Aug 5, 2013

A "Paleo" Friendly Simple Summer Meal

This post is dedicated to all my girlies who are rocking it on the Paleo diet and have transformed their bodies in the pursuit of a satiating lifestyle.  I first heard about this "special" form of eating about a year ago from random sources, and it has now become the norm all over the world.  The "lifestyle" focuses on foods from the earth omitting all grains and sugars as well as dairy products.    

It doesn't suit my needs, but those who have converted have embraced it with open arms.  I am happy to report that anyone choosing this lifestyle has not only demonstrated a surprising level of discipline, but they are also creative at finding Paleo friendly alternatives, which makes them appreciate the beauty of food even more. 

I recently had a friend over who had made the switch to Paleo. Having dealt with this same scenario a few months earlier at my cousin's place in Atlanta, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I decided on a simple chicken breast with a side of grilled local marrow (picture left). Simple, easy and delicious! The idea was to take something very basic and incorporate cooking techniques that would develop these ingredients further. I knew I could have a winning dish if I just focused on the basics.  Paleo people appreciate tasty food, but without all the fuss.
 The chicken itself was super easy to do.    I simply did a basic brine for two chicken breasts by  bringing 1/2 a Qrt of water to a boil and added the salt to dissolve followed by the  rest of the ingredients.  Once all the ingredients are incorporated, remove the water from the heat and allow it to cool.  Add the remaining cold water, and ice, then submerge the chicken breast for at least an  hour. 

1Q water
1/4c kosher salt
1 TBL mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 sliced garlic clove
1 TBL whole black peppercorns
couple branches of Rosemary (or 2 tsp dried)
1/4 cup lemon juice
Ice (as needed)

You could alternatively make a marinade of rosemary, garlic, mustard, lemon olive oil, and Maldon smoked sea salt. if you don't have time to make the brine.  I recommend marinating for at least 4 hours or even overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 350 F or 176 C.

When the chicken is ready remove from the marinade or brine (Discard the remaining liquid) and pat it dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper. 

Heat a large saute pan to a high temperature with a TBL of Canola Oil (or any other neutral oil). Sear the chicken on all sides (about 1 min on each side). This will lock in all the natural juices and marinade/brine. Transfer to a baking dish or roasting pan.  Top each chicken breasts with half of a sliced clove of garlic and a slice of lemon. Roast uncovered for 20-30 minutes.  Check at the 20 minute mark as you don't want the chicken to overcook. Serve with chopped parsley and spring onion. 
While the chicken is roasting, you can prepare your sides.  I used local marrow which is a versatile and super tasty summer vegetable.  With a mandolin I sliced the marrow length wise into long strips.  Then heated a grill pan with olive oil and roasted 2 whole garlic cloves until just slight brown.  Next I seasoned the marrow with salt, pepper, and olive oil and starting grilling with a light drizzle of olive oil on top.  At the last stage of grilling when the vegetables are cooked through I squeezed some fresh lemon juice on top which brightens up the natural flavors of the vegetable.  Top with fresh parsley and serve as a side with the chicken. ENJOY!

No comments:

Post a Comment