Ms. Ray to My Rescue Again!

I have quite a bit of pumpkin puree that I grew, pureed, and froze from last year so when I saw Rachael Ray doing a chicken dish with a pumpkin chipotle polenta I figured I had to give it a try. Ms. Ray to rescue my pumpkin dilemma!

I am so glad I tried the dish, as the polenta is so good and the grilled chicken and pineapple salsa complement it very well.

I am not sure I got all her ingredients just right but I believe it was close.

I did add a bit of honey to the salsa also.

I also had a chicken breast and some salsa left over so the next day I just chopped up the chicken and added it and the salsa with some mayo and mustard for a refreshing pineapple chicken salad. Very good for two days worth of meals.

The Recipe ( I can’t remember what she called it but I would call it-
Barbeque Chicken with Pumpkin Polenta and Salsa

FOR CHICKEN
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 T grill seasoning ( I don’t buy the stuff and just used a saltless seasoning mix I put together )
2 palms chili powder
1 palm cumin
1 palm coriander
2 T brown sugar
evoo
FOR SALSA
1/4 grilled pineapple
bell pepper ( she used yellow I had green), chopped
tomato, chopped
onion (she used red but I only had white), chopped
lime juice
salt and pepper
evoo
FOR POLENTA
1 chipotle pepper ( she removed the seeds but I didn’t)
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 C chicken stock
1 C milk
1 cup polenta ( I used cornmeal) 3 to one ratio on the liquid vs.. The cornmeal
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoon honey
3 T butter
salt and pepper

FOR CHICKEN- mix together your seasonings in a freezer bag. Drizzle the breasts with the evoo and put them in the bag to cover with the seasonings. Heat up a stovetop grill to medium and grill the chicken until done.

FOR SALSA- Peel and core the pineapple and then grill the wedges on your stovetop grill. Take it off and let it cool then chop and add with all other chopped ingredients. Drizzle with lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

FOR POLENTA– Chop one chipotle pepper ( she seeded the chili) and put in a saucepan with the stock, milk, and adobo sauce. Bring it to a boil on the stovetop and then add your cornmeal (polenta) and cook until thick.
Add your pumpkin puree and honey and butter ( I omited the butter and it was still very good) . Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the chicken on a bed of polenta (heaven) with the salsa.

Rachel Rays One Pot Moroccan Chicken with Nutty Couscous

We have finally had an accumulation of snow. Up until today all we have had this year has been a dusting. I believe we have three inches and it is still snowing.
snow
view from our back deck

I have been thinking about what a food rut I have been in.

Last night as I watched Rachel Ray she was talking about how someone can get in a chicken rut and how her Moroccan Chicken with Nutty Couscous would get you out.

She was right! I loved this dish. She used thigh meat while I used breast.

Moroccan Chicken

I was also out of couscous so I subbed bulger wheat and walnuts for the pine nuts, it was still great.

A winner for sure.

Moroccan Chicken
Rachel Rays One Pot Moroccan Chicken with Nutty Couscous

2 each chicken breasts, no skin, no bone, R-T-C — cut in 1″ cubes
1/2 cup red onion — sliced
1/4 cup chopped carrots
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 each bay leaf
1/8 cup cumin
1/8 cup coriander
1/8 cup paprika
2 teaspoons cinnamon
salt and pepper — to taste
1/2 cup dried apricots — chopped
1/4 cup raisin — (or prefered dried fruits)
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup black olives — chopped
2 tablespoons lemon zest
lemon juice
olive oil
— For nutty couscous
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup pine nuts (pignolia) — (or prefered nuts)
water — or chicken stock
couscous
parsley — chopped

Brown chicken in oil on stove top, add onion and carrot. Cook until carrot is crisp tender then add garlic and spices and bay leaf and chicken stock. Cook about 5 minutes more then add lemon zest and olives. After a couple minutes just before serving add lemon juice. Remove bay leaf. Serve over nutty couscous, or with couscous on top as Rachel did on her show.

For couscous add butter to a pot and melt. Add nuts to toast in butter over medium heat. Add water or stock and bring to a boil then add couscous and cover. Remove from heat then after 5 minutes top with parsley and flake with a fork.