Category: Chicken

Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

Work and rain. Work and rain. That’s this week in a nutshell.

I don’t have much to add to this one other than the fact that those pretty little basil leaves are from my own plant! It’s still growing. I’m harvesting leaves regularly and freezing them. I’m like a proud mother with this thing. Who doesn’t love pasta, sausage, broccoli and cheese?

broccoli-and-sausage-pasta

Inspiration: Food52

  • 1lb chicken sausage
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 12oz pasta
  • 2 small heads of broccoli [whatever gets you to 4-5 cups]
  • salt and pepper
  • grated parmesan
  • basil

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the red chili flakes and garlic. Stir often for about 30 seconds until everything is fragrant. Add the chicken sausage. Don’t break up too much. You want large chunks. Once it’s cooked through, remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, but substitute in the cup of broth for one of the cups of water. When there are about 5 minutes left on the cooking time, add the broccoli. Before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta and broccoli in with the chicken sausage. Add some of the pasta water to loosen everything up. Season with salt, pepper, grated parmesan, and basil before serving.

 

Chicken Not-Quite-Instant Ramen

I’ve been on a nostalgia tour lately. Andrew was talking about Franz hand pies and I blurted out POP TARTS. Next thing I knew, there was a box of brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts in the house. They are just as good as I remembered. I’m pretty sure there is a solid part of my childhood and teen years where I was personally responsible for the demise of hundreds of Pop Tarts. They were my lifeblood [that and Taco Bell, but that’s another story…]. I can’t believe they were as good I remembered.

Top Ramen falls into that category too. I remember eating many a packet, including the sodium laden seasoning packets. They were kind of addicting. Probably by design. It wasn’t until I was much older I started eating legit ramen thanks to their status as being one of the trendy foods. The ramen shops seem to be popping up at an incredible pace. They are the new cupcake.

The broth is key. I actually prefer more minimal ingredients and just letting the base speak for itself, but no one [read: me] has time to slow cook some great broth. This quick and dirty method worked for me. Soft boiled eggs are key. I didn’t get the timing quite right and it’s a little overcooked, but it was worthwhile. To keep the cook time to a minimum, I bought a store-roasted chicken. Poaching chicken in the broth probably would assist in the flavor department, but we all know I’m lazy.

It was a solid bunch of ramen. Way better than the seasoning packet, and not that much longer on the cook time. I’m planning on making this way more often if only to practice soft boiled eggs.

Chicken Ramen

Inspiration: Fork Knife Swoon & Yes to Yolks

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of instant ramen
  • 1 breast and 1 thigh from one roasted chicken, chopped
  • 1 handful of shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste [I used white]
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 2-3 serranos, sliced for garnish
  • 2 soft boiled eggs for garnish

Preparation

In a large pot, melt the butter at medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and ginger. Stir often for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the miso paste, soy sauce, red chile flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Stir until incorporated, another 30 seconds more. Pour in the 4 cups of stock and the sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Add the chopped chicken and mushrooms. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pot, cook the ramen according to package directions. Don’t use the seasoning packet. To serve, split the ramen noodles into two large bowls. Divide the broth between the two bowls. Garnish with green onions, serranos, and a soft boiled egg cut in half.

Chicken Fajita Salad

I picked up the weirdest, most inedible avocado for this recipe. It should be no surprise that finding a ripe avocado on demand is damn near impossible around here. Your best bet is to plan ahead, since they’re usually rock hard, and age them on your counter. If you happen to find one that isn’t rock hard, odds are that it has dents from every person who came before you to squeeze it in hopes that it was the one avocado in the pile that wasn’t hard as a rock. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security. If it feels ripe, it’s not. It’s an unripe avocado bruised to high hell. Poor thing.

I thought I found something between rock and mush. It actually gave a little to the touch. I could still deal with a mostly unripe one. Desperate times call for desperate measures. When I got home and tried to cut it open, the two halves wouldn’t come apart. At all. I felt like I was hacking into a mango. After working it for a few minutes—twisting and pulling, pulling and twisting—the pit finally split in half letting me not only a half of an avocado in each hand but the pit too. As if I weren’t already thoroughly freaked out, the texture of the avocado flesh felt like plastic. It felt like a Barbie with avocado green flesh. Bizarre. A fork’s tines would barely puncture it without some serious effort. I was thoroughly creeped out. I should have just bought the guacamole that New Seasons makes. I should have known better [fyi, that wasn’t New Seasons that sold me the weird avocado, I’m pretty sure they’re better than that].

At least this salad was good without it.

Chicken Fajita Salad

Inspiration: Buzzfeed Tasty

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes [or two if you’re me]
  • 1 head of romaine, chopped
  • 1 avocado, optional for serving

Preparation

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken, red and yellow peppers, onion, salt, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir well to coat in oil and mix in all the spices. Cook, stirring often, for about 7-10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, the peppers and onions will be soft. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl or a mason jar with a lid, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, sugar, and chile flakes. Whisk together if in a bowl or seal the lid on the jar and shake. Add the romaine to your serving plate or bowl before topping with the fajita mixture. Drizzle with dressing and top with avocado if you actually live in a world with good avocados.

You can mix it all together in a bowl first and serve from there, but I find that all the heavy stuff just goes to the bottom, and if you aren’t eating it in one sitting, the lettuce will inevitably get soggy. The method above avoids all that.

 

One Pan Chicken Tikka

Food lately:

  • The Wednesday farmers market is back. That means Tastebud pizza! It meant that I ate a leftover veggie burrito for breakfast in order to not waste the burrito but still have pizza for lunch. Priorities.
  • Hat Yai. Hat Yai. Hat Yai. Southern Thai food is so good.
  • I’m finally getting into this whole rotisserie chicken craze. Pollo Bravo and Chicken and Guns. Each different and so good. Pollo Bravo makes me miss Spain all over again. Tapas for days.
  • Still obsessed with Tehuana Oaxaca Cuisine. The guys at this cart continually blow my mind with their specials — housemade chorizo and some spicy camarones? Yes please.
  • Brunch at Ya Hala is pretty stellar. No wait. Interesting options. Fried chicken and cheesy couscous for breakfast. Enough said.

This one pan meal comes together as easy as a one pan meal should. The highlight of the whole thing is the marinade for the chicken. It is a deliciously spicy yogurt mixture that I left on the chicken for only the minimum amount recommended because I was impatient and hangry hungry. If I could have the foresight to leave it on overnight or at least since that morning because I imagine it would be that much better. Looking at it now, it’s not the prettiest thing I’ve made [beige!], but since when has that stopped me? We nearly ate the entire head of cauliflower in one sitting. Roasted cauliflower is so underrated, especially when it’s roasted in chicken fat and the residual marinade.

Chicken Tikka

Inspiration: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2lbs chicken pieces, bone in and skin on
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 jalapenos, depending on spice preference [two!]
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into same-size chunks
  • 1 3/4lbs cauliflower [basically one head], cut into florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Preparation

Use a small food processor to mince the ginger, garlic, and jalapenos together. If that doesn’t exist in your world, feel free to mince. Mix this delicious mixture with the yogurt, 1 teaspoon of salt, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, sugar, paprika, and garam masala in a large freeze bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Toss the chicken in the mixture and massage it into the skin. Marinate it in the fridge for at least the time it takes you to prep the vegetables, or longer if you have the time.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, cauliflower, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cumin seeds with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables. Roast for 20 minute. Stir the vegetables and roast for another 15-20 minutes. The vegetables should be tender and the chicken cooked through. I like to use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken is in the 165° range internally before allowing it to rest.

Allow to cool before serving.

Quick Chicken Spinach Bolognese

I had a cooking fail. It’s amazing how much of a rage something like that sends me into. I was trying my hand at a Spanish tortilla. Finally. Finally because I stopped being so scared. Something about it intimidates me. It’s really easy. Maybe it’s because stewing potatoes and onions in olive oil isn’t probably something you should do regularly. No, it’s not that. It’s because it’s intimidating. It’s a perfectly pillowy, yet dense, cake of eggs, potatoes, and onions. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, so if you fuck it up [and I did], it’s obvious. I was doing well until I got to that whole “slide a plate over the top of your pan and flip it over” thing. Yeah, that wasn’t happening. My non-stick pan is losing its non-stick properties. It’s given up on me. I’ve been eyeing this one [but probably an All-Clad], but I’ve been holding out. The one I have was a perfectly good non-stick pan, but once eggs start sticking–even with boatloads of olive oil–you’re dead to me. Needless to say, the tortilla became a scramble. It tasted fine. It tasted just like it was supposed to, but it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. It made me want to throw things. Sigh. I’ll try again someday. Probably not until I get a new pan.

Until that happens, there is this really good chicken spinach bolognese that doesn’t take much time to throw together, and pretends to be super healthy with all that spinach. I wanted something to take to work the next few days, which really turned into the next day only because I ate that much of it for dinner. Pasta is a weakness. I bought a little block of Pecorino Romano to grate on top. Deliciously salty.

I’m starting to understand the whole ‘reserve some pasta water’ thing; it makes all the difference to the consistency of a bowl of al dente pasta. It elevates it from becoming a congealed mass of starch with toppings. It keeps better in the fridge so I can steal multiple bites any time I open the fridge door [read: all the time]. The original recipe called for turkey, but I was hesitant to recreate the feeling of thanksgiving. Every time I cook with it, browned turkey just smells like thanksgiving. Chicken was the easy and obvious substitute. Pork would have been equally delicious, especially of the hot Italian sausage variety.  This is a lot more mellow in flavor that way. Feel free to add tons of red chile flakes. I did.

Quick Chicken Spinach Bolognese

Inspiration: Fuss Free Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1lb pasta of choice
  • Parmesan
  • Red chili flakes

Preparation

In a large skillet, heat a little bit of olive oil on medium high heat. Brown the chicken. Add in the frozen spinach and roasted tomatoes. Don’t drain them first. Stir until well mixed and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Let it simmer together and unthaw the spinach.

While the sauce simmers away, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining, retain 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, and possibly some red chili flakes.

Add the pasta to the sauce. Stir well and add pasta water to get the desired consistency.

Before serving, add a healthy dose of shaved parmesan.