Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Spooky's Scallion Chicken

Okay, Spooky tossed me up a challenge for a low-fat healthy meal by asking, "You don't post anything in the way of heart friendly, diabetic food do you? Stupid question, but I had to ask." Well Dave, here you go, but don't be scared - that tiny bit of bacon won't kill ya!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 scallions
4 strips of bacon (yeah, I know, but it isn't much)
unbleached brown / wild rice
1 head of broccoli
previously made pico de gallo
low sodium soy sauce*
Maggi Sazon seasoning*
a few common seasonings from your cupboard*

*use your own discretion and supplies


Remove all fat and silver skin from the chicken, then clean the chicken pieces under running water and dry. Trim both of the ends off of the scallions, then cut them into about 5" pieces.

Lay out each breast, and trim off the triangular pointy tail and fat round end of the breast, leaving a thick and vaguely rectangular piece of chicken. Cut that piece in half lengthwise.

This effort brings us to here - scallions top, breasts left, thighs right:

Next, butterfly each piece lengthwise, cutting almost but not quite all the way through so that it opens up like a book. Next lay one piece of each end of the scallion in the vee of the breast:

Next, trim a thigh piece and cut two long thick strips out of each thigh. These strips you will lay on top of the scallions thereby surrounding them with chicken. This neat little chicken bundle you will wrap snugly in a spiral with a strip of bacon, securing the ends with toothpicks. Repeat this for all half-breast pieces, and lay them in a vessel that you can use for marinade:

The seasonings for this are pretty much up to you and defined by your taste and what you have on hand. I used EVOO, low-sodium soy and Maggi sauces along with coarse ground pepper and a dash of Montreal steak seasoning. Thinking back, I should have added ginger, but oh well. Try what you like but don't overwhelm the meat with strong flavors.

You could cook these in any number of ways, the only critical items being not to burn the bacon and to make sure the chicken is cooked to a a safe temperature. Or this trip, I took them out of the marinade and cooked them under a low broiler, turning as necessary to get a nice exterior. I checked the inside temps with my Thermapen, and it still needed a little heat, so 60 seconds in the microwave made it perfect. I can't wait to try this over a nice hardwood fire on the grill!

I prepared the rice as normal, but also stirred some pico de gallo into the cooked rice, to add visual appeal, extra veggies, and a nice additional flavor. In addition, I trimmed the broccoli florets from the head and steamed them to retain color and flavor, Instead of butter or cheese, I seasoned it with a light sprinkle of Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning and a dusting of paprika. Here's a final look at the plate, with the chicken cut open for you to see. You can see the scallion in the middle, and easily differentiate the darker thigh meat form the lighter breast meat in the cross-section. What was a nice bonus was that the chicken picked upa hint of the scallion flavor during cooking, too.

Everything got good reviews from the esteemed panel of critics!

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