Saturday, October 6, 2012

beer + chicken = yum

That's kind of exciting, right?

I recently renewed my subscription to Cooking Light. Gal A (thanks to Gal M for our new monikers) gave me a subscription a few years ago for my birthday, and I kept it up until maybe 6 months ago, when I decided to let all my subscriptions lapse in an effort to save money. Now my etsy shop is doing better, so I took my hard-earned sewing money and renewed. 2 weeks ago, 2 issues arrived together- October, with a cover full of enticing quick breads, and September, full of chicken recipes.

Now, I'm weird about chicken. I like it, technically, but I don't often experiment with it. Don't get me wrong, we have chicken all the time here (mostly because I need chicken stock for so many recipes, so we always have a lot of bone-in chicken in the freezer to make more stock), but it's always chicken soup, tacos, etc. But when I'm presented with a bunch of quick, easy and healthy chicken recipes for dinner... well, who can resist that?

The Beer and Honey Chicken was the main one that caught my eye. And beer... I can get that at work! It's very easy, just saute chicken breasts and then saute onions (supposed to be shallots) and whisk together beer, honey, mustard and soy sauce. For this recipe, I used our Oaktoberfest, which was just recently put on tap. I brought a growler home, since it's $6.50 for the equivalent of almost 6 bottles. Yesss, we could have just opened up a bottle, but I like this beer.

We had this with a CL sweet potato recipe (idea) and it was a great combination. Actually, we liked this so much that after dinner last night (the leftovers), we discussed how sad we were that it was all gone, and decided I needed to make it again tonight. So with tonight's leftovers to eat tomorrow (since I'm working all day), it'll be 4 dinners in a row of beer and honey chicken. This big run of leftovers isn't for everyone, but this recipe is delicious enough that it's great for us!

Beer and Honey Chicken
recipe from Cooking Light

2 chicken breasts, cut into 2 super thin pieces, a horizontal slice
1T oil
salt and pepper
2 shallots, minced (or I used one onion and 2 garlic cloves instead)
6 mushrooms, sliced (my addition)
1/2 cup beer, I used our new Oaktoberfest from the winery, CL recommends something like Blue Moon but I would go with something a little fuller.
1T whole grain mustard
1T honey
2T soy sauce (preferably low sodium)
2T fresh parsley

In a large pan/skillet (I used my Le Creuset braiser, love that thing), heat the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then place in pan. Cook on both sides until cooked through (about 6 min total). Meanwhile, whisk together the beer, honey, mustard and soy sauce. Remove the chicken from pan and add the shallots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, whatever you're using. Cook a couple minutes, then pour in the beer mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced almost by half. Put the chicken back in, turn to coat with the sauce all over every so often, for a couple minutes. Top with parsley, and it's ready to eat!

We served it with a mashed sweet potato idea/recipe from the same issue.

Chipotle Lime Sweet Potatoes
recipe from Cooking Light, this link actually takes you to a variation but it's pretty much the same, just different flavors
(this is a halved recipe, which makes 4 servings)

2 sweet potatoes
1.5t lime juice
1T milk (we used apple cider the first time)
1.5t brown sugar
1/2t minced chipotle in adobo
1/2t adobo sauce
pinch of salt

Prick the sweet potatoes a few times with a fork, then wrap each in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 8 minutes, turning each over halfway through (it should be soft, if not, cook longer). Cut in half and scoop the insides and place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mash together.

This is our favorite, and was also (fortunately!) the healthiest option in the "Sweet Potatoes 4 Ways" article. The other ways were brown sugar pecan, sage parmesean and something with bacon. I want to try them all!

It took about 30 minutes from pulling out the ingredients to sitting down to eat, which is just lovely. And it's tasty!

I'm considering a pork version of this, although our growler is almost empty.

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