Now that we’re getting more comfortable with the No Six Diet restrictions, we are also getting a little more adventurous with adapting recipes. J bought some leeks for another recipe we scrapped and we weren’t entirely sure what to do with them. Luckily, my mom was visiting and suggested a chicken and leeks dish that she’s made several times. It turned out perfectly!
I’ll admit I was skeptical about this recipe. But after one bite, I wasn’t skeptical at all. It was deliciously flavorful and less labor intensive than we thought it would be. Warning: it’s pretty filling.
1 tb Ground allspice
1 tb Dried thyme
1 1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 ts Black Pepper freshly ground
1 1/2 ts Ground sage
3/4 ts Ground nutmeg
3/4 ts Ground cinnamon
2 tb Salt
2 tb Garlic powder
1 tb Sugar
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c Soy sauce
3/4 c White vinegar
1/2 c Orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, Seeded and finely chopped (if you can’t find this, feel free to use a habanero)
1 c white onion Chopped
3 Green onions finely chopped
4 6-oz Chicken breasts Trimmed of fat, up to 8-oz each
In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice and lime juice. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper (we used habaneros since we couldn’t find Scotch Bonnet), onion and green onions and mix well. Reserve about a cup or so of the marinade to use later. Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate for at least an hour, but the longer the better! Remove the breasts from the marinade and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you prefer a sear, turn on the broiler and broil each side first for a few minutes and then bake. Or if you prefer, fire up the grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. While grilling or baking, baste with the left over marinade. Heat the rest of the leftover marinade and serve on the side for dipping (we just did this on the stove). If you prefer more intense flavors, feel free to double the spices.
Even without doubling the spices, this was plenty hot. It was the right combination of sweet and spicy and the chicken was very moist. We will try this on the grill next time! The rice and slaw will be in another post. I”m having trouble locating the original recipes to link back to at the moment.
I love Chinese food. When I was younger and my sister and I got to pick the restaurant for our birthday dinner, I always chose the local Chinese restaurant. As I grew up, I loved trying the flavors of the different provinces, but Szechuan has remained a favorite. J found this recipe from Big Oven (our new favorite go to recipe source). It was divine. I was so disappointed there wasn’t any left overs! The secret is in velveting the chicken. This crucial step is what makes all the difference.
1 lb chicken thighs (we used two large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts)
10 whole red chili peppers (we left five whole)
1 small red onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic (original recipe calls for crushed, we used minced)
1/2 piece fresh ginger (crushed, we just tossed this in the food processor.)
Handful of roasted peanuts (we used unsalted and about a half cup)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or Sherry (we used a dry sherry)
1 Egg white
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or sherry (again, we used a dry sherry)
1 tablespoon dark vinegar (balsamic will do)
1 tablespoon Dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1 scallion (we used a “bunch” of scallions from our garden)
Dice chicken into half-inch cubes (We originally went a little too big, but you also don’t want to make these as small as they are in traditional Kung Pao dishes served in your local Chinese establishment.) Mix marinade, lightly beating the egg white and pour over the chicken. Leave to stand for no more than 30 minutes. Velvet the chicken with oil or water (again, this is the secret and makes a HUGE difference! We used the water method, but the oil method would work as well):
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir the chicken to separate and stir again. Simmer for about 2 minutes until the chicken turns white. Drain the chicken. Tear the chilis into pieces, then soak them in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Peel the onion and cut into square 1 1/2 inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok until very hot (until it starts to smoke). Add the garlic and ginger to the oil, stir for 15 seconds, then add the chilis and stir for a minute or two. Add the onions and continue to stir and flip for another minute. Add the chicken, scallion, peanuts and cook for another minute. After this, if you notice that it seems a little dry for your taste, feel free to mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a little bit of water and pour in along with your seasoning. Give it a good quick stir (I mean it, be quick, the sugar will burn.) Serve with rice!
Leaving the chilis in whole meant this dish was spicy. We liked it so much we actually added the left over rice to the wok in order to sop up all of the left over sauce. The chicken was tender, juicy and just amazing. Next time, we’ll add a bit more onion, ginger and garlic. Plus a green pepper for some added vegetables. This dish was so good I could eat it every single day for a long time and never grow bored.
p.s. If anyone one knows where to find Shaoxing wine in Columbia, let me know! I’m sure it would just add a bit more depth to the dish!
J’s grandmother is known for her chicken pot pie. He’s spent years trying to recreate the recipe. He finally got one that is just about right with this one from Big Oven.
1 2/3 cup frozen mixed vegetables (we used the ones with pearl onions, carrots. celery and potatoes)
2 chicken breasts; cooked and diced
1 10.75-oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk (we used skim)
Heat oven to 400 F. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased glass pie plate. Stir together remaining ingredients (Bisquick and milk) with fork until blended. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 6 servings
This was the easiest recipe and came out perfectly crisp on top. For a quick meal on a cold winter’s night, this is perfect!
One thing I miss about Texas is the abundance of Hatch green chilies at HEB. And the green chili enchiladas at Chuys. We’ve tried a few recipes from scratch to match the sauce and a stew without luck. Until we found Cookwell & Company’s Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix. With a few modifications, it was the closest we’ve had since leaving Texas.
Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix
2 chicken breasts (Shredded or diced)
rice or barley (to help thicken the stew)
corn (we omitted this time, but will add in the future)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth (if needed)
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Heat stew over medium heat until simmering, turn down to low. Sautee chicken in oil until cooked through. Add to the stew. Add rice or barley. Cook for 10-15 minutes simmering until stew is cooked down, by about a third. Add the corn. If the stew has reduced too much, add the chicken broth. Add the corn and simmer for about 2 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, cook another five minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese.
Perfect for a late fall evening. Just enough spice and flavor to not need any additions. I cannot wait to try this in the crock pot later this winter!