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Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry

Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry
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I am more of a Korean and Thai food guy than Chinese but I do like General Tso Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Cashew Chicken, and various noodle dishes. I spun by Whole Foods to pick up some salmon the other day and spotted a stir fry veggie package that contained celery, mushrooms, carrots, snow peas and broccoli. So I decided to take the base of the General Tso sauce and kick it up a couple of levels.

The typical General Tso is fried with cornstarch as the coating. I departed from that to save a few calories at the sacrifice of texture. That said, I did dry my chicken and cooked it in a medium heated non-stick pan to get some char or color on the chicken to make up for the lack of crunchiness. I might have over did the sauce because it was a heater. After one bite we both had a little sweat going so if you don’t like spicy stuff don’t use the Sambal and dried arbol chilies.

Ingredients:
3 air chilled organic chicken breasts or thighs
1 package of stir fry packaged veggies (Whole Foods)
1 package of Jasmine Rice cooked

Marinade
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of GF Soy Sauce
2 tbs of Sriracha
1 small can of pineapple juice
2 tbs of Kosher salt

Sauce
1/2 cup of Chicken Stock
1/4 of Soy sauce
3 tbs of tomato paste
1 small can of pineapple juice
3 tbs of Pineapple “topping”
2 tbs of Sambal or Sriracha
1 tsp of Sesame oil
2 tsp of Fish sauce
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs of grated ginger
3 dried arbol chilies
3 tbs of brown sugar
1 tbs of cornstarch (diluted in 3 tbs of water)

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken by dicing it up to the size you prefer in your dish. Dice and put in a Zip-lock bag and add all your ingredients and let it marinate in your fridge for 3hrs-24 hrs.

2. When ready to cook I started with the sauce in a medium high heated sauce pot I added all my ingredients and let it reduce. From a timing perspective if you like your sauce thick you will want to simmer and stir for about 15 minutes before working on the chicken and veggies. You will continue to cook your sauce while you cook the chicken and veggies.

3. Get your wok or non-stick pan to about medium high heat with a tablespoon of high heat oil. Remove your chicken from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel. The reason for this is that if wet it will cook but steam your chicken so you wont have any texture or color on it. I cooked my chicken for about 10 minutes and drained the pain dry about three times to keep the pan as dry as possible. Remove your chicken and set it aside. Your plan will be be black from the soy sauce at that high of a heat in a dry pan. Give it a wipe clean.

4. If your sauce is to your liking then you are about 5 minutes from plating. Back to the wok or large non stick pan, I added my hard veggies and keeping broccoli out until the very end. I cooked these for about 5 minutes and then added my chicken back to warm it through (see below) IMG_0266

5. Right before serving, add your sauce to the pan and turn off the heat. Microwave your rice for 90 seconds and plate it. Stir and cover everything with your sauce until coated. Serve and enjoy the sweat.

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Pesto Presto Chicken Sandwich

Pesto Presto Chicken Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pesto Presto Chicken Sandwich
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Despite being armed with the information about bread being the body’s kryptonite, I love it. Perfectly thick sliced chewy, toothy sourdough and some cheese and I am fine. Jill loves for me to make special sandwiches. I saw some recipes around chicken and pesto and thought I would make a sandwich around it.

I also had finished off a jar of dill pickles and had some left over pickle juice so decided to use that as my chicken marinade. The pickle brine really makes a great marinade. It doesn’t come across as too “pickely”. I also wanted to use goat cheese for tang. To play on that tang I added some jarred sun-dried tomato pesto sauce to my goat cheese.

Also I broiled the sourdough to get a nice crust on the inside while keeping the other side pillow soft. So many things going on with this sandwich. Two pestos in play give an herbaceous main note. The pickle juice brine, goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes bring acid and tang. Really delicious sandwich. A slice of crispy bacon would also be a nice addition.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts (free range, air chilled)
Sourdough loaf of bread
I small package of goat cheese
1 Jar of sun dried tomato pesto
1 jar of basil pesto
Olive oil
Arugula lettuce
Pickle juice
Mont Jack cheese (not necessary but we had some shredded leftovers)

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken breasts in pickle juice for as long as you can. Pound it to be the same thickness so that it cooks evenly. IMG_0049

2. Grill your chicken until cooked through. Get some nice grill marks on both sides. Set aside to rest.

3. With oven on broil. Slice your bread and add a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Broil until brown and crusty on one side. IMG_0050

4. Take your goat cheese at room temperature and add the tomato pesto until you enjoy the taste. I probably used 2 tablespoons. IMG_0052

5. When bread is toasted add to one side (top) the goat cheese spread. To the other side, add your chicken after you sliced it on the bias. Spread it on the bread and top with the basil pesto. About a tablespoon. Top with arugula and then your tomato pesto bread topper. Slice and enjoy.
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Thai Mango Peanut Chicken with Sesame Noodles

Mango Asian Chicken with Sesame Noodles

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mango Asian Chicken with Sesame Noodles
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Tonight I was craving some Asian food and found a sticky orange peanut Thai chicken recipe (CarlsbadCravings.com) but wanted to take to the mango route because I have done several orange chicken recipes lately. I mashed this recipe up with a Sesame noodle dish I found on from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

If you like sweet but spicy this is a great recipe for you. The sauce turns into the this thick sticky mess with notes of peanuts, mango, sweet and spicy. Serving it up on top of the Sesame noodles even balanced it out even more because that dish is overall savory and the chicken overall sweet and tangy.

Ingredients
Chicken
Package of Chicken Thighs (boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat)
Rub
1 tbs of olive oil
1 tsp of ginger
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of cumin
2 pinches of Salt and pepper

Sauce
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of Mango Chutney
2 tbs of ketchup
1/3 cup Natural peanut butter
1 tbs Rice wine vinegar
1 tbs Fish Sauce
3 tbs of Brown Sugar
1 tbs of Sriracha
2 tbs of corn starch
3 cut green onions
handful of chopped cilantro

Sesame noodles
12 oz Vermicelli noodles
1/4 cup of Soy sauce
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs of Sesame oil
1 tbs of Hot Chili oil
1 tbs of olive oil
4 diced green onions

Directions:
1. Trim your chicken thighs and then coat with a rub and set aside in a plastic bag for up to 24hrs.

2. When ready to cook you will have a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and then a second pot for the noodles on high heat until boiling.

3. Sear your chicken when your cast iron skillet on both sides. About 3-4 minutes each side. Thighs are resilient and forgiving. Remove your chicken and set aside. Let’s make the sauce.IMG_0014

4. Mix all your sauce ingredients into a bowl and turn the skillet heat down to medium and add everything to the skillet. Stir until thickened and sticky. Add the chicken back along with the green onion and cilantro and stir and coat the chicken well with the sauce/glaze. Turn down to medium low and tend to your noodles.

5. Once the water is boiling cook your pasta accordingly. When done, strain them and add them back to the pot with all the other ingredients and stir until well coated. Remove from heat until ready to serve. IMG_0016

6. Bring it all together by plating the noodles and topping with the sticky peanut mango chicken. Serve and enjoy.
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Jalapeno Popper Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Jalapeno Popper Chicken
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IF you ever are on Pintrest looking for chicken recipes you will see a gazillion jalapeno popper chicken recipes along with titles that say “best chicken ever”. So after ignoring many of them curiosity sucked me in on Jalapeno popper chicken. I am typically not a “stuffed” chicken or pork chop guy. Id rather brine and cook it through and then top it with a sauce etc…

If you like jalapeno poppers you will like this recipe. Tangy cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese with spicy jalapeno bits. It just works. You could dice and crisp up some bacon even. A few tips on stuffing the chicken. Butterfly the chicken slowly to create a nice pocket and then close it up well. The cream cheese will melt right out. Also lightly salt your chicken before breading and stuffing it.

For a side I roasted some broccoli with garlic and tossed it with lemon juice and finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients
2 thick chicken breasts
2 jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced)
2 oz of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 panko bread crumbs
Taco seasoning
1 egg
Kosher Salt

Broccoli
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon juices
1/4 cup of Parmsean cheese (fine grated)

Directions:
1. Fire up the oven to 375 degrees. While it is coming to heat take a small pan and add your panko bread crumbs and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Right before you remove from heat add about 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning to the crumbs. The heat will allow the spices to bloom. IMG_9990

2. Now in a bowl make your stuffing by seeding and dicing your jalapenos and combining with the cream cheese and fresh grated cheddar cheese. Add a touch of salt. IMG_9991

3. Butterfly your chicken slowly and carefully using short strokes with your knife as to keep a nice pocket with no holes. Stuff your chicken and close it with toothpicks. IMG_9993IMG_9994

4. Make a simple egg wash and have your Taco Seasoned Panko in another dish. Roll your chicken in the egg and then coat with the Panko mixture. Set in a baking dish.

5. Prepare your broccoli by cutting it up and mincing garlic and coating both with some olive oil. Dust with salt and pepper.

6. Add both dishes to your oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken is done (165 degrees). When done remove your chicken and let it rest for a few minutes. While it is resting coat your roasted broccoli with some lemon juice and then dust with the Parmesan cheese.
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Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream

Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream
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Jill had a hankering for pasta tonight. For some odd reason I wasn’t wanting anything cheesy or tomato based so I settled on a simple Marsala sauce. Marsala wine is an Italian wine produced around Sicily that is on the sweet side. You can buy the “cooking wine” but I prefer to use the real thing.

Chicken Marsala is supposedly a popular dish in Italy to celebrate their wine with simple ingredients. If you think of pairing sweet, I naturally think salty or earthy. Mushroom and onions would be nice but I kept it pretty simple and used pancetta with a creamy sauce and wide egg noodles.

Ingredients:

2 free range trimmed chicken breasts
2 oz of Pancetta (cubed)
Egg noodles for two
Parsley for garnish
1/2 cup of Marsala Wine
Touch of cream
pat of butter
Seasoned AP flour


Directions:

1. Slice your chicken breasts in to thin (consistent) slices. Like chicken tender sized. Make a seasoned flour mixture (pepper, salt, paprika) and dredge your chicken and set aside.
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2. In a pan on medium heat add your pancetta and cook until browned. Remove the pancetta and let it rest on a paper towel. IMG_9953

3. Once your pancetta is cooked and removed, add your flour dredged chicken and brown it on both sides. remove and set aside to rest. IMG_9957

4. Remove some of the pancetta drippings but keep a little. To make the sauce add the Marsala wine and let it reduce by 30%. Add a pat of butter and some cream to your desired color and taste. IMG_9958

5. Cook your noodles to package directions. Reserve some pasta water and then strain it. Put the pancetta back into the sauce along with the chicken. Now slowly add your pasta continually stirring to coat the entire dish. If it gets too thick, add some pasta water to thin it out. Serve in a bowl and top with chopped parsley.
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Quick Chicken Verde Enchiladas

Quick Chicken Verde Enchiladas

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Quick Chicken Verde Enchiladas
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Jill was gone all week attending a conference where she had long days and nights. She let me know she would be getting home all week and said she was ready to be home and wanted to eat at home. I didn’t have time to marinate or do anything that took much time, so I thought comfort=mexican. We also generally go out to a mexican restaurant most Friday nights to kick off our weekend.

Without a recipe in hand, I took off for the store and picked up a rotisserie chicken. Picked up some corn tortillas, verde sauce, cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream and some cheeses. Whipped up some margaritas and had it all done in minutes.

Ingredients:
Rotisserie Chicken
Store bought Pico de Gallo
Cilantro
Small Sour cream
Cheddar cheese block
Monterrey Jack block
1 can Verde enchilada sauce
Corn tortillas

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a large sauce pan or skillet add the pico de gallo and sweat out the onions for about 10minutes. Oil as needed.
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2. In a skillet on medium low heat pour in your enchilada sauce to heat just beyond warm.

3. In a large bowl add your sauteed pico. Shred your chicken and add to the bowl. Spoon in some sour cream until the consistency you like. I then added fresh shredded cheese but saved most for the top. I put about a quarter cup of the verde sauce and fresh Cilantro. Set aside. IMG_9891

4. Since it was two of us I used small pan. Take your corn tortillas and add two at a time to the sauce to soften them up. I use my hands for this because tongs always seem to murder my tortillas. When soft pull them out and spoon in the chicken mixture. Roll them up and place them seam side down in the glass dish. Pour the remaining verda sauce evenly across the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese, cover with foil and cook until the cheese melts. (remember everything is cooked ) IMG_9896

5. When you are about 10minutes out from serving. Put your oven on broil, remove the foil and let that cheese brown up. Serve with cilantro, margarita, rice, beans or whatever else tickles your fancy.
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“California” Ground Beef Tacos

California Beef Tacos

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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California Ground Beef Tacos
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Growing up, taco night right up there with the rare mythical pizza night. Back then, it was the simple hard shell ground beef taco topped with cheddar cheese. Today my taco aperture is fully widened. To adapt a JBJ lyric … “I’ve seen a million tacos and I’ve rocked them all” or something close.

A few decades ago on a visit to the the mother in law, she made us some “California” tacos. At this stage in my game, I had soft and hard shells but not oiled ones. It’s the same basic taco set up but she would take the corn tortillas and softened them in a heated and oiled skillet. Kind of what you might do to an enchilada in sauce.

Between us, I am not sure that single act of hot oil made them “Californian.” My hunch is someone, not from California, made them for her whilst she was living out there in her post college days. To me the California taco is a proper fish taco or some street barbacoa or carne asada tacos. The only reason I point that out is out to calm down any Californian who might read this and feel the need to educate me. I get it. The name is more about my MIL vs the state.

For my beef filling I like to really concentrate and reduce the sauce to a deep, spicy, rich salty mixture. I also like a fine cut of my ground beef while adding beans too. For the flavor, I will play around with my mixture by adding, beer, tomato sauce, green sauce or salsa etc.. This batch I went heavier on the tomato sauce but will use the typical amount in my base recipe.

Ingredients:
1 lbs ground beef (chopped further before browning)
corn tortillas
1 onion
8 oz of tomato sauce
8 oz of beer
4 oz of beef stock
Shredded cheddar for topping
1 green pepper (seeded and spined)
1 jalapeno (seeded and spined)
1 can of jalapeno pinto beans (rinsed)

Spices
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ancho chili powder
2 tbs of Penzey’s taco seasoning
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of paprika
1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of cayenne

Directions:
1. Take your ground beef and chop it on a cutting board. Add to a medium heated skillet to brown. Drain some of the fat.

2. Mince your onion, jalapeno, green pepper and add to the mixture and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Now add your spices and let them bloom for 5 minutes more.

3. Add the wet ingredients and simmer until it is really reduced and tight. You can cheat with cornstarch if you are in a hurry. Just put a 1tbs in a little water and then add and stir. IMG_9850IMG_9860

4. I add my beans towards the end and kind of mash it up a bit.

5. For the tortillas I take about a tablespoon of peanut or vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and heat it up. I use my hand so be careful of burning your self. Tongs tend to rip them. Since I cooked 4 tacos I put all 4 tortillas in the skillet. I flip all four and then take the top two, flip them and then flip all four. The point is each one needs to have contact with oil and heat. This is a one to two minute ordeal. Pull from heat and let them rest on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

6. Fill the tortillas with beef, cheese and anything else you want. I also made a simple salad and used avocado, lime juice and oil and blended it until smooth. I smashed a few chips to top.
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