Category Archives: Chicken

Sautéed chicken, baked chicken, fried chicken, chicken salad

CT Style with Ryan & Kat Making Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs!

CT Style with Ryan & Kat Making Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs!

I’m always thrilled to be back on CT Style and that’s where I was this past Friday with Ryan Kristafer & Kat Cosley sharing one of my favorite recipes, Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs made with Greek yogurt. This recipe originated from a show I taped at a beach house right here in Madison two years ago with my friend Maria. It’s delicious on the grill outside and I show on easy it is to grill indoors using my “Lodge” reversible cast iron grill-pan.

I had a wonderful time in The Bender Kitchen meeting Kat Cosley, and as always, with Ryan Kristafer’s quick wit sense of humor he takes it up a notch! Having two little ones of her own Kat totally gets the convenience of being able to make different versions of these flavorful Mediterranean meals which can be made ahead for a busy family,

The Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken Kabobs are one of my all time favorites because it’s such a simple process and just so good for you! Marinate, skewer and BBQ…thats it! This recipe oringially came from Epicurious but as I always do, I tweaked it a bit when it was given to me adding in Spanish smoked paprika, a mild, sweet yet smokey spice thats gives a wonderful addition to the recipe.

 

The sides that go with the kabobs, the homemade tzatziki, hummus and green goddess sauce can be a great compliment to grilled steaks, pork or veal chops, scallops or any fish! These flavors really brighten up any dish. 

You can click on the links above to get to the recipe pages on my website that go with this live cooking segement on CT Style and they are also offered on the CT Style website as well.

You may be looking for something sweet after all these savory dishes so you should check out some of my other recipes like authentic Baklava, Chocolate Crackle Cookies, my own Chocolate Chip Cookie Creation, Drunk Blondie Bars, or Chocolate Pecan Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torta de Pollo with Chef Mark

Torta de Pollo with Chef Mark

Torta de Pollo is a delicious and innovative way to change up the ole chicken pot pie not to mention it’s a down right fun thing to do! That’s what Chef Mark has done here layering tortilla’s with chicken and vegetables instead using a traditional pie crust. A Spanish Dry Sherry, called Amontillado, certainly takes this chicken pot pie version to a new level. Using these tortilla’s will save you time from making and fussing with a pie crust and who doesn’t love that.

Chef Mark has some wonderful flavor building steps going on here in his Torta de Pollo as he graces us with his truffle salt and Himalayan salt rock.  Let’s not forget his de-glazing of the veggies with this Spanish Dry Sherry called Amontillado by Savory and James that every kitchen should carry for a mere $13 a bottle. It would be silly not to have this in your cubbard!

Using the tortilla’s instead of the pie crust gives this Torta de Pollo an almost creamy texture. Changing up a chicken pot pie recipe like this, swapping out the tortilla’s for the pie crust, is such a creative and easy thing to do. It reminds me of a couple other of my favorites like chicken enchiladas or chicken cordon blue because of the swiss cheese in with the layers.

No baking time is another wonderful feature of this recipe. Once you sauté the veggies and make the “special sauce” consisting of chicken stock, rosemary, heavy cream and Spanish sherry you then cover the torta with this delectable sauce and flash broil it for 3-5 minutes…voilà! You certainly won’t be disappointed with this one! Enjoy and have fun using your favorite vegetables!

My BEST Crab Cakes with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing would make a great appetizer addition to the Torta de Pollo, and, or my Baked Aparagus Wrapped in Prosciuto. Don’t forget to have a yummy salad on the side like a Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons or Fennel and Citrus Salad with a Tangering Dressing! You’ll definitely need a sweet in your back pocket so go for the Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie and that should do the trick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Torta de Pollo:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 pkg 8″ flour tortilla’s
  • 3/4 cups Emmetaler Swiss cheese – NOTE: 1/4 cup is for “the special sauce”
  • 3/4 cups Comté cheese – NotE: 1/4 cup is for “the special sauce”
  • 1/2 cup each chopped broccoli and cauliflower
  • 1/4 each, julienne parsnips, chopped peppers & celery
  • 1/2 lb portabella mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb small assorted colored potatoes, purple & yellow THINLY sliced
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 lg garlic clove thru press
  • 1 shallots sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt (truffle salt if you have it)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 9 x 13 baking dish (will be wider then the tortilla’s
  • fresh rosemary for “Special Sauce” – recipe below
  • 1 cup heavy cream for “Special Sauce” – recipe below

Directions for Torta de Pollo:

  1. Remove all the meat from the rotisserie chicken
  2. Slice up the chicken to bite size pieces and set aside
  3. Add remaining rotisserie chicken, the bones & the skin to a medium size pot and add 1 celery stalk, onion skin, and 1 carrot cover with water and bring to a simmer for 1/2-1 hr
  4. Warm sliced de-boned chicken in a medium pan with 1 cup chicken stock on low heat
  5. Put sliced mushrooms in a hot sauté pan and cook for 5 minutes, stir after a minute…don’t worry if they seem to stick it’s ok
  6. Now add 1/4 tsp salt to mushrooms
  7. Move sautéed mushrooms to the side and add in 2 tbsp olive oil with the slice potaotes
  8. Sauté potatoes for 3 minutes
  9. Then add parnips, peppers, celery, garlic, shallots and lemon zest
  10.  Add in broccoli, cauliflower, cook 1 minute
  11. Deglaze with 1/3 cup dry sherry
  12. Add in frozen peas, add 1 cup chicken stock, bring to a simmer
  13. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp Berbere spice
  14. Let veggie reduce 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated
  15. Put wrapped 10-12 flour tortilla’s in foil in a warm oven
  16. Begin to layer Torta de Pollo
  17. Add 3 tbsp chicken chicken stock to bottom of baking dish
  18. Begin with tortilla, then 1/2 cup chicken & 1/4 cup swiss, then a tortilla, 1/2 cup veggies (without any excess juice), tortilla, and repeat until 10 layers – 4 or 5 chicken layers & 4 or 5 veggie layers. Note: push down slightly as you are layering to keep shape flatter
  19. Make “Special Sauce” -see below
  20. Pour all the sauce over the Torta de Pollo and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, til slightly bubbly
  21. Slice and serve with a drizzle of extra sauce over the top…mmm!

Ingredients & Directions for “Special Sauce”:

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded Comte swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Emmentaler swiss cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  1. Using same veggie sauté pan add in first 3 ingredients, and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes
  2. Reduce slightly and then stir in cheeses, rosemary, s & p
  3. Pour over Torta de Pollo to place under broiler

 

Best Buffalo Chicken Dip Ever!

Best Buffalo Chicken Dip Ever!

If ever a party had a guest who showed up taking center stage this delicious buffalo chicken dip would be it! This mouth watering party dip really perks up those taste buds so much you may find yourself not straying too far in fear that it will be gone if you turn your back for too long. The layers start with room temperature cream cheese spread in the bottom of the baking dish, then the chicken that was cooked in Franks Hot Sauce, a drizzling of homemade buffalo sauce, and finally a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese, sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Then it’s off to the oven until bubbly and served with tortilla chips, and of course the traditional carrots and celery. Yum, all I can say is bring it on!

When ever you make buffalo chicken wings you have that extra step of making a blue cheese dressing and with this dip you don’t need to because there’s that crumbled blue in the top layer of the dip. That’s what’s so great about this buffalo chicken dip you get all the amazing flavors of that typical “buffalo wings and blue cheese” with out all the work! Heck, you could even use the meat from a store bought rotisserie chicken, toss with some of our homemade buffalo sauce and voilà continue on with all the layers of the dip!  I do happen to have the most incredible homemade blue cheese dressing recipe if you are so inclined.

This buffalo chicken dip recipe came from my friend Lisa who just recently made it for a party we were at and it didn’t last very long! I was sure to get the recipe because I thought it was such an ideal party appetizer with minimal prep and cook time! You just can’t go wrong not to mention totally awesome for football season. In mid-November I will be shooting at Lisa and Vin’s house for a special afternoon of homemade pasta. Lisa’s husband Vin is going to share his father’s homemade pasta recipe with us. So make sure to watch for that exciting show.

IMG_7406I think this buffalo chicken layered dip is a win win for you and your party. Everyone will be asking you for the recipe. I hope you enjoy this “BEST Buffalo Chicken Dip” recipe and the show too! Don’t miss the “Behind the scenes bloopers” included at the end of the show. And if you want to make an amazing desert that will get you lots of oohs and ahhs try the Pavlova or the “Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie”! Don’t forget a Homemade Caesar Salad and an entré of Lobster Mac n’ Cheese or Eggplant Balls with pasta or Zucchini Spaghetti!

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1 -8 oz pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • Buffalo sauce: 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (Kerrygold or favorite) & 1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup mozzarella
  • (1) 9″ – 12″ baking dish

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375º
  2. Melt 1/2 stick of butter, take off the heat and add 1/4-1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, whisk til combined – this is the “homemade buffalo sauce” – set aside
  3. Add 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat
  4. Add in the chicken tenderloin pieces to a pan on med. high heat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt begin to sauté for 3 minutes
  5. Flip chicken pieces over and sauté another 3 minutes
  6. Once they start to golden slightly add 2 tbsp Franks hot sauce and let reduce on low 1-2 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and shred or cut up
  8. Smear 8 oz. of room temperature cream cheese in bottom of your bake dish
  9. Then add the shredded chicken for the layer next
  10. Drizzle homemade buffalo sauce over the chicken (save some to drizzle after the layer of cheeses)
  11. Sprinkle 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  12. Then Sprinkle 1/4-1/3 cup cheddar and mozzarella each – if using 9″ baking dish go with 1/4 cup, if using 12″ baking dish you could use 1/3 cup if you want a little extra
  13. OPTIONAL – Drizzle more buffalo sauce over the cheeses
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes til bubbly and serve with tortilla ships, carrots and celery

Gourmet Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Gourmet Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

These gourmet sausage stuffed mushrooms are literally the easiest appetizer ever. Wipe the mushrooms off with a damp paper towel or mushroom brush, add your favorite sausage and bake for 15-20 minutes! There is no need for chopping or sauteing. You remove the sausage meat out of the casing it comes in, fill the mushroom caps and viola! In this recipe I used two pork sausages Italian garlic herb, and a chorizo sausage made with spices like chili and paprika. I also used two chicken sausages one made with jalapeño, fennel and cilantro and the other with feta and spinach that I bought at Whole Foods Markets.

There are so many specialty sausages to choose from out there that you can’t go wrong stuffing these baby bells! All the work is done for you so take advantage of these gourmet sausage products and stuff these mushrooms for an incredibly scrumptious appetizer that will continue to get raves from your guests.

Mushrooms are probably one of my favorite vegetables to eat. Give me Chanterelle mushrooms in a brandy cream sauce and I am in complete heaven. But here all you need is a simple button shaped mushroom with some room under the cap for filling.You can use a white button mushroom for these gourmet sausage stuffed mushrooms but what I prefer are Baby Bells because they are packed with flavor.

Another great specialty meat product called D’Artagnan offers many different sausages. One in particular is a mix of pork, duck, duck liver and egg white and is out of this world! This type of sausage is called Boudin and is very popular in New Orleans. It has distinct flavors that you might just start to crave after you have tried it. I really like D’Artagnan and I have found that Bishops Orchards Market in Guilford, CT carries a wide variety of their products. This brand offers a lot of duck products which Bishops also carries. Anything with duck or goose whether it be breast or liver is a no brainer in my book…YUM!

You can have these stuffed mushrooms for hors’ d oeurves before serving stuffed roulades of chicken on a garlic-bean puréeAsian shrimp & rice noodle saladturkey stuffed peppers or Chilean sea bass with green goddess sauce II for dinner.

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Ingredients – Makes 20-24 Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • 2 pkgs of baby bella mushrooms (2- 8 oz. pkgs. will get you 20 and 2-10 oz. will get you 24)
  • 1 lb. – a variety of your favorite flavored sausages
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper- (for after the mushrooms come out of the oven)
  • Fresh shaved Reggiano Parmesano
  • Fresh chopped chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400º
  2. Clean your baby Bella mushrooms off with either a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush … you should NEVER wash your mushrooms or submerse them in water because mushrooms are porous.
  3. Pop out the mushroom stems
  4. Drizzle 2-3 Tbsp olive oil across a cookie sheet and rub it with your hands or use a brush to smear all of the olive oil across the baking sheet
  5. Place all of the baby bella mushroom caps on the olive oil and roll them around lightly coating mushrooms then make sure they are all open side up on cookie tray
  6. Slice open the sausage casings to get the sausage meat out and place on a small dish
  7. Begin to gently fill mushroom caps with approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp of sausage per mushroom (some may be smaller and only need 1 Tbsp)
  8. Do not pack in sausage just lightly stuff mushroom caps
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes til slightly crispy on the edges
  10. DO NOT SALT the mushrooms before you bake them because all the water will release from the mushrooms and they will steam instead of baking
  11. When you take the mushrooms out of the oven THEN you can sprinkle a little salt
  12. The mushrooms will be juicy when you take them out of the oven so before you place them on a serving dish tilt them a little over the cookie tray that way some of the juice can drain out onto the tray and not on the serving platter
  13. Shave a little Parmesan and chives on the mushrooms and serve

Yogurt Chicken Kabobs, Tzatziki & Toum at Maria’s

Yogurt Chicken Kabobs, Tzatziki & Toum At Maria’s

Wow, this gourmet yogurt marinated chicken kabob recipe is the most scrumptious marinade I have ever had on chicken. It will be my new favorite marinade for summer grilling! There is really nothing to putting together this marinade and the results are outstanding. The grilling goes really quickly here too because you cube up the chicken into small pieces so it only takes about 7-8 minutes for each side on high heat.  I know I will be baking my chicken with this marinade over the winter months. Maria got this yogurt-marinated chicken kabob recipe from epicurious.com and of course making a couple of adjustments as I go through my own test kitchen adding in the fresh ground coriander and the “smoked” Spanish paprika giving it that hint of something extra that I was looking for.

The combination of these three gourmet recipes together are packed full of flavor! My favorite is actually having  this dynamic combo on some warmed or toasted naan adding in a chewy soft texture to this heavenly dish. Using the toum, the garlic Lebanese sauce as a baster for the breads and vegetables when you are grilling in a no brainer.

This homemade gourmet sauce called toum is such an unusual sauce because it’s hard to initially imagine how such a thick and creamy texture can come about from peeled garlic cloves and vegetable oil! You must be patient with this recipe as the slow drizzling of the vegetable oil is crucial in the emulsification of this garlic-oil combo but the efforts are well worth it. Watching the show to see how I get the sauce thick and foamy I hope will help clarify the “how to’s” of it. This toum sauce will last up to 2-3 weeks in your frig and who’s better than you with this little hidden gem just waiting to put a flavor punch of silky garlic on your sauteed veggies, garlic breads, meats, fish, chicken… the options are really endless.

Maria’s homemade tzatziki sauce is a recipe I’m sure you will love and want to add to your go to recipes for summer. The way she has you drain the whole fat Greek Yogurt makes this sauce even creamier and gives your mouth a smooth silky texture yet refreshing at the same time with the grated cucumber, and vinegars and fresh lemon juice. This sauce can easily be used as an amazing dip with pita chips. It’s similar to my cucumber & Vadalia onion salad but definitely different. So nice to have a couple different styles to choose from.

This Mediterranean night of exotic spices and flavorful recipes will not be easily forgotten. You just may start to crave these homemade dishes sooner than you think. I hope you enjoy the show and the gourmet yogurt marinated chicken kaobs, tzatziki and toum recipes.

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INGREDIENTS for Yogurt Chicken Kabobs:

  • 1 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp (Spanish) smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp (Hungarian) sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fine ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 2 whole lemons thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek Yogurt
  • 2 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs
  • 1 package extra-long wooden skewers (Can find these right at Stop & Shop)
  • 1 package cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 or Vadalia sweet onion sliced into 1″ pieces

Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken Kabobs DIRECTIONS:

  1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 1/2 hour
  2. Add paprika spices and ground red pepper to a small bowl with 1-2 tbsp warm water (to soften) 5 minutes
  3. Take next 9 ingredients in above list and add to large mixing bowl
  4. Add in spices when they have softened
  5. Mix everything with a spatula then add in chicken pieces and toss to coat
  6. Cover with saran and pop into the frig for 24 hours
  7. Take out and skewer 4-6 pieces of chicken onto each skewer
  8. OPTIONAL: Skewer cherry tomatoes and onion alternating pieces
  9. You can also alternate chicken, tomato, onion, chicken and repeat
  10. Grill on high for 7-8 minutes on each side (even with veggies in the mix)
  11. Serve grilled chicken and tomato/onion on naan or pita bread with tzatziki, and hummus or rice ….YUM!

INGREDIENTS for Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 16 oz. container of whole fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove put thru garlic press
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 2 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil in sauce and some to drizzle on top at the end

DIRECTIONS for Tzatziki:

  1. Slice cucumber in half-length wise, then in half crosswise
  2. Scoop out middle seeds and discard
  3. Grate cucumber halves into a large bowl
  4. Put cucumber gratings into a Ziploc baggie and add 1/2 tsp salt, let sit for 1 hour or over night
  5. Unseal a small corner of the Ziploc & drain water from baggie squeezing the grated cucumber
  6. Add grated cucumber to a medium bowl, and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess water
  7. Add fresh dill, garlic, s&p, cumin, lemon juice and Greek yogurt to grated cucumber, mix til creamy texture
  8. Drizzle 2 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil on top and voilà you have tzatziki

INGREDIENTS for TOUM – Lebanese Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 cup peeled white garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS for Toum: Approx Time 12 minutes

  1. Add 1 cup peeled garlic and salt to food processor and pulse 3 times
  2. Scrape down sides
  3. Begin the garlic-vegetable oil emulsion by SLOWLY beginning to drizzle in the oil – This will take about 12 minutes to slowly drizzle in all of the oil
  4. When you have reached adding in 1/2 cup of oil you will need to stop and scrap sides one last time then start up processor again and resume adding in oil, at about 1 cup of oil mark begin to add 2 tsp of lemon juice – KEEP food processor going the WHOLE TIME
  5. Go back and forth from oil to lemon juice until it’s finished (I begin to add 3 tbsp of lemon juice at a time after about 1 1/2 cup of oil mark)
  6. You should see the volume doubling then quadrupling
  7. At this point the toum will be thick and foamy
  8. Since the food processor has been running for a while now you will need to let it COOL and put into a container but DO NOT seal at this point because any condensation will ruin the texture of the toum and all your hard work
  9. Just loosely cover with a paper towel til COMPLETELY COOLED
  10. At this point you can seal with a top
  11. It will last in the frig for a couple of weeks
  12. Serve with the yogurt marinated chicken kabobs, sauté vegetables, brush on grill items, naan, pita bread, ciabatta for garlic bread … the options are endless ENJOY 🙂

 

Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ

Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ

Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ is real fine homemade gourmet BBQ with a mustard base sauce that makes you pucker, all awhile biting into a succulent piece of pork rib that just melts in your mouth. The savory hickory smoked flavor of their ribs is something you will definitely be back for with out a whole lot of time lapsing in between visits. The mustard-vinegar based sauce just grows on you and you can’t really put your finger on it so you just keep dipping into this sauce for another lick. I recently had the opportunity to eat here when my son Reilly and I met up with his tennis team in South Carolina for his National Team competition.

Well, I tell you, when I travel I want to visit places to eat where their heart and soul is served up to you on a plate.  To taste different foods from other regions is one of the most wonderful opportunities we get when we travel. If you are not into this kind of thing you ought to open your self up and try to appreciate new tastes and ways to prepare foods that have become traditions for people in that region. That’s what makes the world such a diverse place with so many different flavors to soak up.

I decided that during our stay in South Carolina I wanted to accomplish a few of things before heading back. First off, was having Southern BBQ, of course! The second was to get my son, Reilly, to Carowinds Amusement Park in North Carolina which would be an easy task since we were flying in and out of Charlotte and the third was to get in a couple rounds of golf! My friend Luanne, one of the other tennis mom’s, had the same point of view as me on the whole Southern BBQ thing and tasting new foods from where ever you happen to be traveling especially if you are miles away from where you live. On one of the afternoons at tennis practice much of our group was ready to hit up Chic-fil-A AGAIN! I am happy to say that didn’t even enter my mind nor did I go there during our stay in South Carolina. I looked at my friend Luanne , we began to laugh and said lets go, lets do REAL BBQ. She had already looked it up on her phone and it wasn’t far from The Cayce Tennis Facility so off we went in my rental car.

It was the tastiest meal I had on this trip to South Carolina and it totally lived up to my BBQ standards. I ordered the pork ribs, collard greens, and coleslaw and needless to say I wore much of it that mustard based BBQ sauce all over the front of my white with navy blue pinstripe cotton dress I had on. Too funny but it was definitely worth it…should have gotten a picture of that 🙂 The ribs  were moist and falling of the bone tender slathered in their mustard-vinegar sauce and I can’t help but love that hickory smoked flavor. The collard greens were delicious, earthy but not too bitter and the chopped style coleslaw was a refreshing balance with the mustard sauce from the ribs. Each item complemented one another very well! I did buy a bottle of Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ sauce to take home with me. They have quite the assortment of sauces to choose from (shown below) but I bought the one I had that day. To my surprise I was able to get the yellow mustard stain completely out of my dress before it dried.

On the last day Reilly and I headed to Carowinds Amusement Park and he had the time of his life bravely riding on several loop coasters over and over again! We actually found another gourmet BBQ eatery in downtown Charlotte which was a bonus. I was also able to get in two rounds of golf during our stay so it was a wonderful trip all around. Don’t you forget to treat yourself to Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ when you are in Cayce, South Carolina …you won’t regret it!

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Chicken Piccata-Easy Gourmet

Chicken Piccata-Easy Gourmet

My Chicken Piccata-Easy Gourmet recipe really is an uncomplicated dish that will knock your socks off! The chicken cutlets are so tender that they are almost falling apart in it’s delicate wine-shallot sauce with capers, paper thin Baby Bella mushrooms and fresh squeezed lemon is truly amazing. It has a delicate zing from the capers, and a brightness from that fresh squeezed lemon at the end. I serve up this chicken piccata with fresh sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes that just seems to pull it all together almost making it a comfort food with the mouth watering wine gravy and mashed potatoes. It is a dish that you may just start to crave! It only takes about 30 minutes to make so it should definitely be part of your cooking repertoire considering how incredible it tastes!

Even my kids love it although I do put aside several pieces for them at the point right after I deg-laze with wine and before I add the mushrooms and capers because that’s just not their thing …yet! -This way everyone is happy.

I don’t use too much butter in this recipe. I don’t think there is a big need for that with all these amazing layered flavors from the chicken, shallots, mushrooms, capers, white wine, chicken broth and lemon juice.  The light flour coating on the chicken when dredging it to sauté helps to thicken the sauce right there.  I see many recipes adding a ton of butter “to thicken” it and it’s just not necessary. Enjoy making this tasty dish and be sure to watch it on my Chicken Piccata cooking show video either posted right here (listed under “videos” tab above) or on my YouTube channel.

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Ingredients: Serves 4-6 people if served with mashed potatoes and fresh sautéed spinach

  • 3 lg chicken breasts or 4 med. sliced into 3 and pounded thinly
  • 3 tbsp lg capers (or sm if you prefer…they’re all good)
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups white wine (approx. 1/2 cup for each chicken deglazing and 1/3 c. for mushrooms and approx another 1/2 cup at the end to simmer…NOTE in my video I did say 1/4 cup at each stage but oops I used a little more than that : )
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 6 lg BABY BELLA mushrooms sliced PAPER thin
  • 1 wedge of lemon for the end
  • 6 lg garlic cloves just smashed to sauté and flavor olive oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper for flavoring flour
  • 1 recipe fresh sautéed spinach (can leave out garlic in recipe)
  • 1 recipe mashed potatoes (can leave out red onion)

Directions: Approx. 30-40 minute to prep and cook

  1. Either buy chicken breasts pounded out at your local butcher or cut each breast into 3 horizontally and pound out each one gently to 1/4″ thickness
  2. Put flour into shallow dish and season with s & p
  3. Dredge pounded chicken breasts in flour and leave in flour dish ready to sauté
  4. Heat large, shallow pan on med/high
  5. Add 3 tbsp-1/4 cup olive oil to pan while heating
  6. Add 3 garlic clove to olive oil and sauté til golden to flavor pan
  7. Remove garlic cloves and begin to sauté chicken breasts filling entire pan (this will be done in 2 batches)
  8. Make sure the pan stays hot enough on med/high heat while cooking breasts
  9. Cook chicken approx. 2 1/2 minutes on each side
  10. Add 1/4 white wine and deglaze, place cover over for 1 minute
  11. Remove cover and remove first batch of chicken to baking dish using a spatula to scrap out all of the gravy and bits
  12. Put pan back on med/high heat and repeat #5-#11.
  13. Now add 1 tbsp butter, finely chopped shallots and paper thin sliced Baby Bella’s to the pan and sauté til water renders out of mushrooms and they are a light golden
  14. OPTIONAL: you can finely chop the golden sautéed garlic cloves and add them back in at this point or not
  15. Deglaze mushroom and shallots with 1/4 cup wine and cover for 30 seconds
  16. Remove cover and add all the chicken breasts back into pan
  17. Add 1/4 cup wine and 1/4 cup chicken broth to pan and turn down to med/low
  18. Simmer 5 minutes ONLY …don’t want too much of the sauce to evoporate
  19. Either serve immediately or put into frig until your guests arrive and then PRE-HEAT oven to 325º and warm for approx. 30 minutes with pan COVERED-if too much of the sauce evaporates you can add a splash of white wine and chicken broth
  20. Add s & p to taste
  21. Right before serving squeeze a wedge of lemon on chicken breasts ( about 1 tbsp) and serve over mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed spinach

 

Stuffed Roulades of Chicken

Stuffed Roulades of Chicken

I serve these stuffed roulades of chicken sliced up on top of a roasted garlic and cannellini bean purée…the flavors are amazing together!  Stuffing meats with vegetables and herbs makes a great presentation and people will think you worked a lot harder than you did.  The stuffing in these chicken roulades is especially wonderful because the ingredients are all raw there isn’t any sautéing, .  If you don’t like one of the ingredients in the stuffing you can easily substitute for something you do like.  For instance, cilantro instead of basil, or diced artichoke hearts instead of olives or maybe swiss cheese instead of feta. 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts (butterflied)
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 garlic clove thru garlic press
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (for stuffing)
  • 1 Tsp rice wine vinegar-“Seasoned” (comes “original” or “seasoned”-I always get the seasoned cause I like the flavor… it has a hint of sweet)
  • fresh spinach leaves (flat leaf is easier to use in stuffing then curly)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil for sautéing roulades
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc … your favorite white drinking wine)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 pieces of 20-24″ cotton string

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
  2. In a small bowl mix together diced tomaotes, olives, feta, basil and garlic with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tsp rice wine vinegar and set aside (this is the stuffing).
  3. Butterfly chicken breasts slicing them open like a book keeping them in 1 piece.
  4. Place the breasts in a large Ziplock Baggie and pound them out to 1/4″ (if they rip no worries because the spinach leaves will cover that and then you’ll be tying them with string).
  5. Put the breasts on a work surface smooth breast side down so the length is going vertically.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put down a layer of spinach leaves on top of the breasts.
  7. Divide the stuffing into 2 and place each 1/2 onto the center of the breasts (right on top of the spinach leaves).
  8. Roll up the breasts tucking in sides as best as possible. Slide two pieces of string under the breast rolls crisscross like in the photo.
  9. Begin to tie off from each end knotting the first wrap so it doesn’t move then keep wrapping around the chicken without tying til you get to the other end. You can slide string under the other rows as you go.
  10. When you get to the other end you should end with a knot.
  11. Don’t need to get fancy or crazy about this …. it’s only to help hold in place until you can get the roulades in a hot pan to sauté where everything will firm up and stay together.
  12. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a medium sauce pan on medium/high heat.
  13. When the pan is hot add the tied up roulades and sauté for 2 minutes on each side total of 8 minutes.
  14. Add the wine, and then the broth to the chicken (be careful of the steam when add the liquids) and place into the oven for 15 minutes.
  15. Take the chicken out of the oven and cover it with foil.
  16. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then simply cut the string with a clean pair of scissors (or kitchen scissors).
  17. Slice up the roulades and serve on top of roasted garlic and cannellini bean purée. 
  18. The great thing about this dish is you can make the roasted garlic and bean purée the day before!

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TIP: I like to buy a giant roll of cotton string from the hardware store and keep it in a Ziplock Baggie on the spice shelf so no one can get to it and dirty it up.

 

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TIP:  It’s a good idea to soak the cotton string in water for 10 minutes before you use it otherwise it will dry out in the oven and become brittle.

Green Goddess Sauce

Green Goddess Sauce

I love to make sauces especially this green goddess sauce.  Sauces are one of my favorite avenues of cooking and I’m always mixing things up to find the perfect one.  The inspiration for this sauce came from a food truck episode on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives a couple of years ago.  I have tried since then to find the recipe but cannot so this is one of my versions of a green goddess sauce.  I remember her sauce having a mayo base and maybe other herbs.  I really like the tang you get from using Greek yogurt in this one.  You can use this sauce with so many dishes….fish, chicken, beef, lamb, pork, re-fried beans and the list goes on!

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup mayo (I use Hellmans)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove put thru press
  • 1/2 jalapeño diced
  • 1 tsp. grated vadalia onion ( or yellow onion)
  • 1 tbsp ( 1/2) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp “seasoned” rice wine vinegar
  • s & p
  • dash of Siracha or Tabasco (Siracha is a hot chili sauce sold next to Tabasco at the store)

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender an purée and you will probably need to stop and stir everything a couple of times to get it going but do not add any more liquid (you will see that once it gets going it will be just right).
  2. You can make this ahead of time and keep sauce in a plastic container and refrigerate.  It stays nicely for days in frig.  Yum!
  3. This green sauce is absolutely delicious on so many things …… be creative.
  4. Try it with Sautéed Chicken Breasts and Spinach or on Crock Pot Pulled Pork sandwiches, BBQ Pork Wraps, Sautéed Chilean Sea Bass or as a dip for Baked Coconut Shrimp!

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Sautéed Chicken Breasts and Spinach

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Ingredients:

  • 4 med. size chicken breast ( washed and pat dry with paper towel)
  • Olive oil and S & P
  • 8 oz. pre-washed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional- delicious for another layer of flavor)

Directions:

Chicken: 

  1. Pre-heat to 375º.
  2. Heat pan to med/high heat and add 3 tbsp olive oil.  
  3. After a few minutes when pan is hot add chicken and saute for 5 minutes til golden and flip.  
  4. Continue to cook for another 8 minutes til golden in color.  
  5. Depending how thick your chicken breast are you can either flip again for an additional 2-3 minutes or place into the oven for approx. 8 minutes.  
  6. OR if u have the white wine on hand flip chicken back over for the last 2-3 min. and pour in 1/2 cup of white wine and cover immediately.  
  7. Let steam for 3 minutes then remove cover to let wine evaporate for the next 3-4 min.  
  8. This addition of wine gives you another layer of amazing flavor and you won’t need to put it into the oven again just cover with foil for a few minutes til you are ready to slice and plate.

Spinach:  Place fresh spinach into med. size pan with 2 tbsp water put on med heat and cover for a few minutes.  You’ ll start to hear the steam, lift off the top and begin to toss around with tongs or a fork for approx 1 min. til slightly wilted and remove from heat.  Put into ice bath to shock spinach (or briefly run cold water on it) It helps to keep vibrant green color til you are ready to plate dishes.  Gently squeeze out water and place on paper towel on a dish til u need to plate the dinner.  The easiest way to re-heat spinach is put it in a small pan with 1 tbsp of butter on top and warm thru just for 2-3 minute, add salt & pepper (or put into microwave very briefly ….don’t need to cook it ….heating thru only).  Then place small mound in the middle of the plate and place sliced up chicken right on top.  Drizzle my Green Goddess Sauce recipe around chicken on plate and mangia!