Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage-Apple Chicken Meatballs in a Spinach Vermouth Sauce

12265847_779290548826_2173721953493967764_oPumpkin Gnocchi with Sage-Apple Chicken Meatballs
in a Spinach Vermouth Sauce

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Gnocchi
2 Russet Potatoes, skinned, cubed
1 cup prepared Pumpkin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1 – 2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 Egg

Sage Apple Chicken Meatballs
1 lb Ground Chicken
1/2 cup Sage, finely chopped
1/2 Vidalia Onion, minced
1/2 Granny Smith Onion, skinned & minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper, coarsely ground
1 Egg
Olive Oil for cooking

Spinach Vermouth Sauce
6 cups Baby Spinach
1/2 Vidalia Onion, Sliced
1/2 Granny Smith Apple, sliced
1/4 cup Vermouth
2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/8 tsp Oregano
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper

Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  • Prepare the Gnocchi: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and boil the potatoes until fork tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash in a large bowl.
  • Incorporate the Pumpkin pulp, Spices, & Egg.
  • Start incorporating the Flour into the mixture. You may not use all the flour, or you may need more. What you are looking for is a dough forming that you can handle, and roll. It should be cohesive to itself, but not sticky.
  • Divide the dough into six parts.
  • On a floured surface, start rolling each part into a rope, about 1/2″-1″ thick in diameter.
  • Start cutting into 1/2″-1″ pieces. Think little pillows for the shape. You do not want to saw, you want to come down with your knife.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough. Set to the side.
  • Prepare the Meatballs: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands.
  • Form into 1 1/2″ balls.
  • Heat the Olive Oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the balls to the oil, but do not over crowd them.
  • Let the balls cook a minute and then roll them to a raw side. Repeat until all sides are cooked. Let cook an additional minute so that they cook through. Remove to a plate and repeat until all meatballs are completed.
  • Cook the Gnocchi: Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  • Add all the Gnocchi. They will sink.
  • As the Gnocchi start to float, they are done, and can be ladled out.
  • Prepare the Sauce: Using the skillet that was used to cook the meatballs, deglaze with the Vermouth, and add the Butter.
  • Add the Onions and Apples, and cook till tender.
  • Add the Oregano and Crushed Red Pepper.
  • Toss in the Spinach until it wilts.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Add the Gnocchi and Meatballs and toss well.
  • Plate and garnish with shaved Parmesan.

Serves 6.

NOTES: Gnocchi are simple to make for scratch. I’ve seen many recipes that exclude the use of Potatoes, but in my opinion, it is the Potato that makes the Gnocchi.
This dish was inspired by a recipe that I found through a cooking club, but I decided to improve upon it and make it in my own way.

Campfire Chicken Pouches

Dedicated to the men formerly of BSA Troops 354 and 747 of the Yellow River District in the Atlanta Area Council.

Campfire Chicken Pouches

Ingredients
2 Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skinless
2 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
1 small Yellow Onion, diced (Vidalia ideally)
1 1/2 dozen Table Mushrooms, quartered
1 yellow Bell Pepper, diced
6 cloves Garlic, slivered
1 Corn on the Cob, cut in half
4 Sprigs of Rosemary
4 Tbsp Butter, divided in sixteen pieces
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1/4 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
1/4 tsp dried Oregano, crushed
Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare Coals or Preheat Oven to 350F. If you have the luxury to be camping and cooking over a fire, you’ll want to create an area of charred wood–like a bed of coals. You could also use charcoal in a grill. You should know that on open fires, it is difficult to gauge the temperature–so be vigilant and have tongs ready to move your goods.
  • Cut four pieces of Aluminum Foil AT LEAST 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet. I recommend getting the extra-wide Aluminum Foil and cutting 4 squares.
  • Season the Chicken pieces with Salt and Pepper.
  • On two of the sheets of Aluminum foil, place on each: one Thigh, one Breast, one half of the Corn.
  • Mix the Mushrooms, Peppers, Butter, and Spices together and divide among the two Squares, keeping everything in the center in a mound.
  • Put a Sprig of Rosemary in each.
  • For each pouch, carefully pull two sides together and fold the seam together. Then fold and roll each side remaining. I recommend then placing in a second piece of Aluminum foil and repeating – helps prevent spillage and tares.
  • Roast for about an hour, making sure to heat evenly. If using an oven, place the Pouches on a baking sheet.

Makes 2 pouches (2 servings)

NOTES: So this takes me back to when I was a Boy Scout in troops 354 and 747 in Conyers. We used to make some variation of this on a camping trip–usually with skin-on chicken and a bag of mixed veggies. Sometimes we would add fresh veggies and potatoes, and rarely any herbs or spices outside of Seasoned Salt. This is my version with real Spices, fresh Rosemary, and Mushrooms instead of Potatoes. The vegetables you choose to use are up to you, and limited only by how many they fit inside a pouch. If you use Potatoes, I would suggest adding more salt and pepper.

It is memories of the times like camping that really stand out to me. Looking back, most of my friends from my later troop are very distant now–probably because we’ve moved on geographically, but also because they’re much more conservative than I am–me being gay probably doesn’t help as a result. Regardless, I dedicate this to those folks.

Orange and Fennel Turkey Breasts

Orange and Fennel Turkey Breasts

Ingredients:
2 Turkey Breasts, boneless, & butterfly cut
2 Fennel Bulbs, thinly sliced perpendicular
2 Shallots thinly sliced
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Turkey Stock (or Chicken Stock)
2 Seedless Oranges segment cut
1/4 cup Raisins
2 Tbsp Capers
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Orange Zest
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Dust the Turkey Breasts with the Cumin, and Salt and Pepper as needed.
  • Heat up a large skillet on medium heat and add the Olive Oil.
  • Saute the Turkey Breasts on both sides, about 3-5 minutes each (depending on thickness) until cooked through and starting to brown. Remove to the side
  • In the Skillet add the Fennel and Onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender.
  • Add the Stock, Orange Juice, and Raisins, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Orange segments and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring often but trying not to break up the segments.
  • Plate the Turkey and cover with the Fennel Orange topping.
  • Garnish with fresh Parsley, Capers, and Orange Zest.

Makes 2-4 servings (depending on the size of the breasts).

NOTES: I tend to use Naval Oranges for this recipe. In fact if you get two Naval Oranges for segments, and then another 2 for the Juice, it is amazing! Use fresh Zest from the Oranges, not the store-bought kind.

Pan-Seared Duck in a Gingered Cherry Glaze with Fried Sage

Pan-Seared Duck in a Gingered Cherry Glaze with Fried Sage

Ingredients:
2 1lb Duck Breasts, with Fat
Salt and Pepper to taste
8-12 fresh Sage Leaves
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Cherry Juice
3 oz Kirschwasser
1 tsp Ginger Powder
1 Tbsp Butter

Directions:

  • Score the fat of each Duck Breast, crisscross.
  • Sprinkle liberally with Salt and Pepper
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat, and place the Breasts fat-side down in the Skillet.
  • Cook for 7-8 minutes, rendering the fat.
  • Flip the Breasts, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-12 minutes or until Medium Rare.
  • Remove from the pan.
  • In the hot duck fat, place the Sage leaves, and fry for 1-2 minutes, until crisp. Remove to papertowel.
  • Remove the excess fat. You can save it for use in other dishes.
  • On medium heat, deglaze the Skillet with the Kirschwasser and Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Add the Honey, Cherry Juice, and Ginger.
  • Cook for 2 minutes until bubbly, then melt the Butter into the Sauce.
  • Take the Duck Breasts and return them to the Skillet, turning them over in the Sauce to coat.
  • Plate the Duck.
  • Slice the Duck then drizzle some Sauce over the Duck.
  • Garnish with the fried Sage.

Makes 2-4 Servings…each breast is 16 oz, and would make each a very hearty portion. Depending on serving sizes, you could feed up to four people.

NOTES: Duck is a lost poultry to most people. This is probably one of the simplest meals for Duck and it packs an amazing flavorful taste. The Gingered Cherry Sauce compliments the bold flavor of the Duck Breast. The Sage gives an aromatic crispy edible garnish. I would recommend this dish during Christmas, especially a romantic Christmas dinner for two.

Turkey Cutlets with Roasted Apples and Onions

Ingredients
2 Turkey Breasts, skinless, boneless, butterfly cut
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, miced
2 large Apples (Fuji), medium sliced
2 Tbsp fresh Sage, chopped fine
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Allspice
2 tsp Ginger
1 cup Apple Cider

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 350°F.
  • Pour the Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven, and coat the bottom well.
  • Place the Turkey Breasts in a Dutch Oven.
  • Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.
  • Cover with Sage, Apples, Garlic, and Onions.
  • Pour the Apple Cider over everything.
  • Sprinkle with remaining Spices.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, covered.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: This dish could not be simpler or more healthy. The turkey breast marinates in the onions, apples, and cider making it moist and flavorful. This is one of my favorite one-pot dishes for Autumn.

Curried Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Curried Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
1 lb ground Turkey
4 Bell Peppers, large
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Shallots, minced
3 Jalapeno Peppers, minced
1-2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
1 Tbsp Chives
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
2 tsp Salt
1 cup Chickpeas
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
Water for Baking
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt for garnish
Paprika for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat the Oven to 375°F
  • Fill a baking dish with water, 1 inch deep. The baking dish should ideally be able to be covered with a lid, and large enough to hold the Peppers.
  • Remove the top of the Peppers and all the inside seeds.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well by hand.
  • Divide the stuffing into the Peppers, and place them in the baking dish with the topside up.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Top with the Yogurt and sprinkle with the Paprika.

Makes 4 Peppers.

NOTES: This is a super simple but flavorful dish. Do not forget the Salt–it is important for bringing out the flavors. My first batch, I left it out and so it was hot but not flavorful–bland even with the Chickpeas. You can also add some seasoning to the Yogurt if you like–it acts as a cooling effect if the Jalapenos prove too spicy. This is an original recipe–inspired by Indian flavors. I hope you enjoy.

Sesame-Crusted Chicken with an Apricot Ginger Sauce

Sesame-Crusted Chicken with an Apricot Ginger Sauce

Ingredients:
2 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, butterfly-cut
1-2 cups All-Purpose Flour (for dredging)
1 Egg, beaten (for dredging)
1 Tbsp Water (for dredging)
1 Tbsp Honey (for dredging)
1 cup Sesame Seeds (for dredging)
Salt and Pepper for seasoning the Chicken
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Sauce:
1 cup dried Apricots, diced fine
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, julienne cut
1 cup Peach Schnapps
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Salt
Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the Apricots in the Peach Schnapps for 1/2 an hour.
  • Set up dredging stations: 1 tray with Flour; 1 tray with Egg, Water, and Honey; and one tray for Sesame Seeds. Do not put all the Sesame Seeds in the tray, as you can always add more, but after you’ve dredged, can’t use the left overs.
  • Pat the Chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, and season with Salt and Pepper.
  • Dredge the Chicken in the Flour on both sides; then the Egg mixture on both sides; and finally the Sesame Seeds. Set to the side.
  • Turn the Oven on to 200F, and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over the pan. Set to the side.
  • Heat the Olive Oil in a skillet, and brown the Chicken on both sides. Place the Chicken breasts on the cooling rack, and then in the Oven to keep warm.
  • In a Sauce Pan, melt 6 Tbsp of Butter.
  • Add the Garlic and Spices, and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the Schnapps-soaked Peaches (liquid and all) to the Pot, and stir well. Heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Plate the Chicken and cover in the Apricot Ginger Sauce.

Makes 4 Servings.

NOTES: This is a recipe I came up with to appease Michael–he loves Apricots. I’m not really a big fan, though from time to time I will eat one. It has a sort of Asian feel to it, though I personally see it as more of a Middle-Eastern flavor. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Ingredients:
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, butterfly cut
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/2 – 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Blackened Seasoning
2 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed
3/4 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 Tsp White Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Thyme dried
1/2 tsp Oregano dried
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds dried

Grilled Fruit
1 Papaya, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1 Pineapple, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 Mangoes, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Prepare the Fruit and place on Skewers.
  • Brush with Olive Oil.
  • Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and Cinnamon.
  • Place on a hot grill or in the Broiler for 5 minutes per side. Set to the side, or cook while you prepare the Chicken.
  • Put all of the Ingredients of the Blackened Spice Rub in a Mortar and rub with the Pestle to mix well and open up some of the spices and herbs. Place to the side.
  • Begin heating a cast-iron skillet on high with the Olive Oil. You do not need to use all of it, just enough to coat the skillet. You do not want a puddle of oil.
  • Dredge the Chicken in the melted Butter, and then coat with the Spice Rub on all sides.
  • Place in the Skillet, and cook both sides. They will blacken because of the Butter and herbs. Each side should be about 5 minutes. Because the Chicken was butterfly cut, it will cook all the way through.
  • Plate the Chicken and cover with the Grilled Fruit (on or off the skewers, your choice).

Makes 3 Servings.

NOTES: Blackening is a technique of cooking often associated with Cajun cooking. I have read some places that attribute it however to a modern chef named Paul Prudhomme (who specializes in Cajun cooking). Whether an old technique, or a modern one, it extremely flavorful. I recommend playing with the amounts of spices–some like it hot, some don’t like it as hot–but Blackened is intended to be Spicy. If you are wanting to cheat, pick up some Hot Shot instead of the various types of Peppercorns, but do not skimp on the flavors. A lot of folks seem to want to avoid using Butter in the recipe–it is essential for true Blackened food, as the milk solids are part of the Blackening process. If you want a spicy chicken on the grill with the rub, great, but it’s not truly Blackened… just spicy ;-).  

Also, just a note, this Blackened Spice Rub can be used on Fish (it’s original intention), as well as other forms of protein.

Almaunde Gingyuer Sawse for Capouns Ysode – Chicken in an Almond-Ginger Sauce

Almaund Gingyeur Sawse for Capouns Ysode

Ingredients:
1 Roasting Hen
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 head garlic/top removed.

Bouquet Garni:
2 Bay Leaves
2 Sprigs Rosemary
2-4 Sprigs Parsley

Sauce:
1 cup Almonds, raw or blanched (preferably)
1/2 cup Ginger, diced
3 Tbsp Butter
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup White Wine
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Corn Starch

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Wash Chicken inside and out, and wipe dry.
  • Stuff the Bouquet Garni and Garlic Head into the Chicken.
  • Truss and tie the legs together.
  • Sprinkle Chicken with Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Roast the Chicken, uncovered, breast side up. Baste it occasionally–the more you baste, the juicier the meat. You should allow 30 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer placed in the breast reads 160°F. Be sure not to be touching a bone with the probe.
  • Using a food processor, combine all ingredients of the Sauce.
  • Pulse until the Sauce is smooth
  • On a low heat, cook in a Sauce Pot until a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  • Carve the Chicken and plate.
  • The Sauce may be poured over the Chicken, or used for dipping.

Makes 1 Roasting Hen, (2-4 servings, depending on size).

NOTES: This recipe is one that I came up with reading Medieval English recipes. It is really a hybrid of two recipes, Sawce Gingyeur and Sawce Blaunche for Capons Ysode. Both recipes are below in the original Middle English. The sauce came as an inspiration also from reading the ingredients purchased by a King of France while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London–his “court” served roast chicken and lamb covered in a Ginger and Almond sauce. Unfortunately, that mere reference was not enough for a recipe–so I compared it to what recipes were available to me and came up with this sauce. For the choices of ingredients, I wanted to use fresh Ginger, as that was what was used by imprisoned king’s chef.  I added a few spices that would be commonly used at the time, and substituted cornstarch for the process of straining vinegar-soaked bread for thickening.  Also, as it is not common to find verijuice, I used a combination of White Wine Vinegar and White Wine.  Finally, I did add Butter and Chicken Stock to add a smooth and rich texture and flavor.  Though this may not be a word-for-word rendition of a recorded Medieval recipe, I do feel it is in the style and spirit of one.

Sawce Gingyeur
Take white brede, stepe it with vynegre, and draw it .ij. or .iij. tymes thurgh a straynour; and thanne put ther-to poudre gingere, and serue forthe.

–from Ashmole MS 1439

Sawce Blaunche for Capouns Ysode
Take almaundes blaunched and grynde hem al to doust; temper hit vp with verious and powdour of gyngyuer, and messe it forth.

–from 140. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century

Paella de Quinua – Quinoa Paella with Chicken and Shrimp

Paella de Quinua

Ingredients:
1 lb Shrimp, shelled, de-veined
6 Chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
2 Jalapeños, minced
5 cloves Garlic, cut in slivers
2 Chorizo links, diced
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Saffron
2 tsp fresh Thyme
1 tsp fresh Rosemary, chopped fine
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cups Albariño or other white wine
2 cups Quinoa
1 Tbsp Capers
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • In a large skillet or (if you have one) paellera, heat up the Olive Oil on medium heat.
  • Liberally coat the chicken in Salt and Pepper and place into the hot oil. Cook both sides until golden. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the Onion, Peppers, Garlic, Shrimp, Chorizo, Herbs, Spices, and Tomato Paste to the pan. Stir well and cook till the Shrimp turn bright pink.
  • Add the Wine, Chicken Broth, Quinoa, and Capers. Reduce heat to low. Add the Chicken pieces back to the pan.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until the Quinoa is finished cooking, adding water if needed. Quinoa forms a translucent outer casing when it is cooked well. Covering will help increase the cooking speed.
  • When the liquid has dissolved and the Quinoa has finished cooking, remove from the heat and toss in the Cilantro and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: Paella is a traditional Valencian rice dish often with various types of seafood and or meat. Paprika, Saffron, and Chorizo are common ingredients added to the rice for flavor. Quinoa, is a grain from the Andes in South America. It has a similar consistency to Couscous, and can be used in many dishes in place of rice–though it is not a long grain. I thought it would be fun to try Paella with Quinoa–something I am sure is not a new idea, but not one I have seen that often. I chose Chicken and Shrimp, however you can add Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and/or Pork tenderloin to make it your own.

Mango-Glazed Chicken

Mango-Glazed Chicken

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, butterfly cut
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp ground Coriander
2 tsp fresh Ginger, minced
1 Mango, diced
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Mango Puree
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Scallion, diced

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  • Place the Chicken cutlets on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and dust with the Crushed Red Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Coriander, and Salt. Drizzle with Olive Oil
  • Place in the oven for 15 minutes, turning after 7 minutes.
  • While the Chicken is cooking, in a non-stick sauce pan, add the Mango, Ginger, Honey, Mango Puree, Allspice and Butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and let it reduce to a jelly consistency, about 7 minutes.
  • After the Chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, remove, and cover with the Mango glaze.
  • Return the Chicken to the Oven and increase to 400°F and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Plate and garnish with the Scallion.

Makes 3 servings.

NOTES: My Michael loves Chicken, so I am always trying to get some new ideas on what to do with Chicken. This one came to me this afternoon, and he loved it! Thus, I thought I’d share it with everyone else.

Poulet et Ventrèche Dijon au Gratin

Ingredients
6 boneless Chicken thighs
4 oz Ventrèche or Pancetta, thin sliced
2 Portabello Mushrooms, chopped
8 oz Provolone, sliced
4-6 cloves Garlic, sliced
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Basil, fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  • Spread the Dijon mustard on the Chicken thighs and place them in a dutch oven.
  • Add the Portabellos, Garlic, Herbs, and Pepper.
  • Cover with a layer of the Ventrèche.
  • Cover with a layer of Provolone.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Makes 3 servings.

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Ingredients:
2 Cornish Hens
2 small Oranges (Clementine or Mandarin are fine)
5 cloves Garlic, sliced length-wise in half
1 cup Greek-Style yogurt
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Cilantro, dried
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Orange Zest

Directions:

  • Slice 1 Orange in half. Leave the other Orange alone for now.
  • Divide the Garlic between the two Orange halves, and poke them into the flesh of the Orange. You should have five slivers of Garlic per Orange half.
  • Place each Garlic-studded Orange into a Cornish Hen, garlic-side down.
  • In a small bowl combine the Yogurt, Spices, Herbs, Seasonings, and Zest, and mix well.
  • In a large bowl or pan, cover the Hens with the Yogurt mixture. Make sure to get the bottom of the Hens. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F
  • Place the marinated hens in a shallow baking dish, and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, then increase heat to 500°F for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Slice the remaining Orange into rounds (1/8″ thick) and use as a bed for the Hens to set upon for serving.
  • Remove the Hens and place on the Orange bed.

Makes 2 Servings.

NOTES: You can increase the spices to give it a kick, or add some crushed red pepper. This dish was one of those happy accidents–I wanted something with some flavor, some citrus, and Cornish hens were on sale. I was so pleased with the turn out I had to share it. If I were to assign an ethnicity to the food, I’d probably say it is reminiscent of a Tandoori-style chicken in Indian cuisine. A true Tandoori would use a Marsala spice mixture (which does include cayenne pepper). Additionally, tandoori chicken is cooked in a clay oven called a Tandoor.

Scaloppine di Pollo al Vino Bianco con Limone e Crema – Chicken Scaloppine

Ingredients:
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (for coating)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp dried Oregano
1/4 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp dried Rosemary
4 Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, butterfly cut and pounded about 1/4″ thick
4 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Dry White Wine (Pinot Grigio)
1/8 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Heavy Cream

  • Season the Chicken with Salt and Pepper on both sides
  • Dredge the Chicken in the Flour and set to the side
  • In a large skillet, brown each piece of chicken on both sides in the Olive Oil. When each piece is browned, remove from the skillet and place on a cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest setting, just to keep it warm.
  • Add the Garlic, Herbs, Lemon Juice and White Wine to the Skillet and de-glaze. (watch as it may flame up…not bad, just be careful!).
  • Add the Heavy Cream and Butter and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly so to not burn.
  • Place the Chicken on Serving platter and cover with the Lemon, Wine and Cream sauce

NOTES: An easy way to pound the chicken flat is to place it between two sheets of cellophane with a little bit of olive oil. Take the back of a skillet and pound flat (or use a meat mallet if too heavy).

Variations:
Chicken Marsala – similar with Marsala wine, Mushrooms, and Prosciutto; no Heavy Cream.
Chicken Francaise – similar with breaded Chicken and Lemon slices, no Heavy Cream.
Chicken Picatta – similar with caper lemon sauce; no Heavy Cream.

Scaloppine di Pollo al Vino Bianco con Limone – Chicken Francaise

Chicken Francaise

Ingredients:
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (for coating)
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (for coating)
2 Eggs (for coating)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
4 Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, butterfly cut and pounded about 1/4″ thick
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Butter
3 clove Garlic, thinly sliced vertically
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1 tsp Corn Starch
Juice of 2 Lemons
1 Lemon, thinly sliced horizontally
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine

Directions:

  • Set up a dredging station using three pie pans. In one pan put the Flour, in the next the Eggs (beaten with a little water), in the next the Bread Crumbs and dried Herbs.
  • Season the Chicken with Salt and Pepper on both sides
  • Dredge the chicken in the Flour, then the Eggs, then the Bread Crumbs and set to the side
  • In a large skillet, brown each piece of chicken on both sides in the Olive Oil. When each piece is browned, remove from the skillet and place on a cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest setting, just to keep it warm.
  • Remove the Oil, and wipe it clean.
  • Heat the Butter on-low medium heat
  • In a small bowl combine Broth and Corn Starch, whipping until there are no lumps.
  • Add the Garlic, Wine, Broth, Lemon Juice, and Lemon Slices to the pan.
  • Simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly so to not burn about 5 mins.
  • Place the Chicken on Serving platter and cover with the Lemon Slices and Wine Sauce and garnish with the Parsley

NOTES: I have tried to find a definitive answer as to whether or not this dish is French or Italian–since one usually sees it in Italian restaurants in America.  No one including the infamous Wikipedia seem to agree.  I would guess is that it is an Italian-American dish that is influenced by the French style of cooking with Wine and Butter.

An easy way to pound the chicken flat is to place it between two sheets of cellophane with a little bit of olive oil. Take the back of a skillet and pound flat (or use a meat mallet if too heavy).

Variations:
Chicken Marsala – similar, flour-dredged Chicken with Marsala wine, Mushrooms, and Prosciutto.
Chicken Piccata – similar, flour-dredged Chicken with Capers.
Chicken Scaloppine – similar, flour-dredged Chicken with Cream-based lemon sauce.

Pininyahang Manok – Pineapple Chicken

Pininyahang Manok – Pineapple Chicken

Ingredients:
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Jalapeños, minced
2 Tbsp fresh Ginger, minced
1 Pineapple, diced (about 4 cups)
2 links Chorizo Español picante, sliced into rounds
1 lb Chicken Breast, diced (boneless, skinless)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 cup Coconut Water
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare all ingredients before starting.
  • In a large pot, on medium heat, combine the Onion, Bell Pepper and Jalapeños; cooking for about minutes.
  • Add the Garlic, Ginger, Chorizo, and Pineapple.
  • You want to sauté these ingredients, letting them brown and caramelize a little for flavor.
  • Add the Chicken, Crushed Red Pepper, Pineapple Juice, and Coconut Water.
  • Let the Chicken cook through, about 5-10 minutes. You can speed this up by putting a lid on effectively steaming and poaching at the same time.
  • Add the fresh Parsley, and Season with Salt and Pepper; cook for an additional minute.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: Pininyahang Manok is essentially a Filipino chicken stew with pineapple. I have substituted Coconut Water for Coconut Milk, though you can retain the milk instead if you prefer. I have also added Chorizo to give it a depth of smoky, salty flavor. With regards to the chicken, you can also use bone-in chicken pieces–but I’d suggest Thighs instead of breasts.

This dish would serve well as a stew, but also can be served over rice.

The Chorizo used is a Spanish-style cured Chorizo–unlike the Mexican variety which, though flavorful, is raw and often cooked like ground beef. Spanish-style Chorizo comes in “dulce” and “picante”–with my preference for picante in this dish. Do not accidentally use a Portuguese Chouriço de Sangue, often marketed as just Chouriço, as it is VERY different.

Tournedos de Poulet dans une Sauce Sherry – Bacon Wrapped Chicken in a Sherry Sauce

Tournedos de Poulet dans une Sauce Sherry and Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
6 boneless Chicken Thighs or Breasts, butterfly cut
1 cups Mushrooms, diced fine
6 Sage leaves, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 small White Onion, diced
2 oz “Baby” Brie, very cold
24 slices thick-cut Bacon (about 1 lb)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Sherry
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Corn Starch
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 300°F
  • Using a sharp knife, dice the Brie. It must be very cold so it can do this.
  • Combine in a bowl with the Mushrooms, Sage, Garlic, and Onions, a dash of Salt and a crack of Pepper.
  • Flatten the chicken with a mallet. You can do this by placing it between two pieces of wax paper, and pounding out away from you–think “pound and slide”.
  • Using one had like a cup, place a piece of Chicken in it, and then with the other hand place the Mushroom stuffing in the middle of the Chicken piece. You can press the stuffing together–the Brie will bind it.
  • Bring your cupping hand together so that a seam forms from the opposing ends of the chicken. You can then seal this with a toothpick.
  • Take a piece of bacon and cover the seam, wrapping the ends under.
  • You will then wrap two more strips perpendicular to this strip, covering it, and tucking the ends on the bottom like the first strip.
  • Roll the piece over, and take a fourth strip of bacon and cover over the seams going length wise tucking under. Set aside and complete all pieces.
  • Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet, and using tongs, place the Tournedos in the pan. You will want the final strip of bacon to be face up, and it’s seams on the bottom.
  • Clasping from the sides with the tongs, flip the Tournedos and brown the other side. You may then brown all the other sides. I suggest, you do each Tournedos one at a time.
  • Prepare a cooling rack over an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Place the Tournedos on the Rack and place the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • While they are cooking, prepare the Sauce Sherry.
  • Remove the excess Grease from the Skillet.
  • Add the Sherry and Chicken Stock, and whisk in the Corn Starch.
  • Heat until the Sauce thickens
  • Add the Butter, and Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Add the fresh Parsley.
  • Plate the Tournedos and cover in the Sauce Sherry.

Makes 3 servings (2 Tournedos per person)

NOTES: Tournedos refers to meat wrapped in bacon, such as filet mignon. If you want to cut the fat of regular bacon, I recommend Turkey Bacon–it will taste great still. The complications of this dish revolve around the wrapping of the stuffed chicken pieces. The smaller diced the stuffing is, the easier this is to do. Do not make the mistake I first did, and use colored toothpicks–food is much less appetizing when it is blue and green form the dye!

Cornish Hens with Shallot-Sage-Raspberry Stuffing and Raspberry Sherry Sauce

Cornish Hen with Shallot-Sage-Raspberry Stuffing and and a Raspberry Sherry Sauce

Ingredients:
2 Cornish Hens, giblets removed, patted dry
6 slices Whole Wheat Bread
1/2 cup Raspberries
1 Shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 Tbsp fresh Sage, chopped fine
1 tsp fresh Thyme, crushed
2 tsp fresh Oregano, chopped fine
1 tsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine
1 Egg
1/6 cup Chicken Broth
1/6 cup Sherry
1/6 cup Berry Juice
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Raspberry Sherry Sauce (below)

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400F
  • In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients except the Raspberry Sauce and Olive Oil; and mush together.
  • Wash the Hens, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Stuff half of the dressing into each Hen.
  • Using cooking twine, Truss-up the Hens.
  • In a heavy skillet, on high heat, add the Olive Oil and brown each side of the Hens(about 2-4 minutes).
  • Place in a baking dish, and drizzle any Oil from the pan over the Hens.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, covered.
  • Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Prepare the Raspberry Sherry Sauce.
  • Plate and pour the Raspberry Sherry Sauce over each Hen.

NOTES: This recipe was an inspiration from The Legend of the Seeker, where in an episode one of the characters requests this dish! I couldn’t help but figure out a way to make it myself.

Raspberry Sherry Sauce
Ingredients:
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Sherry
1/2 cup Berry Juice
1 Shallot, diced
1 tsp Cornstarch
2 cups Raspberries
1 tsp fresh Ginger, diced
1 tsp fresh Sage, diced
1 Tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a Sauce Pan, combine the Butter, Shallot, Ginger, and a pinch of Salt, cooking until the shallot is translucent.
  • In a cup, whisk together the Cornstarch and Berry Juice.
  • Add all ingredients to the Sauce Pan, stirring on medium heat.
  • Crush the berries with your spoon as they cook.
  • Reduce to 1 cup of liquid, stirring often.

NOTES: Though this sauce is perfect for the Cornish hens, you can serve it with other meats like Duck or Quail. Some folks prefer to strain the sauce before serving using a sieve to remove the Berry seeds. I like the berry seeds, myself, but it is completely at your discretion.

Pollo alla Romana – Roman-Style Chicken

Pollo alla Romana

Ingredients:
6-8 fillets of Chicken Breasts, thin sliced, boneless, skinless
1 Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper, chopped
6 slices Prosciutto, chopped
2 Plum Tomatoes, diced
1 head of Roasted Garlic
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
1 cup Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp fresh Basil
1 Tbsp fresh Oregano
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
1 Tbsp Capers
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Romano Cheese, grated

Directions:

  • Do all necessary roasting ahead of time.
  • In a large skillet, brown the Chicken Fillets in the Olive Oil.
  • Remove the Fillets to the side.
  • Add the Peppers and Prosciutto, and cook until the Prosciutto starts to crisp, about 4 minutes.
  • Squeeze the Garlic into a Mortar and Pestle, and grind.
  • Add Garlic, Tomatoes, Chicken Stock, Wine, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to the skillet.
  • Heat for 10 minutes, and then add the Chicken Fillets back to the skillet.
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Just before serving, stir in the Capers and Parsley.
  • Garnish with grated Romano Cheese.

Serves 3-4 people (portion 2 fillets per person)

NOTES: So it was a long weekend, and my partner volunteered to cook. He loves chicken, so he started looking online for a chicken recipe. I should mention he is not a good cook–toast and oatmeal he does well, but not much more than that. So he found a recipe for Roman-Style Chicken by Giada DiLaurentis. I had a feeling he would not end up cooking, and by the time we got back from the store, it dawned on him how much work would be involved. So it was saved for another night. I don’t like to do other people’s recipes, so I compare them to similar recipes and then make my own version with my own variations. This is my version of Roman-Style Chicken that resulted from my research and comparisons. I decided to add some different herbage, deepen the flavors with roasted peppers and garlic, as well as adding Romano cheese over the top. This is a light summery Italian meal, and it does not need a side of pasta!

Chicken in Dijon Cream Sauce

Inspired by and dedicated to Chef Philippe Fallait and his wife Mary
Chicken in Dijon Creme Sauce with Lemon-Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
4 thinly sliced Chicken Breast fillets
4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (removed from container)
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp fresh Chives, diced

Directions:

  • Liberally coat the Chicken Breasts with the Dijon Mustard on both sides.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes, as you heat up a skillet with just enough Olive Oil to coat lightly.
  • When the skillet is hot, brown the Chicken breasts on both sides, on medium heat.
  • Remove and set to the side.
  • Pour in the White Wine Vinegar, and scrap off the pieces of Mustard and Chicken.
  • Add the Mushrooms and let brown.
  • Add the Heavy Cream, Salt, Pepper, and any remaining Dijon Mustard.
  • Heat for about five minutes, stirring well, and mixing well until bubbly.
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the pan and let cook for another 5 minutes coating them with the Mustard Cream Sauce.
  • Plate the chicken, cover with Mushrooms and Sauce, and garnish with the diced Chives.

Makes 2 servings (2 pieces per person)

NOTES: When using the Dijon Mustard, remove it from the container and keep in a bowl or on a plate to prevent cross-contamination. Any Dijon Mustard not used from that plate can be scraped into the Heavy Cream when cooking.

This recipe was shared with me by my good friend Chef Philippe Fallait, who is the owner of Cafe Triskell. He didn’t give me the measurements, but I would not have this recipe without him. He’s an excellent chef, and a good friend.

Variations:
Chicken Dijon Baked with Artichokes

General Tso’s Chicken – 左宗棠雞

Ingredients:
3 lb Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless, cut in bite-size chunks
1 cup & 2 Tbsp Corn Starch, divided
1-3 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Shaoxing Rice Wine 绍兴酒
1/2 cup and 1 tsp Soy Sauce, divided
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
3 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, slivered
1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
8-12 Dried Tiānjīn Red Chili Peppers 天津辣椒
2 Scallions, cut in pieces
4 cups Broccoli, cut in bite size pieces
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Juice of 1 Lemon

1 1/2-2 cups Brown Rice
3-4 cups Water (or more)

Directions:

  • Cook the Brown Rice according to the directions on the bag and set aside
  • In a seal-able plastic bag, combine 1 cup Corn Starch and the Cayenne Pepper, mixing well.
  • Pat the Chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, and add to the bag. Seal and shake, coating the chicken in the powder.
  • Bring a wok to high heat and add 1/2 of the Vegetable Oil.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and saute in the oil until browned on all sides.
  • Drain the chicken on paper towels.
  • Blanch or Steam the Broccoli spears and set to the side.
  • In a glass, whisk together the Rice Wine and remaining Cornstarch.
  • Heat the wok again, and add the Rice Wine/Corn Starch mixture, 1/2 cup of Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, the Honey, Chicken Broth, Ginger, slivered Garlic, and Crushed Red Pepper, mixing well.
  • Heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  • Add the Scallions, Tiānjīn Red Chili Peppers, and Chicken and coat well.
  • Pour the Mixture into a serving dish.
  • In another sealed bag, combine the remaining Soy Sauce, minced Garlic, and Lemon Juice.
  • add the Broccoli Spears and mix well.
  • Garnish the Chicken with the Broccoli or serve in a separate dish.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: So I was inspired to make this dish because of a very awful version that I ordered in from the local take-away. This version should be more flavorful, slightly spicier, and not as unhealthy as the heavy batter, deep-fried kind.

General Tso’s Chicken is believed to have been created in New York City in the 1970s as an attempt to introduce the spicier Hunan cuisine to what was generally Cantonese cuisine in the city. There are two chefs who are attributed as possible inventors of this dish, Chef Peng Jia of Peng’s Restaurant formerly of E 44th St and Chef T. T. Wong of the Shun Lee Palace restaurants. I have also found claims of invention by a chef in Taiwan about the same time. As far as I can tell, the Peng Jia seems to be the most widely accepted, though no one seems to know for sure.

General Tso’s Chicken is named after Zuo Zongtang (左宗棠, 1812–1885), a Qing Dynasty general from Hunan Provence. I cannot find any reason or rational as to why the dish is named after him. Another source suggests that the name is really a mis-translation. Eileen Yin-Fei Lo states in her book The Chinese Kitchen that the dish originates from a simple Hunan chicken dish, and that the reference to “Zongtang” in “Zuo Zongtang chicken” was not a reference to Zuo Zongtang’s given name, but rather a reference to the homonym zōngtáng 宗堂, meaning “ancestral meeting hall”. As one who is completely ignorant to Chinese languages, I’ll have to take her word for it. Also regionally, in the US, there are various spellings of used…Gua, Tsao, Tsa, Cua, Zuo, etc… reflecting how poorly we Americans transliterate Chinese.

Pollo e Carciofi al Vino Bianco – Chicken and Artichoke Fettuccine

Pollo e Carciofi al Vino Bianco

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, cut into strips
2 cups Marinated Artichoke Hearts, quartered
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 large Red Onion, diced
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Pinot Grigio or White Wine
1 Tbsp Basil, chopped fine
1/2 Tbsp Oregano, chopped fine
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
2-4 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lb Fettuccine (fresh if possible)
Water for boiling
1 tsp Capers for Garnish

Directions:

  • Strain the Oil from the Artichokes into a bowl containing the Chicken. Set the Artichokes to the side, but marinade the Chicken for 1 hour.
  • When ready to cook, begin heating a pot of water on high heat for the Pasta.
  • In a large skillet, combine 1 Tbsp of the Olive Oil with the Onions and Salt, and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper, and Chicken (with the Oil) and sauté until the Chicken begins to brown.
  • Add the White Wine, careful as it may flare up. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring well.
  • Add the Artichokes and Cherry Tomatoes and cook for another 2-5 minutes until heated through.
  • Add the Pasta to the water when it is boiling. Watch if you are using fresh Fettuccine as it cooks quicker than dried.
  • Strain the Pasta and toss with the Parmesan, Salt, Pepper, Herbs and the remaining Olive Oil in a large bowl.
  • Add the Chicken Artichoke Mixture, and toss well.

Makes about 4-6 Servings.

NOTES: So I had to come up with dinner at the last minute, and searched the cupboard and fridge for ingredients – the result was this dish. It is similar to Chicken Vino Bianco from Olive Garden (which I admit I did not know existed until I was trying to search for similar dishes to come up with a name for what I made), except that I add vegetables, do not use the large amount of Butter, nor did I batter the Chicken. Thus we find a healthier, lighter, dish that is still full of flavor.

Huājiāo Chicken – 花椒鸡

Inspired by a Recipe From
Thom Chu, Bridgehampton, NY

Ingredients:
1 lb of Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless, cut in cubes
2 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine 绍兴酒
3-4 Serrano Peppers, cut in rings
3-4 Dried Tiānjīn Red Chili Peppers 天津辣椒, crushed
3 stalks Scallions, cut in 2″ pieces
3 Tbsp Douban 豆瓣, minced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Ginger, minced
1 Tbsp whole Sichuan/Huājiāo Peppercorns 花椒
2 whole Star Anise
1-2 Tbsp Soy Sauce, to taste
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil, divided
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper, ground

Directions:

  • Season the Chicken with the Salt and Pepper.
  • Place in a bowl and marinate with the Shaoxing Wine for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a wok on very high and add no more than a quarter cup of oil. Heat the oil until you just start to see it smoke.
  • Stir fry the Chicken in the wok until browned, then remove and set to the side in a bowl. This is done to prevent the chicken from getting too soggy.
  • Quickly rinse and dry the wok and heat it up again very high with more Vegetable Oil. Make sure the wok is completely dry before putting in the oil or it will spatter hot oil around the stove.
  • When the oil is hot, add the Douban and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Next add the Garlic and Ginger, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the Tianjin Chili, Sichuan Chili, and Star Anise; stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Return the Chicken to the wok adding the Soy Sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the Serrano Chili Peppers and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Finally add the Scallions, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

NOTES: I have eaten this under the name “Ahi Zhou Chicken” at a local Chinese restaurant and spent a week trying to figure out the recipe. Thom knew exactly what I was looking for and provided this. I slightly modified the recipe for this post, trying to identify specific ingredients like the types of Chilis used.

This is a Sichuan dish that is typified by the Sichuan Peppercorns.  If you have not had them before, be warned they chemically numb your tongue and act with the other Chili pepper in an amazing way that is numbing and spicy at the same time–or a the Chinese say “Málà”.  Málà 麻辣, literally meaning “numbing and spicy”, is a flavoring common in Sichuan cooking that is derived from these two ingredients working together.

The fresh chili used can be a Jalapeño or Thai Chili if you prefer. I picked Serrano because it has a thinner membrane than the Jalapeño and not as hot as the Thai Chili. Big thanks to Thom for the base of this recipe, and I hope my modifications are not too off from authenticity.

Chicken Dijon Baked with Artichokes

Chicken Dijon with Artichokes

Ingredients:
1 lb Chicken Breast, skinless, boneless, butterfly-cut
2 cups marinated Artichoke Hearts, quartered
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter, diced
1-2 cups Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 cup Milk
4-6 Tbps Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  • Pat the chicken dry, and coat with the Bread Crumbs.
  • Saute in a skillet with the Olive Oil on medium heat until browned on the outside.
  • Remove and set to the side.
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F
  • In a Dutch Oven or other baking dish, combine the Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Garlic, Herbs, and Spices.
  • Dollop with the pieces of Butter.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Wine and the Milk and then pour over the Artichoke/Mushroom mixture.
  • Cover with the pieces of Chicken, like a blanket.
  • Using a knife, spread the Dijon Mustard over the Chicken.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, covered.

NOTES: The use of Dijon Mustard with Chicken comes in various forms–some with a creamy mustard sauce, and others with a mustard rub. This Baked version allows the chicken to be steamed with the wine and herbs as well as allow the juices of the chicken and mustard to soak into the artichokes and mushrooms.

Variations:
Chicken in Dijon Cream Sauce

Pollo Pesto al Forno – Pesto Chicken Bake

Pesto Chicken Bake

Ingredients
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (for coating)
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (for coating)
2 Eggs (for coating)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
4 Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, butterfly cut and pounded about 1/4″ thick
2 cups Pesto
4 Plum Tomatoes, sliced
2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350° F
  • Set up a dredging station using three pie pans. In one pan put the Flour, in the next the Eggs (beaten with a little water), in the next the Bread Crumbs
  • Season the Chicken with Salt and Pepper on both sides
  • Dredge the chicken in the Flour, then the Eggs, then the Bread Crumbs and set to the side
  • In a large skillet, brown each piece of chicken on both sides in the Olive Oil. When each piece is browned, remove from the skillet.
  • Spread the Pesto sauce over both sides of the Chicken, coating it completely.
  • Place Chicken in a baking dish, and cover with a layer of Tomato Slices followed by the shredded Mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.

NOTES: The first time I ever had this, my mother had used Shake ‘n’ Bake. Though I prefer to use herbed bread crumbs, this is a quick option that also does not require the use of eggs.