Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chicken over mixed greens and apples with an apple juice reduction and pasta

Tonight I used three CSA ingredients: collards, beet tops, and turnip tops.

I had read that if beets and turnips were very fresh the tops could be cut up and used like any other green. This week's CSA delivery came and the tops to each of these vegetables were so fresh when I first glanced at them I thought they were lettuce! So for the mixed greens and apples, here are the ingredients:

1 bunch of collards
the green leafy parts of 1 bunch of turnips
the green and red leafy parts of 1 bunch of  beets
(not pictured because I was making this up as I went along): lemon juice and grape seed oil

First I washed the greens and seperated and discarded any thick stems. Then I cut the leaves into strips about 1 inch wide:

Next I blanched them in boiling salted water for 10 minutes:

In the mean time, I peeled and sliced 3 apples very thin. I put them in a large non-stick skillet and added 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of grape seed oil. After blanching I added the greens to the skillet and sauteed the apples with the greens for 10 minutes:

For the chicken, I took 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and seasoned them with salt and pepper, and a ground mixture of fennel seeds, thyme, a small amount of crushed red pepper, and 1 bay leaf.

Then I browned the chicken in some grape seed oil for about 3 minutes on each side:

Then I put the chicken in a baking dish and baked it at 350 for 20 more minutes.

When I took it out of the oven I let it rest for about 5 minutes, then I sliced the chicken in 1/2 inch strips. We have found serving the chicken in strips instead of whole breasts helps with portion control and you find you really do not need the whole thing to feel satisfied.

For the apple juice reduction, I took the pan in which I browned the chicken, and I did not wash it out. With the browned chicken bits and some of the seasoning from the chicken in it, I added about 3/4 cup of apple juice:

Then I just let it simmer until it reduced, it took about 10 minutes for it to thicken up and turn a nice dark caramel color:

Finally, I put the greens and apples on the plates, placed the chicken strips on top of them, then poured a little of the apple juice reduction on top of all of it:

Now, in the normal state of things, this would have been dinner. But I am pregnant, and I was craving some starch. More specifically, I was craving pasta roni angel hair and herbs from the box. So, I made that to go with the dish a put a little of it on the side:

Here is a close up of the plate:

I have made something very similar to this dish in the past but with Kale as the green, so I knew it would be pretty good.

Let me tell you, I could eat these mixed greens with apples ALL DAY LONG. They are delicious, and thanks to Nancy Bagnulo for the idea to mix apples with greens.

Tomorrow night we are having leftovers from tonight because I have a late meeting.

Friday night I am roasting some of the CSA vegetables to pair with pork chops!

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