I am actually still cooking. I mean, a girl does have to eat during Lent. I am off sugar completely and actually not eating any starchy vegetables or any wheat products. I must admit that while I miss the comfort of carbohydrates, I do feel better off of the sugar. The trouble with me and sugar is that the more I eat of it, the more I want to eat of it. This probably means that I actually have a real problem with sugar, yes?
I often think that eating healthy and being "green" have become the new virtues that Americans recognize publicly. I am somehow stuck in the Victorian age where you can indulge in food and not recycle but please don't ever lie, cheat, or steal! I would never think of cheating on my taxes or my spouse but my diet, eh, well who cares?
I recall that two years ago during Lent I was discussing giving up sugar and whatnot with a coworker. I remember that he said, "I have a terrible sweet tooth, so it's best that I just avoid sweets altogether." I thought to myself, "WOW, what a concept! I mean I have a terrible sweet tooth, too but I FEED that baby whatever it wants." I smiled and nodded but honestly, I have never forgotten about that! All humour aside, I know that my decisions about sweets (along with some help from a certain evil medication) have caused me to put on a few pounds in the last year and a half.
All that aside, I made this dish recently. It was most tasty! I got the idea from a magazine that I cannot recall just now. I get a couple of cooking magazines and I must admit that I never actually cook the recipes in the magazines. The magazines remind me or inspire me to cook certain things. Perhaps that does not make sense but that is generally the way it works out for me. I think that is why I love Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson... neither of them present me with difficult recipes but rather a concept of what to cook. Ok, picture and recipe time.
Chicken with leeks and goat cheese
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
10 ounces white mushrooms , wiped clean and sliced thin
2 leeks , white and light green parts only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup lemon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 goat cheese
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Cook chicken skin side down until skin is deep brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn chicken over, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until second side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking dish and place in the oven while making sauce. Bake chicken is cooked through, maybe 10 minutes. (If, like me, you just cleaned your oven until it was so shiny and clean it was fit to be on Martha Stewart's show, you will probably need to clean it again after cooking this. Chicken legs and thighs render a lot of fat. Just saying.)
Discard the fat in skillet. Melt the butter in the skillet over high heat until it foams . Add the mushrooms and leeks and cook until the mushroom liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until almost evaporated, about 1 minute more. Add the broth and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in goat cheese and simmer until thickened, another minute. Add cream and simmer until thickened. Don't boil this or the goat cheese may curdle. That's just not pretty.
I served this with asparagus. My husband liked it pretty well and I will probably make this again in the near future.