November 13, 2008

Chicken and Beans

With the cold air blowing in from the lake it isn't any wonder we are craving hearty soups, ragu's and blowing the dust off the crock pot. Vince was playing around at work the other day looking for a new idea for beans. Whilst 'playing' he came up with a great recipe for the restaurant and I took the same idea and ran with it for us at home. I loved his idea of using a basic veggie combo (onion, celery and carrot) cutting it smaller for color and flavor and also giving the family- vegetables upon vegetables without them really noticing. Because the onion, carrot and celery are chopped into a small dice, it takes the eye away from the green beans they are mixed with yet giving the dish extra color, texture and making it look very appealing instead of the regular steamed beans. I also added a tin (can) of black beans for added fiber not to mention it is a great filler for the boys, plus they love beans!

When you have sweat the chopped veggies in olive oil, add some freshly chopped tomatoes (the big beef ones are great for stewing), garlic and fresh thyme to the mix for an added flavor hit. Saute until onion is transparent then add your top and tailed green beans, salt and pepper, a little water or white wine to help steam the beans then pop a lid on top, turn down the temperature to low and leave for about half an hour to forty minutes. Stirring occasionally so they don't stick to the bottom. About ten minutes before serving, add a tin of drained black beans if desired.
With the beans I served chicken wings (yes we do love our wings!) I always go for an Asian marinade with wings so I decided I needed to branch out a little and I came up with a lovely, mild and very easy marinate with absolutely not Asian influence. I left the wings to marinate for about 3 hours and that was fine, of course it would of been better if it was longer but that just wasn't going to happen. I simply turned the oven on to 500, got it really hot, placed the wings on a tray sprayed with olive oil and baked them until they were nicely browned and crisp- about 15-20 minutes.
The meal went down a treat and the beans were really yummy the next day cold (Alex didn't eat all of his due to the tantrum he was having about life) and Max could of eaten all the wings on his own if I'd let him. I am looking forward to trying this marinade on some chicken thighs for the BBQ when we get back to Australia.

Chicken marinade
2 shallots, peeled and roughly diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1- one inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly diced
1 tsp whole black pepper corns
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil to blend (approx 1/4 cup)

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse for 10-20 seconds.
Pour over meat and marinate for 3- 12 hours

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