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Anyone out there familiar with “Master Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen”? If you’re anything like me (and by that I mean a TV food show junkie) I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

If I was a contestant on either one of those shows, I know for a fact that Chef Ramsay would bite my head off, chew it up and spit it out. In a second. Why? Because I wouldn’t be able to follow his number one rule: TASTE YOUR FOOD! TASTE, TASTE TASTE!!!

Any fellow vegan / vegetarian out there who has to cook for other people, knows exactly what I’m talking about.

For me, the Holidays are always particularly challenging. Lots of people, lots of different traditions and trying to please everyone.

I remember one year, for some crazy reason (I’m guessing because I was bored of making the same thing over and over again) I decided to come up with a new chicken recipe. Nothing wrong with that, I know. And I’m sure my guests appreciated it. But let me tell you something, trying to make something new without being able to taste it… not an easy task.  And the only reason I even attempted to do it, is genetics.

Yep, genetics. The very handy (and kinda awesome) ability to cook instinctively that my mom  passed on to me. She (a vegetarian) has been cooking for my dad (a huge meat eater) for over 40 years. Needless to say, she’s quite good at it. Always flawless, always delicious.

I just hope some day, I can be just as good at it  as she is. But I guess someone else will have to be the judge of that. Anyone, except Chef Ramsay, please.

Enjoy 🙂

Ruth

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-55 minutes
Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings):

Spice mix:

  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar

Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups diced onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp agave ( we used Wholesome Sweeteners)
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 15 pitted prunes, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all fruit apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp hot water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt

*Note: For a vegan option, use seitan, tempeh or extra firm tofu instead of chicken

1. Combine all the spices in a small bowl

2. In a large bowl, coat chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rice vinegar. Add spice mix and using your hands, rub it on the chicken until it’s all well coated.

3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chicken and cook at medium-high heat, 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside

4. In a large soup pot,  heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add diced onions and crushed garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add agave nectar and balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

5. Add prunes, raisins and orange juice.

6. In a small bowl, combine apricot jam and hot water and stir until the jam has dissolved. Add to the soup pot

7. Add vegetable broth, lemon juice and salt. Cook at medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.

8. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes

9. ENJOY! From May I have that recipe

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