Poaching Chicken

Poaching chicken is my favorite way to prepare chicken for chicken salad, enchiladas and other recipes where you need shredded/ cubed chicken.  The following recipe is what I just used when I poaching some chicken for chicken salad, however once you have the basics down you can adjust and use what you have on hand to change the flavor profile.

In a large pot place your vegetables and aromatics.  Place your chicken on top- season- cover with poaching liquid (enough to cover chicken).  Your can use any type of chicken parts you desire, with or without bones and skin.  The skin really has no use in poaching so feel free to remove before hand if you desire.  I like use bone in as it adds depth to the broth, especially if you are saving the broth for future use.

Let come to boil for about 3 minutes. Cover partly and reduce to med-low simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Chicken should register 165 degrees at thickest part.

Remove chicken and shred or cube.  The broth can be separated from any solids and used for other recipes.

In this recipe I placed one onion- quartered, handful of baby carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, and a 2 inch piece of ginger sliced.  Chicken was seasoned with garlic salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and I added a couple bay leaves.  Poaching liquid:  vegetable broth and water to cover chicken.

Other ideas to use:  For the poaching liquid you can use any type of broth, wine, water, and even beer….or combination thereof.

If I am poaching for enchiladas I may add hot chopped peppers, minced garlic or hot sauce.

I also like using fennel as the fennel and ginger to make a tasty broth for soups afterwards!

 

Chicken Salad

With summer here, salads are what I usually have in the fridge for quick, easy and tasty lunches.  Currently, I have egg salad and chicken salad in the fridge.  Let’s take a look at the Chicken Salad!!IMG_5497

To my husband’s dismay, I am not a nut fan so I don’t put nuts in this chicken salad.  If you are “nutty” feel free to add pecans or walnuts to this salad for a nice crunchy texture.

Ingredients:

  • Dressing:
    • 1 cup mayo (I prefer Miracle Whip, but use your favorite brand)
    • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
    • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • 5 teaspoons honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon
  • 2 poached chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • ~ 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans/ walnuts, chopped (optional)

What I love about this is you can add more or less of the celery, grapes, nuts to what suits your taste.

I will discuss poaching chicken in the next post but you can shred or cube your chicken.  If I use chicken breasts I will cube the chicken.  This time I used bone in whole chicken breasts with ribs, so it was easier to shred after I poached the chicken.  Either way is fine.

Looking for a time saver?  Use store bought rotisserie chicken or canned chicken.

Combine all dressing ingredients together then add your dry ingredients.  Stir and refrigerate to allow the flavors to come together.

You can make the dressing ahead of time and refrigerate while you are poaching your chicken.  Allow your chicken to cool before adding to your dressing.

Use in a sandwich or on top of greens.

Fennel Bok Choy Pasta

The one thing I love about cooking is being able to come up with a meal out of nothing and being able to use what is left in the fridge….waste not.  Looking through the fridge I came up with a 1/2 bulb of fennel, some bok choy, 2 Italian sausages, and about a cup of leftover cooked spaghetti.

Take the casing off of the sausages and cook in about 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil- breaking up the sausage.  Cut up the fennel and bok choy and add to the cooked sausage.  I added some fresh cracked pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning and a couple shakes of red pepper flakes.  Let cook about 3 minutes then I added about 1 teaspoon of soy sauce for salt.  Lastly, I added about 1 cup of leftover white wine and the pasta.  Stir until heated and enjoy!  Nothing went to waste and actually it was probably enough for 2 people.

 

 

Baked Parsnip Fries

One of my friends posted on Facebook she was making parsnip fries.  I had seen this before but never got around to trying it.  So simple and tasty- why had I not tried this???  You will not miss the potato and this will be your side next time you make that burger.

parsnip2

Peel and cut your parsnips to fry size.  Mix olive oil and your choice of seasonings.  I used lots of minced garlic with some Italian seasonings (basil, oregano and rosemary).  Put all in a ziplock bag to combine.  I had mine all ready the night before and just allowed it to sit overnight in the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Cover a pan with foil and add parsnips in a single layer.

parsnip 1

Bake about 10 minutes, stir/ flip, bake some more.  Done when slightly brown.  Add some salt when you take out of the oven and ENJOY!

Experiment with the seasoning.  Try some cumin and coriander.

Lemon Butter Chicken

Seeing this recipe floating around on Facebook, I had to give it a try.  The original recipe can be found at DamnDelicous.net.  I did make some minor changes but only because of the ingredients I had on hand.  The recipe using heavy cream and cheese is not light but it is a shame to ‘waste’ the creamy sauce.  Try it over top of some pasta or potatoes.  I love cooking with my cast iron skillet and this gave me the chance. Below is how it looked before it headed to the oven.

Lemon Butter Chicken

Ingredients (my substitutions from the original were the boneless/ skinless chicken thighs and not using heavy cream)

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt cream cheese (originally 1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Season chicken thighs with paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof/cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, Greek yogurt cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon juice and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat, stir in spinach, and simmer until the spinach has wilted and the sauce has slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
  • Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 15-20 minutes boneless and 25-30 minutes for bone in.
  • Serve immediately.

If you don’t like your spinach too wilted and cooked you could add after you take out of the oven, as it won’t take long.

Thank you to Damn Delicious or whoever posted their recipe on Facebook…..it was DAMN DELICIOUS!!

 

 

 

Grand Marnier French Toast

French Toast was never my favorite breakfast when growing up…not that I didn’t like it but because my brothers always wanted French Toast and I wanted pancakes.  You guessed it!  French Toast usually won.  Now we didn’t get this recipe as kids, but it a winner.  This recipe is perfect for a special morning.

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons sugar

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup half and half

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Thick sliced bread (challah, brioche, white)

**Strawberries, powdered sugar, whip cream optional

Mix all ingredients (up to Grand Marnier) in a shallow bowl-or pie plate.  Heat a skillet or griddle with some butter.  Dip bread in the egg mixture.  Place on skillet and flip over when toasted.

Top with sprinkled powdered sugar, sliced strawberries and or whip cream.  I like to keep the strawberries fresh, but for an added change you can place sliced strawberries, sprinkled with about 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier in a bowl.  Let sit while preparing the French Toast.