Friday, June 3, 2011
The Adventures of a Chicken
Any book that begins with "She longed for adventure" is sure to be a page-turner. And when this opening sentence is referring to a chicken named Louise, how can you *not* want to read on?
Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss is a story about a not so chicken chicken who leaves the warmth of her hen house only to find herself caught by pirates, survives a sinking ship, joins the circus, escapes a lion, kidnapped in a bazaar, only to free herself and other chickens from imminent chicken doom. My boys LOVE it. I love it. What's not to love?
Anyway, in the first chapter "Louise at Sea", the hungry pirates all have their own ideas on how they want to cook Louise. "Fried!" shouts one nasty-looking pirate. "Fricasseed!" shouts another. My oldest always giggles at this one.
So it is Louise that I think of every time we make Ming Tsai's Mushroom Chicken Fricassee with Edamame. This is one adventure I'm sure Louise is thankful to skip!
Mushroom Chicken Fricassee with Edamame
From Ming Tsai's Simply Ming One-Pot Meals
2 pounds unskinned bone-in chicken legs with thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 large red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
2 cups canned whole roma tomatoes, roughly chopped, with the juice from measuring
1 cup shelled edamame
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
2. Heat a large roasting pan or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and sauté, turning once, until brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Drain the pan of all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Add the tarragon, tomatoes with their liquid, and edamame. Mix well and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
4. Top with the chicken, transfer to the oven, and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve.
The Good: GREAT weeknight meal. Easy to prepare with tons of flavors. Edamame gives it an unexpected twist. Boys could not get enough.
The Bad: Boys hated the mushrooms (to be expected). I had to shell the edamame by hand (oof), but you can purchase shelled edamame at most stores.
Grade: Solid A. Get this in the oven, grab a copy of Louise and enjoy (yeah, I'm a sick mama)!