Easy Chicken Dinners

Island Epicure

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Everybody likes chicken, it seems, though vegans and vegetarians skip it. Some people don’t eat pork for religious reasons. Some people don’t eat fish, or are allergic to specific seafoods. But you are generally safe in serving chicken regardless of who is coming to dinner. The recipe you choose may be a complicated gourmet dish that you’d only make on rainy weekends. Or a simple but somewhat exotic dish like the one below. It has Ajubaidzani roots  and the only accompaniments it needs are  rice or quinoa cooked in the rice cooker and zucchini or summer squash cooked in your microwave, plus a salad of lettuce, spinach, arugula, and chopped red or yellow bell pepper for color contrast, served with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.

CHICKEN WITH PEARS AND TARRAGON
4 servings
4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 to 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz.) can pear slices in pear juice

In a wide skillet that owns a cover, heat the coconut oil. Put the chicken thighs in skin side down. Brown that side. Turn the thighs over. Sprinkle with tarragon, salt and pepper. Add juice from pears. Cover. Reduce heat to medium low (Mark 3). Add a little water as needed to keep the meat braising, not frying.

Cook until meat is tender, about 45 minutes. Tuck pear slices among and between chicken thighs.

Put the cover back on the pan just long enough to heat the pear slices through. Serve promptly, accompanied by brown rice, brown fettucini or quinoa.  Quinoa is the only grain that yields complete protein, 8 grams per serving.  The average chicken thigh yields 16 protein grams. Adding quinoa to the meal brings the  total to 24 grams.

We try to average 20 grams of protein per person per meal, but both Steve and I are people of small body mass; you are probably larger.  You can add protein to this meal by finishing with a choice of several cheeses as the French do.

 GOLDEN QUINOA
4 servings
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups quinoa
2 2/3 cups hot water
1 teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon salt

Plug in your rice cooker, add the oil and then the quinoa. Stir to coat each grain of quinoa with  oil.

Add turmeric, salt, and water. Stir. Cover. Push the lever down to start cooking.  A nine-year old child could almost cook this with his or her eyes shut. When the quinoa is done, in about 20 minutes, the rice cooker will switch from cook mode to warm mode.  It cannot over cook.

Note:, Turmeric boosts your brain power and lessens pain perception as well as coloring food yellow.