Coq au Vin

Poultry
Coq au Vin avec des Pommes de Terre Savoyarde

Coq au Vin avec des Pommes de Terre Savoyarde

Adapted from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child

Here is another traditional French dish. My father had once tried it France and loved it, so I decided to make some for it. I won’t say mine was better than the French chef’s but we all really loved it, and my uncle, who was visiting, was super happy I had made it. Make sure you have a lot of time on your hands before attempting this recipe.

Serves about 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 lbs chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 bottle red wine (like zinfandel or Chianti)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Dried parsley, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • Beurre manié for the sauce: 3 tbsp flour blended to a paste with 2 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and brown the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and transfer it to a large casserole.
  2. Remove all but a little fat from the pan, add the sliced vegetables and brown them. Add to the meat.
  3. Deglaze the pan with wine, pouring it into the casserole along with enough stock to almost the meat. Stir in the tomatoes and add the herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer slowly on the stove until the meat is tender. (You can eat a piece or pierce it with a fork to test for tenderness.)
  4. Drain through a colander set over a saucepan and return the chicken to the casserole. Press the juices out of the residue into the cooking liquid. Remove the accumulated fat from the top and boil down the liquid to 3 cups.
  5. Off heat, whisk in the beurre manié. Simmer for 2 minutes as the sauce thickens lightly. Pour the sauce over the meat.
  6. To serve, bring to a simmer, basting meat and vegetables with the sauce for several minutes until thoroughly hot throughout.

 

Comments: This really is a spectacular dish and it is not too hard; it just takes a while. It is perfect for dinner on a cold winter’s night. The side dish I made to go with the coq au vin is Scalloped Potatoes Savoyarde. Other great options would be a gratin dauphinois or pommes Anna (other types of scalloped potatoes).

 

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Tomato-Orange Marmalade Chicken

Poultry

Tomato-Orange Marmalade Chicken

 

Adapted from Southern Living Vol. 49 No. 6

This chicken is super juicy and yummy. We all loved it. Even I, who hate tomatoes, ate everything. The sweetness from the marmalade and the sourness from the tomatoes blend beautifully together. It does not take very long to make.

Ingredients:

  • 4 6-oz. skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp sweet orange marmalade
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and flatten them to ½-inch thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 2 chicken breasts in the skillet 4 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer them to a serving platter and cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining butter and chicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 3 tablespoons of water and half of the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the marmalade and vinegar. Stir for 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes burst and the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the remaining tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes until thoroughly heated. Stir in the basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

 

Comments: For this recipe, it is very important to use sweet marmalade. The only one I was able to find that used sweet oranges was Smucker’s. If the label doesn’t specify, you can look at the list of ingredients to see if they say whether the oranges are sweet or bitter. I had this chicken with whole-wheat couscous. The magazine also suggests sprinkling the chicken with goat cheese, something I think would work really well.

Chicken Gumbo

Poultry

Chicken Gumbo

Adapted from Review It Magazine

When I went to New Orleans, I discovered a lot of new dishes including gumbo. This is a really simple recipe. It’s hearty and a perfect meal for a cold autumn or winter day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breast, skinless and boneless, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup white potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ medium carrot, grated
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup okra, sliced

Directions:

  1. Add the vegetable oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour begins to turn golden brown.
  3. Slowly stir in all the broth using a wire whisk. Cook for about 2 minutes until the mixture is no longer lumpy.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the okra. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Add the okra and cook for 15 to 20 more minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

 

Comments: This is a very straightforward, foolproof recipe. The trickiest thing I can think of is making sure no flour lumps remain in the broth. One suggestion is to pour some of the broth and stir with the whisk to dissolve the flour completely and then incorporate the remaining broth. You can also try removing the bigger lumps with a spoon; smaller lumps won’t really be noticeable when the broth is mixed with the chicken and vegetables. Typically gumbo is served with rice; so, to serve, I suggest pouring servings of gumbo into bowls and then scooping some cooked rice on top.

 

Ground Turkey Gyros

Poultry

Ground Turkey Gyros

Adapted from a Website

After travelling to Greece, I became obsessed with Greek food. We never actually tried gyros but it is definitely a staple in the Greek cuisine. This version is “healthified” by using grilled or broiled burgers instead of the typical roasted döner-like meat. They were a huge success at home and I hope you enjoy them as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey (or you can replace with beef or lamb)
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 4 pita breads
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the ground turkey and seasonings.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Shape into 4 patties.
  4. Grill, covered (or you can use a toaster oven or broiler instead) over medium to high heat for 10 to 12 minutes until meat is no longer pink, turning once.
  5. Cut patties into thin slices.
  6. Stuff into pitas.
  7. Ad lettuce and tomato.
  8. Serve with yogurt sauce, if desired (recipe below).

Ground Turkey Gyros wrapped

 

Yogurt Sauce (Tzatziki)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) container of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup copped seeded cucumber
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the gyros.

 

Comments: As part of the seasoning you may also choose to add garlic and onion powder. I suggest you heat the pitas before stuffing them with the meat so that everything is warm. You can also maintain some of the heat by wrapping the gyros with aluminum foil. Another alternative to the tzatziki sauce is mixing Greek yogurt with some olive oil and lemon juice. The acidity from the yogurt sauce gives the gyros a boost a flavor. You may also try topping your gyros with some Greek cheese like feta or myzithra. This is a really easy and quick recipe.

Yogurt, oil and lemon sauce

Yogurt, oil and lemon sauce

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

Poultry

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Fall Baking

 I tend to like vegetable enchiladas more than mea tones; I love one recipe I found for zucchini enchiladas. However, these chicken enchiladas really are great. I really love the blend of sour cream with the salsa and the cheese topping. This recipe will take you about 40 minutes to make once you have cooked the chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning blend
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 ½ cups mild salsa (such as Old El Paso)
  • 8 8-inch tortillas (Old El Paso flour tortillas for burritos)
  • Sliced green onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Grease a 13×9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, tomatoes, 1 cup of cheese and the seasoning blend. Stir in the chicken.
  3. Spread ½ cup of the salsa in the baking dish. Spoon ½ cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll them up and place the enchiladas, seam side down, over the salsa in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of salsa over the enchiladas and top with the remaining 1½ cups of cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are thoroughly heated. Garnish with the green onions.

 

Comments:

This recipe is pretty straightforward. The only suggestion I can think of is that it is best to use freshly cooked chicken. I have used previously cooked and frozen chicken and it does not taste the same. However, if you are in a rush, you can cook the chicken ahead of time, freeze it and thaw it to make the enchiladas. We had the enchiladas with salad but I think they might go well with rice as

Turkey-Feta Phyllo Bake

Poultry

Turkey-Feta Phyllo Bake II

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Fall Baking

Here is another great dinner that has a touch of Greek-ness to it, and I love Greek food. The turkey, feta cheese and pine nuts go extremely well together in this satisfying dish. Another great thing about this pie-like course is that it includes all food groups!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 9 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cups (8 oz) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo pastry (14×9 inch), thawed
  • Cooking spray

Turkey-Feta Phyllo Bake

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (204C). Grease a 13×9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the butter for 5 minutes until it is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the turkey and cook for 8 to 9 more minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink. Add the spinach and garam masala, stirring until blended. Cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the cheese, pine nuts, salt and egg into the turkey mixture until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.
  4. Unroll the phyllo pastry sheets and cover them with plastic wrap or a towel. Place 1 phyllo sheet on top of the turkey mixture and spray it with the cooking spray. Repeat this process with the remaining 4 phyllo sheets and spray the top one. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the phyllo is crisp and golden brown.

 

Comments: This is a very easy recipe and it does not take too much time to make. This is best eaten fresh out of the oven. Though you can refrigerate any leftovers and eat them the next day, the phyllo will be a bit soggy (I don’t really mind it). My next suggestion applies to the cheese. In the U.S. at least, I have not been very successful at finding very good feta cheese. The real, Greek one is made with goat’s milk and it makes a huge difference on the flavor. Where I live, I have only been able to find 1 or 2 places that sell feta cheese made with goat’s milk. If at all possible, please don’t use cheese made with cow’s milk.

Turkey-Feta Phyllo Bake pedazo

Saffron Chicken with Zucchini

Poultry

Pollo con calabacines al azafrán

Adapted and Translated from Comer Bien magazine

This recipe is really quite easy and straightforward. It’s a perfect dish for a weekday dinner. It only takes about 30 minutes to make and there are no complicated steps. It’s simple but looks attractive with the bright green of the zucchini and the yellow of the saffron.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g chicken breast
  • 300 g zucchini
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few saffron stems or ground saffron dissolved in 1 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Dice the chicken breasts into 2-centimeter pieces. Wash and dry the zucchinis and cut them into thin slices.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. Then add the chicken and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Add the paprika, zucchini, bay leaf, the saffron and milk mixture and the salt. Stir well to combine, Cover the pan cook slowly for about 15 more minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and transfer the chicken and zucchini mixture to a serving dish.

 

Comments: It is essential to use well-flavored saffron for this recipe. Bad quality saffron will have little taste and won’t boost the flavor of the chicken. You might also try substituting the saffron for curry. Accompany the dish with couscous or rice.

The Chicken Served with Couscous

The Chicken with Couscous

Lemon Chicken with Thyme

Poultry

Lemon Chicken with Thyme portion

 

I ran across this recipe in my mom’s large binder of cut-out recipes. I’m not sure where it came from. It may have been a magazine or book called either Extra-Light Cooking or Creative Everyday Cooking. Either way, it is an excellent, yummy, quick recipe that has proven very popular at home.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 lb total)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • Freshly chopped parsley, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a Ziploc bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper and shake to mix. Add the chicken and shake to coat lightly. Remove the chicken and reserve the leftover seasoned flour.
  2. In a large skillet, warm 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes to brown one side. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, turn the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes more to brown the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Coarsely chop the onion. Add the butter to the skillet. When the butter melts, add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until softened.
  4. Stir in the reserved seasoned flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is completely incorporated.
  5. Add the broth, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Return the chicken to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Stir the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice into the sauce in the skillet and pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

 

Comments: This recipe probably takes about 30 minutes max to make. I recommend using a pot instead of a skillet because the oil will sizzle and pop. When browning the chicken, make sure it does not stick to the bottom; if any bits stick to the pot or skillet, you can easily scrape them off when making the sauce. Both times I made this chicken, it comes out deliciously tender and the lemon sauce is great with just the right hint of thyme. It goes well with rice.

Lemon Chicken with ThymeLemon Chicken with Thyme and Rice

Turkey Peppers with Couscous

Poultry

Turkey Peppers with Couscous

Adapted from Jennie-O

 Th recipe is not too hard to make and has a pretty big yield. It has a touch of Greek influence with a tasty blend of various flavors. Bonus: all food groups are represented.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers, mix of colors (I used red, orange, yellow and Green)
  • ½ cup chopped red inion
  • 20 ounces of ground turkey breast (1 Jennie-O package)
  • Fresh basil leaves, to taste
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 5.45 ounces couscous, prepared according to package
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¾ cup oats
  • Paprika, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
  2. Cut bell peppers lengthwise through stems, keeping the stem halves intact. Cut the peppers in half again (quarters). Remove the seeds and veins. Cook in a pot of boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain them and place them cut side up in a 13×9 baking dish.
  3. Grease a large skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground turkey and cook as specified on the package. Add the basil leaves and pepper and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced tomatoes and the prepared couscous. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and pine nuts.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the pepper quarters and make sure to press the mixture in to fill well. Sprinkle the oats and paprika over the filled peppers.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is hot and the peppers are tender.

 

Comments: These peppers are very good and nutritious. They reminded me of my wonderful trip to Greece. I had them with olives on the side, which might not be a bad addition to the filling. The original recipe calls for sun-dried tomato flavored couscous but I couldn’t find any and used whole-wheat couscous instead. You may also replace the oats for breadcrumbs like the original recipe. The Jennie-O turkey package said to cook the turkey for about 14-16 minutes but I cooked it a bit less for fear that it would become too dry. Make sure to use a large skillet to cook the filling because it really is a lot. I had a lot of leftover filling, which I froze; I think it would taste fine on its own but it might also taste delicious in a phyllo pie.

Turkey Peppers with Couscous 2

Clean Eating Chicken and Dumplings

Poultry

 

Adapted from The Gracious Cook

Stew Ingredients:

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • About 1 pound (1-11/2 1bs) boneless, skinlles chicken breasts-cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion-peeoled and diced
  • 4 large carrots-peeled and sliced

Dumpling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of milk (I used almond milk)

Stew Directions:

  1. Pour the broth into a pot and bring to a slow boil.
  2. Combine the oil, onion and carrots in a pan. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the vegetables and cut up chicken to the pot with the broth.

Dumpling Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend well.
  2. Pour in the oil and milk and mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. Use 2 teaspoons to scoop and round off your dumplings and put them into the pot. Make sure the broth is hot before adding the dumplings to the pot.

Cooking Directions:

  1. Boil until the dumplings and chicken are cooked.

 

Comments: I made this chicken and dumplings on Sunday, August 10, 2014. This dish is really delicious and filling. Even my mom, who was at first skeptical about the dumplings, loved it. A tip on the dumplings: to check when they are done, prick them with a fork to look inside; they should not be doughy.