Nom Nom Paleo

Damn Fine Chicken

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Did that title catch your attention? Good.

This recipe was inspired by David Lebovitz — whom I’ve already written about crushing on. I love his easy and delicious recipe for roast chicken with caramelized shallots, and this is my take on it. It’s super simple and scrumptious — MAKE IT ALREADY!

I’ve prepared this dish a number of different ways (subbing in different alliums, vinegars, and fats) depending on what I have available in my pantry, and it always comes out wonderfully. 

Here’s how I made enough chicken to feed 6:

  • 10 drumsticks
  • 2 large shallots, minced**
  • 3 Calçot onions or scallions, thinly sliced**
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, virgin red palm oil, coconut oil, etc.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fines herbes (optional)

(*in place of the alliums, you can sub in 3 tablespoons of Penzeys Spices’ Sunny Paris seasoning)

Here’s how to make it:

Mix together the shallots, onions, vinegar, oil, coconut aminos, salt (2 large pinches), fish sauce, and pepper in a large bowl.

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Then, plop the drumsticks on top, and…

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…use your hands to make sure the chicken is well-covered in marinade.

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Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for a few hours. Personally, if I know I’m going to be short on time (which is almost always), I marinate this dish in the morning — that way, the drumsticks’ll be ready for me by the late afternoon, when I start preparing dinner.

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When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 F on convection bake (or 400 F non-convection). Arrange the chicken in an oven-safe baking dish, sprinkle on some Fines Herbes seasoning (if you want), and pop it in the oven.

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Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking time.

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Arrange the drumsticks on a platter, and…

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Pour the cooking liquid over the chicken.

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Simple and ridiculously good!

Day 24 of Whole30 Eats

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I have less than a week of Whole30 left and I can’t wait to finish it. I do feel healthier, more alert, and stronger — but it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been able to go out to dinner at a restaurant and not worry if my “Paleo” entrée meets the strict Whole30 standards. For God’s sake, I CHOSE to go to a Chipotle instead of a more foodie appropriate restaurant just because I could check online if the ingredients were Whole30-compliant.

Plus, I’d love a nice piece of dark chocolate.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad I’m doing the Whole30. It’s good to be more mindful about what I’m eating. Still, maintaining this level of super-Paleosity isn’t sustainable for me. I’m glad to read that Melissa and Dallas feel the same way.

So what did I eat today?

For breakfast, I ate some pancakes and a chocolate croissant. Okay, I lied. I had another frittata. This time, I made one with three eggs, sautéed mushrooms, diced shallots, and nuked frozen broccoli.

I had little helpers who helped me cook the frittata…

…and make sure it didn’t burn in the toaster oven.

They did a great job! I ate the frittata topped with Primavera salsa and spicy guacamole.

After a morning spent with the rugrats at our local kiddie zoo, park, and library (they’re all within a one block radius of each other - I wouldn’t have attempted it otherwise), I came home and heated a leftover box of seasoned beef and roasted green bell peppers.

I topped the meat with Primavera salsa and diced avocados.

I snacked on coconut flakes and nuts throughout the day. I’ll never tire of coconut. In fact, I tried to order a gallon of coconut chips today, but they’re sold out at Tropical Traditions. Argh. Guess I’m not the only coconut fiend.

At dinnertime, I remade some items we ate last week: David Lebovitz’s roasted chicken with caramelized shallots, cream of tomato soup, and nuked green beans. I also served the leftover vegetables from last night’s chicken in the pot.

For tonight’s version of roasted chicken, I cooked 4 whole kosher chicken legs.

While it roasted in the oven, I made the tomato soup with three large diced shallots in place of the leeks I made last time.

My Vitamix is pretty awesome. It pureed the tomatoes…

…in 20 seconds.

After I poured half the pureed tomatoes into the saucepan, I added the sautéed shallots and garlic…

…and blitzed it again for 20 seconds.

I’m glad I’ve found a reason to break out my blender again. Since going Paleo, I’ve stopped making fruit smoothies, and already had a spot picked out for the blender in my appliance graveyard in the garage.

The green beans were a breeze because I bought the “ready to use” variety at Trader Joe’s.

I microwaved them with a splash of water for 3 minutes straight and then in 30 second increments until they were the right consistency.

When they were finished, I splashed on some extra virgin olive oil and added some salt and pepper.

After the beans were finished, I reheated the leftover veggies from last night’s chicken in the pot. I timed it perfectly, so the chicken was ready to take out of the oven when all the sides were finished.

This meal was company-worthy (and we did indeed have a guest over for dinner) and it was on the table in a stress-free hour.

Day 18 of Whole30 Eats

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Tonight, the beginning of my work shift wasn’t quite as frenetic as the night before so I was able to snack on a hard-boiled egg at around 1:00 a.m.

I ate my “lunch” at 2:00 a.m. which consisted of leftover beef stew, cauliflower fried “rice,” and nuked green beans. I followed it up with a container of crudités and Aubergine dip.

At 4:00 a.m., I ate my usual snack of macadamia nuts and coconut flakes. I don’t get tired of snacking on these fatty treats!

My last meal at work was a box of leftover sous vide pork chop, roasted kabocha squash, sautéed spinach, and garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”

On my way home from work, I picked up my inaugural box of veggies from Full Belly Farms CSA. Here’s my haul for the week:

And here’s my crazy food stylist:

After playing with the rugrats (re-enacting Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang is a favorite at our house), I popped my supplements, ate a spoonful of coconut butter, and got some shuteye.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I decided to make another variation of David Lebovitz’s fabulous roast chicken and shallots. This time, I changed it up by adding two sprigs of thyme and some sliced green garlic from my CSA box.

It really only takes about 5-10 minutes of preparation time ‘cause you just mix everything together…

…and turn it skin-side up before you pop it in the oven.

While the chicken thighs roasted in the oven, I washed and blanched two bunches of kale…

…and sautéed the leaves with some shallots and lard.

I also roasted some parsnips and carrots tossed with avocado oil, salt, and pepper in my trusty toaster oven (400 F for 25 minutes).

By the time the chicken was done roasting…

…we were all ready to dig in.

Tonight was the first time I didn’t make something different (i.e. non-Paleo) for the kids. The older rugrat ate everything but didn’t like the parsnips or kale. Our younger rugrat staged a hunger strike. Guess he’ll just have to load up on bacon and eggs in the morning!

Day 16 of Whole30 Eats

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Now that I’m back at work this week (and turning nocturnal again), I’ll report on what I’m eating from midnight to midnight. I’m finding it a lot easier adhering to the Whole30 program while away from my kitchen because I pack all my food in advance, and there’s no opportunity to stray. Each day this week, I’ll be eating just one meal at home after I wake up in the evening. (It’s my breakfast, but it’s dinner for the rest of the family).

Since it was my first night back at work, I didn’t get hungry until around 2:00 a.m. My ”lunch” at work was a refreshing salad packed with greens, hard-boiled egg, diced avocado, sliced tomatoes, and shredded carrots.

About an hour later, I was hungry again so I ate some coconut butter, macadamia nuts, and coconut flakes. Do you guys sense a pattern here? I love me some coconut and mac nuts!

My last meal at work was around 7:00 a.m., when I ate a box of leftover seasoned ground pork, roasted Portobello mushrooms,  and nuked frozen green beans.

When I got home, I walked my kindergartner to school with the rest of the family. I passed a bunch of moms who were bleary eyed and nursing huge mugs of java. WTF! I’ve been up all effing night — buck up, people!

I returned home, downed some chilled coconut milk, and crashed from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. When I woke up, I baked a yummy and EASY platter of David Lebovitz’s roast chicken with carmelized shallots.

As veggie sides, I reheated some World’s Best Braised cabbage

…sautéed 2 bunches of swiss chard and shallots in some lard…


…and made some winter squash puree mixed with coconut oil, salt, and pepper.


Here’s my “breakfast” plate:


Now, it’s back to the grind for another 6 nights.

David Lebovitz’s Super Easy Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots (Whole30 Style)

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David Lebovitz, will you marry me and be my gay husband? I know I’m not worthy but I’ll promise to adore you, do your laundry, and laugh at all your jokes.

Seriously, he’s one of my favorite food bloggers and cookbook authors of all time. I’m a daily snooper on his site because his posts are so damn funny, witty, and chockfull of fail-proof recipes. Before I morphed into a cavegirl, I was always making one of his ice cream recipes or a batch of his cookies. Maybe that’s why I always had a thick middle…

One of my regular go-to weeknight meals is his savory recipe for roast chicken with shallots. The recipe takes about 5 minutes of prep time and the rest of the cooking is done in the oven. You’ll have plenty of time to make side dishes or even a sidecar cocktail.

Upon closer inspection, his recipe isn’t really Whole30 compliant due to the soy sauce and I don’t want to use extra virgin olive oil since it’s being roasted at a high temperature. I was determined to make it work so tonight I made some substitutions to make the dish more pleasing to my Paleo friends. You’re welcome.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or butter, coconut oil, ghee, animal fat)
  • 3 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar (or your favorite vinegar - sherry is fantastic!)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and minced (you can also substitute 2 medium onions)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • large handful of Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Here’s what I did:

I preheated the oven to 425 F. In a 9x13 baking dish, I whisked together the avocado oil, vinegar, shallots, coconut aminos, a generous amount salt (I used 3 large pinches) and freshly ground pepper.

Then, I tossed the chicken with the mixture making sure the pieces were well-coated with shallots.

I turned the chicken skin-side up and popped the dish in the oven. After 20 minutes, I flipped the chicken pieces (making sure to top the chicken pieces with shallots again).

About 25 minutes later, the chicken was finished cooking and the shallots were caramelized. I removed the chicken from the oven…

 …flipped it skin side up…

…and tossed on the chopped parsley.

This chicken was really flavorful: slightly tangy, onion-y, and delicious. The dish creates it’s own sauce which you MUST spoon onto your chicken. It smells so damn good while it’s cooking and it’s so effing easy. You should definitely put it in your repertoire!

I’ve tried this recipe with lots of different vinegars (e.g. sherry, red wine, balsamic, champagne) but Banyuls vinegar is awesome. It’s a nicely balanced vinegar made from Banyuls, a dessert wine  produced from old vines cultivated in terraces on the slopes of the Catalan Pyrenees in the Roussillon county of France.

Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Try it if you can find it!