Tag Archives: chicken

recipe for the wicked

Last evening we entertained a motley crew of rogues and misfits in order to celebrate the birthday of the lovely Noelle. The main course was a creamy, mushroomy, wine-y, chicken-y concoction served over focaccia and sautéed, multi-coloured bell peppers.

As requested, kittens, here is the recipe for the chicken portion of the dinner from last night, condensed to serve 4 rogues and/or misfits, rather than 9:

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 lb of mushrooms (I used a combination of oyster, shiitake, and cremini) cut/broken down to bite-sized pieces

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 cups of dry, white wine

1 cup of half and half

1/4 cup of butter

1/4 cup of grated parmesan or romano cheese

1 cup of chopped, italian parsley

black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
  2. In a large skillet (if you have an oven-safe skillet, you can use it to cook the entire dish), brown the chicken breasts in 1 tablespoon of the butter.
  3. Remove the breasts and deglaze the skillet with a quater to half of the wine.
  4. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet.
  5. Top the breast with the mushrooms, onion, shallots, and garlic.
  6. Add the remainder of the wine and the butter.
  7. Cook the lot of it in your oven-safe skillet at 350 °F for about 30-35 minutes, or until your meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 170 °F.
  8. Remove the chicken from the skillet and move to a dish that will catch any drippings while they rest, leaving the mushrooms, garlic, onion, shallots, and remaining sauce in the skillet.
  9. Reduce the sauce in the skillet by about half, over medium heat.
  10. Slowly stir in the cream and cheese until completely combined.
  11. Stir in the parsley.
  12. Return the breasts to the skillet and heat briefly until warm.
  13. Serve the breasts and sauce over focaccia slices, halved lengthwise with grilled or sautéed vegetables of your choice.
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chicken soup

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I’m normally an anti-bouillon, build it from scratch, chicken soup girl.  I really hate the either too salty or no flavour qualities bouillon brings to the table so hardly a carcass, asparagus end, mushroom stem or handful of wilted parsley crosses my path without being tossed in a bag and frozen for future use in homemade soup stock.  One day I will get around to documenting my process for creating homemade soup stock but today is not that day.  Last night, out of a lack of time & energy & the need to provide the eldest sprog with the nasty bottom sustenance in somewhat liquid form, I caved and made a not-from-scratch chicken soup.  It gave me an opportunity to get rid of some rice leftovers and to test drive a product I’ve only recently discovered.  It was the quickest, easiest chicken soup I’ve ever made & it was pretty damned good so I’ll share that recipe with you instead.

What you need:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

A good pinch of black pepper

1 large cooking onion

2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled

4 cloves of garlic

6 bay leaves

6 cloves*

A healthy pinch of ground nutmeg

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs**

2 (UK) quarts of water (10 cups)

2 cups of pre-cooked rice

1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon(tm)***

3 cups of vegetables of your choice (I used a frozen mix of carrots, broccoli & cauliflower)

6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried

I started with heating the olive oil in my large stock pot over medium-high heat and because I was concerned with getting the oniony/garlicky flavours into the soup quickly I puréed them together before adding them to the pot.  I should have added the ginger to that mess as I neglected to tell my family that there were large chunks of it they may not want to consume and I think everyone but me got one.  Good times.  So, then I added the onions, garlic, ginger, cloves, nutmeg & bay leaves to the pot and cooked until everything was a lovely, translucent slop.  I then added the thighs and cooked those until lightly browned.  At this point they were easy to pull apart into bite-sized pieces in the pot with a couple of wooden spoons so I did that.  Then in went the water, the bouillon-esque stuff and the rice.  I brought all of that to a boil then added the frozen vegetables & thyme sprigs & let the lot of it simmer until the vegetables were tender.

*The French word for cloves is clous which translates back to english as nails.  I don’t know why I like that so much but it always makes me think of making orange/clove pomanders as a kid at Christmas time.
**Why thighs?  The slightly higher fat content lends itself to better flavour distribution as well as holding its own against other flavours & being easy to pull apart once cooked.
**This stuff is like magic.  The instructions on the jar called for 1 and 1/2 tablespoon per quart of water used but I got away with 1 and 1/2 for the entire batch of soup.  It wasn’t too salty (the stuff is worth about 39% of your daily sodium intake recommendations per 6 gram serving which, compared to others with 45% for 3.5 grams is pretty decent) and my chicken soup tasted chickeny and not bouillony.

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experimentalicious

tikkanaan

That’s last night’s pantry-busting-inspired experiment.

I took some pre-made naan from the freezer, sauced it up with a 1:1 mix of tikka sauce and sour cream (yoghurt could be substituted), added some roasted snow peas, spinach, peppers and broccoli, then some bits of cooked chicken – all topped off with grated marble cheese.  Tossed them on the pizza stones in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes and out they came all gooey and golden and pizza-esque.

Next time I’ll use goat cheese but otherwise wouldn’t change a thing.

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roasted capon with perfect fall stuffing

We have a lovely organic poultry vendor at our local farmer’s market from whom I (and the rest) get tremendously good deals on his capons (2 for $40 – can’t beat that) so I’ve usually got a couple in the freezer at any given time.  I was feeling like we needed a toasty, warm, autumnal meal this weekend so here’s what I made:

I tend to prefer dryer bread for stuffing than the fresh sesame bread I ended up using just because it keeps it from getting soggy.  To it I added 2 diced macintosh apples, which are about two weeks out of season here and are getting a little softer as a result.  This makes them perfect for cooking in this manner and add a little moisture to the stuffing.  I also tossed in some chopped proscuitto, ground sage (can’t WAIT until the stuff my Megan provided is ready for rubbing), ground nutmeg,  oregano and lemon juice.  Capons don’t need a lot of help in the flavour, fat or moisture department so I wanted a lot of that to come infused through the stuffing, rather than treating the meat itself but I did pour the better parts of the remnants of a bottle of white zinfandel from last night’s wine night (donated by a well-meaning guest rather tragically to a group of red snobs) into the pan to help it out a little.  The results were great.  The proscuitto gave it a low smokey flavour, the sage came through in a subtle tone, that apples lent their juices to getting everyone to make friends and the lemon juice and wine perked things up nicely.  We ate our chicken and stuffing with mashed potatoes and yams, fresh green beans, & beats in horseradish butter.  It was lovely.

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more chicken

I have to admit a bias toward drumsticks when it comes to cooking with chicken. Many of the treatments I give them are easily adaptable to breasts and whole birds for a more formal dining experience and that’s precisely why I lean toward drumsticks; they’re very informal, finger food, go with just about anything and therefore make children happy. I often make a bigger batch than is necessary as they’re something the sprogs will willingly pack in their lunches for the next day.

This recipe is nice because it goes together very quickly and the heat output from the chili sauce is very controllable – it gets diluted quite a lot by the butter and lime but more can be added as desired or can be served on the side for the more adventurous to dip into.

What you need:

16-20 chicken drumsticks

1 stick of butter

Juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes

1 tbsp dried thyme or you can remove the leaves from two or three fresh sprigs

2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (I use this but one can easily make their own)

2 tsp powdered ginger or 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger grated (I recommend having one of these on hand for that job)

Melt the butter in a medium sized microwavable bowl or on the cooktop in a medium sized saucepan, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn (if you’re doing it in the microwave be sure to give it a stir at the one minute mark.) Add the lemon/lime, thyme, chili garlic sauce & ginger to that. Stir until combined. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dip each drumstick into the mixture and move to a roasting pan, preferably one with a rack to keep the chicken off the bottom of the pan – this makes clean-up so much easier. Once all of the drumsticks have been dipped & arranged brush each one with a little more sauce and toss the pan into the oven. Cook for 30 minutes & serve hot – or let them cool and take them on your next picnic or as your incentive to not eat out for workday lunches.

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Sweet Hoisin Chicken

Those are the remnants of last night’s reasonably-healthy-food-masquerading-as-junk-food supper. They’re dead simple to put together and everybody loves them to death. The recipe can be applied to just about any chicken cut but I like the way the dark drumstick meat takes in the flavours while still giving us the finger food experience.

What you need:

10-12 chicken drumsticks

3/4 cup of hoisin sauce

1/4 cup dark soya sauce

1/4 cup cooking sherry

3 crushed cloves of garlic

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lay drumsticks in a single layer in a deep casserole dish (or two.) Mix all of the other, non-chicken ingredients in a bowl and pour or spoon the mixture evenly over the drumsticks in the casserole dish(es).

Once the oven is heated, put the chicken in, on the middle rack, for about 30 minutes. Once those 30 minutes are up the oven should be turned up to 425 for about 15 minutes. This turns our otherwise liquidy ingredients into a glaze but the chicken should be removed if there are any signs of burning at this temp…and, because oven temperatures will vary, this is the time to keep an eye on it.

That’s it. That’s all.

Enjoy!

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