Route 66-Eating on $66 a Week. Day 5

The Best Summer Dish You’ve Never Had

That’s “Mock Shoe” to you.

Dinner from the Farmer's Market

When I ran across a recipe for chicken maque choux in the pages of Gourmet 15 years ago, it became a summer standard. However I misplaced the recipe somewhere (probably with the socks from the dryer) and have improvised it over the years to what it is now. It probably isn’t  a true maque choux, (a braised corn, tomato and  pepper dish of French Acadian, Native American origin) or one Louisianans would endorse, but it’s fabulous and my rendition–and to date the best summer dish I know. It uses fresh corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic. I rubbed the chicken quarters I picked up last Friday–the most economical cut of chicken there is–with a mixture of cinnamon, cumin, garlic and onion powder, and  sauteed to a crispy brown. They’re then nestled in the sauteed vegetable mixture, covered and baked.  The corn mixture soaks up the yummy chicken juices for something my Southern neighbors would call a  sort of “fried corn” with chicken.

Saute fresh corn off the cob, green onions, pepper and tomatoes for the maque choux.

Browned spice rubbed chicken nestled over the maque choux ready to bake.

There was an abundance of patty pan squash at the farmers market, which I picked up for a buck a pound. I  could have added it to the maque choux, but as they were beautiful miniature specimens, I decided to saute and serve alongside the maque choux  instead. (Also, it’s always best to limit “stuff” in the corn for the kids). The chicken was a brand called  “smart chicken.” Labelled “air-chilled, no water added, natural and raised without antibiotics.” It was on sale last week and not what I usually buy, but boy, by the time I was done with it, indeed it was some smart chicken.

Select the smallest pattypan squash you can find, cut in half, and saute with some fresh basil.

Other recipes you might like:

Chicken Maque Choux Burgers

Chicken Maque Choux

If you want to make this more indulgent, use 2 strips of bacon or ham in place of the oil and add a splash of cream to the corn before baking.

Spice rub:

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon each sugar and pepper

1 tablespoon oil

4 chicken quarters

Corm mixture:

2 green or spring onions, chopped

4 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob

1 large tomato, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine spice mixture, rub over chicken. Heat oil in large oven-proof skillet. Brown chicken 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken to plate. Saute onions, corn, tomato  for 5 minutes. Place chicken on top of corn. Cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes.

Sauteed Patty Pan Squash

1 pound small patty pan squash, cut in half, horizontally

1 strip bacon or oil

fresh basil

Saute 1 strip of bacon or ham. Add squash and saute 7 minutes or until browned and tender. Sprinkle with basil.

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3 thoughts on “Route 66-Eating on $66 a Week. Day 5

    • No you do not need to peel the squash, the skin is just as it is on zuchini or summer squash. Also I actually boiled them whole for about 3 minutes, then sauteed them whole in butter and olive oil until browned, about 7 minutes then sprinkled with fresh basil. Just got some more too. Thanks Jill

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