Chicken with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce over Herbed Rice

This is a family favorite. I like to use boneless skinless thighs because we like dark meat. You can use breasts or chicken on the bone. Just be sure to adjust cooking times for meat on the bone. This is also a pretty budget friendly meal. It’s great served with a crisp green salad. I make it in about 30 minutes.

Start the rice:
2 C basmati rice
1/2 C slivered almonds
2 TB Summer savory
2 TB tarragon
4 C stock or water (if using water, add salt after rice is cooked to develop the flavor)

In a hot pan, toast the almonds. Stir and heat for 3 minutes until the nuts release a nice aroma. Add rice. Toast 2 minutes more. Add herbs and liquid. Stir well. Cover and reduce to low. Simmer until rice is cooked through.

For the Chicken and Sauce:

1 lb chicken pieces, rinsed and dried
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 oz goat cheese
olive oil

Seasoned Flour:
1/2 C brown rice flour
2 tsp black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt

Heat a little oil in a large saute pan on medium high. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and saute until a nice brown crust is on both sides. About 12 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Add onions, 2 TB olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions to translucent. Add mushrooms. Cook 4 minutes more. Add any leftover seasoned flour. Stir to make a roux. Add water to make a sauce, about 3/4 C. I don’t use stock here because the flavor of the seasoned flour is very intense. Then stir in the 2 oz goat cheese. Stir until smooth.

Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken and cream sauce over rice.

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Split Lentil Crepes with Dijon Sauce

There are tons of ways to make crepes without using regular flour. Beans, legumes, and peas make a great protein source and bind crepes together splendidly. Add grilled chicken and asparagus for a perfect high-protein, high-fiber meal.

For the crepes:

1 1/2 Cups split lentils (any color will do, I like red lentils)
1 1/2 Cups filtered water
5 eggs
1/2 Cup rice flour
3 TB herbs (tarragon or herbs de provence are delicious with the mustard sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 TB black pepper

Soak lentils in water in your blender for about 30 minutes. Add eggs, flour, and herbs. Blend until smooth.

Heat crepe pan with olive oil or butter. Swirl batter through pan to thinly coat. Cook 3 minutes then flip and cook for 2 minutes. This batter will make about 12 crepes.

Crepes can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated. Reheat in the oven covered.

Dijon Sauce

2 TB rice flour
2 TB olive oil
2/3 Cup water

4 TB Dijon mustard
3 TB red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon

Make a roux with the oil and flour. Add liquids and mustard. Whisk rapidly. Serve immediately.

Our Favorite Curry

This curry is so easy. The coconut milk is creamy and delicious. It keeps the chicken moist without letting the veggies lose their crunch. This meal is ready in minutes.

1 lb chicken thighs
8 oz mushrooms
8 oz carrots
4 oz sliced water chestnuts
3+ cloves garlic, minced
1 large avocado, cubed
14 oz coconut milk
1 TB sesame oil
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
cayenne to taste

Cut chicken and veggies into bite sized pieces. Heat wok on medium high. Add EVERYTHING but avocado pieces. Cook and stir occasionally, gently for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Stir in avocado before serving. Serve over rice.

Chili Orange Chicken

Marinade for 6 chicken pieces:

Juice of 1 large orange
zest of 1 large orange
3 TB Asian garlic chili sauce
1 TB raw sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TB gluten-free soy sauce

Whisk marinade together in a large zipper bag. Add chicken pieces. Massage marinade into chicken. Let rest in the fridge for 20 minutes or up to over night.

Heat cast iron pan to high. Dump chicken and marinade into hot pan. Cook chicken 4 minutes and spoon marinade over to glaze. Finish cooking in a hot oven or by turning heat to low and covering tight.

Tandoori Style Chicken

This is another recipe I like to use dark meat for. Legs are easy to handle and are the perfect portion for little ones. Also, our farmer’s market recently introduced a new lower-waste packaging design for local legs and wings.

Served with Lentils and Cabbage Salad

Marinade for 4 pieces of chicken:

1/3 Cup plain yogurt
1 tsp each ground coriander, cumin, fresh grated ginger, chili powder, salt, black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Whisk marinade in a bowl large enough to hold chicken. Mix well. The salt is very important in this marinade. It helps the meat soak up the marinade much like when brining chicken.

Score chicken pieces with a sharp knife. Coat chicken in marinade and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Chicken can soak for up to 6 hours.

To Cook:

Set broiler to high. Heat cast iron skillet on stove top on high heat. Add a little olive or vegetable oil to the pan. Just before oil smokes, add chicken pieces. Do not shake off marinade.

Spoon marinade over chicken carefully to avoid popping or splashing. Let chicken cook without turning for 5 minutes. Transfer skillet full of chicken to broiler for 15 minutes or until pieces are cooked through. Use a middle rack and keep your broiler closed. This creates a very hot oven without putting the chicken too close to the heat source.

** Tandoori Chicken in an Indian restaurant is usually red. If you wish to add food coloring to the marinade, go for it.

How to Make Really Good Chicken

The trick is in the tools! Get a cast iron skillet!

What is great about cast iron? Well, it can get really hot. As hot as your recipe needs. It doesn’t start to warp or stink and leach like a teflon coated pan. It can go from stove top to hot oven with no effort. Also, it’s a great remedy for anemic picky eaters– the pan will actually impart iron into your food!! It’s magic!

There is a lot of fear of food borne illness in chicken, like salmonella. Getting it cooked through without drying it out is tricky for a new cook. Here are fail-proof tips for juicy chicken.

1.Let your chicken rest at room temp for about 5 minutes to take the chill off.

2. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Heat your cast iron pan on high with just a touch of olive oil in the pan.

4. Place seasoned chicken pieces in hot cast iron pan.

5. Sear 4 minutes on each side.

6. Transfer to hot oven to finish cooking. Bone-in meat will be cooked through in about 12-14 minutes depending on thickness. Boneless meat will be cooked through in about 6 minutes.

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pick-a-Filling Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a great make ahead meal. They are always good left overs. Everyone likes them. This is a versatile recipe that can be filled with just about anything.

Served with Guac and Sour Cream!

For the Sauce:

1/3 Cup minced yellow onion (1 small)
3+ cloves minced garlic
1 Cup veggie or chicken stock
1 Cup tomato puree
1 TB cumin
1 TB oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp mexican saffron
dash turmeric

To taste: salt, hot sauce– I add my demon sauce to this for a very intense multi-chile flavor.

Add all ingredients to a sauce pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. This can be made ahead: up to 10 days in the fridge or frozen for weeks. This makes enough sauce to cover about 8 enchiladas. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for feeding large crowds.

Filling for 8 enchiladas:

1 lb ground chicken, beef, or turkey
OR
8 oz chopped mushrooms and 1 Cup refried beans
OR
your family’s fav taco/ burrito filling

seasoned with 2-3 TB taco seasoning, depending on your taste for heat.

CHEESE! Sprinkle in queso blanco, monterrey jack, pepper jack, cheddar, or a blend of cheeses as you roll your enchiladas. If you are making just cheese enchiladas, a blend is best. 1 Cup of cheese should fill 8 enchiladas when mixed with another filling. For cheese only, you’ll need about 3 Cups.

8 Corn or gluten-free tortillas, 6-8 inch size.

Spread a few tablespoons of sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish. This will keep the enchiladas from sticking to the pan. Fill tortillas with your filling mixture and roll them. Lay them carefully in the casserole dish, squeezing them together to hold the roll closed. An 8×8 inch pan usually holds 6 enchiladas.

Top with shredded cheese.

Pour sauce evenly over rolled enchiladas. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, or you favorite veggie salad.

** For a vegan meal, stuff with veggies, tempeh, and vegan cheese. Commercial steak sauces are often vegan and can add a real kick to sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pork, or Tofu

Sweet and Sour is very very easy. Anything can be made with the method- any protein and any veggie. Also, a gluten-free tempura batter is simple and traditional. Gluten-free limits breaded and fried at most restaurants. Here is how to get the ultimate crisped meaty pieces with minimal effort.

Sweet n Sour Chicken over Brown Rice

For the chicken, pork, tofu, or tempura veggies:

Cut 1 lb of chicken, pork, or tofu into equal sized pieces. If using shrimp, medium shrimp are best. Having all the pieces the same size will give you an even cooking time and proper bite sizes. You can also batter and fry broccoli florets, sweet potato cubes, onion rings, zucchini chunks, or other veggies for a soy-free vegan version.

Make a tempura batter from

1/2 Cup corn starch

1/2 Cup rice flour

3/4 Cup filtered water

1/2 tsp salt

cayenne pepper to taste

This should coat at least 1 lb of meat or tofu. Veggies tend to hold batter in their crevasses– see broccoli florets– so you may want to do 50% more batter if you are tempura frying veggies. Also, since this is a very fun meal for guests, try doubling it to feed tons of people!

I fry in sesame oil or peanut oil. Sesame oil has a lower smoking temperature. A blend of the two will give you the best flavor. Sesame is fine to use by itself or with another veggie oil if peanut allergens are a concern. Heat about 1 inch of oil in your wok. Test the oil for readiness by putting a drop of batter into the oil. It should fry up crisp very quickly. Also, you can put the handle of a wooden spoon in your oil. Bubbles will form around it when the oil is hot enough.

Carefully add your battered meat or veg, about 6-8 pieces at a time depending on the size of your wok. Do not crowd the food. Let fry on one side for about 3 minutes until GBD (golden brown delicious). Flip food for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a towel to drain. Repeat until all battered meat and veggies are GBD.

For the sweet and sour:

2 bell peppers (I like red), sliced

1, 14 oz can of fair trade pineapple chunks, liquid drained and reserved

3/4 Cup rice vinegar

3 TB corn starch

soy sauce to taste

Mix rice vinegar, corn starch, and pineapple juice together. Set aside.

Drain off extra oil from wok. Toss in bell peppers and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add pineapple chunks. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add liquid mixture and stir fry for 3 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Toss in cooked tempura meat or veggies. Coat well. Serve over rice.

If the red color you see in restaurants is important to you, you can use a veggie based food coloring or beet juice to color your sauce.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Hail to the chicken carcass! I roast a chicken now and then. We actually prefer to use the meat for salads and sandwiches then make soup rather than eat it roasted with traditional sides. Poultry cooked on the bone has a richer flavor. And since these chickens worked hard to grow tasty, I feel obligated to cook them to their tastiest.

Place chicken carcass in a large (8 qt) stock pot and fill with filtered water 2 inches shy of covering the chicken. Put the lid on and set to simmer for about an hour. You can also do this in your crock pot for 3+ hours.

Once broth has reached a rich color, remove bones, leaving behind chicken bits. Add to your pot:

2 onions, chopped

1 stalk celery, cleaned and chopped (I include the leaves)

1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced

3 TB butter (Since there was no skin, the extra fat makes a world of difference to the flavor)

4 cloves garlic

3 bay leaves

2 TB thyme

1 tsp celery seed

2 1/2 Cups rice

Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Or, in a crock pot, let soup cook on low for up to 5 hours.

Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Lazy Asian Pasta Toss

Sometimes, there is just no energy to cook. Between holiday entertaining, while studying for final exams, or just because it’s a busy day. Get some quality pre-made sauces and seasonings for these times.

2 Cups cut up cooked chicken (grab a rotisserie bird and shred, use left overs from a home roast, or quickly broil some yourself.)
14 oz can bamboo shoots
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 Cup carrots, in sticks
8 oz mung bean sprouts
1/3 Cup hoisin sauce
3 TB garlic chili paste
3 TB soy sauce
2 TB sesame oil

1 lb gluten free pasta, cooked and drained

Set pasta to boil.

Heat wok with sesame oil. Toss in mushrooms and carrots. Stir fry until crisp tender. Add bamboo and cooked chicken. Toss in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and chili paste. Heat through.

Drain pasta. Toss with meat and veggies to coat thoroughly with sauce. Add mung bean sprouts. Stir gently to incorporate. Serve immediately.

**Switch to tempeh for an awesome veggie dish!

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