One of the most oft asked questions (usually right before someone is getting ready to start cooking for Shabbos) is what the &%&%$&*^ can I do with chicken that isn’t the same old same old SAME OLD recipe? I typically sympathize about the dearth of truly interesting Shabbos chicken recipes and then, an ask the question thats typically guaranteed to elicit a smile, a desire to do (and buy) whatever is necessary to create a masterpiece and an immediate request for the recipes.
That question is………… how far outside the box are you willing to go to create something different? If the answer is I’ll try anything, I say great, here’s my “fun and different” recipe. If they say well……..”I just want something a little different, not to different, just a little different and not too much work, and not too many whack-a-do ingredients” I still give them the following fun and different recipes because the best recipes are away easy, delicious and just a little bit fun.
CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOM PEPPERS AND OLIVES
4-1/2 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 chicken thighs, skin removed (about 1 1/2 pound), pounded slightly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced portabella mushrooms
2/3 cup diced red onion
1 red pepper diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup diced celery
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup sliced black olives (or green olives if you prefer but I like black better)
3/4 to 1 cup water
1 small bay leaf
1/4 to 1/3 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoon capers, drained
In a resealable plastic bag, combine 2 1/2 teaspoons flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Shake to combine. Add the thighs and shake to coat completely. Remove the chicken and set the remaining flour mixture aside. In a skillet heat the oil then brown chicken, approx. 3 minutes on each side, just enough to sear the outside. Remove chicken to a plate with paper towels to drain and set them aside. Do not clean the skillet, add the mushrooms, red pepper, onion, garlic and celery until cook until just starting to soften 4 to 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Add water and bay leaf and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, turning at 15 minutes.
When the chicken is done, place the remaining flour mixture in a bowl. Whisk in the almond milk and beat until smooth. Stir this flour mixture into the juices. Mix to combine. Add the water chestnuts and black olives and mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Discard bay leaf. Place the chicken on a serving platter, spoon the sauce on top and sprinkle with parsley and capers to garnish.
CURRIED CHICKEN WITH APPLES, PEARS AND CHERRIES
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 apples, peeled, cored, then cut into thin slices
2 pears, peeled, cored, then cut into thin slices
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pinch salt
ground pepper to taste
1/2 to 2/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 green onions, sliced thin
In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan. Sear the chicken pieces thoroughly, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. They should be golden, about 8 min. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on paper towel to drain. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat it for about a minute. Add the diced onion and then sauté for 2-3 minutes, just until it starts to soften. Stir in the curry and cumin, mix to combine and then cook for about 1 minute. Add the sliced apples and pears, mix gently and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
At this point add the broth to the apple and pear mixture. Mix to combine. Return the chicken to the pan, and gently spoon the sauce over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the pan to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook an additional 10 minutes until the chicken. Add the almond milk and dried cherries. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled