After three sold-out “The Pleasures of Paleo” classes and preparing umpteen Paleo friendly dishes for my crew, I have learned (again) that simple is best and sticking with a particular flavor profile (in this case Asian), eating Paleo can be dee-licious. These two recipes were a hit this last week, particularly the Asian (cauliflower) Rice.
IMPORTANT: Save the Date! June 24th is our next “The Pleasures of Paleo” class and we’ll be doing Spain.
Cantonese Crispy Chicken
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 Tablespoons ghee
1 cup thinly-sliced fennel
6 skin-on chicken thighs
1 piece ginger (2 inch each) peeled and cut into thin coins
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon hing (asofoetida)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup bone broth
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 cup sliced green onions/scallions
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Cover dried mushrooms with hot water to reconstitute them. I gave them a whole hour to make sure.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Heat a 12-inch oven-safe heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Melt one tablespoon of ghee in the hot pan, add the sliced fennel, and a sprinkle of salt.
Cook until the fennel is softened, stirring occasionally. While the fennel is cooking, season both sides of the chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper.
Drain and thinly the mushrooms. Once the fennel has wilted, add the sliced mushrooms, ginger, hing, and garlic (fennel replaces onion, and the hing (asofoetida) is an Indian spice to give food the flavors of garlic and onion). Stir-fry for about a minute or until aromatic. Transfer shallot misture to a plate.
Return the pan to the stovetop, wipe it out with a paper towel, and increase the heat to medium-high. Sear the chicken pieces skin-side down in the hot pan until nicely browned and crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep checking to see the desired brownness.
When the skin is golden brown, flip the pieces over and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir the fish sauce into the broth and pour it in the pan, making sure to avoid pouring the liquid on the crispy skin. Add the reserved shallots, mushrooms, and garlic back to the pan, tucking them in between the chicken pieces. Again, make sure not to cover the skin.
Transfer the pan to the hot oven and roast the chicken for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Served sprinkled with the chopped scallions and cilantro. Most of all serve it with the Paleo Asian (cauliflower) Rice, below.
Asian (cauliflower) Rice
1 large cauliflower, separated in florets
3 slices cooked bacon, cut into small dice
2 large eggs
1 inch ginger, grated with a microplane
1/3 large fennel, minced
1/3 teaspoon hing
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/8 cup chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (1 to 2)
1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until the pieces were the size of rice.
Whisk the eggs and season with chili oil or a splash of rice vinegar. Add olive oil to a skillet and bring to a med-high heat. Pour the whisked eggs into the hot oil and fry into thin omelet. Remove, let cool, thinly slice, and set aside.
Increase the heat to medium-high and added the chopped fennel (along with a dash of salt and pepper). Once the fennel softens, add the hing and toss in the sliced mushrooms and stir-fry everything until the mushrooms are browned. (fennel replaces the onion – if you need to – but the hing (asofoetida) is an Indian spice to give food the flavors of garlic and onion. It’s a strong smelling spice, therefore use it sparingly, although it tastes wonderful!).
After adding the ginger and stirring it around for 30 seconds, add the cauliflower. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Now it needs to simmer to blend the flavors, so lower the heat to low and cook it covered for about 5 minutes. When the cauliflower is tender, add the coconut aminos, the herbs, fish sauce and the sliced egg omelet.
Before serving, add the reserved bacon bits. Mmmmmm….Paleo!