Onions are one of my favorite plants to grow. It wasn't, however, always that way.
When we first started our farm, we planted all kinds of vegetables, including onions- which never grew. In essence, our first year farming, we grew weeds. Looking back now, I can laugh. At the time though, it was downright painful. We augmented the soil, which was compacted after years of lying fallow, and did some allium recon.
Last year, our second year growing food crops, was much better. I watched the onions grow over the summer weeks, thrilled with each new bit of size they showed. All of our plants did well last year, although the soil work continues. This year, we've increased the number and variety of onions from year one, and they're doing wonderfully- so far. (When I partner up with fickle and mercurial Mother Nature, I hedge my bets until the harvest is put to bed.)
Today's recipe celebrates the humble onion. Its origins may be of the lowliest nature, but as part of the holy trifecta of all classic sauces, and countless main course dishes, the onion is a culinary super-star nonetheless. Although this recipe features caramelized and reduced onions, which might be seen as a bit rich for this time of year, the final result isn't heavy in any way. (In fact, I was tempted to add sour cream to the plate)
Based on the typeface and page design, I believe I cut this recipe out of Cooking Light magazine in the early 90s. I also substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breast halves, because I prefer the thigh meat to the breast meat. Enjoy!
The Rediscovered Recipe Box #8- Chicken With Onions
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
8 cups thinly sliced onion (about 4 large)
8 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Coat an ovenproof Dutch oven with cooking spray; add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Remove 4 chicken breasts from plastic bag, and add to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; set aside, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon oil and chicken.
Remove pan from heat; add onion slices from plastic bag. Return chicken to pan, nestling them into onion slices. Bake, uncovered, at 450 for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; stir onion slices. scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits. Return chicken to pan; reduce oven temperature to 375, and bake and additional 15 minutes.
Place 1/2 cup rice on each of 8 serving plates; top each serving with 1 chicken breast half and 1/2 cup onion mixture. Yield: 8 servings.