Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bietola, damnnit! Bietola!

Is that what the stuff is called? Yes I think so, this time. It inspired this meal:

1 bunch bietola. Or chard, they're similar.
1 clove garlic
1 unit broth concentrate
olive oil

1 fennel bulb
1 or 2 onions
salt, pepper, olive oil

2 chicken tenderloins, marinated in:
salt, pepper, olive oil
fresh rosemary, parsley and thyme
sprinkle of roasted garlic chips

These amounts make enough for one meal for me, with leftovers for lunch the next day.

Roasted walnuts and fresh goat cheese to serve with.

Up to 3 days in advance, mince the fresh herbs to go on the chicken, toss the tenderloins in with the rest of the marinade ingredients and cover. I recommend 2 things- first, remove the tendons from the meat. They're stringy. Second, allow at least overnight to marinate the meat. I started with frozen and left them for 3 days in the fridge.

On the day you want to eat, allow about an hour and a half. That's enough time not to get frazzled doing this, if you're having company.

Start with the fennel and onions. Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the fennel and onions in 1/3 inch slices, toss with plenty of salt, pepper and olive oil, and bake for about an hour. The fennel and onions should be tender and shriveled, and some of the small pieces should be dark brown and caramelized. Turn the oven off and leave them in there til the rest of the stuff is done, crack the door if you're worried about overcooking.

The greens take around 1/2 hour. Cut them up and put them in a heavy bottomed pot with a little olive oil over medium heat. Toss them up, add a little pepper and cover. When they're about half wilted, crush in the garlic clove and add the broth concentrate. Keep them mostly covered until they are very tender. They should steam down in their own juice. A little browning is fine, but you don't want a lot. Stir sometimes.

When the greens are about done, heat a skillet with a little oil to medium and put in the chicken. Brown on both sides, it only takes a couple minutes per side. At this point, if the greens are watery, let them cook uncovered while you do the chicken. Check the greens for salt, while you're at it.

I cooked the meat with the lid on, like this: chicken in pan, cover. Wait a few, peek, cover, wait. Peek, flip, turn heat off, cover, ignore.

Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and nuts.

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