Garlic. Garlic everywhere.

I’ve made Bill and Haley’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic before when I just wanted to experiment with the idea of using so much garlic to cook a dish. In this case I did it because it’s simple, and all it requires is to baby sit the over (which you can do while doing other things in the kitchen anyways).

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Just like the previous time the hardest thing to do is to cut up the chicken. Every time I do it, though, the easier it becomes, and I’ve gone from 30 minutes “I have no Idea what I am doing” to 5 minutes “I’m also chopping some shallot and other stuff at the same time”.

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Besides that, everything is even sequential: fry the chicken, fry the garlic, fry the shallot, put everything together and bake for 1.5 hours.

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One thing I forgot to buy were the fresh herbs, lemon thyme and rosemary. I will try my hand at herb growing again, but I need to stick it in my calendar that I have to water my herbs. I somehow managed to kill mint, which is basically a weed, so yeah, I suck.

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However, a good bunch of dried herbs were a good substitute.

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Whole30 prep: Ghee

I’ll be honest: I was supposed to do a Whole30 as soon as I got back from Christmas break. Quite the opposite I’ve been eating a lot of stuff I shouldn’t, including sugar. The horror! It’s not like I’ve been going back to an SAD, but since work has been eating my time away I haven’t had time to prep for it. Because it does take a lot of prep – mostly hounding for sugar-free condiments, and the fish sauce that I just bought is not like that, so I will have to wait.
That has not stopped me from doing one of the things I was most excited to do during this journey (that is still happening!): ghee. To render the fat from the butter, filter it and have a much more gentler fat to cook was an appealing idea that I had for a while now. I had even done my research, and while the idea of using the stove or the oven scared me (I didn’t want to burn it up!) I did use the crockpot.

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Getting so much butter meant going to a place where so much butter would be cheap. Costco! I still don’t understand why this butter is in the cheese aisle, and not with the butter. Also, I couldn’t find non-salted, so I won’t be using this ghee on baking (good! Whole30, remember?)

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So I dumped everything in the crockpot, turned it on low without a cover and walked away. Six hours, two recipes, three rounds of dishes, four episodes of Friday Night Lights and a huge amount of ironing later, most of the solids were at the bottom while the golden liquid was on top.

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And I took out the colander, nut milk bag, cheesecloth and got into filtering it.

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I was not capable of removing ALL of the solids. I would have needed a coffee filter for that, I believe. I’ll get one at some point. What I need to do is to control myself when it comes to buying stuff at Costco – I spent so much! I’ll have stock for MONTHS now.

Emulating expensive tastes

So, like I rambled last week, I don’t consider myself a chef, not even a cook. But sometimes, necessity forces you to experiment in order to sustain yourself. After all, they say she’s the mother of all inventions.

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So I carved a chicken and just like for the paella, I sprinkled it generously but with turmeric and pepper, and just a dash of paprika. I wanted a more intense flavor this time. Besides, I felt like using that bottle of turmeric I got when I had to substitute Safrron in a Recipe for Rice and Eggs (since it’s not Paleo I haven’t posted it here, but I may upload pictures of it on the Facebook page). Again, I left it in the fridge for a couple hours, and fried it in coconut oil. I changed it to a baking sheet and baked it for 20 minutes (I love my oven-resistant thermometer!) until cooked. While the chicken was baking I deglazed the pan with chicken stock, and added some tapioca to thicken the sauce. Since some clumps did form I had to strain it. I served it over a bed of arugula salad.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!

Hello world!!! Did you guys celebrate any holidays? Did you enjoy them? If you celebrated any Winter Festivities, I hope you had a great time. If you didn’t, I also hope that you had a great time.

I’m still alive, I survived my three weeks period in the depths of Mexico’s Drug Dealing warzones (sadly, my hometown is one of the most dangerous cities to live in) and I’m ready to rumble. And I have some announcements to make!

First, this week the posts will be short and picture-less -I will be talking about some culinary findings that I did during these three weeks in the realm of mexican food that is actually paleo. No, we do not feed exclusively on tortillas and tacos. One of the things I had will surprise you, trust me.

Second, I will also talk about my preparations for my Whole30! I will be doing one since, well, I had absolutely no control over my food for the past 21 days, and while I tried to avoid the most dangerous stuff (meaning I avoided my aunt’s world famous custard) I did eat a lot of things that probably damaged my gut -even if a little bit.

Third, I will continue with Michael Ruhlman’s Twenty until I finish my Whole30 since some of the techniques will clash. However, rule number five -acid- will be featured within the Whole30.

And last but not least, I’m starting on a new string of posts! I will keep this on the wraps for now until I sharpen it out, but it’s a series of cooking experiments I’ve been doing centered around one appliance. Any good guess which?

And with that, let us begin this new year!!!!

Smoking hot

If possible, I try to keep my expenses on meat and chicken within the six dollars per pound limit. That way I can afford a little more. For grass fed beef that usually means to wait for sales or get my box at SunPrairie or shop around for deals. For chicken it just means waiting for someone to have an organic cut for sale. Like Alfalfa’s whole legs.

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Thighs (though skinless and boneless) are another of Melissa Joulean’s suggestions as prep food. I, however, decided to use her recipe as a whole meal instead. I split the thighs and legs. I should definitely get a boning knife at some point, between eating whole fryers and cases like this I’m gonna end up destroying my Chef’s knife.

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I used paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne, generously. Then I baked for almost an hour at 350F in order to get them crispy and gorgeous. I used the griddle.

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In order to make it a whole meal I used some of the veggies I prepped. Carrots and broccoli are a good addition to this.

Chop chop choppity chop

Melissa Joulwan is a big name in the Paleo Community. Why? Because she’s created one of the most intense cookbooks around: Well Fed. And not just that, but it is totally Self Published. So talk about Getting Things Done on your own. Not just that, but her cooking background has allowed her to create some of the most amazing recipes you’ll see in the Paleo neck of the woods, However, right now I want to talk about something she reccommends a lot: prepping.

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Prepping can me things a lot easier. In this case, doing steam-sauteeing on a bunch of vegetables in one sitting leaves you with a bunch of containers ready to be warmed up in minutes and combine them in order to make fabulous creations.

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The veggies that I prepped this way this week were carrots, zucchini, cabbage, celery, and bok choi. Melissa reccomends that the veggies have to be fibrous and sturdy, so asparragus are out.

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The process is simple: wash, chop, wash again to ensure moisture, put in a large skillet that is already warmed up and cover, letting the veggie steam with the moisture from the wash. When soft, put in the container and when you are about to use it, sautée it in butter or coconut oil. Can be used in a lot of combinations.

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Like here: Ground Deer with zucchini and carrots. Less than ten minutes a rushed morning.
Melissa’s blog The Clothes make the Girl which includes a shopping page to her fabulous book Well Fed. If you buy strait from her you can get it signed.