Tag Archives: and other Poultry

Chipotle Orange-Herb Chicken

chicken, chipotle chicken, asparagus 015If only I could find an excuse to put chipotle in everything. Okay, okay, not really, but I do love the stuff, in case you haven’t noticed. (See here, here, and here, just as a small sample) In fact, just about anytime I’m looking for an in-your-face, bold taste, chipotle does the trick. Smoky and spicy, it adds an unbelievable amount of dimension to a dish.

Take chicken, for example. Chicken is nearly a blank canvas, something one flavor with any combination of herbs and spices, and create a seemingly endless number of dishes. Soy, ginger, and garlic? Asian chicken. Oregano, basil, tomato, garlic? Italian chicken. But what about orange juice, chipotle, sage, thyme, and rosemary?

You get chipotle orange-herb chicken.

Not exactly a traditional mix of flavors, but who says we’re trying to be traditional here? Sweet, spicy, smoky, with a nice fresh background flavor from the herbs – this is a tasty chicken that’s sure to please. In addition, if you use cut-up chicken and marinade the night before serving, this dish bakes up quickly enough to make it a weeknight choice. I used a combination of thighs and drumsticks (they were on sale, and I prefer the flavor of dark meat), but of course, you could use any cut you wish. (you could even use boneless, skinless breasts – just lower the cooking time accordingly)

This recipe was inspired by a chipotle orange chicken that Elana shared at Elana’s Pantry. (Elana has a wonderful array of gluten-free recipes.) I increased the amount of chipotle a bit (we like spicy food at the Tasty Eats At Home residence), and I subbed the dried herbes de provence for fresh herbs, but largely left the original recipe in tact. If you have small kids, you might choose to lower the chipotle, but this should be a great family-pleaser, one that is easy on you, too! I served this dish with a generous helping of steamed asparagus with lemon zest (recipe to come soon, stay tuned!).

Chipotle Orange-Herb Chicken, adapted from Elana’s Pantry

4 lbs bone-in, cut-up chicken, or a combination of thighs and drumsticks

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 t chopped fresh rosemary needles

1/2 t fresh thyme leaves

1/2 t chopped fresh sage leaves

1/4 c agave nectar or honey

1 t kosher salt

2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced

juice of 2 oranges

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a 9X13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, mix garlic, herbs, agave, salt, chipotle, and orange juice. Pour over chicken, turning chicken over to coat. Cover dish and place in refrigerator for minimum of an hour, up to overnight.

Remove from refrigerator, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Serves 4-6.

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Chicken Curry

chicken curry 030

In the middle of the day last Thursday, I realized that the dinner I had planned to make was not going to work without a trip to the store. I had already used some of the key ingredients to make it earlier in the week. (I hate when this happens. I write down “cilantro” on the grocery list, not remembering that I need to purchase enough for two dishes, and then I come home with just a single bunch, screwing myself out of the second dish. I only had a smidgen left. So much for planning meals out for the week.) I did not have the desire to go to the store, and I didn’t have the time or the creativity to consider creating something out of the available pantry ingredients at home. I was headed down the road towards a) frozen gluten-free pizza, or b) take-out. Neither of which sounded like a winner.

And then I receive an email. Actually, two emails, from my wonderful grandmother. (Yes, that grandmother.) She was looking through a magazine and found two recipes she thought I would like to try. One was a flourless almond torte, (which I will have to make soon!) and the other? A chicken curry. I looked through the recipe, and realized I had all of the ingredients on hand. It looked as though it was a quick dish to throw together too…an added bonus on a weeknight.

This recipe just goes to show you that you don’t always have to spend hours in the kitchen, or have a long list of ingredients and complicated steps to make a delicious dish. This curry was bright, with a good amount of heat to it (but not too much!). The flavors of the masala made this dish feel as though it was a comfort dish I’d turn to time and time again, without the heavy, calorie-laden sauces that accompany most “comfort dishes.”

A big thanks to Grandma, as she saved the day!

Adapted from Guideposts:

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 t masala (recipe follows)

1 t fresh ginger, grated

2 t fresh garlic, grated

1 small onion, diced

4 T olive oil

salt, to taste

1 small tomato, chopped

1 c frozen peas

A few sprigs of cilantro leaves

Combine chicken, masala, ginger, garlic, and onion in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add salt. Mix well, making sure chicken is fully coated. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

Over medium heat, warm the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the marinated chicken and cover skillet. After about 10 minutes, stir chicken, and add tomato and peas. Allow ingredients to simmer over medium heat until fully cooked, 5-10 minutes more (depends on the size of your chicken pieces).

Serve over steamed Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serves 4.

For the masala:

1 1/2 t cayenne pepper

1 T paprika

1/4 t cumin

1/4 t ground coriander

1/4 fennel seed, crushed or ground

1/4 t garam masala

1/4 t turmeric

Combine all spices thoroughly. Store in a jar for up to three months.

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Rosemary Roast Chicken

Food 1817I have a love/hate relationship with Texas summers. The hate part – it’s not even July yet and we’re already dealing with near-100 degree temps. I’m not ready yet for the heat. You would think, after spending my entire life in Texas, I would get used to it, but I never do. I simply wish I had a swimming pool in our backyard so I could spend my days lazily relaxing in the cool water. Until then, I retreat to the cool A/C in our house and hope October arrives soon.

Then there’s the love part. What’s to love? The farmer’s markets are overflowing with so much bounty, I feel like it’s Christmas! There are squashes galore, onions, beets, blackeyed peas, herbs, and even the tomatoes are beginning to arrive with regularity. I have to exercise control when I visit, so that I don’t purchase more than I can handle, but boy, it’s a treat!

One of my new favorite vendors at the McKinney Farmer’s Market, though, is not a farmer. You see, there is a little ranch not too terribly far from me called Rehoboth Ranch. Rehoboth Ranch raises grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured poultry and Berkshire pork, without antibiotics or other drugs, without growth hormones, without chemicals. There are no confinement houses for any of the animals, and the beef and lamb are never fed grain. These are happy animals, folks. And happy animals mean happier (’cause the meat is so delicious!), healthier people. The quality of the meat and poultry that comes from Rehoboth Ranch is simply superb. On Saturday, I purchased a fresh chicken.

How do you prepare superb chicken? This is the time that simplicity is key. You don’t need to season with a lot of complex spices, and you don’t need a heavy sauce. Pastured, happy chicken such as this is tender and flavorful without much adornment. So, as much as I realize I have already posted a recipe on roast chicken, I think I need to share one that is simpler, but perhaps even more tasty. This recipe is perfect for a premium chicken such as the one I had on hand. It takes virtually no time to prepare before throwing in the oven. And the flavor? Unbeatable. The skin turns out so perfectly salty and crisp, and the bird is incredibly juicy. (Whatever you do, please don’t throw away the skin. I don’t care that you’re on a diet, this is the best part!) Since I have the oven on already, I usually roast some fresh squash or zucchini to serve on the side. (I manage to squeeze in a small dish alongside the chicken!) With very little work, a perfect dinner is served. And it was well worth heating up the kitchen, even in the summertime!

What you’ll need:

1 chicken, preferably naturally raised

salt and pepper

2-3 sprigs rosemary, broken into small 1-2 inch pieces (you could also use a different herb, such as thyme or sage, if you choose)

To prepare the chicken for roasting:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Do a thorough job, as water will only steam the chicken, and you won’t get a crispy skin. Season all over with salt and pepper, seasoning a bit more on the fleshiest parts, such as the breasts and thighs. Place rosemary sprigs all over chicken, gently patting them so that they “stick” to the skin. If you have extra sprigs, you’re welcome to throw them in the cavity at this point. Truss the legs, and tuck the wings under.

Place the chicken on a roasting pan, with a rack, breast-side up. (if you don’t have a rack, you can place the chicken atop some celery and carrot sticks, just so long as the chicken has the opportunity to get some air underneath it. More air underneath chicken = more even browning and more crispy, delicious skin.) Place in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until skin is browned. Turn oven down to 375 degrees, and continue roasting until juices run clear, about another 30-45 minutes or so. Check it regularly as it’s nearing done, you don’t want to overcook the bird, or the breast will be dry. Remove the chicken from the oven.

Rest the chicken for 15 minutes, tented with foil. Carve and serve.

Don’t forget! You only have until June 27, 2009 to enter your comments for your chance to win in my giveaway! Check it out!

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Chicken and Fried Wild Rice

food-9581

Heidi Swanson, of 101 Cookbooks http://www.101cookbooks.com/ and author of the book Super Natural Cooking, inspired my variation on traditional fried rice with her fried wild rice recipe. Fried rice is something that is easy, fast, and for me, addictive. I can’t stop eating it. One caveat: I am referring to good fried rice. The fried rice I’ve encountered in most Chinese take-out places is boring and not all that appetizing to me. But making it at home? I could eat bowlfuls. Best of all? It’s adaptive. It’s creative. You take a bit of leftover rice, and basically, you throw in whatever is around. Leftovers repurposed! That’s a cheap meal I can cozy up to.

 One “rule” to follow: use leftover rice. If you try to steam some rice right away to make fried rice, no matter what kind of rice it is, you will end up with a goopy, mushy mess. When rice sits overnight in the refrigerator, it sort of “dries out”, making it perfect to fry up. So next time you’re making rice, just make a point to make extra so you can have fried rice the next day.

Otherwise, the ingredients are up to you. I used a wild rice and brown rice blend instead of my usual jasmine rice. Figured I could benefit from the added nutrition, and I love the textural (and visual!) variety that wild rice provides. You can use just about any type of rice you have. Next time, I think I might seek out a bit of asparagus instead of peas and carrots for some variety. You could reduce the chicken to 1/2 pound rather than the full pound. Or substitute shrimp, or tofu, it’s really all about preferences and what’s available. If you have leftover cooked chicken, that could be easy and would make the recipe go even faster, as you could eliminate the marinade steps entirely.

Last but not least, I have mentioned Sambal Oelek several times in various recipes. As this is a new ingredient to some, I attempted to take a picture of my bottle in an effort to help you all locate it in the store. (The label is shiny gold, so it doesn’t photograph all that well.) You can find it in the Asian section of many grocery stores. Huy Fong seems to be one of the common brands. They also show that you can order it on their website. http://www.huyfong.com/no_frames/oelek.htm This stuff is amazing though, if you like spicy foods. I love it. I had to put a little spoonful in my own bowl of fried rice, just to personalize it a bit.

sambal oelek

And now, for the fried rice recipe. This serves about 4. (note: can be gluten-free, if you use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce)

For the chicken:

1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 t sambal oelek (chili paste)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ t ginger, minced

1 T tamari or soy sauce

1 t sesame oil

 

For the rice:

2 T sesame oil

4 eggs, scrambled

1 small shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 t ginger, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

½ c frozen peas, thawed

2 T chopped red cabbage

2-3 c cooked wild rice mix (preferably refrigerated overnight)

1 t fish sauce

1 t tamari or soy sauce

Small handful of torn cilantro leaves

 

Place the chicken with the sambal oelek, garlic, ginger, tamari/soy sauce and sesame oil in a Ziploc bag and seal. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove from marinade, pat dry with paper towels.

 

Heat a wok or large, deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add ½ t sesame oil, swirl to coat pan. Add eggs, and scramble in pan, cooking for about 30 seconds or just until the eggs set. (they will still be just a bit runny) Remove from pan and set aside.

 

Add an additional ½ t sesame oil if necessary. Add chicken to pan, spreading out into the thinnest layer possible. Leave chicken untouched for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken browns. Turn chicken over to brown all over, and cook until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes total. Remove chicken and set aside.

 

Lower heat to medium. Wipe pan clean, and add remaining sesame oil. Swirl to coat pan. Add shallot, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add rice, and turn heat up to high. Spread rice out in pan, and let sit, untouched, for 1 minute. Add chicken, eggs, carrots, peas, and cabbage. Stir again, and let sit untouched for another minute. Add fish sauce and tamari/soy sauce, and stir to incorporate. Taste. Does it need more salt? Add more tamari/soy sauce. Does it need more sesame oil? Then add another ½ teaspoon or so. Stir one last time, and leave it untouched for another minute or so, until the rice is really toasting on the bottom of the pan! Then remove from heat, sprinkle torn cilantro leaves over, and serve.

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Ponzu Grilled Chicken with Stir-Fried Vegetables

food-9201I feel as though I’ve been in a slump lately. A cooking “mental block”, if you will. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. I have. It’s just that it seemed as though a lot of what I was cooking was either uninspired, boring, or otherwise just not all that wonderful. It wasn’t from lack of trying…it was just…a slump. So I was quite glad when I made this dish tonight, as I felt it was a joyous release from the previously mediocre dishes coming from the kitchen! (Okay maybe I’m dramatizing this a bit, and maybe it was just that I was craving some good ol’ Asian flavors!) But whatever the reason, this dish will definitely be one that will make the weeknight menus in the future. It was relatively fast, uncomplicated, healthy, and tasty. All good reasons to make it again in my book!

Ponzu shoyu is a Japanese citrus-based sauce. It’s basically as if you took soy sauce and married it with a few lemons. It’s nice and tangy, sweet, and salty all at the same time. It’s easy to find, just visit the Asian section of your grocery store. It makes a good substitute for soy sauce when you want some of those added tangy flavors to your dish.

Sambal oelek, or garlic chili paste, is one of my favorite condiments. We have a huge jar (Huy Fong brand) in our refrigerator. Back in the day, you would have to go to a specialty Asian grocery store to find this stuff. Now, I’m pretty sure you can find it in just about any grocery store. It’s great stuff. Spicy and full of flavor, I can’t help but use it in lots of marinades and to kick my stir-fry up a notch after it’s been served on my plate.

Anyway, on to the recipe. I served this with brown rice to round out the meal. You can use any steamed rice or even noodles. And as for the vegetables, feel free to substitute or add any additional vegetables you might like in your stir fry. Peas, mushrooms, onions, or even some red pepper would all taste great. Also, I think next time I marinate the chicken, I might add a bit of sweetness to the marinade, maybe a teaspoon of agave nectar or a bit of brown sugar. We’ll just have to see how that turns out!

For the chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1/3 c bottled ponzu sauce

½ c peanut oil

1 T sambal oelek

 

For the sauce:

2 T ponzu sauce

2 ½ T rice wine vinegar

1 T agave nectar or honey

1 t fish sauce

2 t cornstarch

 

2 carrots, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick

1 large head of broccoli or two small heads, cut into florets

 

1 T peanut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t minced ginger

1 small thai pepper, seeded and minced

2 T mirin or sake

1 t sesame oil

 

Accompaniment: Steamed brown rice

 

Put the chicken, ponzu sauce, peanut oil, and sambal oelek in a Ziploc bag and allow to marinate 4 hours or overnight.

 

Place the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate. Set aside.

 

Blanch the vegetables: Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Set aside. Fill a saucepan large enough to hold the carrots and broccoli with water. Bring water to a boil and add carrots, then broccoli. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, and immediately drain vegetables and place them in the ice water bath. This will allow the vegetables to stop cooking. Once the vegetables are cooled, drain them from the ice water.

 

Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts, about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

 

Heat a wok or deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic, ginger, and thai pepper, and stir-fry for a minute. Add mirin and stir for about 30 seconds. Add vegetables and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add sauce and stir. Cook until sauce thickens and vegetables are tender (but not mushy!), another 3-4 minutes. Stir in sesame oil.

 

Serve chicken breasts, sliced, on top of steamed brown rice and vegetables.

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Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken

caramelized black pepper chickenSo I am kinda on an Asian food kick. Ok, that’s an understatement…if left to my own devices, I would be experiementing in the kitchen with Asian food every single day! I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found in Food and Wine magazine. It has Vietnamese flavors, and has a yummy balance of sweet, spicy, salty that is pretty addictive! I served it with steamed jasmine rice and some sauteed spinach with garlic, ginger, and a dash of sesame oil.

½ c dark brown sugar

3 T Asian Fish Sauce

¼ c water

3 T rice vinegar

1 t minced garlic

T 1 finely grated fresh ginger

1 t coarsely ground pepper

2 fresh Thai chiles, halved

1 T peanut oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 cilantro sprigs

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, fish sauce, water, rice vinegar and half of the ginger.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the shallot, ginger, and chiles and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fish sauce mixture to the chicken and simmer over high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with the cilantro.

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Roast Chicken with Garlic, Ginger and Lemon

roast chickenMy husband and I love “big chicken” night.  “Big chicken” is essentially a roasted whole chicken (usually 4-5 pounds, hence the “big” part) with crispy, golden skin and a juicy breast. The seasonings change for “big chicken” depending on my mood. This is one version that is quite tasty, the crispy chicken skin is so addictive. The citrus salt I used is a recipe from Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen (another food blog I love!), so big thanks to Jaden for that recipe! You can see it here: http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2008/06/06/asian-flavored-sea-salts/.

1 lemon, sliced

1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, ½ t minced, the rest peeled and cut into small slices

12-14 cloves garlic, 2 cloves minced, the rest peeled

1 4 lb whole chicken

Citrus salt (see Citrus salt recipe)

Freshly ground black pepper

½ t chili paste, such as Sambal Oelek

Olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 450°F.Remove the giblet pack and neck from the chicken. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wings under body.
Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the lemon, ginger slices, and whole garlic. Fold the skin over to close the opening, and then tie the legs together with a piece of kitchen twine. Put the chicken into a roasting pan. Coat the skin all over with olive oil, rub the minced garlic, minced ginger, sambal oelek, and then season with citrus salt and pepper.

Roast for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Roast for an additional 60-65 minutes, until the juices run clear. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before you carve it.
 

 

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