Where Do You Shop? [golden lemon chicken]

Does anyone else shop regularly at more than one grocery store?  More than two?  What about five?

golden lemon olive chicken with couscous.

Here’s my list:

  • The Giant near work – It’s a chain grocery store.  It has everything.
  • The Safeway near my house – It’s small, but it sells booze!  Bonus, it’s walkable.
  • The Safeway near my nail salon, CVS, and a frozen yogurt place I don’t even like that much but in which I always stop anyway – It’s more convenient sometimes when I’m out running other errands.
  • The Whole Foods near work – It’s good for a quick trip in and out.
  • The other Whole Foods near work – It’s good for random ingredients and food you can’t get anywhere else.
  • The Trader Joes where I HATE PARKING SO MUCH – It’s Trader Joe’s.
  • The Trader Joes near my parents’ house in Pennsylvania where there is ample parking – It’s also Trader Joe’s.  With easier parking!
  • Wagshals – It’s the place where I know the butcher, and can get great cuts of meat.  Also truffle butter.
  • The neighborhood farmers’ market – Because who doesn’t dream of just getting everything at the farmers’ market?

Does that seem a little excessive to anyone else?  I can’t think of a single store I’d scrap, though.  Each brings something important to the table, quite literally.

golden lemon olive chicken with couscous.

I made golden lemon-olive chicken the other night for no reason at all except that when I searched make-ahead meals, this was one of the first, non-casserole stops on the internet (please note–I have absolutely nothing against casseroles). That’s a risky move, especially considering I have gobs of cookbooks and meticulously-curated Pinterest boards at my disposal.  But I felt like I’d seen all those before, and I wanted something different.  I was preparing food for company and I had zero desire to do any work the day they were coming.  So I prepped everything the day before, and simply cranked up the stove to reheat everything when my guests arrived.

Golden lemon-olive chicken (which I served sans olives when I realized that the store in which I shopped, Wagshals, didn’t have the right kind, plus I was serving dinner to someone who isn’t supposed to be eating a lot of salt anyway) blew me away.  It’s close enough to our usual fare to satisfy us, but enough of a departure that it felt like an exciting night.

To make golden lemon chicken, you will need:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 medium onions peeled, each cut into 6 wedges, root end intact
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 T butter
  • 4 Meyer lemons or organic lemons, 2 sliced, 1 zested and juiced, plus 1 juiced (I used regular lemons)
  • 1 generous pinch saffron (if you’re fancy and you keep saffron around–I don’t)
  • 3 T all purpose flour
  • 1 quart (4 C) chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. shredded chicken (Get some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, cover them with salt and pepper and schmear about a tablespoon of olive oil on them.  Bake them in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes, until juices run clear.  Set aside to cool and shred.)
Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bay leaves and garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes, then cover the pan and sweat the onions for3 to 4 minutes more.Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-high sided skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Slice 2 lemons and gently brown the slices, in 2 batches. As they brown, add them to the pan with the onions. Add 3 more tablespoons butter to the pan and let it melt, then add saffron threads and the zest of l lemon to the melted butter and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, cook for a minute more, then whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Season the sauce with turmeric, cumin and cinnamon and let thicken for a couple of minutes. Stir in the juice of remaining 2 lemons and reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken and sauce to the onions and gently stir to combine. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal or, cover the pan to warm the chicken through and combine flavors.

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