Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cocoa-Roasted Chicken with Peanut Rice

I have recently discovered a love for Mole sauce. I have not yet attempted to make my own but I really want to. (if you have a recipe you like, please leave a comment or email me) Mole refers to a lot of things in Spanish and Mexican cooking, but I am talking about Mole Sauce, or Mole Poblano. To make a very long story short, the Mole sauce I love has a delicious subtle chocolate flavor to it that I adore. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. (except for the bananas part, that is pretty much the only food I do not like!)

Do not be alarmed that I am rubbing chocolate all over some chicken. The recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa and I bet you that if I put a bite of this in your mouth and asked you what you tasted you would not even think cocoa or chocolate. It is just this subtle delicious flavor that is almost smoky, yet you can't quite place it. Now that I have you interested, lets get cooking! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lets start gathering some ingredients.

Cocoa, pepper and coriander.


My chicken just waiting for a rub down. The recipe calls for turkey, but I used chicken thighs because I love them.

Here is the seasoning, so simple. Cocoa and salt!

Get the chicken coated with the oil and seasoning and pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Use a pan that you can then heat on the stove top to make your sauce later.

While the chicken roasts, we need to prepare our rice.

You need some peanuts.

Some green pepper.

and some crushed up coriander.

Cook up the coriander and green pepper in some butter for about 2 minutes.

Add in the rice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, pop on a lid, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it hang out for another 10 minutes.

Once the time is up, stir in your peanuts and that side is ready to go.

Look at that! When the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and place it on the stove.

Put the chicken in some foil and keep it nice and warm. Take your pan and put it over medium heat.

Add some water or chicken broth to the pan and scrape up all the yummy brown bits from the bottom. When this reduces you are ready to serve.

This was absolutely delicious and I cannot stress enough that this is not a chocolatey or sweet dish. It is savory and complex, but so easy to make.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

I love to try all sorts of new things like Elk, Ostrich and Bison, but every once in a while I crave a good old fashioned casserole with some Campbell's soup. This one is fast and easy and quite tasty.

The first thing you want to do is start some water boiling for your noodles and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next we gather our ingredients.

Grab some frozen broccoli.

A can of good old Campbell's soup.

My favorite, egg noodles.

Some cooked chicken. You can also used canned chicken or tuna fish.


Delicious swiss cheese.

and some green onion.

get everything in a bowl and give it a stir. Let it hang out until your noodles are done.

Add them to the mixture with some salt and pepper and stir it up.

Pour it into the casserole dish and pop it into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Use this time to catch up on some relaxing as the prep for this took no time at all.

Sprinkle it with some paprika after you plate it up and you are ready to enjoy!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pork with Sauerkraut, Apples and Potatoes

Are you guys ready to fire up the oven, because I am. This meal is a low fat one pot dream, throw it in and forget about it for a while.

The recipe calls for a can of potatoes, but I used fresh. This is where I get to make the mistakes so you don't have to. My potatoes weren't totally cooked in the amount of time it took for the pork to be done. (thank you microwave and plastic wrap for finishing those off for me) So if you are using fresh potatoes, you may want to boil them in some water for about 10-15 minutes before you put them in the casserole dish. Otherwise, buy a can of potatoes like the recipe calls for.

Apple Juice and sauerkraut. You really do not want to buy sauerkraut in a can, because it just tastes like the can to me.

Chop up your apples.

Slice (and boil if needed) your potatoes and layer them in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Grab some whole grain mustard, this is my favorite brand but there are plenty out there that are great.

drop that in the bowl with the apples and the sauerkraut and give it a good stir.

Layer that over the potatoes in your casserole dish.

Get your pork and add him to the fun.

Clearly you can add as many servings of pork as you'd like. You might wonder why I made so much of the potatoes and kraut when there was just one serving of pork. Well, because I LOVE potatoes and kraut. I ate them as a side dish for a couple of days. Put your casserole in the oven for about an hour. Use that hour to clean up the dishes, or just go read a book and hope your husband smells the kraut and wanders into the kitchen to ask what it is and does the dishes for you.

This smells so good you are going to be very anxious to get it out of the oven.

Talk about a delicious meal that is packed with flavor. The pork gets the flavor from all the goodness underneath it and the potatoes and apples are perfect together.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pan Fried Honey Chicken Drumsticks

While technically it is the first few days of fall, our high temperature is still 100 degrees here in AZ. I am making some hearty fall friendly meals, but concentrating on using the stove top instead of the oven. This chicken leg recipe is my favorite mix of sweet and savory, with my third favorite thing, CHEAP! Chicken legs are very affordable and very tasty.

The first thing you need are your marinade ingredients. Soy Sauce, Honey, Lemon, Sesame Seeds and dried Thyme.

I use a strainer to catch the lemon seeds so they don't end up in my marinade.

put everything in a bag and get it all combined.

The chicken I have is more from the grill pack I got that has a little bit of seasoning on it. The marinade is plenty of flavor, so don't worry about adding anything to your drumsticks.

Say goodbye to your chicken for a couple of hours and go take a walk outside. Take your dogs if you have them because they love fall weather just as much as you do.

Once you are back it is time to prepare the coating for the chicken and get cooking. I am serving this with my usual side dish, egg noodles. So I have some water boiling already as well. The first thing you need is some flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

You need some chicken broth.

Some white wine is needed also. You may notice that I have the same white wine bottle often, here is my trick. I pour the last few swallows of any bottle of white wine I may open into this bottle that I keep in my fridge. Then I always have some white wine on hand for cooking.


Peanut oil, my favorite oil for frying.

Your chicken is ready to hop in the pan. Remember to save the marinade!

Add the butter and oil to a fry pan and get it heated up.

Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and shake loose any excess.

Drop the chicken in the pan and get it frying away!

It smells delicious and all the little brown bits on the bottom of the pan are going to make for a delicious sauce. Once the chicken is browned reduce the heat and let them cook for about 15 minutes, take it out of the pan and keep it warm in some foil.

Pour in the wine, the broth and the marinade and scrape up all that tasty goodness from the bottom of the pan. Let this reduce down and thicken.

Plate up your noodles or whatever side you chose. Rice or mashed potatoes would also go great with this.

The sauce can be thickened with a little cornstarch mixed in water if it is not shaping up as you'd like it to. Once it is as thick as you would like, you can plate it all up.

The legs have so much flavor and the sauce is sweet but not overly so, the soy sauce really balances it all out. You can use this same recipe for thighs as well, and you know I do love chicken thighs. I hope you are all enjoying the first few days of fall!