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Archive for Poultry

::spicy nights:: Chicken Paprikash

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I’m starting to get back in the kitchen finally. My first attempt at cooking resulted in PTB learning how to make Gumbo. My second official attempt was much more successful. The little man is settling down a little bit and I am learning to take shortcuts a little more.

I made Chicken Paprikash once before and my only complaint was that it was too incredibly hot (it has officially taken me 6 months to write this post). It was so spicy that I couldn’t eat any of the leftovers. Which made me so sad since it tasted so good. This time around, I had to make it faster and I learned to adjust the spice a bit to be more reasonable. And, sadly, you don’t get too many photos when I am rushing through making dinner.

What You Need
400F oven
Step One
1-1.5 lbs chicken, cut into 1″ chunks
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Step Two
medium yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp double concentrate tomato paste
Step Three
1 cup chicken broth
Step Four
Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Roasted Garlic
3 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
1 Tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika (more if you want it spicy)
Step Five
8oz sour cream (room temp)
1lb egg noodles

I typically use chicken tenderloins to make this dish. When I trim my chicken breasts to freeze, I package the tenderloins in 1-2lb batches so that I can quickly make dishes that require any chopped up chicken.

Cut the chicken into 1″ pieces, pat dry and salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof skillet or a dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium high heat until smoking. Add the chicken, cooking until browned on all sides. Remove form the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

If necessary, add a bit more oil to the pan and add the onions cooking 5-7 minutes until they begin to brown. Once they are browning, stir in tomato paste and cook for approx. 1 minute.

Using the chicken broth, deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Add step four ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Add the chicken (and any juices accumulated in the bowl) back to the pan and transfer the entire thing to the hot oven. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. When your timer has about 5 minutes left, start your egg noodles.

Once you remove the pan from the oven, allow it to sit for about 3 minutes, then stir in the sour cream. Serve hot over the egg noodles.

Mmmm…now that I have typed this up I want to make it again  🙂

::savory supper:: Chicken with Prosciutto and Tomatoes

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With my love of pasta, it’s no surprise I have another sauce to add to my list. I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking for Cooking Light ideas. I have been loving the new Cooking Through the Seasons book I got, but needed some other recipes as well.  And now, I have a package of prosciutto I need to cook my way through.

This meal ended up being the highlight of my week earlier in the month.  Everything kept highjacking my plans and prevented me from making dinner.  I had a menu planned, and kept having to shift everything.  This was the only home-cooked meal the entire week!  It completely through me off and I am just starting to get back on track.  Last week wasn’t much better, but at least I have some restaurant posts to write up because of it.

As (almost) always, a recipe that calls for thighs, I must immediately change to use breasts. Why not?  It is the taste we prefer. If you want to use thighs, use two for each of you.

What You Need:
Step One

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour
Step Two
2 tsp Olive oil
Step Three
1/2 cup dry white wine
Step Four
1 cup chopped, seeded & peeled tomato
Step Five
1 tsp lemon juice
2 slices of prosciutto
Step Six
Cheesy Polenta for Two

Pat the chicken dry and coat with sage, salt and pepper.  Dredge (see above) through the flour shaking off excess.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken on each side (~4 min), add the wine, and cover to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Since you have some time, this would e a good point to star the polenta and chop up your tomato and prosciutto.

Remove the chicken from pan once it is cooked through (should register 160F) and add tomato.  Allow to cook for 1 minute and then ad lemon juice and prosciutto.

Spoon sauce over chicken and polenta, and enjoy!

Serves: 2  Cost: $4/serving

::cooking for two:: Chicken Fajitas

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For me, the first real signs of Summer completely change my attitude about food.  I’m still always hungry, but I start always wanting to eat outside and never wanting to cook.  It’s really one of those things that is not going to be remedied until I have a big airy kitchen with a patio off it where we can have a grill and a dinner table. This is the true downfall to apartment living.  We have taken our food outside to eat before, but it has really just been to satisfy me.  It makes the hallway seem so long and the stairwell seem so dark and musty.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when summer begins, a meal needs to be quick and easy and make me feel like I am eating outside, even if it’s just that the windows are open.  These super simple fajitas definitely do the trick, having very little preparation needed.  They are also great to cure some winter blues. Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Cooking For Two these fajitas had juicy chicken and were full of flavor.

What You Need
Step One

2 boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
Step Two
bell pepper, 1/2″ strips
small red onion, sliced thin
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
Step Three
1 lime, juiced (or about 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1Tbsp canola oil
Step Four
6, 6″ flour tortillas

Heat oven to 200F.  Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Over medium high heat, heat the oil in a 10″ skillet until just smoking and then carefully add the chicken to the pan.  Cook until well browned on each side and 165F at its thickest point.  This should take about 7 minutes per side, depending on the size of the breasts.  Once cooked through, transfer to an oven safe plate, tent with foil, and place in warm oven.

Reduce the skillet heat to medium and add all step two ingredients.  Cook until softened  (~6 min).  While the peppers and onions are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together all step three ingredients.  Slice the chicken into 1/4″ pieces and mix into lime mixture.  Everything can sit for a minute while you warm the tortillas and then you and your other half can prepare your fajitas with whatever topping you would like (salsa, avocado, sour cream, cheese… you get the idea).

*Warm Tortillas?  My preferred method of warming the tortillas is to toast them like I do for my enchiladas.  Move the cooked peppers and onion to a bowl and wash out the skillet.  Return the skillet to medium heat and place the tortillas in the skillet one at a time, heating both sides for just a few seconds.  It should slightly puff up on the second side when it it done.  Any leftover tortillas?  A perfect snack to finish them up, toast them, add lemon butter, and roll up.  Yum!

Serves: 2  Cost: ~$3/serving

::savory supper:: Caramelized Onions & Red Peppers on Pasta

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This was so yummy!  So yummy, but by the time I loaded the images on the computer, I completely forgot what recipe I followed to make it.  I was super excited when I was paging through my Cooking for Two and realized what it was.  If you haven’t caught on yet, we love pasta, and mostly stick with chicken as our meat.  Sorry to the readers who wished we went outside this, but at least we change up how we eat those staples 🙂

This dish was no different.  An easy weeknight pasta dish without having the same old red sauce. To make it go even quicker, I highly recommend having all your ingredients ready to go before starting to cook.

What Your Need
Step One

4 Tbsp Butter (divided)
1 chicken breast, sliced thin
Step Two
large onion, sliced thin
1/8 tsp salt
red bell pepper, 1/4″ strips
Step Three
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp flour
1/8 tsp pepper flakes
Step Four
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
Step Five
1/2 lb rigatoni (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup grated asiago

*tip* to easily slice the chicken nice and thin, I cut it while it is only about half defrosted.

Ok!  Time to get started!  In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp of butter over high heat until it begins to brown.  Add the chicken and cook until it is almost cooked through.  Set aside, covered, and melt another Tbsp of butter, reducing the heat to medium.

Once the butter is melted, add the onion and salt to the pan and cook until softened and well browned.  You can mix them occasionally, but keep in mind the key to caramelizing onions is patience 🙂  It will probably take about ten minutes.  Once they are on the verge of perfection, add the pepper to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes or so, perfecting the caramelly goodness of the onions and softening the peppers just a bit.  Transfer to the same bowl as the chicken.

Add another Tbsp of butter to the pan.  Once melted, add all of your step three ingredients.  Allow them to cook for about 30 seconds and then add the broth and wine.  Start your water for the pasta around now too! The broth and wine need to cook down until about 2/3 of a cup, cover and simmer once this is done.  When the pasta water it boiling, add the pasta, as well as a Tbsp of butter, and a Tbsp of salt to the water.

Once the pasta is done, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Add the chicken/veggie mixture back to the sauce with the last Tbsp of butter and the cheese (I had a bit set aside for the top).  Continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Toss with the pasta, using the some reserved cooking water to adjust consistency and help the sauce bind with the pasta.  If you set some cheese aside, sprinkle it on top.  It would have been great to sprinkle some shredded basil on top of this as well, but I had none 🙁

Serves: 2  Cost: $2.50/serving

::more curry:: Coconut Basil Curry

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Mother’s Day can’t be all about baked goods can it?  My dad doesn’t like spicy at all, so this won’t be on our menu, but…IF I had a group of people to serve and I wanted to make everything ahead of time, this curry might do the trick.  It only gets better with time.  This is one of those recipes that inspired this site as well.  I adapted it from my Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. The first time we made it was around the time of our wedding. I may have made it a few times.  Unfortunately, it as one of those recipes that I remembered what it tasted like, but didn’t remember where I found it or how to make it.  So I hadn’t made it in years.  I was so excited when I found it again! If you are making this a day in advance, I would wait to add the basil until ready to serve.

Someone felt like I was intruding on their space to take a photo of the basil – so I had to share.  🙂

What You Need
Step One
2 lbs chicken, cut into bite size pieces
3 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper

Step Two
1 Tbsp olive oil
med-large red onion, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 or 2 jalepenos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (depending on heat preference)
Step Three
1 can light coconut milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Step Four
handful of fresh basil, shredded
1.5-2″ piece of fresh ginger, grated

My trick for recipes that call for bite size chicken pieces is easy.  When I buy chicken, I purchase whole chicken breasts.  When I trim them and get them ready to freeze, I separate each breast, and I separate the tenderloins.  I freeze the breasts together in pairs since that is normally what we need, and then all the tenderloins get thrown in together.  When I have a recipe that calls for small pieces, I pull out the tenderloins and it save me a ton of time cutting.  Typically, we buy 3-4 whole breasts at a time, so two “sets” are the perfect amount for a bigger recipe.

Ok!  So – cut your chicken into bite size pieces and coat with the spices in step one.  Cover and stick in the fridge.  Let it sit for at least 30 minutes (I am not good at prepping in advance, so this is usually the most it gets from me).  Up to a day is fine, the more the spices penetrate the chicken, the richer the flavor, but we like it with my 30 minute can’t prep style  🙂

Heat oil over medium high heat in a wok or large skillet.  Add step two ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook the chicken until no longer pink.  Cooking the chicken half at a time helps so that no pieces get over-cooked.  Remove chicken from the wok.

Combine coconut milk and cornstarch and pour into pan.  Use this to deglaze the pan if necessary and continue to cook until thick and bubbly.  Add everything back to the pan including your last ingredients (basil and ginger) and cook for about 2-3 more minutes to make sure everything is nice and hot.

Serve over hot white rice and enjoy!

Serves: 4     Cost: <$4/serving