chicken

All posts tagged chicken

Pesto Chicken and Quinoa Salad (Gluten-Free)

Published January 23, 2014 by jenmatteson

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the amount of odds and ends in your refrigerator that are on the edge of going bad?  Maybe ‘overwhelmed’ isn’t the correct word – terrified seems more like it.  At least for me.  I hate wasting, and I despise throwing food away because I’ve let it go bad.  In fact, it even irks me when other people let food go bad and have to throw it away.  I know, this is a bit of an issue.  But, there are starving kids in ….  well, you know.  Don’t get me wrong, if it has gone bad, throw it out.  But, my point is that you should be aware of what you’ve got and what needs to be used up before meeting it’s demise.

Pesto Chicken and Quinoa Salad

I truly just threw this salad together one day with a ton of leftover stuff in my fridge (cooked quinoa, shredded chicken and shredded cabbage), and it was so good, I had to re-create it and share it with you.  This is a fantastic, healthy, fresh salad.  It is packed with flavor, it’s quick, and is a perfect weekday lunch!  It’d even be great to bring camping, on a picnic, or even to a potluck.  Bonus, it’s gluten-free! Don’t have these leftovers in your fridge, it’s okay, you could use rice or couscous instead of quinoa (of course, these alternates aren’t GF); turkey or beans instead of chicken; and broccoli slaw, arugula or spinach instead of cabbage.  Get creative!

What has been your favorite recipe you’ve made with leftovers?

Pesto Chicken and Quinoa Salad
Pesto Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings:

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (broccoli slaw would be great, too!)
2 tbsp. basil pesto
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, chicken, cabbage and sun-dried tomatoes.  Stir in pesto until evenly coated.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and olive oil.  Pour over salad a little at a time until coated as desired.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with green onions.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Published December 5, 2013 by jenmatteson

I love soup, and chicken tortilla soup is one of the best!  This is the perfect time of year to make soup, and as I had just made a whole chicken the day before (rustic roasted chicken), I had the perfect opportunity not only to make chicken tortilla soup, but also to make my own stock for the soup.  No worries if you don’t have your own homemade stock, store bought chicken broth or stock will do just fine.  And if your wondering what the difference is, or how to make your own, see my earlier post from this week.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup was soooo good.  While still working on his first bowl, Nate asked me if there was more.  I said he had to work on what he had in front of him, then he can think about seconds (sometimes I feel like a mother, though I have no actual children).  And he did.  And he devoured it all.  I loved the addition of the cornmeal to this soup, not only adding a little more heft, but also a slightly sweet corn flavor.  As always, adjust the vegetables to what you have in your kitchen – I used frozen bell peppers I had leftover from our wedding reception.  Also, adjust the heat to your liking.  The original recipe doesn’t call for any chilis, but I have a ton frozen from my garden over the summer, and threw in two jalapeno and one Serrano pepper.  It added a great amount of heat, without over powering the flavor of the soup.  This is an excellent wintertime comfort food and would be fantastic for entertaining.  Just set up a bunch of accoutrements for everyone to make their own creation!Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper (I used a mixture of yellow, red and orange), diced
3 jalapeno or Serrano chilis (completely omit or adjust for little to no heat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1-10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
32 oz low sodium chicken broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups water
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained (I used dried black beans, cooked, about 3 cups)
3 tbsp cornmeal
5 corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips around 2-3 inches

Directions:

1. Heat one tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, peppers and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add chicken, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, crushed red pepper and salt.  Cook until spices become fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, water and black beans.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered.

3. Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water, then pour into soup.  Simmer for 30 minutes longer.  Check seasonings and adjust to taste.  Turn of heat and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.  5 minutes before serving, add tortilla strips.  Serve and garnish as desired (avocado, cilantro, cheese, onions, sour cream, etc.).

Homemade Chicken Stock

Published December 4, 2013 by jenmatteson

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between broth and stock?  Me too!  To be completely honest, I have always used them interchangeably, knowing that they must be different on some level.  But, I haven’t had any catastrophes yet, so I figured there’d be no harm in continuing my old ways.

Homemade Chicken Stock

However, when I decided to make my own stock (or is it broth?) and share with you, I thought I should actually do a little research.  Turns out, there is a slight difference.  Stocks are generally made with the bones and trimmings, while broth is made with the meat as well.  Stocks simmer for much longer and are said to have a deeper, richer flavor because of the gelatin released from the long simmering bones.  While they are technically different, they are quite similar.  I say, keep on substituting stock for broth, or broth for stock.  Who cares?! :P  Just don’t ask me the difference between vegetable stock and broth!

Homemade Chicken Stock

So, what did I make?  I made a stock.  I had roasted a chicken (rustic roasted chicken) the day before and wanted to make good use of the leftovers, even the bones – I hate wasting!  Don’t get too hung up on the vegetables or herbs in this recipe – use what you have on hand.  It’ll be delicious no matter what.  The stock will be good for about a week in your refrigerator, but if you aren’t going to use it up right away, go ahead and freeze it.  I like to use my ice-cube trays for that.  Now you’ve got yourself a wonderful base for a soup or stew.  I made chicken tortilla soup and will be sharing that later this week! (And yes, that’s my cat in the top right corner – just checking things out!)

Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients:

bony chicken pieces (and trimmings if you have them)
4 celery stalks, halved
4 carrots, halved
1 medium onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
10-15 peppercorns
8 cups water

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Remove from heat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but can be overnight.  Skim fat from top and use as desired.

Rustic Roasted Chicken

Published December 3, 2013 by jenmatteson

It’s a great time of year to roast up a chicken, and the best part is all the leftovers you have.  Ohhh the possibilities with leftover roasted chicken.  Later this week, I’ll share a recipe to make your very own chicken stock and share an amazing chicken tortilla soup recipe.

Rustic Roasted Chicken

But first, we have to get back to the bird itself.  I happened to see this recipe on the Today Show one morning before I left the house for the gym.  I thought this would be easy to make, and the only thing I’m missing is the chicken.  I rarely buy parsley, but had it on hand for another recipe, and usually it just goes bad because I forget about it and I’d prefer to use cilantro in most cases.  I also had the fresh thyme on hand, so I figured it was a sign that I should make this chicken that night.  And I did.

I even tried to make it early enough so that there was still sunlight left for me to get a good picture.  I guess I miscalculated how early the sun sets this time of year.  Anyone else think its depressing?  Good picture or not, the chicken was so easy to make and super delicious.  The rub got nice and crisp and the meat was juicy and packed with flavor.  I really don’t know why I don’t make whole chickens more often; they are so inexpensive, especially when on sale – at my local store, 79 cents per pound!  Even better, your house smells amazing while this is in the oven!

Rustic Roasted Chicken

Rustic Roasted Chicken

Source: Adapted from Today Food/Reed Alexander
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

For the rub:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp flat leave parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

For the chicken:
1 whole chicken, about 4lbs
1 lemon, halved
3 cloves garlic
15 sprigs flat-leave parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup low sodium chicken broth

Directions:

1. In a food processor, combine olive oil, mustard, 2 tbsp thyme, 2 tbsp parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Process until well combined.

2. Rinse chicken, inside and out and pat dry.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Place lemon halves, garlic cloves, parsley and thyme inside body cavity.  Place chicken in roasting pan.  Pour rub on top of chicken, spreading to coat top half evenly.  Pour chicken broth around the chicken in the pan.

3. Roast chicken for 80-100 minutes, until internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees and the chicken juices run clear when pierced by a fork.  Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Throwback Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie

Published November 21, 2013 by jenmatteson

I’ve never done a throwback Thursday, but seeing as though I just re-made a double batch of these delicious pot pies (and took way better pictures than the first time), I thought I’d share it again.

Chicken Pot Pie

I found these great pot pie sized disposable foil baking dishes, which makes these easy to make a bunch for winter and freeze.  When you’re ready to eat, just pop in the oven and cook 20-25 minutes longer than freshly made pies.  This is the ultimate comfort food for the cold-weather season!

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

What’s your favorite wintertime comfort food??

General Tso’s Chicken – Lightened up!

Published September 8, 2013 by jenmatteson

Don’t you hate it when you are looking forward to a bowl of cereal in the morning, only to find your sig other had finished off the milk without alerting you or purchasing more?  Sadly, this happens to me quite frequently.  Sometimes Nate makes his protien shakes with water, and sometimes he makes them with milk.  Of course, when I am expecting to have a bowl of cereal in the morning, that happens to be the day that he uses up the rest of the milk for his shakes.  But, when we don’t have cereal, but still have a half-gallon of milk left, he chooses this time to use water.  I will never understand.

General Tso's Chicken

The most recent time this happened, I had left over Special K.  I remembered that I had this General Tso’s Chicken recipe made with corn flakes, and decided Special K would be an easy swap for Corn Flakes.  Mind you, this is the regular Special K, not any special flavor with the red berries or yogurt or anything of that sort.  That would probably be weird.

General Tso's Chicken

The chicken is breaded and baked, and it stays nice and crispy after coating it with this yummy sauce.  I didn’t add any extra heat to the sauce, but you better believe that I added Sriracha to my plate!  I could have easily added veggies to this dish, but I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t have any on hand, so this was an easy go to!  Don’t be afraid to step outside your box when you’re in a pinch.  You might find something you like, or even love!

General Tso's Chicken

Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken

Source: Adapted from Dainty Chef
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

1/4 all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
4 cups Special K cereal, finely crushed (I used my food processor)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
olive oil spray

1 2/3 cup water
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup apricot jam
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top, and spray with olive oil.  Set aside.

2. Pulse cereal until fine and pour into shallow dish.  Whisk egg whites in another shallow dish.  Add flour to gallon size zip-top bag.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to bag with flour, close, and shake until all chicken is coated evenly with flour.  Piece by piece, remove chicken, shaking off any excess flour, dip in egg whites, then into crushed cereal, then place on wire rack.    Spray with olive oil and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a small bowl, whisk water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin, cornstarch and vinegar together.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in small sauce pan.  Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about one minute.  Whisk in soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer until sauce thickens, about two minutes.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

4. Once chicken is cooked, place in a large bowl, and toss with desired amount of sauce.  Unless you like it really saucy, you probably won’t use it all.  Serve over rice and garnish with green onion or chives if desired.

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

Published August 14, 2013 by jenmatteson

Who doesn’t love  a sloppy joe?  Certainly no one in this house. Unless it’s that gunk out of a can that rhymes with sanwhich.  I’ve always used the same sloppy joe recipe since I was a kid, the one my mom would make, and it’s delicious.  I had to get out of my sloppy joe comfort zone for one of my first recipe swaps, as I was given slow cooker sloppy joes.  While those were good, we didn’t love them, and I really don’t understand the point of using a slow cooker when you basically have to precook everything anyway.

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

I came across this recipe in Food and Wine a few months ago and have been wanting to try it.  I actually had it planned for dinner a few nights, but you know how sometimes plans just don’t work out?  Well, they didn’t.  But, I finally got the chance to make a batch of these for a camping trip with my bestie, her husby, Nate and myself.  We were in charge of one dinner and one lunch, so I thought this would be something easy, but different from the normal burger or brat that is a common meal while camping.

Sloppy Joe Sliders

I thought these turned out fantastic.  At first, I thought I would need more hoisin, but after letting it simmer and taste testing it, I thought they were perfectly Asian.  For serving, I wouldn’t mind a little extra Sriracha, but obviously it’s not for everyone.  They went over really well while camping, and even the Asian approved!  I love my mom’s sloppy joe recipe, but I have to say, this really takes the cake.  The spicy pickles really kick it up a notch, adding a crunch, while the lettuce adds some extra freshness.  Try these out for your next pot luck.  You can come back and thank me later!

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 8-10 (Makes 20 sliders)

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
3 tbsp sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce (I used a combo of sweet asian chili sauce and Sriracha)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lb lean ground chicken
1 lb lean ground pork
1 cup hoisin sauce
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
20 dinner rolls, split and toasted
shredded iceberg lettuce and spicy pickles (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, chile sauce, garlic, ginger and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.  Add ground chicken and pork and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.  Stir in hoisin, tomatoes and lime juice and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture on the bottom half of each roll.  Top with shredded lettuce, spicy pickles and top of bun and serve.

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