Friday, June 27, 2014

Gluten Free/Paleo Friday: Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

First of all, I wanted to say thank you for all of your encouragement and excitement over my seminary acceptance. Robert tells me that the only credential really required for acceptance is a pulse (such a funny guy) which would explain a lot, since my college transcript was certainly no vote of confidence. Your reading about my journey and your kind words and cheers meant so much to me. 

I should mention that I had a lot of help along the way.  My friends Betsy and Kelly filled out character references, Robert had to write an essay explaining his spousal approval and support of my attending seminary, Ryan M., our associate pastor, had to fill out a church recommendation, and Dan M., one of our church elders, also had to fill out a pastor recommendation, since the school has a policy that if your husband is also the pastor of your church, he is not allowed to be that reference.  The funny thing is that Robert DID fill out the reference form before we knew about this policy, and I believe that Dan gave me a more glowing report than Robert. So evidently the concern for bias was not really an issue in our house.  I believe it was the "emotional stability" question that I received an "Excellent" from Dan and an "Above Average" (that was kind of him) from my husband. And I only know this, because they told me, not because I was able to see anyone's recommendation. We try to keep it brutally honest here at the Krum house.  (Not really.)

My New Student Orientation is next week, and all online.  I can't wait, but have to admit to feeling a bit intimidated by things like Moodle and the test I will have to take to show that I understand all new student responsibilities and school policies.  I hear students and my own son talk about these things all of the time, but it's been a foreign language to me so far.  Anyway, I'm excited to get started.

Now, onto the recipe...

One of my favorite bloggers even before we started following a Paleo diet was Elana Amsterdam.  She has a wonderful blog called Elana's Pantry, and such a lovely, simple style and demeanor. (I can tell all of that from her blog, of course.)  She has been grain free for about 10 years, mostly as a way to deal with her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.  I highly recommend following her blog and "liking" her on Facebook.  Actually, it was an issue of Paleo Magazine in which she was featured that sort of pushed me over the Paleo edge, so to speak.  She has a very compelling story and inspiring lifestyle.

A few weeks ago, I bought her new cookbook, also very simple and practical.  I just love it, and have made several recipes from it.  In fact, just last night, to go along with our chef-style salads, I made a loaf of her Paleo Nut Bread.  It is just wonderful and perfectly satisfies my craving for toast with butter. (Kerry Gold, of course.  Yum.)

I adapted this recipe from one of hers that is featured in the cookbook ~ even on the front cover, I believe.  It may seem like more of a winter dish.  Folks in New England don't tend to have central A/C, so no one wants to turn on an oven in June, July, or August, but I still make it occasionally on a Sunday ~ even leaving it in the oven for a couple of hours ~ to eat when we return home from church.

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

1 lg pkg chicken thighs (8-12 pieces)
4 lemons (2 juiced, 2 sliced)
2 Tbsp of honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic bulbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken thighs (I like to trim off excess skin/fat.  Not very Paleo, I know) in a large baking dish.  Pour lemon juice evenly over each piece, and then brush each with olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to your liking onto the chicken, and then drizzle honey over each thigh.  Place in oven uncovered.

During the first 15 minutes of baking, slice the remaining lemons.  Also during this time, take some of the papery covering of the garlic bulbs off and slice the bulbs across the top revealing the "meat" of each clove. (see above photo)  After the chicken has baked 15 minutes, remove from oven and place the lemon slices in various places over the chicken.  Add a garlic bulb near the middle and ends of the baking dish in the midst of the chicken thighs.  Brush a bit more olive oil on the lemon slices and garlic bulbs and return to the oven.

At this point, you can either keep baking at 375 for 45 minutes, or turn the oven down a bit if you plan to leave the house and return more than an hour later, but not more than 2.  I think I usually turn my oven down to 250-275 degrees in this case.

Add a salad and/or your favorite side, and enjoy!

P.S.  Be sure and squeeze the roasted garlic out of its bulb and spread on your chicken or a slice of Elana's Paleo bread, or on a side of roasted broccoli.  The roasting process makes it taste a bit more mild, but so delicious!

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