See what the buzz is all about

Excited for the Honey Fest at Glen Foerd this weekend? Try out these recipes to go along with it.

Meant to bee: This recipe for garlic honey chicken uses golden nectar.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

If you read this column regularly, you know I am all about bees and honey — especially honey bees. Where would we bee without our pollinators?

If you are interested, curious or just plain like honey or bees, the 8th Annual Honey Fest will be held this weekend. The buzz begins on Thursday in NE Philly, right in our own back yard at Glen Foerd, 5 to 9 p.m. It continues on Saturday at Wyck Historic House, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday at Bartram’s Garden, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All locations will feature family-friendly activities, including open-hive talks and demonstrations, honey extractions, honey tastings, mead and honey beer tastings, local honey for sale, bee-bearding demonstrations and vendors.

Did you know that a bee hive contains a ratio of about 40,000 female “workers,” to 8,000 male “drones,” but there can only be one Queen Bee. The worker female bees care for the queen, build honeycomb, guard the entry to the hive and bring food and water. Drone males do not help their sisters, but are cared for and fed. (Drones are also kicked out of the hive at the end of the summer season.) The Queen takes her virgin flight to mate, and then she never leaves the hive, but does lay eggs every day. Honey bee females can sting only once, because they die afterward. Honey bee males do not sting. Come to the Honey Fest to learn more about these interesting, industrious, fascinating creatures that pollinate our crops and give us honey. Come see what the buzz is about, and bring your “honey.”

Here is a recipe that uses that golden nectar.

GARLIC HONEY CHICKEN

4 chicken thighs, bone-in

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (a few sprigs) or 1 tsp. dried thyme

1/3 cup honey

1 lb. string beans, trimmed

1 pt. cherry tomatoes

Zest of 1 lemon, juice of one-half lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet, and over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter.

Season thighs with salt and pepper. Add the thighs, skin-side down, and sear on both sides until chicken is golden brown. (3–5 minutes per side.)

Remove chicken thighs and set aside.

Drain excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Return skillet to medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the thyme, honey, lemon zest and juice, and stir. Bring sauce to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the pan. Coat each piece with the sauce. Turn off heat.

Move the chicken to one side of the pan. Add the string beans and the tomatoes to the pan.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes. (Give the string beans a stir after 15 minutes) or until chicken is cooked.

Partner honey chicken with the following rice dish.

RICE WITH CILANTRO AND LIME

2 cups long-grain white rice

½ tsp. salt

2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water

(Note: This recipe also works well with cold, cooked rice.)

1 cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 2 limes

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves

½ tsp. cumin

Zest from 1 lime

Cook rice in your usual method using the chicken stock, water and salt until rice is tender. Remove pot from heat. Remove lid, insert a dish towel over pot, replace lid, and allow to sit 5–10 minutes. The towel will absorb some of the rice moisture.

Sauce: In a blender or food processor, mix the cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic and cumin. Mix until just blended.

Stir the sauce and zest into the cooked rice.

Note: If using cold rice, mix in sauce and zest and heat in microwave.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats-cook-inNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.