(Read here about what Ital food is…)
Lately, I have noticed the price of chicken increase significantly. I don’t know if that is because of the recent droughts, or just that stores like Fresh Market want to make a larger profit. Either way, it makes my wallet hurt. After learning how to cook Ital food, and experiencing how stewing certain aromatics (i.e.- garlic, leeks, green onions) permeate tofu based meat substitutes, I decided to give this new product a whirl. Let me tell you, it made me (and my wallet) feel “Irie”, which is the Rasta word meaning “to be happy!”
Ingredients:2 tsp + 1 tsp coconut oil 1- 12oz package of Meatless Chicken Strips, (I used Beyond Meat’s Chicken-Free Strips,”Lightly Seasoned”) 6 green onions, white parts sliced thinly & greens cut in 1 inch pieces 2/3 cup leeks, thin sliced (see Chef’s note on how to clean them) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth 4 very ripe Roma tomatoes, small diced (throw in the seeds and juice too!) 2 tbsp fresh thyme 2 tbsp tomato paste 3 tbsp sunflower seeds (shelled and unsalted), optional (Chef’s Note: Leeks are grown in sandy soil and therefore tend to have dirt wedged in between its layers. Hold the leek at the darkest end. Make one long cut lengthwise. Then slice vertically as normal. Place sliced leek into a large bowl of cold water. Use fingers to break the rings apart. Given them a good shake in order to loosen the dirt. Then allow the sliced leeks to sit at the top of the water for 5-10 mins. All the dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then just scoop the now cleaned leeks off the top and toss them into your pan!)
1) Heat 2 tsp coconut oil in non stick pan over medium-high heat. Add “chicken” strips, and brown on all sides. Remove from pan to a plate, and set aside.
2) Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to pan. Once its heated, add green onions and leeks. Saute about 3 mins, stirring constantly so they don’t brown.
4) Add remaining 1/2 cup broth & tomato paste, and cook 5 mins more.
5) Add chicken to pan and coat it with sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 mins more.