I have a huge gas grill in my backyard. In the spring and summer I love using my grill. But I am awful at remembering to exchange the empty propane tank. When this happens, my laziness and disappointment kick in and I change my mind and decide to just cook whatever it is on the stove or in the oven instead. Especially if I am not cooking for company. Recently, I was at IKEA and on a whim, bought a grill pan. I have no idea why I never had one before? I’m guessing probably because I have the gas grill in the backyard. Now this grill pan has become my favorite pan to use. I’m always thinking of what else can I try to grill on it? It’s usually chicken though. So I started running out of flavors to use on the chicken. Here’s a marinade I recently tried which my picky eater son actually enjoyed. (It is probably because there’s beer in the marinade. Don’t worry, he is over 21.)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons diced onions (I used red onion, but any type will work)
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 cups ale or beer (I used a bottle of 805 brand ale. If you don’t like to cook with alcoholic beverages, substitute with ginger ale.)
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (if you prefer dark meat use 6 skin-on thighs)
- In a 2 cup measuring cup, mix the first 10 ingredients together. (Olive oil through parsley.)
- Slowly add the beer to the mixture, as it will foam and bubble.
- Place your chicken in a gallon Ziploc bag.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken.
- Remove as much air out of zip bag before sealing. Turn the bag from side to side to make sure all the chicken has been coated with marinade.
- Place the bag flat on a small rimmed kitchen sheet pan and into the refrigerator. Allow to sit at least 2 hours, overnight for best results. Turn the bag every few hours to keep the chicken coated on both sides.
- Cook over medium high heat. Depending on thickness, 6-7 minutes per side.
Yes, once again I’m making chicken wings. Most the Vietnamese chicken wing recipes I’ve seen call for fish sauce. As my son and I are allergic to most things seafood, I cannot use it as it is too strong. So, believe it or not, that is why I am using Worcestershire sauce for the unami in this recipe. Thus, the reason why I call it Vietnamese “style.” These wings are sweet, sticky and a little bit spicy. Good news is this recipe is quite simple, uses only a few ingredients, no oil frying required and done in less than 45 minutes. For my vegetarian friends, maybe you can substitute fried or pan seared tofu as the sauce itself is quite tasty.
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce Kecap Manis
- 2-3 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (start with 2 tablespoons and add more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- cilantro chopped for garnish
- lime wedges (optional)
- Preheat oven to 475 F degrees.
- For easier clean up, cover a baking sheet in foil or use a silicone mat as the sauce becomes quite sticky.
- Lay out the chicken wings in a single layer in prepared baking pan.
- Season the chicken wings on both sides using salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned or cooked through.
- While the chicken wings bake, prepare the sauce.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sweet soy sauce, chili paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix well.
- When the chicken is fully cooked, transfer the wings to a large bowl. Add half the sauce and, using tongs, toss to thoroughly coat. Return the wings to the lined sheet pan and arrange in a single, even layer.
- Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Remove from the oven. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- Optional: Serve with a lime wedge. I like how the lime juice offsets the sweetness of the soy sauce.
I’m all about quick, easy and one pot dinners. Here’s a recipe for all you busy people out there that want a home cooked meal but don’t have the time or energy to spend more than 30 minutes making it. This is a fun take on chicken and rice. Except we are using orzo pasta instead of rice. For my vegetarian friends out there, feel free to omit the chicken, substitute vegetable stock and add more veggies to this recipe.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt, pepper and garlic powder to season chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- Parmesan or Romano grated cheese for garnish
- Italian parsley for garnish
- Sprinkle liberally both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add olive oil and butter. Heat until bubbly.
- Sear chicken for 2-3 minutes per side until a nice crust forms. (chicken will not be cooked through but will continue cooking with the orzo.)
- Remove seared chicken to a plate.
- Add mushrooms to hot skillet and saute until cooked about 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Add garlic and orzo to pan and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, cream and spinach.
- Place chicken into orzo mixture.
- Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 F degrees.
- Top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and Italian parsley leaves.
Makes 4 servings.
Okay. I admit it. I am a picky eater. You will not find green bell peppers or yellow onions in my fajitas. I love every type of bell peppers except green. I will always substitute whenever a recipe calls for green bell peppers. As for red onions, they just happen to be my favorite type of onion. I always have them on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I like yellow onions too. But I ALWAYS have red onions. So feel free to substitute your favorite colors of the rainbow for this dish. You can even omit the chicken and use sliced portabella mushrooms and add other vegetables to make a fantastic vegetarian fajita.
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons Mexican seasoning (chili powder, crushed red peppers, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and paprika)
- 1 lime, juiced
- tortillas and your favorite fajita sides for serving
- lime wedges for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Place onions, peppers and chicken in 9×13 baking pan or dish.
- Drizzle and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle Mexican seasoning over dish. Top with lime juice. Toss to coat.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Serve with tortillas and your favorite fajita sides. Add lime wedge to each plate for garnish and extra lime juice if wanted.
Makes 3-4 servings.
Those that have been reading my blog for a while know that I cannot resist chicken wings. I wanted to try another Asian style chicken wing, so this is a cross between honey sriracha and orange chicken. I made these fairly mild because my son can’t handle the heat. But if these were just for me, you know the amount of red pepper flakes and sriracha would be doubled or tripled. Feel free to adjust to your taste.
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (juice of one lime)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3-4 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- Make the marinade. Combine soy sauce, garlic, lime juice and ginger in a gallon sized Ziplock bag. Add wings to marinade. Seal and toss well. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Place wings on a baking rack over a baking sheet or parchment sheet lined baking sheet. Cook the wings for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Make the sauce while the wings are cooking. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
- When the wings are done cooking, take the wings out and turn up the oven to 450 F degrees.
- Baste the wings in the sauce you prepared. Be sure to turn wings over and baste all sides thoroughly.
- Return wings to oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until sauce caramelizes.
I love a one pot dish. Less mess, less to clean. So keep it simple and stop there I tell myself. But alas, I always have to go an extra step. Why not make an avocado cilantro dressing to garnish this chicken with? You could make a double batch of the dressing and save the extra for your salads. If you are going to give yourself extra things to clean, might as well make it worth your while. Plus you have half an avocado left to use. Just saying….
- 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, reserve a teaspoon for garnish
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- Be sure to use a covered skillet for this recipe. Melt butter over medium high heat. Once butter is melted, add chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add rice and garlic to skillet and stir for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.
- Add chicken stock, cilantro and lime juice. Stir until combined.
- Place chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover skillet with lid and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 25 minutes until chicken and rice is fully cooked and liquid is absorbed.
- While the chicken breasts and rice are cooking, prepare your dressing.
- Add all dressing ingredients to your food processor or blender.
- Pulse until smooth. Add more water or lime juice if needed.
- When chicken and rice are ready, drizzle dressing over chicken and sprinkle with reserved cilantro. Dress with sliced limes for more flair.
Here in Northern California, our September weather has been exceptionally warm. We were in the low 90’s the last few weeks. But today we were only in the 70’s. And being the typical weather spoiled Californian, it felt cold to me. I wanted soup. Actually, it gave me an excuse to try out my new vegetable spiralizer and make zucchini noodle soup. Or “zoodles” as the foodies call them. For my vegetarian friends, like Sue T., omit the chicken breasts and substitute with vegetable stock.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- handful of baby carrots (about 6-8) sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley, reserve some for garnish
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized into noodle shapes and cut into desired length
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to large pot over medium high heat. When oil begins to ripple, add onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir for 2-3 minutes until vegetables soften.
- Add minced garlic to vegetables. Stir for 1 minute, until garlic become fragrant.
- Next add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning and most of the chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
- Add chicken breasts. Once liquid begins to boil, lower heat to simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Remove chicken and carefully shred into bite sized pieces. Return shredded chicken to pot. Stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini. Cut into smaller noodle lengths, unless you want extra long noodles.
- Turn heat back up to medium high. Add zucchini noodles (zoodles) to soup. Stir and let zoodles cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with reserved parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.