Tag Archives: Chicken

Cooking Inspiration for the Month

8 Jan

During this reset season, the competition between the abstinence commitments made in December and the lingering desire for comforting food, especially when faced with frigid temperatures across the country, can be fierce. Maybe it’s best to ride somewhere in the middle so here are a few ideas.

Please share in the comments section below what you’ve tried and how it turned out.

Happy New Year!


The Perfect Make-Ahead Waffles from Marion Cunningham

We all have our idea of what makes the perfect waffle. In our family, these are it. Lighter than pancakes, they are slightly crispy on the outside but fluffy within. As a bonus, they’re quick to prep the night before and finish up in the morning. Try them served with butter and berries, either fresh or heated from the freezer.

Marion Cunningham Waffles


  • If you’re wanting to up the nutrition factor, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour for white.
  • A teaspoon of vanilla adds a nice flavor boost but is not necessary.
  • Don’t be surprised by the thin batter.
  • Any extras will freeze well for a toaster oven snack.


Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs from Cheeky Kitchen

Just in time for the Golden Globes this weekend or for the Superbowl on February 1st, these are a simple, sure hit. Ground turkey also works well.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs


Weeknight Porchetta from Bon Appétit 

To simplify this recipe, skip nestling the heads of garlic around the tenderloin.

Weeknight Porchetta

Spaghetti and Drop Meatballs with Tomato Sauce from Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman does it again with meatballs and sauce made easy in one pot.



Roasted Carrots with Honey, Sage and Garlic from Cannelle Et Vanille

Something healthy and light to go with that pork. Good with or without the yogurt.



Corn Muffins from Food 52

Great to serve alongside the Porchetta above or Butternut Squash Soup below and perfect with chili, these are a fun alternative to corn bread. I prefer the buttery flavor to the bacon fat called for in the recipe.
Corn Muffins


Butternut Squash Soup from Half Baked Harvest

If you haven’t discovered the blog Half Baked Harvest, it’s worth checking out. Tieghan took over cooking for her big family of nine in her mid-teens and hasn’t missed a beat since. Her creative, delicious recipes, excellent photography and youthful flare have brought her well-deserved success.

Below is a recipe inspired by her Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup. Next time, I’ll try her version, but for today, I lacked a few ingredients. Regardless, it was full of flavor.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Leeks


  • 4 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 small to medium)
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Leek, white portion only, or 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried Thyme, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Garlic clove, skin removed and crushed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 4 ounces Goat Cheese, softened

Optional Toppings: Plain Greek Yogurt or Goat Cheese and/or roughly chopped Cilantro and Pistachios


  1. To make peeling easier, cut off the bottom of the squash and put on a plate in the microwave for 3 minutes. Peel, remove seeds and cut into approximately 1-inch cubes.
  2. Add the coconut oil to a large soup pot set over medium heat.
  3. Once hot, add the leek or onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Add the cubed butternut squash, curry powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the garlic clove and stir for 10 seconds or so to meld the flavor but avoid scorching.
  7. Pour in the coconut milk and broth.
  8. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.
  9. Once the squash is tender, add the goat cheese (optional).
  10. Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup back to the stove and heat through.
  11. To serve, ladle the soup into bowl, topping with Greek yogurt or crumbled goat cheese and garnishing with chopped cilantro and/or pistachios.


Easy Weeknight Recipe: Chicken, Salsa and Mushroom Bake

4 Dec

Tis’ the season for easy recipes. The hardest part of this one is finding a suitable salsa. Many supermarkets carry it fresh in the refrigerator so if you can, avoid the jarred variety. If you find your only options are on the shelf, click the image below for the results of a taste test done by The Daily Meal.

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Food for Thought and Recipes for the Week

18 Jan

Below is a weekly food roundup, locally and beyond, of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend!

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Tomato and Chicken Galettes with Greens

10 Sep

Achieving success with combining the buttery, flaky delight of puff pastry with the juicy, flavorful tomato has eluded me for some time. Puff pastry doesn’t handle liquid too well and tomatoes in the summer are all about juice. Maybe the sun drieds would work, but I make an effort to avoid those jarred chewy bits as best I can. Also, this somewhat impressive effort seems to be a good one for entertaining but it doesn’t (*at least I thought) handle being made ahead too well and therefore necessitates some focus and fussing when socializing poses distraction. Continue reading

Simplest, Two Ingredient Juicy Baked Chicken

6 Aug

“Vacation” is a broad term. Just getting away from the home routine and consistent focus on must and should do’s is a welcome relief. But that doesn’t necessarily do away with all of a day’s responsibilities. Unless you’re on a super-pampered-class-one vacation, you still have to deal with planning and preparing food, sometimes with the added challenge of feeding a larger group. Fussy, step-intensive cooking, particularly in a rental kitchen, becomes laborious, especially if you want to make it an add-on to the day’s activities and not the main event. Continue reading

Grilled or Baked Herb Chicken with Green Aioli

3 Jul

If you’re looking for a great, easy option for entertaining this summer, this chicken is juicy, flavorful, and with the accompanying sauce, will not be viewed as same-old ordinary chicken.

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Salad with Warm Chicken, Bacon, Green Beans and Red Onion

3 May

It’s been really warm around here which makes cooking dinner a bit of a chore. Grilling is one easy option. Another is salad which to me seems more like an accompaniment to dinner to add some texture variation, not the main event. Or a choice if you’re on a diet. Maybe that’s because I have a traditional sense that dinner should be hot, even in mild weather.

But a while back I discovered the concept of mixing the hot ingredients with the cold. Then you’ve got a worthy meal. And here’s one of my current favorites.

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White Chicken Chili

4 Feb
White Chicken Chili with Pickled Red Onions and Avocado

White Chicken Chili with Pickled Red Onions and Avocado

Yesterday was the big game. San Francisco was hoping to add to the glory of the World Series win with another impressive title. Game viewing stirs up childhood east coast memories of settling in for an afternoon in front of the TV with Dad. It seemed that during the cold months, that was just the thing you should be doing. And food was always a part of it. On Sundays, it was a roast and the collapsible “TV Trays” would come out of the closet. Wonder what happened to those.

The indoors sports viewing experience is not quite the same here in California. The weather isn’t quite as conducive to shutting in for the day so we don’t gravitate to the guiltless pleasure as often, at least as a social occasion. Or if it rains, which can be surprisingly crippling in these parts. But for the build-up to the World Series and then again this 49ers season, these self-inflicted rules were relaxed for more than just me, no matter the weather. It’s been great.

Since a roast in the daytime just doesn’t feel right, chili won out. But this isn’t your ordinary red beef and bean variety which most of the time I can take or leave. The juicy chicken combined with the seasonings give it a great flavor which continues to develop if you want/need to make it in advance. And it’s convenient to have a blackout in the stadium to provide a break to heat it up and pull together a salad.

When we sat down on the couch to dig in, TV tray-less, I’m not sure if the elated response was chili joy or the two 49er touchdowns in just over two minutes with that blackout related play suspension at the Superdome somehow tipping things our way. Maybe a combination. Ultimately, it was a loss for our team. But I can’t help but think those Baltimore fans had the pure passion on their side.

To cook the chicken, you can easily roast whole, bone-in breasts, use boneless breasts cooked in a crock pot (need at least 4 hours) or buy a cooked rotisserie chicken. For the rest, it’s helpful to have a stocked spice drawer. Buy and label small containers and purchase spices in bulk at Whole Foods. With the exception of the onion, everything comes from the pantry.

For condiments, I serve sour cream, grated cheese (shredded Mexican mix or white cheddar), red salsa (see this page for two preferred local brands) and pickled red onions which I think adds a great flavor element.  And for the best chips, try Way Better Snacks.

Version 2

Salad, Carrots and Pickled Red Onion

To accompany the chili, serve a simple green salad with sliced almonds, avocado and spring onions (scallions or shallots would work well too). And this vinaigrette from Ina Garten is a great one.

Simple Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

Simple Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette


Prep: 15 Minutes  |  Cooking: 20 Minutes (additional time based on method of cooking chicken) | Serves: 4-6


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth, or more if chili too thick
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco, or other hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or ¼ teaspoon black pepper), or to taste
  • 2 4-ounce cans whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped
  • 1 can navy beans, or other small white bean (See note below)
  • 2-3 bone in chicken breasts with skin (about 2 pounds), cooked and cut into pieces (or one cooked rotisserie chicken)
  • Condiments – salsa, sour cream, cilantro, grated cheese and pickled red onions


  1. Up to two days ahead, roast chicken breasts.  See recipe here.
  2. In a 6- to 8-quart heavy saucepan or dutch oven, melt butter and cook onion over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add olive oil and flour and whisk constantly for 3 minutes.
  4. Add broth and milk and stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.
  5. Simmer, continuing to stir occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and white pepper.
  7. Add chilies, beans and chicken and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. If serving later, take off heat and leave on stove (if 1 or so hours) or refrigerate.  Slowly heat for approximately 20 minutes when ready to eat.

Note: If you prefer to use dried beans, in a large kettle soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches overnight. Drain beans in a colander and return to kettle with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cook beans at a bare simmer until tender, about 1 hour, and drain in colander.

Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey

5 Dec
Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey

The brine combines water, sugar,
kosher salt and herbs/spices

Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey

Add the pork and let sit in the refrigerator
for two to twenty four hours.

Brining has proven to be a great discovery.

Marinades and rubs have their place, but for a simple process that leads to incredibly flavorful and tender meat, brining is the answer.  It’s a simple technique that elevates your chicken or pork from so-so to great. Continue reading