Hearty Chicken Dish with Aromatic Tomato Sauce


1 Tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup warm water
8 chicken thighs, on the bone
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup tomato puree
1 cup tomato stock
3 Tbsp finely minced fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper


  1. In a small bowl, re-hydrate mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms and chop finely.
  3. Strain remaining liquid through a damp paper towel to catch any grit. Reserve mushrooms and liquid separately.
  4. Season chicken with salt & pepper.
  5. In a large skillet coated with oil, add chicken skin side down. Brown for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Turn chicken and cook for approx. 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer chicken onto a plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat.
  8. Return skillet to moderate heat.
  9. Add garlic and cook until it starts to colour.
  10. Add 2 Tbsp of parsley and saute briefly.
  11. Add mushrooms, tomato puree, stock and reserved liquid. Bring to a simmer.
  12. Return chicken skin side up. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  13. Transfer chicken to a warm plate. Boil sauce on high heat until it thickens.
  14. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with remaining parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: ciao!

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New Study Shows Drinking Alcohol, Even Light-to-Moderate Amounts, Provides No Heart Health Benefit

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.

The new research reviewed evidence from more than 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health for over 260,000 people. Researchers found that individuals who carry a specific gene which typically leads to lower alcohol consumption over time have, on average, superior cardiovascular health records. Specifically, the results show that individuals who consume 17 percent less alcohol per week have on average a 10 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index.

“These new results are critically important to our understanding of how alcohol affects heart disease. Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health,” says co-lead author Michael Holmes, MD, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of Transplant Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “For some time, observational studies have suggested that only heavy drinking was detrimental to cardiovascular health, and that light consumption may actually be beneficial. This has led some people to drink moderately based on the belief that it would lower their risk of heart disease. However, what we’re seeing with this new study, which uses an investigative approach similar to a randomized clinical trial, is that reduced consumption of alcohol, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may lead to improved cardiovascular health.”

In the new study, researchers examined the cardiovascular health of individuals who carry a genetic variant of the ‘alcohol dehydrogenase 1B’ gene, which is known to breakdown alcohol at a quicker pace. This rapid breakdown causes unpleasant symptoms including nausea and facial flushing, and has been found to lead to lower levels of alcohol consumption over time. By using this genetic marker as an indicator of lower alcohol consumption, the research team was able to identify links between these individuals and improved cardiovascular health.

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council, and was an international collaboration that included 155 investigators from the UK, continental Europe, North America, and Australia.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

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