Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

It’s National Chicken Day

chickenimages
and National Candy Day. Oh the possibilities.

And according to those who insist on making everything about the bizarre, it’s also Waiting for the Barbarians Day, but I don’t think you want me to talk about that in terms of food-relatedness. That would be gross.

AND, if that’s not enough- these food holidays are everywhere!- the first week in November is National Fig Week, I imagine because figs are becoming ripe and ready to devour right about now. Anybody got any?? I love a good fresh squishy tasty fig. And I even love them dried.

Let’s start at the beginning and quickly move on….I mean, seriously, write about chicken?? What can be said that hasn’t been said? What could be done with it that is fresh and new? Chicken is the most widely used domesticated fowl in the entire world, and in terms of cooking, there are those who either love or hate it. It’s everywhere you look. Yes, the ubiquitous boneless skinless breast is lean and a decent source of protein, but the ones that you can normally buy in the market are almost always twice the standard portion size, so if you even eat one of them you’re likely eating too much. They also tend towards flavorless and dull, except, as those would argue, they become a virtual tabula rasa for anything you wish to add.  Sure, yeah…..and if you aren’t careful you’ll overcook the thing and it becomes stringy white fowl flesh to choke down. But don’t get me wrong; I buy them and we use them a lot, and I can cook them to be tender, moist, flavor-filled and delicious but I think I am in the minority. I’ve heard way too many arguments against them from others, and it’s just one of those food items that comes down to personal taste. They are all like that and we all just need to deal with it. I don’t begrudge anyone’s choices.

I personally love chicken thighs. I have always been a dark chicken devotee from the time I can recall eating it, and it likely stems from attempting to struggle through an overcooked piece of white meat. But even when I finally discovered that it didn’t have to be that way, the dark meat still remained a favorite. The thighs can be very cheap, and your best bet is to learn how to de-bone them as it will save you at the check-out. Even if you don’t remove the bone prior to cooking, it’s pretty simple to slip the meat free once it’s done. These always hold up well on the grill and take on a marinade like a champion prize fighter. They are nearly impossible to wreck.

chickencows


I love this hilarious ad campaign. We aren’t big consumers of beef, much to my child’s angst, so I can’t agree more with the Chik-Fil-A cows who urge us all to ‘Eat mor chik-n’.

It’s now about Figs.

figs


I love figs- fresh, dried, in a Newton- they are perfectly wonderful food. Figs go wayyyyyy back and are considered of utmost importance in terms of being objects of worship and cultural interest in many areas of the world. They are noted as being one of the first plant species deliberately bred for agriculture in the Middle East more than 11,000 years ago. We all know what happened in the Garden with the fig leaf, and they are listed as one of the foods found in the Promised Land according to the Torah. It is one of the two sacred trees in Islam, and is pivotal in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism religions and they are a key component in many tropical rainforests providing food to many animal and bird species. They are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and calcium and have shown to offer protection against macular degeneration. Of the more than 150 varieties grown around the world, the most popular ones are the Black Mission, Calymyrna, Brown Turkey, Kadota and Adriatic, and all of them are subtley varied in terms of flavor and dramatically in color.

Then, finally- CANDY.

I’m not a huge candy eater but I do love my dark chocolate. Our trick-or-treaters got a wide selection of minis of every kind, and hands down when I told them to pick something, they grabbed for the little boxes of Junior Mints. Those disappeared the fastest.  I certainly can’t argue; my absolute favorite thing to nibble on lately has been something very similar.

squares_mint
This, to me, is the perfect marriage of chocolate and mint. Not too much of one or the other, and it’s dark chocolate so who can argue? The other perfect combination that I love is the little miniature Milky Way Midnights. Talk about perfection! One little bite of intense dark chocolate and the nougat-y caramel-y goodness of Milky Way. I made sure there were some of those in my Halloween hand-outs strictly so I could indulge. I used to LOVE candy as a kid, and recall with great fondness riding my bike to the local corner shop to peruse the candy selection with my sisters and neighborhood friends. I loved Sugar Babies, Bubs Daddy, Hot Tamales, Brown Cows and LifeSavers. I don’t need candy in my life anymore, but a bite here and there is very satisfying. I’m really glad to have gotten my candy-eating out of my system.

Happy Candy Day, Chicken Day and Fig Week!

{{information for this post was found on the California Fig Board website and The World’s Healthiest Food website. Candy image from Ghiradelli.com, cows from Chik-Fil-A}}

nablopomo21

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Arroz Con Pollo
(From the nameless Food Network personality)

1 (3-pound) whole chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 T. dried oregano
2 t. sweet paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
2 dried chorizo sausages (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cups long grain white rice
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes with liquid
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warm
1 cup pimento stuffed green olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons oil, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne. Rub each piece of chicken with the spice paste and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes for the flavor to develop.

In a heavy, ovenproof casserole with lid, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Fry the chorizo over medium heat until it is crispy and renders its fat. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes Remove from pan and set aside. Make a sofrito by sauteing the onion, garlic, bell pepper and bay leaves; cooking until the vegetables are very soft and almost dissolved. Stir in the rice so the grains are well coated with the sofrito.

Crush the tomatoes lightly with a wooden spoon and add the tomatoes and broth, season with salt and pepper. Return the chorizo and chicken to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and transfer pot to oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done and the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Scatter the olives on top of the chicken and rice before serving.

Colombian Arepas (thin corn cakes)
1 c. masa harina (no substitute)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. hot water

Stir together salt and masa harina. Pour in water and mix with spoon. Dough will be crumbly- DO NOT add more water. Resist! Get your hands in it and press it together- it should be dry. Break off small amounts and press them between your hands to flatten them. Fry them in oil in a hot skillet until both sides are browned. Serve hot. I add to the dough about a cup of frozen corn kernels that I put through a few pulses in the food processor.

NOTES FROM KATE’S KITCHEN:
I used lots extra pepper and onion in this dish, it adds a lot to the flavor. I also added more garlic because you just can’t get enough of the stinking rose. If you have fresh tomato, by all means use them (peeled first and roughly broken up) and add in a 14 oz can of tomato sauce to help with the ‘red’ factor of the dish. Use good quality green olives- not the jarred kind, the flavor is really enhanced with them, or if you can find tiny little spanish sweet pickled peppers known as Piparras, use them as a garnish. I used chicken thighs in this version with plenty of success, and used the mexican style of a looser chorizo as opposed to the spanish style dried. Both are good but remove the casings on the mexican if its all you can find. This dish is just as flavorful made as a simple spanish rice without the meats.

Read Full Post »

Black Bean Chicken
from Kate

1 pkg boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1/2 c. black bean sauce, thinned smooth with water
2 T. chili garlic sauce
2 T. sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag or non-reactive bowl. Add chicken and marinade at least an hour- the longer the better. Grill or broil over high heat until cooked through. Can be tossed with cooked rice noodles, shredded greens, carrot matchsticks, bean sprouts and cucumber slices for a nice spring-roll style salad. Reserve some marinade to drizzle over the top.

Read Full Post »

Szechuan Chicken and Red Rice Salad with Sesame Dressing

The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell

1 1/2-2 c. water (use smaller measure for Himalayan red rice, the larger for Wehani or other long grain)
1 c. red rice, washed and rinsed*
3 T. tahini
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. hot sesame oil
1 T. dark sesame oil
1 T. sugar
1 T. minced ginger
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed szechuan peppercorns, optional
8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cooked and shredded
2 c. bean sprouts
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
4 scallions, slivered
1/4 c. chopped dry roasted peanuts

In a 1-qt saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring water to a boil, then add washed rice. Return to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmering for 25 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk tahini, soy sauce, sesame oils, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and crushed peppercorns (if using). Put shredded chicken in small bowl and toss with 2 T. of dressing; add remaining to rice and stir to coat. Fold rice, chicken and cucumber gently in bowl, top with scallions, sprouts and peanuts.

*- To wash rice, place in bowl and cover with water. Swish with fingers, rubbing the grains around until water is cloudy. Drain, rinse through a wire strainer and shake excess water off.

KATE’S RECIPE NOTES:
Yum, the dressing is divine! I only used enough on the rice to hold it together, reserving the remaining to pour over as it was served. I chopped a red pepper into this as well for some extra antioxidant power. I did not have the two different kinds of sesame oils, just the basic and it tasted fine using that in the same amounts. The vegetables will soften in the dressing overnight; if you want to avoid this, keep everything separate and toss together just prior to eating to retain the crispness. I would love to try this on Soba noodles.

Read Full Post »

And despite my best attempt on Picnik to lighten up the photo and make them a bit more appealing, it just plain sucks. But the recipe was delicious.

Ancho Chili Chicken

From Cuisine at Home magazine

1# boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 t. dried mexican oregano
1 t. ground cumin
Salt and Pepper

Sprinkle seasonings over chicken and set aside.

2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeds removed, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 1/2 c. chicken broth

In large pan over medium heat, saute onion in oil until translucent and soft. Add tomato and garlic and cook for about three minutes. Scrape into bowl and wipe out pan. Heat more oil and add in chicken, seasoned side down. Cook until browned, flip over and cook other side until almost cooked through. Remove to fresh plate. Wipe pan once more. Add chilis and toast in a tablespoon of oil until browned and fragrant. Add in tomato and onion mixture and stir to combine. Nestle chicken in vegetables and pour in the broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer until chicken is cooked through. Carefully scrape sauce into food processor or blender and blend smooth. Add back to pan with chicken to heat through, if needed. Serve topped with cilantro, lime wedges or crumbled cheese.

KATE’S NOTES: This is my version of the recipe, although I didn’t vary too much from the original; mostly I just changed up the cooking procedure. I added the corn in with the tomato/onion mixture, blending it right in with the sauce. I cooked a yellow rice pilaf with poblano and jalapeno pepper and stirred a can of black beans into it as it was nearly done cooking. It was this mixture that I used for the veggie patty

Read Full Post »

tortellini-alfredo-soup1-008.jpg

Chicken Alfredo Vegetable Soup with Tortellini

2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 qts chicken or vegetable stock
2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
salt and pepper
2 c. frozen cheese filled tortellini
1 jar prepared alfredo sauce (i used Bertolli Roasted Red pepper flavor)

In a large stockpot, saute vegetables in olive oil until soft. Stir in basil and oregano. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, stirring occasionally until partially cooked. Add in stock, bring to a boil and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add in tortellini and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in alfredo sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

If thicker soup is desired, make a paste of 2 T. soft butter and 2 T. flour and stir into soup. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off raw flour taste. Use more butter and flour if a thicker soup is your thing.

Read Full Post »

chicken-paprikash-and-spaetzle1-003.jpg
Chicken Paprikash

(from ‘Simply Stews- More than 100 Savory One Pot Meals by Susan Wyler)

2 pkgs boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 qt. chicken stock
2 T. sweet hungarian paprika
1 c. sour cream

Oil, salt and pepper

In a deep saucepan, heat oil and saute onion over medium heat until browned and tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan in batches, searing each side well. Sprinkle with 2 T. of paprika, add in carrots and chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, 1-1 1/2 hours until meat is very tender. Remove chicken to plate, stir in sour cream and whisk to combine. Do not allow to boil. Add chicken back to pot and heat gently. Serve over spaetzle.

Spaetzle

4 eggs
6 oz milk
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
nutmeg to taste
12 oz flour

Whisk eggs, milk and seasonings until well combined. Add in flour and gently blend with fork until incorporated. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Heat salted water to a boil and using a spaetzle cutter, add in dough only enough to cover surface of water. Cook until a creamy white, remove from water with mesh sieve and drain in colander. When all dough is done, heat 4 T. butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and when browned, add spaetzle. Allow to cook without stirring for several minutes, then stir or shake pan gently to redistribute. Heat through, season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with Paprikash.

RECIPE NOTES: I subbed in the thighs; the original recipe called for a whole cut up chicken but thighs are my favorite. I added in a few boneless breast pieces for Mike as he prefers white. The original recipe had no carrots, and I thought it needed something for color. Squash would also do well in this. Be careful about mixing the spaetzle dough too much as it can toughen it. After it rests, if it seems too thick (as in it won’t easily dribble off a spoon) gently stir in a little more milk to thin it out. When you put the dough in the spaetzle cutter, it should begin to drip easily through the holes; if it doesn’t it’s too thick. In addition to the sour cream at the end, I added a small amount of flour/water paste (slurry) to thicken it a bit more. If you do this, be sure to cook for 2-3 minutes (not boiling or the sour cream will curdle) to cook out the raw flour taste, then season with S&P.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »