Freebird Chicken

(With Cucumber/Jalapeno Garnish and Parsnips a la Mark)

This was one of those evenings that I was free-styling in the kitchen to put dinner on the table.  I had marinated some organic chicken thighs (bones and skin) in mashed up pickled peaches and garlic from last season.  I complemented it with some creamy parsnips with parmesan and garnished it with a spicy jalapeno and cucumber salad.  It all came together quickly, and Mr. Artifact pronounced it one of the yummiest dishes he’s had all year.  Skip the parsnips in lieu of your favorite rice or starch, but do not omit the jalapeno/cucumber garnish.  If hot peppers are not up your alley, add red onions instead.  Hint:  start the cuke garnish while your meat is marinating.

I didn’t even set off the smoke detector!  So, this counts as a big winner.

Freebird Chicken

  • 2 thighs, bone-in with skin
  • 1 C pickled peaches* with juice, smashed
  • 1-2 T minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coconut oil

Method: Slice 3 deep cuts into the thigh perpendicular to the bone (go all the way to the bone on one side).  This will allow the marinade to seep in and result in quicker cooking.  Mash up the peaches with garlic.  Drop chicken into bowl with marinade and coat well.  Salt and pepper.  Cover and put in fridge for about 2 hours. (Meanwhile, make your cuke garnish.)  After marinating 2 hours, heat oven to 400 F. Drain a bit, then pan fry for 4 minutes a side in a hot oven proof pan with coconut oil.   Move pan to oven and roast for 15 minutes (add more marinade on top for fun).

(*Don’t have home canned pickled peaches?  Here’s a cheat:  1 C canned peaches—smashed—including some liquid, ¼ C apple cider vinegar, pinch of ground cloves, ½ t ground cinnamon, ¼ t ground allspice, ½ t onion powder.)

Cucumber Jalapeno Garnish

  • ½  C sliced smallish cuke
  • ¼ C thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ C minced jalapeno peppers (with the seeds)
  • 1 t minced pickled ginger (or use fresh if you like)
  • ½ t minced pickled daikon radish (not necessa, but gives a nice kick)
  • 1 T honey
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:  combine all, toss and refrigerate to allow the flavors to develop.

Parsnips a la Mark

Named after my brother-in-law, who really likes these, the parsnips are creamed rather than mashed.  You will not get a good result if treat them like mashed potatoes.  You really need a food processor or blender.  (Or, cook the heck out of them I guess.)

  • 2 C peeled and cubed parsnips  (about 2 medium size), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4-5 C salted water
  • ½ C parmesan cheese
  • 4 T butter
  • ¼ C cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:  Boil parsnips in salted water about 15 minutes or more until they are easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and transfer to food processor bowl.  Add cheese, butter and cream.  Puree until a very smooth consistency.  Add more cream if not smooth enough.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm while your chicken finishes.

To Plate

Place a dollop of the parsnips on a plate and then smear it across.  Put chicken on top, adding any accumulated pan juices.  Garnish with the cucumber and jalapenos.  Enjoy!

Stay briny,

Stacey

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