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We’ve been making a variation on Gai Paht Bai Graprao from Nancy McDermott’s Real Thai
cookbook for awhile, but tonight it came out even better than usual thanks to the addition of coconut butter: I don’t think we’ll ever go back; it was that good.

  • 1.5 lbs chicken, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs garlic-chili sauce
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs brown rice syrup (you can substitute brown sugar, but if you have rice syrup on hand, it provides a subtle sweetness that blends nicely with the jasmine rice)
  • 2 Tbs coconut butter
  • 2 cups sweet peppers, seeded and thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 cup basil leave, coarsely torn
  • Jasmine or long-grain rice to serve

Prep veggies, then chicken (to minimize opportunity for cross-contamination). Put rice on to cook.

Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot add coconut oil. Add garlic and chili suace. Stir-fry for a few seconds to heat the garlic and chili and infuce the oil, then add chicken. Stir fry the chicken until it changes color and is nearly done.

Add fish sauce, water, and soy, and cook for a minute or so. Add rice syrup (or sugar) and stir fry for another minute. Add peppers and stir fry until they soften slightly, then add coconut butter and basil and cook until the basil wilts and the coconut butt incorporates into the sauce.

Remove from heat and serve over rice. Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers for lunch.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 small celery stalk, chopped coarsely
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 250F. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, enameled cast-iron ditch oven over medium heat. Add chicken breast-side down, then add vegetables and herbs. Cook about 5 minutes until browned, then turn chicken breast-side up and cook about 7 minutes more until chicken and vegetables are browned. Put lid on dutch oven and place in oven until done, about another hour and 45 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board, then strain juices, adding lemon to taste. Serve chicken au jus.

Spice-rubbed roast chicken

Originally uploaded by ted_major

This is really all about the spice rub, which my mom uses to barbeque pork, and which adapts well to nearly any grilled or roasted meat.

Spice rub:
Use equal parts salt, black pepper, and dried parsley (about 1TBS each) plus dashes of garlic powder and cayenne to taste. Add enough oil to make a paste and rub over butterflied chicken.*

Roast at 425F (convection if you have it) or grill over indirect heat for an hour to an hour and a half.

* To butterfly a chicken, cut out the spine with kitchen shears and smash flat to crack the breastbone. Tuck the wings behind the breast, and cut small slits to tuck and hold the legs flat.

  • 1 1/3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 2 Tbs Canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or 2 [14.5] oz cans)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups frozen butter beans
  • 2 cups frozen sliced okra
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Tobasco sauce

Sautee chicken in oil over medium high heat in a non-stick soup pot. When it begins to brown (8-10 mins), sprinkle flour into the pot and sautee, stirring, 2 to 3 more minutes. Add onion, garlic, and celery and sautee another 8 mins.

Add tomatoes (including juice), broth, and bay leaf, and simmer covered for 50 minutes.

Stir in corn, okra, and butter beans, and add liquid smoke, Worcestershire, and Tobasco. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered 20 to 30 minutes more.

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut in to bite-size pieces
  • 3 leeks, sliced and cleaned
  • 8 oz. kale
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs flour, divided
  • 4 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced (1/2 inch)
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a large, non-stick soup pot, saute leeks in butter over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet or ditch oven, saute chicken and sprinkle with 2 Tbs flour and salt and pepper to taste. When chicken is browned (about 8 minutes), add to leeks, then deglaze pan with wine. Whisk remaining Tbs of flour into 1 cup stock, add to wine, and bring to a boil. Add to chicken and leek mixture, then add remaining liquids. Bring to a boil, add potatoes, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add kale and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe in New Food Fast, by Donna Hay:

  •  3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup pitted calamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 lb green beans

Preheat oven to 425F. Slice chicken breasts horizontally to create to thin cutlets from each breast. Combine all ingredients in a large rectangular baking dish, and bake for about 20 mins.

  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 links chile-lime chicken sausage, cooked and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile poweder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt, to taste (1/2 to 1 tsp)
  • 2 cups frozen silver queen corn

Saute celery, pepper, and onion in olive oil. Add stock, black beans, sausage, and seasonings, and bring to a simmer. Cook 30 mins, then add corn and bring back to a simmer for another 5 mins.

Serve with yellow rice. As usual, I like it with habanero pepper sauce, but YMMV (Claire thinks it’s plenty hot as-is).

I cooked this cassoulet in the crock pot, but I didn’t really want to call it “Crock Pot Cassoulet.” I have also done it in the oven- works well, too.


  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cans cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ to 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ c wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley chopped

Sauté onion, carrot, garlic, and celery in olive oil until soft. Remove from skillet and add to the crock pot. In the same skillet brown chicken thighs (you may have to add a little more oil). Add sausage to brown it a bit, too. Remove chicken and sausage and put in pot with onion mixture. Deglaze skillet with wine, cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol. Pour over onion, chicken, sausage mixture. Add everything but fresh parsley to the pot. Add enough chicken stock to almost cover everything. Cook in crock pot on low for 5 or more hours.

Serves 8-10

This recipe is for the crock pot, but you could put everything in a dutch oven and cook in the oven for a couple of hours. You will need to add some more liquid partway through the cooking.

I added a few things to Granny’s Eggplant Caviar recipe. I even added chicken and served it for dinner!

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped or a can of diced tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
  • 3 T. cilantro, chopped


Saute onion in olive oil in large skillet until softened. Add eggplant, tomatoes, olives, stir to mix. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or longer until the eggplant is soft. Stir in pinenuts and cilantro. Serve with crackers as an appetizer. Or…

I also brown a couple of chicken breasts and nestle them in with the eggplant mixture, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes to cook the chicken through. Serve over rice, or pasta, or couscous. Yummy!

  • 3 quarts organic, natural chicken stock
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 oz Matchstick carrots (half a bag)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Grated ginger to taste (I use a piece about twice the size of my thumb)
  • 8 oz. medium egg noodles

Put stock in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.

While stock boils, saute the celery, carrots, and onion in olive oil. When the vegetables are done, add to the stock.

Saute the chicken in olive oil until it browns, then add to the stock. Deglaze the pan with a few ladles of stock, and cook the stock down to a syrup. (Remember, kids, the Maillard reaction is your friend!)

When the soup comes back to a boil, add the grated ginger and noodles and cook until the noodles are done, about 10 mins. Total time for the recipe should be around 30-45 minutes depending on how much you cook the vegetables and brown the chicken.

I like it served with a good dose of habanero pepper sauce (such as Sontava) ; YMMV.

This recipe is also good with fresh thyme instead of ginger (in which case I don’t usually add the habanero sauce).