Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce

You all know very well (or, maybe you don’t) how much I love to read cooking blogs, cookbooks, and other things of related nature. I’ve added so many to my feed that I often have trouble keeping up; I had saved so many recipes in 2014 that I got overwhelmed and deleted them all – so I’m starting fresh 🙂 I’ve had a subscription to Cooking Light for the past few years and figured that maybe it was time to save a little paper and cancel my subscription, too.

I found this recipe in the last issue that I received. It was so good that I may change my mind and keep my subscription after all…and maybe just do the digital subscription instead!

Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce

adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 cup chicken stock/broth
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into halves
  • salt and pepper (eyeball it)
  • 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped/crushed
  • 2 oz pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the stock and flour together. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tbsp of the oil, the lemon juice, and garlic powder. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or in the refrigerator for a few hours).
  3. When you’re ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and add to pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook about 5 minutes on each side until the chicken is done cooking. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan onto a plate or dish and set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil; swirl pan to coat. Add the shallots, rosemary, and pancetta, cooking until the shallots are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the sherry to the pan and let the liquid reduce (about 4 minutes or so). As the liquid boils down, scrape the pan to loosen the browned bits. Add the stock/flour mixture and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add artichokes and cook until the sauce thickens just a bit. Add chicken and turn to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.
  7. IMG_2443

    This photo is proof that I may be the worse plater ever.

Don’t let this *awful* picture fool you – looks can be deceiving as this dish was terrific! I realize after the fact that I let the mixture thicken a little too much after adding the stock/flour to the pan.

The chicken has a great lemon flavor to it that compliments the richness of rosemary-pancetta pan sauce. The artichokes only add to the depth of flavors. I served it atop some couscous I had in my pantry, but you can use rice or orzo if you’d prefer. I served this along with some braised kale – which paired really well with it. According to my husband, his portion reheated very well.

Not only was this dish tasty…it didn’t take very long to make! Make sure to marinate the chicken ahead of time – I did it several hours before and was able to complete the dish in a half an hour after coming home from work.

Now we have another 2 oz of pancetta left in our refrgerator…I’m seriously thinking about making this dish again next week. It was that good. 🙂

 

Advertisements

Chicken Cacciatore

Okay – I feel better now 🙂 I made a dish that didn’t fail; granted it’s a tried and true recipe and the previous ones were ones that I hadn’t tried before. Even so, I feel like less of a failure and I feel that it’s relatively post-worthy.

red pot Look at one of my pretty Christmas gifts from my husband! A gorgeous red Le Creuset dutch oven. I’m so in love with it. I’ve been wanting one for quite a while and he remembered…I wasn’t picky about the color, but I do like red things for my kitchen so again, he remembered!

I’m not very well-versed in cookware like this, so I still have a lot to learn in terms of what I can and cannot cook in it. I figure “low and slow” is a good mantra for this pot – soups, stews, and dishes that need at least a good 30-45 minutes to meld together. I am proud of the fact, however, that I remembered that it’s a coated cast iron pot – meaning that you need to wear oven mitts whenever dealing with it or else you risk some major burns.  This is also a step in the right direction for me, as I’m that person that will carelessly forget when a pan has been in the oven, and will accidentally grab it with my bare hands when I’m ready to serve it (my husband will vouch for me on this one).

Anyways – it’s winter time. It’s pep band season. We’re working a lot, and to save a little bit of cash, we need dinners that are going to last us a while so we’re not stopping at the store for a quick meal or even *ugh* fast food. Dinners that are still delicious and (relatively) healthy, but still stick to the ribs to keep us warm. Know what I mean? I thought about something to cook this week with my new pot, and immediately thought of chicken cacciatore!

Chicken cacciatore is “hunter-style” chicken; chicken with mushrooms, onion, and tomatoes. It’s a hearty dish that fills you up, goes a long way and tastes amazing. The recipe that I based my dish off of, however, doesn’t include mushrooms! I think I’ll have to make a note in my cookbook for next time.

Chicken Cacciatore

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, quartered (or 4-6 tenders, halved)
  • salt and pepper (just a sprinkle of each)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (based on your preference)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 3 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. On a plate or in a shallow bowl, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat.
  2. In a large heavy saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and saute just until they’re just brown (~5 minutes). Do not crowd the pan; feel free to brown the chicken in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and wait two minutes. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute until the onion softens. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid reduced by half (~3-5 minutes). Add the entire can of diced tomatoes (including the juice), broth, capers and oregano. Stir to combine.
  5. Return the chicken to the pan and coat it in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until all the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.
  6. Serve hot, sprinkled with basil and with pasta if desired.

cacciatore

As I said in the recipe, you can serve with or without pasta. This makes a lot of sauce and leftovers reheat really well. I had mine with a piece of baguette from work on the side to pick up any last sauce that was leftover in the dish.

I cannot recommend this recipe enough this time of year – it really warms you up and sticks to your ribs!  Delicious Italian food in the dead of winter. How can you go wrong!? Enjoy 🙂

 

Mediterranean Chicken with Roasted Garlic Orzo

Hey look – I’m posting a recipe! Imagine that 🙂

I hope you all are doing well. Sorry it’s been so long! I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. For real this time, I swear!

Chicken, pan-roasted with herbs, is a perfect compliment to garlicky pasta and vegetables. You can’t really ever go wrong with a combination like that. It’s great comfort food for when the weather is starting to change and you want something to savor after a long day. This dish has a great amount of flavor to it and really isn’t too complicated to make – it just uses a few pots and pans. However – please make sure that you read through the entire recipe first, so that everything is timed relatively well and that you have all the ingredients you need!


 

IMG_2145

Mediterranean Chicken with Roasted Garlic Orzo

adapted from For the Love of Cooking and Epicurious

For the chicken:

  • Zest and juice from 1 large lemon (about 2 tbsp juice)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh minced parsley (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat removed
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (if desired)
  • 2 tbsp feta cheese (if desired)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (if desired)
  • Lemon wedges (if desired)

For the orzo:

  • 5 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  1. In a large Ziploc bag or glass dish (with lid), combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and herbs. Add the chicken breasts, then seal/cover and let marinate for at least 30-1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450*. Tightly wrap the unpeeled garlic cloves in foil so that it makes a little pouch. Place in middle of oven and roast for about 25 minutes. Carefully unwrap garlic and let cool slightly. Remove skin from cloves and mash into a paste. Transfer garlic paste to a bowl and stir in butter and parsley.
  3. Reduce the oven to 375*. Coat an OVEN-PROOF saute pan with cooking spray and heat over med-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the HOT pan and cook until brown, about 2-3 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Flip the chicken over and place the saute pan into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Keep the marinade, as you’ll need it for later.
  4. As the chicken bakes, begin your vegetables. Caramelize the diced onion by heating a sautĂ© pan over med-low heat with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. (Note – If the pan and/or onion start to get a little dry, add a little bit of water and toss to coat). Continue cooking until the onions are nice and caramelized. Once the onions are just about ready, get water boiling for your orzo.
  5. To your onions, add the grape tomatoes and cook until they’re about to burst (about 5 minutes). Add the baby spinach then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Check on your chicken in the oven; pour the remaining marinade into the pan, and place back into the oven. Continue baking for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly.
  6. The water should be boiling now; cook the orzo until tender and reserve about 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain orzo well and add to garlic mixture with enough reserved cooking water to melt butter and prevent orzo from sticking together. Season orzo with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve by placing a big scoop of orzo into a bowl. Add the vegetables, followed by the chicken. If desired, top with some toasted pine nuts, feta cheese, and fresh parsley. Use some lemon wedges to add a even more lemon flavored, if you wish.

 


 

I feel that this dish was ‘timed right’. Everything seemed to be done at once, and it was a dish were if I needed to walk away and put the wash into the dryer (or some other quick chore), I could do so without anything burning. It was very low maintenance, which was perfect for a Monday evening meal.

It tasted so good that I even hid the leftovers in the back of the fridge, so that I could take them for lunch the next day (my husband takes the majority of our leftovers – I’m not much of a fan of them, but when they’re good, they’re oh-so-good and I have to fight for ’em).

 

Chicken Piccata

Snowed in.

Snowed in.

Love the view from our front window this morning? Northern Michigan was blessed with a Winter Storm Warning at 10pm last night; between 6am yesterday and 6am this morning, The Weather Channel says we received a foot of snow. I’m about ready to send our plow guy flowers for the great job they’ve done with our driveway this year.

With all the cold, snowy weather we’ve been having lately, I’ve found myself really craving some citrusy, summery, ‘light’-tasting dishes for dinner (minus this past week when I came down with a wicked chest cold and didn’t really want to eat anything except noodle soup).

As you probably know already, I’m a tad obsessed with the free-range, organic chicken breast that is available at our local organic co-op, so that explains all the chicken dishes we’ve been consuming (and you’ve been reading about) lately. I feel I can truly taste a difference…but then again, maybe that’s just the cold meds talking.

This dish – a favorite from the Giada cookbook that I have – hit the spot dead-on.

Chicken Piccata

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into halves
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp flour, for coating
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (I supplemented with the bottled since I ran out of lemons!)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • dried parsley
  1. In a gallon-sized freezer bag, add the chicken breasts and the flour. Toss around to coat the chicken. Shake off the excess flour.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil; wait about 1-2 minutes for the oil to heat up.
  3. To the skillet, add the chicken. When it starts to brown, turn each piece over. Remove and set aside on a bowl or plate.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and add the lemon juice, stock, and capers. Bring the mixture to a boil, deglazing the pan as you go. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken breast back to the skillet and simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.

20140222-093959.jpg

As you can see, we served this with some fresh asparagus, orecchiette pasta, and garlic bread. Overall it is a very easy dish to make – I made it on a Monday evening after going for a run at the gym! It really satisfied that light, citrusy taste that I was looking for.

You can easily substitute veal or pork, if that’s what you’d rather use. I think, however, I’m going to stick with my fancypants organic chicken for now 🙂

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Chicken parmesan has been one of my most favorite foods for as long as I can remember. Serve it with a salad, some spaghetti, and maybe some garlic bread or breadsticks…yum. Then again, I’m also Italian. How could I not like this dish? 😉 It’s another one of those comfort foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. And, with the weather as cold as it’s been (I saw -26 on my thermometer on the way to work. WTF), you all know that I just can’t get enough of comfort food.

But, I’m away from my home anywhere from 8 to 15 hours a day – depending on what band event is going on – and sadly, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to really put some love into weeknight cooking.

That’s where this recipe comes in. It’s one where you can make it ahead of time on a lazy Sunday, or mix up in 10 minutes.  You can fix it, and forget about it for a little while – but still tastes good (unlike some of the meals that my crockpot has been overcooking lately). I believe it put it all together, threw it in the oven, and worked on laundry and grading for a while.

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

adapted from What’s Cookin’ Chicago?

  • 1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey is okay, too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced onion (the dried kind)
  • salt & pepper (just a dash of each)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • pasta sauce
  • shredded Italian cheese blend (mozzarella is okay as well)
  • minced/dried parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Lightly grease loaf pan with cooking spray & set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, spices (except the parsley), and Parmesan cheese. Mix until combined.
  3. Place the mixture into the greased loaf pan & press down to make a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and top with the Italian blend cheese and parsley; put back into the oven and bake until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

20140214-101323.jpg

I paired this with a green salad and some spaghetti, mixed up with some garlic scape pesto we had in the freezer – which, may I add, froze really well and was so wonderful to thaw and use in the dead of winter. Our house smelled amazing as this was cooking.bNext time I’m going to make a few batches of this and freeze it, so we have some quick meals for busy nights. Since I have that lovely deep freezer, I have plenty of room! 🙂 The instructions for baking from frozen should be on the original post.

Enjoy! Stay warm!

Sesame Chicken

Hello, everyone! I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours was. We spent the weekend visiting family & friends, as well as attending our high school reunion. I can assure you that it was a jam-packed weekend, and while it was a lot of fun, we’re *still* catching up on sleep a week later! As I write I’m sitting in on honors band rehearsal and hearing some of the best high school musicians in northern Michigan rehearsing. The sounds coming from that stage right now are absolutely phenomenal.  It’s also holiday concert week; both of my schools will be performing this coming week. So needless today, I’ve been pretty busy, and continue to be busy. But I’m glad you’re here 🙂

A few weeks ago I made this on a weeknight, when I had an intense taste for some Chinese takeout. It really satisfied the flavors I was looking for, and was also a snap to make.

Sesame Chicken

adapted from Food, Feminism and Life

For the Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt & pepper, to taste

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp gingner
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds plus more for sprinkling
  • green onions, for topping
  1. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, cornstarch, salt & pepper. Add the chicken & toss to coat.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat & add the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, add the chicken. Let cook about 2-3 minutes before turning the pieces over so that each side browns.
  3. While the chicken cooks, mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl until the cornstarch and brown sugar are completely mixed in.
  4. When the chicken has finished cooking, lower the heat  & add the sauce. Immediately start mixing it together, as the sauce will instantly start to thicken. Cook for about a minute more, then remove from heat.
  5. Serve over rice. Sprinkle the dish with some more sesame seeds and the green onions.

20131207-150349.jpg

As you can see, I decided to add some peas and carrots to my rice. I also added some sriracha…so good!

I really liked the cornstarch coating technique that was used for recipe – it made coating the chicken so much easier. I plan on doing it again the next time I need a nice breading for stir fry. It was easy to combine, coat, and clean up! This dish has a great umami flavor and it really hit the spot for that ‘chinese takeout’ flavor that I wanted to eat that night.

How to Barbecue Chicken Thighs…

Hey! This is my 100th post! 🙂  Thank you to all my wonderful friends & readers, who enjoy reading about what I do in my kitchen, The idea all started when several of my friends had been asking me for some of my recipes via Facebook (of all things). Since it was the same few recipes, I decided to make this blog as a means of everybody being able to see what I create in my little yellow kitchen. I’ve had a lot of fun blogging and I’m looking forward to sharing many more delicious recipes and such with you all. So again, thank you for stopping by and reading my spicy simmers 🙂

Today, we’re hosting a party today for Labor Day – and Mike is planning on making chicken thighs.

This is the method he swears by.

It’s a great technique for cooking chicken thighs, and the article is pretty hilarious, too. Mike has used the author’s method before and they turned out delicious! I expect nothing less from the grill & grillmaster today.

My job for the day is simply putting together a veggie plate and getting the house in order, since it’s looking like it may rain right around party time. Mike has been a big help today; he got the garage ready to and will be doing some last minute grocery pick-up while I finish up the house. So, thank you, Hubs! 😀

Tomorrow I’ll be doing some baking…whatwhat? And getting ready for school on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to sharing those goodies with you this week!

Happy Labor Day Eve & Day!