Breakin’ A Leg in the Kitchen

Today’s challenge was an interesting mix of familiar and new, simple and challenging. My mystery items included fennel, chestnuts, and crab legs.

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The familiar part…crab legs. I LOVE crab legs. My dad devloped an allergy in his 40’s and I always fear that I’ll develop allergies later in life too. So far, so good though.

The new part…fennel annd chestnuts. I honestly can’t recall a time I’ve eaten either. And I’ve never cooked with either.

The simple part…Joe did give my permission to use the internet. A very generous relaxation of the rules thanks to two unfamiliar ingredients for me.

The challenging part…using the internet but still making it a fun challenge. Finding something that would work with ingredients that I already had in the house. Even though the internet was allowed, and extra shopping trip was not allowed.

I found this recipe for chestnut and apple stuffing. I had most of the ingredients, so I tweaked it a bit. I did not have challah bread but I did have some homemade gluten free bread I’d made last week. I roughly chopped it and toasted it.

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I added parsley and onion sauteed in butter and tossed the bread.

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I added chopped apples and chestnuts. And finally, chicken broth and an egg. Funny thing – I never kept broth on hand until I started these cooking challenges. They come in handy.

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I baked it and it was yummy! I should have added more chestnuts, but otherwise I’ll definitely make this again. Need other ideas for apples? Check out my three course apple meal.

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When I did a little research on the fennel I kept reading that it had a licorice taste. I was amazed at the strength of the licorice smell as soon as I cut into it! I made Joe stop playing video games to come smell it (yep, you read that right).

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I sliced it and tossed it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt and roasted it for about 30 minutes. I don’t really like licorice, but I did like this. And even with roasting, the licorice taste was still strong.

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I rinsed the thawed crablegs and cut slits into each leg. This helps cook inside the legs and to make the legs a little easier to break while eating.

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I boiled water, added butter, minced garlic, and lemon slices. I added the legs and boiled them for about 7 minutes. There are other ways to cook crab legs, but honestly, my favorite way ever is  grilled crablegs. Just a completely different taste.

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The final meal was pretty tasty. The fennel actually tasted really nice when mixed with the stuffing, so if I were to make it again I would add the fennel instead of roasting it separately. Crableg dinners are delicious, but they are a lot of work. Not the cooking part, but the leg breaking part.

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