Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Adobo Chicken and Sauteed Kale with Crispy Shallots

When I first started really cooking (beyond heating up things) a couple of years ago, one of the recipes I stumbled upon was a recipe for  adobo chicken.  Sweet, yet savory, and a really simple dish that only required an ounce of patience.  

A good friend of ours comes over about once a month; I cook, he brings the wine, and Brett cleans.  This was the first dish I made for him, and really was the first protein dish I had made for anyone, outside of my family.  

Since first discovering it, I've made it at least a dozen times.  I have the people of Cooking Light to thank for the original recipe for adobo chicken. 

In addition to the adobo, I have recently had a thing for kale.  Chips, sauteed, anything.  I think it's a fabulous vegetable that has a great flavor to it.  So I decided to play around with the recipes I've seen, and add another one of my recent favorites, shallots.  

This pairing ended out faring pretty well.  I'd recommend either dish as a standalone, but paired they work well together.  I am going to split up the instructions for the adobo chicken and kale, but I recommend cooking the kale while the chicken cooks uncovered for the last 20 minutes.  Also start the rice basically when you start the chicken if you're doing brown rice.  Otherwise, if you're doing white rice, you can start it when you start the kale.  

Ingredients - Adobo Chicken
1 T peanut oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 C chopped onion
5 cloves garlic minced
6 T tamari (or soy sauce)
3 T white vinegar
3 T water
2 T honey
1/2 t black pepper
1 bay leaf
Brown Rice (can be substituted with white rice)
1 C brown rice
2 C water

Heat the peanut oil (peanut oil, like coconut oil, has a higher heat property than olive oil, but you can use olive oil if it is all you have) in a large sauce pan or skillet.  Add the boneless skinless chicken thighs to the pan and brown on both sides.  Each side should cook for about 3 minutes. 

While the chicken browns, chop the onions and the garlic.  Once the chicken has browned, take out of the pan and put on a plate to rest.  Add the onions and the garlic and sautee, scraping up the browned bits, for about 4 minutes.

Add the chicken and the juices that have collected on the plate back into the pan, and add the remaining ingredients (except for the rice....and the water......like the 2 cups....obviously).

Bring the pan to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and cover for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, take off the lid and cook for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked.  Serve over rice.

For cooking the rice, it all depends on what kind of rice you are cooking.  Best advice?  Follow the directions on the rice.  I find that brown rice is the best...it's healthiest for you, and seems a bit heartier.  HOWEVER, it takes longer to cook.  So that is something.  Once the rice is cooked, you can add the chicken.  If the chicken has finished before the rice, just turn the chicken to low.  The sauce will get a bit thicker anyway.  And that was it is always yummier. 

Sauteed Kale with Crispy Shallots

Ingredients - Sauteed Kale with Crispy Shallots
1 bunch kale
1/2 C water
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 whole shallot

Preparing the kale is pretty easy.  What you want to do is cut the main center (rib) from the leaves.  This is the toughest part of the kale.  I have no idea what to do with it.  I'm bad, but I just throw it away. 

Once the kale is cut, place in a wok or a pot large enough to hold the uncooked kale.  Add the 1/2 cup of water to the bottom and either use a steamer insert and turn on the heat up to medium, or just put the kale on top of the water (that's what I did, so no worries if you don't have an insert).

Cover the kale and wait until it steams about 1/2 the original size.  Put back into a bowl and drain the extra water.

Add the olive oil and the chopped shallot into the pan that you just cooked the kale in.  Sautee until somewhat crispy.

Add in the kale and sautee until the kale cooks down a bit more, constantly stirring in the kale.  Add the salt and pepper (you can do more or less to taste).

Once the shallots are a bit crispy and the kale is tender, it is done!  Servce with the adobo chicken, or any dish you choose, and enjoy!

Original recipe for adobo chicken, but modified: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/adobo-chicken-10000001924726/

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