Archive for Chicken

Southwestern Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

You won’t miss any of the flavors of a traditional taco. This recipe has got it all except the carbs!   Perfect as an appetizer, lunch or dinner.

Feel free to change the spice levels to suite your own taste.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 Chicken breasts ( can use ground chicken)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Lettuce leaves ( romaine, napa, iceberg, etc)
  • Optional garnish: tomato, red onion, green onion, avocado, cilantro

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 avocado, pit removed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons water ( more as needed)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

In a bowl, combine salt, pepper,  oregano, garlic powder,  turmeric, cumin, chili powder and coriander.  Rub chicken breasts with oil and coat with spice mixture on both sides.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and cook chicken until no longer pink in the middle. Set aside. When cool, cut into small strips or bite size pieces.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in the same skillet.  Sauté bell peppers, onions and garlic for a few minutes.  Add in chicken and sauté until  chicken is cooked through.

To assemble: Place chicken and vegetables on top of lettuce leaves.  Top with desired garnish and drizzle avocado cilantro dressing on top.

Dressing: Combine all ingredients together a blender and process until smooth, adding more water as needed.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so restaurants will most likely be a little hectic.   So plan a romantic at-home date and treat your Valentine with a home cooked meal made with love featuring Cornish Hens, Wild Rice with Mushrooms and Green Beans Almondine.

Wine Pairing:

Game birds tend to have earthy flavors that are more robust than chicken and as this meal has mushrooms,  red wine with earthy aromas such as Pinot Noir will pair best.  I would recommend Pinot Noir from Oregon with flavor profiles such as cherry, raspberry, truffle and mushrooms.

Cornish Game Hen 

A Cornish game hen is a young chicken weighing less than 2 pounds.  It’s normally cooked in the same manner as chicken and the most popular method of cooking is roasting, with or without stuffing.

Notes:

  • Aromatics such as onion, garlic & lemon adds  flavor to the meat as it cooks and also prevents from getting dry
  • If baking more than 2 hens, do not over crowd the baking sheet as the skin will not turn crispy if too close together
  • Roasting at a higher temperature the first 20-25 minutes results a crispier skin. You can omit this step and roast in 375 degrees F for the entire duration if desired.

Ingredients 

  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 1  onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 springs, fresh rosemary or other herbs ( optional)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove and discard necks and giblets from hen; rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.

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Place hens on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or roasting pan.  Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Place sliced lemon, onion, garlic and rosemary into each cavity of hen. Tuck the wing tips under the body of the hens.

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Roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving or slicing. Discard aromatics in the cavity before transferring to a serving plate.

Wild Rice with Mushrooms

Wild Rice

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 cups cooked wild rice (prepare rice according to package directions)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced ( shiitake, cremini, button, etc) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries ( optional)   
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish: green onions, parsley, etc 

Directions

Heat butter in a skillet and sauté mushrooms over medium heat until golden.

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Add garlic and dried fruit and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Add cooked rice to skillet and mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish as desired.   

Green Beans Almondine 

Green Beans Almondine

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound of green beans, root ends removed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Cook green beans in a large pot of salted water until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water  to stop the cooking process. Dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel/paper towel. 

(Tip: the above step can be done the day before and stored in the refrigerator)

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add almonds and sauté for a few minutes until browned.

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To the skillet, add cooked green beans, lemon zest/juice, salt and pepper and toss to coat, continuing to cook beans for a few minutes, until tender.

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. 

Perfect Pairings: Coq Au Vin and Pinot Noir

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Coq Au Vin (“rooster with wine”) is a classic French dish that originally used rooster or tougher birds that needed tenderizing through slow braising. These days it’s commonly made with chicken and probably the most famous and delicious of all French chicken dishes with browned pieces of chicken, bacon and mushrooms  in a rich red wine sauce.

Pinot Noir, which is the main red grape of Burgundy, is the  perfect pairing as the lighter tannins won’t overwhelm the lighter meat and notes of smokiness, earthy undertones and spice bring out flavors of  bacon and mushrooms in the dish as well.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5  bacon slices, diced
  • 3-4  pound chicken legs and thighs, skin on
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
  • 2 cups  red wine such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ pound frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound  mushrooms, sliced ( cremini, shiitaki, button, etc)

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add bacon and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove bacon to a large plate.

Dry chicken with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper. In batches, sear chicken for 3 to 5 minutes, until brown on all sides. Remove chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the chicken pieces are browned. Set aside.

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Add shallots and carrots and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add brandy and stir to combine; scraping any remaining browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

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Add chicken and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add wine and enough chicken broth to almost cover the meat. Add thyme, bay leaves and stir. Cover pot and bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for about 30 minutes.

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Combine 1Tablespoon of butter and flour in a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Stir some of the cooking liquid from the pot and put the flour mixture back into the pot. Add the frozen pearl onions.

Sauté mushrooms in remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and add to chicken pot.

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Simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with bread, potatoes or spoon over egg noodles. And of course…Pinot Noir!

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Thai Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

This is a great appetizer to serve at a party. I provided 2 options to serve this dish depending on the need for “finger food” or “make your own”. I used ground chicken but you can substitute with any other ground meat. If you have access to an Asian grocery store, you can find minced lemongrass in the frozen section.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:  

  • 1 carrot, diced in small cubes (can use a grater)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced in small cubes
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai basil (regular basil will work if you can’t find Thai basil)
  • 2 Tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoons ginger, minced or grated
  • 3 Tablespoons lemongrass, very finely chopped (can use frozen)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 4 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • Romaine lettuce or Endive leaves

Directions: 

Chop carrots, bell pepper, green onions, basil, mint and cilantro. Mix together in a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan and cook chicken for about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except for lettuce)  and continue to stir until chicken is cooked through.

Turn off the heat and stir in the reserved chopped vegetables/herbs set aside.

To serve:

Transfer to a bowl and place in the middle of a large plate. Place lettuce leaves around the plate and have your guests make their own wraps. The other option is to serve in individual endive leaves.

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