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June 24, 2008

Organic chicken with brown rice and peppers (I'm back!)



I feel like I've been on vacation. But not in a good way. Last night was my first time back in the kitchen in a loooooong time. My back injury is slowly healing and it felt great to be back at the stove! Although I have to say, my b.f. did a wonderful job of cooking and cleaning and taking care of me for over a week. He's the best.

So I cooked him an all-local, all organic dinner of chicken with brown rice and peppers last night. It was a hit --similar to a paella but without all the ingredients and healthier because of the brown rice. And such a cool feeling that almost every ingredient was from a nearby source.

The base of the dish was some expensive (but worth it) bone-in chicken breasts I had bought at the Wednesday Farmer's market at the Turnip Truck. The chicken (who I'm told ranged about like real chickens and ate a diet of grass instead of corn) came from West Wind farms, a 100% certified organic, grassfed meats and poultry farm in rural Tennessee. The only thing that wasn't local in the dish was the rice. The peppers came from our neighbors, the peas and herbs from our own little backyard garden, the garlic and the parsely from our CSA farm share, and the tomatoes were from a can (local Tenn. tomatoes are still not available --but soon!)

I browned the chicken first, then set it aside. Then I sauteed onions and garlic in olive oil, added the peppers, one bay leaf and some fresh oregano from my front porch herb garden. I cooked and softened them for a bit, then added the rice to toast and a carrot, chopped and 1/2 cup of white wine (or any other liquid like vinegar or broth to reduce). Add the chicken back in plus 3 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat, cover and let simmer for at least 45 min. until the rice and chicken are cooked all the way through and most of the liquid absorbed.

This was an easy one-pot dish. And with all of those nice, fresh ingredients, tasted better than usual. I think we'll add this one to our regular line-up of weeknight meals. Speaking of regular, it will be nice to get back to my normal routine. I have alot of summer dishes I want to try and parties to throw! Not to mention a new look for my blog coming sometime this summer...

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