Archive for November, 2013

This sophisticated take on sweet and sour chicken from the October issue of Bon Appetit will make you forget all about takeout. First, you brown chicken legs and thighs. Then you make a luscious sauce from garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, chicken stock and soy sauce. Pop the browned chicken into the sauce and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken, and, while it rests, reduce the sauce for about 10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice to soak up the sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Marukan rice vinegar, which contains only natural ingredients, and Imagine brand organic chicken stock. Use tamari instead of soy sauce, because it uses alcohol as a preservative, not sodium benzoate or MSG.

The sauce is made with garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar, stock and soy sauce

Brown the chicken well

Brown the garlic

Caramelize the sauce

Nestle the chicken into the sauce and bake

While the chicken rests, reduce the sauce to thicken it

Top the chicken with the sauce and serve with steamed rice


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2½ pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken legs and thighs

Kosher salt

8 garlic cloves, peeled

⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar

¼ cup (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar

2 slices ¼”-thick slices peeled ginger

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cooked white rice (for serving)


Heat oil in a large wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and, working in 2 batches, cook until golden brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. Pour off fat from pot.

Return pot to medium-high heat and add ½ cup water, scraping up browned bits. Add brown sugar; stir to dissolve, then cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color, about 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar (it may bubble up; sugar will crystallize); stir to dissolve sugar.

Add ginger, broth, and soy sauce, then add chicken, skin side up, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Bring cooking liquid to a boil and cook until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to pot; turn to coat. Top with scallions and serve with rice. Serves 4.

From the October 2013 issue of Bon Appetit

Black cod, also known as sable fish, is a sustainable, cold-water fish caught near British Columbia and Alaska. It is mild and delicious. If you can’t find it, try halibut. This Mediterranean-inspired recipe from the Autumn 2013 issue of the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine tops the roasted fish with a vinaigrette made from cherry tomatoes, black olives, balsamic vinegar and basil. This company-worthy fish dish is great with rapini and roasted potatoes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Smoked paprika may contain colour or anti-caking agents. Read the label on the olives to make sure they don’t contain preservatives. Use a balsamic vinegar with only naturally occurring sulfites.

Season fish and roast on parchment paper

Saute the cherry tomatoes

Cook the rapini until it is tender

Add olives, vinegar and basil to the tomatoes

Roasted black cod with warm tomato vinaigrette on seared rapini


1 fillet (1½ lb/750 g) black cod or 4 individual pieces, about 6 oz (175 g) each

Salt, pepper and sweet smoked paprika

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

¼ tsp (1 ml) chili flakes

1 cup (250 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp (30 ml) slivered pitted niçoise or Kalamata olives

2 tsp (10 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) slivered basil

1 large bunch rapini

1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced

⅓ cup (80 ml) water


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fish on parchment and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Drizzle with 1 tsp (5 ml) oil. Roast in preheated oven, until a knife inserted in centre of fish is hot, 18 to 20 minutes (cooking time will be reduced if using individual pieces).

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp (30 ml) oil in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chili flakes and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, just until tomatoes begin to shrivel. Add olives and balsamic vinegar. Stir until olives are hot. Turn off heat if fish is not yet cooked. Just before serving, reheat tomato mixture and stir in basil.

While fish is cooking, trim tough ends from rapini and set aside. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add rapini and ⅓ cup (80 ml) water. Simmer, covered, stirring halfway through, until rapini is more tender, about 5 minutes. Increase heat and sauté, uncovered, a few minutes until any water remaining evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide rapini between 4 dinner plates. Divide fish into 4 portions, leaving skin on tray. Place fish on rapini, then spoon tomato mixture overtop fish. Serves 4.

From the Autumn 2013 issue of Food and Drink

This is a delicious stir-fry from Lucy Waverman, written for the Autumn 2013 issue of the LCBO’s Food and Drink. Chicken, eggplant and red pepper are flavoured with garlic, ginger, chili flakes, cinnamon, cocoa powder, balsamic vinegar and capers. I didn’t have cocoa powder, so I used finely grated dark chocolate instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Be sure to use spices without colour and anti-caking agents. Look for a balsamic vinegar with no sulfites added, and for an all-natural brand of capers, such as Unico.

Remove strips of peel and dice the eggplant

Dice the chicken and season it with salt, pepper and cayenne

Saute the chicken with garlic and ginger

I served this dish with steamed broccoli and rice


1 eggplant, about 1 lb (500 g)

12 oz (375 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp (1 ml) cayenne

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced garlic

2 tsp (10 ml) minced ginger

1 red pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 cup (250 ml) chopped onion

1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) red pepper chili flakes

1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon

½ tsp (2 ml) cocoa powder

Pinch cayenne

3 tbsp (45 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tsp (10 ml) capers
¼ cup (60 ml) water

Garnish – Chopped Italian parsley


Trim the ends off the eggplant and using a vegetable peeler, create stripes by removing strips of skin, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Chop into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes.

Dice chicken into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Heat 3 tbsp (45 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, garlic and ginger to pan and sauté until just turning colour, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken and reserve.

Add remaining oil, eggplant, red pepper, onion, sugar, chili flakes, cinnamon, cocoa powder and cayenne to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until onions start to brown. Stir continuously to prevent spices from burning.

Stir in vinegar and capers. Sauté for 4 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Return chicken and any juices to skillet. Add water and bring to a boil, stirring. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the mixture is thick, dark and glossy. The flavours should melt into each other. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and more balsamic vinegar if desired. Sprinkle with Italian parsley. Serves 4.

From the Autumn 2013 issue of Food and Drink

This recipe from Style at Home magazine is absolutely delicious. The bacon, pearl onions, herbs and balsamic vinegar add terrific flavour, while the tomatoes and olives add colour. I used chicken thighs and drumsticks, instead of a whole chicken cut up, because we prefer dark meat.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use bacon without nitrites, balsamic vinegar with only naturally occurring sulfites, and white wine with a sulfite level lower than 10 parts per million. I used all-natural garlic stuffed olives – either Pilaros brand or President’s Choice.

Brown the chicken well in a Dutch oven

Saute bacon and onions, return chicken to the pot and add the tomatoes and olives

I served the chicken with roasted potatoes


1 3-lb (1.5 kg) whole free-range organic chicken, cut into 8 parts

1 tsp (5 ml) Maldon sea salt

½ tsp (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 4-oz (113 g) slab smoked bacon, cut into large cubes

1 cup (250 ml) pearl onions, peeled and halved

1 tbsp (30 ml) each: chopped fresh rosemary and thyme

2 tbsp (60 ml) aged balsamic vinegar

½ cup (125 ml) white wine

½ cup (125 ml) small green olives

½ pint (250 ml) grape tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large cast-iron casserole pan or Dutch oven and sear the chicken pieces in two batches, turning occasionally, until well browned all over.

Remove the chicken from the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the bacon and pearl onions; cook until the onions are caramelized.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan and return the chicken pieces. Add the herbs, vinegar and wine and bring to a boil.

Add the olives and tomatoes and bake, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serves 4 to 6.

From Style at Home magazine