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chicken thighs
Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

orzo risotto
Orzo 'Risotto' Style

Cauliflower with Browned Butter & Pepper

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 29, 2013:  Monday's Recipes

Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Orzo 'Risotto' Style
Cauliflower with Browned Butter & Pepper

Cooking time: 30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

    I used beef stock, rather than chicken with the chicken thighs, for a heartier flavor.  

Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Mushroom Sauce     Preparation, cooking time: 25 minutes
     Skin the thighs, if you like, but leave the bone.  These are braised in a savory red wine sauce with mushrooms and onions.

4 chicken thighs
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1/2 onion    
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) red wine
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
2 tbs Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tsp cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water

Skin the thighs by simply pulling it off.  You may need to cut in a few places.  Discard skin.
Slice onion. Trim, slice mushrooms.
Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken thighs and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, onion and sauté 5 minutes longer.  Add stock, wine, thyme and stir to combine.  Turn the thighs once or twice to coat with sauce. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. 
To finish: Remove thighs to a small platter. Dissolve cornstarch in water.   Increase heat under sauce, add cornstarch and stir until thickened and clear. Stir in yogurt.  Spoon sauce over chicken thighs and serve.

Orzo 'Risotto' Style                                               Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
   The orzo will absorb all of the stock, but should not be stiff. Even after the cheese, it should be loose and creamy.

1 tbs butter
1/2 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbs parsley

Melt butter over medium-high heat in small saucepan.  Add orzo and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add stock and bring to a simmer on medium heat.  Turn heat to low and simmer until done, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.  All stock will be absorbed.  Stir in cheese and parsley.  Remove from heat and serve.

Cauliflower with Browned Butter & Pepper    Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
    Browned butter adds a wonderful, nutty taste to vegetables.  But, keeping in mind my desire for healthy foods, I use half olive oil... Feel free to use all butter.

1/3 large head cauliflower   
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
lots of pepper (a seasoned pepper is nice)

Cut cauliflower into pieces, put in steamer and steam over water for 15 - 20 minutes until fork-tender.  Remove from pan and empty water.  Put butter into same pan and sauté until it turns light brown, being careful not to let it get too dark.  Then add olive oil and pepper.  Heat through and add cauliflower.  Toss to coat, heat through and serve.

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium saucepan with steamer basket and lid, small
saucepan, skillet with lid

Skin chicken if you chose
Brown chicken
Slice onion
Trim, slice mushrooms
Turn chicken
Cut cauliflower, steam
Add onions, mushrooms, garlic to chicken, sauté

Sauté orzo
Add stock to orzo, simmer
Add wine, stock, thyme to chicken, cover, simmer
Grate cheese
Dissolve cornstarch in water
Turn chicken
    Pause while stuff cooks
Remove cauliflower, empty pan
Brown butter
Stir cheese, parsley into orzo
Thicken sauce for chicken, stir in yogurt
Finish cauliflower, serve

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