Solar Chicken Stew Italian Style

This classic Italian stew goes great with good, crusty bread or a nice pot of Sun Oven Polenta.

Sun Oven Pollo alla Cacciatora

Ingredients

1 (4 to 4 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into eight pieces

6 bay leaves

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

3 cloves garlic, 1 crushed, 2 sliced

2 cups dry red wine

flour, for dusting

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 anchovy fillets

1/2 cup black olives

2 (14-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, with their juices, roughly chopped

Preparation

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and put them in a bowl. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, and the crushed clove of garlic. Pour the wine over the chicken, cover and marinate at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

Set the Sun Oven out to preheat. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Brown the chicken and transfer to a plate. Add the sliced garlic to the Dutch oven and cook for about 1 minute. Add the anchovies and then the reserved marinade. Use a wooden spoon to scape up any browned bits and continue cooking until the wine is reduced by about one half. Add the olives and tomatoes. Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven, cover, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the chicken is fork tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Skim off excess fat from the top of the sauce. Remove and discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Soup to the Rescue

We’ve been fighting off  the sniffles around here for the past few days and what could be better than some solar cooked chicken soup? First thing this morning I got the stock going. Things were a little touch and go there for a while, with the sun going in and out behind the clouds, but the Sun Oven’s temperature never dropped below 200F and it was ready by noon. That left plenty of time, and sunshine, to make a nice pot of comforting soup for dinner.

Sun Oven Chicken Soup

Ingredients

Read more »

Frozen Chicken – Before and After

Sun Oven cooking, or any other method of cooking, doesn’t always require a recipe or even planning ahead.

If you have some chicken in the freezer and vegetables in the fridge you’ve probably got all the ingredients for dinner. Earlier today I chopped up a rutabaga, a red onion, and some butternut squash (all were dangerously close to becoming compost) tossed them with some olive oil, and topped them with some frozen chicken pieces.

After a few hours in the Sun Oven dinner was ready to be served.

Indian Style Solar Braised Chicken and Onions

If you’re dining after dark the final steps of this recipe, adding the raw onions and strained yogurt, can be done stovetop just before serving. Chicken breasts can also be used instead of thighs.

Sun Oven Chicken Do Pyaza

Ingredients

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

2 large onions

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

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Sun Oven Chicken Filipino Style

Chicken Adobo is easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser. Serve it with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables.

Sun Oven Chicken Adobo

Ingredients

1 (3 pound chicken) skinned and cut into 8 pieces

5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 bay leaves

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

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The Quest for Crispiness

There are an infinite number of chicken recipes that are only improved by solar cooking but obtaining crispy skin is a challenge. A challenge I’m still working on. The moist environment and relatively low temperature of the Sun Oven’s cooking chamber lends itself better to slow braising. Not the best cooking method if you want some crunch to your chicken.

After hearing about a new way to prep chicken, or other meats, for roasting on Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s radio show “The Splendid Table” this weekend I had to give it a try. Her  guest, Molly Stevens, described a simple method of seasoning the meat with kosher salt and letting it mature in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to (I believe) two days.

With sunny days in the forecast for the rest of the week I got a batch going Tuesday evening. All you have to do is season the chicken with kosher salt, about 1/2 teaspoon per pound. Place it in a baking dish and refrigerate it, uncovered over night or longer. To cook it I let it come to room temperature before putting it on a rack in a baking dish. Then I covered the dish with tin foil and a dark tea towel and put it in a preheated Sun Oven.

After an hour I took a peek. It didn’t look quite done and the skin was still a pale yellow. At this point I decided to let it cook uncovered hoping the skin would brown more. After another 20 minutes in the Sun Oven the result was meat that was moist and delicious and skin that wasn’t soggy but wasn’t exactly crisp either. I think I should have resisted the temptation to uncover the dish. I’ll try it again; hopefully next week’s forecast will be favorable to starting a dish so far in advance. That’s always a risk for the solar chef.

Mediterranean Solar Braised Chicken

When using the Sun Oven, you can never have too many chicken recipes.

This one is good served over rice or with a crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Sun Oven Braised French Basil Chicken

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

This Vietnamese style chicken soup is a meal in a bowl. Serve it with garnishes on the side for each person to add in the amount and combination they want. Hot sauce and hoisin sauce can also be offered.

Sun Oven Chicken Pho

Ingredients

1 pound chicken thighs, skinned

6 fresh cilantro sprigs

3 scallions, white and green parts separated

2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed and unpeeled

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 star anise

8 cups chicken broth

salt to taste

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Let the Sun Oven Do Most of the Work

A simple mixture of rosemary, garlic, and sunshine is enough to make roast chicken that’s always a crowd pleaser.

Solar Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

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Hearty Winter Solar Soup

This autumn-colored soup is perfect on a cold winter’s night. Cook the base in the Sun Oven then gently reheat it at dinner time adding the final touches as it simmers on the stove. You’ll need a large 5 to 6 quart pot and will most likely have to remove the leveling tray to fit it in the cooking chamber. Chicken breast can be used in place of the thighs, but I prefer the flavor and texture of the latter.

Sun Oven Curried Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

4 cups chicken broth

1 can (13 1/2 ounces) coconut milk

2 tablespoons mild curry powder

4 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds) skin and visible fat removed

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

4 green onions, thinly sliced (keep green and white parts separate)

Read more »

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