Tag Archives: chicken

One for the Grill: Chicken Parmesan Burgers

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My husband handles the grill, but I handle the menu.  So when I came across the pin for chicken parmesan burgers from Annie’s Eats, I knew it would be a great idea for burger night.

I don’t know what it is about ground chicken burgers, but I like them much more than ground turkey burgers.  I kept the basic form of this recipe from the source at Annie’s Eats, but I added some of my own twists to it.

Chicken Parmesan Burgers:

(Makes 4 burgers)

I mixed the chicken through the olive oil together in my kitchen aid, and then divided it into 4 patties.  As you form your patties, squeeze them firmly to get out all of the air pockets.  I took Annie’s advice, and refrigerated the patties (for about an hour) before grilling.

1 lb. ground chicken

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp. Italian Parsley

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp. onion powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp. olive oil

6 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce

4 Kaiser rolls

We kept them on the grill until the internal temperature was 170 degrees.  As my husband watched the grill, I sauteed sliced baby portabella mushrooms in butter.  We topped them with shredded mozzarella cheese, the mushrooms, and Trader Joe’s pizza sauce.  My husband and Christopher had theirs on kaiser rolls.  I had mine on a bed of baby spinach (it makes this dish a little lower in carbohydrates), and His Majesty had his patty and toppings cut up in smaller chunks.

They were delicious.  We can’t wait to make these again.  If you want them a little spicier, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the burger mixture, but honestly, it was delicious like this.  And, it’s a twist on the traditional burger night.

We’re always looking for new burger recipes around here.  Do you have any favorites that you can share?

Tuscan Chicken Stew: The Perfect Autumn Dish

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Right now, if you’re like me, you’re buried in Thanksgiving leftovers.  There will be days of turkey casserole and turkey sandwiches ahead in our house, with sides of sweet potato souffle and whatever veggies can stand to be rewarmed–again.  And when we’ve finally eaten all of the leftovers, a dish like Tuscan Chicken Stew will be perfect reintroduce our palate to non-Thanksgiving food.

As an Italian, I am not quite sure what is “Tuscan” about this stew.  Tuscany is known for Chianti, which isn’t an ingredient in this dish, and there are no olives in it either, which, in my experience, tends to be the deciding factor when a chain restaurant throws the Tuscan label on a dish.  Regardless of my feelings of uncertainty regarding the naming of this dish, I feel comfortable recommending this stew.  The first time that I made it, a few weeks ago, I followed the pin and used this recipe from food.com.  We enjoyed it, but I felt it needed “something”.  So, I made it again, and added a few things.  What a difference a few ingredients made!  Here’s how you make it with my twists.

Start off sautéing some boneless skinless chicken thighs in hot olive oil.  When they are browned, remove them from the pan and reserve them for later.

Then add your onions, peppers, and a some cut spinach (I wish I’d had more leftover, because I just love to throw spinach in anything that I can) to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions and peppers are softened.

Add your garlic. I used 4 cloves, double what the original recipe called for, because garlic rocks.  I buy it pre minced, because it’s easier than cutting it up every time, and we use it so quickly that it doesn’t seem to lose quality.

Then return the chicken to the pot and add 3 cans of stewed tomatoes (juice and all), white wine, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the pepper mixture, simmering everything together on low heat.

I stirred it every few minutes, and breathed in all of its yumminess. The stirring also helped to break up the pieces of chicken, so that they are more bite sized.  They literally just fall apart, no cutting required.

After about 30 minutes, add your rinsed and drained kidney and cannellini beans, one can of each, and continue simmering for about 5 minutes, allowing the beans to heat through.

Check this stuff out.  Hons, my mouth is watering looking at these pictures.

Spoon it out into bowls and top it with shredded parmesan.  The powdery stuff won’t have the same ooey, gooey effect.

I also served it with big chunks of crusty Italian bread.  My guys love this stuff.  It’s got just enough spice to make it flavorful.

So, here’s the full recipe:

Ingredients

1.  8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2. 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

3. 1 thinly sliced yellow onion

4. 2 thinly sliced bell peppers (green will do, but yellow and red add a sweeter flavor)

5. 1 1/2 cup diced spinach leaves

5.  4 cloves of garlic, minced

6. 3 (14.5 ounce) cans of stewed or diced tomatoes UNDRAINED

7.  2/3 cup dry white wine

8.  1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 large fresh oregano sprig, chopped.

9.  1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

10.  1 (14.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

11.  1 (14.5 ounce) can red or pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed

12. Shredded parmesan to top

Directions: 

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick, pot. Be sure it’s a big pot, you’ve got a lot of ingredients to fit into it. Saute chicken thighs until brown. Remove chicken from the pan and reserve.
  2. Add the onions, peppers, and spinach to the pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Add minced garlic.
  3. Return chicken to the pot. Add canned tomatoes with their juice, wine, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the onions and peppers. Simmer 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add rinsed and drained beans to the pan, and simmer another 5 minutes until heated through.
  5. Top individual servings with parmesan cheese.
I hope you give Tuscan Chicken Stew a try.  And if you do, come back and let me know how it went over in your house.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Baked Buffalo Wings

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Did the thought of baked buffalo wings just freak you out? Don’t be scared, trust me.  They actually turned out really well, except for the fact that the frozen wings I used were more in line with the size of the wings on a house finch.  Next time I’m either sticking to using drumsticks, or I’m going to our local meat market and picking up some of their generously sized fresh wings.  Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.  My point is, don’t be scared off by the fact that these are not fried, even though I admit, the thought of baked wings made me gag a little bit at first.  Thankfully, the 2 hours of work that it took to make these was not a waste, and we all cleared our plates without complaint.

You can see the original recipe here, from A Chef’s Daughter.  The ingredients are simple.  Aside from the obvious chicken pieces, you’ll need the following.  Nothing fancy.

Minced garlic, hot sauce, butter, and salt

You boil some water, and then pop your chicken wings or drummies in a steamer basket and steam them for about 10 minutes.

I did mine in two batches, since I made 3 lbs of chicken and they would have been way too crowded if I tried to save a few minutes and do them all in one round.

The recipe tells you to dry the wings off and cool them in the fridge on a cooling rack placed over a paper towel lined baking sheet.  I had a lot of wings, and only one tiny cooling rack, so that was a no go.  Instead, I sat them in a colander for a few minutes to drain off most of the water and juices, pat them dry with paper towel, and then lay them on baking sheets lined with more paper towel,before I popped them in the fridge.

Steamed wings, ready for cooling.

They’ll be in the fridge for an hour.  That’s the time killer there, the hour of cooling time.  It ended up not being a big deal on this particular day, though. I just went ahead and baked some fries and made a few salads during the time I was waiting.  I wouldn’t want to commit to such a lengthy prep on a day when we had a full schedule, though.

In the last 10 minutes of your cooling hour, preheat the oven to 425. When your wings have been cooling for an hour, take them out of the fridge and remove them from the cooling rack/paper towel/whatever, and place them back on your baking sheet, this time on some freshly placed parchment paper.

Teeny, tiny chicken wings.

Then bake them for 40 minutes in your preheated oven.  A commenter on the original recipe mentioned that they adjusted their oven temp to 435, to be sure that their meaty cuts of chicken would be fully cooked. There’s a 40 minute cook time in the original recipe, which for my shrimpy chicken pieces, was definitely adequate.  However, when I make these again with normal sized chicken wings, instead of wings more appropriate for  serving in the Barbie Dream Kitchen, I’ll probably cut into one  and assess it before I remove them all from the oven. I struggle to use a meat thermometer appropriately with such bony pieces, but if you’re more graceful in the kitchen than I am, aim for 165 degrees F.

Then you want to melt your butter, salt, and garlic in the microwave.

Melt your butter/salt/garlic combo a few seconds at a time, and stir it up well.

Add your 1/2 cup of hot sauce and mix it all together.

Use a good sized bowl, so that you can easily mix your chicken in the sauce.

When your chicken is done baking, they’ll look something like this.  Only, hopefully, they’ll be a bit more generously sized.

Take a few pieces, and toss them into the buffalo sauce.

Mix the chicken pieces in the sauce until they are evenly coated.

This made more than enough sauce to coat all of our teeny tiny chicken pieces, and the sauce was good.  Really good.  Like, eat the extra with a spoon (or just eat it with your fingers, ’cause they’re messy when you eat wings anyway) good. Or just dip your wings in even more sauce as you go.  It’s too good to waste.

Eat up!

The wings were crispy, just like if they had been fried, but they were also less greasy, and I would say on right on par with taste.  It could be the 3 tablespoons of butter, or the fact that we dip ours in the miracle dip, ranch dressing.  But in any case, they were good, and we’ll make them again.  My compliments to A Chef’s Daughter!

But next time, we’ll find bigger pieces of chicken!

Have you made a recipe that you originally doubted, only to be pleasantly surprised?  Do tell…