Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

Hey guys, I am back! I was on vacation in the Netherlands so I apologize for the lack of posts. I am back with a great recipe for the chilly nights we are all experiencing, even me in AZ!

This recipe comes from the Cooking on Your Own by Henry Lewis Creel book I recently picked up.

Lets gather up some ingredients. You will need some mushrooms, flour, butter, chicken (I used thighs of course) red wine, chicken broth, shallot, garlic, thyme, parsley and a bay leaf.

Measure out or chop your herbs if you are using fresh.

Cut up your mushrooms and shallot. Measure out your flour too so that you are all ready once you start to cook.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Never skip this step, you have to season your food!!

Once you are prepped, get the butter down in a pan. I might have used more than the recipe called for.

Brown the chicken skin side down for about 6 minutes then give it a flip. Cook it for another 5-6 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, garlic and shallot and cook for one minute.

Sprinkle the flour evenly over everything.

Pour in the broth (or water), wine, thyme, parsley and bay leaf and cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Take off the lid and check your progress, looks about ready to me!

I would serve this with a nice piece of bread to soak up all of that yummy wine sauce. I am glad to be back, thanks for all the great comments and emails while I was gone, I appreciate all of them so much.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baked Lemon Chicken

I picked up a great cookbook called Cooking on Your Own by Henry Lewis Creel at a local antique store. It has lots of simple single serving recipes like this baked chicken I am sharing today.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and lets get started. I used my trusty toaster oven.

You will need some olive oil, flour, paprika, chicken, lemon, shallot or onion, butter, garlic, thyme and salt and pepper. (hubby makes a guest appearance in the background eating waffles)

Melt the butter.

Pour it into your baking dish.

Pour the flour out and season with the salt and pepper AND paprika. I didn't read the recipe closely and forgot the paprika, but thats ok I just added it later.

Flour the chicken. The recipe calls for a breast but I used thighs because I love them.

Get the chicken in the butter and roll it around so its nice and coated in buttery goodness. Leave it skin side down.

Pop it in the oven or dirty toaster oven in my case and let it cook for 20 minutes...but don't wander away, we are not done yet.

Juice your lemon, I use a nice wire strainer to catch the seeds.

Chop the shallot and garlic.

Combine it in a bowl with the lemon juice and olive oil, and if you are like me, the paprika you forgot earlier.

After the 20 minutes is up, flip the chicken and pour the lemon juice mixture over it. Close up the oven for another 20 minutes.

Pull it out of the oven and you are ready to eat!

I served this with some steamed broccoli and it was delicious. Quite easy and just one serving!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moroccan Salmon

I know that parts of the country are getting snow but it is grilling weather here in Arizona. You can easily make this on a grill pan in your own kitchen if you don't have outdoor cooking weather. This recipe is from the Food Network.

1/2 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for garnish
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pour half of the sauce into a large resealable plastic bag; cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce. Add the salmon to the bag and turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the bag over once.

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove the salmon from the marinade and blot off excess yogurt with paper towels. Lightly oil the grill and add the salmon; cook, turning once, until browned on the outside and opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Serve with the reserved yogurt sauce and garnish with the herbs and lemon wedges.

Lets gather our ingredients. You need some salmon, yogurt, lemon, garlic, cumin, paprika, olive oil and some parsley.

Juice the lemon, I used my lime juicer but it works just as well for small lemons.

I just put my marinade ingredients right into the bag I plan to put the fish in. Chop the parsley or cilantro and drop it in.

Chop the garlic.

Drop it in the bag with the yogurt, olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.

Mix it all up.

Put the salmon in and give it a little shake to coat. Put this in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

I forgot to reserve some marinade to use as sauce for serving so I just made another small batch.

After 15 minutes, preheat your grill. I also grabbed my grilling accessory that is great for fish so you don't lose half a fillet into your grill if it breaks up.

Here is my dirty grill making an appearance as it preheats.

I got the fish out of the fridge and brushed most of the marinade off.

I then grabbed this PAM for grilling and sprayed it on my handy grilling rack.

I put the salmon on and loaded it into the grill. Cook it for 4-6 minutes per side depending on how well done you like your salmon and how thick the cut is.

I used too much sauce, but after I scraped it off it was much better. The fish was almost good enough without any additional sauce, but if you have kids who fear fish this might be a good way to hide it. It was not good enough to trick my husband into eating it though!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mediterranean Braised Chicken Thighs with Polenta

Fall is in the air all over the country and it has even snowed in some states. Here in AZ we equate fall with less than 100 degree temperatures and opening the windows at night to catch a 70 degree breeze. With it cooling off, a nice hearty dish seemed perfect. I got this recipe from Everyday Food magazine and I cut it in half since the hubby does not eat fish or fowl.

Serves 4

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
* 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if large
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
* 3 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat and return pot to heat.
2. Add garlic, tomatoes, and oregano; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth; return chicken, skin side up, to pot. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Add zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cover; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine 4 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until polenta has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes; whisk in butter. Serve chicken and vegetables over polenta.

First thing we need are the ingredients. I got some gorgeous and tasty heirloom cherry tomatoes but you can use regular ones, lemon, zucchini, chicken thighs, cornmeal, chicken broth, garlic, white wine, oregano and butter.

Chop up the zucchini, juice the lemon and measure out the wine and stock.

Chop the garlic.

Get your water seasoned with salt and pepper and on its way to boiling for the polenta.

Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Drop them in the hot oil to brown.

Measure out your cornmeal.

Stir it into the boiling water.

Flip your chicken.

Keep an eye on your polenta and give it a stir.

After the chicken is browned get it out of there. Replace it with the tomatoes and the oregano. Let this cook for about 30 seconds.

Pour in the wine and scrape up any of the browned chicken bits. Let this cook for about a minute.

Grab your chicken that has been patiently resting nearby and return it to the pot.

Chicken is in skin side up and ready to simmer.

Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, don't forget to stir your polenta.

After the 15 minutes have elapsed, stir in your zucchini and some salt and pepper. Cover and let this cook for about 10-15 more minutes.

When it is just about time to eat, add in some butter (and cheese if you are like me) to the polenta and give it a final whisk.

Take the lid off the chicken and you are ready to plate.

This meal is full of flavor but also full of good for you vegetables. This is the perfect weekend dinner.