Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beer and Honey Chicken with Balsamic Green Beans

     Almost three years ago, we went on our honeymoon to Galena, IL.  When we were planning it, I honestly wasn't sure about the place, but it was close and we were short on time/money, so I figured what the heck.  Turns out, if you're into wine, beer, food, and local history, it's a great place to go.  One of the best things about it is the number of little shops in the main downtown area, among them the Galena Garlic Company.  Remembering how much we loved some of their spice mixes (this is one of our all-time favorites), Jess got me a mixed pack for Valentine's Day.  Beer and honey rub?  Sounds interesting, for sure, and like something that I'd be down with.  C'mon, it even includes hops and yeast.  Bring it on!

     We honestly weren't really sure what to do with this, but since we had some awesome chicken breasts from Just Bare Chicken, we decided to sprinkle on a little of the rub, let it sit for several hours in the fridge, and grill it up.  Just before I turned the flame off, I drizzled just a bit of honey over both pieces, which added a little sweetness.  We wanted something healthy and delicious to go with this, and so we figured it was about time to write down our favorite green bean recipe (thanks to my dad and his garden for the awesome green beans!). 
     I use the term 'recipe' only in the loosest possible sense, as we have long since ceased to measure how much we actually use of each ingredient; the idea is to keep it healthy, so use minimal oil/butter, and not much bacon.  For you vegetarians out there, imitation bacon bits work as well.  Basically, heat a bit of olive oil or butter in a skillet and sautee some onions (white or yellow) over medium-low to medium heat until they start to turn translucent.  Add in your bacon pieces and sautee a little longer.  Throw in a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and a bit of minced garlic.  Throw in your green beans (ours come frozen from IL, and frozen beans work really well here) and turn up the heat.  When little bits of the onions/garlic/bacon start to look like they might be crisping up, deglaze with a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Throw in a dash of Emeril's Essence, stir well, and keep stirring until the beans are warmed through, and any liquid has been absorbed, but stop before anything starts to truly burn.  Keep in mind that these will look a lot darker/more burnt than they actually are, but after doing this a time or two, you figure out when to stop cooking. 

   I know it sounds like a weird combination of flavors, but it everything comes together to be incredibly mellow and delicious.  Ever since we pegged this recipe, this is about the only way we eat green beans any more, and they are delicious!   

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