Bloody Mary Reassembled

Not sure if you are familiar with the game show, "Family Feud," but if you are, you would understand my saying: You would be hard pressed to find any contestant who would not yell out, "Bloody Mary!" when the word "brunch" popped up on the screen.  (If you are not familiar with the show, consider your time better spent.) After all, is the Bloody Mary not the quintessential brunch item?  But, who is she anyway - this Bloody Mary?

Name Origin

Here are a few gory stories tossed around  - just in time for Halloween:

There is this one:   Bloody Mary reaches all the way back to the time of Queen Mary I of England in the mid-1550s. The drink is a nod to her violent and ruthless leadership.

And this one - The tomato juice and celery medley could be named after Mary Kelly, the final victim of Jack the Ripper. Tales of the horrendous crime scene spread throughout Europe and America.

And even this one:  Bloody Mary refers to Mary Worth who was hanged for being a witch who kidnapped runaway slaves during the Civil War and kept them chained in her barn.

More theories to the name behind the cocktail lurk about.  But, let's leave it to the bartender historians to theorize and I will instead offer this:  a deconstructed Bloody Mary main dish.

The Goods

Here are "the goods" for this dish:
  • The greens provide fiber, folic acid, vitamins A and C and many other nutrients.
  • There is an extra high load of lycopene with the orange tomatoes. A small preliminary study  shows that the lycopene from orange/tangerine-colored tomatoes may be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. 
  • The celery is a great diuretic and kidney supporter.
  • The dish is filling.
  • The presentation is colorful and appetizing. 
  • Recent research shows horseradish as a cancer fighter and sinusitis aide.
  • Lemons and their peels offer vitamin C and many other nutrients.
  • Olive oil is a healthy fat that provides tyrosol which lowers the risk of developing cancer, dementia, and  coronary heart disease. 

Bloody Mary Poached Chicken With Greens

Serves 4

This can be made ahead and the chicken and tomato topping can be warmed and assembled over the greens later.


For the chicken:
  • 2 cup of filtered water
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • several shakes of Tabasco sauce
  • 3 organic chicken breasts
For the topping:
  • 2.5 cups orange cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or made into a paste
  • 2 small celery stalks finely diced 
  • 5 green onions, chopped – save one for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of a small organic lemon or 1/2 of a larger one
  • zest of organic lemon
  • 3 drops of Tabasco or more if you like it hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
For the greens:
  • 4 cups of chopped greens (spinach, romaine, arugula)  
  • juice of an organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Now do this:

For the chicken:
  • To shallow pan, add water and next three ingredients.  
  • Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer.
  • Add chicken breasts and make sure they are submerged.  Add more water if necessary.
  • Simmer for 8 minutes.  
  • Flip chicken and simmer 6 more minutes or until done.  
For the topping:
  • While chicken is poaching, heat oil in medium low pan and add tomatoes and garlic with a pinch of salt. 
  • Heat until they start to soften and break down, about 7 - 10 minutes.
  • Smash tomatoes a little with back of spoon or potato masher.
  • Add celery as well as rest of ingredients and stir for 1-2 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings.
For the greens:
  • Mix lemon juice with olive oil and salt.
  • Toss mixture with greens.

To serve, slice chicken on the diagonal and place in center of dressed greens. Spoon tomato mixture over the chicken and garnish with green onions.

photo credit: <a href="">Abhishek Jacob</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>