Category Archives: chicken

Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice

It has been really cold outside here in NYC. So that means comfort casserole time. I normally default to mac and cheese when I’m having these sorts of cravings, but I wanted to produce a healthier version. This has all of the warmth and comfort but with the addition of veggies and protein.

Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice

3 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 ½ pound chicken thighs, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 pound bag of frozen broccoli, thawed
½ cup ricotta
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 12oz bag shredded cheddar
½ cup milk
½ cup parmesan
olive oil

Place the rice and the butter in a large pot. Melt the butter and toast the rice grains. Add the water, salt, garlic and bouillon. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium low and place the lid on the pot. Cook for 30 minutes.

Transfer the rice to the final casserole dish. In the same large pot, heat the oil, chicken, and seasoning on medium high, stirring occasionally. Keep cooking the chicken until it is done and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the broccoli to the chicken and cover to steam and heat through. Remove the cover and allow the rest of the liquid to evaporate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Return the rice to the pot and add the cheeses and milk, except for the final amount of parmesan. Mix the rice mixture to fully combine. The cheese will melt as you mix. Transfer the rice mixture back to the casserole dish. Smooth the top of the rice mixture and spread out the remaining parmesan cheese over the top. Spray or drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil over the parmesan cheese.

Bake the casserole in the oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese on the top forms a nice crusty brown. You can also switch the oven to boil to finish the browning process.

Thanksgiving Turducken

I have been obsessed with turducken for quite some time. I have only had it once before. My old boss, Mary K had ordered one a few years back during the holidays. Though the butcher thought I was crazy for trying to sew this together myself, it actually was pretty easy. I made a 30 lb bird total and it took 6 hours to cook in my busted oven, but it was worth every second. It came out juicy, flavorful and was a breeze to carve. Needless to say, my friends were very impressed. I think I will attempt to make a smaller version next time that is just all breasts. At that point, you can have it on non-special occasions.

Stuffing:
1 ¼ lb chorizo, casing removed
1 ¼ lb pork sage sausage, casing removed
1 ½ cup minced onions
1 cup minced celery
4 slices of wheat bread, shredded or copped in the food processor
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon parsley
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
½ cup chicken broth

Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Using your hands, mix to combine.

Turducken:
1 10-15 lb organic turkey, de-boned
1 6 lb organic duck, de-boned
1 4 lb organic chicken, de-boned
Salt
Garlic powder
Cajun seasoning
Olive oil
Butcher’s twine and needle

Have the butcher de-bone all of the birds and brine the meats over night. You could do both of these steps yourself but they are both very time and space consuming as well as REALLY messy.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On a large cutting board, sprinkle both sides of the turkey with a generous amount of the seasonings. Place the turkey skin side down and put about a third of the stuffing on the turkey meat. Push the stuffing around to make an even layer.

Coat the duck on both sides with the seasonings and place it on top of the turkey, skin side down. Try to stagger the layers of dark and white meat. If the dark meat in the turkey is close to you, place the dark meat side of the duck far away from you. Cover the duck with a third of the stuffing and press it into an even layer.

Coat the chicken with the seasonings on both sides and place it on top of the duck. Fill it with the rest of the stuffing.

Thread the needle with the string. Fold the turkey together and starting as the tail end, and brign it closest to you, sew up the turkey. You can tighten the stitches, like tightening your shoe. Make sure that all open parts of the birds are completely sewn together.

Transfer the birds to a rack in a large roasting pan, sewn side down. Sprinkle the sin with olive oil, and the seasonings. Insert an ovenproof probe thermometer into the middle of the bird. Cover the bird with foil and roast in the oven for several hours.

Once the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, remove the foil and keep roasting until the bird reaches 160 degrees. Let the bird rest for 15 minutes, and carve and serve.

Gravy:
All of the bones from the turkey duck and chicken
1 package of fresh poultry herbs: sage, thyme and rosemary
olive oil
water
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
¼ – ½ cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Please all of the bones and herbs into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for two hours.

Transfer all of the bones to a large stockpot. Cover with water and boil for one hour. Remove all of the bones and herbs and refrigerate over night.

Skim the fat off of the top of the gravy and discard. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Taste the broth and adjust by adding more salt and pepper. Depending on the amount of liquid in the pot, mix more or less flour with water to form a smooth slurry.

Turn the heat down to medium low and whisk the slurry into the broth. Keep whisking until the mixture returns to a low boil. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Elixir of Health: Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Soup

This soup is magic. It cures colds, the flu and any sort of weird bug that is ailing you. I suspect it’s a mixture of good chicken enzymes and black pepper, but it cured my classmates in college when a really bad flu broke out. You can make it in advance and freeze it to have it on hand for when you might some down with something.

Vietnamese Rice Soup

½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup jasmine rice
1 cup chicken broth
water
bunch of scallions, chopped
salt and pepper
fried onion, optional

Place the chicken, rice and broth n a large pot. Cover with water to form a decent amount of broth. Heat the soup on medium high for at least 30 minutes. The chicken will be fully cooked and the rice will bloom. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Add the scallions, salt and pepper to taste and more water to the pot, lower the heat to low and simmer. Once the chicken is cool enough, tear it into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the pot. Fill a bowl and garnish with the fried onions to serve.

In Tough Times: Forage

Wall Street is in the toilet. Since I work in financial services I’m slightly worried about the long-term health of my career. In tough times we are supposed to cut back and give up on some of life’s luxuries. As I’m sure you have all guessed, food is my favorite thing, and I don’t plan to give up on the finer parts of eating anytime soon. Luckily I don’t need to pay a fortune for exotic wild mushrooms because my dad forages for them in the woods. Two years ago he actually found 80 pounds of Chanterelles. This season wasn’t as fruitful, but I still got a good 3 pounds out of his horde.

Chicken Stuffed with Chanterelles and Goat Cheese

2 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 pound chanterelles, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon cognac or bourbon
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless chicken breast
4 oz goat cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Sautee the onions and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper and sauté until caramelized. Add the cognac and cook until evaporated. Set the mushrooms aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pound the chicken breast until thin. Season them with salt and pepper on both sides and spread them with goat cheese. Divide the mushrooms between each breast and roll them up. Secure them with a toothpick.

Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken back into the pan and brown on one side. After 5 minutes, and one side is brown, carefully flip the chicken breasts.

Slide the pan in the oven and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until done.

Eating Whole Lemons

I was watching the food network and saw Tyler Florence make a similar chicken cacciatore. I was intrigued by his use of lemons in the sauce. They are an amazing addition. After reducing the sauce you don’t see the lemons anymore, however they surprise your mouth and create a fresh burst of flavor in every bight. Serve this with fresh Parmesan shavings over mashed potatoes or polenta.

Chicken Cacciatore

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper
garlic powder
flour
oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
16 oz crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
parsley
3 anchovies
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon sugar

Cut the chicken into thin cutlets. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Lightly dust the chicken with the flour so that it is all just coated. Knock off the excess. In a large non-stick pot, heat a layer of oil on medium high heat. Fry the chicken in batches so that it is brown on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate and wet aside.

Sautee the onion and garlic in the same pan and oil. Once the onions are browned and soft add in rest of the ingredients and stir. Simmer the sauce for at least one hour till it is reduced. When the sauce is a thick consistency and has a rich flavor, add back in the chicken and cook thoroughly.

Hearty American Classics

In the summer, I get the hankering to pretend its cold outside. I lock myself in the house, crank the air conditioning and eat fall comfort foods.

Roast Chicken with Dijon Broccoli Gratin

1 roasting chicken
olive oil
1 lemon
salt and pepper
garlic powder
Cajun seasoning
Parsley

1 small onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

½ cup light cream
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 pounds broccoli florets
Salt and pepper

Pre head the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken on a rack inside a roasting pan. Drizzle the chicken, in and out, with olive oil. Rub the oil in. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle the skin and cavity with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning and parsley. Stuff the cavity with the lemon. Place a thermometer in the chicken, set the temperate and cook until done.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the broccoli. Heat a large pot of salted water. Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium head. Add the onion and garlic and sauté the vegetables until the onions caramelize and turn brown. Turn off the heat and add in the crumbs, cheese, dried mustard, Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add in the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for about 5 minutes then drain. In a large casserole dish, mix the cream, cheese, mustard and salt and pepper. Add in the broccoli and toss to coat. Cover the broccoli with the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside until the chicken is finished cooking.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest on the counter. Put the broccoli in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. The broccoli will be heated through and the topping will brown.

Luxury, First Thing in the Morning

Ok I’m working my butt off. Non-stop papers, contract design work and of course my love of volunteering to make wedding invites. I’m over committed. But sometimes I have fleeting moments to catch my breath. Enjoying a gourmet breakfast, made in just a few seconds, is the best example. If you transfer the finished omelet to a nice place, garnish with a sprig of chives and fresh fruit, eating this in bed is just like a weekend at the Ritz.

Roasted Chicken and Goat Cheese Omelet

½ cup pulled roasted chicken (leftovers from a rotisserie chicken)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard soy mayo
½ tablespoon chopped chives (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons herbed goat cheese

In a microwave safe plastic bowl (I like to use those black rectangle take out container bottoms), heat the chicken in the microwave for 1 minute.

Add the eggs, mayo, chives and salt and pepper and beat with a fork, folding to coat each piece of chicken. Crumble the cheese over the top of the egg mixture. Microwave between 4 and minutes, oh high, checking to make sure that the center is set but not over cooked.

Easy and Lower Calorie Chicken Marsala

Normally I take the time to make Chicken Marsala. I slice the chicken breasts thin, dredge them in seasoned flower and pan-fry them to a golden brown. I then remove the chicken from the pan and sauté onions, garlic and mounds of mushrooms. After covering the veggies with chicken broth and some Marsala wine, I ad back in the chicken and cook it all down to a yummy think sauced and moist chicken masterpiece. However today is October 1st and I’m on a diet. That is right, no more high fatty meats, elaborate deserts and limited alcohol. Ugh. In addition school has started up again. So I have countless hours of reading to do. Couple that with 2-hour workouts at the gym and there is just no time. So today I tried a new way of making Chicken Marsala. In a large baking dish I placed chopped onions, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Toss that with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of Italian seasoning. Sprinkle 9 chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Nestle the breasts in the veggie mixture and fill the container up with chicken broth and some Marsala wine. Cover it all with foil, poke some holes for the steam, and throw it in a 350-degree oven. Hopefully it will emerge rich and moist!