTIONS

1. in a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pan.n2. Add mushrooms and onion to skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms and onion are tender and lightly browned, add garlic and cook for 1 minute more and until garlic is fragrant.n3. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to pop and wrinkle, 5-7 minutes. n4. Reduce heat to medium, add spinach and mix. Simmer until the spinach is wilted.n5. Add chicken back into the pan and cook until chicken is warm about 3-5 minutes. n6. Season with additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. n

NOTES

Happy Eating!nMushroom are optional, if not using, add 1 additional cup pf tomatoes

Lemony Ramp Pesto

YIELDS | 16 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 3 MINS

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Ramps, aka wild leaks, grow all-over Illinois and throughout the Midwest for a very short period of time in early spring. My son sustainably forages these beautiful, slender plants and blesses me with a bouquet of these garlicky gems. I have pickled them for the past couple of years and decided to try making pesto with this year’s bounty. The result produced a recipe for a fresh, garlicky and bright condiment that will complement almost every spring-time meal and of course is perfect on pasta too.⁠ Spread on bread and broil, or marinate fish or chicken to give it a nice zing.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 bunch Ramps leaves, rinsed and dried
• 3 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts or hulled sunflower seeds, optional
• Juice from 1/2 lemon or more to taste
• 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary
• 1⁄3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or Romano pecorino

Note: Garlic is not necessary in this recipe. The Ramps provide the garlic flavor.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Remove the leaves from the bulbs by cutting the leaves above where the bulb begins. Wash and dry the leaves.
2. Combine the Ramp leaves, nuts or sunflower seeds, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse to process for about 1 minute or until a paste forms.
3. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is creamy. You may need to add more olive oil to get the mixture to the consistency you like.
4. Keep the machine running, add the cheese and process for about 5-10 seconds or until the cheese is mixed through.
5. Toss with your favorite pasta. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.

NOTES

Be sure to trim, wash and save the bulbs to pickle or sauté to use in another dish. See Pickled Ramps on this website