Playlist: Indie Hits: 2007 —
With tunes from MIA, JUSTICE, and MGMT, I thought this playlist would make me move and groove, but unfortunately, I had to keep reminding myself to dance while I was prep-cooking. I did manage to have fun playing the “tambourine” with a can of French-fried onions, air drumming with my chef’s knife, and taking a full-on disco D.A.N.C.E. break around the house once everything was cooking.
I chose comfort food for this unusually rainy day in Las Vegas, although it still sticks to a LCHF diet. The chicken “recipe” is my own, and starts with a stovetop braising technique that will yield delicious, tender, juicy chicken underneath that crispy skin. The Brussels sprouts recipe is bastardized from a Bon Appetit original: Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Gratin.
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Ingredients + Tools
Crispy-skin Braised Chicken
- 6-8 Chicken pieces, with skin and bones
- Kosher salt, plus seasonings of your choice (I used 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s)
- 32oz broth, low-sodium
- 1c White wine, dry (I used 2-Buck-Chuck’s Pinot Grigio)
- Olive oil (or Sunflower, or any high-heat oil)
- 1 tbsp Butter, unsalted
- Lemon (just a squeeze)
- Large pot; Skillet; Small saucepan; Tongs; Plate; Corkscrew; Splatter guard
- Season both sides of each piece with kosher salt and the seasoning of your choice.
2. Place chicken in large pot or skillet, add chicken broth and wine. Stove on High until liquid comes to a boil; reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Turn the chicken pieces every 15 minutes or so.
3. Set chicken on a plate. Optional for sauce: Pour about 1 cup of liquid (per piece of chicken you will be serving) into small saucepan on High; add butter, let boil until it reduces to a light gravy — 10-15 minutes. Near the end, add a squeeze of lemon.
3. While the sauce is reducing: Coat skillet with oil. Using Med-High heat and working in batches, sear the chicken, making sure to turn it every couple minutes to get every inch of skin nice and browned and crispy — about 10 minutes. I highly recommend using a splatter screen — not only to protect your skin, but it also can be used to creatively balance chicken in precarious positions (see pic).
4. Be sure to place your chicken *on top* of your sauce on the plate, so that you don’t ruin that beautiful crispy skin. End Activity.
Ingredients + Tools
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, quartered if large
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- Black pepper, Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 c heavy cream
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 oz Gruyere/Swiss shredded mix
- 2 oz Quattro Formaggio* shredded mix
- French fried onions (they’re not just for Thanksgiving!)
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 c walnut pieces, toasted
- Baking dish; Tongs; Mixing bowl; Cutting board, knife; Paper towels
- Set Apple Watch Activity to “Dance” or “Other.” Preheat convection oven (or regular oven, Wasteful) to 450. Toast walnuts while preheating, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside between two paper towels.
- In mixing bowl, combine B-sprouts, olive oil (enough to coat), melted butter, garlic, thyme, pepper and salt. Roast for 15 minutes, toss and turn them, roast for another 15 minutes. You want them a nice, deep brown in the end.
- In mixing bowl, combine cream and mustard. Scrape B-sprouts from baking dish into mixing bowl; toss to coat; return to baking dish. Sprinkle cheeses and French onions on top (however much you like, but easy on those onions if you’re strict LCHF or Keto). Roast another 15 minutes.
- Crush your toasted walnuts between paper towels; sprinkle them with crushed red pepper. Distribute on top of B-sprouts before serving. End Activity.
I would have blown through prepping in half the time if it weren’t for the music, so in that regard, it did its job. I’ll accept the 146 Active Calories, even if my average heart rate was only 88.
*Quattro Formaggio is a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina, and mild Provolone that I use in a lot of cooking. It’s available at Trader Joe’s, but if you can’t get it or don’t want it, you can substitute your own Italian cheeses. Same goes for the Swiss/Gruyere mix.
I had made enough chicken to have leftovers, but only enough B-sprouts for dinner that evening, so I’ve kept the recipes separate. Adjust accordingly.
Over the last couple months, I made the Bon Appetit recipe several times, but when I finally went off-book and did my own thing here, my partner said, “Wow, you nailed them this time!” I think what made the biggest difference was that I tossed them in the cream and mustard mixture rather than pouring that over them in the baking dish, as the original instructs.
After tossing them into the cream mixture, I realized my baking dish was too big for something creamy, so I made a little boat to bring everybody into a cuddle.
Let me know your thoughts or suggestions!