Solstice Chicken, Kalamata & Feta Pasta

Happy Summer Solstice!

The lighting in my kitchen can be described as “low” at the best of times given the one small, heavily shaded window. Tonight the light was almost nonexistent as the sky clouded up making this, the longest day of the year, feel much shorter than it was. But, because I use a Sun Bucket, the outdoor light only matters when I’m charging the vessel. I can cook with the stored solar energy inside my home, at night, or in the shade. The only thing the poor kitchen-lighting affects is the quality of my photographs. C’est la vie.

The Sun Bucket started at 625°F (329 C).

Tonight’s meal made a workhorse out of the Sun Bucket. To start, I boiled 1.8L of water. In 9 minutes, I had a rolling boil and in went 4 oz. of farfalle. I boiled the pasta for 11 minutes, uncovered, until it was al dente.

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In a new pan coated with cooking spray, I cooked up 4 strips of bacon that I roughly chopped. Once that was browned, I added 1 clove of coarsely chopped garlic, and two chicken breasts, cut into cubes. I let this all sizzle for a few minutes, stirring it occasionally to get some good color on the chicken. At some point I realized that my chopped red onion was still sitting on the counter, so I threw that in on top of the chicken. Better late than never.

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The pasta was returned to the pan with and a handful of sliced kalamata olives and some crushed red pepper flakes. I tossed everything together and let the pasta and olives warm through. Then, a little flat-leaf parsley and feta cheese to top it all off. This dish took a little under 36 minutes to make once the pasta was done.

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As delicious as this pasta is, the parsley hardly counts as a vegetable. I chopped the florets off of three small heads of broccoli, put them in a pot with a few tablespoons of water, and put it on the Sun Bucket. I used a lid to trap the steam and use the energy as efficiently as possible. Six minutes later and the broccoli was cooked through and bright green.

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The Sun Bucket was actively used for 57 minutes tonight and cooked approximately 2.4 kg of food with a caloric value of 1200 calories.



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