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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day and beyond: Fall planting. A recipe for chicken.

Remember the Inca Calendar? Here they are doing the fall sowing.

Here we are on the central coast about 500 years later, doing the same thing. This is, as  SoCal gardeners know, is the primo planting time for a great many plants---leafy vegetables, perennials, anything but real tropicals, and surprisingly ---succulents.This Confederate Rose has managed to produce seven new offshootsin a month.
The medusa cristata is flinging out green fingers and a whole new leaf is developing to the left.

This mammalaria is not only blooming but growing a whole new orb as quickly as it can. 

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If you are planning a large planting of succulents, this would be the time.

It's hard to get away from the garden long enough to write ! Lettuce, red cabbage, Napa cabbage, mustard spinach (Tatoi) cilantro, late tomatoes  and a couple more chile peppers  (ever the optimitist,  hedging  bets.) All of them are sitting in an indignant group outside the back door insisting on getting in the ground now.
Remember the lime tree that lost its leaves and had to be draped in Christmas lights to stay warm last winter? Here he is--recovered, with limes growing... well, okay, only 2 limes, but still......
Add to your list of important books to read : Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver . I've always been a great admirer of her fiction.  The Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible knocked my socks off, as did  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in a  different way. The novels are deeply poetic.

 AVM is an account of a year her family spent raising all their food, eating off the land. If you read it, you'll be shocked, and hopefully, inspired. (Why do you think all those vegetables are sitting outside my back door?)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) The Lacuna: A Novel (P.S.)

Here  is a spendid recipe using all local ingredients for chicken thighs with honey, olives and oregano. .
Total time: About 2 hours, plus marinating time
Servings: 6
Note: Adapted from "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking" by Phyllis Glazer and Miriyam Glazer.  This dish may be prepared several hours in advance and reheated in the oven.
12 chicken thighs (or one 4 1/2- to 5-pound chicken, cut up)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers (packed in brine), drained and coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 cups pitted green olives
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup flavorful honey (not clover) raw if possible
1. Rinse the chicken thighs and place in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a sharp knife, scrape the skin to remove excess surface fat. Dry the pieces and place them in a nonreactive ovenproof casserole.
2. Make a marinade by combining the red wine vinegar, olive oil, capers, garlic, oregano and olives. Taste, and season if desired with salt and pepper. Toss the marinade with the chicken, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, turning occasionally
3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Turn all the chicken thighs skin up, and pour the wine over. Brush the thighs generously with honey, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour, then remove the cover and continue to bake until the tops of thighs are golden brown.
Each serving: 566 calories; 32 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 34 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 115 mg. cholesterol; 23 grams sugar; 491 mg. sodium.
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times

Must stop and go to the local FARMER'S MARKET before it closes and buy some raw honey!

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