{Brussel Sprouts and Chicken with Cream Sauce}

I recently attended a cooking demonstration at Red Stick Spice. If you live in the Baton Rouge area, and haven’t visited this store – you’re missing out! The store is a home cook’s heaven. There are several canisters of any spice you can imagine as well as loose teas, oils, extracts, blends and cook ware. If you’re from out of town, take the time to visit their website at http://www.redstickspice.com.During my latest visit to the store, Anne, the owner was cooking up a delicious Brussel Sprout hash. Brussel sprouts are sometimes a vegetable that may take convincing, but I promise you and your family will love it! I paired the brussel sprouts with baked chicken tenders topped with a crawfish cream sauce.Here we go…

{Brussel Sprouts (as demonstrated by Red Stick Spice, with my own twist)}
Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
1 lb brussel sprouts (this is about 50-ish sprouts) delicious from Luckett Farms CSA
1 white onion (if you don’t like white, use yellow – its a free country! :))
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) – I use oils that say “first cold press”
1 tablespoon butter
salt
pepper

Lets begin:

Take your brussel sprouts, wash them, peel the outer layer off, half them, and chop thinly.Keep in mind that brussel sprouts are small, and this can get tedious. Turn up your favorite tunes, grab something to drink and get chopping!

While you’re in chopping mode, get your onion and thinly slice.

All good recipes begin with butter, so melt your butter in the skillet.

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Once your butter is melted, add the onion and a pinch of salt.
Brown the onions slowly, until caramelized, stirring regularly. I usually do this on a medium to medium low heat. If your stove nobs have numbers, I would say put it on number 4. It should take about 20 minutes.I understand that caramelizing can be boring, but while your onions are browning, use this time to work on your protein dish!

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Once the onions are caramelized, take them out the skillet, place in a bowl and set aside for now.

In the same skillet, heat one tablespoon of EVOO.Once heated, add the brussel sprouts, keep the fire on medium, stir often. Its OKAY if the edges of the brusel sprouts brown a bit – this adds flavor.After 10 minutes, add the caramelized onions back to the skillet and mix in with the brussel sprouts. Continue sauteing for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

{Baked Chicken Tenders}
Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Ingredients:
1 lb chicken breast sliced into tenders (I shop Fresh Market on Tuesday. You can usually always get a pound of chicken breast for $2.99)
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons of the seasoning of your choice. (I use the poultry seasoning from Red Stick Spice – the marjoram in the seasoning brings out an amazing flavor. If you don’t have this seasoning, a little salt, pepper, onion powder, thyme and orgeano will do the trick!)

www.redstickspice.com
http://www.redstickspice.com

Place the chicken tenders, EVOO, water and poultry seasoning in a storage for 30 minutes to marinate.
Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade, and place on a baking dish. I use cast iron because it gives the meat a rustic flavor. If you don’t have cast iron, any baking dish will suit.

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Bake on 425 for 20 minutes. I understand that everyone’s oven is different, so please check your poultry before eating to ensure that it’s cooked all the way through. Poultry should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

{Cream Sauce}:
Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup 2% milk
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a 2 qt. sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the milk and whisk in the cheese. Bring to a simmer whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the consistency is “gravy-like.”

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My husband and I had leftover boiled crawfish from Tony’s Seafood from the night before, so I tossed a few crawfish in the cream sauce at the end of the cooking process. Cooked shrimp or crab meat would work just as well!

Spoon the cream sauce over the chicken before serving! I also add a little smoked paprika at the end for garnish.

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Here you have it! A delicious, carbohydrate free, almost Paleo dinner (if you eat the chicken without the cream sauce or substitute coconut milk for cow’s milk, it’s Paleo) in less than an hour – on a weeknight!

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