Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken Marsala Quinoa Casserole (Gluten-Free/Dairy Adaptable)

It ain't pretty, but it's tasty!
This was adapted from this recipe that I found in the Seattle Times.  It happened to come out on the exact day that all of the necessary ingredients arrived in my CSA box. Quinoa? Crimini mushrooms? Sweet potatoes? Booze?  Sign me up!  Only one snag here...... I find Marsala wine most distasteful.  Gratefully, this was easily remedied with a mix n' match with some goodies from the liquor cupboard- and even better that I made it during nap time, thereby making it totally acceptable to be sampling the sweet boozey nectar before 5:00pm PST.  For those of you who like Marsala wine, this will be even easier, but you may have to forgo the sampling.

Anyway, collectively our family thought this was a delicious wintry meal with rich, hearty, stick-to-your-ribsedness.  It will certainly be a seasonal player here.

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked*
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 12 oz crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1t dry)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 11/2t salt, divided
  • 1/2t ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (about 1-1.5lbs)
  • 3/4 Marsala wine (or about 1:1 mixed of Dry Vermouth & Sherry wine or Tawny Port)
  • 1T cornstarch
  • 1/2 heavy cream (I used soy creamer here)
  • 4c cooked quinoa, cooled (about 1c dry: 2c water)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2c Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
*for cooking the sweet potato, pierce the skin and either roast it in the oven for about 40 minutes or so, or microwave it on high for 6-7 minutes.  I barely know how to reheat Chinese food in the microwave, so please feel free to let me know how this goes, I hear it is a snap.

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, then mushrooms, garlic, thyme, pepper onion plus 1t of the salt and cook until mushrooms have released all of their liquid and onions are very soft and translucent.  (about 8-9 minutes for most folks, I have a need to kill my onions and make them barely recognizable as their former selves, so this step took me about 20 min)
3. While these are cooking, mix together cornstarch, wine and cream in small bowl.
4. Add the chicken to the mushroom/onion skillet and cook until the chicken is browned and almost fully cooked through, then add the wine/cream mixture and bring to simmer. Let simmer 2 minutes.
5. Arrange the chicken and mushroom goodness in and even layer over the bottom of a 2-qt casserole dish.
6. In separate bowl, smash up the peeled sweet potato, then add the cooked quinoa, eggs, remaining 1/2t salt and pinch o' nutmeg and mix it up.
7. Spread the quinoa and such over the top of the chicken and mushroom mixture.  Sprinkle with parm or pecorino an bake for about 25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling.

One should never cut onions without the proper equipment
just in the pan

cooked to perfection!