Chicken, wine get stewed

Protein, carbs in dish good fit for athlete's training

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It's getting harder and harder to sit down for Sunday dinner with my daughters, who in just a few months will graduate from high school and are busy juggling part-time jobs with school and boyfriends.

So when the stars finally do align for a family meal, I want to make it extra special.

This dish from "The Athlete's Palate" hits on all cylinders. Not only does it smell like heaven while it's cooking, but it tastes terrific, too.

Loaded with protein and carbs, it's also a good fit for my latest obsession: my Pittsburgh Marathon training meal plan.

I served the chicken with a choice of brown rice or toasted quinoa pilaf, with plenty of sauce spooned on top.

Don't worry about the alcohol in the wine; most of it will have cooked out by the time you ladle it onto a platter.

Chicken Stewed With Red Wine and Mushrooms

Serves 4.

Adapted from “The Athlete’s Palate Cookbook” by Yishane Lee (Rodale, $13.09 Kindle edition).

2 tablespoons sugar

⅛ teaspoon each ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, salt and black pepper

Pinch each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg

8 skinless chicken thighs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 leek (white part only), diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1½ cups red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1½ cups chicken stock

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or green onions

Brown rice or cooked quinoa

Mix sugar and spices together. Rub chicken with the mixture. Refrigerate chicken overnight.

Remove chicken from fridge 1 hour before cooking. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Brown chicken on both sides and remove it from the pot; set aside.

Add onion, leek, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and bay leaves. Simmer until mixture is reduced by one-quarter. Add stock, then return chicken to pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot again. Skim excess fat off the top. Simmer until liquid thickens into a sauce, about 15 minutes. Stir in half the parsley.

Place chicken on plates, spoon sauce on top and garnish with remaining parsley. Serve with brown rice or cooked quinoa.

Per serving (without rice or barley): 440 calories, 32 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 14 gram fat.