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Posts Tagged ‘Chicken/Poultry’

cajjambalaya22

I look for any excuse to cook for a special occasion – especially fun things like Fat Tuesday, St. Patricks, Cinco de Mayo, even the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (we had friends over for a Chinese feast!). While menu planning this week, I knew Fat Tuesday had to be Cajun themed.

We started the day out at IHOP for free pancake day. If you didn’t hear about it you missed out! IHOP was giving away a free short stack of pancakes to everyone to raise money for The Children’s Miracle Network. Fat Tuesday was originally known as “Shrove Tuesday” – the day before the Christian time of fasting and prayer called lent. Apparently, one of the Shrove Tuesday traditions is eating pancakes. Read more on Wikipedia

On to dinner. I’d been craving jambalaya for the last few weeks so there was no hemming and hawing over what to make (which is abnormal for me – usually I pour over recipes for hours). I’ve tried several recipes over the last few years and have recently found my favorite – it’s Emeril’s Cajun Jambalaya. I love all the veggies along with the trio of shrimp, andouille and chicken – it also has a great flavor and a good amount of heat. Surprisingly enough, this comes together relatively quickly, especially if you buy deveined shrimp. I definitely recommend this next time you are in the mood for a cajun dish!

cajjambalaya

Cajun Jambalaya
(Recipe source Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients:

12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
4 oz chicken, diced (can sub chopped cooked chicken if you have some on hand)
1 tbsp creole seasoning (Emeril’s Essence or any other cajun seasoning)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I use drained diced if I don’t have fresh on hand)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce (or more if you like heat)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional – not included in the original recipe but good if you like heat)
3/4 cup white rice
3 cups chicken stock
5 oz andouille sausage, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken do not add the chicken in with the shrimp. Work in seasoning well.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, celery and bell pepper and cook about three minutes. Add garlic, tomatotes, bay leaves, worcestershire, hot sauce and cayenne. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionaly, about 15 minutes. Then add shrimp, chicken and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and creole seasoning.

Yield: 4 servings

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briechicken

I came across this recipe last year when I had leftover brie and chicken breasts in the fridge. It was a good find! The flavor is great – what’s not to love about warm melty brie, apricot preserves and crunchy almonds? It’s also a fairly simple recipe that comes together quickly. Brandon requested this to be on the menu last week and I was happy to oblige.

Brie and Apricot Chicken with Almonds
(Recipe source cooksrecipes.com – originally from National Chicken Council)

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Extra virgin olive oil
6-8 slices of brie
4 tbsp apricot preserves (we prefer Bon Mamon)
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken between two sheets of wax paper or in a gallon bag and gently pound to 1/4-inch thickness.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute for about 3 minutes per side, until golden colored.

Remove chicken from pan and place in a greased baking dish. Spread 2 tbsp of preserves on chickenĀ  (I usually don’t measure – just smear it on) and cover with slices of brie. Sprinkle almonds on top.

Cook for about 6-7 minutes until cheese is melted. At this point, I usually turn on the broiler for a minute to get the cheese to get a little more melted and bubbly.

Yield: 2 servings

* Tip – if you don’t have almonds on hand or don’t want to buy a whole bag of sliced almonds buy frozen green beans and almonds (I like Green Giant). Serve the green beans with your dinner and use the almonds for the chicken (they come in a separate packet in the box).

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chickenchili

My mother in law shared this recipe with me a few years ago and I always make it several times during the winter. It’s delicious, healthy and hearty. This recipe makes a generous amount – the leftovers reheat well and the chili freezes well.

White Chicken Chili
(Recipe source my mother in law)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilies
2 lbs diced chicken breasts (about 4)
2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, divided
2 (15 oz) cans white shoepeg corn
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp jalapeno, diced
1 bay leaf

Directions:

Saute onion, bell pepper and chilies in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large stock pot for about 5 minutes. Add in diced chicken and garlic and saute about 5 more minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.

Drain corn and beans. Puree one can of beans in a food processor or blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bot and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Discard bay leaf before serving. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese and hot sauce (if desired). I usually make cornbread too.

Yield: 3 quarts, plus 1 1/2 cups

* Note, you can use already cooked chicken (rotisserie, leftover roasted, etc) and skip the chicken cooking stage – just let the onions cook a little longer before adding rest of ingredients.

* Another note, I think this could be done in the crockpot (I’ve never tried it though) by placing chicken breasts in crockpot whole and covering it with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Shred chicken with two forks before serving.

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schnitzel

A few years ago I came across this recipe in Cooking Light for Easy Schnitzel. The name is a little strange but it’s essentially just parmesan crusted chicken breasts. I make it a couple of times a year and it’s always a hit. It’s pretty simple and quick.

When I make this I only use two chicken breasts but make the full amount for the dredging mixture. I usually just eyeball the flour and breadcrumb amounts and I like to use a mixture of panko and traditional breadcrumbs. I like to serve it with parmesan cous cous and a vegetable or salad.

Unfortunately, Cooking Light is really strict about bloggers posting their recipes so I’m going to have to send you off to their site to get the recipe.

Easy Schnitzel

*Please note that this can be prepared completely in the skillet without having to finish it in the oven. Just increase your cooking time to 4-5 minutes per side and remove from heat when internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.

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Greek Pasta

We love anything with Greek flavors and have tried several variations of Greek pasta. Usually we find that something seems to be lacking but I think we’ve finally found one to stick with. This was delicious and came together really quickly. The flavor was great and you can definitely play around with the ingredients and try different substitutions. For example, I forgot to buy kalamata olives at the store and we had green in the fridge. Rather than omit olives, I decided to throw the green in and it worked great.

Greek Pasta
(Loosely adapted from Mediterranean Pasta in Minutes, Tyler Florence)

Ingredients:
1/2 box of penne pasta (or your choice)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 8 1/2 oz can quartered artichoke hearts in water
1/3 kalamata or green olives, pitted and halved
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (divided into 1/4 and 1/4)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Follow cooking instructions on box for pasta.

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat (depending on your oven). Add olive oil and heat until shimmery. Add chicken strips and cook until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add diced onion and garlic and saute for about 3 more minutes, until onion begins to look translucsent. Add in artichoke hearts, olives, diced tomatoes, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce heat and cook on low until heated through. Stir in 1/4 of feta cheese and remove from heat.

Place cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour chicken mixture over pasta. Top plated dishes with remaining feta cheese.

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