Tag Archives: chicken

Mediterranean Feta Chicken Pasta

Mediterranean Feta Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Mediterranean Feta Chicken Pasta

The other day my wife and I picked up some Zoe’s on the way home from work. Generally, we order the chicken kabobs and maybe some hummus. But the lady taking my order asked if I wanted to try this baked feta app that consists of sliced cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives cover served with fresh basil and olive oil over a slab of Feta cheese. That is baked off until the cheese is slightly melted and served with pita chips. It’s really simple but tasty.

So I was trying to come up with a recipe for dinner and that app popped into my head so I thought I would try to incorporate a little pasta and some grilled chicken and make a meal out of it. Kind of like a Greek version of a chicken divan, chicken spaghetti, or a favorite in Texas the King Ranch Casserole. It’s got to be healthier than the later but maybe not by much.

This turned out really tasty. You get the punches of salty tang from the feta and kalamata olives balanced by the sweetness of the fresh tomatoes and red onions atop a hearty chicken pasta dish.

Ingredients:
Penne Pasta
2 chicken breasts (free range, air chilled)
Container of cherry tomatoes
Handful of spinach
Handful of mushrooms
4 tbs of diced red onion
4 cloves of garlic diced
1 tbs of fresh diced basil
Dashes of dried oregano and red pepper flakes
1 tbs of butter
1 tbs of flour
1/4 cup of chicken stock/broth
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
Paprika for the chicken
Block of Fresh Feta Cheese
Kosher Salt
Pepper

Directions:
Prep: dice your garlic, red onion, mushrooms. Slice about half of the cherry tomatoes. Assemble three bowls based upon cook times.. 1. Red onion, whole cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. 2. Garlic and spinach 3. Sliced tomatoes, olives, basil, vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes.
1. Preheat oven to broil but use the bottom rack.
2. Get a pot of boiling water going and follow the directions of your favorite pasta. Pull it out right before they say to do so. Set aside a cup of pasta water in case you need to add moisture later on.
3. On to the chicken… Heat up a cast iron skillet with some olive oil in it. I used medium to medium-low heat. I salted, peppered and paprika my chicken breasts and cooked them so that they were done with a nice color.
4. Remove your chicken to rest.
5. In that skillet add butter and your bowl of mushrooms, whole tomatoes, and red onion. Sweat them out.
6. Now add flour to the pot to build a rue that will help us thicken the sauce. When it’s golden brown add your second bowl of garlic and spinach for 30 seconds and then quickly add the chicken stock and stir until thickened. About three minutes.
7. While your mixture thickens cut up your chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.
8. Now add your pasta and chicken to the skillet and turn off the heat. Crumble and stir in half the feta cheese and slowly stir to get everything well coated with melted cheese and sauce. If it looks dry, add some pasta water and stir until it has the consistency of mac n cheese.
9 Pour that mixture into an oven ready dish. Top with the third bowl of halved cherry tomatoes, olives, basil with the vinegar and spices. Lastly, top with the remaining block of Feta and crumble it over the top. Put it into the oven uncovered for about 4 to 5 minutes so that the feta takes on some brown color. It won’t melt like other cheese but it is soft despite looking like it did when it went into the oven.

Serve with pita bread or anything else that you come up with.

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

I ran across this recipe on another blog and when I was cooking according to her directions, I found myself immediately deviating from her directions. This actually turned out as a great creamy, herby pasta dish that comes together in about 20-30 minutes. So if want a departure from your typical pasta dish but not skimp on flavor this one might be a good fit.

I still have a case of the blog blahs and in perfect form, I thought I took pictures last night but didn’t have my card in my camera…doh. So picture if you will, a creamy pasta dish resembling a looser alfredo sauce but packed with herbs, spinach and grape tomatoes. Additionally, some sliced pieces of bite sized chicken that replaced a meatball.

The recipe that I followed used evaporated milk which I did do but wouldn’t do it again. Instead, I would use whole milk, cream or even a dollop of cream cheese or something. Also, she suggested covering your chicken with pesto prior to cooking. I found that it started to burn the pesto. So much so, that when I removed my chicken I had to deglaze the pan with water and start from scratch missing out of on those lovely chicken bits and juices. I also amped up the parmesan cheese to compensate for the evaporate milk.

Last note, I have been falling in love with my grocery store salad bar. Instead of buying vegetables that I wouldn’t always use, I load up on the vegetables I want to cook that night. I added spinach, grape tomatoes, sliced red onion and a few mushrooms.

My recipe should deliver a super fast but delicious meal.

Ingredients:
Free Range Chicken Breasts
Fresh Basil
Fresh Pesto (store bought)
a handful of fresh spinach
a handful sliced grape tomatoes
small amount of sliced red onion from salad bar.
4 cloves of garlic
Cooked spaghetti (al dente)
1 cup whole milk or cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbs of grated parmesan cheese (use more or less to your taste)
1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Needed: Two pots: one for the sauce and chicken and one for boiling the pasta.
1. Start boiling the water for your pasta.
2. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken breasts. I tenderized them with a mallet to flatten them out to an even thickness. I heated a pan with olive oil on medium heat. The idea is to put a little color on them. Cook three to four minutes each side and remove them to rest.
2. Make a roux by adding the butter and flour in the same pot of the removed chicken. When it turns light brown, go ahead and add your minced garlic, red onion, and halved grape tomatoes and stir for one minute.
3. Add the chicken stock and loosen everything up. Turn down the heat to low and then add the pesto, the cream/milk and parm. Stir until the sauce thickens.
4. Cook your pasta according to the package in salted water. While it cooks cut the chicken breast on the bias and then add the sliced chicken back into the sauce and continue to stir.
5. When your pasta is cooked al dente, remove it, drain it and add the pasta into the sauce pot. Now add in your spinach and basil until nicely wilted but not over cooked. Serve and top with some fresh shaved parm and torn basil.

Knock off Chuys Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Sauce

Chuy's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chuy’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas
IMG_0977IMG_0980

We take our TexMex or Texican food pretty seriously. When I first started going to the funky little joint, they had a Wednesday special they called “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” which is a pulled chicken burrito covered in a spicy queso sauce served with rice and beans. I used to make sure that when I traveled to Austin, TX I did so around Wednesday’s because I loved it so much.

Chuy’s has expanded and also put the popular dish permanently on their menu so you can always get it. It is spicy and some have commented on some of my recipes that they were too spicy. This is a recipe you will need to alter if you are heat sensitive.

Ingredients
10 corn or flour tortillas
1 1/4 lbs cooked chicken (poached in stock)
Chicken Stock

Boom Boom Sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup beer
1/2 oz lime juice
3/4 lb roasted poblano’s
4-6 roasted tomatillos
1 1/2 ounces cilantro
4 bunches of green onion
3/4 oz serrano pepper
1 1/4 lbs American cheese

Directions
Prep: Cut and clean your tomatillos, poblano’s, onion, serano pepper.

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place your onion, peppers and tomatillos on a sheet pan and blister them.
2. You can either buy a roasted chicken or take your chicken and poach it in a pot on medium heat in chicken stock. Almost covering it completely. When done, shred chicken.
3. Add all your peppers (seeds removed), tomatillos and onions into a blender with the liquids. Give it a spin until smooth.
4. Now pour that mixture into a pot and heat it up on medium low heat until simmering slowly. Remove from heat and slowly add your cheese while continuing to stir to blend it. Don’t let it seize up on you. IMG_0974
5. I took my tortilla and stuffed it with chicken and then rolled it and hit it on the stove to mark it. Then I covered in the boom boom sauce. IMG_0976
IMG_0975IMG_0977

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Cosmic Hummus

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Cosmic Hummus

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Cosmic Hummus
IMG_0962IMG_0958IMG_0960IMG_0961
Apologies for the infrequent posts lately, but I have been traveling a lot so haven’t been able to cook much. The other night I was in the mood for some good Middle Eastern food. We have a place locally that makes this crave worthy shish tawook where the chicken is perfectly moist and full of flavor with little burnt parts from the flames.

I decided to roast mine in the oven versus over the flames on skewers. Roasting does allow you to keep it nice and moist because it simmers in the juices imparting more and more flavor as it cooks. Another note is I used chicken breast because my lovely wife hasn’t come around on the greatness of chicken thigh meet. When I make dishes where she can’t tell I will slide a few thighs in there.

I’ve made hummus several ways… garlic, roasted pepper, jalapeno etc..but I spotted a recipe from a local joint called the Cosmic Cafe that used cucumber and cilantro which sounded good due to the freshness they would add. It was different and a good compliment to the tangy and spicy schwarma. I used store bought Naan bread and also a box of Rice a Roni. The rice and pasta combo just works. Don’t use the package seasoning in those boxes but instead make your own mix with high quality spices.

Ingredients:
Chicken Schwarma
2 free range air chilled chicken breasts
1 white onion sliced
stems of cilantro (leftover from hummus)
4 cloves of smashed garlic
2-3 lemons juices
squirt of Sriracha
1/2 cup of olive oil
splash of pickle juice
1 tbs of paprika
1 tbs of turmeric
2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Cosmic Hummus
2 cans of Garbanzo Beans
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 pealed cucumber
handful of cilantro
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbs of paprika
Pinch of cumin
Kosher salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Prep: wash your cilantro, peel your cucumber, cut your onion, juice your lemon and smash your garlic. Score your chicken breast. Also for the cilantro rip off a handful for the hummus and put the rest in the marinade for the chicken.

1. Marinate your chicken. Add everything into a Zip-Lock bag and let it marinate over night or at least two hours. The lemon will help tenderize the chicken and the spices get an opportunity to be absorbed into the chicken.

2. Make your hummus but rinsing your garbanzo beans and pull out some of those shells you will find. Personal preference. Add the beans, cucumber, cilantro, garlic into a food processor and pulse. Slowly add your lemon juice and then your olive oil. I put 1/2 cup of olive oil in my ingredients but eyeball it and add as much as you like or until you get the hummus to the consistency you like (thick or thin). Add your spices and let it blend for 5 minutes more.

3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you like dryer chicken use a larger pan like a 9 x 13 or go with a smaller dish or pan if you want it more juicy. Add all the contents into the pan and roast the chicken for about 40 minutes. Check on it about thirty minutes into the roasting and turn it or move things around. I flipped mine because I was going to a “wetter” chicken. When your chicken is cooked, remove the cilantro and discard, Remove your chicken and slice it into the bite sized pieces and add it back into the pan and move it around to coat it in the sauce. Serve the chicken and onions with your sides…

IMG_0959

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots
IMG_0882IMG_0887IMG_0884
This recipe is deliciously simple and sadly boring. It is gluten free, clean, Paleo etc.. It’s healthy and passes almost any diet tests. Roasting fresh food is just delicious. It just concentrates flavors while creating great textures from crunchy to pillow soft. Everything on the plate was 100 natural and either raised or grown without chemicals or additives. I added Zucchini but didn’t like it as well as the carrots and potatoes. Just preference.

Ingredients:
2 air chilled chicken breasts
Several Carrots
1 zucchini
handful of potatoes
Fresh rosemary and Thyme minced
juice of a lemon

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and on a sheet tray add your washed and prepped carrots, potatoes and zucchini.
Squeeze the lemon juice over everything. A few glugs of olive oil (optional). Top with minced herbs, Kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
IMG_0886

White Bean Chicken Chili with Polenta Croutons

White Bean Chicken Chili with Polenta Croutons

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

White Bean Chicken Chili with Polenta Croutons
IMG_0803IMG_0802IMG_0799
Tonight I made a white bean chicken chili and it was glorious. Salty with some mild heat from the green chilies and freshness from the cilantro. I was going to do a mexican lasagna but last minute decided to forgo the cheese and noodles for a soup and I am glad I did.

With my soups I like a cracker, piece of bread or crouton. I thought polenta would add a touch of sweetness to it. I bought one of those store bought logs instead of making it fresh and that was a visual mistake. I wanted to add some cheddar to it so tried to food process it and I couldn’t get them to bind so I added some sour cream. I formed them and put them on high heat and they turned to goo. So I ended up just making one big blob and put a crust on both sides. So while ugly the polenta was a perfect complement to this soup. Next time I will make it fresh and bake it off in the oven.

Ingredients:
2 rotisserie chicken breast diced
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
2 cans of rinsed White Beans
2 4oz cans of diced green chilies
1 head of cilantro
2 cartons of Chicken Broth
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of chili powder
3 tsp of oregano

Store bought Polenta combined with cheddar and sour cream and fried as delicious but hideous blob.


Instructions:

1. Prep Dice your onion, cut your chicken, open your cans of beans and green chilies, dice your cilantro.

2. In a large pot on medium heat add some olive oil and drop in your diced onions and cook them until they are soft and translucent. Next add your chilies and minced garlic. Now add your spices and let them bloom for one minute.

3. Next add your chicken stock, chicken and beans. Simmer for 30 minutes and then add your chopped cilantro.
Serve in a bowl and top with your fried polenta croutons.

IMG_0798

Chicken Broccoli Asparagus Quinoa Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Asparagus Quinoa Casserole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chicken Broccoli Asparagus Quinoa Casserole
IMG_0753IMG_0755IMG_0757
The other night I tried a Paleo version of an Orange Chicken Stir Fry. Frankly it sucked and I won’t post it because I don’t post dishes that I wouldn’t make again. So I had some leftover broccoli, mushroom, asparagus and chicken. When I make an Asian dish I try to bookend it with some Jill prefers which is comfort, Italian, pastas etc.

I knew that Orange Chicken Stir Fry missed the mark and to hear her make comments like “hmmmm” or “interesting flavors” while she picked through it like a monkey picking ticks of other monkey’s I knew I need to bring a comfort dish the next night. I was thinking of our chicken and rice, chicken divan and chicken spaghetti and thought I would make a hybrid. A while back I tried something similar that used quinoa but mine was a bit dry so I knew I needed to get some moisture on the bottom with some sauce.

Casseroles and myself are not photogenic. So don’t let the pics scare you off. The sauce was terrific and really pulled it all together. For people who are repelled by vegetables this is a great way to get people to eat them because they are masked in cheese and sauce. Learned that from my Mom.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
Half a bunch of diced asparagus
A large crown of broccoli (chopped)
1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of Quinoa
1 cup of chicken broth
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of flour
4 tbs of butter
Fresh Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese (fine grated)
2 tbs of Kosher Salt
1 tbs of Chili Powder
3 tsp of Garlic Powder
3 tsp of Onion Powder
2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
1 tbs of Black pepper

Directions:
1. In a pot on medium heat pour 1 cup of chicken broth and add your chicken breasts and cook covered. It will take a 10-15 minutes. You can cut your chicken before poaching it to speed it up. I wanted to enrich my broth with the chicken breast so went the longer route.

2. Preheat your oven to 375. Take your casserole dish and add 2 tbs of butter and put it into the oven to melt.

3. Chop your veggies. When chicken is done remove to rest. In another sauce pot make a roux with flour and 2tbs of butter. It’s going to be pretty thick so slowly pour in your chicken broth. Just be careful because the broth is hot and you might make biscuits. Mine was actually lumpy so I put it in a blender. Slowly pour the milk in. Add your spices and mushrooms and stir until it thickens up. Taste and adjust accordingly.

4. At this point you have cut raw veggies, a sauce, a buttered dish and diced chicken. I took the buttered dish out of the oven and pour in the cup of quinoa and moved it around. I poured a little sauce to make sure it was well coated and moist. I combined my veggies and chicken and then poured them into the dish.

5. Then I poured sauce all over to make sure every nook and crannie was saturated. I used my spatula to much everything around well. Sprinkled grated Parmesan cheese and then top with fresh grated cheddar cheese. Covered with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook another 20-30 minutes. Let is rest for a 5-10 minutes Serve and enjoy.
IMG_0753