If you made your may here by way of my Instagram post then you would know that with this picturesque dinner I referenced the Lenten season. People often talk about giving something up during this time of year. Also all too often, this idea becomes misplaced as a challenge to stay away from sweets, booze, social media what have you for a little over a month; like a refresher on our New Year’s resolution that we have already dropped. Guilty…actually I don’t think I ever started haha. In reality, this time of year is not used to promote our vanity, health, or even budget but to deepen our faith and following of Jesus Christ. Last year my pastor at the time challenged me to think about what it is that I can DO not what I can give up in order to grow closer to God. As I reflected on this message I spent some time thinking about how my life could change in the next 40 days. So along with never following through with my New Year’s resolution my only other flaw 😉 is that I use my phone while I am driving. I know, it is terrible, and I needed to change long before now. I sit in a boat load of traffic and spend most of my commute home going less than 10 mph, though that should not discount that it is dangerous. So instead of checking emails, flipping through Instagram, or Facebook I am focusing my drive in prayer and listening to music. Sometimes pop music, not always contemporary Christian. But each time I reach for my phone I am reminded of the grace I have been given.
In my final confession, I did send a text message (while sitting at a red light, mind you) to my co-workers when there was an accident on the bridge and I would be late(rrr than usual, there goes my 2017 resolution fail). When I typed in the text box “GPS says 39 minutes,” I kid you not, GPS auto-corrected to God. I hear you! Loud and clear! Phone is down. My drive to and from work has been a welcome transformation and challenge to grow deeper in my faith.
If you are opting out of meat on each Friday of Lent then this recipe is just for you! If you’re not quite in the plant wheelhouse then follow the original recipe from Epicurious using chicken thighs.
With my new camera lens you can see all the thrills and spills! Note to self, editing starts in the camera SMH.
Red Wine Braised Cauliflower and/or Chicken Thighs
Cook Time: 45 min
- 1/2 cup craisins
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, additional to taste
- 4 bone in chick thighs (~2 pounds)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower OR if only making cauliflower and not chicken then one full head of cauliflower
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 package of Soy Chorizo
- 15.5 oz. can Cannelini beans, Navy beans, or Chickpeas drained and rinsed.
- 1 tsp grated citrus zest (I used lime but the original recipe calls for orange, really you’re just looking for a bite of acidity and kapow of freshness…there is no other way to explain it)
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or no chicken broth my fave
- 1/2 tsp Sherry vinegar
- 1/3 cup shredded spinach
- Fresh parsley for topping
Place craisins in a small bowl, cover with hot water and set aside.
Mix seasonings – cumin, paprika, 1 1/2 tsp salt, cayenne in a small bowl. Clean and prepare the chicken thighs by cleaning and patting them dry with a paper towel. Rub the spice into the chicken thighs. If you are making a half and half dinner like I did, then rub half of the spice mixture onto the chick and the other half on the cauliflower.
Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Wash and dry cauliflower, cut into large florets. Toss in the other half of the spice mixture OR if only using cauliflower then of course toss florets into the entire spice mixture.
Heat olive oil in a deep iron skillet or dutch oven on medium high. Add soyrizo and cook, stirring frequently. Totally tricked the hubs on this one – he had no idea it was soy chorizo. I took the soyrizo out of the casing and browned it into crispy, yummy, bits. This will take about 5 minutes. While the soyrizo is cooking, in a shallow iron skillet lightly drizzle cauliflower florets with olive oil and place in the oven to roast.
Drain your beans, add the orange zest, dash of salt, and pinch of cayenne in a medium bowl. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the soyrizo into the bean mixture. Stir to combine. Retun the skillet to medium-high heat. The soyrizo leaves behind all kinds of scrumptious spices but not a lot of fat like a traditional chorizo would. So you might want to add an additional drizzle of olive oil. Cook chicken skin side down, until well-browned, 12 minutes. If you are making this all veggie (power to the plant!) then obviously skip this step.
Transfer the chicken onto a plate, add the slices of onion into the pan and cook, stirring on occasion until transparent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and broth. Bring to a boil, stir and scrape the spices off the bottom of the pan. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce skin side up OR remove the cauliflower from the oven and place the florets into the sauce. Lower heat to medium, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the craisins and add into the soyrizo mixture.
Stir soyrizo mix and Sherry vinegar into your “meat” mixture. Cook, uncovered, until heated through or about 1 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup of spinach then divide among 4 plates. Top with parsley and serve up with some of that wine you used to braise 😉