Tag Archives: chicken

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

3 Jul

Is anyone else in disbelief that the Fourth of July is already upon us?  In these midwestern parts, it seems to have jumped straight from winter’s end to Independence Day.  The kids are beyond ecstatic that tomorrow is the day they get to stay up waayy past dark.  All bright eyed, and mesmerized under the night sky ablaze with vibrant fireworks.  We’ll pay for it the following morning, but we gotta live life on the edge once in awhile 😉

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

Like countless others, we’ll be firing up the grill and everything else that comes with an outdoor BBQ splurge.  With the welcome sunshine comes the motivation of cooking our grub mostly sans oven.  We plan on pulling out the Brown Sugar Baked Beans and maybe our favorite Red Potato Salad Ranch Salad without mayo!

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 2

This Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken is one of my favorite ways to add to the cookout feast.  No oven and no competing for grill space.  This pulled chicken, like our no-fail Perfect Pulled Pork, is fully done up in the slow cooker.  Yes.  It could not be easier.  Toss it all in your slow cooker, let it go carefree, and voila!  You’re rewarded with the most flavorful, tender, juicy, and barbeque-y pulled chicken.  Chicken that’s sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky. On the bun, in a salad, or in a wrap.  This stuff is awesome.

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 3

I love foods like this.  Super delicious, crowd pleasing, and incredibly easy.  I actually prep mine the night before, and just turn the slow cooker on the next morning.  I can focus on other things (i.e., the grill) and just a few hours later, we’ve got a mouthwatering dish of pulled chicken, hot and ready to serve up.  Does it get better than that?  We think you’ll love this Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken.  It’s perfect for all those summer BBQ cookouts.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Enjoy 🙂

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RECIPE (8-10 servings)

4 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs (breasts can be mixed with thighs, but thighs turn out more tender)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp table salt (fine)
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
6 TB packed brown sugar
2 tsp onion powder
2 TB worcestershire sauce
2+  cups Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce (my favorite choice; brand of sauce matters!)
1 – 1.5 TB liquid smoke
Buns or sandwich rolls to serve
Pickles to serve

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.  Mix sauce ingredients well.  Sauce can be made well ahead of time and kept in fridge.  Thoroughly dry chicken pieces with paper towels.  Combine chicken with sauce and place in slow cooker.

Cook on high about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Carefully remove chicken from slow cooker with tongs.  Keep slow cooker lid on and keep sauce warm.  Pull chicken apart/shred with forks.  Return shredded chicken into slow cooker.  Toss well to make sure chicken is fully coated in sauce.  At this point, add bit more BBQ sauce if needed.  Cook on high another 30-45 minutes.  Turn down to warm setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Toast buns or sandwich rolls and serve with pickles, if desired.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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Baked Teriyaki Chicken

9 Apr

One of our family’s favorite weeknight meals is a really good Teriyaki Chicken.  We lived near several yummy hole-in-wall Teriyaki joints in So. Cal, and it was as easy as a walk down the street to satisfy that craving.  Sadly, good Teriyaki is mysteriously hard to find in my current midwest ‘hood.  The one at the mall food court the closest thing we could find, and that’s… well… that’s all.

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Fortunately for all of us who love Teriyaki but aren’t in a position to call in an order down the street, great tasting Teriyaki is easy to dish up yourself!  In the warmer months, we like to grill up some chicken or beef for Teriyaki bliss, but in the colder months (Spring, are you coming to town?) we bake it up instead.  Baking makes it super easy as a one-dish meal, and it’s mouthwateringly delish.  It’s all about the sauce, whether you grill it or bake it.

Teriyaki Ckn 5

This is the one and only Teriyaki Sauce that I use and have used for years.  It’s super versatile, and can be used on a variety of proteins.  Even on a Hawaiian Burger!   It’s savory, it’s sweet, it’s thick, and oh-so-addictive.  This sauce opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Teriyaki Baked Chicken

Be sure to have extra sauce on hand.  Everyone will want to drizzle it onto their plates.  Don’t forget the rice (we use brown rice) – you’ll want rice to go with that sauce.

Enjoy!

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BAKED TERIYAKI CHICKEN RECIPE (for 10 chicken thighs)

INGREDIENTS

2 TB corn starch dissolved in 2 TB water
1 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce (each brand tastes different)
1 cup water
1/2 to 2/3 cup white sugar, depending on taste
1 tsp ginger powder
Juice from 3 wedges of a fresh orange (do not use store bought OJ)
10 chicken thighs, bone in, with skin
kosher salt
chopped scallions, optional

DIRECTIONS

Stir all ingredients except for chicken in a medium saucepan.  Cook on medium, stirring, until sauce bubbles and thickens.  Set aside to cool.

Thoroughly dry each raw chicken piece with paper towels.  Loosen skin from the meat so that marinade can get into the meat, but don’t remove the skin.  Using a fork, poke holes all over each piece of chicken.  Arrange chicken in a single layer in a baking dish and sprinkle top of each piece with a light layer of kosher salt.  Spoon just enough marinade to cover all pieces well, ensuring that tops and bottoms are covered with marinade.  Save 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the sauce for basting and drizzling.  Cover and let sit in fridge overnight or at least 4 hours.

Remove chicken from dish, and arrange evenly in a foil-lined baking sheet (rimmed.)  Bake at 350F for 1 hour, basting with some of the reserved sauce every 15 minutes (separate basting sauce from drizzling sauce.)

Serve chicken with rice, and drizzle with remaining sauce onto plates.  Garnish with chopped scallions if desired.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Note:  The bake time listed is for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.  Adjust your bake time for boneless or other cuts of meat.  If you have leftover basting sauce that you want to use for drizzling, simply bring sauce to boil again, and enjoy!

Hearty White Chicken Chili

2 Feb

I might have a new addiction to hearty foods.  I recently gave you two of our favorites: Hearty, Chunky Chili and Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup.  Maybe it’s the winter; around our neck of the freezing woods, hearty dishes are more than a mild craving.  Not to mention all the game-day celebrations, which call out for eats that would satisfy a crowd of ravenous guys.  And gals 🙂

White Chicken Chili

So, yeah, I’ll go ahead and add another one to the hearty list.  This white chicken chili hits the spot.  When the weather is cold, I love having my slow cooker filled to the brim with this goodness.

White Chicken Chili 3

Hearty white chicken chili is all that its name suggests… and more.  Chunky bites of tender white chicken, soft white beans, and sweet corn for texture.  All bathed in a mouth-watering broth.  Perfect if a chewy loaf of rustic bread  were to show up alongside of it.  Or bust out these easy sweet corn muffins…sooo YUM.

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I’ve tried various white chicken chili recipes, but always return to this one as my go-to fave.  They all taste yummy, but my laziness brings me back to this great recipe, because it’s super e-a-s-y.  As in, you don’t have to cook the chicken meat separately first.  Yep, it’s true.  Just throw all the goodness into one big slow cooker and let it go.  Just let it go.  Dinnertime 🙂

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RECIPE (10-12 servings)

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs uncooked skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders, cut into chunks
3 (15 oz each) cans Northern beans, drained
2 (10.5 oz each) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 (15 oz each) cans corn
2 cups chicken broth
4 small onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp oregano
2 1/2  tsp cumin
1 tsp Tobasco sauce
6 TB flour
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients (except salt/pepper) into large slow cooker.  Mix well to incorporate.  Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours or until chicken is no longer pink and onions are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn slow cooker to “warm” setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.  If desired, garnish with shredded cheddar.  Serve with bread, chips, or corn muffins.

Source:  Chew Out Loud (adapted from an old recipe by my sweet friend Ashley)

Notes:  If you want to thicken your chili further after cooking, mix in 1 TB of flour at a time until desired thickness is achieved and let it cook another 30 min or so.  If you want to thin it out, simply add more chicken broth until desired consistency.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein Noodles

14 Jan

Chow mein is one of those popular staples at any Chinese restaurant.  But…just like no two burger joints make a burger exactly the same way, every restaurant does their chow mein a little bit differently.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein

We’re a family that’s fond of all things pasta, so we’ll happily nosh on most varieties of chow mein.  Thin noodles, thick noodles, noodles galore.  It’s all good, as long as the “chow mein” is actually comprised of said noodles, and not a mountain of sprouts and crunchy stick things.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein 2

Of course, most dear to my heart is the homestyle variety… the kind of Chicken Chow Mein noodles my parents would make at home.  The kind I often throw together in my own kitchen and my kids devour.  The kind that quickly gets chowed down if taken to potlucks.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein 3

This homestyle chicken chow mein is chock full of chewy noodles, julienned carrots, broccoli florets, mushrooms, and chicken.  All good things, embellished with garlic and savory flavors.  Use whatever veggies and protein you like, and you’ll have a dish you love.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein 4

Try it and you’ll quite possibly never look at Chinese take-out chow mein the same again.  It’s super easy to cook up and reheats really well.   And…add those crunchy sticks if you must 🙂  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (makes 4-6 main dish servings)

INGREDIENTS

Peanut or light olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped and divided
1 head fresh broccoli florets, cut to bite size
1 cup carrots, peeled and julienned
8oz button or rehydrated Shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
14.5 oz dried spaghetti
Asian oyster sauce
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Optional:  Chopped scallions or cilantro for garnish

For the Chicken Mixture:
1 lb chicken breast, skinless and boneless
3 TB rice cooking wine (not vinegar)
3 TB regular soy sauce (not light)
1 TB Asian pure sesame oil, typically brown in color
2 TB sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced

DIRECTIONS

Do Ahead:  Dry chicken breasts and cut into bite size pieces.  Mix chicken with all of Chicken Mixture ingredients, making sure all chicken pieces are in contact with marinade.  Marinade at least 2 hours or overnight.

Start boiling a large pot of salted water for the pasta.

Heat 2 TB oil in large heavy skillet or wok.  Cook chicken with marinade until chicken is no longer pink in center.  Do not overcook.  Transfer cooked chicken with juices to a large bowl and set aside.

In same skillet/wok, heat 2 TB oil and cook half of the chopped garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broccoli florets and julienned carrots.  Cook on medium high until just tender, adding dashes of water as needed to keep veggies from drying out.  Add 2 tsp kosher salt,  1 TB oyster sauce, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Stir fry another minute.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook just until soft.  Transfer veggies to the bowl with cooked chicken.

Cook spaghetti noodles just until al dente – not more.  Drain in colander; don’t rinse.  Heat 3 TB oil in large pot or wok with rest of chopped garlic, cooking just until fragrant.  Add back the cooked noodles.  Add 2 T Asian sesame oil and 4 TB oyster sauce.  Stir fry the noodles on medium about 3 minutes (easier with chopsticks.)  Add salt/pepper to taste, if needed.

Stir in desired amount of cooked veggies/chicken mixture with juices (use all of it, or save some to go with rice the next day.)  Stir fry thoroughly a few more minutes, until well incorporated.

Garnish with chopped scallions or cilantro if desired.  Serve warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

10 Jan

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta.  That’s a mouthful. 🙂  But don’t let the lengthy moniker fool you.  This tasty pasta dish is deliciously simple.  Bonus:  it’s good for you!

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta boasts players like chicken breast, garlic, spinach, and pesto.  We love making easy homemade pesto, which tastes fresh and super delish.  You’ll love making your own pesto, which also stores well in the fridge.  I haven’t tried store bought pesto, but it’ll probably work in a pinch.

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 2

This Chicken Florentine pasta dish is light and perfect for keeping up all those healthy New Year resolutions.  What this dish isn’t light on is flavor.  It is absolutely savory and yummy.  My family loves this pasta, and my 3 year old actually chomps away happily at the spinach!  (Now, if I can get the older siblings to do the same.)

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 3

Serve up this pasta with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and you’ve got a fabulous dinner!  Make it a delicious weeknight supper for the family or weekend dinner with guests.  Either way, this Chicken Florentine Pasta is phenomenal.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (6-8)

INGREDIENTS

16 oz dried penne pasta
4 chicken breast pieces (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
kosher salt and table salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
9-10 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

DIRECTIONS

Boil a large pot of well-salted water.  Cook penne until al dente.  Drain (don’t rinse.)  Toss drained penne with some olive oil to prevent sticking.  Keep warm.

While pasta is preparing, make the chicken:  Put cling wrap over each piece of chicken on a cutting board.  Pound each piece evenly thin (about 1/4 inch thickness.)  Sprinkle each chicken piece lightly and evenly with kosher salt and pepper, on both sides.  Heat 2 TB of olive oil in a large skillet and brown two of the chicken breasts on both sides over medium high heat.  Cook just until chicken is cooked through; about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how cold and thick the chicken is.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and set aside.

Put chopped onion and garlic into skillet with 2 TB oil.  Saute 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Add the white wine and 1/2 tsp table salt.  Boil vigorously until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Add fresh spinach and saute on medium-low, stirring often, just until spinach begins wilting.  Turn heat to low.  Add cooked chicken, cream, and pesto, stirring to combine and warm up, about 1 min.  Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl or dish, combine cooked penne with the chicken/spinach mixture.  Season with more kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in fresh parmesan, reserving some for garnish.  Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing Note:  This pasta dish is perfect with a crisp, light Sauvignon Blanc

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Simply Recipes 

Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini

22 Dec

Whenever we’re planning on having turkey or chicken leftovers, especially after the holidays, we can count on Turkey/Chicken Tetrazzini to take poultry to a whole new level.   Now this is a way to spin a bit of magic onto leftovers.

Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini

Tetrazzini is like comfort food on steroids.  Combine poultry and veggies with mounds of satisfying pasta.  It’s an all-in-one meal that satisfies both young and old at the dinner table.  A hunger-inducing aroma will beckon you while it cooks.  Then, one bite leads to another until there’s nothing left of your leftovers.

Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini 3

This scrumptious pasta dish is a transformation of the ordinary into something extraordinary.  With players like bacon, mushrooms, and cheese, Tetrazzini is an popular crowd-pleaser.  We love our Turkey/Chicken Tetrazzini with linguini noodles, but use whatever pasta you’re craving.  The recipe includes a fair variety of spices, but it’s mostly stuff you probably already have.

Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini 4

In lieu of normal breadcrumbs, this Tetrazzini is adorned with crispy Panko breadcrumbs.  Gotta love Panko!  It’s been around a long time, but Panko has more recently started gaining well-deserved popularity.  Panko is the new breadcrumb.  You know, as in 40 is the new 30 (I wish.)

If you’ve never used it, try Panko just once – you might become its next big fan.  It’s extra crisp and light, and makes everything that much better.  I use Panko with anything from casseroles to finger foods.

Enjoy the holiday meals with your beloved peeps, and create something wonderful out of what remains.

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RECIPE (about 8)

INGREDIENTS

2 slices bacon
4 TB olive oil
2 small or 1 large chopped onion
1 red bell peppers, chopped
6 cloves minced garlic
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 oz linguini noodles, broken in half
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
2-3 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken
2 TB freshly copped parsley leaves
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
6 oz Panko breadcrumbs

DIRECTIONS

Cook bacon until crisp and browned in large, heavy pot.  Remove with slotted spoon, crumble into pieces, and set aside.

Saute 3 TB olive oil, onions, garlic, and bell pepper in same pot on high for about 4 minutes.  Add mushrooms, paprika, thyme, oregano, and garlic powder.  Cook until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with the flour and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add wine and chicken stock, stirring until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.  Add heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer, until sauce is thick enough to coat back of spoon and very flavorful, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil a large pot of well-salted water.  Cook linguini until just al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain and sprinkle with some olive oil.  Set aside (do not rinse pasta.)

Oil a 9×13 casserole dish with 1 TB olive oil.  In a bowl, mix Panko with 1/3 shredded Parmesan and set aside.

When sauce has thickened, add drained linguini, crumbled bacon, frozen broccoli florets, shredded poultry, and 1/3 shredded Parmesan cheese to the sauce pot.  Stir until well combined.  Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish.  Top with Panko/Parmesan mixture.  Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by Emeril Lagasse.

Country Captain Chicken Stew – Throwdown Winner

27 Nov Country Captain Chicken Stew

It’s been over a year since we made the decision to cut our cable.  In the end, we simply couldn’t justify the rising cost of cable TV, given how little we actually sat down to watch it.  We’ve been happy going without; the mainstream channels that we receive are more than sufficient for us.  But there are those once-in-awhile nights…when the kids are tucked in bed…when I feel compelled to respond to my exhaustion by sitting in front of the screen.  During those nights, one of the shows I miss kicking back with the most is Throwdown! With Bobby Flay.

Country Captain Chicken Stew

I love Throwdown! for its fun entertainment factor.  It’s positively wild exposure for fabulous cooks around the nation who are brave enough to throw it down against the famous Iron Chef.  I lingered on every episode, even the reruns, back when Food Network was at my fingertips.  Don’t feel too sorry for me though, because I have access to something even better – the Throwdown! cookbook.  I’m a huge fan of the food that Bobby’s talented opponents dish up.  In fact, take a peek at Throwdown! winner Major Dominijanni’s hot ‘n tangy steak.  (Pssst… the Major himself graciously stopped by this little blog and commented on that post!  Is that little bit squeal-worthy?!)

Country Captain Chicken Stew

This time my hungry tummy begged to try a hearty southern stew, given the tough guy moniker “Country Captain.”  Like many people, I had never heard of Country Captain Chicken, but it sounded like a good hearty dish.  Plus, the ingredients looked  tempting yet simple.  With an attractive listing of chicken, veggies, curry, and fluffy rice…can’t go wrong, right? 😉

Country Captain Chicken Stew

This is not the type of dish that comes to mind when I think of typical southern fare.  With some vegetable additions, this stew is robustly flavorful and full of nutrition to boot!  It’s a phenomenal one-pot dish.  We really appreciate how this stew reveals a succulent blend of both savory and sweet, with a richly tasty sauce that is generously poured over fluffy rice.  What a delicious variation from the usual pastas or potatoes.  Next time, I’ll go even crazier and steam up our usual brown rice to be drenched in this delish stew.

Country Captain Chicken Stew

As always, my favorite part about this dish is that it is easily made ahead of time and reheats beautifully.  It’s one of those dishes that makes mouth-watering leftovers that you will actually look forward to eating again.  Bonus: It makes just as good weeknight family grub as it does a weekend dinner for friends.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (serves about 6)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup raisins
1 TB yellow curry powder
1 TB garam masala
4 oz slab bacon, chopped
12 chicken thighs and/or drums, skin and bone on
2 1/2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups celery, thinly sliced
2 cups diced yellow bell peppers
2 cups diced onion
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 oz ) can crushed tomatoes
3 TB honey
1 TB ginger powder
3 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
light olive oil
6 cups cooked white rice, hot
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F.  Pour chicken stock into microwavable dish and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Pour raisins into hot stock, and let sit to plump up.  In another small bowl, combine curry powder, garam masala, 3 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper.  Set aside.

Saute chopped bacon in large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cook until bacon is golden brown, about 5 min.  Transfer bacon to a small bowl and set aside.  Using bacon grease still in heavy pot, brown the chicken pieces in small batches over medium high heat.  Do not overcrowd.  Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.  Repeat until all chicken is browned.  Add 1-2 TB light olive oil if needed to finish cooking chicken.  Remove chicken from pot and set aside.

If pot is dry, add 1 TB olive oil.  Saute carrots, bell peppers, onions, and garlic until softened, about 6 minutes.  Add tomatoes, honey, curry powder mixture, ginger, and raisins with their stock.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens around the vegetables, about 8 minutes.

Nestle chicken pieces gently into the sauce, so that skin side faces up and stays above surface.  Tent pot loosely with foil and place in lower middle rack of oven.  Bake 25 minutes.  Uncover, and bake another 20 minutes.  Sauce should be thickened and chicken skin should just begin to crisp.

Remove from oven and skim fat from surface.  If needed, season to taste with additional salt and pepper.  Spoon 1 cup hot rice into a wide bowl.  Arrange a couple of chicken pieces on top, and generously spoon sauce over chicken/rice.  Garnish with reserved bacon, toasted almonds, and parsley.

by Chewoutloud, adapted from The Lee Bros., from Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!

Hearty Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

21 Nov Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

Every year, the festive holiday season makes it easier to make peace with the fact that the days are getting much shorter and nippier.  Despite being a cold weather wimp, I still love the holiday season.  From the pretty lights popping up on neighbors’ homes and in stores, to the beckoning aroma of warm spices everywhere…this time of year is truly beautiful.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

This Thanksgiving and Christmas also marks the first year our youngest child, now age 3, comprehends the meaning behind the holidays and participates wholly in the festivities.  He can join his older siblings in counting his own blessings this Thanksgiving, no prompts needed.  In fact, he may try to present a lengthy monologue at the dinner table.  In which case, some prompting will be needed.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, Hubby has a very big bird resting in a savory brine at this very moment.  The kids are excited for the hourly countdown to their favorite kind of turkey feast with all the trimmings (and for their 4-day weekend off school.)    I am thankful to have the opportunity to make a delicious mess in the kitchen with my favorite people in the whole world.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

One of our favorite things to do with leftover turkey (or chicken) and its great carcass is to save it!  Keep that turkey carcass after your holiday meal, even if you aren’t planning to do anything with it for a few days.  You can wrap it up and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.  Then, on a chilly, stay-home kind of day, take those poultry bones out and make the best broth ever.  Ever.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle Soup

All the flavor from the carcass and turkey/chicken meat get super concentrated into the broth with a long, slow simmer.  It does take time to get that deeply flavorful broth.  Once the broth has reduced enough, your patience will be rewarded with the tastiest broth you’ve had.   From there, it’s all game.  😉  Add your favorite veggies, favorite noodles, and throw in the leftover turkey or chicken meat.

This is one of those healthy meals my kids devour faster than french fries.  They gobble this up with such comical speed that I have videotaped their noodle-soup-eating-frenzy for future viewing.

Enjoy this most comforting of comfort foods.  Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

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RECIPE
(This recipe is one of approximates, so the amounts given are flexible.  Just don’t skimp on simmer time.)

INGREDIENTS

For the broth:
1 TB olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and coined
4 stalks celery, washed and sliced thin
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 roasted turkey/chicken carcass, with leftover meat attached

For the noodle soup:
leftover cooked turkey or chicken meat, shredded
1 lb carrots, peeled and coined
5-6 stalks celery, washed and sliced thin
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
noodles of your choice
fine salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

For the Broth:  Put olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a very large stock pot. Saute on medium high until vegetables are soft.  Add turkey/chicken carcass, bay leaves, and peppercorns.  Add enough water to just cover entire carcass.  (Broth will be reduced down to half.  If you are using a chicken and want more broth, just add more water to begin with, knowing you’ll end up with half that amount.)

Bring stock pot to boil.  Turn heat to low, and simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced to half its original amount (approx. 2-3 hours, or however long it takes to reduce to half)  Once liquid is reduced to half, set aside carcass and skim oil or impurities off top of broth.  Strain the broth into the pot you want to use for the noodle soup.

For the Noodle Soup: Season strained broth with salt and pepper to taste.  Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.  Bring to boil. Cook until veggies are very tender.  Meanwhile, cook noodles in well-salted water in separate pot.  Drain noodles (do not rinse), and add to broth.  Add all leftover shredded meat, including meat collected from the carcass.

If needed, season with more salt/pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

* Note:  This recipe is written for utilizing leftover roasted chicken or turkey.  If you want to make chicken noodle soup with an uncooked chicken, just make the broth with the whole chicken instead of the carcass only.  Remove giblets first.  When the chicken meat is cooked through, remove the chicken and separate the meat from the carcass.  Return the carcass to the broth and finish simmering.  Shred the meat and continue with recipe.

Tandoori Chicken

8 Nov Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is high on my list of favorite Asian Indian dishes.  In fact, it is next in line after my all-time fave, Chicken Tikka Masala.  Tandoori chicken also a dish that traditionally requires a clay oven with the capacity to hit 900F.  Most of us will have to compromise and tweak things a bit in order to mimic the results of a high heat Tandoor oven.  What do to?

Tandoori Chicken

I was super excited to find a new Tandoori Chicken recipe that turns out phenomenal flavor, using just my humble little oven.  Though this isn’t an exact replica of what we’d get with a true Tandoor Oven chicken, it comes deliciously close…in fact, it’s tastier than many of the Tandoori Chicken versions we’ve eaten.  We all agreed that this recipe is a keeper; anytime the kids happily grub on a new recipe, it automatically goes into rotation!

Tandoori Chicken

This Tandoori Chicken is full of the rich and complex flavor that characterizes Asian Indian cuisine.  The simple cooking method results in chicken that is both tender and succulent.  If you allow the chicken to marinade at least 4 hours, the flavor will soak in beautifully.

Tandoori Chicken

My favorite thing about this Tandoori Chicken is how unbelievably easy it is to dish up!  The only part that takes planning ahead is the marinade time.  My other favorite thing is how healthy this yummy chicken is.  Packed with aromatic spices and whole yogurt, this mouth-watering chicken is absolutely guilt-free indulgence.  Serve with some fluffy Basmati rice and enjoy!

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RECIPE (makes 16 drumsticks)

INGREDIENTS

16 chicken legs/drumsticks (or 3 lbs other bone-in chicken pieces)
3 TB light olive oil
6 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 TB ground ginger (or 2 TB freshly grated)
1 TB garam masala
1 1/2 TB smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not sweetened)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes) + extra wedges for garnish
2 1/2 tsp fine salt

DIRECTIONS

Thoroughly dry chicken pieces.  Using a fork, deeply pierce each piece well, on all sides.  Set aside while you make the marinade.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in ginger, garam masala, paprika, cumin, and chili powder.  Cook 30 seconds longer.  Transfer half of garlic mixture to a medium bowl, stir in the yogurt, and add 2 TB fresh lime juice.  Set medium bowl in fridge until ready to use.

In a large bowl, combine remaining garlic mixture, remaining lime juice, and salt.  “Loosen” mixture a bit with a couple dashes of olive oil.   Transfer pierced chicken to this large bowl and rub mixture onto chicken until all pieces are evenly coated.  Cover tightly and put in fridge for 2-4 hours.  Remove from fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook, so it has time to get close to room temp.

Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat to 325F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil.

One at a time, work yogurt mixture into each chicken piece so that each piece is thickly coated, including underneath the skin.  Place chicken onto baking sheet and pour any remaining yogurt mixture over the chicken.  Roast chicken 20-25 minutes, depending on size of pieces (125-130 degrees if using meat thermometer.)

Remove chicken from oven, and adjust oven rack 6 inches from top heat broiler.  Return chicken to oven rack, and broil until chicken is lightly charred in spots, about 8-12 minutes.  Each oven is different and chicken pieces vary in size, so watch carefully to ensure chicken does not burn.

Transfer chicken to serving plate, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with Basmati rice and lime wedges.

By chewoutloud, adapted from Cooks Illustrated cookbook

Notes: 

This Tandoori Chicken recipe does not use red food coloring, which is often added for that reddish hue you may recognize with other Tandoori Chicken recipes.  Add food coloring if you must, but we prefer ours without it.  The flavor is phenomenal either way.

If desired, you can place chicken on a wire rack set on top of baking sheet, rather than directly on baking sheet.

Honey Mustard Chicken with Curry

25 Sep Honey Mustard chicken with curry

Chicken is arguably the most easy, popular, versatile protein.  The only fuss my family has with chicken is who gets dark vs. white meat.  Despite that ongoing saga, chicken is always a winner.  Especially this honey mustard chicken dish – it’s a crowd pleaser I’ve been making and loving for years.  Whenever I want something that is consistently popular,  I pull out this recipe.

Honey Mustard chicken with curry

Honey Mustard chicken with curry – a little sweet, savory, and so good!

This is one of those super flexible recipes.  The bit of curry gives it an exotic splash of flavor people can’t quite put their finger on, but they keep going back for more.  This chicken is great grilled or baked, and is just as good with a cut-up whole chicken or legs-only.  I prefer to bake mine because it tends to result in a juicier, more tender meat.  We’ve also grilled this in the summer with delicious results.  I am a legs-only girl when feeding a crowd, because that eliminates the dark vs. white meat dispute.  It’s also easier than cutting up whole chickens.  Personally, though, I’m a white meat fan…shh! 😉

Honey Mustard chicken with curry

Honey Mustard chicken with curry – thanks to Auntie Priscilla

This yummy chicken dish is adapted from a favorite recipe handed down from “Auntie Priscilla.”  Priscilla is one of the first people I met after Hubby and I started dating, way back in the day.   Once I met her, I didn’t let her go!   Priscilla was my mentor during those earlier years of marriage and a close friend.   Bonus:  she is one awesome cook.  In fact, she runs a delicious food truck now.  You go, Girl!  Check out her delish ride:  http://www.panfiniti.com/index.html

Honey Mustard chicken with curry

Honey Mustard chicken with curry – marinade overnight if you can!

If you can, marinade the chicken overnight.  The flavors will soak in with more time.  Try it and enjoy it soon!

RECIPE (makes 16-20 drumsticks)

INGREDIENTS

16-20 chicken legs
1 cup honey
1/2 cup stone ground mustard (contains whole mustard seeds)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp yellow curry powder (red can be quite hot; yellow is milder)
2 tsp fine salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
extra salt for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

Mix together all ingredients except for chicken.  Set marinade aside.  Thoroughly dry chicken pieces with paper towels.  Place chicken pieces evenly flat on baking sheet or large cutting board.  Using a fork, pierce each chicken piece several times all over.  Give every piece of chicken its own pinch of salt, evenly sprinkled on top.

In large bowl or sturdy zipper bags, combine chicken pieces with marinade.  Make sure every piece of chicken is in direct contact with marinade.  Marinade in fridge overnight if possible, or at least for several hours.  If needed, turn chicken once during marinade time.

Remove chicken from marinade and set the sauce aside.  Place chicken flat in a foil-lined baking pan.  Pour about half or so of the marinade over the chicken, so chicken is draped with sauce.  Bake at 350F for 65-75 minutes, basting generously every 15 minutes with the remaining marinade.  Don’t skip the basting, as this is what makes the chicken so tasty and good!  (If you’re concerned about the raw marinade, you can boil it for a minute before using to baste.)

Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by my friend Priscilla

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