Spicy Crockpot Chicken with Parsely-Walnut Pesto (or, “The Corned Beef is All Yours Today”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c chicken tenders
  • Ancient Harvest® garden pagodas
  • 1 c parsley sprigs (stems removed)
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 3 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Start your chicken out on the train to Easytown — plop it in the slow cooker with 2 tbsp garlic paste, cayenne and black pepper and cover with water. Set the cooker on L and walk away for a few hours. It’s a great set up, actually, because your pesto will only taste better after it’s sat a minute:

Put parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, flax, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic paste into the food processor and puree the heck out of it. When it’s good and chunk-free (even the little chunks! be vigilant!), move it to an airtight container in the fridge and pray your patience will bring a huge, delicious payoff.

At dinnertime, boil water and cook your gluten-free pasta; drain. While it’s still hot mix in all but 1tbsp of the pesto, making sure to get a little all up in the crooks and spirals of your self-proclaimed “pagodas” — really, they taste nothing like a Buddhist or Taoist temple of worship, but the flavor of your earlier endeavor should eclipse this misnomer. Strain your chicken and mix it up with the remaining tbsp of pesto, then marry the pasta and the meat. Mazel tov, 4 spoons!

And because it is St. Patrick’s Day, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Please note that, despite often having my Irish red hair belie my Italian heart (and that birthmark on my head that grows black hair), I did not make corned beef today. Did I just forget? Not have it in the pantry and have no vehicle with which to go procure some from a grocer? No and yes. I have never liked it, and even if I wasn’t dead-set (so to speak) on getting to an animal-free diet you would never catch it on any plate of mine. And a day that forces it down your throat (along with copious amounts of alcohol)? I am no fan. Despite the red damn hair. Here, let me have another disenfranchised genetic Irish speak:

“I have never been greatly tied emotionally or sentimentally to my own Irish background. The Irish in America are sometimes more Irish than the Irish and I suppose some of my indifference is a reaction against that.” – Flannery O’Connor Letter, 7/25/63

To summarize: I have red hair and a genetic heritage linked in part to the Irish culture but will consume neither corned beef nor copious amounts of alcohol. Happy St. Patty’s!

 

 

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