Whole30 Deliciousness: Dorie Greenspan’s When In Doubt, Chicken-In-The-Pot

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I’m obsessed with good food so I’ve always checked out food blogs to get ideas about what to cook or where to eat.  But since going Paleo, I’ve been dismayed to find that most of the recipes on my favorite food blogs are, unfortunately, carb-heavy dishes with Neolithic ingredients that I’ll be able to cook only as an occasional F-off/cheat meal.

That’s why I got so excited when I found Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Chicken-In-The-Pot. Dorie is an effing genius in the kitchen, and her well-written blog is so much fun to read. She’s definitely one of my food-blogging idols.

I made Chicken-In-The-Pot tonight with some modifications to make it Whole30 compliant and to customize it for my tastes. Dorie’s recipe is super-simple, really flexible, and the resulting dish was amazingly delicious.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • Approximately 2/3 cup avocado oil (in place of extra virgin olive oil)
  • 4 heads of garlic, broken into cloves, but left unpeeled
  • 16 shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 8 carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered
  • 4 celery stalks, trimmed and quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary 
(she calls for 3 sprigs but my sprig was extra bushy – and I don’t really like this herb)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 16 prunes (USE THEM! Don’t be afraid to add fruit to your savory dishes!)
  • 3 pounds of organic chicken drumsticks (you can also use 1 chicken, whole or cut-up but I like all dark meat)
  • 1 small green cabbage cut into 8 wedges (try Savoy cabbage)
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used extra chicken broth and the vinegar to replace the white wine called for in the original recipe)

Here’s what I did:

I preheated my oven to 450° F, assembled all my ingredients, and prepped my veggies.

(I ended up cutting the cabbage into eight wedges post photo, by the way.)

In two batches, I browned the garlic, shallots, carrots, and celery in a couple tablespoons of avocado oil over medium high heat…

…and placed the browned vegetables in my large Dutch oven. I added the herbs, lemon zest, and prunes to the vegetables and mixed everything together.

Don’t be leave out the prunes – they help balance the dish.

I love this brand:

(These super moist, sweet prunes make Sunsweet prunes taste like dessicated turds. I’m just sayin’…)

I seasoned my drumsticks with salt and pepper…

…and browned them in avocado oil over medium high heat (the browning part is optional per Dorie).

Then, I put the drumsticks on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and I added the cabbage wedges.

I whisked the chicken broth, ½ a cup of avocado oil, and apple cider vinegar together and poured it over the cabbage.

After adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper on top, I laid a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil over the top of the cabbage, put my lid on top, and crimped the edges of the foil up and over the lip of the lid to form a tight seal.

Lastly: Into my oven for 70 minutes.

It smelled so good when I took the cover off!

I served the chicken with garlic and purple cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and baked Japanese yam.

Good stuff. I can’t wait to get Dorie’s new book in the mail in two days…

Late Night Eats: 1/3/11

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Here’s what I ate at work tonight:

I ate my first snack at 10:30 p.m. which consisted of a hardboiled egg, crudités and Aubergine dip.

"Lunch" was at 1:30 a.m. when I wolfed down some leftover curry ground pork and broccoli slaw frittata with a side of nuked frozen mixed veggies.

At 4:30 a.m., I ate a small container of coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. My favorite Paleo snack of all time.

At 7:00 a.m. I ate my last meal of the night.  I reheated some leftover grass fed beef shank and cabbage stew with garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and roasted Tabil-seasoned cremini mushrooms.

I had me some good eats tonight.

Slow Cooker Grass Fed Beef Shanks & Cabbage Stew

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Makes 6 servings / Hands-On Time: 15 minutes / Total Time: 11 hours

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I’m always looking for shortcuts to deliciousness, so even though my last slow cooker experiment was an abject failure, I was determined to undertake a new experiment this morning. I’d defrosted a couple of 2-inch center cut grass fed beef shanks, and was looking forward to chucking everything into the slow cooker so I’d have a tasty cabbage and beef shank stew ready to devour when I woke up in the evening. (Well, I was hoping it’d be tasty…)

Here’s what I assembled:

  • ½ pound organic baby carrots
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 pounds), cored, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 2 center-cut grass fed beef shanks (about 2” thick)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 15 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos

And here’s what I did with the stuff:

I dumped the baby carrots and chopped onions into the bottom of my slow cooker

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…and layered the cabbage wedges on top.

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I threw in the smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves, and seasoned the beef shanks with salt and pepper to taste (by the way, feel free to be pretty heavy-handed with the S&P).

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Then, I plopped ‘em on top of the cabbage.

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The last step was to pour in the diced tomatoes and broth…

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…before putting on the lid. I set the slow cooker on low and let it do its thing for 9 hours while I hit the sack. (Ah, the nocturnal life of a night shift worker…)

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When I woke up, the house was suffused with a rich, beefy aroma. I couldn’t wait to peek at the stew. Lifting the lid off the slow cooker, I saw that the meat had pulled away from the bone and the marrow was perfectly cooked. Score!

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I removed and plated the bones (and delicious marrow), shredded the meat, and tasted the stew for seasoning. The pot liquor was exploding with flavor, but it was a bit on the sweet side for my taste from all the onions and carrots, so I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut aminos and some more salt and pepper.

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In the meantime, I oven-roasted some cremini mushrooms tossed with Tabil seasoning and macadamia nut oil (400 F on convection roast for 25 minutes) and quickly whipped up some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (this time, substituting extra virgin olive oil for the grass-fed butter).

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Here’s my dinner plate:

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All in all, not too shabby for a simple dump-and-cover slow cooker meal. Because the meat was grass fed, it wasn’t quite as meltingly tender as your typical crappy (but admittedly yummy) grain ‘n corn-fed stuff. Nonetheless, it was TONS better than the grass fed “beef stew” that crawled out of my slow cooker a few days ago. Plus, bone marrow is just so damn tasty –- mouth-filling, fatty, and full of umami goodness. I’m really happy I joined our meat CSA; left to my own devices, I never would’ve thought to buy beef shanks. Now, I’m gonna order them as extra items when I get next month’s box o’ animal parts!

30 Minute Lunch: Crispy Chicken Thighs, Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes,” and Sautéed Spinach with Shallots

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Luckily for me, I had four sous vide chicken thighs in my fridge, just waiting to be crisped up. Unfortunately, I was out of veggie sides and I didn’t want to eat another bowl of nuked frozen veggies.

After surveying my crisper, I realized I could make TWO quick veggie sides, garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and sautéed spinach and shallots, AND I could have everything on the table in thirty minutes. Sweet.

First, I cut up an orange cauliflower and steamed the florets with seven sliced cloves of garlic.

While the florets steamed, I crisped the Dukka-seasoned thighs in my cast iron skillet with some macadamia nut oil.

When the thighs were finished…

…I poured out all but a tablespoon or two of grease from the pan and I tossed in a diced shallot. Once they were softened, I put in a pound of prewashed baby spinach and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Lastly, I blitzed my cauliflower and garlic in my food processor with 2 tablespoons of butter until it was smooth.

Here’s my lunch plate:

Yummy.

Happy Turkey Day!

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We’re heading over to the in-laws this evening to celebrate Turkey Day.  While the younger rugrat napped, I quickly threw together some garlic caulilflower “mashed potatoes”

…and roasted broccoli and bacon. 

There will be a plethora of meats (albeit all factory farm-raised) and now I know I’ll have some Paleo-approved veggies to go with the tasty animal parts.

Happy Turkey Day!  

Best Make Ahead Side: Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

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I know I’ve posted this recipe before, but I just wanted to show how easy it is to prepare. I made it after work yesterday morning despite being dog tired. 

The first thing I did was to fill up a large stock pot with an inch or two of water. I put the pot on a burner set on high, dumped in a steamer insert, and put on the lid. 

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While waiting for the water to boil, I washed and trimmed a large head of cauliflower and cut up the florets and stem.  Next, I grabbed a packet of Trader Joe’s peeled garlic from the fridge and sliced up all the cloves.  Don’t worry about how everything looks because it’ll all get pulverized later in the Cuisinart.

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Once I was done prepping the cauliflower and garlic, the water in the pot was boiling, so I dumped in the stems, half of the florets, and all of the garlic and salted everything liberally.

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Then, I put in the rest of the cauliflower, seasoned with more salt, replaced the lid, and steamed everything until it was soft (~10 minutes). You won’t overcook it. The only part you can mess up is if all the water dries up in the bottom of the pot. But barring that, you’ll be fine.

Once the florets are soft, I dumped everything into a colander and let it drain.

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Once drained, I threw everything into my Cuisinart.

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I added some fresh cracked pepper, microplaned nutmeg…

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…and two tablespoons of butter (grassfed, of course). 

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Final step: I processed everything until smooth.

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One last taste for seasoning later, I put my faux “mashed potatoes” in a covered Corningware and popped it in my fridge. The puree reheats beautifully in the microwave.

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It’s tasty, cheap, super-easy and pretty much foolproof. So no excuses, people.


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).