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Recipe: Hazelnut Crusted Chicken

Asking Papa-Bug for dinner ideas recently, he glibly said “Hazelnut Chicken”. When I asked where he saw the recipe he said he hadn't seen it anywhere, but could I just make it up? I turned it over in my mind for a while, and finally came up with this recipe. It is mostly a paleo meal recipe – the Parmesan cheese can be omitted if you don't eat dairy.


Hazelnut Crusted Chicken

1 cup crushed hazelnuts
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. parsley

2/3 cup milk
2 1 egg

4 chicken breasts (bone in or boneless – your choice)

3-4 tbl. melted butter or coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350*.

Crush whole hazelnuts in a food processor. In a shallow dish, mix hazelnuts with the coconut flour, cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley. In another shallow dish mix the milk and eggs.

Soak the chicken breasts in the milk/egg mixture for a few minutes on each side. Dip in the hazelnut mixture, making sure that the breasts get fully covered. Place in a greased baking dish.

Bake for about an hour, until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Pull the chicken out and carefully brush the melted butter (or coconut oil) over each breast. Return to the oven and switch it a low broil for 5-7 minutes to toast the nuts.

Serve and enjoy!


Recipe: Paprikash

Many years ago a dear friend made me a sour-cream chicken recipe from The Joy of Cooking. Amazing, tasty, and very warming – I was delighted by it. Come to find out it is properly called Paprikash and hails from Hungary. It's a very straight forward recipe. I've fiddled with the basic one I started with and it has become a dinner menu essential in our house, especially on rainy nights when we want something a little warm, pretty, and special – without a lot of difficulty.

This is something I do with the pulled chicken I get from roasting a whole chicken or from making stock. The directions are a little different if you are using fresh chicken pieces.



1 1/2 pound chicken pieces – bone in – or an equivalent amount of pulled chicken.

4 tbl. cooking oil

1 onion – diced

2 cups mushrooms – sliced

2 cloves garlic – minced

3 cups of chicken broth (if using pulled chicken)

2-4 tbl. Paprika (I like a combination of sweet and smoked, but this is a place to find what suits your palate)

1 bay leaf

3 tbl. flour

2 cups sour cream

With fresh chicken: simmer the chicken pieces in 3 cups of water for about 40 minutes. Separate and save the broth and chicken; allowing the meat to cool until you can comfortably handle the thighs. Pull the meat off the bones and set aside.

In a large, heavy bottomed pan, heat the cooking oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for about 3-5 minutes. Pour in the broth (reserved from the chicken pieces or canned), mix in the paprika, and add the bay leaf and chicken. Simmer for about 20 minutes on medium-low.

Combine the flour and sour cream, mixing thoroughly to prevent lumps. Mix the sour cream and flour into the simmering chicken, stirring thoroughly to combine. The sauce will thicken and become a wonderful creamy orange. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over egg noodles or rice. It's also nice to have some crusty bread to finish up the tasty sauce that lingers on the plate.

Good eating!


In The Stock Pot

In the autumn we make broth. And I don’t mean we enjoy some brothy chicken soup. Nope. We have been saving bones for the past year and we make a lot of canned broth to compliment our soups in the coming year. We eat about one soup each week, so that means I need around 50 quarts of broth. That is 12 1/2 gallons of broth. And we are up to the challenge.

One of my favorite aspects of making broth is that it is almost free, made out of scrap and what would otherwise be trash or compost. This gives me an especially warm and thrifty feeling when I see the cans and boxes of broth in the store for dollars. I have to pay for jars…but less and less every year as I acquire more and more jars. I have to pay for the heat to can them and the water to make the broth, but these are negligible expenses. When we buy meat by the side, we often get soup bones or “dog bones not intended for consumption”. Those cost a little.

These instructions are based on filling a 5 gallons stock pot. You can make adjustments for your own family if 5 gallons seems like a lot. From a 5 gallons pot, you will end up with between 2-3 1/2 gallons of actual broth.

The boiling of the beef broth…thank goodness for 5 gallon brew pots.

Meat (Bone!) Broth:
Simple. Save all your bones. Beef in one bag, chicken in another, pork in a third (I usually add lamb or goat bones to the beef). Label your bags! If I have the slow cooker out I will cook my bones with a quart or two of water over night to pull out the really deep nutrition and make an almost jelly-like bone broth. Then I throw this broth and bones in a labeled bag for the next broth day. If the slow cooker is not easily available or I am in a rush, I just toss the bones in the current bag. I use about 3-4 bags of bones per 5 gallons stock pot.

Vegetable (Compost!) Broth:
This is so thrifty it almost hurts. Save your old veggie ends. Nothing moldy, manky, or rotten of course, but anything old (wilty carrots and celery, just past gone potatoes, etc…). Store them in a labeled gallon ziplock bag in the freezer. When you are cooking, throw your vegetable ends in the bag (mushroom stems, celery tops and bottoms, onion and garlic ends and peels, kale stems, whatever…). When you steam or boil veggies, cool the water and add that to the bag. To fill the 5 gallon stock pot, I use 3 bags of frozen veggie ends.

Broth Day!!
Make one batch in a day. It’s a low, slow process for most of the day. At the end of the day your house will smell warmly of your broth of choice, which I find very comforting.

Put the contents of your broth bags into the stock pot. Add water to about 3 inches from the top. For veggie broth, do a quick check of the fridge for anything that could go in the broth instead of being wasted. For meat broth, add 4-6 firm potatoes (I prefer smallish red ones and I will explain why) to increase the potassium content. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Leave it simmering for 2 or more hours. It really can’t cook for too long; in the case of bone broth, the longer it cooks the more nutrients you get out of the bones.

I don’t add any herbs or salt. I can always add those at a future time. What I want is plain broth that I can fix up later, depending on what I am cooking.

Once it’s cooked, I pressure can my broth in quarts. My freezer is usually packed, and I don’t want to wait for broth to defrost anyway. I want to pour it into the soup pot and get it going right away. I use the reliable instructions from Ball Canning. You must use a pressure canner when canning meat or vegetable products. If you don’t have a pressure canner, freeze your broth in freezer bags.

With bone broth, I cool the bones and pick them over for meat scraps. I always fill at least a quart freezer bag with “pulled meat” for later. I also pull out the potatoes that have been cooked full of brothy-goodness for frying up with dinner or breakfast…or just eating right there as I pick the bones over. This is an entirely optional procedure, but I hate to waste any part of our meat. Sister-Bug’s favorite part is sorting the bones and she’s getting pretty good at it for a 2-year old.

This all takes time, but it’s mostly down time while I wait for the broth to cook down or the canner to vibrate at pressure, and having ready-to-pour broth of all kinds at hand is more than worth taking a couple of days to make our broth.

And it tastes SO much better than the broth from the store.

Recipe: Chick-Chickpea Stew

I was trying to follow a recipe, I swear. But it turned out that I was out of a couple of the items required and had to change it up at the last minute. I think the changes I made created a more interesting and tasty soup than the one I was trying to make. My partner in dinner swapping thought so too and requested the recipe…so before I forget what I did, here it is.

Chick-Chickpea Stew

2 cups dried chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
4 chicken thighs
1 tsp. cumin
2 bay leaves
3-6 cloves of minced garlic
4 tbl. tomato paste
4-8 oz. pesto
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers

Soak the chickpeas for 3-4 hours (or plan for an extra hour or so of simmering time). Put the chickpeas in your large soup pot with the chicken thighs on top and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is done through. Remove the thighs and set aside to cool.

Add the cumin, bay leaves, garlic, and tomato paste. Mix throughly and cover to continue cooking the chickpeas. Mine simmered for about 30 minutes before the chickpeas we close to ready.

Shortly before serving, pull the meat off the chicken thighs and add to the soup. Stir in the pesto (I used Nettle Pesto I made this spring, but I think any pesto flavor would be good…if you are using something highly flavored like basil or cilantro, add it slowly to adjust the flavor as you go) and the roasted red peppers. Simmer for a few more minutes to mingle the flavors.

Serve with crusty bread and salad.

Recipe: Southwestern Bean & Chicken Soup

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This soup is super fast and easy once your beans are ready. The spice is easily adjusted at the table with your favorite hot-sauce, and the salsa cooked in gives a wonderful tangy flavor. Also, adding the salsa means that there are no fussy things to cut up – so it is a great one to get a young child to help with!

Just the right soup for a rainy spring day – light and warm.

I used Lonesome Whistle’s Arikara beans. They are a nice white bean that hold their shape really well in longer cooking projects such as soup. They have a balanced flavor that (so far) goes with everything. It’s been nice to be back at the Farmers Market and seeing Kasey, talking beans and grains with her, and looking over her booth. It is more luscious and full each year.


Southwestern Bean & Chicken Soup

3-4 cups soaked and cooked Arikara beans (or another white bean)
1-2 cups cooked chicken pieces (this is a great thing to do with leftovers from a whole roasted or rotisserie chicken)
4-5 cups chicken broth
1-2 jars of your favorite green salsa
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbl. corn or tapioca starch
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro

This is so easy it feels like cheating. In your soup pot, combine the broth, beans, and chicken. Bring to a simmer. Add the salsa. Pull out a little broth (2-3 tablespoons should do it) and whisk in the starch and cumin till there are no lumps. Gently stir it back into the soup. Allow to simmer and thicken. Just before serving, add the basil or cilantro.

Serve with corn chips, sour cream, green onions, and your favorite hot sauce.