Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs

June 22nd, 2017

Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs

We have a weight loss contest going on in our household.  David and one of our New Year’s Eve gang friends, Barbara, have challenged each other to lose 15 pounds.  The first one to do so will get a monetary reward.  They both have been struggling since January 1st with a weigh-in each Monday.  They are both getting close.  It is down to just a few pounds each.  But they have decided to extend the contest to 20 pounds lost.  Needless to say, I have been challenged to put healthy low-fat food on the table.

Margarita-Glazed Chicken Thighs

Cooking Light came to the rescue with this Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs recipe.  The spiced flour coating made the thighs crispy.  The tequila sauce, onions and tropical fruit added juiciness to the oven braised dish.  It was a real winner.  It was also quick and easy.  I served it with farro and broccolini.

Margarita-Glazed Chicken Thighs

We had this for dinner last night.  It may have done the trick, because David’s weigh-in this morning indicated 4 pounds to go to reach the 20 pound goal.  I hope no one gives Barbara this recipe.

MARGARITA-BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS ( Cooking Light )

1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking Spray
1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tropical dried fruit (I used a combination of cranberries and pineapple)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup tequila
1 lime, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small baking dish.  Sprinkle chicken with salt; dredge chicken in flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Transfer chicken to a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Add onion to pan; cook 3 minutes.  Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.

Combine fruit, juice, and tequila in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave at high 2 minutes.  Pour fruit mixture into pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Cook 1 minute.  Pour onion mixture over chicken; top with lime slices.  Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until chicken is done.  Yield: 4 servings.  350 Calories.

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Florida Events

March 2nd, 2017

NSB Dinner

We have been very busy in our rental house in New Smyrna Beach.  As it turns out, we have had lots of get togethers with friends and family.  High School friends were here at the same time that we were.  We hosted a dinner for ten before we all headed to town (within walking distance) for music and dancing.  It felt like being in high school again accept for my aching back the next morning.  I planned a very simple dinner for the crowd.  Everything can be done ahead of time, except the rice.  We had my friend Barbara’s Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole, two do ahead salads; Corn, celery and roasted red pepper salad and 3 bean salad, Zatarain’s Caribbean Rice mix, and Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Blondies.

NSB Peanuts

Flagler Avenue is a happening place with numerous restaurants and music venues.

Pizza, vegie and sausage

On another occasion we drove to Sanford to have dinner with David’s Finnish relatives.  It is a long story, but in brief, David’s Mother grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Her parents had immigrated there from Finland.  David had very little contact with the extended family until a few years ago when our friend Ruth brought him together with his cousin Don.  The family now spend time in Florida.  It means a lot to David to have this connection.

We were treated to delicious pizzas cooked on the grill by grill master Jon.  The above pizza has sausage, bacon and roasted vegies.

Pizza, Barbecued ChickenThis is Jon’s speciality pizza.  It is a Barbecued Chicken Pizza with red onions, goat cheese and cilantro. It was fun watching him maneuver the pizzas around with his giant pizza peel.

Finnish FamilyWe enjoyed our evening spending time with wonderful family and friends.

Bread Board 2

 

On another matter, I am happy to say that my friend Penny, of the blog Enjoying the Simple Things, has started an Etsy Shop selling her Artisan made European French Style Bread Boards.  She and her husband are making these beautiful boards and the workmanship and quality are outstanding.  They also sell for a lot less than others I have seen online.  Here is the link to her Etsy Shop.

Also there are links above for the rice and Chocolate Chunk Blondies.  Here is the recipe for the Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole.

BARBARA’S CHICKEN POPPY SEED CASSEROLE

6 Chicken Breasts – Cooked and Cubed
8 oz. Crushed Ritz Crackers
1 1/2 sticks Butter
1 1/2 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
8 oz. Sour Cream

Melt butter and mix with crackers and poppy seeds.  In another bowl, mix soup and sour cream.  Add chicken to this.

Line greased 9×13 inch dish with 1/2 of the cracker mixture.  Pour chicken mixture over and top with remaining crackers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

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Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice

February 12th, 2017

Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice

We are now officially Florida residents for the next 6 weeks.  The rental house is small, but the kitchen is updated and very functional.

NSB Kitchen

I am always seeking out new recipes.  From a stack of magazines in the cottage, I found this recipe for Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice in an issue of Real Simple.  When I travel to rental houses, I prefer to bring herbs and spices. The basket you see next to the refrigerator holds all of my favorites from home. These Middle Eastern ground chicken patties call for cumin and cinnamon; a great flavor combination.

Chicken Kofta with Pomagranate Rice

The chicken is served with yellow rice with pomegranate seeds, cooling cucumber slices and a lemon infused yogurt sauce.  We enjoyed this on the backyard patio.  The ocean is just two blocks away.

NSB 1

We love this small beach community.

CHICKEN KOFTA WITH POMEGRANATE RICE ( Real Simple Magazine )

2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. ground chicken
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 cups cooked yellow rice
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup sliced English cucumbers

Stir together the yogurt and salt.  Combine the chicken, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture in a medium bow.  Shape into 8 (3-inch long) oval patties.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium.  Cook the patties, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Stir the water and lemon juice into the remaining yogurt mixture.  Toss together the rice and pomegranate seeds.  Sere the patties with rice; top with the yogurt sauce and cucumber.

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Jamaican Chicken Soup for the Dark Days of Winter

January 6th, 2017

Jamacian Chicken Soup

The weather is frightful.  The skies are grey.  But the light still burns in our homes and on our hearths. We have put away the trappings of the holidays and are hunkering down for the long dark days of Winter. Warming soups and bread fresh from the oven are my preferred ways to fight the winter doldrums. And a great soup to brighten your days is this Jamaican inspired recipe.Jamacian Chicken Soup

With the bright additions of curry and allspice, this chicken, black bean and black-eyed pea soup hits all the right notes.  I added Himalayan red rice to the mix because I had it in my pantry.  I found it while cleaning out dated foodstuff.  Sometimes impulse buys get shoved into corners.   Himalayan Red Rice is grown in Nepal and has a red hued bran.  It is colorful for pilafs.

Jamacian Chicken Stew

We have a snow storm predicted for the mountains this weekend so I am happy to have a pot of soup and homemade Rosemary Olive Oil Bread stashed away.  Cooking is a good way to survive anything nature throws at you.

JAMAICAN CHICKEN SOUP

1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used Himalayan Red Rice)

Heat oil in a dutch oven.  Add chicken pieces and saute until browned.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add onion to casserole and cook until transparent.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add all of the spices and cook over low heat for about 1 minute.  Add wine and reduce slightly.  Return chicken to casserole and add the remaining ingredients.  Cover pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cook for at least 30 minutes.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro if desired.

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Tandoori-Style Chicken for a Picnic

June 21st, 2016

Tandoori-Style Chicken 1 better

If you are looking for a flavorful picnic chicken, this is the one for you.  Because of the long marination in spices, garlic and ginger, it is delicious even at room temperature. I would happily put this chicken in a container and carry it to a picnic spot overlooking a mountain view or a babbling stream.  In my perfect picnic spot I would serve it with the following.

Couscous-with-arugla-2

Israeli Couscous and Arugula Salad.  It is bright.  It is piquant and it is light.  You can find the recipe here.

Zoodle Mixed Salad 1

One of my new favorite salads is this Zoodle vegie salad.  It is perfect for a picnic.   Here is the recipe.

Savory-Cheese-and-Chive-Bread-3V

All picnics require bread.  This wonderful cheese and chive bread from Dorie Greenspan is perfect.  It is one of my favorites.

Chocolate-Shortbread-Bars-2-V

 

My Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Bars are fast and easy.  You can make them even better with good quality chocolate.  I even make and freeze these to have on hand for impromptu get togethers.  Recipe here.

Picnic-2048x1229

Add some fruit, cheese and wine for a perfect picnic.

Tandoori-Style Chicken close

The fiery jalapeno and ginger spiked marinade assures that this chicken will have lots of flavor when it is served cold or at room temperature.  Although the recipe calls for roasting in the oven, it would also be great on the grill.  Try it for your next picnic or cookout.

TANDOORI-STYLE CHICKEN

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, and seeded if desired
  • 1 inch-long piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 pounds skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  1. For marinade, combine all ingredients except for chicken, oil and lime wedges in a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. With a sharp knife, make several incisions on each chicken piece to help marinade penetrate meat. Transfer chicken to a large glass or ceramic baking dish and pour in marinade, turning chicken pieces to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken pieces from marinade. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and drizzle with vegetable oil. Roast, basting occasionally, until juices run clear and meat is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with lime wedges.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.