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Everybody Likes Chicken

Island Epicure

Everybody I know seems to like chicken: the thrifty, because it’s a less expensive meat than most; the novice cook because the recipes range from simple to more complex as skill increases; the hurried because a skinless breast or boned thigh, quickly cut in bite size pieces, is sauteed in  minutes; and the culinary world traveler because every country in the world has its own favorite chicken dish.

Chicken pleases the palate by itself, in casseroles, in soups, in salads--well, in everything but desserts, though the Azerbaidzhani dish Chicken with Peaches and Cinnamon comes close. That’s a summer recipe made during the  much too brief season of fresh peaches, but you can make it any time with canned peach halves or slices, and if cooking for two instead of the conventional 4-serving recipe using a three-pound chicken cut in serving pieces, you can use a couple of chicken thighs or half-breasts. You can substitute Granny Smith apples or unripe pears for peaches if you wish.

Chicken with Peaches
              4 servings
4 large chicken thighs, bone in
3 Tablespoons  coconut oil
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans sliced peaches canned in their own juice
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Cinnamon to taste
Brown the chicken pieces on each side. Transfer to a plate. In the same skillet, stir-fry the onions until translucent and turning toward brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and  the lemon zest and juice,  plus the peach slices,  plus. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover, reduce heat to medium low. Cook until chicken is tender. Serve with jasmine rice, a vegetable of your choice, and a salad of lettuce and cucumber slices.

Chicken with Garlic $ Herbs
               2 servings
2 chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crumbled dried marjoram leaves or 1 Tablespoon slivered fresh marjoram leaves.
½ teaspoon crumbled dried basil leaves
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage, optional (but delicious!)
Mix the garlic, marjoram and basil. Loosen the chicken skin and insert some of the garlic-herb mixture under the skin of each. Heat the coconut oil in a deep skillet that owns a lid. Brown the thighs on each side. Poor in about 1 inch of boiling water. Put the lid on the skillet. Reduce heat and cook gently until chicken is tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with separately cooked brown rice.