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021The Goddess loves these Tuscan flavors.  The Latin Lover thought this the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner for two…it’s coming up in a week, so I’m helping you plan ahead.   This is good, simple peasant food.  It is full-bodied and full-flavored, the perfect meal for an after-snow removal dinner, but delicious enough for lovers to share!  I didn’t really have a recipe for either the Tuscan Chicken with White Beans or the Tuscan Fried Rice…yeah, that’s right, Tuscan Fried Rice.  I had leftover rice which is exactly what you want to make fried rice.  Freshly prepared rice simply will not do for fried rice; it gets gummy.  004I had decided I was going to use those full-bodied Tuscan flavors with the chicken…lemon, rosemary, garlic, olive and capers; the white beans were an after thought I’m really glad I had…every now and then, The Goddess’s brain fires on all cylinders, if for just one, little moment.  This was a very good thought, but now Asian fried rice wasn’t going to work.  So again, the cylinders fired, and the motor hummed and The Goddess said to herself, “Self, why not use some Tuscan flavorings and add those to fried rice?” Hmmm…I hope you try it, because I think you will like this combination.  Anyway, who said all fried rice has to have an Asian flavor profile?

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed between your fingers
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced into thin wedges from top to bottom
  • 1/3 cup whole roasted garlic cloves (from the olive bar in the supermarket)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup black or green pitted olives (from the olive bar in the supermarket)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tiny capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken soup base
  • 1 cup water

Early in the day combine the brined ingredients; the salt, lemon juice, cold water, olive oil, paprika, rosemary and garlic granules.  Stir until the salt is dissolved.  Add the chicken thighs, pushing down until they are submerged.  Refrigerate for 1-12 hours.

Combine the olive oil, rosemary, thyme and tarragon in a small bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Set aside for at least 1 hour.

When ready to prepare, remove the chicken from the brine; pat dry with paper towelling and set aside.  Heat a large, shallow pan over medium-high heat.  Add the herbed olive oil and sauté briefly.  Add the chicken thighs, skin side down and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook, without disturbing for 2-3 minutes or until browned.  Add the onion wedges; turn the thighs, cover the pan and continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes.   Add the roasted garlic cloves, capers, olives, soup base and water.  Pour the beans over the chicken thighs.  Lower the heat, cover the pan and continue to cook until the thighs are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.   Serve on top of the Tuscan Fried Rice, spooning some of the pan juices over.  Excellent served with fresh bread and a leafy salad with some citrus.

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

012I’ve decided that I’m not too fond of that coarse kale you find in many supermarkets.  But, the lacinato kale or black kale is really quite lovely.  It has a much nicer texture and I like the flavor; it’s subtle.  I remembered at the very last minute that I had about 5 black kale leaves left over from the Heathen Gypsy Soup, so I pulled the leaves off of the ribs, chopped them up and threw them in for just the last couple of minutes of cooking.  It is pretty and best of all, it tastes good and doesn’t take over the dish.

Tuscan Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy--Be Patient
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 8 cloves roasted garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5-6 cups cooked rice
  • 5-6 leaves of lacinato kale (black kale), removed from the tough rib and chopped

Heat a heavy (non-stick works very nicely, but a well-seasoned cast iron works pretty well, too) skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil;  toss in the peppers, onions, roasted garlic and rice.  Smooth the rice into the skillet, lower the heat and cook, tossing the rice every 3 or 4 minutes.  It should brown a bit on the bottom, but not get hard and crunchy.  Keep doing this tossing of the rice every 3 or 4 minutes, until the peppers and onions and done and the rice has brown bits in it.  Remove from the heat and serve.  This makes a great bed for the Tuscan Chicken with White Beans.

Tuscan Fried Rice Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

014This is the fried rice up close and personal.  It is pretty tasty.  I think it could have handled some rosemary, too.  This would be good with fish or pork, as well as the chicken.  I think some lemon zest would work very nicely, too.  You know The Latin Lover and his rice are something you think twice about coming in between and he really liked this…we’ll be having this again!

The final Valentine’s Day dinner posting will be dessert…get two spoons and brew the espresso…and prepare to have a Happy Valentines Day!