Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

20th August
written by Steph

Pineapple Chicken Curry

For those of us who love curries, the extensive range of premade jarred sauces and pastes makes cooking up flavorful, international dishes a breeze. When I first began cooking for myself in earnest about five years ago (note that this time coincides entirely with me moving to a different country from my mother, who I fully admit spoiled me with her cooking up until the age of 23…), I certainly relied extensively on these convenient sauces to provide my home cooked meals with authentic rich flavors that I craved but wasn’t confident or knowledgeable enough to achieve on my own. Lately, however, I’ve really been trying to up the ante when it comes to curries and the like, and have been branching out to include meals in my repartee that are done entirely from scratch. It may seem intimidating at first to mix and blend all the spices that Asian cooking is known for, but one of the benefits is that you get to tailor everything to your own palate. The more I experiment with blending spices from scratch, the more I find that it really is possible to achieve the flavors you know and love from your favorite Thai or Indian restaurant from the comfort (and relative frugality!) of your own home. The past week I was craving pineapple curry, and after searching high and low, I managed to find a recipe that did not simply call for one to use a store-bought paste or sauce as the curry base. Below is the version I slightly modified from that on Vazhayila. Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp of lemongrass paste (can be found alongside most refrigerated herbs in your produce section)
  • 2 green chilies, chopped (remove seeds if you like less spicy food)
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp dried coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • salt
  • 5 tbsp fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups of fresh cubed pineapple + 1/8 cup of juice
9th August
written by Steph

Dijon Chicken with Bacony Peas

After a rather rambunctious weekend (comprised of late-night games of Scattergories and Moods accompanied by several gin and tonics), I had no desire to carry out our weekly grocery shopping yesterday. Choosing the path of sloth and Excedrin, I instead came up with a Sunday night dinner composed of things that we already had on hand and decided to leave the shopping for another, less hung over day. You know how it goes. Rather than feasting on tater tots smothered in canned chili with a side of carrot sticks and peanut butter, I actually managed to put together a well-balanced meal simply… and so can you! The glory of this meal is that it calls on things that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry, so it’s perfect for those days when you don’t have the time or inclination to shop for something special. Also, it comes together in a jiff and is also delicious. It’s so good no one would realize it was a meal inspired by desperation! 😉 (more…)
15th May
written by Steph

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta

This week has been ridiculously long, so I sent an email out yesterday afternoon to some friends suggesting a casual get together of cocktails and a light dinner. I thought it would be nice to catch up in a low-stress setting.  Now, the weather here in Nashville has been kind of wonky – chilly and brisk one day, only to be muggy and gross the next – and yesterday was definitely a case of the latter.  So I had to come up with a dinner that would be satisfying but not heavy and overly rich.  So, I came up with this spicy pasta dish, and it wound up being a huge hit.  As you can see from the pictures, it looks quite elegant and fancy schmancy if you plate it on a platter and serve it family style, but I promise it’s super simple.

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • ground coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (not minced)
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 small red peppers, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and roughly seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 16 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • ½ tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 cup of vodka
  • zest and juice from ½ lemon
  • feta cheese
  • fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • spaghetti noodles (or other noodle of your choice)
9th March
written by Steph

Chicken Tikka Masala (aka "Heaven on a plate")

If you’re anything like Tony and I, then you list Indian food as one of your favorite ethnic cuisines.  Coming from Toronto, I was used to a surfeit of wonderful and authentic Indian restaurants (I’ve heard tell from people from India that some of the best Indian food they’ve ever eaten they’ve had in T.O.!), so you can imagine my dismay when I moved to Nashville and found the Indian restaurants here less than inspiring.  The few places that existed tended to season every dish the exact same way (chicken korma should NOT taste the same as aloo gobi!), and often left me feeling bogged down yet oddly bereft once I was finished.  Sure there’s a great veggie Indian place just down the street, but we’re omnivores, and sometimes we crave meat.  Thankfully a WONDERFUL Indian place opened up across the street from our apartment about a year ago and Tony and I have never looked back.  Generally speaking Bombay Palace now takes care of all of our Indian needs, but there is something oddly rewarding about creating great Indian food in your own kitchen.  This recipe that I’ve adapted from over at the Pioneer Woman’s site will allow you to do just that!  Think Indian food is too hard to make at home?  Think again! (more…)
6th January
written by Steph

Guaranteed to cure what ails ya!

Guaranteed to cure what ails ya!

It’s cold/flu season, so I know I’m not alone when I tell you that part of my holiday this year involved lying in bed sick as a dog (though to be honest, our dogs never seem to get as sick as I do…).  It was a bummer being all snotty-yet-stuffy nosed and achey and fevered, even if my mom was there to take care of me… but then we returned to Nashville and things got worse because now my mom wasn’t even there to take care of me!  However, I’m not my mother’s daughter for nothing and I swiftly decided Tony and I needed to cook up a big pot of my mom’s chicken noodle soup, because if there’s one thing I want to eat when I’m sick, it’s that (well that and pho, but chicken noodle soup is way easier to make from home).  So today’s recipe is brought to you courtesy of my mom, because while I’m sure tons of people out there have their own CNS recipes, my mom’s is the BEST at curing what ails ya.  Trust me.  It’s got secret ingredients and everything. (more…)

30th October
written by Steph

This dish may not look all that pretty, but I promise it tastes good!

This dish may not look all that pretty, but I promise it tastes good!

When the weather starts getting cold, I start craving comfort food – generally one pot dishes that you can fling together and let the magic happen without doing all that much to them.  The funny thing is that most of the traditional comfort foods (like mac & cheese, meatloaf, or yes, tuna noodle casserole), I never got to eat growing up!  My mom made meatloaf maybe once or twice, but the only mac and cheese I ever got was Kraft Dinner.  It was good – don’t get me wrong – but it was straight out of a box.  Don’t go thinking my mom didn’t like to cook or anything like that.  Far from it.  My mom’s a wonderful cook, but those kinds of foods just aren’t on her radar.  Growing up in Trinidad, her idea of comfort foods are things like cookup, curries, and maybe even blood sausage (but we won’t talk about that last one, that’s for sure.).  So for me, casseroles and the like are still kind of a novelty dish, as they didn’t make up the bulk of my childhood eating. Now, I don’t consider myself to be a picky eater, but one thing I really don’t like is tuna from a can.  It just really grosses me out; just thinking about its flaky texture makes me want to lie down.  I don’t think Tony’s aversion is quite as strong as mine, but he’s no fan either (isn’t it nice when your food likes and dislikes so neatly coincide with your significant other’s?), so while I can get behind the general notion of the tuna noodle casserole, I had to swap out that first ingredient with chicken breast (in theory I could have probably used that canned chicken you can buy, but when possible, I choose to not use canned meats… 😉 ).  But other than that, I stuck pretty closely to this recipe, which allowed me to circumvent using a can of condensed soup.  Don’t worry if you choose to make things easier on yourself and use this one as your basis instead – I promise not to judge! (more…)
6th May
written by Steph
Chicken Enchilads served with a side of Mexican Rice

Chicken Enchiladas served with a side of Mexican Rice

Ok, we’re a day late so today is technically the seis de mayo rather than cinco de mayo, but let’s celebrate anyway with a Mexican recipe! Ai yai!  These chicken enchiladas are adapted from a recipe of a similar ilk over at Simply Recipes, but mine involve more cheese, because come on… everything is better with more cheese!  In the process, they are probably less authentic, but given the yum factor, I think all of you can deal with it.  These enchiladas take a little bit of prep time, but there’s no real reason why you couldn’t get the whole thing put together in 30 minutes if you really wanted to (you might just slightly singe your fingers if you don’t let the chicken cool sufficiently before shredding).  Let’s get to it! Ingredients (I made this for the two of us, but we had enough for one leftover lunch) •    1 jar of salsa verde (you could make the sauce from scratch if you can get your hands on fresh tomatillos, but it’s more work, and I think using the stuff in a jar is perfectly acceptable!) •    ½ cup of chopped white/yellow onion •    2 chicken quarters, cooked, skinned, and shredded (I believe a chicken quarter purchased from the supermarket gives you a drumstick attached to a thigh, perhaps with some back → read: plenty of chicken) •    1 clove of garlic, cut into quarters •    ¼ of a whole white/yellow onion •    1 tsp of salt •    1/3 cup of cream cheese •    1/3 cup of salsa fresca (tomato based salsa, made of fresh chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and jalapenos… we buy ours in a big tub from Sam’s Club.  This isn’t the really soupy kind you get in a jar alongside tortilla chips.  You’ll find this in the refrigerated section of your supermarket (sometimes in the deli, sometimes by the produce)) •    6 flour tortillas (the little size) •    2 tbsp of sour cream •    1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed, coarsely chopped •    handful of shredded Mexican cheese (we use the pre-shredded Mexican blend), for garnish (more…)
10th March
written by Steph
Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

Sometimes I’m at the grocery store and buy certain items on a whim, without fully considering how I’ll use said item in an upcoming dish.  Such was the case when I went and bought a beautiful leek, only to then realize that I didn’t really know a good recipe for them.  And then most recipes involving leeks called for more than one, and then I fortuitously stumbled upon a Jamie Oliver recipe for Chicken & Sweet Leek Pie and the day was saved! Of course, I didn’t really follow Jamie’s recipe to the note, mostly because I found it a tad fussy and I already have a pot pie recipe in my repertoire that we quite like (inspired by Elise's recipe), so I mostly just used Jamie’s concept, but made it the way I normally would make any other pot pie.  It’s a great way to use up extra roast chicken, which is how I normally come about making pot pies (though in this instance, I actually did freshly roast two chicken legs (drumsticks + thighs) specially for this dish.  If you use frozen pie crusts as I do (I don’t really bake, and I definitely don’t do anything that requires a rolling pin!), then this is a relatively effortless meal to put together, with the added benefit that it just gets better upon reheating! (more…)
15th February
written by Steph
Braised Balsamic Chicken

Braised Balsamic Chicken (served with brown rice & oven-roasted asparagus)

Holy moley, is this ever delicious, and the pictures don't do it justice.  Seriously, I think the simplicity of the individual ingredients involved belie just how frikkin’ good the final product is, because man oh man is this one ever good.  And quick to put together, too (no joke, this took all of 20 minutes to cook, if that)!  And appropriate for people on a tighter budget, because nothing all that fancy is needed, and in fact, not all that many ingredients are needed.  Oh, and it’s also healthy… And just so we’re clear: YUMMY.  I need to stop talking about it and just tell you how to go ahead and make it because it is so good and you don’t want to spend any more of your life without having tasted this chicken.  Let’s get to it! Ingredients (we’ll say for two, but you could probably add way more chicken, because we had a fair share of left-over veggies) •    2 skinless and deboned chicken breasts (we buy these mutant gargantuan (but organic!) chicken breasts at Sam’s club, so I just used one of these whoppers and cut it into 2 portions after the fact) •    ½ white onion, thinly sliced (not diced!) •    ½ red pepper, thinly sliced •    2 tbsp olive oil (or thereabouts, I never measure oil…) •    salt and pepper •    garlic salt* (this is for seasoning the chicken breast; feel free to use whatever you like to use → I actually used some garlic and herb seasoning I have) •    ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar •    1 can of diced tomatoes (I used a fire-roasted variety that I love because it gives them some extra flavor) •    1 tsp dried basil •    1 tsp dried oregano •    1 tsp dried rosemary •    ½ tsp dried thyme •    2 tbsp brown sugar •    fresh mozzarella cheese, or any other cheese you want for garnish (option) (more…)
1st February
written by Steph
Chicken & Apples with a Honey Mustard Sauce (accompanied by a carrot-turnip mash, and snow peas)

Chicken & Apples with a Honey-Mustard Sauce (accompanied by a carrot-turnip mash and snow peas)

Another day, another recipe ganked from Elise’s site.  I wanted a dish that required relatively few ingredients (who doesn’t?), and one that would not take long to assemble.  This one beautifully fit the bill.  Everything it called for was easily at hand (ok, fine, Tony had to run across the street to get some apple cider, but since when is that a heartache?), and total prep & cooking time was about 25 minutes total (including my sides!).  Ideal for a weeknight meal (and pretty healthy too, I’d say!). Ingredients * 1/2 cup apple cider * 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch * Salt * Freshly ground black pepper * 1 Tbsp honey * 1 Tbsp mustard [I thought this was a bit ambiguous… there are lots of different types of mustard!  I used the cheapo yellow French’s mustard, and it worked really well, so don’t be afraid to do the same.  But I also think this would work well with a nice grainy Dijon, if that’s your kind of thing.] * 2 Tbsp seasoned dry breadcrumbs [I used Panko crumbs.  They’re the best!] * 4 4oz chicken breasts [Per usual, I only used 1 of the freaking huge chicken breasts we buy at Sam’s Club, and just split it into two.] * 1 Tbsp olive oil * 2 small unpeeled apples, cored and cut into eighths (use Golden delicious, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Pippin, or McIntosh apples) [I just used one small Granny Smith apple, and I felt this provided ample apple-y goodness for two people] * 1/2 cup chicken broth * Fresh parsley [I didn’t have this, so I didn’t add it, and you know what?  The recipe was totally fine without it.] (more…)