Adventures in homemade, budget aware cooking.

Poultry

Enchiladas Verdes

 

These aren’t your typical “Enchiladas.”  Or at least they aren’t what I normally think of when I think Enchilada… Instead, they are more like tacos… Anyways, this one authentic recipe.  I hope you’ll like it!

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small white onion

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add the chicken, garlic and onion and poach in boiling water until chicken is cooked through.  Drain the water (or reserve as a chicken stock) and shred and salt the chicken.  Set aside.

  • 1 lb tomatillos (green tomatoes), casings removed, rinsed
  • 1 to 3 jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 a small onion, chopped

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add the tomatillos and the jalapenos.  Cook until tomatoes are soft.  Place all the ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Pulse until blended.  Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet.  Pour in the salsa and heat 5 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, heat corn tortillas in oil in a small skillet, then with tongs, dunk them into the salsa.  Fill with chicken and roll up.  Repeat.  Serve with shredded lettuce, Mexican cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and additional salsa verde.

I forget to get a picture of the finished product… sorry.

 


Italian Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables

I don’t know why, but I assume that cooking good quality food has to be complicated… and so hard that half of your kitchen has exploded and you’ve singed off your eyebrows by the time your done.  Well, my friends, it doesn’t have to be that way!  This recipe, which I’ve adapted from “Woman’s Day” is about as easy and clean as it gets.  I think this is even easier to make than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  And, it’s good too!  Like, really good.

Italian Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables

  • 4 small drumsticks
  • 4 red potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 large bell peppers, cut into 3/4 in wedges, mine was yellow
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2 in slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olives, halved (optional)
  • Balsamic vinegar to drizzle on at the end.

1.  Preheat the oven to 500F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

2. Spread meat and veggies onto the pan.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.

3. Roast 15 min.  Remove from the oven, toss, and roast another 15 min, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are tender.

4. Remove from the oven.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olives.


Grilled Chicken Tacos

Sometimes you just have to cheat.

I cheated big time with these grilled chicken tacos… first of all, they were supposed to be FISH TACOS!  I hate fish (which is weird considering I grew up on an island… but there you have it) so I used chicken instead.  Secondly, they are supposed to be grilled but my husband wasn’t home from work yet and I was hungry… so I just used the George Foreman.  Why didn’t I just get the BBQ out myself and do it properly? you might be wondering.  Well, I have no good excuse.  The truth is I’m scared of the BBQ.  I fear it blowing up in my face.  I know it’s stupid…

Anyways, despite my shortcuts, these were pretty good.  If you can grill them though, do it.

Grilled Chicken Tacos (adapted from “The Culinary Institute of America: Grilling”)

  • 8 flour tortillas

Chicken:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast (or mahi-mahi if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt, to taste

1. Cut meat into sixteen equal pieces.  Combine all ingredients and marinate the chicken in it.  Grill over medium heat (2 minutes per side for the fish, until the juices run clear for the chicken).  Grill the tortillas until they have grill marks (15 sec per side).

Southwestern Slaw:

  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 2 tsp minced jalapenos
  • 2 tsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients.  Allow the mixture to marinate for 30 min (up to 8 hours).

Chipotle Pico de Gallo:

  • 1 cup medium-dice tomato, seeded
  • 4 tsp red onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 canned chipotle pepper, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced

1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  This can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Mexican Crema:

  • 1/2 Mexican Sour Cream (or regular sour cream if you can’t find this)
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 2 tsp lime juice

1.  Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days.

To assemble the tacos, put 2 slices of chicken or fish in each tortilla.  Top with Southwestern Slaw, Chipotle Pico de Gallo and drizzle with Mexican Crema.


Chicken Murphy

I know it’s been too long since my last blog.  Because it’s been a few weeks, now I feel bogged down with a million recipes to write about and an internet connection that is temperamental at best.  You have my sincere apologies and a pledge to get back on track.  Here’s what we had for dinner tonight:

You’ll notice that there is a side of asparagus on my plate.  Asparagus is one of those foods that my young, uncultivated tongue didn’t appreciate.  I used to call them “aspara-guts.”  Saute them in butter and garlic and they don’t taste anything like guts… well, at least I don’t think they do.

Chicken Murphy (adapted from “Family Circle”)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 28oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 4 hot red peppers, seeded and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 a sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of uncooked orzo (cook this like you cook rice with a 2 to 1 ration of water to orzo)

Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Stir in the tomatoes and liquid, salt and pepper.  Break up the tomatoes using the back of a wooden spoon.  Cook over med-high heat for 3 minutes.  Add the chicken, peppers and onion.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve on a bed of cooked orzo.


Lemon Chicken Orzo

I like strange grains.  I don’t know what it is about me, but I hate spaghetti and white rice.  I love jasmine rice and couscous and orzo.  Maybe I just have expensive tastes…  This past month, I feel like my husband’s comment on most of the meals I prepare for him has been “Well, it’s a new flavour for me…”  Is that his nice way of saying that he doesn’t like it, or that I should make it more often so he gets used to it?  I prefer to believe it’s the latter.

Lemon Chicken Orzo (adapted from “Family Circle)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 8 oz green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 tsp of the salt and pepper.  In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken and brown it.  Add the chicken broth and the lemon juice.  Bring to a boil and cover.  Lower heat.  Let mixture simmer until the chicken is cooked through (5 min).  Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce for 5 min.  Add the honey and sour cream, salt and pepper.  Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil again.  Add the orzo and cook for 10 min, or until the orzo is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Add green beans during the final 4 min of cooking time.  Stir in the chicken.  Garnish with parsley.  Serve.


Thai Peanut Chicken

The first time I had curry, I was in the H-shaped airport in Taipei, Taiwan. The experience taught me one thing: Airport food is universally bad. Since then, I have avoided curry religiously. I was convinced I didn’t like it. You can imagine my trepidation as I ventured today’s recipe: Thai Peanut Chicken with a large helping of yellow curry powder. It turns out that I don’t hate curry after all. Here’s the recipe that changed my mind:

Thai Peanut Chicken (adapted from Mark Bittman’s “The Greatest Recipes in the World”)

– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1 tbsp curry powder
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
– 1 small onion, sliced
– 1 tbsp cooking oil
– 1/2 head of broccoli, cut
– 1 scallion, cut into 1 inch pieces
– 1/3 roasted peanuts, chopped
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp Nam Pla (Thai Fish Sauce)
– 3/4 cup coconut milk*

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Marinate it with the curry, ginger and garlic. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli and scallion and cook for 3 minutes. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Cook the onion until it’s tender, 3-4 minutes. Strain the vegetables and run them under cold water for 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the skillet. Add the vegetables to the skillet. Cook on medium-high until the chicken is just browning, 5-10 minutes. Add the peanuts, coconut milk, Nam Pla, and sugar. Heat 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Season with salt. Serve over jasmine rice.

* To make your own coconut milk:
In a blender, combine 1 cup shredded coconut with 2 cups hot water. Pulse 3-4 times. Blend for 15 seconds. Strain the milk and discard the chucks. (makes 2 cups)


Chicken Pad Thai

I love green, and red, and orange, and yellow.  Utah is a brown-blue kind of place.  It is dry and hot, or dry and cold.  It is drab.  Sometimes this depresses me.  I just want to see dark turquoise water, and tall evergreen trees stretching towards the sun.

I escape to my kitchen (which is also brown) and cook something colourful and ethnic, something that brings me back to a different place.

When I was in high school, I spend a summer visiting my well-traveled aunt in Cambodia.  Cambodia is one of the most colourful, most vibrant places I’ve ever been.  The food is similar to Thai food, though not as spicy and with distinctive French influences.  I ate coconut chicken served in a bowl made out of half a pineapple, noodles, fresh baguettes, frogs’ legs, and the most tropical fruit you can imagine.

Yesterday’s dinner of Chicken Pad Thai rescued me in my colourless stupor and brought me back to that place.

Chicken Pad Thai (adapted from Better Homes)

  • 8 oz rice noodles (or other Chinese noodles)
  • 1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Asian garlic chili sauce
  • 41/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • oil for cooking
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • green pepper, sliced
  • cilantro leaves to garnish

In a large bowl, cover the noodles with hot water and let sit for 15 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine peanuts and lime zest, set aside.  In another small bowl, combine the sauce by mixing the fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, chili sauce and vinegar.  Stir to combine, set aside.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium-high heat.  Add chicken and garlic.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.  Remove chicken from skillet.  Cook the egg.  Remove it from the skillet and chop.  Add more oil to the skillet.  Heat on high heat.  Drain the noodles.  Add the noodles and the bean sprouts to the skillet and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken and sauce.  Cook for another minute.  Garnish with egg, green onion, cilantro, and peanut topping.  Enjoy!