Tag Archives: chicken

Almost Chang’s Spicy Chicken

Almost Chang's Spicy Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Almost Chang’s Spicy Chicken
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Outside of dumplings, Chinese food never wet my whistle like Thai or Indian food did/does. It’s most likely due to the fact of eating the MSG loaded cheap stuff. But that all changed the first time I went to PF Changs oh so many years ago. I know it’s a chain and today Chinese places have stepped up their game but back in the day when it came on to the scene it was unmatched.

When I ordered the lettuce wraps with those sauces and then had Chang’s spicy chicken I was hooked. I loved the salty, sweet and stinging heat. The good stuff that makes you sweat around your eyes due to the chili sauce. Seriously when Pei Wei opened (PFC’s cheaper cousin) I ate their version of Chang’s chicken every day for two weeks straight. The key here is the pineapple juice and getting it into a syrup consistency.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts (cubed)
3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
4-5 green onions diced
1 cup pineapple juice
2-3 tbs Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 tbs distilled white vinegar
2 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tbs peanut oil (chicken)
1 tsp chili oil (sauce)
Red pepper flakes

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Directions:
1.Get everything prepared. Chop, mince veggies, pour wet ingredients into measuring cup, make your corn starch/water mixture. Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces. So now you will first start your sauce while your pot heats up for the chicken.

2. Medium-heated skillet with some oil. Saute the onions for a few minutes and then add your garlic (careful not to burn) and almost immediately complete your sauce by adding pineapple juice, Sriracha, vinegar, sugar and soy. Then take your 2 tbs of water and dissolve the corn starch and add to the sauce until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Now take your cubed chicken and dust with cornstarch. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken to a medium heated pan and cook until brown and crispy. Remove and absorb the oil in a paper towel.

4. When you get to a syrup consistency then add your cooked chicken in a bowl and ladle your syrup/sauce on and mix until coated. Served over rice and garnish. You could also throw some broccoli or another vegetable into the mix to bump up the nutrition level or make it vegetarian.

You will sweat. You’re welcome.

Sweet Heat Chicken

Sweet Heat Chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sweet Heat Chicken
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Powering through some yard bird this week so I am trying to change up the flavors. We love roasted brussels sprouts and I had a spicy sweet combo on them so decided to replicate the theme on the chicken.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
Olive oil and butter for roasting
3 tbs of honey
1 lemon
½ tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of “Slap ya Mama” or cayenne
1 jalapeno diced
1 poblano diced
5 green onions pureed

Directions:
I marinated my breasts for 24hrs in a lemon, water, salt brine.   When ready to cook I took a foil lined sheet pan and took my marinated breast and covered them in the honey, spices, pureed onions and diced peppers. I cooked them in a 400 degree oven for about 40 mins until done (165 degrees).

Chicken Al Pastor Tacos

Chicken Al Pastor Tacos

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Al Pastor Tacos
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Taco Diner has little chicken al pastor tacos that Jill likes. I wanted to try and replicate them at home so whipped up this recipe. While I love just about everything spicy something about the canned Chipotles in Adobo that is off putting to me.   Given I am always bumping up the spice level, the first time I used them I took it too far and dumped the whole can and absolutely overwhelmed whatever I was cooking.

Replicating a “al pastor” I knew I had to face this can of smoky heat. I was able to show some restraint and it paid off because these little guys were really great. It’s smoky with a background of heat that slowly builds and the pineapple gives it a great balance of sweetness. Adobo has a really strong smell and when Jill gets home I knew she would be suspect. In fact she asked “ it smells like someone has been smoking pot in here”   I was concerned but first bite she said these are really good.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breast sliced and cubed
Corn tortillas
1 fresh pineapple cut in to small cubes
½ bottle of Mexican beer.

Sauce
1 small red onion
3-4 Roma tomatoes
2 cloves of minced garlic
Good handful of cilantro
1 6oz can of Pineapple juice
2 chipotles with the adobo sauce from the same can
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of Ancho Chili powder
Pinch of cayenne (optional)

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Directions:
1. All ingredients listed under sauce in food processor and blended until smooth.
2. Cube your chicken breasts into small cubes and put them into a pot on medium heat with some oil to sear.
3. Now add the sauce into the pot with the chicken and the beer. Simmer it until sauce is reduced and thick.
4. In a separate skillet add a little oil and put your tortillas in it to soften and heat. Assemble your tacos by adding your saucy chicken, pineapple and cilantro or anything else you like. We served it with homemade re-fried beans and Spanish rice.

Alabama white sauce grilled chicken

Alabama white sauce grilled chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Alabama white sauce grilled chicken

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BBQ sauces can fire up people similar to religious or political conversations. For me, I enjoy them all. Vinegar, mustard, sweet red or sweet spicy are all welcomed here. The Alabama white has always raised my brow, especially when I saw it for the first time.

So I tried the recipe below and it was good but I feel it could be improved with few suggested tweaks. I wanted a little more depth of flavor (sweet and spicy) so to the marinade I would add apple juice and pull down the vinegar for the marinade only. I would also pump up the spice level by adding more Tabasco and “Slap Ya Mama” seasoning and lastly I wouldn’t use the mayo in the marinade. So the chicken would be spicy, vinegary, and sweet. Then I would use the sauce to compliment it or cut it.

Since I haven’t tried my suggested tweaks, I am posting only the ingredients and process I used and followed below.

Ingredients
2 Chicken breasts (bone in, skin on)
4 chicken thighs (boned but skin on)
1 cup of Dukes Mayo
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
8 dashes of Tabasco
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
½ tbs of cayenne or Slap Ya Mama
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions
2hrs – 24 hrs ahead of cooking make your marinade by combining everything in a Ziplock plastic bag or covered bowl. On one side of the grill get it up 350 degrees. Skin down sear it for about 5mins to get a good crust on it. Then move to the indirect heat side of the grill and cook until the chicken is 165 degrees.

Farm Sandwich on Sourdough

Farm Sandwich on Sourdough

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: cinch
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Farm Sandwich on Sourdough

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Our fridge went out last week and after several repair appointment snafus and one failed self repair by me, we ended up on a 7 day sandwiches and grilling cycle. We finally said to heck with it and bought a new one because we were tired of living out of coolers and getting ice etc…

This sandwich highlights just about every animal in a typical farm. We have goat cheese, cheddar, chicken, bacon and veggies on sourdough bread.

Ingredients (2 sandwiches):
2 chicken breast (brined in salt path with Tabasco)
2 strips of crispy roasted bacon
2 tbs of Goat cheese
slice of cheddar on each (had to work the cow into it)
2 tbs of roasted red peppers
2 tbs of chipotle peppers
Bibb lettuce
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Dukes Mayo
Pinch of cumin

Directions:
1. Fire up the grill and take your brined chicken and slice it thinly. Salt and pepper with a touch of cumin.
2. Roast some bacon in a 375 oven for about 40mins or microwave if you don’t have the time. Jill demands crispy.
3. In a skillet make a tomato jam by cutting your cherry tomatoes in half and put them in a medium heated skillet. Salt and pepper lightly and cook down into a paste.
4. Take your goat cheese, chipotle pepper and roasted red peppers and whip it until fully combined. Use a food processor if you want to wash it for such a small amount of spread.
5. We broiled our sourdough and decided on crunchy side out to fully shred the insides of our mouths. Sometimes I go toasted side in and sometimes out.
6. Dukes mayo on the bottom topped with tomato jam. Top side gets the goat cheese spread. Slice your chicken on the bias and add your bacon, cheddar and bibb lettuce. Enjoy with some Sriracha spiced chips.

Moroccan Chicken Skewers

Moroccan Chicken Skewers

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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In Bon Appetit’s July edition they featured a piece titled “Sunday Grilling Day in Lebanon”. Their photos look so delicious I had to try this out. I adapted their chicken and hummus recipes.

A great meal with the peppery chicken char grilled with sweetened red onion. The garlic sauce has a popping heat from the raw garlic but is tamed slightly with the greek yogurt. Paired with the tang of the harrisa hummus and a torn piece of grilled naan bread you have a nice bite with a ton of flavors going on. It’s a keeper.

Ingredients
Garlic Sauce
4 cloves of garlic , minced and smeared into paste
1/3 cup olive oil
1tsp fresh chopped thai basil (needed to prune mine and thought it might be nice)
4 tbs greek yogurt (plain)
Kosher salt to taste

Chicken
2 chicken breasts
2 chicken thighs
½ cup of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 red onion
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp crushed red pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Kosher salt to taste

Directions
Make the sauce by mincing the garlic and then smearing it into a paste using the flat side of the knife.   Whisk the oil and garlic followed by slowly adding the yogurt. Chill in fridge.

Cut your chicken into cubes and toss it in a bowl with all the spices and chopped parsley. Let it marinade for up to 24hrs and no less than 2hrs.

When you are ready to eat, fire up your grill to medium and skewer your chicken with a slice of red onion in between the meat.   Cook until chicken is cooked.   Careful with that hot skewer.   I served it with the sauce, a simple salad made of arugula, pickled radishes and goat cheese, topped with toasted pine nuts, and a side of harrisa humus with naan bread.

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Pablano Mexican Chicken Lasagna

Pablano Mexican Chicken Lasagna

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium... it's easy but involved
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I was watching “The Best Thing I Ever Made” on the Food Network. Marcela Valladolid raved about her Pablano Lasagna. I whipped one up and it didn’t disappoint.
However, I thought I could make a few tweaks by bumping up the corn, pablanos and adding chicken.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/corn-and-poblano-lasagna-2-recipe.html

She's a beauty
She’s a beauty

Ingredients:
3-4 chicken breasts
8 pablano peppers
4 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon
1 onion (yellow or white)
3 zucchinis (med to large)
3 jalapeno peppers
6 ears of fresh corn (use 3 – 4 cups and save the rest for another recipe)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 can Rotel 10 oz
1/2 cup chicken Broth
1 pkg “No Boil” lasagna noodles
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups fresh mozzarella (or Marcel used Oaxaca cheese)

Spices:
1tbs Cumin,
2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder,
3 pinches of Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

Directions:
1. 24hrs before cooking, marinate your trimmed chicken in your chicken stock, Rotel, squeezed half lemon, cumin, ancho chili powder and cayenne.
2. Day of cooking. Char your pablanos, jalapenos and corn on the grill, stove or in oven (broil). You want the peppers burnt/black/blistered. I also like my corn to have a nice tan too.
3. Save your marinade. Go ahead and throw your chicken on the grill (medium/hot 400 range) and get some nice marks on the them. You will saute them later so don’t cook them fully on the grill.
4. Remove peppers and put them in glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let them steam for easy skin removal. I like to keep a little on for taste.
5. Once your corn and peppers are cooled to handle. Take a knife and carefully cut of the corn kernels and put them into a bowl. Also remove the clean skin of the peppers until you have mostly the green flesh. Then filet them open and cut into strips removing all seeds and membranes.
6. Go get your chicken off the grill and set it aside. Again, we just used the grill for marks not for fully cooking the chicken.
7.  Pour yourself a glass of tequila, squeeze a lime and hit it with some agave or simple syrup (which you should always have at the ready). Relax a little.
8. Two pots on the stove. First pot add 2 tsp of butter and your minced garlic on medium heat.  Simmer for a minute and then add corn ( i used about 3.5 cups of corn) and diced jalapenos.  Stir a little and then add the heavy cream, thyme and pinch of cayenne. Reduce heat and let the flavors meld.
9. Second pot: (this is where I could get a lecture but I am alive because heat kills bacteria).  Then slice your onions and chicken very thinly and put them into the pan/ pot and let it simmer with 1bs butter.  Add some marinade or a little chicken stock to keep it moist.
10. Take your corn mixture and put it into the blender (be careful it’s hot and will blow your lid off so let it vent or cool) Blend until smooth.

Now all we do is build the lasagna. Preheat oven to 350. Pour out liquid from our chicken and onions, slice zucchini into thin strips. Take a 9x 13 glass baking dish and ladle corn mixture on the bottom, then three pasta sheets to cover the bottom, then add your chicken and onions (without the marinade – we just used it to keep it moist and cook in some flavor), and now your sliced zucchini and pablanos. Repeat 2x lasagna, corn, chicken, pablanos and cheese, cover in foil.
Bake it for 45/50 mins. Turn on your broiler, remove foil and let it go for 10 mins or until cheese is brown and bubbly.

As Marcela might say…”dat ta da…”

Pablano chicken lasanga