Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Burmese chicken stir-fry

Have you ever had Burmese food before? I certainly had not. So when I saw this recipe in Saveur (which happens to be my new favorite food magazine), I knew I wanted to try it as something totally new. Burma is a country we are familiar with in our house because Craig worked for clients there when he was working for the Public International Law and Policy Group. But being familiar with the political situation in Burma gave us no clue about the country’s cuisine. After trying this recipe, though, I would certainly like to try more.

In order to make this recipe, I had to convince myself that I was totally over my fear of too much fish sauce, which I pretty much did. I still reduced the amount a little from what was in the original recipe, but I pretty much went for it. The end result was excellent. Because it cooks entirely over high heat (this was the key technique emphasized in the stir-frying issue of Saveur in which it appeared), this stir-fry produces lots of those wonderful dark browned bits that give a dish like this so much flavor. This dish is also a nice change from the Chinese-style stir-fries I usually make, since it contains none of my usual sauce ingredients (soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, etc.). It has a great saltiness from the fish sauce, it’s spicy, and the flavors work together really well. And as a bonus, if you try it, you can say you’ve had Burmese food.

Burmese chicken stir-fry

Lightly adapted from: Saveur


  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ thick strips
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion, cut into 3⁄4″ pieces
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika (I only had smoked, so I used that, but reduced the amount to about 1 tsp. since it’s a stronger flavor)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  1″ piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red bell pepper,  cored and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1” sticks (this ingredient is in the print version of the magazine, but does not appear in the online recipe for some reason. I highly recommend using it.)
  • 1 large Anaheim or poblano pepper, seeded and diced (I used Anaheim)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (due to my fear of too much fish sauce, I used about 1.5 Tbsp. Either way works.)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • My additions (optional): small squirt of Sriracha sauce and dry-roasted peanuts


1. Combine chicken, 1Tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl; let marinate for 15 minutes. 

2. Combine paprika, cumin, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl and set aside. 

3. Heat a cast iron skillet (or a wok) over high heat. Add ½ Tbsp. oil. Add onions; cook until softened but not too dark, 1–2 minutes. Move onions to side; add remaining oil to center of pan. Add chicken in a single layer. Let cook without stirring for 1 minute. Continue cooking, tossing vigorously, until chicken is opaque, about 1 minute more. 

4. Add spice mixture; cook, tossing constantly, for 30 seconds. Add bell pepper and Anaheim pepper, along with Sriracha if using; cook, stirring constantly, until peppers begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Stir in fish sauce and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add zucchini and continue to cook until just tender and chicken is cooked through, 1–2 minutes. Stir in chili powder; season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice and sprinkle with peanuts if desired.


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There is really nothing better than homemade pizza.  Of course, homemade pizza fulfills a much different role in life than delivery or takeout pizza.  The latter is the ultimate in convenience, while the former…well, it requires a fair bit of planning and timing.  Maybe that’s why not that many people make their own pizza from scratch.  Once you do, though, you will be hooked!

This pizza comes from the California Pizza Kitchen cookbook.  It’s their original recipe that is now imitated by everyone – barbeque chicken pizza – but with a few adaptations that I feel are improvements.  First, I cooked the chicken in the Crock-Pot and shredded it.  I like the shredded barbeque on pizza rather than the more standard grilled or sauteed chunks, because this way you get a little chicken in each bite.  Second, I carmelized the red onions instead of just putting them on the pizza raw.  Perhaps the most useful part of this post, however, is the dough recipe.  This is a great pizza dough.  If you want to make homemade pizza almost as easy a meal as takeout pizza, you can double this dough recipe and freeze half so that you will have dough on hand.

CPK Pizza Dough

Source: The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook


  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
  • 1.5 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating 


1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. 

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the middle and pour in the liquids.  Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients.  Once the initial mixing is done, lightly oil your hands and begin kneading the dough.  Knead for 5 minutes.  When done, the dough should be barely beyond sticking to your hands.

 3. Lightly oil the dough and the inside of a large glass bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and seal air-tight (with plastic wrap or the lid).  Set aside at room temperature until the dough has doubled in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours. 

4. Punch down the dough, re-form it into a ball, and return it to the bowl.  Cover again and place in the refrigerator for at least several hours, or up to overnight. 

5. Two hours before cooking your pizza, remove the dough from the fridge.  Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 2 equal portions.  Roll the smaller doughs into round balls, being sure to seal any holes by pinching. 

6. Place the newly formed balls in a glass casserole dish (9 x 13 works well), spaced far enough apart to allow for each to double in size.  Seal air-tight with plastic wrap.  Set aside at room temperature for about 2 hours.  At this time, the dough should be smooth and puffy. 

7. To form dough for pizza, sprinkle flour over a clean surface.  Remove a dough ball from the glass dish, being careful to preserve its round shape (a large spatula may help) and place it on the floured surface.  Flour the dough liberally.  Use your hands to press the dough down, forming a flat circle about ½ inch thick.  Pinch the edge to form a lip around the edge that rises ¼ inch above the center surface.  Continue stretching until the dough reaches about 9 inches in diameter.

For Barbeque Chicken Pizza

Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen


  • Cornmeal for handling
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce, plus more for coating chicken
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • If making shredded barbeque chicken, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar


1. Cook the chicken as desired.  For shredded chicken, coat generously with barbeque sauce, place in Crock-Pot, and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  Cook on low for 6 hours, then shred with 2 forks, adding a little more sauce if desired.  For cubed chicken, grill or saute, then coat with barbeque sauce.

2. Place a pizza stone in the (cold) oven and set the oven to 500.  Let the stone preheat for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before using.  Meanwhile, caramelize the onion in a small saute pan over medium-low heat.

3. Sprinkle a layer of cornmeal on a pizza peel and carefully move a dough round to the peel.  Spread 1/4 cup barbeque sauce over the dough.  Top the sauce with 1/2 of the onions, followed by an even layer of chicken.  Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and half of the gouda. 

4. Transfer the pizza to the stone and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove the pizza to a wooden cutting board and let cool several minutes before slicing.  Devour, then repeat the process with the second pizza.

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green enchiladas

These enchiladas are so delicious. I simplified this recipe from the “Tyler’s Ultimate” version, which has you make your own green enchilada sauce out of tomatillos. Someday, when fresh tomatillos are abudant in my suburban DC grocery store, I may attempt that, but in the meantime, store-bought tomatillo salsa works fabulously. These enchiladas have an ideal blend of flavors, and the filling comes out velvety and smooth. I think I have made this dish about 4 times now, which, as I’ve mentioned before, says a lot about the recipe, since at least 4 or 5 of the dinners I cook each week tend to be new recipes. Enjoy!

Green Enchiladas with Roasted Chicken

Adapted from: Tyler Florence, Food Network



½ of a large rotisserie chicken (to make about 2 ½ cups of shredded meat)

1 large poblano pepper, roughly chopped (or, if the poblanos at your store are old and shriveled like mine were last week, you can combine a green bell pepper and half of a large jalapeno as a substitute)

½ large sweet onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. cumin

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

8 small flour tortillas (You can also use corn if you prefer. It’s what the original recipe calls for, but I prefer flour with my chicken or pork and corn with my beef.)

1 jar/tub of your favorite salsa verde or green taco sauce (you’ll need at least 1 ½ cups)

5 oz. shredded Monterey jack or your favorite white Mexican cheese blend

Salt and pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil




1. Pull the chicken into long shreds by hand. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


2. Heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook 8-10 minutes on medium, or until the peppers and onions are very soft, but not brown.  Add the cumin and stir to combine; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and cook 1 minute, stirring vigorously.


3. Add the broth in 2 or 3 batches, stirring well to avoid any lumps in the flour. Once well-combined, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer about 5 minutes, until the mixture has reduced slightly and the sauce is velvety. Turn off the heat and fold in the chicken, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point, the mixture may look a little thinner than other enchilada fillings. However, it will continue to set in the oven, creating an ideal texture.


4. Pour a little salsa into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread evenly. Pour some more salsa into a wide, shallow bowl. To assemble enchiladas, dip a tortilla into the bowl of salsa to coat. Add a line of chicken mixture in the center, and sprinkle a little cheese on top. Place in the pan and roll up so that the seam side is down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. To finish, spoon a little more salsa on top and sprinkle with a bit of additional cheese.


5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving, with sour cream or additional salsa if desired, or just serve as-is!

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Chicken sausage stew

For December, I was selected to choose the recipes for Dinner Divas. The only problem was, between finals, finishing up work, and being out of town for 11 days, it took me until early Jan. to actually cook the recipes I’d chosen! However, I have made them both now, and I am happy to report that they were both very good (Texas caviar to be posted shortly). The people choosing the recipes each month are supposed to choose one Food Network recipe and one non-FN recipe. For my FN recipe, I chose this stew from Dan and Steve (the original Next Food Network Star winners).

This stew is very smooth and velvety from all the flour. I used only 1/3 the amount of butter the original recipe called for (a ridiculous 10 Tbsp.!) and found it to be plenty rich. The most interesting thing about this stew, however, was the addition of fresh fennel and orange zest. These ingredients gave it a flavor much different from the average stew and also very different from what you’d think it would taste like just looking at it. It was very tasty and we both enjoyed it. Rather than mixing in the oven-roasted potatoes from the recipe as they suggest, I topped it with oven fries, resting them on top to keep them crispy. The potatoes were a great addition, but the stew would also be very good with a scoop of basmati rice. I’ll definitely keep this recipe around.

Dan and Steve’s Chicken and Sausage Stew

Adapted from: The Hearty Boys, Food Network


3 tablespoons butter (I reduced this from the original 10!)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, cut into 2 -inch chunks (I used 1.65 pounds)

Salt and pepper

8 ounces andouille sausage, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced

½ Tbsp. dried thyme

5 cups chicken stock

Zest of one orange (I did a lazy job of getting all the zest and it was still plenty orange-y)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white wine

Oven roasted potatoes (see below)




1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Just before the butter begins to brown, add the chicken. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the andouille and cook 2 more minutes. Remove the meat to a plate and reserve.

2. Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in the same pot (do not drain meat juices from pot). Add the onion, garlic, carrot, fennel, and thyme and cook over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes.

3. As the vegetables cook, pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low.

4. When the vegetable mixture is ready, add the orange zest to the pot along with the reserved meat and any accumulated juices. Mix well. Sprinkle in the flour in batches and stir to coat the vegetables and meat. Cook 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir.  Add the warm chicken stock to the pot 1 cup at a time, stirring as the stock is added. Once all of the stock has been added, bring the stew to a simmer for 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle into bowls, top with potatoes, and serve.


Oven potato wedges

Preheat oven to 425. Cut one small Yukon gold potato per person into 8 wedges. On a lightly greased baking sheet, toss potatoes with enough olive oil to coat, plus salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Arrange in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping wedges over after 20 minutes.

Thanks to Ashlee at “A Year in the Kitchen” for providing the proper potato wedge cooking temperature and time in her blog.

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cajun chicken pasta

cajun chicken pasta

You know a recipe is good when you have to artfully arrange the leftovers in your fine china to take a picture of because you dove into the first servings without waiting, but you still feel it would be a crime not to blog it. That’s this recipe. After ONE BITE, Craig said, “Wow, we need to have this more often.”  I told him that would probably not be in our waistlines’ best interest, but there is no doubt that this recipe will be added to our rotation (ok, so I don’t have a rotation – as I’ve mentioned, I rarely make the same dish twice – but this one will be one of those rare exceptions).  Thanks to Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Edible Experience for sharing the adaptation of an Emeril recipe.  She made it with the original shrimp, but I made this the week before we were headed out of town for 11 days, so I didn’t want to buy my usual 2-pound bulk bag of shrimp.  I decided to make it with chicken, and Craig said he prefered it that way because he could get meat in every bite in a way you wouldn’t if it were topped with 6 or so shrimp.  Of course, you could always chop the shrimp, which might be a fun variation for next time.  And yes, there will be a next time.  Soon.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Adapted from: Elizabeth’s Edible Experience, originally from Emeril Lagasse


10 oz. package fresh fettuccine

¾ pound chicken breast

1 Tbsp. butter

½ Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp. Emeril’s Essence, plus more for rubbing chicken (follow the link to Elizabeth’s blog to see how to make this spice blend at home)

Salt and pepper

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno (I used even less with all the cayenne in the Essence, and it was still pretty spicy.  I used about ½ of a small jalapeno)

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (I added this)

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

½ cup reserved pasta cooking water

1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan



1. Rub the chicken breast with Essence and grill until done.  Let cool and cut into bite-sized pieces.

2. Set a large stock pot of water to boil and add some salt. Place the fettuccine in the pot and stir the pot until the water returns to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

3. While water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Set a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the onions, bell pepper, and jalapenos to the pan and sauté until the onions are softened and lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, Essence, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Bring sauce to a boil and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken, tomatoes, fettuccine and the reserved cooking water to the pan and cook, tossing to incorporate for 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Remove pan from the heat and add the cheeses, tossing to blend.  Serve immediately.

Note: this does not reheat as well as I thought it would, so eat up when it’s fresh!

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Curry-roasted whole chicken

curry roasted chicken

So, I didn’t get the best picture of this one (we were already eating), but this is a fantastic recipe. I found it when Craig said he wanted to have something to go with the last piece of garlic naan that was sitting in our freezer. This is a great way of giving a new flavor to a whole roasted chicken. And if you have never cooked with curry before, this is a good, mild introduction to the flavor, and the yogurt pan sauce that you make at the end is an excellent addition. I served this meal with a big bowl of fresh pineapple. I will definitely be making this chicken again!

Curry-roasted whole chicken

Adapted from: Food & Wine


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and freshly ground pepper

One 4-pound chicken, at room temperature

1 large onion, cut into quarters

2 cups fresh tomatoes, roughly diced

2 seeded, thinly sliced serrano chiles

1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt (I used Fagé)



1. Preheat the oven to 425° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. In a bowl, mix the butter with the minced garlic and curry powder.

2. Pat the chicken dry. Rub half of the butter under the skin and the rest over the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Set the chicken breast-side-up on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the onion, tomatoes, chiles and add 1/2 cup of water. Roast for 30 minutes, until the breast is firm and just beginning to brown in spots.

3. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-down and roast for 20 minutes longer, until the skin is lightly browned.

4. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-side-up. Add another 1/2 cup of water. Roast for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 175° (this took another 30 minutes for me, but my chicken was 4 and a half pounds).

5. Tilt the chicken to drain the cavity juices into the pan; transfer the bird to a cutting board. Remove the rack from the pan and spoon off the fat. Set the pan over high heat. Add the stock and cook, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the yogurt just before serving. Carve the chicken and spoon over the pan sauce.

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Indian feast!

Tonight I cooked up an Indian-inspired feast, and it turned out really great. I made chicken tikka masala awhile back and was amazed at how juicy the yogurt coating kept the chicken. I wanted to make that chicken again, but minus the masala. While that was tasty, I wanted something slightly healthier and wanted to branch out on my own. I was really proud of how the chickpeas and spinach came out with very little recipe guidance, and the chicken was as juicy as last time. What made this truly a “feast” is that I served it with both oven-baked brown rice and a piece of storebought garlic naan. Even my husband, who is skeptical of Indian food, went out of his way to say how much he liked this meal.

I am filing this under the “Vegetarian” tab as well since you could easily make a meal out of the chickpeas and spinach over rice, which would make for a tasty meatless option.

Tandoori Chicken

Adapted from: a combination of this Food Network recipe and Cook’s Illustrated



1 cup plain yogurt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon garam masala (optional)

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts



1. Combine all spices and yogurt in a large bowl. Marinate chicken breasts in yogurt mixture for one hour.

2. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and let chicken breasts drain slightly before placing on baking sheet.

3. Broil chicken until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and coating is lightly charred in spots, turning once during cooking. This should take about 20 minutes total.

4. Remove chicken to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.


Indian-Inspired Chickpeas and Spinach in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Adapted from: my head


One can chickpeas (I like Goya), drained and rinsed

4-5 large handfuls baby spinach (about 4 oz.)

1 ½ cups low-sodium plain tomato sauce

1/3 cup whipping cream, at room temperature

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

½ Tbsp. olive oil

¼ tsp. Asian chili garlic sauce

¼ tsp. ground cayenne

¼ tsp. curry powder

½ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. garam masala

½ cup water


*Note: I did not measure the spices, so these proportions are approximate, and you should feel free to adjust to your tastes. I tried to underestimate the amounts I used so that more of any particular spice could be added according to your preferences.



1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 2-3 minutes. Add chickpeas and toast, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes or so.

2. Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in all remaining spices and check seasoning, adding more of your favorite spices if desired.

3. Whisk in cream and return to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently.

4. Begin adding spinach in batches, adding small amounts of water as necessary to wilt the spinach and keep sauce at desired thickness.

5. Once all spinach is added and wilted, turn the heat down very low and cover. Simmer 5 minutes covered, and hold warm until ready to serve.


Serve with brown rice and/or garlic naan, and enjoy an Indian feast!


11/30/08 Update – I am submitting this post to a contest hosted by Joelen’s Culinary Adventures









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