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Aromatherapy of the Senses – Aries

April 15, 2013, 12:00 AM

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By: Ann

 

Essential Oils:

 

Frankincense – Various species of frankincense trees grow wild throughout Western India, Northeastern Africa and Southern Saudi Arabia. The oil is distilled from the gum resin that oozes from incisions made in the bark of the trees. The oil is spicy, balsamic, green-lemon-like and peppery. It modifies the sweetness of citrus oils such as orange and bergamot. It is also the base for incense type perfumes and is important in Oriental, floral, spice and masculine scents. Aromatherapy benefits: calming, visualizing, meditative.

 

Neroli – Oil of neroli is distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. It has a very strong, refreshing, spicy, floral aroma and is one of the most widely used flower oils in perfumery. It is an ingredient in eau de cologne and blends well with citrus oils and floral oils. Neroli is also used in premium natural cosmetic preparations such as massage oils, skin creams and bath oils. Aromatherapy benefits: calming, soothing, sensual.

 

Pine – Pine oil is distilled from the twigs and needles of the Scotch pine that grows throughout much of Europe and Asia. It has a fresh, resinous, pine needle aroma. The oil is used to scent a number of household and personal care products such as room sprays, detergents, vaporizer liquids, cough and cold preparations and masculine perfumes. When used in skin care preparations, pine oil should always be well diluted as it can be irritating to sensitive skin. Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, invigorating.

 

Herbs:

 

Black Pepper: (spice) Dried, mature berries of a tropical vine. The whole dried berry (peppercorn) is used for black pepper.

Cloves: (spice) Dried, unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree. Intriguing, nail-like shape makes exotic garnish. Ground cloves very strong flavored and quite bitter tasting.

Coriander: (herb) Green leaves of a plant of the parsley family. Most frequently called “cilantro.” Strong, exotic flavor. Faint overtone of anise.

Cumin: (herb seed) Small, elongated, yellowish-brown seeds of a plant of the parsley family. Also “comino.” The aromatic flavor note in chili powder and essential in curries.

Ginger: (spice) Dried roots (rhizomes) of a member of the zingiber family. Root pieces are called “hands.” Smooth, straw-colored ones have been peeled, bleached.  Ginger is available in several different forms, the most common of which are fresh and powdered. Fresh ginger has a very sharp flavor.  Powdered ginger works well in baked goods, and is also useful in making spice rubs.

 

Recipe:

Baked Chicken Breasts with Apples

 

Here’s a new twist on chicken, not to mention a yummy way to get that apple a day into your diet.

Chef James Brockman chose chicken breasts for their low-fat content, but this dish is also delicious with legs and thighs. A touch of curry lends a slight Indian flair, but if you like food even spicier, feel free in Step 5 to add other spices. If you don’t like curry, you can leave it out and add a pinch of other spices (alone or in combination), such as cumin, oregano, coriander, black pepper or ginger.

Ingredients:

-    2 Tablespoons butter
-    Six 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-    Salt and pepper, to taste (to season chicken)
-    1 cup celery, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
-    1 cup red onion, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
-    1 cup carrot, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
-    3 apples, peeled and sliced into eight slices
-    1 Tablespoon curry
-    1 teaspoon cinnamon
-    2 teaspoons dried thyme
-    1/4 teaspoon salt (to season vegetables)
-    1/2 cup chicken broth
-    1/2 cup apple juice

Optional
-    One 8 oz. package sliced mushrooms
-    Pinch of cumin, oregano, coriander, black pepper and/or ginger

 

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and sear on both sides until lightly browned (approximately 2-3 minutes). Remove the chicken from the skillet and let the chicken rest on a plate while you prepare the vegetables and apples in the skillet.

Step 4: Add the celery, onions, carrot and apples to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the onions start to get tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Add the curry, cinnamon, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Step 6: Add the chicken broth and the apple juice and stir to combine.

Step 7: Place the chicken breasts on top of the apple mixture in the skillet or casserole, cover with lid and place in the preheated oven.

Step 8: Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Step 9: Serve the chicken with the apples and vegetables and pour the liquid from the pan on top of the chicken breasts.

 

 

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