Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 30: Meet Joe Black

No, this isn't referring to the movie with Brad Pitt playing the protagonist; it's referring to my love of a good cup of joe, otherwise known as coffee. However, unlike the movie title, I do not like my coffee black and nowadays, I like to put some cinnamon and almond milk in it. However, one of the reasons I changed my lifestyle is because it's really true what they say: "You are what you eat." And I do know who I am, but sometimes I just have trouble accepting my limitations, like my coffee addiction. I know its acidity upsets my sensitive stomach, but it's my vice! However, with this year's resolution, I am trying to cut back (and I'm a huge fan of tea lattes as well thankfully), so I found a loophole: Why not COOK with it, eh? I know, that's still consuming it, just not as a pure drink, so maybe that's better? I don't know. Either way, I did my research of various coffee marinades and rubs, I adapted my own recipe to come up with this one:

Espresso Marinated Chicken with Brussel Sprouts and Collard Greens
Makes 4 servings and 1 cup marinade

2 large frozen chicken breasts
1 dozen frozen brussel sprouts
1 c. frozen collard greens (high in fiber and vitamin C!)
2 tsp ground coffee

3/4 c. freshly brewed espresso and/or coffee (I used this amazingly light Taiwanese brand that I don't know the name of in English mixed with some Folger's Bold coffee)
1/8 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 shakes of black peppercorns
1 tbsp light maple syrup
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 packet stevia
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tsp almond butter

1) Prepare the marinade by mixing the hot coffee with the other ingredients, mixing it until it's smooth.
2) Line a roasting pan or a deep baking pan (mine was 9x13x2) with aluminum foil, making sure it laps over the edges--this will make for an easier cleanup later.
3) Place chicken breasts on the pan, surrounding them with the brussel sprouts and collard greens.
4) Pour the marinade over the chicken and veggies, saturating them completely.
5) Sprinkle the 2 tsp of coffee over the chicken breasts.
6) Place pan in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight. (I'm going to bake this after my evening class later.)
7) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
8) Remove chicken from refrigerator and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. *Make some small slashes in the breasts to make sure that they're not raw after 20 minutes--you don't want to overcook the chicken!
9) Remove from oven and serve immediately! Save leftovers in sealed containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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