I haven't done a whole lot of cooking lately. Mark and I have been on a blistering schedule, having events/meet ups with friends planned almost every day of the week for quite some time. I needed a break from gallivanting around town, so instead of going out to dinner, we decided to stay in, blaze through Season 4 of the Wire, and cook. After a little bit of discussion and 5 minutes of Googling, we landed on a sweet and spicy recipe for braised carrots and a creamy cauliflower mash recipe. And because I didn't quite feel like waiting an hour and half to eat dinner, I adapted this recipe for Provençal chicken with honey and thyme. While this all sounds kind of complicated, all three recipes are as simple as can be, and completely tasty.
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2"-2" sticks
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2" tbsp brown sugar
First, I heated the carrots, the chicken broth, and a tbsp of the butter in a pan to simmering, then I reduced the heat to low, covered and cooked for about 15 minutes, until the carrots were tender and the liquid had reduced.
To finish it off, I uncovered the pan, added the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, the ground ginger, and the brown sugar, stirred and let cook just a minute or two more before taking the pan off the heat. I covered the pan again to keep the carrots warm while I prepared the rest of the meal.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb cauliflower florets
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Just as easy. First, I brought the chicken broth and cauliflower to a boil then covered and cooked until tender, about 7 minutes. I drained the cauliflower, added the rest of the ingredients, and blended until smooth.
- About 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken (I used a mix of breasts and thighs)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp buttter
- 3 tbsp chicken broth
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp finely minced shallot
First, I rinsed the chicken, patted it dry, and seasoned it generously with salt, pepper and about 1 1/2 tbsp of the thyme.
I heated 1 tbsp of the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the butter over medium high heat, then cooked the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. I removed the chicken to a plate.
I deglazed the pan with the chicken broth, then whisked the lemon juice, honey, shallot, the remaining oil, and the remaining 1/2 tbsp thyme, and cooked about 2 minutes.
I served the chicken atop the cauliflower mash with the sauce drizzled over top, and plated up the carrots on the side. I think the carrots, sweet, buttery and very subtlely gingery, were the best element of dinner, but the cauliflower and chicken were nice complements. The meal turned out so well that I felt shame for not cooking more often - so if D.C. sees less of us out and about in the near future, blame it on my inability to process guilt properly...