A couple of days into the new year and I am already lacking motivation to dig up new recipes and cook. I'm just having one of those weeks where I want to do nothing but watch TV and eat frozen pizzas and burritos. I've lost my cooking mojo.
On a brighter note, I have recently discovered the joy of shopping at Trader Joe's. I know, I know. You all must be thinking, "You mean you haven't been buying groceries there?" My answer is "no." I go to the wine shop and stock up on their house brand of inexpensive (not to say "cheap") wine which is surprisingly decent. In fact, I've had worse bottles of wine at 20 times the price of three-buck Chuck. Yes, it's $3 in New York. Anyways, Monday I did a little grocery shopping and discovered that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is cheaper at Trader Joe's. How do they do it? Sure the checkout lines are ridiculously long, but it goes by fast and at the end you are greeted by the most friendliest person who rings up your groceries and comments on your purchases. That never happens in New York. I don't see any reason to shop anywhere else. Boy, I should be getting paid for advertising.
Tonight's recipe was made in my brand-new Dutch oven. To see shots of it, click here. I must say that cooking with a Dutch oven is genius. Just throw in all the ingredients and put it in the oven and dinner is ready in an hour or so. I found the recipe in December's Food and Wine and it features an ingredient I had never used before, Swiss chard. It's dark green and leafy and gives a nice texture to the dish. I adapted the recipe a little, omitting the raisins and extending the cooking time since the directions in the recipe were really off.
Baked Chicken with Swiss Chard and Bread
1/2 pound stale, crusty bread cubed (a baguette is perfect)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 capers, rinsed
1 large bunch Swiss chard finely chopped
3 shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs. fresh or dry thyme, chopped
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the olive oil, bread, Swiss chard, shallots, garlic, capers and thyme. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture in a Dutch oven.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and arrange over the Swiss chard/bread mixture. Cover the chicken with a piece of parchment paper and place the lid. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Please note that you may need to cook the chicken a little longer, depending on your oven.
Remove the lid and the parchment paper and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and let stand for about 6-7 minutes before serving.