Posts tagged ‘chicken’

Slow-Cooked Supper: The Comfort Food Edition

Based on the recipe “Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Potpie” in the Feb 2012 Real Simple; I’ll type in their original, with my changes in parentheses and notes.

8 oz cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved if large (I used all the mushrooms delivered to me this week in my produce box , leaving the stems on because they were small and tight and quartering them)
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used three big handfuls of organic baby carrots and just chunked them in whole)
1 medium onion, chopped (we don’t do onions at our house, so I left this out)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 sprigs fresh thyme (I used several shakes of the dried thyme I keep on hand for red beans, plus a couple of shakes of dried marjoram)
1 bay leaf (two small ones)
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 8 (I used a little over 2 pounds, about 11, because that’s how the packaging of the organic boneless skinless chicken thighs from Costco worked out)
salt and black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry (half a 17.3oz package), thawed
1 c frozen peas (I don’t do peas, so I left these out)
1 c frozen green beans (I really don’t do green beans, so these would never be anywhere in my house to begin with)
1/3 c heavy cream (I actually had some left in my fridge from the holidays, but it had crossed over to the dark side and I just used a couple  glugs of half-and-half)

1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together mushrooms, carrots, onion (X), flour, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 c water. Place chicken pieces on top of this; season with salt and pepper.

2. Cover and cook until chicken and veg are tender; 7 – 8 hours on low, or 4 -5 hours on high (my slow cooker just needed 6 hours on low, so pay attention to what yours does).

3. Thirty minutes before serving (whatever), heat oven to 425. Using a 4.5″ cutter or large glass, cut pastry into 4 circles. (I used my giant fleur-de-lis cookie cutters, and then just had fun with twisting up scraps in little bits and shapes. I can imagine using various cutters at various times.) Place on a baking sheet and bake til golden, 8 to 10 minutes (mine took 8).

4. Ten minutes before serving, add peas, green beans, cream, and a little salt to the chicken mixture (you’ll have to take this on faith, as what I did was curse the very idea of peas and green beans once again as I glugged in the half and half); stir to combine. Cover and cook on high or low until heated through (I found that it was heated through as quickly as I stirred it), 5 to 10 minutes. To serve, place chicken mixture in bowls and top with pastry rounds (shapes).

It was TASTY. Comfort food at its finest. I toyed with the idea of sprinkling a little pecorino over the pastry before baking to make cheesy pastry, and still might do that next time. M devoured it and said “Keep this recipe.” I will say, I do like my slow cooker. Particularly when our dinnertime comes right after all the time we spend feeding/bathing/nursing/putting to bed our boy. Mama don’t like eight p.m. dinners.


January 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

The Slow-Cooker As Mama’s Best Friend

The dinner hour has turned into two or three hours of baby care… Thomas eats between 4:30 and 5, which takes half an hour to an hour, and then we have a little play-and-digest time, and then we have bath time, and then bedtime takes a half an hour or so, which means from 4:30 to 7 or so I’m not in the kitchen cooking.

This leads to many a dinner of leftovers from weekend cooking marathons, jazzed-up frozen pizza, scrambled eggs, or 8 p.m. mealtimes. But when I remember the slow cooker, or when Real Simple runs a slow-cooker recipes article, we get a fresh hot meal that needs hardly any attention between 4:30 and 7.

The last two slow-cooked suppers both made use of organic boneless skinless chicken thighs from Costco. Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie, and Slow-Cooker Soy-Glazed Chicken & Butternut Squash with Stir-Fry Greens. I’ll post the chicken pot pie recipe later, but here is the Soy-Glazed Chicken. It’s based on a recipe from the February 2012 issue of Real Simple; I’ll post their original as is, and note my changes in parentheses.

1/2 c packed light brown sugar (I had dark)
3 T low-sodium soy sauce (I used my organic wheat-free tamari)
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T Asian fish sauce (finally, keeping that on the condiment carousel pays off!)
1 T grated fresh ginger (I’m sure I used a bit more, since I love ginger)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I just did several squirts of Sriracha while I was on my condiment carousel)
1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 8 (I used about a pound; it was the third packet from the three-pack of organic ones from Costco)
(1 butternut squash, or 2 if they’re small like mine was, or even 3 if they’re as small as some others that have come in my produce box; peel and cube)
1 c long-grain white rice
1 T canola oil
(here is where I diverged 100 percent; Real Simple stir-fries a bunch of good vegs, and I saute greens)
3/4 lb snow peas, trimmed
2 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
black pepper
(I used mustard greens, turnip greens, komatsuna and mizuna; wash them well)

1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together sugar, soy sauce/tamari, lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper (Sriracha). Add chicken; turn to coat. (Add butternut squash cubes; work into the sauce for coating also. I had less chicken than the recipe called for but as much sauce, so I had enough; you might want to do just a little extra sauce.)

2. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 7 – 8 hours on low or 4 – 5 hours on high (mine wound up being about 3 hours on high and then another hour on warm).

3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook rice according to package directions.

4. Meanwhile, transfer chicken and butternut squash to a plate, reserving cooking liquid/sauce.

5. Real Simple says to stir fry the vegs. Here’s where I heated the oil and sauteed my greens instead. Real Simple says to drizzle the cooking liquid over the finished rice/chicken/veg when you serve; I poured the cooking liquid over the greens once they had wilted down, let them bubble for a few minutes, drizzled a tiny bit of Steen’s over for depth, and sprinkled a little cornstarch over to thicken at the end. With the soy-glazed chicken and squash, this was GREAT. Just typing it in makes me wish I had a crisper drawer full of greens again.

January 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Chicken, grain, salad

Menu: Baked chicken thighs * wild mushroom couscous * mixed green salad

Preheat oven to 400. Place boneless chicken thighs in glass baking dish; pour Salt Lick BBQ sauce over. Bake 20 minutes; turn off oven but do not open.

Prepare couscous according to package directions.

Salad: mixed fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, small salad pepper, red bell pepper, Sass smoked tomato ranch dressing. Chop and mix.

Serve chicken on couscous.

June 20, 2008 at 1:26 am Leave a comment

Chicken, Pasta, Veg

Menu: baked lemon-rosemary marinated chicken * oven-roasted zucchini romanesco with parmesan shavings * trecce dell’orto pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil * vanilla yogurt with fresh blueberries
Wine: Famega vinho verde

I made my grocery run this afternoon to provide main dishes with the farmers market veggie sides this week. Tilapia and salmon from Sam’s, marinated chicken breasts, marinated pork tenderloin, and a flank steak at Central Market.

Zucchini romanesco
1 large-ish zucchini romanesco, purchased from the fine water-challenged growers at Tecalote Farms

Preheat oven to 400. Slice zucchini in half; place cut side down on oven rack. Roast 30 minutes.

Roasted cherry tomatoes
Three dozen cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Drizzle oil on nonstick rimmed baking sheet. Add tomatoes; shake to coat. Place in oven with zucchini. Roast 25-30 minutes.

1 large split boneless chicken breast, marinated in lemon juice with chopped garlic and rosemary by the fine butchers at Central Market
Olive oil
Drizzle olive oil in glass baking dish. Set marinated breast in; place in oven for last 15 minutes of zucchini and tomatoes’ 400-degree baking. Turn oven heat to 375. Continue roasting until chicken reaches safe poultry temperature of 165.

Note: this is the same pasta I cooked last week, and last week I completely mis-read the package. Trecce dell’orto, not trecce dell’oro. Which makes it, rather than “braids of gold,” “braids of the vegetable garden.” It’s a specialty pasta whose multi colors come from vegetable. I love “braids of the vegetable garden” (or, to make it even more fun, “braids of the kitchen garden” or “braids of the market garden”). Boil water; add pasta; cook 10-12 minutes. Drain; toss with butter and fresh-ground salt. Chiffonade a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Plate a zucchini half for each person; grind fresh salt and garlic over, add parmesan shavings and basil chiffonade. Plate a pile of pasta; top with cherry tomatoes and basil chiffonade. Plate chicken. Serve.

For dessert, a handful of blueberries with Brown Cow organic vanilla yogurt over.

Chef’s sustenance:
vodka-tonic (still no gin) with Beemster graskase (a Belgian pilsner for M)

Chef’s soundtrack:
final round of the U.S. Open, play-by-play provided by M as I cooked

How did it turn out?
I loved all of it. M felt the zucchini was bland. I thought it was intensely zucchini-flavored, and loved the rich note of the parmesan, but could experiment next time with a shake of cane vinegar or lemon juice for him. Would have tied it in nicely with the chicken. That chicken, by the way, is now on my standby list of Things To Pick Up At Central Market To Cook Quickly In The Evening. Very nice. And I am convinced that you just cannot go wrong oven-roasting (or sauteeing) cherry tomatoes. It really concentrates the flavor.

Would I make it again?

June 16, 2008 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Chicken, Greens, Rice

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt (Shahi Murgh) * Indian-Spiced Lentils with Kale

I chose this Madhur Jaffrey chicken recipe because it didn’t call for marinating, and because it would go with the kale, which M had requested be cooked with some kind of beans. Each recipe looked like it could be made in 45 minutes or less.

Shahi Murgh
1 c plain yogurt * 1 tsp salt * fresh ground black pepper * 1 tsp ground cumin * 1 tsp ground coriander * 1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste * 1/4 c finely chopped fresh cilantro * 3-1/2 lb chicken, cut into serving portions * 1/4 c vegetable oil * 8 cardamom pods * 6 whole cloves * 2-inch stick of cinnamon * 3 bay leaves * 2-1/2 T blanched slivered almonds * 2-1/2 T golden raisins

Put yogurt into bowl. Beat lightly until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 tsp salt, some black pepper, the ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, and cilantro. Mix and set aside.

Using remaining salt, season chicken pieces on both sides and sprinkle on fresh ground black pepper.

Put oil in a wide, preferably nonstick pan, and set over med-high heat. When oil is hot, put in cardmom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Stir once and put in some chicken pieces, only as many as the pan will hold easily in a single layer. Brown on both sides and remove to a large bowl. Bronw all chicken this way; transfer to the bowl. Put almonds and raisins into the same hot oil. Stir quickly. The almonds should turn golden and the raisins should plump up, which will happen very fast. Now put chicken and accumulated juices back into pan; add seasoned yogurt, stir to mix, and bring to simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer gently 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time. Remove cover, turn heat up a bit, and reduce sauce until thick and it just clings to chicken. Turn chicken over gently as you do this.

Note: The large whole spices – cardamom, cinnamon, cloves – are not meant to be eaten.

What I changed:
I had about half that much chicken, boneless skinless breasts. It didn’t occur to me until mid-cooking that this was the case. The yogurt I used was non-fat, and I wonder whether this is why the sauce sort of evaporated in the first 10 minutes. That, or I cooked it too high. Instead of golden raisins, which I didn’t have, I used dried cranberries. Otherwise, I followed the recipe until the sauce evaporated into yogurt solids and oil… at that point, I whisked it, then gently whisked in some rice flour to make a slightly different sauce.

Indian-Spiced Lentils with Kale
1 c lentils, picked over and rinsed * 1 tsp salt * 1 lb kale, stemmed and chopped * 2 T unsalted butter * 1 tsp ground coriander * 1/2 tsp ground cumin * 1/2 tsp ground mustard * 1/4-1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes * 2 garlic cloves, minced * 2 tsp minced fresh ginger root

Bring lentils, 6 c water, and salt to boil in medium saucepan; boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 20-25 minutes. Add kale during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1 c cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add coriander, cumin, mustard, and hot red pepper flakes; saute to develop flavors, about 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger; saute until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils and kale and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.

What I changed:
I started by toasting mustard seeds in the dry pan before starting the lentils. I didn’t bother with draining; M likes what the old Southern cookbooks call “pot liquor.” I spaced out briefly and put in a minced 2-inch piece of ginger rather than 2 teaspoons. I didn’t mind, because I love it, but M gave it a definite “too much.” He’s right.

I made a quick pot of plain rice to provide a bed for the chicken.

Chef’s sustenance:
Another vodka-tonic (really, I need to stop and get some gin)

Chef’s soundtrack:
Foo Fighters, “Times Like These”
My Morning Jacket, “It Beats 4 U”
Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”
Beck, “Tropicalia”
Pearl Jam, “Given to Fly”
Fleetwood Mac, “Big Love”
Kate Bush, “This Woman’s Work”
Kermit Ruffins, “Chicken and Dumplings”
R.E.M., “Driver 8”
Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham, “Your Baby”
Spoon, “Don’t Make Me a Target”
Roy Orbison, “Go! Go! Go!”
Duran Duran, “Ordinary World”
Depeche Mode, “Just Can’t Get Enough”
The Wallflowers, “Into the Mystic”
Kate Bush, “Oh to Be in Love”
Steve Earle and Reckless Kelly, “Paradise”
Marty Stuart, “This One’s Gonna Hurt You”
Squeeze, “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)”
Patty Loveless, “Sounds of Loneliness”
Sam Phillips, “I Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye to You”

How did it turn out?
The chicken flavors were subtle. Maybe just a little too subtle, though I liked having hints rather than anything overwhelming. The kale itself was tough, though I chalk that up to the kale itself (fibrous, probably past its picking).

Would I make it again?
Maybe. Maybe not. I was a little underwhelmed. We’ll see if the flavors develop overnight.

June 10, 2008 at 2:08 am Leave a comment

Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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