Chicken Paprika with Red Bell Peppers, Grain-Free

I’ve been making chicken paprika for almost five years now, since trying it for the first time when a friend made it for me after my son was born. I’ve changed up my original recipe, making it grain-free and including more broth. Check out what I did with the leftover meat and gravy.

Chicken Paprika with Red Bell Pepper
Serves 4-6

1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons paprika, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 chicken (3 to 3-1/2 pounds), cut into serving pieces (reserve back and neck for making stock)
2-4 tablespoons ghee, lard or schmaltz
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-2″ squares
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup sour cream, creme fraiche, or yogurt

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, and black pepper. Sprinkle salt mixture over chicken pieces. In a wide saute pan, melt fat over medium-high heat. Place chicken pieces skin side down in pan and brown, cooking for about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Add more fat if necessary, then add onions and saute until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add red bell pepper and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add remaining paprika and cook for another minute. Remove pan from heat and use an immersion blend to puree the peppers and onions. Add chicken stock and blend some more. Return chicken to pan, cover, bring to a simmer on the stove, then move the pan to the oven and braise in oven until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes (you can also finish this on the stove, just turn the heat down to a bare simmer). Blend in sour cream and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. Serve with garlic-cheddar biscuits (I made these without any sweetener and they were fantastic).

Goat Korma with Fragrant Cauliflower

Last fall, my husband went hunting for deer last fall and came home with a goat. Don’t ask. He butchered it, wrapped it, and stuck it in the freezer. I’ve never cooked goat and didn’t quite know what to do with it, so there it has stayed, in the freezer, ’til I finally took out a packaged labeled shoulder roast yesterday to thaw.

So tonight, we ate goat. I riffed on a recipe for lamb shank korma from Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjbi. Happily for my daughter, it involves fried onions, which she recently discovered she LOVES. I was frying sliced onion in a bit of bacon fat a few mornings ago, before adding some chard for our breakfast vegetable saute, when she surprised me utterly by asking if she could have some. Why, sure! She slurped down a small bowlful and asked for more. And she’s asked me to fry onions for her every day since. It’s apparently not the bacon fat, either, as she loved them fried in ghee, too.

I Wanna Live with an Onion Girl...

Anyway, back to the goat. Korma is from the Hindu word for braise and typically refers to a curry made with braised meat in a sauce of stock, yogurt or cream. Korma often includes ground seeds or nuts or coconut milk. To braise is to first brown food (usually meat, but also vegetables) in dry heat, then finish cooking in low, moist heat, on the stove, in the oven, or in a slow cooker. It is an essential technique for cooking tough cuts of meat, such as the shoulder roast in this dish. The browning enhances the flavor of the final dish, while the long simmer gently melts the connective tissues in the meat, making it fork tender.

Goat Korma
Serves 4-6

3-4 tablespoons ghee
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cup crispy almonds or cashews
2 pounds goat shoulder roast, cubed (lamb or beef would be fine, too)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam marsala powder
1/2 teaspoon mace powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups beef broth (or goat broth if you have it)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup yogurt

Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are medium brown. I find I need to turn down the heat slightly during the process. It pays to be patient here and really let the onions brown, but not burn. Add the nuts and continue frying until the onions are deep brown.

Browning onions with cashews

Remove onions and almonds from the pan and set aside to cool. Using an immersion blender, food processor or other blender, purée the onions and nuts.

Turn the heat back up to medium-high and melt another tablespoon or two of ghee. When the pan is hot again, add the cubed goat meat. Do not crowd the meat in the pan as that will steam rather than brown it. Brown the meat in batches instead. Leave the meat undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, so that it gets a good sear.

Notice the nice sear on the pieces that I've already turned.

When it releases easily from the pan, it is ready to turn.

From left, spices, grated ginger, grated garlic, bay leaves

Brown on two sides, then add the coriander, garam marsala, mace, cardamom, and cayenne to the meat and warm for a minute or two, until they’re quite fragrant. Add the broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the bay, ginger, garlic, salt, and onion-nut mixture. Add the yogurt and stir until it is fully incorporated into the sauce. Bring to a very gentle simmer–the yogurt may curdle if the sauce boils–and cook until the meat is tender, about two hours. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and Fragrant Cauliflower (recipe below).

Goat Korma with Fragrant Cauliflower

Fragrant Cauliflower is a riff on another recipe from Great Curries of India, Fragrant Rice, which is how I typically prepared rice to go with curries. I like to mash the cauliflower until it is just broken up into smaller, rice-like bits.

Fragrant Cauliflower
Serves 4-6

1 head cauliflower
3-4 threads saffron
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of cardamom powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons yogurt

Steam cauliflower until it is soft. Gently mash and add saffron, cloves, cardamom powder, salt and yogurt, stir.

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Real Food Weekly

Slow Cooked Pork with Apples & Fennel

Uh, trying to use a pressure cooker for the very first time ever–a used one, without instructions–an hour before dinner? That’s kinda boneheaded. Ask me how I know.

Plan B: Take everything out of the pressure cooker, which is exuding steam where it ought not to be and is not doing that little jiggle thing that pressure cookers are supposed to do, put it all in the slow cooker, and call out for pizza. Er…

So…we had breakfast for dinner last night. Thank goodness for all those pork sausage patties I cooked last week.

This became my lunch instead.

Slow Cooked Pork with Apples & Fennel
Serves 6-8

lard
1 3-4 pound pork should roast, cut into 2″ cubes
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and eighth’ed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seed, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
kraut
creme fraiche

Melt fat in a heavy bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat. Brown pork and place in bowl of slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. (You could brown the onion and fennel first, too, if you have time.) Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Serve with kraut and dollops of creme fraiche.

Copyright

Chris Musser © 2011