a home cook with notions & an appetite
The CSA finally started this week. It seems unfair to complain about the problem of too much rain (my in-laws are currently suffering through the drought in South Carolina), but not only has the rain cut strawberry season painfully short, but it also delayed a lot of planting by a few weeks in Ohio. (FYI – I am aware a week delay in a fruit/CSA share isn’t an actual problem.)
In this week’s CSA (which we split mostly down the middle with super-duo S&P):
I promise that there won’t be a post on everything I do with all the CSA items (even I don’t get all that excited about the salads after a while). But we’ll try to go over the highlights. So far, it’s the sorrel. Raw it tasted like lemon with a hint of basil. I found plenty of recipes with fish, but Mark Bittman’s Recipe of the Day for Chicken with Sorrel over at the New York Times was perfect.
For these simple ingredients –
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 lb loosely packed sorrel, trimmed and washed
I’m promised a delicious meal.
The half chicken is something husband and I have gotten in the habit of purchasing each week at the market from a local farmer. (Bittman’s recipe involves a whole chicken…I adapted.)
Through the magic of photography, I’m able to show off prep as if this all happened in advance. I might even try to convince you that when I broke down my half chicken, it happened with a few minor knife-cuts and such rapid speed that you’d think lasers were involved.
Or, you should know that this is a recipe that’s more than flexible enough to get everything done in less than an hour and the time between steps is enough to slice an onion and wash and de-stem your sorrel.
Or maybe I slice with the speed and precision of lasers. You decide.
First up – browning the chicken. Butter in pan melted until it smells nutty and starts to brown. All of the salting and peppering goes on during the browning. This isn’t just two sides, it’s browning all sides and making fun chicken towers – and you won’t see much of the wing after this, as wings and I have an ongoing battle in getting picture-friendly browning completed.
As chicken rests, the pan and all the chicken-infused butter now cooks onions. Great thing about salting and peppering the chicken in the pan means that they also get plenty of their own seasoning. Throw in 1/2 a cup of water along the way and it’s a light broth in there as well.
The rest of the meal is cake. Adding the chicken back to the onions and covering for 10 minutes could be that break you need to wash and prep your sorrel (if you’re so inclined).
The sorrel is then added to the pan where you once again cover and cook for 10 minutes. The recipe doesn’t lie when it says the sorrel will break down. We served this over rice and it was fantastic.
Long story short – when you hear people gush about their CSA, getting random bunches of sorrel that lead you to recipes like this are exactly why.