Friday, May 31, 2013

Memories, Marengo & Mud

Over Memorial weekend, the Barefoot Hippies made a whirlwind trip to OKC. My sister had given birth to twins back in January, but between our overseas trip and lack of moolah, we hadn't made it out to meet them yet.

We hopped in our minivan Wednesday night and drove the next 18 hours, landing ourselves there around noon on Thursday. (we took a 2 hour nap in MO. We aren't as young as we used to be). We talked and laughed, played games, visited some area highlights and watched hours of Duck Dynasty, before home on Monday. Two of my other siblings also drove up from Dallas to spend some time, which was an added bonus.

I took lots of pictures, and I decided to collage a bare minimum sampling to spare you hours of scrolling.
LC and Gideon/ Bethany/Meres and my sister Lydia-this was not her mad face picture. I spared you that.

At the Route 66 Park.

The Five Guys collage. Friends introduced us to Five Guys last summer in PA. We have been hooked since.
Absolutely the best burgers anywhere! And so NOT healthy.

OKC Bombing Memorial. It made all the terrorism in our country really hit home.
I choked up. Innocent lives lost. Innocent lives changed forever.

OKC River Walk. Very cool/ Barefoot Hippies/
OKC branch of the Barefoot Hippies-except they don't go barefoot so much.

When we got home, it was time...time to plant the garden. Here in the midwest, the rule of thumb is to wait until Memorial weekend to plant. This is to avoid the threat of frost. It rained pretty good Monday and Tuesday, so it was rather muddy when I went to work. I spent over 4 hours yesterday preparing my vegetable beds and planting seeds and seedlings. Everything looks neater and ready to grow.

transplanted that clump of lilies. They had totally overgrown into my bean garden/
green bean garden-plus I planted some cilantro, broccoli and carrots for variety/
herbs and lettuce
tomatoes-cherry, roma, rutgers, yellow
today's recipe-Chicken Marengo

Sometimes my cooking gets in a rut. I forget old favorites, and don't try many new recipes. Last weekend I was reminded of a chicken recipe I used to make a lot.

Chicken Marengo is a recipe that is packed with flavor from vegetables, and not so much from herbs. It contains onion, garlic, green pepper, black olives and mushrooms. The only herb is basil. White wine gives it a signature wine twang. If wine isn't your thing, you can just use chicken broth. It all combines for a very colorful and healthy dish. 

I like to serve it over egg noodles or couscous. Couscous soaks up the juices nicely. Egg noodles plate nicely. Either is a great pick. I also like to serve it with french bread or rolls, and a salad or corn. (more color)

You can use anywhere from 8-12 chicken thighs with this recipe. It is completely up to you and your considerations-family size, potluck, or leftovers. You can freeze extras without the couscous or noodles.

Chicken Marengo
8-12 bone in chicken thighs, skinned
1 T olive or vegetable oil
1 T all purpose flour
1 t dried basil or 1 T fresh basil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c dry white wine or chicken broth
2 T tomato paste
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 quart tomatoes or 2-14.5 ounce cans of regular tomatoes, drained
1 chicken bullion cube
1 large onion, cut into eighths or sixteenths
1 green pepper, julienned
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 can black olives, halved lengthwise

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides.
In a bowl, whisk flour, tomato paste, basil, wine or broth, salt and pepper. Add garlic and tomatoes. Pour over chicken in skillet. Add green pepper, onion, garlic and chicken bullion. Bring to a boil. Cover. Cook 15 minutes, and flip the chicken. Add mushrooms and olives and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear.

In case you were wondering, my enlarging of the recipe words is totally random. I do what looks cool.=)

Have a glorious weekend enjoying the first couple days of June!