Saturday, March 8, 2014


I'm addicted.  And I didn't know how bad it was until two nights ago when I just had to do it again.  

I had already eaten my dinner. There were left overs in the refrigerator, but I just had to cook!!  Hi, my name is Maggie and I'm a cook-aholic. This is where I feed my addiction; on this little corner of countertop space and my stove top.

I cook every night.  Even if I don't eat it that same night, I want to cook when I  get home from work. I just can't help myself.  I suppose some of it is habit.  I spent more than half of my life married and always cooked dinner every night.  Friday night when I got home from work, I found the low fat pimento cheese spread I made in the refrigerator and some rice crackers, so I had a little cheese and crackers for dinner.  It was really good, but something was missing.  I wanted to cook.  So I set to looking at what ingredients I had in the fridge.  As soon as I opened the fridge door, I knew what I would make.  I had a package of chicken tenders, Greek yogurt, mushrooms, a box of chicken stock and a jar of preserved lemons that I made about a month ago.   My niece in California posted a recipe on FB she made using preserved lemons and I wanted to try it.  So she gave me her recipe for the lemons.  (That's another blog, or you can go to her blog  I think the  preserved lemon recipe is posted there).  When I made my lemons I used fairly large lemons so I cut them into quarters.  I used one piece in my recipe and after tasting, I decided to add a second piece. So much better!! Preserved lemons taste like lemons, of course, but they aren't sour or bitter.  Just intensely lemony.  They are "pickled" with salt, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and pepper corns.

So the dish I saw when I looked around in the refrigerator was Chicken  Stroganoff with Preserved Lemons.  I gathered a few more ingredients:  garlic, shallot, salt, pepper.  Here's how I made it.

8 - 10 small chicken tenders
1 t. salt
2 T olive oil
10 - 12 mushrooms, sliced
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced finely or pressed
2 pieces of preserved lemon, rinsed and cut into very thin strips
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 container of non fat Greek yogurt (you can use low fat or fat free sour cream)
1 T rice flour
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Lightly salt the tenders.

Slice the mushrooms and set aside.  Mince the shallot and set aside.  Mince or press the garlic and set aside.  Slice the lemon into very thin strips, turn them and cut across to make the strips a little shorter and set aside.  Measure the chicken stock, mix in the rice flour and set aside. Now you have everything ready.  It goes fast and it will only take a few minutes to put this together.

In a large skillet, over medium heat add the olive oil when the skillet is hot.  Add the tenders and sauté on one side only until they are lightly browned on that side.  Should take about 5 minutes all together.
Use a spatula to lift the tenders and turn over to let them cook for just a minute.  They don't have to be finished cooking yet.  Remove the tenders to a plate.

Add the mushrooms immediately to the same pan.  When they have cooked for a minute or two, add the shallots and garlic.  Cook until most of the liquid the mushrooms release has cooked away - probably 3 or 4 minutes.

Stir the rice flour in the chicken stock and add it to the mushroom mixture in the skillet.  Keep stirring over medium heat, add the lemon pieces and stir until the sauce thickens a bit.  If it gets too thick, add a little more chicken stock.
Turn the heat to low and add the yogurt and stir it in well. Be sure not to make the heat too high here, the yogurt will curdle.  If it does, don't worry.  It's not spoiled, it just looks different.  You can still eat it and it will still be delicious!  Add the tenders back to pan along with any juices that may have run out.  Let this sit on low heat for about 5 minutes to bring it all together and finish cooking the chicken.

It's done! A nice grind of black pepper and I ate mine with just a small piece of Nan - and Indian flat bread.  This would be delicious served over wide noodles, on a baked potato, or even over rice.  Steam a nice bunch of broccoli, asparagus or green beans to serve along with it. When you taste this, you'll understand a little better why I'm addicted to cooking.

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