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Here’s a family favorite. My husband says this is the best cauliflower he’s ever had. We all really like Smashed Cauliflower better than mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauli is a fun Paleo or GAPS alternative to mashed potatoes, a boon for many of us. But smashed cauli is waaay yummier, in our estimation. You get a better texture, and a better flavor; it’s just better. I hope you make this and agree. My cauli mash is made with the pan juices of the baked chicken, soo yummy!!!
The baked chicken- well, it’s made with a super easy summer rosemary-honey simple syrup! There’s almost no prep involved with this recipe; but infused honey water (although it sounds fancy it’s almost no work) makes the recipe taste complex, which the flavors actually are. Dijon mustard is also added- oh I love! But can be left out for the GAPS version and will still have your family saying what a yummy dinner you’ve made. (What a good feeling!)
Serve the moist chicken atop the smashed cauliflower, and spoon pan juices over all. Add a bit of fresh rosemary too; and you have such a pretty feast.
Let me know how you like it!
Rosemary-Honey Chicken with Smashed Cauliflower
- 3.5-4 lbs. organic chicken thighs skinless, boneless (OR with skin and bone, if preferred)
- ⅓ cup filtered water
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup dijon mustard optional (not GAPS)
- 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1/2-¾ cup pan drippings from baked chicken
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a large casserole dish with a lid.
- Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Turn off heat. Add honey, stirring to dissolve. Add rosemary and cover to steep for two hours. Remove any twiggy rosemary branches. Stir in optional dijon mustard, until fully incorporated.
- Place chicken in large casserole dish. Spoon rosemary syrup over chicken. Drizzle olive oil over chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and place in preheated oven for 1-1.5 hours, until juices run clear when poked deeply with a knife. Remove chicken and turn oven heat down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, after first placing chicken in the oven, wash cauliflower and remove outer green leaves. Place whole cauliflower (uncut) into crock of simmering bone broth or a steamer basket over simmering water. (If you make bone broth, this method of cooking the cauliflower is really easy.)
- Allow cauliflower to simmer or steam until very fork-tender, about 1 hour. Carefully transfer it to an oven-proof bowl to cool slightly.
- Break it into small chunks with a spoon. Transfer 1/3-½ of the cauliflower to a blender. When the chicken is done cooking, use the gravy-like pan juices. Measure out about 1/3-½ the total pan juices, enough to puree the cauliflower to a creamy "baby food" consistency. Also add the ½ tsp. sea salt to the blender. Keep the chicken dish uncovered* and place it back in the oven while you prepare the cauliflower. Puree cauliflower till smooth, adding more pan juices as needed.
- Stir puree back into bowl of small cauliflower chunks. Place this bowl into the warm 325 degree oven. Allow both chicken and cauliflower to get toasty hot and a wink toasty, 10 minutes more in the oven. Serve with extra pan juices spooned over the top of both.