Friday, June 18, 2010

Tumeric Chicken with Purple Spring Onion

One of the joys of having friends to stay, especially friends who enjoy pottering about in the kitchen, is the likelihood of eating a meal they've prepared.

And that's just what happened last night, when a friend of mine flew in from out of town for a visit.

Judi, who lives in the northwest, arrived with a bag of locally-grown goodies: Seattle's very own organic and fair trade Theo Chocolate, wild king salmon, that she'd bought direct from the fisherman who'd smoked it with wine and maple, and Misty Meadows Marionberry Spread.

I've never had marionberries. According to Misty Meadow's website, marrionberries are from the Willematte Valley in Oregon, and they're of the "cane berry family" and have a "clear fruity flavor."

Apparently, marrionberry pie is an Oregon favorite, as is warming the jam and pouring it over ice cream. I'm excited to smother the jam over a chunk of my DuckEgg Cornbread, which I plan to make for our breakfast this weekend.

I thought we might have the wild king salmon for dinner. Wrapped in it's cryovac pack, the exquisite color of the salmon, it's obvious succulence, and the wine and maple smoking veritably screamed out to me: eat me now!

However, Judi insisted that I keep it for later; she'd picked up some "natural" chicken (there's that nebulous labeling again) and had an idea for cooking it up with vegetables from the garden.

Of course any ideas she had for cooking dinner were fine with me, since I was thrilled at the prospect of eating a meal prepared by someone other than myself!

I let her fossick in the veggie garden and after a while she came in with purple spring onions, which once washed, peeled and trimmed are really quite beautiful (pic to left).

She'd also collected kale and turnips (both of which are abundant right now and thus they've been appearing in all my blog meals of late), and cilantro and parsley.

I was interested to see what Judi would create with ingredients I've been cooking with these last couple of weeks.

Here is what I observed, and then ate with gusto:

Turmeric Chicken with Purple Spring Onion

1) Wash, peel, trim and cut into pieces one large purple spring onion. (You'll be able to find these at your local farmer's market.)
2) Toss spring onion in a skillet with some oil; saute gently on low until transparent.
3) Add about a teaspoon of turmeric; stir into onion.
4) Over the turmeric onions lay several boned chicken thighs; stir about so that the meat is well coated with turmeric.
5) Having washed and coarsely chopped a handful each of parsley and cilantro sprinkle over the chicken (pic at top).
6) Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the lot, place the lid on the skillet and with the heat still on low; allow the chicken to gently cook in its own juices for about 15 or so mins.

To Serve: We had our turmeric chicken over a bed of sauteed turnips, turnip greens, kale and carrots (pic to left and below).

Judi did what I've doing with the garden greens and simply washed, drained and chopped the vegetables, tossing them into a second skillet with peeled and chopped fresh ginger and olive oil.

She then allowed the veggies to wilt over a med-to-low heat, adding a dash of rice wine vinegar at the last minute to bring out the natural flavor of the vegetables.

Because the color of the turmeric chicken was a rich yellow, sitting atop an ample portion of the wilted greens, turnip and carrot, the variegation of colors in the meal was quite spectacular.

To finish, Judi sprinkled some chopped, raw almonds over the chicken and this added crunch and texture.

You might prefer to serve your turmeric chicken with the Garlic-Dressed Salad Greens I posted recently; this would be a lighter though equally satisfying meal.

FYI: I posted a note on Facebook regarding my lack of success sourcing organic and free-range chicken meat in Boulder County. In response, Edible Front Range directed me to their online resource page.

I checked it out, and indeed, they've put together an extensive list of all that's locally grown, including poultry that's organic, truly free-range and humanely farmed.

Edible is published regionally, so check out your local publication for links and connections to the best locally grown produce, meat, dairy, poultry and eggs.

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