Wednesday, August 31

Solar Chicken and Mussels in Garlic Sauce - Redoux

This is a repost of a recipe that has proven to be delicious and memorable every time I've cooked it and decided to share it with my newer followers whilst there was still some light, summer, days to come. It's a combination you'd never think of -- until you try it -- and, then, can't imagine why you never thought of it, in the first place. Have fun and get ready to bow to compliments.

Chicken and Mussels in Garlic Sauce Over Spaghetti Squash
Ha ha ha...I tricked my sister! Told her we were having the chicken and mussels over spaghetti squash and it wasn't until later that she realized what I said...but, she loves both squash and pasta, so all was well. Exclamations of "OMG!" and, "This belongs on Gordon Ramsay's show" --(she's tends to exaggerate in the throes of an eating frenzy) was proof enough that I had scored big with this original recipe. Normally a graceful slow diner, I knew I had to eat fast, if I wanted a second helping -- of my own dinner!  ...great result! So good, I've shared it with Prairie Story's Recipe Swap Thursday #32 (It's entry number 45, so check out the others, too!

The Story of a Busy Solar Cooking Day
From muffins to personal pizza to Chicken and Mussels in Garlic Sauce, (a brilliant array of beiges on yellow spaghetti squash), the solar oven was having quite a day, and I was enjoying some serious energy savings.  Since I wanted to cook the spaghetti squash at the same time as the chicken, I used a loaf pan and covered it tight with aluminum foil. 

Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 5-6 skinless chicken pieces, 1 Tablespoon butter, 1 Tablespoon flour, 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon Soy Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 1-1/4 cups chicken stock. 2-3 dozen froze pre-shelled mussels. (Added at end of cooking period.) Spaghetti squash, whole.

Wash and dry chicken pieces, brown in olive oil over high heat.  Remove chicken to loaf pan. Deglaze skillet with Rice Vinegar, scraping dark bits from bottom of skillet; add butter and flour, stirring till smooth and starting to bubble; add minced garlic and let brown along with flour; add rest of ingredients, slowly, return to boil; pour over chicken.  For solar cooking, use SolarWear(tm) for easy placement and removal and cook at 225F for 3 hours; or, use your slow cooker for 4 hours or conventional oven for 2.5 - 3 hours. Here it is cooking in the solar oven and I've removed the cover (at bottom) so you can see the placement.

Dinner's almost ready. 

Just have to remove the bones and make the chicken pieces smaller so it will absorb all that luscious gravy!

Then, add the mussels that were defrosted and zapped in the microwave for about two minutes. Gently stir it all together; separate the spaghetti squash strands; and, serve! If you'd like more carbs with your meal, try pasta, rice, or other cooked grains as a base to sop up that nom-nom sauce.

Solar Energy Notes
Let's tally this day:  Muffins- 35 mins.; pizza - 35 mins.; squash and chicken - 3 hours = approx. 4.17 hours. That translates to roughly using 20,850 BTUs of conventional energy, oven or stovetop. (Don't know about you guys, but my electric company raises it's on-peak charges in the summer months from $3.73 to $5.02 per kw. I only used 7.68 kw from 6/1 to 6/17, and was billed at $25.11!) Solar energy - FREE!
You gotta love it.


  1. Sharlene, Another solar cooked feast! I love the way you use your own invented recipes to cook nearly everything in your solar oven. It's so inspiring to all of us newer solar cooker users.

  2. I love anything with chicken, mussles or garlic. So this meal is something I would love :-)

    Do You pay that much for electricity???? We pay around 1/3 dollar/ kilowatt hour (including taxes)! and we think we are skinned to the bones! Perhaps I shouldn´t complain about our prices that much then :-) :-) :-)
    Have a great midsummers day!

  3. That is very creative indeed. It sounds very healthy (well at least compared to that KFC/sushi roll heehee). I am a tad bit afraid of spaghetti squash but my mom makes it all the time. ---Thanks for your sweet comment :)

  4. Very tasty looking meal. I was incredibly impressed by the BTU stats, and jealous. Unfortunately, we live surrounded by trees and the only way I'd be able to use a solar cooker would be to go out in the middle of the street. Even then, I think it just has an hour or two of morning sun.

    Great for 95 degree days. not so much for solar cooking.

  5. I am fascinated by solar you have a certain kind of oven? What an awesome blog! Thanks for visiting me and I will definitely come back and see you again!

  6. OHHH I love me some spaghetti squash and now you just reminded me to make it!

  7. This is the first time I have heard of Solar cooking. Im assuming you have to be in the right area for it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and the comments. I hope it does help someone think about their long term future.

  8. Terria - Thank you. That's what I'm trying to do, is inspire even more solar cookers...

    Chirster - Try the recipe and let me know what you think...Oh, yes. What is the conversion from krona(?) to US Dollars? And, they have a bazillion little other charges that requires a doctorate to figure out, too! I guess that's the price we pay for a high-tech world... Bear in mind, that bill was based on a household where most of the cooking has been done outside!...

    Lori - I agree -- the KFC/Sushi roll was extravagant and DELICIOUS! Well worth the 8500 miles I had to mentally walk to feel good about it!!... and, you're welcome...

    Mom Chef - Welcome. I'm so sorry you're surrounded by trees, but, alas, so is my daughter and she can't stand it... they do have a patch of sun that's available midday (all you need is about 3 hours of sunlight) but, if that's not your situation, you'll have to just be jealous ( hugs!!) and live vicariously through my blog... until you find a location... but, all my recipes work equally as well in a conventional oven or slow cooker...

    Millennial Housewife - Yes, right now, I've been using a Global Sun Oven for the past five years, which is totally reliant on the sun. Within the next month or so, I will be unveiling an oven I've designed specifically for mainstream cooks, and I'm very excited about it... Please keep returning, simply because everyone is welcome, regardless of cooking method used.

    Christina - Did you fix the squash, yet?

    Reluctant Writer - Welcome. Hope you'll join us... solar cooking only requires access to the sun -- summer or winter... we have approx. 272 solar cooking days in NC but it's enough to give me significant savings on my electric bill.

    Twitter SolarChief

  9. telling people spaghetti squash is spaghetti is sneaky sneaky. i like that. :)


  10. What a great combination! Love the mussels and chicken. I don't know that I would have thought of putting them together, but when I imagine the taste, it works! ; )

  11. Found you on the SiTs site! I like the idea of your blog and Ill be back to check out more!


  12. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I'd never heard of solar cooking before, but I'm intrigued!! I'd also never heard of spaghetti squash. Looks AMAZING.


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