Thursday, February 3, 2011

CSA 27: Chicken & Potato in Sage White Wine Sauce

Last Tuesday, dinner was big bowl of Pasta Guilt. But not for the reason you might think. Or at least not the "pop" reason. I am not a demonizer of carbs.  Our brains run on carbohydrates, they are the most important part of our diets (well, after water). I eat high protein pasta anyway.

No, Pasta Guilt could be replaced with Broken Oven Blues. I had several pounds of potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, beets and other root vegetables. And not just any root vegetables, but local seasonal organic root vegetables. And not only did I have all those root veggies, I knew I was getting more that night. And more I got, 21 pounds more! (My mom took some, or at least plans to.)

But root vegetables are best baked. Yes I can, and do, boil potatoes. And I sauté them. And I put them in the slow cooker. But really, without an oven I'm stalled.

My range still works, thankfully. And eventually my oven heats up... It just takes 5 hours or so. But really, its 5 hours before I even start cooking, and who's got that kind of time?

So I had a big bowl of pasta and tomato sauce for dinner. And it was high protein pasta, so it was a pretty well balanced meal. I also actually measure out my pasta and only ate one serving. (My trick is to place 7 identical containers out then to evenly divide the 7-serving box of pasta among them. I'll eat one, cover the other 6 and store them - already portioned means no cheating or laziness next time.) And despite the guilt of eating pantry foods while fresh veggies beckoned, it was delicious. I stirred in a nice dollop of fat free ricotta cheese to up the decadence factor.

But by this week, I've settled into ovenless potatoes. I made some more sweet potato bread by splitting the baking over a few days: bake the sweet potato a bit one day, then some more the next day, then make bread. And while I was baking the potato for bread, I baked an extra for future eating, just to have one cooked.

This time I did boil my potato. And I fried my potato. I quartered 5 small potatoes in salted water, while grilling a piece of chicken and preparing the sauce ingredients. It was an incredibly quick meal to cook and seemed fancy but was quite simple and one of those meals where it was all done at the same time (I wrote the recipe to reflect the order I did things in to get it to time perfectly). I used chardonnay as my wine for no real reason except that I had an open bottle. I used whole wheat flour, because it’s all I stock in my kitchen. It tasted fine, but no doubt while flour would form a prettier sauce.  And if you don't have sage, I bet fresh rosemary or thyme would taste just as good in this recipe.

Chicken & Potato in Sage White Wine Sauce
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
5 small potatoes
1 bunch fresh sage
Olive oil & butter
Adobo (all purpose seasoning)
White wine

Salt & boil a pot of water. Heat contact grill & season chicken. Quarter potatoes, into even, easy to eat sized pieces, add to water. Boil. When the grill is ready, start cooking chicken. When potatoes are fork tender, drain. Place back on heat and add the olive oil & butter and toss the potato to coat. Let the potatoes fry in the fat for a few minutes, tossing occasionally. Chop the sage leaves (dispose of the stems). Remove the potatoes onto a plate, leaving all the fat in the pot. Add the sage. Add a few spoonfuls of flour and stir. Let cook, stirring constantly for a minute or two. Add a few generous splashes of wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Season with salt. Stir and then let simmer a few minutes. Place chicken on top of the potatoes. Pour sauce over the whole thing.

No pasta guilt here… but maybe a bit of butter guilt.

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