Friday, July 3, 2009

Week 3: It's Not for the Squeamish

: Chicken With Rhubarb, Raisins, and Green Olives

Our farm practices Integrated Pest Management. Which is to say, the pests are integrated with the vegetables. I think it's a small price to pay for the quality and freshness of the produce, but it markedly distinguishes farm purchases from supermarket purchases: You get dirt and you get bugs. Sometimes in great quantity. And you get good in washing everything v-e-r-y carefully.

This week, I washed three heads of lettuce and our first bunch of Swiss chard (whoo-hoo) leaf by leaf. And it was worth it, though time consuming. The chard was sauteed with garlic and onion. The lettuce became salad and stir fry, as in past weeks. And we also enjoyed fresh peas, strawberries, and radishes.

With rhubarb from a neighbor's garden we tried this chicken dish. The recipe was clipped a few years back from the Boston Globe's Sunday Magazine.

Chicken With Rhubarb, Raisins, and Green Olives


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup white wine
1 cup stock or water
4 large stalks rhubarb, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped [I substituted about 1 Tbsp minced ginger]
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 cup green olives
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
6 bone-in chicken breasts
Additional olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Set the oven to 500 degrees. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the onion over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for half a minute.

Pour the wine into the pan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and reduce the liquid to one-half cup.

Add the stock (or water), rhubarb, ginger, sugar, raisins, olives and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, arrange the chicken, skin side up, in a baking pan large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Rub the chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Turn the chicken over. Spoon the rhubarb mixture on top and return dish to oven. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up again and cook another 10 minutes or until it is cooked through.

Serves 4 to 6.


  1. Can a woman love Swiss Chard too much??

    Fun blog and I will be trying some of these recipies.

  2. -- Can a woman love Swiss Chard too much??

    Possibly. It depends on how many weeks it shows up in her basket.

    -- Fun blog and I will be trying some of these recipies.

    Glad you like it!