Welcome to dinner!

IMG_1890   I’m not a chef.  I have no experience in creating recipes or cooking really.  Meals when I was a kid consisted of spaghetti and tacos, for the most part.  Not that I’m complaining on that, but now my body has decided that it’s about time I start.  It said, ‘Hey, have a disease and have fun with it!’  I griped but said okay (check out the ‘about’ page for more details).  Everything I cook is fresh, no frozen, canned or processed bits if I can help it.  I do small portions, mostly chicken and fish with the occasional beef entree thrown in for good measure.  While I’m not gluten free, per say, I might as well be, as I’ve been told to avoid white and wheat flour…and a ton of other stuff on the planet.  Making due is what I do and I hope I do it somewhat well.  So my apologies if my recipes are not always coherent.  I don’t measure, I eyeball, but I have a decent sense of how much stuff I put in.  Most meals I make ‘to taste,’ and I never use salt (except on caprese salads and only fancy salt). This isn’t my choice but it is my life and since I can’t find any other feasible diets out there I thought I’d share mine.  Dinner last night consisted of chicken with a pistachio garlic sauce and asparagus. Remember, this is my first ever recipe being put down so cut me some slack but let me know what I missed so I can correct it for the next dinner!

Chicken with pistachio garlic sauce

2 skinless chicken breasts

10 to 15 pistachios – chopped (get them in the bulk section of your local store or buy a bag for snacks later)

2 to 3 green onions – thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic – chopped

juice of a lemon (should be a couple tablespoons or more if you like it more lemony)

pepper – if desired

1/4 cup olive oil

desired amount of asparagus

3 to 4 pieces of bacon

Preparation – I seasoned my chicken with a lemon pepper on both sides, to compliment the taste of lemon in the pistachio sauce.  Regular pepper or no seasoning will do – the sauce takes care of that.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet – set aside to crumble when cool.  Season the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper if desired.  Crumble the bacon over the asparagus and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness, at 350 degrees.  20 minutes for the smaller asparagus seems to make the tips crunchy, which I like, while keeping the stems soft.

While the asparagus is cooking, toss the chicken in the pan with the bacon grease (or get rid of the grease if you aren’t into that kind of thing…mmm bacon…) and, if you like something extra, add some sliced red onion and some garlic slivers.  My chicken breasts tend to be about 2 to 3 inches thick (I like the big ones) – pounding them down between Saran wrap will reduce cooking time – an inch typically takes me about 4 minutes per side.  2 to 3 inches may take 10 minutes or more per side.  I always cut a slit in my chicken to make sure it is cooked through because my husband is understandably picky about his chicken.  I also like my onions and garlic on the crispy side so I put them in before my chicken, but I’ve noticed I’m mostly alone in that… The onions and garlic slivers aren’t necessary for the dish, of course, just a personal taste.

While chicken cooks, blend pistachios, garlic, green onions and lemon juice in a blender.  Add olive oil and continue to blend.  The sauce doesn’t need to be smooth – small chunks of garlic are great, in my opinion.  Give it a taste and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll add some pepper.  Pepper is my best friend in the kitchen and I buy different varieties so I can pick and choose.  Once your chicken is cooked through, plate it up, pour the sauce on top and add your asparagus on the side.

I think a great slice of sourdough bread would go well with this however I have yet to find an easy to make, gluten free sourdough recipe with no rice or potato flour (which I can’t have either) so if anyone has one, I’d love to try it out!  I’ve also seen sauce recipes that are somewhat similar to this one however the majority of them add eggs and bread crumbs, among other not-so-friendly ingredients, so while I’m sure those are great, the way I make mine is suitable for my dietary needs.  And I hate it when recipes don’t give you alternatives to try, so you can bake your chicken, pick different sides, etc, etc.  This is just what I enjoyed and I hope someone else out there will too.

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