Collard Greens Soup

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Ingredients

1/2 lb. stew beef cut into small pieces (or other cut that will render lots of flavor- I used some leftover braised short ribs)
1 large bunch collard greens
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup white beans (cannellini or northern beans) or 1 can, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coarse grits
1/4 cup corn flour
7-9 cups of water
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions

Brown the beef in the pot you will use to make the soup in.  It does not necessarily need to cook all the way through as it will be added back later.  Once browned, set aside.

Wash the collards to get all of the gritty bits out. Chop the stems finely and cut the leaves into square pieces.  Set aside.

Boil 2 quarts of chicken stock in a large pot.  Add the collard greens and grits, paprika & pepper flakes. Cook until soft (20-25 minutes).

Add the beans and the corn flour: be sure to keep stirring while adding it to prevent lumps.

Add the beef back to the pot.  Turn the heat to low and cook for half an hour to let the soup thicken, stirring every few minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Almost Turkish Recipes.

Honey Garlic Chicken in the Slow Cooker

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Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 sliced scallions
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker with no overlapping bits.

In a small dish, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes, and pour the sauce over the chicken.

Put the cover on the slow cooker and cook on a low heat for 5 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and put it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then set the shredded heap aside in a bowl.

In a small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.

Transfer the liquids from the slow cooker to a small saucepan set over a medium heat and whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and thickens a bit (about 3 minutes). Pour the sauce over the chicken, and stir to combine.

Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe slightly adapted from Just A Taste.

White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, chunked (my personal favorite these days is Vermont Smoke & Cure)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked cannelini beans (I prefer to soak & cook my own, but if you do canned, 1 can will suffice)
2 cans (4 oz.) diced green chiles (hot or mild, depending on your personal preference)
1/2 cup Cotija cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

In a hot Dutch oven, cook the bacon to render its lovely fat and brown the meat up.  Next remove the bacon and set it in a dish to the side.

Season your chicken breasts with salt, pepper, cumin & paprika and brown them in the bacon fat.  At this point you need not cook them all the way through, just make them easy to chunk up.  Once  browned, remove the breasts and let them rest on a cutting board while adding the onion to the pan and reducing the heat, and cook the onion until it begins to be translucent.  When it’s almost there, add the garlic.

Add the bacon back to the pan. Cut your cooked chicken into bite-sized chunks and add it to the mix.  Stir  in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, white beans, and green chiles. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a slow boil and cook, uncovered, stirring as needed until the liquid has reduced to your level of preference.

Serve with crumbles of Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro on top (and maybe a piece of bacon.

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen.