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Monday, January 23, 2012

Cooking Light

Cooking Light, January, 2012
Their  picture was just so much better than mine.
I try.  I really do.  I try to chose the healthy option but all too often it just doesn't sound (or taste) as good.  It's not that I have anything against whole grains or gluten free because I don't.  It's just that I'm a slave to my taste buds.  What can I say?

So, it will come as no great surprise to you that I do not subscribe to Cooking Light Magazine.  Occasionally the cover of the magazine will catch my eye at the check out at the grocery store but usually I reach for Fine Cooking or  Saveur, the full fat cousins of Cooking Light.

I'm not proud of this.  I should be concerned about what I'm putting into my body.  I should be thinking about cutting calories, or cutting carbs, or cutting out whatever it is that we're all supposed to be cutting out these days.  But instead, I think about what tastes good and just eat a little less.  So sue me.

But here's the thing.  I'm happy to indulge in healthy options too -- as long as they taste good.  So imagine my surprise when today at the checkout I felt compelled to toss a copy of Cooking Light into my shopping cart.  The cover got to me.  There it was: a delicious chicken and plum dish calling out to me.  Choose me!  Make me for dinner tonight!

Once I got home, a closer look at the magazine revealed lots of chicken recipes that sounded good.  And they sounded appealing not because they were low in calories or low in fat.  They sounded good because they would be tasty coming from any cookbook or magazine.

I didn't make the chicken and plum recipe tonight.  Instead I went with a chicken and smoked chorizo stew from the same issue.  It was really flavorful and surprising rich for something so light.

You learn something new every day.  Today I learned that cooking light can be just as yummy as cooking not so light.  And I can have a bigger serving.

Recipe:  Chicken and Chorizo Stew
(Cooking Light Magazine, January, 2012)


2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
1 onion, quartered
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 ounces chopped Spanish chorizo
3 cups cubed red potato
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 14 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, reserving cooking liquid; cool. Shred chicken. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

Wipe pan with paper towels. Sauté sausage over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add potato, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and next 3 ingredients (through saffron); sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add reserved cooking liquid; bring to a simmer. Simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shredded chicken; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar. Ladle about 1 cup stew into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with parsley.

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