Posts Tagged CHICKEN

Cajun-Creole Jambalaya

jambalayaThis can loosely be called the Louisiana version of Paella. The only real difference is that I bake this in the oven to finish it off, as opposed to cooking it on top of the stove. This is a crazy good dish, a complete meal in itself.

Again, I first got turned onto Jambalaya on my travels to New Orleans in the eighties. Although the travels were for business, I never failed to tack on vacation time at the end of my business obligations to enjoy the food and culture of New Orleans. While a lot can be said about New Orleans crime and corruption, the one thing that is absolutely certain is that you will never be served substandard food and drinks in that town.

This recipe calls for Andouille sausage. I have never had a problem finding this in my local supermarket, but Tasso or some other kind of smoked ham is a great substitute here. Alternatively, buffalo chicken sausage is great also.

You will need a pretty deep baking pan for this. If your skillet is big enough and can handle oven cooking, you can simply work with that.

Ingredients

3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)

2 cups Andouille sausage, cut in 1/4 inch pieces then quartered

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup chopped onion, divided

1 cup chopped celery, divided

1 cup chopped green bell peppers, divided

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 28-oz can Italian whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up by hand

1 tsp broken-leaf sage

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 whole bay leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups long-grain rice (Basmati works well here)

Tabasco sauce (for the table)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat up 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and Andouille sausage, and cook until browned. (The meats do not need to be cooked through.) Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and heat up. Add 1/2 cup each of the celery, onion and peppers, along with the cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, sage, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Now, we move to the pan you’re going to bake in. Add the meats and shrimp. Then add the cooked vegetables and all of the juices that are left from that process. Add the rice, chicken stock, the remaining uncooked half cup of the celery, onions and green pepper. Add the tomatoes and the bay leaves. Stir everything together.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees.

Serve with a full bottle of Tabasco sauce.

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Chicken Biryani

Chicken-BiryaniI made this the other night for a potluck Indian feast at a friend’s house. It was outstanding, I must say. However, biryani is not only considered an Indian dish, but also a Pakistani dish. Unlike Paella, you want to use a long-grained rice for this dish. Basmati rice is absolutely perfect for biryani.

This dish also makes use of one of the greatest spices on the planet: Cardamom. It may well be expensive, but it’s lends an amazingly aromatic flavor to this dish. I used both pods and ground Cardamom for mine.

Ingredients

3 lbs boneless, skinless thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks

4 tbsp canola oil; plus an additional 2 tbsp canola oil

6 small potatoes, cut in half

2 large onions, chopped

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp chili powder

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional; but not really if you like a little heat)

1.5 tsp salt

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

5 Cardamom pods

1 tsp ground Cardamom

1 pinch Saffron

16 oz Basmati rice

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skilled. Add the potatoes and fry until browned. Remove to paper towels and reserve.

Add 2 more tbsp oil to the skillet and fry the 2 finely chopped onions, garlic, and the ginger paste until the onions are soft and golden. Add the chili powder, pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cumin, salt and the tomatoes. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes. Add the yogurt, mint, cardamom pods and ground cinnamon. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat until the tomatoes become pulpy. Add a bit of chicken broth or water if the mixture becomes too dry and begins to stick to the pan.

Once the mixture becomes thick and smooth, add the chicken and stir well to coat evenly. Cover and cook over very low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken becomes very tender. The mixture should be fairly thick once the chicken is done. If your mixture looks to runny, remove the cover and cook for several minutes to reduce the mixture.

While your chicken is cooking, wash the rice well and allow it to drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.

In another large skillet, heat the additional 2 tbsp canola oil and fry the single diced onion until it is golden. Add the saffron, ground cardamom, cinnamon stick, ground ginger, ground cloves and rice. Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the spices.

In a medium-sized pot, heat the 4 cups of chicken stock. When the stock is hot, pour it over the rice and stir it well. Add the chicken mixture from the other skillet, as well as the reserved potatoes. Stir everything together gently, and bring it to a boil. Cover the skillet tightly, turn the heat down low and cook for about 20 minutes. Do not life the lid or stir while cooking.

Spoon the biryani onto a warm serving dish, remove the cinnamon stick, and you’re ready to feast!

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Greek Lemon Chicken Nos. 1 and 2

Greek Lemon ChickenThis is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and there’s more than one way to make it. Therefore, I’m posting both recipes here, listed as numbers 1 and 2. The baking instructions are the same, as you will see.

Greek Lemon Chicken incorporates some of the greatest spices on the planet, like oregano, thyme and rosemary. And let’s not forget the lemon, which is amazing. I’m not going to tell you which one is my favorite because I cannot choose between the two. If I could, there would only be one recipe here. So, don’t go thinking that I like the recipe labeled no. 1 better. It just worked out that way!

For this dish, I use bone-in chicken as opposed to boneless chicken. And I use everything but chicken breast.

Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 1

2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (wings, thighs and drumsticks)

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried thyme

2 tbsp dried rosemary

2 tbsp lemon zest

1.5 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp Kosher or sea salt

2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/4 cup canola oil

Directions for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 1

Here’s where that Good Seasons cruet that I always talk about comes in handy. Check out the Kitchen Accessories page on this blog. Place all the ingredients in the cruet and shake like you mean it.

Take a toothpick and poke holes in both the top and undersides of the chicken pieces. Place them in a resealable plastic bag with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight. Be sure to turn the chicken by squeezing the bag every once in a while to ensure that all the pieces spend time in the marinade.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. After an hour, turn the heat up to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes to “crisp” the chicken.

Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 2

For this version of Greek Lemon Chicken, you are basically making a “rub.”

2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken (wings, thighs and drumsticks)

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp onion powder

3 tbsp dried thyme

3 tbsp dried oregano

3 tbsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

3 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

Zest of one lemon (reserve the lemon)

1 additional lemon, cut into thin slices

Directions for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 2

Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, oregano. salt, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, and lemon zest together to make a rub. Rub each piece of chicken on both sides with olive oil and apply the rub. Then, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow the chicken pieces to absorb the flavors for a minimum of 6 hours or, preferably, overnight.

When you are ready to bake the chicken, unwrap the pieces and place them in a baking dish. Poke holes in each piece with a toothpick, and squeeze the lemon you zested on top of the chicken. Cut the additional lemon into thin slices and place them on top of the chicken.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. After an hour, increase the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional hour to “crisp” the chicken.

Discard the lemon slices that may have burned prior to serving. Otherwise, you can serve it with them on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken and White Bean Chili

chicken and white bean chiliIt’s getting pretty chilly outside, and it is definitely “soup weather.” But in our house, it’s also chili weather. This is not what you’d expect for “chili” because it’s made with white beans and chicken, both ground and chicken pieces. However, it is a nice change from the traditional chili (which I also love).

Some of the spices are different. Some are the same as traditional chili. I use a combination of ground chicken and chicken thighs, so there is a variation in consistency that makes this dish very yummy.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in bite-sized pieces

1 lb ground chicken

2 15 oz cans Cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped

3 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tsp salt, plus more for final seasoning

2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp ancho chili powder

3 tbsp garlic, minced

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, divided

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tbsp flour

Fresh-ground black pepper (for seasoning)

Queso Fresco or Monterey Jack Cheese (for serving)

Fresh cilantro sprigs (for garnish)

Directions

Add the olive oil to a large pan or Dutch oven and heat on medium. Then, add the ground chicken, chicken thigh pieces, yellow and orange bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions become soft.

Then add about a half cup of the chicken stock, along with the ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and flour. Turn the heat down a bit and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times..

Add the rest of the chicken stock and the rinsed and drained beans, along with the cilantro. Stir to mix everything together.

You could, of course, have this dish completed in about 45 minutes if you cook this on medium-high. However, I recommend that you turn the heat to low and allow the chili to simmer for about one and a half to two hours to really allow the flavors to take hold. About 35 minutes before your chili is done, add the corn so that it heats through.

Serve the chili topped with shredded Queso Fresco or Monterey Jack Cheese. A side of white corn chips adds a nice texture!

Please remember to check the chili while it is cooking and adjust the seasonings to suit your taste!

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Chicken Marengo

boneless-skinless-chicken-thighs1You know, there are always “stories” surrounding food. With this dish, rumor has it that Napoleon Bonaparte’s chef made this dish for him after the battle of Marengo. I don’t necessarily know if this story is true, because I’ve always thought of this as a Spanish dish. What I do know that this is utterly delicious. What makes it utterly delicious are the many layers of flavor.

Most of the Chicken Marengo recipes out there call for boneless breast of chicken. Again, I prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs simply because the meat is so moist. However, you will see that I have given you the option when you get to the recipe portion of this post.

I have served this over white rice, and over noodles. However, I recommend you try it over Israeli Couscous. Aside from salting the couscous, there isn’t any flavor you really need to add to it. There is plenty of flavor in the Chicken Marengo itself.

Ingredients

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 3 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained (I love to use the Del Monte with mild chilis in this dish)

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 medium Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced

1/2 large red pepper, seeds removed and cut in strips

1 cup Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and cut in strips

1 cup frozen petite peas

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh thyme, removed from stems

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp capers

Directions

Put the olive oil in a deep skillet and add the onion and red pepper strips, cooking until the onions are just translucent. Then add the chicken. If you’re using thighs, put them in whole. These will be easy to break up in to pieces a bit later in the cooking process. If using chicken breast, make sure you have cut them into bite-sized pieces. Cook the chicken on until slightly browned.

Once the chicken has browned, add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, wine, salt and pepper, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes.

While this is cooking, put the butter, lemon and mushrooms in a smaller skillet, and sauté the mushrooms until just tender. Remove from the heat and set aside. You can also measure out the frozen petite peas and set them aside.

After about 45 minutes, break up the chicken thighs. Add the mushrooms, peas, cilantro and capers. Give it a stir. Cook for about another 12-15 minutes, or until the peas are just tender.

Remove the bay leaf, and serve over Israeli couscous (my preference), rice or wide noodles.

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