Dinner, Poultry, Quick Dinner

Chicken sausage with roasted fennel and sweet potatoes

Like the previous post, with a little bit of planning you can have a week’s worth of dinner ready in 1hr flat.  All you need is a hot oven at 375F, sausage of your choice, sweet potatoes, fennel, salt, pepper, olive oil.  That’s it.  Infact you can cook this meal and the swordfish dinner all at once.  This is how I cook.  Delicious, home cooked food and all I have to do cook and clean once night a week.  Perfect for a busy graduate student !    

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Appetizers, Classics, Dinner, Indian, Italian, Pastry, Poultry, Sides

International Potluck !

I am very fortunate to work with a great group of people.  Not only are they smart scientists, they are thoughtful and kind friends.  The cherry on the sundae is that we all love FOOD !!! Eating food, talking about food and cooking food !  We will sit around, eat lunch together and make plans for the next meal.  Call us gluttonous, but if that is a sin–it sure tastes great !  To make matters more interesting, we all identify with various regions of the world.  It took us while to get organized but we finally had out Lab International Potluck !

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Menu:

American: Shrimp and grits and apple pie

French Canadian: Meat pies

Sweden: Swedish Meatballs and Sauerkraut

Poland: Kielbasa

Italy: Stuffed Shells

France: Floating Islands

Turkey: Grape Leaves and Figs stuffed with sweet rice and soaked in syrup

Indian: Jhalferezi and saffron rice

Vietnam: Chicken buns

Talk about a feast !!!!

Italian, Poultry, Salad, Sides

Saffron Chicken, Lemon and Green Bean Salad

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), scrubbed well
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Pinch saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • About 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (tenderloins removed), trimmed of visible fat
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Use a fork to prick the lemon in 3 or 4 places. Place in a small saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes or until quite tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the saffron, mint, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag. Add the chicken and seal. Massage to coat; let it marinate (at room temperature) while you prep the beans.

Set up a steamer over a few inches of barely bubbling water (over medium heat). Place the beans inside; cover and steam for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and a brighter shade of green. Cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work.

Grease a large skillet with cooking oil spray and place it over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the marinated chicken. (It’s okay if some marinade remains on the chicken; discard any remaining marinade.) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook on the second side for 6 to 8 minutes or as needed, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned. Cool, then cut into bite-size pieces, transferring them to the bowl of green beans.

Slice off and discard the ends of the lemon, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the flesh and pulp. Cut the remaining peel (with pith) into thin slices, then into 1/4-inch pieces, adding them to the bowl as you work. Add the thyme.

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the honey in a liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to form an emulsified dressing. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the lemon-chicken mixture and toss to incorporate. Serve at room temperature.

Classics, Dinner, French, Poultry

French Chicken Breast with Orange Tarragon Sauce

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A classic French dish is a perfect romantic meal for two ! Pair it with roasted asparagus and a crisp chardonnay !

Ingredients:
8 chicken breasts, skin on and wing bone attached
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs tarragon
4 TBS unsalted butter, cut into bits

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and place it over high heat for 2 minutes. Season the chicken breasts with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and place 4 of the breasts in the pan skin side down. Sear for 1 minute or until the skin is crispy and a golden brown. Turn the breasts and sear 1 more minute. Remove to a baking dish and repeat the process with the rest of the butter, oil and breasts. Place the baking dish into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add orange juice, chicken broth, and tarragon to the hot skillet. Cook until reduced by about 3/4 (sauce should coat the back of a spoon). Right before serving, whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top.

Classics, Comfort food, Poultry

Celebrating 1000 followers!!

A while ago this blog hit a milestone of 1000 followers ! Never in my wildest dreams did I see that happening, so thank you to all those have been a part of this flavor quest ! As a celebration, the initial plan was to go out for a nice dinner and update you all about the adventure. But instead I decided to challenge the boy and asked him to make me dinner instead ! The only rule was that he could not prepare something that we have made before ! So he decided to make a wonderful lemon rosemary roast chicken with potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Here are some pictures from the cooking event ,

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Classics, Comfort food, Fish & Seafood, Meat, Poultry, Soups, Stew

Gumbo

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
8oz of frozen mixed peppers                                                                                                             2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
16 oz bag of frozen, sliced okra.
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (cooked)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Preparation:

-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine

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allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over rice.

 

Dinner, Poultry, Stew

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chilli

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Need a new idea for using up leftover squash from all those holiday meals?  Try this chilli, a meatless meal that will leave even the biggest meat eaters satisfied.  Spicy an belly-warming, a sure hit !

Ingredients:

2tbsp of olive oil

1lb of chopped butternut squash

2 tsp of minced garlic

1 medium onions diced

1, 14 oz can of black beans, risned

2 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tbsp. of cumin

1/2 of 1 7oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo

3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 tbsp of dried oregano

2tbsp of honey and 2tbsp of lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pot and cook onions, garlic, tomato paste, peppers and cumin till onions wilt and soften.

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Add beans and squash and sauté till softened.

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Add chicken stock and dried oregano.

Simmer on medium low heat till the stew thickens-about 20-30mins.

Adjust seasoning and then stir in lime juice and honey–this will cut the heat of the peppers.

Serve hot with tortilla chips, sour cream and avocado slices.

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Poultry

Hummus baked Chicken

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Hummus is no longer just a dip–it is now a decadent filling to turn your next boring chicken dinner into an exotic meal !  Think about what hummus has–spices, chickpeas, seasoning and olive oil.  All healthy ingredients that are spreadable.  I had roasted red pepper hummus and I added a few more ingredients and I came up with this amazing dish !

Ingredients:

3 medium sized chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin.

1/4 cup of roasted red pepper hummus

A few dashes of Sriracha (adjust to you heat preference)

A few fresh basil leaves

Salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin-1/4 tsp of each.

Method:

Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound them out thin.  Cover the breasts with plastic wrap while doing so to prevent a mess.

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Spread the hummus and Sriracha on one side of the chicken breast.  Sprinkle a few leaves of basil.

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Roll op the chicken and place it is a glass baking dish.  Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.

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Put the chicken in the fridge for atleast 1hr.

Fill the baking dish with a little bit of chicken stock and drizzle on 1-2tbsp of olive oil.

Bake for 45 mins in a 375F till the chicken is cooked through.

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Let the chicken rest for 15 mins, slice and serve with the sauce that forms in the bottom of the baking dish.  Add some couscous or quinoa on the side for a complete meal !

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Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Poultry, Stew

Chicken Tagine

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A delicious Moroccan dish which is perfect on a cold day.  Traditionally cooked in a Tagine and made with lamb, the dish has evolved and now can be made with chicken and a variety of dried fruits and spices.  I read a bunch of recipes and picked the best parts and came up with my own concoction.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, 1 inch of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic- chopped together.

3 lbs of chicken cubed

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 1/2tsp of coriander seeds

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

1 1/4 cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 ground ginger

1/2 turmeric

1/2 cup of chopped dates and apricots

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 tbsp of parsley

1tbsp of olive oil

2 cups or more (enough to cover the pot) water

1 pinch of saffron threads

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and all the spices till fragrant.

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Add the chicken and keep sautéing till the chicken is almost cooked through

Cover with water and add the saffron

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Simmer on medium low heat till water reduces

Add the dried fruits, nuts and parsley and continue simmer till the sauce comes together and is thick in consistency.

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Serve hot with couscous.

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Comfort food, Poultry, Stew

Hunter’s Chicken

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A rustic stew that will warm up any fall evening. Dried shitaki mushrooms re-hydrated in the stew adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Serve with crusty bread or cheesy polenta and you have a simple, speedy dinner ready !

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (use more if serving more people)

1 large onion, chopped into medium sized pieces

5 Campari tomatoes quartered

2 tsp of minced garlic

Dried shitaki muchrooms (add as much as you like, I added to small packets I got from trader joes)

1.5 cups of chicken stock

a splash of red wine (you define the splash !)

1/2 tbsp of dried thyme and rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of olive oil

Method:

Season chicken with salt and pepper, and sauté with 1/2 tbsp of oil till browned.  Set aside.

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Add remaining oil to the pot and sauté garlic, onions and tomatoes till soft.

Add the dried herbs, mushrooms, wine and chicken.

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Cover with stock, and simmer for 30 mins, till chicken is cooked through.  Add more stock if needed and season with salt and pepper.

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Serve hot !

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