Just Dinner?

It’s next to impossible to separate food and cooking from the rest of my life; family drama, birthday parties, births (or lack of, in my infertile case), emotional healing (still working on that one with plenty of chocolate), weekends at the cabin, Sunday lunches at Mom’s, daily dinners with my husband. It’s all one.

Is food ever just food? How intertwined are food and relationships (and yes, even sex) in your everyday life?

It’s a way of getting to know each other and quite possibly, ourselves. Take for example, the ritual of dating. How many dates have you ever gone on that didn’t involve any food at all? Be it a new guy or even your group of closest girlfriends, how much didn’t you learn, love it or hate it, about your date from what they ordered. Or how they ate it (is an open-mouthed chewer a deal breaker?). Or how they treated your server. I can clearly remember the first meal my husband ever cooked for me in his tiny, basement rental apartment in university. We joke about it to this day and, thankfully, his cooking skills have grown by leaps and bounds as has our relationship.

Food is a way to express my emotions. It lets me be who I am and maybe lets me project a little of who I want to be. Feeling lonely? Turn on the oven for your favorite brownies. Feeling sassy? Chop up a little spicy jalapeno pico de gallo. Adventurous? Try that  recipe for Moqueca de Peixe from your last trip to Bahia. Want to impress your husband after…er.. at dinner? Blueberries and chipotle peppers…. a little sweet with firey heat…

Chipotle & Blueberry Pulled Chicken Sliders

adapted from Satisfied

2 bone in chicken breasts

Rub:

  • 1 Tbsp Mexican chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp each kosher salt, pepper and brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each smokey paprika and cumin

Rub over chicken and refridgerate, covered at least four hours

Sauce:

  • 1 small Vidalia onion sliced
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 chipotle pepper with adobo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 C stock
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 C fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 C blueberry preserves
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • In a large pot, on medium high, sear chicken on all sides then remove (you might need some olive oil to prevent sticking).
  • Add onions to the pot and cook 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic, chipotle pepper with sauce, and brown sugar. Cook one minute until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar, stock and bay leaf. Stir, then put chicken back in the pot. Cover, and braise in oven for one hour (the bbq works well too if it’s sweltering hot and you don’t want to turn on your oven. Just make sure you have a pot you don’t really care about.).
  • Remove chicken, allow to cool then pull apart with two forks and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, add berries and preserves to remaining liquid. Place on stove and bring to a low simmer for one minute.
  • Pour liquid into blender and puree until smooth then return to pot.
  • Add honey and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer to thicken about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup to the shredded chicken to moisten. Reserve the rest to pour over sliders or for future use.

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 2 C flour
  • 2 rounded tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients. Add butter and using your hands combine until the mixture resembles coarse, lumpy sand.
  • Add buttermilk and stir (I used my hands) until just combined.
  • On a floured surface, flatten the dough to 1/2″ thick and cut out round biscuits. I used a juice cup to make 10 biscuits. Brush the top with milk and bake on a parchment lined sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Notes:

  • The original recipe was doubled from above. I found the recipe, as I listed above, made 5 very large sliders with leftovers. I had 5 biscuits leftover and enough meat for two more sliders. That of course, will vary according to how large your chicken breasts are to begin with, and how much meat you like on your sandwich! We used up ALL the sauce.
  • You might want to start with half a chipotle pepper, depending on how spicy you like your food. One whole pepper was quite hot.
  • The meat takes on an interesting greyish-blue hue once the sauce is added. Don’t let that deter you – it’s super good!
  • The biscuits can be made ahead, but they are best served warm. It works really well to pop them in the oven while you’re pulling apart the chicken.
  • The combination of sweet blueberries and spicy chipotle pepper is really quite ….uh hem… saucy (attire under your apron definitely optional)…
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14 thoughts on “Just Dinner?

  1. Beautiful photos! I am posting a blueberry and salmon recipe for tomorrow but this attracted my attention. Blueberries and chicken, so good! And I have a teeny obsession with buttermilk, so this is going on “the list”!

  2. There is such a strong connection between food and relationships it’s no wonder there is such a thing as “emotional eating.” Heck, I think if I can’t get “emotional” about what I’m eating, then why eat it…am I right?

  3. I would love to use this recipe in my blueberry post on my blog. Would you be ok with me using your recipe and picture with a link to your blog? http://www.potsnplans.blogspot.com
    I love this recipe for many reasons…the main one is I love sandwiches and I’m allergic to yeast so using a buttermilk biscuit is perfect! Good job!
    -Sarah

    • Thanx Kevin – give the recipe a try while you can still get market fresh blueberries. I’m looking forward to trying your Spicy Thai Enchiladas! I printed out the recipe a couple of weeks ago and put it in my file of things to try when it cools down.

  4. Pingback: A Classic Affair «

  5. Pingback: roasted turkey breast sandwich with brie and blueberry chipolte chutney | TasteInspired's Blog

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