Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Over and over again, I fall in love with Nigella Lawson.  Who else would use 40 cloves of garlic in anything??

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

Substitution made, noted below.  I made half a recipe for just husband and I.

garlic chicken 1

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

2 tblsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs (with skin on and bone in)
1 bunch or 6 scallions
8 to 10 sprgs fresh thyme
40 cloves of garlic (approx, 3 to 4 heads), unpeeled
2 tblsp dry white vermouth or white wine – I used chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or 3/4 tsp table salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat the oil on the stove top in a wide, shallow ovenproof and flameproof Dutch oven (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid), and sear the chicken over a high heat, skin-side down.  This may take two batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go.

Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl. Finely slice the scallions, put them into the Dutch oven, and quickly stir-fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme.

garlic chicken 2

Put 20 of the unpeeled cloves or garlic (papery excess removed) into the pan, top with the chicken pieces skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic.

Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily, chickeny juices left in the bowl.  Swish it around and pour into the pan too.

Sprinkle with the salt, grind over the pepper, and add a few more sprigs of thyme.  Put on the lid and cook in the over for 1.5 hours.

garlic chicken 3

cartoon-strawberry-9Husband was a bit nervous about so much garlic, so I read him Nigella’s description. “Certainly, if you peeled and chopped – let alone minced – the garlic, it would be inedible, but the garlic cloves cooked encased in their skins grow sweet and caramelly as they cook, like savory bonbons in their sticky wrappers, rather than breathing out acrid heat.”  She was right again, comfort food at its finest.


Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Full disclosure – I wasn’t going to post this recipe.

I’m not a big fan of cooking with ‘cream of ___’ soup.  I miscalculated the cooking time.  The sauce was bubbling up gray during cooking.  I didn’t take any pictures of it.  The whole thing frustrated me.

I took the casserole to potluck anyway and prayed for the best.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, November 2008.

Substitutions made, noted below.

chicken spaghetti casserole

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

2 c chopped cooked chicken breast – I used meat from a rotisarie chicken
2 c (7 oz) uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
1 c (1/4 inch thick) slices celery
1 c chopped red bell pepper – I used a green bell pepper
1 c chopped onion
1 c fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 (10.75 oz) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray
1 c (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine broth, salt, pepper and soup in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add soup mixture to chicken mixture, toss.  Divide mixture evenly between two 8 inch baking dishes coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle 1/2 c cheese over each casserole.  Cover with foil coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.  I put the whole thing in a 13×9 pan and followed time listed for baking.

cartoon-strawberry-9As you can see by an empty pan, this casserole went over fairly well. 😉  All the ingredients and flavors came together very well.  It’s a great casserole to feed a crowd, or to bake one and freeze one for later.

Quick Barbecue Chicken

I’m feeling the need to use up all the food in my house before I go and buy anything else.  Or at least to find recipes that fit the ingredients I have on hand.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, September 2008.

Substitution made, noted below.

quick BBQ chix 1

Quick Barbecue Chicken

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 (8 oz) bone-in chikcen bread halves – I used boneless, skinless chicken breast
Cooking Spray

quick BBQ chix 2

Prepare grill.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well.  Loosen skin from chicken by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat; rub spice mixture evenly under skin over meat.  Lightly coat skin with cooking spray.  Place chicken, breast side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30  minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees, turning twice.  Let chicken stand 10 minutes.  Remove skin and discard.

quick BBQ chix 3

Since I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, here’s what I did.

Using a grill pan, heated to med-high heat.  Brushed spice mixture on both sides of chicken breasts. Cooked breasts in grill pan, for a total of 20 minutes.  Served with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.

cartoon-strawberry-9These spices compliment each other very well, and so easy to throw together.  I made green salad and topped it with the leftover chicken for husband and I the next day.  This rub would also be great on pork chops or steak.

Suprêmes de Volaille à Blanc

I picked up As Always, Julia on the sale rack at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago.  The edited letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto.  A friendship created in letters about food, politics, family, housekeepers and the cookbook.  I’m about half way through and am in love with these two women.

This recipe is from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Substitution made, noted below.

Suprêmes de Volaille à Blanc

Suprêmes de Volaille à Blanc

4 suprêmes (boned breasts from tow fryers) – I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Big pinch white pepper
A heavy, covered, fireproof casserole about 10′ diameter – I used my dutch oven
A round of waxed paper 10′ diameter and buttered on one side
4 tblsp butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub the suprêmes with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Heat the butter in the casserole until it is foaming.  Quickly roll the suprêmes in the butter, lay the buttered paper over them, cover casserole and place in hot oven.  After 6 minutes, press top of suprêmes with your finger.  If still soft, return to the oven for a moment or two.  When the meat is springy to the touch it is done.  Remove the suprêmes to a warm platter and cover while making the sauce (2-3 minutes).   My chicken took about 17 minutes total to cook.

For the sauce:
1/4 c white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1/4 c port, Maderia, or dry white vermouth
– I used a brown vegetable broth, and didn’t have any wine on hand. So I substituted 1 1/2 tblsp of Balsamic Vinegar and stock to fill a 1/2 c.
1 c whipping cream
Salt & Pepper
Lemon juice as needed
2 tblsp fresh minced parsley

Pour the stock and wine into the casserole with the cooking butter and boil down quickly over high heat until liquid is syrupy.  Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly.  Off heat, taste carefully for seasoning and add drops of lemon juice to taste.  Pour the sauce over the suprêmes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve at once.

cartoon-strawberry-9Holy Shmoly this sauce is rich and buttery.  But, we were having some friends over for dinner and I didn’t take enough time to thicken the sauce.  I served the chicken with red quinoa and fresh green beans.  Perfect meal for a summer night.

Chicken & Herb White Pizza

I made this pizza twice.  Because it’s that good?  Partially.  Mostly because I’m easily distracted and didn’t take a single picture the first time I made it.  The second time?  Totally forgot the onions.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, October 2011.

Substitutions made, noted below.

chicken pizza 1

Chicken & Herb White Pizza

1 lb regridgerated fresh pizza dough – I used the whole wheat dough from Trader Joes
cooking spray
1 tblsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 c 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 c grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese – I used the Parm/Reggiano blend from Trader Joes
1 tblsp yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1/4 c diced red onion – I used sweet white onion (the first time)
1 tblsp chopped fresh oregano – I used dried
1 tblsp chopped fresh chives – I used dried basil
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley – I used dried

chicken pizza Collage 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  – I read a tip recently.  Heat your pizza stone/pan in the oven for approx 10 min.  This will help cook the center of the pizza, so you don’t wind up with a doughy center.  Totally works!!

Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray; let dough stand, covered for 15 minutes.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add flour and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal; roll dough into a 12-inch circle on prepared baking sheet.  (I rolled my dough out on a pastry mat and transferred to my pizza stone.)  Spread white sauce over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Top with chicken and onion.  Bake at 450 degrees on bottom oven rack for 17 minutes or until crust is golden.  Sprinkle with herbs.  (I just read that.  Herbs on after it baked? ooops…)

chicken pizza 4

cartoon-strawberry-9We ate this pizza twice, both times were wonderful.  The sauce is rich and cheesy, and the onions and herbs add a good bite.  I added cheese to the pizza before it went in the oven, because who doesn’t love a little extra cheese on a pizza?

THE Salad

The first summer we lived in TN, we invited a couple of students over for dinner to get to know them better.  I put this salad together, and it was dubbed “THE Salad”.

According to R, THE Salad tasted like summer.  Every time R comes home from college, we intend to have dinner and make THE Salad again, but it has yet to happen.  I will forever remember our evening spent talking and laughing around the table while enjoying THE Salad.

the salad 1

THE Salad

Greens & Veggies:
Enough for 4 servings
2 c chopped Romaine lettuce
2 c chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 c match-stick carrots
I add tomatoes seperately, husband doesn’t like ’em.

The stuff that makes it THE Salad:
shake & bake chicken  – 3 chicken breasts were enough for 4 servings
fresh sliced strawberries
fresh cubed buffalo mozzarella
pecan halves – toasted or candied
homemade croutons
Poppyseed dressing

the salad 2

For the croutons:  I had some cubed focaccia bread in the freezer to make breadcrumbs or croutons out of.  I tossed them in a couple splashes of olive oil and toasted them in a 400 degree oven for 10 min.

Shake & Bake

I love me some Shake N Bake chicken.  Super easy and super tasty.  When I would make it for my old roommate L, she would always tease me “It’s Shake N Bake, and I helped” as we were cooking.

Unfortunately it is also filled with ‘partially hydrogenated’ this and lots of things ending in ‘trin’ and ‘nate’.  I figured it couldn’t be too hard to make myself.

I found this recipe on, my mixture has been modified.

shakenbake 1

Homemade Shake & Bake Mix

4 c panko bread crumbs
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp to 1/2 tlbsp salt – depending how salty you may like it
1 tblsp paprika
1 tblsp ground celery seed
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano

In a large resealable bag, combine all ingredients, mixing well.

2 cups of the mixture will generously coat 4 boneless skinless chicken breast.  Heat oven to 400 degrees and cook for 20 minutes, or until breast is firm and juices are clear.

shakenbake 2

cartoon-strawberry-9This mix is so good!  I burned my mouth scrapping up the little bits of crispy goodness right out of the pan.

On Friday, I’ll share with you what I used this chicken for.

Latin Baked Chicken

Have I mentioned we’re on a heavy rotation of chicken?  I’m hoping as long as I dress it up in different ways, husband won’t mind too much.  And I’m realizing I need to branch out a bit, maybe even try my hand at a few fish recipes.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, June 2010.

Substitution made, noted below.

latin baked chicken 1

Latin Baked Chicken

1/4 c lime juice
3 tblsp soy sauce
2 tblsp honey
2 tblsp minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce
8 – 4oz each bone in chicken thighs, skinned – I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Combine lime juice, soy sauce, honey and chipotle in a large bowl.  Add chicken and toss well to coat.  Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature.

latin baked chicken 2

Arrange the chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray, reserving marinade.  Bake at 400 degress for 15 minutes.  Place reserved marinade in a blender, and process until smooth.  Place purred marinade in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes.

latin baked chicken 3

Brush chicken with half of cooked sauce; return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes; repeat with remaining marinade and bake another 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165.

latin baked chicken 4

cartoon-strawberry-9This is the best kind of chicken recipe.  Minimal ingredients, one bowl and one pan, and very tasty.  If you’re using chicken breasts like I did, you will need to adjust your cooking time.  In my oven, this took 20, maybe 22 minutes.

Creamy Almond Coated Chicken

We’ve been living on a diet heavy with chicken lately since husband’s doctor has asked him to cut out red meat.  It’s challenging me to find new recipes and get a little creative.

This recipe is from Step-by-Step Italian, Mexican & Chinese Recipes.

No substitutions were made.

almond chicken 1

Creamy Almond Coated Chicken

1/2 c blanched almonds
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (approx 6 oz each)
2 to 3 tblsp vegetable oil
1 tblsp butter
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 fresh Anaheim or poblano chili – roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
1 sm tomato – seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c heavy cream

Process almonds, about 1/4c at a time, with a spice grinder to create a fine powder  Place ground almonds on a shallow plate.

Coat chicken with almonds; reserve remaining almonds. – My chicken was a little too wet, so the almonds didn’t stick well.  live and learn.

almond chicken 2

Heat 1 tblsp of oil and butter in a deep, large skillet over medium heat until foam subsides.  Place breasts in a single layer in the skillet without crowding.  Cook 6 minutes or until chicken is light brown, turning once.  Reduce heat if almonds get too dark.  Remove chicken to plate.  Repeat with any remaining chicken, adding oil if needed.

Add 1 tblsp of oil and onion to skillet.  Cook and stir over medium heat 3 minutes or until onion is softened.  Add chili, tomato and garlic.  Cook and stir 1 minute.  Add broth, salt and reserved almonds.  Bring to a boil over high heat.

almond chicken 3

Return chicken to skillet.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is tender and juices run clear.  Remove chicken to serving plate; cover and keep warm.

Add cream to broth mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.  Pour over chicken when serving.

almond chicken 4

cartoon-strawberry-9This chicken was good, but I would want to tweak it a little next time.  I expected the roasted chili to add more heat, so I’m wondering if some cumin or chili powder in the sauce would give it the kick I’m looking for.  But the sauce, Oh My, the sauce.  All I wanted to do was add some cheese and make a queso out of it.

On Wednesday, I’ll be posting about the rice pictured here, Arroz Rojos.

Chinatown Chicken Salad

I am a sucker for bargain books.  Send me to Barnes & Noble with a $20 gift card, and it’ll take me a couple hours to decide which new books to claim as my own.  A couple of weeks ago, I picked up Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson for nine bucks!  The next day was a lazy rainy Saturday and I got to spend a few hours reading through all her tips and amazing recipes.  Here’s the first one I tried.

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

A few omissions made, noted below.

chinatown chicken salad 4

Chinatown Chicken Salad

2 oz (about 12) wonton wrappers (or handful of tortilla chips)
vegetable oil (for frying wontons) – I used peanut oil

If you’re using the wonton wrappers, begin by heating about 1/2 in oil in a frying pan.

Once the oil is hot, peel off the papery wrappers from the pack and add them, in batches of 3-4 at a time, to the pan.  Be careful, they need just a few seconds a side to turn golden and will continue to darken as you remove them to a cookie sheet lined with some paper towels.

Continue cooking the wonton wrappers in batches until you have a baking sheet full of crisp golden squares.  Let cool a little, while you get on with the salad they are to adorn.

chinatown chicken salad 2

Salad Dressing
1 red or green chili, seeded and finely chopped – I used a jalapeno
2 tsp fresh gingerroot
4 tsp lime juice or rice vinegar – I used lime juice
3 tblsp soy sauce
splash sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar

Mix the dressing ingredients in a jug or screw top jar, stirring together or shaking, to mix.

chinatown chicken salad 1

1/2 c salted peanuts (chopped if desired)
1 head iceburg lettuce, shredded
1 1/2 c (6 oz) bean sprouts – the supermarket was out of sprouts 😦
4 scallions, cut into thirds and julienned
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut inot fine strips
4 c shredded chicken
handful fresh chopped cilantro, for serving – I left this out

In a large bowl, toss together the peanuts, lettuce, bean sprouts, scallions, red bell pepper and shredded cold chicken.

Add half the cooled wonton wrappers or tortilla chips (if using), breaking them into pieces into the bowl, then dress the salad, tossing again to mix before adding the other half of the crispy wonton wrappers and the chopped cilantro, sprinkling both on top.  Serve at once.

chinatown chicken salad 3

cartoon-strawberry-9This is a restaurant style salad, so good.  Because it was just the two of us, I dressed the salads as I served them.  In the future, I’d also wait to stir in the peanuts and wonton wrappers so any leftovers wouldn’t get soggy.  And this dressing is good enough to make and just keep on hand all the time.