Posts Tagged ‘chicken’
Fennel is one of those odd, underused vegetables in an everyday kitchen. It looks like celery, tastes like black licorice, and changes like a chameleon depending on how it’s cooked. But it’s a wonderfully versatile and healthy thing to work with – you just have to give it some time and love.
Incredibly high in vitamin C and fiber, fennel can be served crunchy raw, boiled, braised, baked, and everything in between. The cool thing is, once you bake it, the flavor can change dramatically from pungent and bitter, to sweet and aromatic. If you’re one of the many out there who dislikes its natural black licorice flavor, blanching and baking it is your road to fennel happiness, which you can follow below.
I saw this side dish of baked fennel with parmesan in the latest issue of Everyday Food, and immediately decided to make it. As I wandered around my grocery store trying to come up with something to serve it with, the idea of fennel = fennel seeds = sausage popped into my head. Since Italian sausage traditionally has fennel seeds in it, why not take a plain or non-Italian chicken sausage and bake it with this yummy fennel side dish to get that flavor profile, but in a much more elegant, muted way? Tender and velvety fennel with the rich and robust sausage, the dish is all-season friendly. Plus, the whole thing comes together in under 45 minutes, using only 2 pans, and could easily be served for a hearty lunch or light dinner.
Words cannot describe how much I love this stuff.
Back in August I was feeling a little on the sniffly, sore-throat, swollen-gland side, so naturally I wanted some soothing comfort food. I emailed my mom asking for her chicken noodle soup recipe I loved growing up, expecting it to be an easy, throw-together kind of recipe.
Oh how wrong I was.
I had no idea my mom’s (well, grandma’s) recipe entailed making your own stock, cooling it overnight, cooking more vegetables the next day, cooking the egg noodles, etc. For an average weekend this would be no big deal, but the idea of doing all that work feverish and sick was just a big no. So the email sat dormant, until I realized I would be cooking my favorite roast chicken and thus have the carcass to make stock (bing!). Since I usually eat a leg and a little breast when I roast a whole chicken, and then do whatever with the leftovers, it felt like the perfect opportunity to eat a bit of roast chicken, and then use the rest of the delicious meat (plus the carcass) to make the ultimate chicken noodle soup.
Some people would call the list of ingredients and recipe pretty pedestrian – but as the saying goes, simplicity is the sign of perfection. The flavor of the stock is superb, and cooking the vegetables separately the next day really adds a nice layer. Although my mom has always served egg noodles with her soup, you can really use any short pasta. Either way, this dish is simple, but time consuming – something I find in most soups I love.
This is a fitting bookend for the healthy spinach egg bake with the chocolate stout cupcakes in between. Going back and forth can be torture, but life is all about balance and like I say, it’s important to indulge on a diet (pretty regularly, in my opinion) but it’s also important to either stay on the horse or hop right back on the next day. So if you’ve been indulging in cupcakes or avoiding the gym due to this frigid (horrible) weather, try this and you’ll feel a little better.
I got this idea when I started to use prepared tzatziki sauce like crazy last year. In my daily diet, I try to be as clever as possible to find substitutions for fatty, awesome ingredients and this is one of my favorite finds. Tzatziki became my #1 replacement for mayonnaise on sandwiches, ranch dip for raw veggies, bases for creamy salad dressings, etc, mostly because it has very little fat thanks to Greek yogurt, and only has 35 calories per 2 tablespoons.
So when I got a hankering for thick, indulgent, creamy chicken salad last summer, a lightbulb went off and I simply used tzatziki with a dab of low-fat sour cream instead of awesome fatty mayo. In comparison, my combo has 80 calories while 5 tablespoons of full-fat mayo has 500. And low-fat has 250. Ha! Beat that! The other ingredients in my chicken salad are pretty classic. I love sweet grapes and crunchy celery and that’s pretty much it. I’m not a huge fan of nuts in my salad, but feel free to add them. Don’t forget the average ½ cup of nuts has almost 400 calories – so don’t toss them in with a heavy hand!
Seedless and sliced.
One of the things I miss most about living near my family is Sunday dinner. When I was living at home, it was always something I looked forward to, and it was my weekly chance to show off a little and make something extra scrumptious and more time-consuming than any other weeknight meal.
This is one of the most thumbed, stained recipes in my Ina Garten cookbook, and for good reason. It’s a really simple dish – just the classic pan-fried pounded chicken with lemon-butter sauce. I just love a lemon beurre blanc and Ina’s is so fantastic, I don’t change much and it’s one of the easiest ways to learn how to work with acid and butter.
One of the other great things about the recipe is that it halves or multiplies very easily, so you can make this for 2 or 4 or 8 easily every time. I like serving a nice pasta tossed simply with good olive oil and herbs on the side, but you can also serve rice or just a fresh salad too.
It seems fitting that a week long drought of posts would be quenched with something labeled “quick” since it reflects why there was a drought at all. Work has been taking it all out of me this week and the last thing I felt like doing upon dragging my feet through my apartment door was cooking, so thus the drought. I have something extra-super-special I’m making this weekend that I’ve been looking forward to for months (which will be posted Monday) but for now, I whipped this together tonight and it was scrumptious.
My dad messaged me this afternoon asking what he should do with a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts since my mother is away at her 40th high school reunion in Milwaukee. Being a man who will happily eat frozen pot pies and canned peaches every night, I began suggesting the easy recipe below and realized just how tasty it sounded to me. So I went ahead and made it for myself, determined to post something new before my epic post Monday. And here it is.