Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paleo Party!

Every Monday night, Curt and I get together with some friends from our church, New Life. We always take turns bringing dinner for the whole group. It's just easier for one couple to volunteer per week than to coordinate to have everyone bring one dish every week. This week, it was our turn!


Since Curt and I are trying to eat Paleo, I thought this would be a good chance to show people that, despite what some people think, eating Paleo isn't hard. You can really eat plenty of yummy food that is actually good for you! I wasn't sure what I could make that would be cost effective for 20 people, so I got creative. Chicken was a good price, so I combined a few recipes, took out some bad ingredients, and added a few extra ingredients and here we have
Pretty Much Paleo Chicken!

Please remember that I cooked food for 20 people, so this recipe is HUGE! Just cut the recipe into fourths and you should have enough for a nice dinner and a good number of leftovers!

* 15 lbs of chicken drumsticks
* 2 quarts of beef broth
* 2 large spanish onions
* 2 shallots
* 1 head of garlic
* 4 carrots, thickly chopped
* 1 tbs salt
* 1 tbs pepper
* 1 tbs garlic powder

I had bought a TON of chicken because I never want to run out of food and have people still be hungry. So this is why I ended up cooking flipping 16 lbs of chicken! The scary thing was that I actually bought 3 of those huge packages of chicken, but after going through the first 2, I thought that was enough. Once I had bought the chicken, I was sure that I'd figure out something to make.

Talk about a lot of chicken!

First, I seasoned the drumsticks with all of the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I didn't want to be cooking all night, so I took a few pans and worked in batches. Over medium heat, I heated some oil in the pan. Once the oil was hot, I added the chicken and let it get nice and brown. I didn't need to let the chicken cook all the way because I finished cooking it in the oven later. This part took a LONG time, even when using 3 pans at a time, but what else could I expect after buying so much chicken?!

Once the chicken was nice and brown, I set it aside in some casserole dishes. If you have a nice covered pot that can go in the oven, that would be a good thing to use. In lieu of that, I just tightly covered the casserole dishes with some good aluminum foil. I then set to making some sort of sauce to braise the chicken in.

First, I took some sliced onions, minced garlic, chopped carrots, and some minced shallots and tossed them in the same pans I had used to cook the chicken. I also added in some extra oil so that the rest of the ingredients wouldn't burn.

Once everything was sauteed until nice and soft, I added in a few cans of diced tomatoes. Then, using my creative cooking sense, I added in some red wine and let that cook off. I also added in beef broth. I know that this is chicken and using chicken broth would definitely make sense, however, I bought beef broth and the homemade chicken stock I had was a solid block in the freezer. I figured... what the heck, it should be ok!

Once everything was a nice smelling brew, I spooned everything over the chicken and wrapped up the dishes in the foil. I popped everything (all 4 dishes) in the oven at 400 and baked away!


In the meantime, I chopped up a TON of veggies! I chopped onions and chopped mushrooms and chopped cauliflower and chopped three different colors of peppers!

I chopped onions and green peppers

And I chopped red and yellow peppers

And I chopped mushrooms!

And I chopped zucchini!

I had originally planned to roast them. But, unfortunately, my oven looked like this:
Sooooo, I decided to throw everything on the grill. I tossed the veggies in some olive oil and also added in some of this super yummy spice blend that Curt's mom gave me. I turned the grill on medium. I didn't want the veggies to fall through the grate, so I improvised. I had bought these aluminum oven liners a while ago, but hadn't used them yet, so I threw one of those on there and it worked pretty well!
Before being thrown on the grill

After the yumminess of the grill


So, here we have everything! Braised chicken drumsticks with roasted veggies! The dish was pretty good... I wouldn't say that it was one of my favorite dishes that I've ever made, however, it was really popular and everyone seemed to like it, even those who were on diets!

Now, I always bring dessert and I didn't have time to figure something out that would be Paleo, so I made this  Butterscotch Apple Cake that I found on a blog that I follow, TheMessieKitchen. Everyone loved it :)

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