Showing posts with label poultry and fowl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poultry and fowl. Show all posts

30 September 2015

Garlicky Chicken Tenders & Vegetables

This simply isn't a very exciting dish. Definitely not the kind of thing to make for company, no. But it makes an easy one-pan-throw-everything-together-and-go meal, which is sometimes what you need on a Sunday night when your monkey mind is too busy obsessing over tomorrow being MONDAY to deal with fancy cookery shenanigans.

I would really like go back to having proper Sunday dinners and not these catch-as-catch-can meals centering around speed and the opportunity to use up iffy ingredients -- like the spongy zucchini and sprouting potatoes in today's chicken dish. But my life is a bit topsy-turvy at the moment and, really, I suspect I should just be happy the chicken wasn't off!

Garlicky Baked Chicken Tenders with Vegetables

Yield: 4


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 6 small red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free poultry seasoning
  • Salt & pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. While oven is preheating, add butter to a large baking dish or pan and place in the oven to melt.
  2. When oven is at temperature, remove pan and stir garlic and onion into melted butter.
  3. Add chicken and vegetables to butter mixture, toss to coat, then spread out in pan, trying not to crowd.
  4. Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with seasonings and bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Give everything a good stir 'round and baste the chicken with pan juices. Return to oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and serve.

If you have a thing about butter, you could certainly use olive oil in this recipe. I happen to have a bunch of random cuts leftover from various baking projects and they keep falling off the "butter and egg" shelf and beaning me on the head when I yank open the fridge door. Yes. I'm blessed, I know.

18 September 2015

Roast All The Things: Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

End of the week, no idea what the weekend may bring, and the crisper drawers still hold far too much highly perishable produce. What to do? Roast them. With some chicken. Because not everyone wants a big plate of roasted vegetables for supper. Weirdos.

The package of boneless skinless thighs I used contained five thighs -- we had two apiece for supper and I enjoyed the remaining one with a bunch of the leftover vegetables for lunch the next day. Obviously, serving sizes are arbitrary so ymmv.

Roasted Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

Yield: 3 servings


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow (crookneck) squash, sliced into thick coins
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thick coins
  • 4 oz quartered small red potatoes
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and thyme
  • Olive oil


  1. Brush baking pans with olive oil. Distribute chicken and vegetables among pans, trying not to crowd. Season generously.
  2. Roast, uncovered, in 45°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.

09 September 2015

Cheesy Salsa Chicken

I've owned a Calphalon panini pan for yonks now and only very recently discovered the blessed thing is oven safe to 450°F. Do you know how liberating that is? No more transferring of ingredients to a baking dish. No, just grill the whatever, add the other ingredients to the pan, and whack the whole thing in the oven. Granted, it might look nicer at the table in a baking dish, but this isn't a nice-enough-for-company meal, anyway. It's an UGH-I-am-so-tired-what's-easy meal.

Creamy Salsa Chicken

Yield: Serves 2


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp fajita seasoning [Penzeys]
  • 1 cup roasted garlic salsa [Green Mountain Gringo]
  • ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese [Cabot]
  • Guacamole, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. While singing "Les Poissons," pound the chicken flat with a mallet. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with fajita/taco seasoning.
  3. Grill the chicken until it develops some nice color and grill marks. Mix the salsa and yoghurt; pour over the chicken and top with cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.
  5. Top with guacamole, as desired, and serve.

16 July 2015

Improv Challenge: Pretzels and Mustard

I'm just going to straight out confess that I made July's Improv Challenge recipe when I came home from work Monday night, so there was no time for rehearsal. I ran in the door, turned on the oven, and just started throwing chicken, mustard, and pretzels around.

So while we both enjoyed this dish -- The Husband thought the chicken was cooked "perfectly" and the "nut topping" was really nice (when I explained it was pretzels, not nuts, he merely shrugged and said that explained why they weren't as crunchy as he'd expected!) -- I think it could be better. Longer marinade time for the chicken, for one, and more finely crushed pretzels, for another. Also, maybe some garlic in the marinade and dressing? Mmm. Garlic.

If you have a food processor, feel free to pulverize your pretzels with it. I was all hepped up with Monday Grrr and was more than happy to bash away at the pretzels with my meat tenderizer. Seriously, it's good therapy!

Also, if you prefer a bit of sweetness, you could just use your favorite honey mustard vinaigrette rather than making the marinade and dressing.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken With Salad Garnish

Yield: 3


  • 3 similarly-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp + ½ tsp coarse grain Dijon mustard [Grey Poupon Country Dijon]
  • 6 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz salted pretzels [Snyder Of Hanover Olde Tyme Pretzels]
  • Baby arugula, as needed
  • Salt and pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. Place chicken breasts between two sheets of wax or parchment paper on a sturdy, flat surface. Firmly pound the chicken with a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat mallet until they’re all flattish and of similar thickness.
  3. In a large dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons grainy mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar. Add chicken to the dish. Toss to coat well and let marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and ½ teaspoon mustard in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
  5. Place pretzels in a food processor and whiz around until pulverized (you'll want to leave some small-ish chunks for both aesthetics and crunch). Or put pretzels in a food storage bag and bash with your meat tenderizer until they form crumbs of the desired size. Pour pretzel crumbs into a pie plate or shallow bowl.
  6. Remove chicken from marinade. Press chicken into pretzel crumbs, coating both sides.
  7. Arrange crumb-coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Mist the tops of the chicken breasts with nonstick spray. Bake for 15 minutes or until pretzels are nicely browned and chicken is 165 °F.
  8. Divide the chicken among three plates. Artistically arrange the arugula on top. Spoon the tomatoes over the arugula and serve immediately.

25 June 2015

Lazy Oven Kabobs

Brown and lovely oven-baked chicken-vegetable kabobs. Yum!
Kabobs! In the oven! Because Weather. (Also, maybe, laziness?) Last Saturday started as a beautiful late Spring day with big fluffy white sheep of clouds scudding across deep blue skies ... but, by the time lunchtime had rolled around, the sun was skulking behind dark clouds of dooooom, the wind kicked up, and it began to rain. The whole family wandered back into the house and the kabobs went in the oven.

Chicken-vegetable kabobs, marinating
And they were good! I'd bought these ready made, unseasoned chicken kabobs at the grocery store and then marinated them overnight, skewers and all, in Italian dressing. (What can I say? I am my mother's daughter and Italian dressing remains my go-to marinade). To cook them in the oven, I just decanted the container onto a baking tray and baked them at 450°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. As you can see, they came out looking pretty much just like they came off the grill -- charred edges and all.

Chicken-vegetable kabobs ready to go in the oven

19 June 2015

Lemon Dill Chicken & Potatoes

My tiny dill plants have become hulking monstrosities. While it's a bit early for pickle-making, I knew I needed to started using fresh dill more often (and in bigger quantities) or the plant would bolt and that would not be good at all. Well, when life gives you too much dill ... roast chicken!

This chicken dish is easy to prepare and comes together quickly. Simply toss all the ingredients in a big baking dish, pop it in the oven, and you're good to go!

Lemon Dill Chicken & Potatoes

Yield: 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Generous palmful fresh dill
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange chicken thighs, potatoes, onions and lemon slices in the baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake, covered with foil, for 40 minutes. Uncover, stir, and bake 10 more minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through (165°F).

I think the combination of lemon and dill keeps the dish very bright and fresh-tasting, you may want to cut back if you're not a lemon-lover!

13 May 2015

Greek Chicken Salad

While it's only the second week of May, it feels like summer at my house and I'm thisclose to turning on the air conditioner. Unseasonably sweaty workdays call for cool, relaxing suppers and salad's just the thing.

I marinated the chicken using the gyro marinade recipe on the Penzeys Greek seasoning packet -- Mix 1 Tbsp seasoning in 1 Tbsp water. Let stand 5 minutes, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Combine with 1 lb chicken tenderloins. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When we were reading to eat, I broiled the chicken for 5 minutes each side on a foil-lined baking tray. When the chicken was done, I set it aside to cool for about ten minutes -- just long enough to make two supper-sized salads.

For the salad, I tossed 1½ hearts of romaine (sliced into thin ribbons) with chopped cucumber, red onion, grape tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives, and garbanzo beans. Then I sliced the cooled chicken (there was leftover chicken for future salads) and arranged it atop the salads.

It wasn't really "Greek," I know, but was good! Next time, I'll add roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts.

08 May 2015

Baked Almond-Crusted Chicken Strips

This is one of those "Whoops!" meals where I forget to pick up an ingredient I need for a planned meal and just decide to chuck it all and make something completely different (greek salad, your turn will come). I used Penzeys Chesapeake Bay seasoning blend quite by accident -- I reached for Forward!, but grabbed Chesapeake Bay instead. Happily, the flavors worked well and I'll probably use it with chicken again.

Baked Almond-Crusted Chicken Strips

Yield: 4


  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp Penzeys Chesapeake Bay
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk almond meal and seasonings together in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
  3. Beat the egg in another shallow bowl or pie plate.
  4. Blot the chicken tenders dry with a paper towel then add them to the beaten egg. Flip them to make sure they are evenly coated.
  5. Remove each eggy tender and let and excess egg drip into the plate. Then place the tender in the almond meal mixture, gently pressing down and rolling to make sure the entire tender is evenly coated.
  6. Remove tender to parchment-lined pan. Repeat with remaining tenders.
  7. Bake tenders for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10. Serve with honey mustard, ranch dressing, or whathaveyou.
While all the flavors where there and lunch left no-one hungry, the tenders weren't even slightly crunchy and that annoyed me. They came out of the oven so beautifully browned that my brain insisted they be crunchy and my mouth was just nopenopenope on crunchiness. I think I should maybe have supplemented the fine meal with some more coarsely crushed almonds and/or spritzed the strips with a little cooking oil and then broiled them for the last 2-3 minutes for color and crunch?

06 May 2015

One Pan Chicken & Asparagus Bake

This all-in-one supper of chicken breasts and asparagus is just the thing for lazy weeknight cooking, when you know you need to cook something, but also just want to hang out on the porch and decompress after a day spent indoors. The oven does most of the hard work and one pan means minimal cleanup. Hooray!

I used Penzeys Sunny Spain -- a salt-free blend of black pepper, citric acid, lemon peel, garlic and onion -- in this recipe, simply because I've been on a lemon-pepper kick recently. Any chicken-friendly seasoning blend you enjoy would work well.

Easy One-Pan Chicken & Asparagus Bake

Yield: 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil
  • Penzeys Sunny Spain
  • black pepper
  • half of a lemon


  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Lay chicken breast between two pieces of parchment or freezer paper and pound until flattish. Repeat with remaining breasts.
  3. Arrange chicken, asparagus, tomatoes, and onion on a baking sheet or jellyroll pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Season generously. Squeeze lemon over everything.
  4. Pop the pan in the preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Love flattening chicken breasts (or any lumpy meat) with a mallet because it is the perfect excuse to sing "Les Poissons" from Disney's The Little Mermaid. Yup. 39. No children. Can still belt out a Disney song at the drop of a dime. Or swing of mallet.

01 May 2015

Easy Italian Chicken, White Beans, & Tomatoes

I've been making this chicken and beans dish for a while now, but somehow I never managed to write it up. It's a rich, tomato-y dish that definitely warms up your insides. There's some sauce -- but not a lot as I cook everything without a lid so most of the juices render down -- and that's perfect for dunking crusty chunks of bread. I've been using cans of Cirio Cherry Tomatoes that I picked up at Big Lots on impulse, but I'm sure canned diced or crushed tomatoes will work fine when I run out.

Chicken Thighs With White Beans & Tomatoes

Yield: 4


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can cherry tomatoes (pomodorini)
  • 2 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated parmesan, as desired


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken thighs and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Remove thighs to a shallow bowl.
  2. Add onion and garlic to skillet and cook, stirring regularly, until onion is translucent.
  3. Add chicken and any juices back to skillet along with the tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (Don't cover the chicken, because you want the liquid to cook down).
  4. Add beans to skillet and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

07 February 2015

Chicken Soup Is The Thing

We all woke up under the weather at Chez Savory Tart so today has been all about comforting food like bananas, saltines, big cups of tea, and chicken soup. Yeah, because chicken soup really is good for what ails you. (And I forgot how much I actually like saltines).

The soup took, maybe, twenty minutes to make and might seem a little bland to healthy people, but was just the thing for we tender-tummied folk. I usually cook with low-sodium chicken broth, but since we were a bit dehydrated, I stuck with the regular, full sodium version. Both the broth and the chicken were organic, because that's just the way I roll.

Easy Chicken Orzo Soup

Yield: 4 generous bowlfuls


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ chopped carrot
  • ½ chopped red onion
  • ½ frozen peas
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup orzo
  • Half a lemon
  • Dried parsley, as desired


  1. In large pot, bring chicken and broth to boiling. Then reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from broth and seat aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and cook carrots and onion until tender.
  3. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, dice into small cubes.
  4. Add vegetables, peas, chicken, orzo, and water back into the large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
  5. Stir in parsley and a generous squeeze of lemon. Serve.

23 January 2015

Easy Turkey Cutlet Parmesan

Another easy Pantry Challenge supper! Turkey Parmesan(ish) -- using turkey cutlets from the freezer, leftover tomato sauce, and a bunch of veggies that were starting to look the worse for wear. Delicious and easy, it would definitely be worth making again.

Turkey Cutlet Parmesan

Yield: 2


  • 1 oz liquid egg whites
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 oz shredded Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 4 turkey cutlets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


  • To a shallow bowl or pie plate, add the egg whites. To another shallow bowl or pie plate, add the panko, Parmesan, and seasoning blend.
  • Dip cutlets into the egg whites, allow to drip off a bit, then dip into the panko mix.
  • Bake cutlets at 450F° for about 15 minutes.
  • While the cutlets bake, sautéed diced zucchini and onions in a little olive oil until the onion is golden, then add tomato sauce, and leave to simmer until the cutlets are done.
  • Serve sauce over cutlets.

07 January 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore(ish)

Slow cooker chicken cacciatore(ish) over noodles. Everything but the mushrooms from the freezer or pantry, hurrah. (And it tasted pretty good, too!)

Ingredients: Frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, pepper and onion strips, sliced mushrooms, Italian seasoning, pizza sauce, glug of red wine, noodles.

I don't like to cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker as I think they tend to come out overdone and mealy-textured. Cooking them from frozen seems to help somewhat, what they're still a bit mealy. They're probably work okay in less time-intensive slow cooker recipes, but I leave the house at 8 and don't return home again until 5:30 and so whatever I'm slow cooking will cook most of that time (my slow cooker has a "keep warm" setting that works for up to two hours and I try to take advantage of that).

Boneless skinless chicken thighs ... now those were made for slow cooking! But breasts were what I had in the freezer and so that is what I used. The sauce was very rich and flavorful, anyway, and helped disguise chicken somewhat.

We ate the chicken over these funky tubular corkscrew "artisan" noodles I'd bought on clearance at Williams-Sonoma last winter. I'd yet to find a dish they go particularly well with and had just taken to ignoring them. Happily, they are all gone now and I can stop feeling guilty about preferring boring ol' grocery store penne to them.

18 December 2014

Improv Challenge: Red & Green

I did think about making a red-and-green bundt cake for December's Improv Challenge but, aside from an egregious use of food coloring, I couldn't see what that could bring to the table. So I went savory and dye-free with this simple dish of chicken, tomatoes, and green olives! And capers! And fresh herbs! Which are also green!

Chicken Thighs In Tomato & Olive Sauce

Yield:4-8 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 06 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 06 hrs. 10 mins.


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes [Muir Glen]
  • 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, quartered
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • Additional fresh herbs for garnish


  1. Add the onions, tomatoes, olives, capers, and fresh herbs to the slow cooker insert.

  2. Nestle the chicken thighs into the tomato mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a few sprigs of thyme and oregano, if desired.

  3. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve garnished with additional herbs.

The tomatoes, onions, and chicken will make more than enough liquid so don't even think about adding broth to the pot! The chicken comes out very tender and the sauce is very flavorful, although it is a little runny so feel free to thicken it before serving.

14 November 2014

Baked Chicken & Vegetables

This started out as something a bit more complicated that required the use of multiple pans and separate timers, but I came home from work TIRED and HANGRY and just slung everything into the oven and it was ... probably just as good as the original recipe. Chicken, vegetables, olive oil, lemon, herbs. You can't go wrong.

Pound some boneless skinless chicken breasts until they're all of similar thickness (something so calming about going all "Hulk SMASH" on the innocent chickies) and plop on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Chop up a bunch of vegetables (I used zucchini, mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion) and scatter them around the chicken. Season everything liberally with your seasoning blend of choice (I used Penzeys Greek seasoning), drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and roast in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

We ate this with purple mashed potatoes, because I can't seem to stop buying purple potatoes because they're PURPLE, for heaven's sake. (They look a little grey in the photo, because of the terrible light in my kitchen at this time of the year).

05 September 2014

Easy Friday Supper With Grilled Chick-Chick

Since I read the marinating tips at, I have scored my chops and boneless chicken breasts in a crisscross pattern before marinating or rubbing them. I do think it helps the marinade penetrate deeper into the tissue and the outside tends to get a bit crustier (or extra-flavorful, as I see it). However, this could all just me seeing what I want to see and tasting what I expect to taste. Regardless, there's been some good grilled boneless chicken breasts coming off my grill this summer.

Usually, I soak the scored breasts overnight in ranch dressing or Italian vinaigrette (yes, truly upscale grilling at Chez Savory Tart this summer), but I've had a bottle of Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauce malingering on the fridge door since May and was fairly sick of seeing it. I soaked the chicken breasts overnight, even though I know that longer soaking probably doesn't make a difference. Longer soaking is more convenient, though. I don't fancy the idea of handling raw meat first thing in the morning so I do it the night before and then the meat is ready to cook as soon as I come home from work.

Cucumbers and tomatoes are my go-to summer side. This time I chopped them and tossed them with Cindy's Kitchen Buttermilk Ranch and a few grinds of Boxed Goodes' Allium Salt.

17 July 2014

Improv Challenge: Popcorn & Peanuts

I had a lot of fun with this month's Improv Challenge ingredients. Neither popcorn nor nuts are something I eat much of anymore as they can cause terrible gastric distress. But I love how they smell and taste and the textures ... sigh. So I set out to make something I could eat that would still meet the Challenge's requirements.

Why not, I thought, literally make popcorn chicken? Served with some kind of spicy peanut butter-based sauce, like the kind you get with chicken satay? Not wanting to spend a lot of time at the grocery store, buying ingredients I might not use again, I stuck to what I already had on hand, using the ingredient lists for Annie Chung's Thai Peanut Sauce and House of Tsang's Bangkok Peanut Sauce as a guide for my sauce.
Popcorn Chicken With Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce
Serves 2 or 3 depending on appetite and sides.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
3.3 oz bag microwavable plain salted popcorn, popped
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp plus ½ tsp sriracha sauce [Huy Fong Foods]
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter [Jif Natural]
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos [Coconut Secret]
2 Tbsp lime juice
Peanut oil, for frying [Whole Foods Roasted Peanut Oil]

Whisk together the peanut butter, coconut aminos, honey, lime juice and ½ tsp sriracha until well combined. Set aside until needed.

Put the popcorn in a food processor and pulverize until fine. Shake through a sieve to remove any unpopped kernels ("widows") or bits of hull. Dump sieved popcorn into a pie plate or bowl. It will be very fluffy.

Whisk the egg whites, cornstarch, and remaining ½ tsp sriracha together in a shallow bowl or pie plate.

Dip the chicken strips first into the cornstarch mixture and then into the popcorn, smooshing the popcorn bits quite firmly into the chicken to help them stick. Set chicken on a wire rack over a jelly roll pan and pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (I first read about "resting" the breaded uncooked chicken in an issue of Cuisine at Home and I find the breading does seem to stick better).

Heat enough peanut oil to just cover the surface of a large frying pan. Once hot, cook the chicken strips in batches for 3-4 min on each side or until beautifully golden and cooked through (use a splatter guard, if you have one, because this gets messy). Allow cooked pieces to drain on rack (not the rack that was covered it raw chicken!) as you cook the others.

Serve with spicy peanut butter sauce.
The chicken comes out very light and super crispy -- as if I'd used panko instead of popcorn -- and reminds me a bit of chicken katsu. While there isn't a lot of popcorn or peanut flavor to the chicken strips, it pairs very well with the yummy peanut sauce. Oh, the sauce! All sweet and savory at once, I want to dip so many other things in it. Like crunchy steamed broccoli or bell pepper strips ... or just a finger!

25 June 2014

Disappointing Drumsticks

It may shock and amaze you to know that not every dish to come out of my kitchen is a win. For example, I made some really disappointing oven-fried drumsticks the other day. They came out of the oven looking brown and crispy but, while their color was perfect, they were soggy drumsticks. Gluey drumsticks.

Behold, The Sad Drumsticks of Disappointment!

I'd made these by haphazardly combining recipes until I thought I had created something good. I started with Alton Brown's method for "Fried Chicken" -- soaked the chicken pieces in buttermilk, drained them in a colander, and then liberally seasoned the drumsticks with a blend of salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper before dredging them in cracker meal. Alton uses flour, but I thought cracker meal would yield a preferable texture.

It did not. Possibly because, while I drained the buttermilk-soaked drumsticks in a colander, they were still quite moist when I seasoned them. Perhaps I would have done better to pat them dry or spread them over a rack suspended across the sink to drip dry? And, maybe, use panko instead of cracker meal?

Also, I oven-fried the chicken at 350F° on a jelly roll pan in a combination of olive oil and butter for 50 minutes, flipping half way through. I think, perhaps, I should have oven-fried at a higher temperature? Or cranked the oven up to 425F° for the last 15 minutes?

So, next time:
  • Air dry
  • Panko
  • Finish in a very hot oven
Or maybe I should just stop being afraid of hot oil, buy a deep-fat fry thermometer, and learn to fry in my French oven!

22 May 2014

Sunny Spring Sunday, Slow-Cooker Style

Sunny spring Sundays mean (much) more time spent in the garden and (much) less time spent in the kitchen so meals need to be simple, no fuss ones. Made-ahead pasta salads are great, of course, as are big ass tossed salads and grilled things, but the slow cooker deserves some love.

I've made BHG's "Chicken Drumsticks with Barbecue Sauce" a bunch of times now and, with each iteration, I make the recipe a little bit simpler to the point that, currently, I don't doctor the sauce at all. Just broil the drumsticks to render most of the fat out of the skin, then pop them in the slow cooker, and cover them with whatever bottled sauce is on hand.

My mother always used Kraft (original flavor) barbecue sauce when she made barbecued chicken and I still have a soft spot for the product, but find it too sweet now. Some of that may be do to changes to my palate as I grew up, but I suspect a lot of it has to do with that sauce having 13 grams of sugar per serving. I've been experimenting with brands of barbecue sauce and find I rather like Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauce (original flavor) as it's tangy with just a touch of sweet (4 grams of sugar per serving). Maybe a little runnier than I'm used to, but that's okay.

Anyway, with the slow cooked barbecued drumsticks I made this past Sunday, I also threw together a quick pasta salad about an hour before the chicken was ready. I cooked up a cup of small twisty noodles from the Polish shop and mixed them, still warm, with a combination of fat-free Greek yoghurt, light mayonnaise, lemon juice, fresh dill, Penzeys Greek seasoning blend, and minced red onion, cucumber, and radishes. Completely yum, really.

05 April 2014

Easy Roasted Drumsticks & Vegetables

I got an excellent deal on chicken drumsticks a few weeks ago and my freezer is now well stocked them. Drumsticks aren't usually something I buy, but The Husband really likes fried chicken and I figured I would oven-fry some of them ... but, ummm, I keep forgetting to.

But, hey! They roast really well! Add some chopped vegetables and supper is in the oven in just minutes. I used an Italian seasoning blend, but I'm guessing poultry seasoning or lemon pepper would work pretty well, too.

Easy Roasted Drumsticks & Vegetables

1 pkg drumsticks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 small onion, cut into chunks
Italian seasoning blend
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place drumsticks and vegetables in a shallow pan, trying not to crowd. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir vegetables 'round. Bake for another 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve.

While the drumsticks were deliciously crispy and tender, the roasted veggies really stole the show. Seriously, roasted celery! Where have you been all my life?