Chicken w/Mushrooms, Herb Potatoes, Carrots, Cornbread

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker…

Remember the days when you got your meat from the butcher shop, your bread from the baker, and your fish from the fishmonger?  Maybe not, but I do remember my mom getting her meat from “Sam, the butcher” (no his girlfriend was not Alice) and her bread from another Sam at the Italian Market.  Today we have Walmart and Target where you can purchase camping equipment, a new TV and of course, frozen chicken nuggets.

I changed my entire purchasing philosophy.  Fresh Market has an old-fashioned butcher at the back of the store with EVERY type and cut of meat laid out fresh in front of you.  They grind their own Turkey meat on demand if you need more and nothing comes in pre-packaged quantities shrink wrapped with extra god knows what.  They have thin chicken cutlets with almost NO jiggly white stuff on them which is terrific because it saves me the step of vigorously scrubbing them like a scene from a prison shower or radioactive decontamination.

I know that most people don’t think they have the time or money to shop at specialty shops these days.  However, when I focus my purchases on primarily fresh organic ingredients (fewer boxed¸ processed items), I actually spend less overall.  Once a month, I go to a superstore or shop on-line (free shipping) for all my bulk/cleaning items which greatly reduces my impulse purchases.  I also buy a lot of meat at once (preferably on sale) and freeze it.  The only guy left out is the Candlestick Maker.  Oh well, what about, “The Butcher, The Baker….Starbucks”.

 CHICKEN: 

This is very similar to the ‘Lemon Chicken’ but I add mushrooms at the end.

  • Salt and pepper chicken cutlets then dip chicken in flour (of any kind).
  • Heat a drop of EV olive oil and fresh garlic and cook chicken until brown on both sides. Move to the serving platter.
  • Pour some (1/2 cup) chicken broth, (1/4 cup) white wine (if desired), and a squeeze of lemon juice into pan and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms and sauté for 6-7 minutes or so until they are cooked and sauce thickens.  Any kind of mushroom works (baby bellas, white, shitake).
  • Add chicken back into pan to finish cooking. You can cover and put on low until you finish rest of meal. You can serve the mushrooms on top or along the side of the chicken if not everyone likes them.

RED POTATOES (small):

  • Wash and peel only as needed.  Leave most of red skin for color and nutrition.
  • Boil in pot of salted water until cooked through.
  • Toss with EV olive oil, salt/pepper and herbs (I like the ‘Fine Herbs’ from Penzies spices but even just parsley is good).

CARROTS:

  • Peel and boil the carrots.  Toss with a drop of butter, salt and splash of orange juice (a drop of maple syrup works too).
  • It’s nice to splurge on carrots on the stem sometimes, they look so pretty (although usually too thin to roast).

CORNBREAD:  Bought it from Fresh Market – YUM!

SALAD:  Used the romaine and yellow pepper from last night.

How the Kids Can Help:

  • Dash salt/pepper on chicken and shake the chicken in a Ziploc with flour or toss around in the bowl
  • Help wash the mushrooms
  • Roll the lemon to loosen up all the juices
  • Rip pieces of romaine into salad bowl (depending on age, use a butter knife to cut peppers, celery, etc.)
  • Learn about using the peeler (try peeling carrots if ready)
  • Set table, get drink orders
  • Fungi for Kids Pictures and Coloring Sheets:  http://www.northamptonshirewildlife.co.uk/nfungi/fungiforkids.htm

Did You Know?

  • 4600 years ago, many believed that mushrooms had properties that could produce super- human strength, help in finding lost objects and lead the soul to the realm of the gods, therefore no commoner was allowed to eat them!
  • ‘Magic mushrooms’ seem to have been the subject of ancient rock art in caves, proving that this inspiration has been around for over 7000 years.
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