Posts Tagged chicken
I know it’s cliché to talk about the weather, but it’s flipping cold here. It has been hovering around -40°C …. before windchill. Everyday it seems like the cold has slithered it’s way into my bones, and I can’t seem to get rid of the chill. And it’s only the middle of January. Brother …. We’ve still got about 2 months left of this. So when I was planning the meals for the week over the weekend, I wanted hearty, comforting, steaming-hot dishes that would hopefully warm us up each day. Chili, Stews and Soups were the obvious choice. I figured I would see what I had posted in the past on these subjects. And this gazpacho was it. And I wasn’t about to make a cold soup.
I’m slightly embarrassed that the “Soups & Stews” section of the Recipe Index is so pitiful. We make soups, stews, and chili all the time; how could I have not blogged about it? I suppose they are rarely pretty things to look at following all that slow simmering. We’re typically left with a bowl of brown on the table; not visually appealing. Or maybe I didn’t post any recipes because chili and stew are my quick, go-to meals, so I didn’t want to take the time to measure out my ingredients in order to share with you – how selfish of me. After realizing that I couldn’t rely on myself for some wintery bowls of body warming goodness, I opened up my Pinterest account and perused my food boards. A particularly creamy and thick looking soup caught my eye. Then I read that it contained bacon and I was sold. However, the original recipe contains gluten in the form of flour; and I also wanted to make this in the slow cooker, as we had Puppy Obedience Class the evening we planned on eating it. So zero time for whipping up food after work; unless of course we wanted to shovel in our dinners at rapid speed. Not appealing. A little adapting, and this recipe is now good for non-gluten eaters and for those looking for a fairly no-fuss meal they can throw in the slow cooker. Stay warm everyone!
Slowcooker Chicken, Bacon & Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from pinch of yum
1 lb chicken breast
1 bunch green onions (about 6)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water – divided
1/2 cup wild rice
1 tsp herbes de provence
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup heavy cream
6 slices bacon
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Slice the green onions. Place both in the crock of your slow cooker. Pour in the chicken stock and 1 cup of water, along with the wild rice, herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Stir everything to combine. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.
An hour before you are ready to eat, stir in the heavy cream and the remaining 1 cup of water. Before you do this, the “soup” is going to look fairly thick, and not very appealing. Trust me. It will be delicious and even look appetizing. Place the lid on the slow cooker and continue to cook on low for another hour.
Meanwhile cook the bacon until crisp (using a pan or your oven). Crumble the bacon, then stir it into the soup after the cream has cooked for 1 hour. Serve warm.
Makes approximately 8 cups of soup.
What is everyone doing to beat the heat these days? We’ve been cooking and hanging out on decks in order to refrain from turning on our oven. And we have also been soaking up all the sun with some camping and biking! I adore this heat; but I realize that not everyone shares this affections for nearly 30 degree weather. I also realize that the recipe I’m sharing today isn’t really a great one to cook when the sun’s a-blazing; unless of course you’re up for cooking this the traditional Spanish way over an open fire, so as to not heat up your home by turning on the stove. If you try that out, please share some stories – and photos!
I discovered Paella a number of years ago when Kyle and I were first dating, and fell in love with the smoky chorizo, sweet saffron and nutty rice…it just so happened to be around the time when I was falling in love with my main man! Which probably explains why this dish is so dear to my heart. I’ve eaten ones in restaurants that are solely filled with fresh seafood or ones mixed with various meats and shrimp, and enjoyed every last bite. I’ve heard of those that contain rabbit, or even no meat at all – but I have yet to try these versions. Since we are lacking in the fresh shell-fish department up here in the north, I’ve always made this mixed Paella that contains juicy bone-in chicken thighs, spicy chorizo, and sweet, plump shrimp.
So when you’re up for turning on the oven again, I urge you to try this. It may appear daunting at first – with what looks like a long ingredient list and multiple steps – but you only use one pot to cook the meal; and most of the time you are simply letting the meat or rice cook, so you can enjoy the company of your family and friends that you are sharing this with.
Chicken, Shrimp & Chorizo Paella
Paella is a rice dish that hails from Spain and shares some similarities with Biryani, Jambalaya, or Pilaf. But what makes it really special (and authentic) is the crispy, toasted rice on the bottom called socarrat. This is the key to making a truly spectaular Paella; you may just have to remind some dinner guests that no, it’s not burnt, and to urge them to try the best part of the dish.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp saffron
3 cups water or chicken stock
1 spicy chorizo link,cut into 1/4″ slices
6 bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp hot, smoked paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 lb raw jumbo shrimp, deveined – it’s your choice whether you want to peel them
1 Tbsp flat leaf Italian parsley
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Over medium-high, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom paella pan, braiser, or saute pan – I’m not kidding about large…grab the biggest one you own. Heat 1/2 cup of the water/stock and “steep” it with the saffron – set aside. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the paprika, oregano, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.
Saute the chorizo in the pan for 3-5 minutes – or until starting to turn the oil orange and crisp up. With a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo to plate/bowl, while leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Add the chicken to the pan and brown for 8-10 minutes, flipping once. Remove the chicken to the same dish as the chorizo.
Reduce the heat to medium and add a bit more oil if necessary (but if there is still lots in the pan, it is not necessary); add the onion, garlic, and 1 tsp of salt to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the drained tomatoes and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and toast in the oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the 3 cups of the water/stock to the pan (which includes the 1/2 cup of “steeped” saffron stock). Bring to a boil. Add the chicken and chorizo back into the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp to the pan – tucking it in amongst the chicken and rice. Place the lid back on the pan, and continue to simmer the rice for an additional 15 minutes. After this time, remove the lid from the pan and crank up the heat to medium-high. Toast the bottom of the rice for 5 minutes, then remove the pan to the table. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, where the remaining juices will soak up into the meat, seafood, and rice. Garnish the dish with the parsley and lemon wedges.
Serves 4 – 6.
A frustrating fact about going gluten free is the insane amount of food that contains gluten. I’ve discovered that wheat is used in so many products as filler; and many of my favourite condiments contain some form of gluten, whether it be barley, wheat, spelt or rye. Some main offenders are soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and many pre-made chicken and beef stocks. So now I’ve become one of those obsessive people who looks at every label; which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I can sense the sneers I get at the grocery store from carefree shoppers.
Luckily grocery stores are wising up to the prevalence of gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease, so it’s much easier to find gluten-free goods – even up here in the Great White North. It’s funny how I’ve never noticed them until I started rooting around the aisles for various products. My mother even thought that there was some sort of “special” on the gluten-free products because she noticed that one local store had tons of “Gluten-Free” labels up the week I informed her of my upcoming diet change. I told her I had also, just noticed them, but that I suspected they were there all along. This was indeed the case because 3 weeks later the store still has the signs up.
Enough with this babbling though. I’m sure everyone who has gone gluten-free is bored by the above paragraphs, as you’ve already done your research, and now you’re just here for the food. So here’s a gluten-free & peanut-free take on Kung Pao Chicken (which I am sure to get lots of flack about for omitting the peanuts & fresh chilis). It’s not unlike other recipes for Kung Pao Chicken, I’m just being cognizant of the products in Asian cooking that typically contain gluten (and there’s a lot…so beware).
(Gluten Free) Kung Pao Chicken
I’ve been making Kung Pao Chicken for years, so I don’t really remember where I originally got the recipe from. I’m going to guess Company’s Coming if I think back on the time of my life when I started making this dish. Since those were the books my mom had lining her kitchen shelf while I was growing up, my cookbook collection started out the same. Feel free to add roasted peanuts or cashews to your dish if you like. And no, this isn’t a traditional Kung Pao Chicken, but it’s a great version of it, so don’t be a hater until you try it.
1 lb chicken boneless, skinless chicken thighs (and/or breast)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp soy sauce (Gluten-Free)
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp chicken stock (Gluten-Free)
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce (Gluten-Free)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (Gluten-Free)
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp sambal oelek
1 galic clove, minced
1 tsp chili flakes
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 cups chopped vegetables – peppers, onions, mushrooms (I cheat here and just buy the pre-chopped packs at the store)
4 green onions, sliced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl. Stir in the cornstarch, soy sauce, 5-spice powder and garlic – ensure all the chicken is evenly coated. Set Aside.
To prepare the sauce (so it’s ready when you begin stir-frying) combine the chicken stock, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, corn starch, and sambal oelek in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat up a wok (or large sauté pan) over medium-high heat (but more on the high side). Pour 1 tsp of peanut oil in the wok; when it is hot, stir in a third of the chicken and sauté until cooked – about 3-4 minutes. Scoop the chicken into a clean bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken (you want to cook the chicken in batches in order to saute it rather than steam it).
When all the chicken is cooked, heat up another 1 tbsp of peanut oil. Add the garlic, chili flakes and fennel seeds and saute for 30 seconds (careful! The garlic will burn quickly). Toss in the chopped peppers, onion, and mushrooms and saute for another 3-4 minutes until the veggies are cooked, but still crisp. Add the cooked chicken to the wok, then stir the sauce and pour it over the entire dish. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir everything to combine.
Serve hot or at room temperature with rice. Top with cilantro and onions to serve or let people top their own dishes.
If you were to ask Kyle what his favourite pizza is, I would bet that hands down he would say BBQ Chicken Pizza. For nearly as long as I have known him, this is the pizza that Kyle gravitates towards on any menu, regardless of whether it’s a place that primarily serves pizza or not. He’s tried this pizza nearly everywhere he can. However, on our recent trip to Hawaii, we all went to dinner to California Pizza Kitchen and Kyle did not order the BBQ Chicken Pizza here…where it was invented (or so it says on their menu). This was not an easy decision for Kyle. He was swayed by the Habanero Carnitas pizza when his eyes gravitated to the words “pulled pork” – another weakness of his. He hummed & hawed for quite some time. I swore I could see the sweat beads starting on his forehead when the stress of making a decision almost became too much…until the last minute when I quickly said: “I’ll make you a BBQ chicken pizza when we get home.”
So, the first weekend since we’ve returned from our vacation, I kept my promise to my husband. I turned up the oven and got to some pizza making. I made some No Knead Pizza Dough a la Jim Lahey (the method in his book, not the 12-24 hour version that is out on the internet & in Bon Appetit mag – although this one is tasty as well); I fried up some applewood smoked bacon (since there was a version at California Pizza Kitchen with bacon on it); and I used the leftovers from our recent Buffalo Chicken Wraps to add some heat to our pie. While this wouldn’t be a necessary way to cook your chicken for this pizza, if you love the flavour of hot sauce as much as we do, then I’m sure you’d be just as delighted to taste it here as well. Go ahead and make this pizza without it, but I hereby take zero responsibility for your sub-par pizza.
BBQ Chicken Pizza
pizza dough for 1 12″ pizza
1/3 cup BBQ sauce (your favourite. We used a Guinness BBQ Sauce)
1/3 cup cooked buffalo chicken breast, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
3 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
150g mozzarella, shredded
4 green onions, sliced – the white & green parts separated
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 425ºF (500ºF if you’re using the No Knead Bread).
Lightly coat a 12″ round pizza pan with olive oil. Spread your dough onto the pan and top with the BBQ sauce, mozzarella, chicken, bacon, and the white parts of the green onion. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until your crust has started to turn golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings have some colour to them.
Top with the green parts of the green onion and the cilantro. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.