Tax Time for Frugal Fiddleheads
You know it’s Spring in Calgary when the birds are singing and the Sun is shining brightly above. Our awesome Alberta farms are all about to explode with outstanding colours and tasty bounty that’ll soon be at the Kingsland market. Garages are busy with the seasonal tire changes and all of the winter coats are packed away for another season. It’s time to take out the baseball bats, the mountain bikes and the golf clubs. And look! Our Flames are already out there on the greens. It’s getting warm and toasty, and oh wait; it’s panic time because Income Tax deadline is just around the corner!
Yes, it’s THAT time again, when the calculators, the boxes of receipts and the accountants come out in droves. A time when households all over are screaming murder about their printers running out of ink as we print out form after form. And it’s a time of Canadian unity when our voices are one, from the BC coasts to the rocky shores of the Maritimes, in quietly grumbling about paying the taxman.
So, with a calculator running in my mind and something fresh and yummy in my heart, I walked through the Market for a nice easy dinner for 2, with a total ingredient portion cost of about $5 a person (after all, I did just pay my taxes). Heather, the Wednesday blogger of Hidden Gems, suggested that Prairie Farms just brought in fiddleheads and were in season. So why not? It’s a short season, and when done well, is absolutely fantastic (I can’t even begin to describe it with any justice, so check out Gabe’s description in Bachelor Chow last week.) In order to flesh out the meal a bit, just add a few more root veggies that would roast well, a chicken thigh or two, and voila, something nice and easy and won’t break the bank! And so the Fiddlehead Chicken with Roast Maple Veggies came to be.
(By the by for all you history buffs, Canada’s income tax was introduced in 1917. WWI had just finished, and we really needed the money to pay for the whole effort. After all, sending out an astounding 620,000 Canadian boys and girls to fight was NOT cheap, especially in those days where transportation across oceans took days to weeks. Still, it was a “temporary” measure, and our forefathers agreed that a few years of penny pinching weren’t such a bad idea. Of course, almost 100 years later, we’re still paying it. (I always wondered what their definition of temporary was.) Oh, and if you haven’t gotten it done yet, the deadline is this MONDAY THE 30th, so chop to it people!
Fiddlehead Chicken with Roast Maple Veggies
Serves 2, takes about 10 minutes of work, 30 minutes to cook
- 2 cups chopped vegetables (I chose veggies that can roast well like carrots, squash, zucchini and onion. Potatoes, diced or cut into wedges is also an option!)
- 2 chicken thighs
- 1 cup fiddleheads (Prairie Farms just got them!)
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 3 tbsp. oil (separate into portions of 2 and 1 tsp., and I prefer Olive Oil)
- 1 pat of butter
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup (if you want to add a little more, it’s ok, but don’t go overboard or else the maple will overwhelm the fiddleheads)
- 2 tsp. rosemary (separate into 2 1tsp. portions)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Cookie Sheet and 2 bowls
Grab a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grab the fiddleheads and rinse them well. Fiddleheads tend to have a lot of hidden dirt, simply by the nature of its shape and way they’re grown. Besides, it’ll be way better without any grit.
Boil water in a small pot, prepare a bowl with really cold water and spread some paper towels out onto a plate or a flat surface. Toss the fiddleheads in for 3 minutes. Drain the boiling water, and toss the fiddleheads into the cold water just long enough to cool it down to handle. Drain the cold water and dump the fiddleheads onto the paper towels and pat them down to dry them off. Set aside.
In another bowl, toss the chopped veggies with the 2 tsp. of oil, vinegar, garlic, maple syrup and 1 tsp. of the rosemary. Spread them our evenly onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Season the chicken with 1 tsp. of oil and what’s left of the rosemary. Add the butter to the pan and sauté the fiddleheads for a minute or two. Add the chicken thighs and brown it on both sides.
Go get the cookie sheet with the veggies, and scatter and mix the sautéed fiddleheads with the rest. Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables. Roast for about 20 minutes, and make sure that the chicken isn’t pink inside.
Terrence is many things, an amateur detective, a traveller in search of new adventures, a dedicated fantasy sci-fi geek, a student of history and politics, and a fervent advocate of dragon boating, medieval sword combat and modern chivalry. But throughout all that, he’s a foodie seeking new cultures, flavours, the perfect Montreal smoked meat sandwich in Calgary and the best place to hide some of his favorite KFM snack finds into his home before his partner catches him. He welcomes any input, questions or suggestions through his email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on his Yelp page: http://terrencelo.yelp.ca (check out the Montreal smoked meat list!) or via Twitter @terrylo_calgary