Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dark Days chicken with cranberry relish

There are just days when it seems like getting a meal to the table is an impossible task.  Then you throw in the Dark Days Challenge (DDC) and there's an entirely new hurdle.  I mean, it's one thing when I plunk down a dish in front of hubbie and wave my hands over it, rattling off the local ingredients.  It's a whole new ball of wax to know that new people who have never read my blog will now read it for the first time, judge it, and either come back or henceforth eschew the Pint-sized Pioneering link.

Gah!  The pressure!!

Deep breaths: I can do this.  I cook with local ingredients all the time.  I canned last summer so that we'd have local foods for this winter.  Chill out, Jenn, and just cook.

In all honesty, this meal wasn't conceived as a DDC submission.  It was a spur-of-the-moment, grab-and-go from the grocery store, followed by a throw-it-together frenzy once at home.  Only after I'd made it did I realize that it was worthy of a DDC.

Here's a breakdown of the ingredients and their origins.

From the grocery store:
Chicken cutlets (local)

Pantry items:
Potatoes (from my garden)
Green beans (home-canned)
Garlic (farmers market)
Salt and pepper (not local)

Fridge items:
Cranberry sauce (homemade from farmers market item)
Mustard (not local)
Tomato jam (from my yard to my pantry to my mouth it's about a 50-foot voyage)
Butter (local)
Wine (Washington State)

I started out by browning the chicken cutlets in a skillet, then removing them.  I threw in a half-used container of homemade cranberry sauce, a blob of dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and some white wine.

Snuggle the cutlets back into the sauce, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes or so.

While that was cooking, I pricked the potatoes, cooked them in the microwave for about 8 minutes, then finished them off in the oven to get crunchy skins.

Finally, I popped open a jar of my green beans from my pantry.  After opening them I realized I'd canned sans salt.  I remember having a reason for this at the time but it now escapes me. 

This is not as much salt as it would appear.  Most of it dissolved in the water. 

Once the beans were warmed up, I drained and put them aside.  I threw a pat of butter and some minced garlic into the pot, swirled it around, then returned the green beans and tossed them.  Done and done!

All plated up, it was a darned fine meal.

That potato was screaming out for a dollop of tomato jam.

Why yes, I do think that a glass of Washington State Pinot Grigio would go nicely with this, thankyouveddymuch.

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