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01.3.102010′s New Year’s Dinner for Two: Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables, Brazilian Collard Greens and Black-Eyed

Posted Jan 03 2010 12:00am
Black-Eyed Peas over Brown Rice

2010's New Year's Dinner for Two: Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables, Brazilian Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas over Brown Rice

Happy twenty-ten! My New Year’s meal was spent with good friends celebrating Kwanzaa while eating black-eyed peas mixed with couscous, collard greens, baked chicken, lasagna, and other delicious pot luck dishes. We started the evening by giving thanks to our ancestors (Ashay!) and honoring our community elder. Our hostess asked her guests to bring two pieces of fruit. We brought her a pineapple and a banana.

The next day, I slept in a few more extra hours and started making our New Year’s dinner: baked chicken with roasted root vegetables, black-eyed peas over brown rice, Brazilian collard greens, and a sparkling wine that was (…ahem) too sweet!

Black-Eyed Peas over Brown Rice

1 to 2 cups of dried black-eyed peas
3 tbsp. of baking soda*
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
red pepper flakes, to taste
32 oz. of chicken stock
a few twigs of fresh thyme, tied together with twine
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional:  Chopped turkey bacon cooked to a crisp brown, pancetta, smoked turkey leg or salted ham
Brown rice, cooked

1. Mix black-eyed peas and baking soda in a bowl of water. Beans should be completely submerge with 3 to 4 inches of water on top. Cover and soak beans overnight. Rinse beans and place aside.

2. In a dutch oven pot, sauteed onions until translucent over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 sec. Add green pepper, black pepper, red and black pepper. (Optional: add meat here) Continue to stir for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and beans. Bring to boil.

3. Cover beans and reduce heat to a low heat and simmer. Depending on the freshness of the beans, check pot in 20 to 30 minutes and adjust seasoning by adding salt.

4. Continue to cook until desired tenderness.

5. Serve over brown rice.

*Add baking soda to reduce gas.

Fresh Sage leaves, reserve a few leaves for the cavity of the chicken
Fresh Rosemary leaves, reserve a few leaves for the cavity of the chicken
Fresh Italian Parsley, reserve a few leaves for the cavity of the chicken
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
white balsamic vinegar
The juice of two lemons, divided; save lemon rinds
salt and pepper
1 whole chicken, cleaned
3-4 large potatoes, cleaned and quartered
1 large onion, roughly chopped, save a few pieces for the cavity of the chicken
3-6 cloves of garlic, minced, save a few cloves for the cavity of the chicken
Parsnips and/or carrots, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 or 3 stalks of celery, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces

1. Place first six ingredients, the juice of ONE of lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor. Puree until smooth (a slight chunky texture is fine). Place whole chicken in a ziplock or a bowl. Pour marinade over chicken. Marinade for at least one hour to overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Place potatoes, onions, garlic, parsnips, carrots and celery in a roasting pan. Sprinkle olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper over vegetables and mix together. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with rosemary, sage, garlic, onions and the lemon rinds. Tie chicken legs together with twine. Place chicken over the vegetables, breast side down. Reserve marinade in a sauce pan. Place chicken in oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Meanwhile heat marinade in a pan over medium heat. Reduce marinade in half and turn off heat.

4. After the chicken has baked for 30 to 40 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350°. Remove chicken from oven and turn over, breast side up. Brush the rest of the marinade over the chicken. Place back in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is finished cooking.

5. After the chicken is finish cooking, remove from oven and let chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving. Place vegetables in another bowl.

Collard Greens, cut into 1/4 to 1/8 inch wide strips

1 bunch of collard greens, throughly cleaned at least 3 times in water
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
vinegar to taste (balsamic, white balsamic, sherry vinegar or be plain white vinegar)

1. Cut and discard thick stalk/stem from collard greens. Roll a few leaves. lengthwise, similar to a cigar. Cut leaves into 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide strips. Repeat with the rest of the greens.

2. Over medium-high heat, preheat olive oil in a sauteed pan. Add onions and sauteed until translucent. Add garlic and stir for 30 sec. Add collard greens in small amounts. Let it wilt and add more collard greens until none is left.

3. Add diced tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, until desired tenderness and taste.

4. Serve warm.

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