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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Would you believe Southern California is experiencing the worst rain storm system in over 10 years?  Since we’ve moved here, there have been a handful of really beautiful days, but for the most part its either been really cloudy or rainy!  But sometimes it is nice to have an excuse to watch movies and stay in bed all day.  Because it’s been cold and rainy all weekend, I wanted to make something that would be warm and comforting.  My mom has been making this cornbread casserole for as long as I can remember and everyone always loves it!  I do love the cornbread part, but she makes hers with ground beef, which I don’t eat.  So I decided to switch it up tonight and try it with roasted chicken.  I’m pairing it with my favorite chicken toritilla soup – that sounds like the perfect comfort food combination to me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg beaters)
  • 1 can (10 oz) cream style corn
  • 1 small can Mexican corn
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups sharp shreaded cheese
  • 2 or 3 Jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • Shredded roasted chicken (I just bought a pre-made chicken and shredded the white meat.  If you want to try it with ground beef, use 1 lb.)

Directions

1)  Mix corn meal through next 7 ingredients (corn meal through salt).
2)  In a large greased dish, pour half of the corn meal mixture in the dish. Add chicken, layer the onions, red pepper, jalapeno peppers, and 3/4 of the cheese. Finish with the rest of the corn meal mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
3)  Bake for 1 hour at 350°

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Basil Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

One of the first restaurants Joe and I went to when we moved here to California was a Thai restaurant in Corona del Mar called Bamboo Bistro.  I had the most amazing basil chicken dish infused with garlic and lemon!  I do love basil, but must admit I was a little worried the basil would be overpowering.  It wasn’t.  The dish was so good, I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  Well, tonight I decided to come up with my own version of the Basil Lemon Chicken, and while you won’t find this on a typical Thai menu, it is really incredible.  Not only is it packed with the wonderful basil, lemon, and garlic flavors, it was quick and easy and required very few ingredients.  A great dish when you come home from work and don’t know what to make! 

 

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (diced)

1/2 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 small zucchinis

1 bunch basil, loosely torn

1 lemon

2 Tbs Soy Sauce (approx)

2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar (approx) – I was supposed to use rice wine vinegar, but grabbed the wrong bottle – didn’t realize til I was done cooking! 

Salt/ Pepper to taste

Olive Oil for cooking

Directions:

1.  Sautee onion and garlic with pinch of salt and pepper until opaque over med-high heat.  About 3-4 minutes.

2.  Add diced chicken and sautee on med-high heat until browned on both sides – about 5 minutes .  Once browned add zucchini.  Cook for another 3 minutes.

3.  Make sauce using juice from 1 lemon, soy sauce, and white wine vinegar.  Start with 1 Tbs each and then adjust to taste.  Whisk and add to pan along with bunch of basil. 

4.  Cook for a few more minutes on low heat.  Taste chicken/ zucchini and make sure there’s enough sauce.  I ended up adding a few more dashes of vinegar and soy.

5.  Serve along with brown rice and Enjoy!

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In case you haven’t noticed, I eat a lot of chicken and seafood, so I have to find ways to reinvent my favorite ingredients.  This recipe takes your ordinary sauteed chicken to a whole new level! I’ve crusted the chicken with special k, a little bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese then paired it with a lemon/ thyme white bean salad and fresh arugula on top.  The cannellini beans are so light and creamy and the crust from the chicken adds the perfect crunch too.  I think the key to this recipe though is making sure to pound your chicken very thin – it helps it maintain its moistness and it cooks more evenly.  If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, use an empty wine bottle like I do!

Ingredients:

1 can cannellini beans, strained

3-4 sprigs of thyme, stems removed and slightly chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 Lemon (1/2 for beans, 1/2 for arugula)

2 handfuls fresh arugula

salt/ pepper

For the Chicken:

2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts – pounded thinly

3/4 cup crushed Special K cereal

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 Tbs. shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup egg beaters (equal to 2 eggs, but without the cholesterol!)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Directions:

1)  You will need three small plates to prepare your chicken cutlets.  This can be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to saute.  You will form an assembly line of three plates.  Place flour, and a pinch of salt/ pepper on the first plate, eggs on the second, and mix the special k, breadcrumbs, and cheese on the third.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour, dust of any extra, then the eggs, then the cereal mixture – making sure to press the topping into the chicken so it sticks.

2)  Add 1/4 inch of extra virgin olive oil in saute pan and make sure to get very hot before adding chicken.  Add chicken and saute for approximately 4-5 minutes per side.

3)  Meanwhile add 1-2 tbs olive oil to second pan with minced garlic and thyme.  Add the cannellini beans, lemon juice from half a lemon, and a pinch of salt/ pepper.  Cook until heated through about 3-4 minutes.  Make sure not to over cook – they tend to break apart because they are so delicate.

4)  Plate beans, then chicken, and top with a handful of fresh arugula.  You will want to add a twirl or two of olive oil to the arugula along with lemon juice and salt (no pepper – it’s already peppery enough).

This is a great weeknight meal – and should take you less than 30 minutes to make.  Enjoy!

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My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember.  It’s definitely one of our go to meals – especially when we need to feed a big crowd.  It is by far my favorite chicken tortilla soup.  It’s loaded with veggies and I love that the chicken is shredded – it gives it really nice texture.  I’m not sure what else I can say about this soup except that I know you won’t be disappointed.  Hope you like it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken breasts with bone (boneless works too, but only cook for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp basil

dash of Tabasco

1 can tomato sauce- Hunts

3 12oz. cans stew tomatoes (check labels for brand with lowest sodium)

1 large can reduced sodium/ low fat chicken broth

4 carrots peeled and chopped

4 celery peeled and chopped

1 large green pepper chopped

1 large onion chopped

1 bunch green beans

1 head corn (fresh or canned)

1 clove garlic minced

Directions:

1.  Saute onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil

2. Add pepper, green beans, and corn. Stir in cumin and basil.

3. Add broth, tomato sauce, stew tomatoes, and chicken.

4. Cook on medium heat for 1 hour.  When chicken is cooked through, remove from soup and shred using two forks – return to soup and let simmer until ready to serve.

Top with shredded cheese, scallions, and toasted tortilla strips.

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Spring Chicken!

Sunday was the first day of spring and I got the urge to clean out a few boxes that had been piling up since we got married this past October.  The weather was beautiful, so after coming off a long, freezing cold winter the cleaning didn’t last too long.  I did however come across one of my favorite wedding gifts – my first roasting pan!  It was so nice and shiny and new, I just wasn’t ready to break it out yet.  But, with the start of spring, I thought now was the perfect chance.  So, not only was it my first time using my roasting pan, but this was my first roasted chicken too!  I have to admit, roasting a whole chicken has always sounded very intimidating, (which is why I usually buy them!) but I now firmly believe they are well worth the work.  And to be honest, they’re quite easy to make – really!  They just take a long time to cook…but you don’t need to baste it like you do a turkey, so it’s not a lot of work.  You can easily squeeze in a great workout, freshen up, and make a salad – all before the chicken’s done.  How’s that for time management?

Recipe from Ina Garten – for my first roasted chicken, I didn’t really try to make it my own.  Thanks Ina!

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
  • Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

1)  Remove the chicken giblets. Good news – these are usually already in a bag -so you won’t have to do too much dirty work. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.

2)  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.

3)  Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

This is the one step I will add:

4)  Carefully separate the skin from the breast meat.  You might have to use a knife to get it started.  Rub a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme under the skin.

5)  Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

6)  Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

7)  Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.

8)  Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

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This might be my new favorite go to meal!!  I finished making this maybe 30 minutes ago, and I couldn’t wait to post it to my blog.  I always love a new chicken recipe (esp. since I don’t eat red meat!), and this one tops the cake.  The combination of minced ginger, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce really come together to make this a delicious and incredibly light Asian stir fry.  (If only you could smell the pictures!)  Ginger has been a “trendy” ingredient with all the chefs and restaraunts for a while now, but I have to be honest, I’ve never used it fresh in any of my recipes.  Well, I must say, I’m a big fan, and hope to incorporate it in many more of my dishes.

PS:  From start to finish, this meal probably took about 20-25 minutes to make – so for those of you who think you don’t have time to cook after work, this is a great option.

Ingredients:

1  lb chicken diced

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

2 leeks, white parts thinly sliced (soak the sliced leeks in cold water for a minute to get out the grit)

1 piece ginger, minced (about the size of your thumb)

2 cans black beans

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon white rice vinegar

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

4-5 dashes of hot sauce

1 handful beansprouts

1 bag of spinach, sauteed

Directions:

1)  Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook for about 4-6 minutes or until cooked through.

2)  Add red pepper flakes, sliced leeks, minced ginger, and 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar.  Cook for 2 minutes.

3)  Add the black beans, soy sauce, remaining rice wine vinegar, bean sprouts, and hot sauce.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes then serve.

Serve over freshly sauteed spinach – it’s a great way to add some greens into your meal.

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