Saturday, September 11, 2010

Skillet Rosemary Chicken and Swiss Chard

So my date with the farm was out of this world. Its a nearby farm in Hollis, NH, that I'd driven by and heard good things about, but never visited. Well now I'm a lifer! Lull Farm has so many amazing fruits and vegetables, and the vast majority of them are grown on site. 69 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, 22 varieties of vine (cherry) tomatoes! Kinds of squash I've never seen before and have no idea how I'd cook. The farm is also located on an apple orchard, and all you can see for acres is lines and lines of apple trees. There are even a couple apple trees in the middle of the parking lot! I may have helped myself to an apple or two...seemed to me like this is their way of offering samples to their patrons!

While walking around the farm stand I found all of the produce I normally buy in the store, plus so many other things that I now want to try. AND they have cider donuts and pumpkin whoopie pies, two of the most delicious treats ever. I bought a whole slew of tomatoes, Swiss Chard, mushrooms, cider donuts, fresh rosemary, fresh basil, red-skinned potatoes, and some aged cheddar cheese. I put the cheese on an apple I picked on the way out, and it was so good. Tasted like fall!

Dinner tonight: Skillet Rosemary Chicken with a side of Swiss Chard.

I found the chicken recipe on the FoodNetwork, but made some changes to make it a little healthier (like using skinless, boneless breasts instead of skin-on, bone-in breasts).

Skillet Rosemary Chicken Ingredients:
  • 1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 heaping tablespoon leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Juice of 2 lemons (reserve squeezed halves)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6-8 ounces each)
  • 10 ounces crimini mushrooms, halved
  • Salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and red pepper flakes (amount according to personal taste) on a cutting board.

Mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. This took me about 5 minutes.

Its easiest if you hold down the pointy part of the knife and chop repeatedly up and down with the handle.

Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in the olive oil and the juice of one lemon (don't forget to save the lemon halves for later). Squeeze hard to get the juice out - put some muscle into it!

Tip: you can get more juice out of lemons if they are room temperature instead of coming from the fridge.

Put your chicken in a large bowl and cover with paste mixture. Turn the pieces over to coat well, cover and put in fridge to marinate for a few hours.

After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven 450 degrees.

Wash and cut the potatoes.

Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (and pour the remaining juices from the bowl into the skillet), cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Turn the chicken over, then add the mushrooms and potatoes and squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon.

Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet, then transfer to the oven and roast (uncovered) until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Swiss Chard:
Cut the ends of the Swiss Chard off and soak in water for a few minutes to revive any wilted leaves.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the stalks first.

After about 5 minutes, add the leaves. Boil on medium for another 10 minutes.

Dinner is served:

Salt and Pepper Swiss Chard to taste. Add butter if desired!
This dinner was so good. I think I said "this is sooo good" at least five times. I made almost every bite a combo bite with a bit of chicken, mushroom and potato on my fork. And I finished every last morsel! Definitely a do-again. Next time I might make it with more potatoes and mushrooms. The Swiss Chard was very good too, its very similar to spinach but doesn't leave the grimy feeling on your teeth.

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