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One Pot Salsa Chicken with Mock Caesar Salad

Posted: April 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dinner | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s been a busy weekend: Devon’s mom came to visit for two days and we had lovely food at Tartine (morning buns), the Slanted Door (imperial rolls, chicken claypot, and halibut with spicy gingered fish sauce), and Cheeseboard Pizza (pizza and salad of the day). At the bookstore, Alice Waters was here to sign copies of her new book ‘In the Green Kitchen’ on Saturday. And then on Sunday I hosted food trivia when Cynthia Nims came to talk about her book ‘Gourmet Game Night‘.

For the past few days I’ve been coming home from work exhausted. Which is, of course, the case for most people in the real world. I admit that the recent dinners have been a little bit neglected – pasta with butter and parmigiano and grilled asparagus on Sunday night, and nothing but a bowl of pea puree yesterday. Tonight I vowed to eat well. I settled on One Pot Salsa Chicken with Mock Caesar Salad. Which took me all of half an hour. I started the chicken dish right when I got home, and the salad came together while everything was cooking. Dinner was well received.

This salad was inspired by Canal House Cooking, Volume 3, although I forgot to actually take the book home with me, so it’s more loosely what I remember from the recipe, and limited to what I had in my own kitchen. This makes about double the amount of dressing, but the leftovers easily go in the fridge for another day.

Mock Cesar Salad:

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon anchovy paste

1 teaspoon Maille whole grain mustard

juice of one lemon (I used a Meyer)

salt and pepper

about 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

1 medium romaine lettuce, washed and chopped

In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, anchovy paste, and mustard into a smooth paste. Add the juice of a lemon, season with salt and pepper, and pour in the olive oil. Transfer to an old jar, and give a really big shake. Just before serving, pour half of the dressing on the lettuce, grate on the cheese, and toss. I didn’t actually have enough parmigiano, so I supplemented with a tiny bit of Saxon Creamery Big Ed’s, a hard cheese that I picked up at Rainbow.

One Pot Salsa Chicken:

In my big Le Creuset pot, I put some olive oil and sauteed three cut up chicken thighs (about a pound of meat) on medium heat giving them a good seal. I like them to crisp up a bit, and let them fry for about 3 minutes on each side.

Now for my seasoning – I won’t lie, I rarely measure when I’m tired. I added about a tablespoon of cumin (several really good shakes of my new supply from Rainbow grocery), some freshly ground black pepper, and a good pinch of sea salt. By which I mean, almost enough sea salt to sustain an ocean-based ecosystem, because rather than being intelligent and shaking it into my hand, I shook it directly into the pot. After spicing, I gave the pot two more minutes of cooking.

I then added one can of pinto beans (no salt added) including the liquid, and a jar of Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica. I also added 3/4 cup of bulgur wheat, turned the heat down to low, and simmered for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the bulgur to fully cook.

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