Moroccan Chicken Stew

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Truth be told, this is the first time I’ve ever eaten Moroccan Stew … which would also make this the first time I’ve ever made Moroccan Stew. I don’t know why, but a couple days ago, I decided I wanted to try it so therefore I’d make it. I did a bit of research to see what went into a Moroccan stew and went from there, changing some things for my taste. In one of the recipes, or maybe several, I noticed honey was present in this stew. I decided to use apricot jam in place of the honey. The reason I did this is one of the recipes I saw included dried apricots. Instead of raisins, I used a berry blend. This was actually a comedy of errors that worked out quite well. I thought I had a bag of golden raisins, but once I put my reading glasses on (LOL), I realized it was a bag of dried berries. Oh well, I thought to myself. I’ll give it a whirl and see how it turns out. It turned out great. Dennis and I were happy with my little mishap. The result was a winner.

I started with skinless, boneless chicken thighs. I placed them in a large ziplock bag with a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour and shook it around, coating my chicken.

I then browned my chicken in olive oil in a large skillet.

This took about 8 minutes … 5 on the first side, another few on the other. I removed the chicken from the skillet and placed it on a plate.

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Next, I added a red onion that I had sliced into quarter rounds into the skillet and cooked it for about 5 minutes.

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While my chicken was browning, I added a few seasonings to a dish and mixed them together. These seasonings were cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and kosher salt.

I added my seasonings, along with 4 cloves of minced garlic, to the onion. I cooked this together for about 45 seconds before adding a 28-1/2 ounce can of tomato puree and 1/4 cup of apricot jam and another 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. I stirred the tomato and jam together and added the chicken (as well as those yummy juices that accumulated on the plate) back into the skillet, nestling it into the sauce and cooking it for 10 minutes.

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I then added a 15-1/2 ounce can of garbanzo beans that I had drained and rinsed, two green peppers, cut into 1/2 inch size chunks, and 1/2 cup dried berries and 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots to the skillet. I stirred everything together and simmered for another 15 minutes, until the peppers were softened and the chicken was done.

I actually wasn’t sure what Dennis would think of Moroccan Stew, but he absolutely loved it. He told me it’s his new favorite chicken dish of mine. We served this over Israeli Cous Cous and garnished it with slivered almonds and minced parsley.

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, cut into quarter rounds

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 green peppers, chopped in 1/2 inch chunks

1/4 cup apricot jam

1/3 cup dried apricots, diced

1/2 cup dried berry blend (or golden raisins)

28-1/2 ounce can tomato puree

15-1/2 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

slivered almonds

parsley, minced

Directions

  1. Place flour and chicken in ziplock bag and toss to coat.
  2. Heat olive oil and brown chicken for 8 minutes (5 minutes first side, 3 minutes second side). Transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Cook onion in skillet for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cinnamon, ginger, cumin cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons kosher salt to a dish and mix.
  5. Add garlic and seasonings to onion and cook 45 seconds.
  6. Stir in tomato puree, apricot jam, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir.
  7. Add chicken and juices that were collected on the plate back into the skillet. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in green peppers, berries, apricots and garbanzo beans. Cook for 15 minutes, until peppers are softened.
  9. Garnish with slivered almonds and parsley.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

Nut Crumb Chicken

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A dear friend of mine had given me a package of Nut Crumbs as a hostess gift a couple weeks ago. I’ve been looking forward to trying these, so made chicken using them last night. They were so good! The package says they are a bread crumb alternative … the ingredients are pistachios, almonds, almond meal, cashews, salt and pepper. Marie found these at the Cedars Farmer’s Market in Solana Beach, CA. If you do not live near Solana Beach, and would like to purchase a bag of nut crumbs, you can visit their website, http://www.nutcrumbs.com. The company is Appel Foods.

I was perusing their website and below I’ve shown a couple pictures of what other nut crumbs they offer. On their website, you can also find recipes, which is fabulous!

I decided to coat the chicken breasts with a mixture I made with my nut crumbs. First, I sprinkled kosher salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken and then poured a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top.

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I find that my chicken always turns out perfectly moist when I let it marinate in olive oil and vinegar for a bit, plus it gives it fantastic flavor.

I mixed 1/2 cup of nut crumbs with 1/4 cup of grated parmesan/romano cheese blend and added 3 tablespoons of pizza and pasta seasoning that I buy at The Spice Way. They have excellent spices and you can also order on-line from them at http://www.thespiceway.com. If you do not have this seasoning, any pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning will do (or a blend of both).

I coated both sides of the chicken and browned it for 3-4 minutes per side in a skillet that I could transfer to the oven where it could continue to cook for an additional 20-25 minutes (until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees).

I served my chicken over white cannellini beans that I had heated on the stove. I added a bit of dried rosemary for a little flavor on my beans. I also served a simple salad with romaine, shards of parmesan, croutons and dried cranberries along with my chicken and beans.

I loved this chicken, as did Dennis. We will definitely be buying these nut crumbs off the website in the future (or stopping in at the Cedars Farmer’s Market, which will be so much fun and a day I will look forward to). I will also be trying the other flavors they offer … along with some of their recipes. Thank you so much, Marie, for introducing me to this wonderful breading for my chicken (or fish, or pork …)!

Ingredients

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil for marinade, plus 4 tablespoons for the skillet

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons pizza & pasta seasoning mix

1/4 cup graded parmesan/romano blend

1/2 cup nut crumbs

Directions

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, both sides.
  2. Place chicken in a dish and add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Let sit while you mix your nut crumb mix.
  3. Mix nut crumbs, parmesan/romano cheese and pizza and pasta seasoning together.
  4. Coat the chicken in nut crumb mixture.
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large, oven proof skillet.
  6. Brown chicken 3-4 minutes per side.
  7. Place skillet in preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees).

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

Honey Ginger Chicken Thighs

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Over the weekend, I was asking Dennis what he’d like for dinner this week. One of his requests was to have chicken thighs with an Asian flavor. While at Trader Joe’s doing my weekly grocery shopping, I bought a package of fresh ginger and figured out what I’d do with it once I got home. The time I really think about new recipes is while I’m out walking for my exercise. This morning, I came up with this recipe.

I started with boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I placed in a large glass dish. Next, I minced three cloves of garlic, and grated 1-1/2 tablespoons of the fresh ginger.

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In a glass measuring cup, I added 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil, 4 tablespoons reduced sodium teriyaki sauce, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon dried orange peel and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

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Once I mixed this together, I added the minced garlic and grated ginger and stirred everything together before pouring it over the chicken to marinate for 45 minutes (feel free to marinade the chicken up to a few hours, or all day in the refrigerator if you’d like).

Once the chicken was done marinating, I placed it on a baking sheet with a rack and baked it in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes (until chicken reached 165 degrees).

Dennis was really happy with his ginger chicken thighs and is looking forward to having leftovers for his lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons reduced sodium Teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel

Directions

  1. Lay chicken in a glass dish for marinating.
  2. Mince garlic and grate ginger.
  3. In glass measuring cup, add sesame oil, Teriyaki sauce, honey, kosher salt, chili powder, red pepper flakes and dried orange peel. Whisk together.
  4. Add garlic and ginger to measuring cup and mix well.
  5. Pour mixture over chicken and place in refrigerator. Marinate 45 minutes-all day.
  6. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack. Pour excess marinade over chicken and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Top chicken with chopped scallions.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

 

 

Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

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The colors in tonight’s dinner are so vibrant! This meal just yelled out “healthy” to me. I had Sweet Italian chicken sausages in the freezer that I wanted to make this week, but didn’t want them in a bun or as part of a pasta dish. I’ve seen so many one pan dinners that I thought this would be the perfect way to use those sausages.

I cut five small red potatoes (one bag from Trader Joe’s), a yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, red bell pepper and a red onion for this dish. I also used a package of beans that I cut in half (they were a bit long). I laid my vegetables on a foil lined baking sheet in rows by vegetable, starting with the potatoes, next the peppers, then the beans, the red onion and then last, the chicken sausages. I had a package of five sausages and I cut each link into five pieces. I minced an entire head of garlic because I wasn’t going to be using much seasoning for this dish. I wanted a simple, yet flavorful meal. I drizzled olive oil over all the vegetables and sprinkled the entire tray of vegetables and chicken with kosher salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. The minced garlic was the last thing to go on.

I baked this one pan wonder in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

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Wow, wow, wow! This was fantastic. It was so incredibly flavorful. Even though I only added olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, as well as an entire head of garlic, this meal was one of the most flavorful I’ve had. As Dennis and I sat down to dinner, I commented to him that the vegetables were so tasty I hadn’t even thought to eat any of the chicken sausage. That’s how flavorful this dish was. I did eat the chicken sausage, but the vegetables were that good that I sort of forgot about them. Dennis really loved this, which was fabulous because he isn’t the best at eating his vegetables.

By the way, clean-up for this dinner was super quick … it took no time at all.

I’m definitely going to make more of these one pan wonders …. maybe I’ll try to make one with salmon. Doesn’t that sound good?

Ingredients

  • 1 package Sweet Italian Chicken Sausages
  • 1 small package (about 5) red potatoes, cut into quarters (at least)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 package green beans (cut in half if they are overly long)
  • 1 red onion, cut in half, then quarters and then halve those quarters
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Lay cut vegetables out in rows on the pan.
  4. Lay cut sausages on the end of the pan.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over all vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and red pepper flakes over vegetables and Italian chicken sausages.
  7. Place minced garlic over vegetables and Italian chicken sausages.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

Sicilian Seasoned and Prosciutto Wrapped, Breaded Chicken Breasts

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This may just be my favorite chicken recipe that I’ve come up with! I actually came up with this recipe while chatting with my sister on the phone. We were chatting and laughing, having a great time. I love the phone calls with my sister! It seems they mostly happen on a Sunday late afternoon, early evening. She is very busy during the week with her career, so I try to leave her alone in the evenings so she can catch her breath and just relax.

I knew I wanted to make breaded chicken breasts for dinner tonight and I was throwing together spices the whole time we were chatting. At one point while we were chatting, I needed to quickly write down what I’d put together so I’d be able to share this recipe with you all. To the flour, I ended up adding Sicilian seasoning, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a very small amount of ground mustard.

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Two tablespoons of dijon mustard were whisked together with two eggs, as part of my dredging station. I had three bowls in which to dip my breasts into. The first was the flour mixture, second was the egg mixture, and third was Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Before I coated the chicken with bread crumbs, I wrapped them each in two slices of prosciutto.

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Once the chicken breasts were all dipped and dredged, I laid them on a baking sheet fitted with a rack.

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I baked the chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. The chicken was done once the internal temperature reached 165 degrees.

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I let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and then topped each breast with a handful of arugula. I think arugula makes every meal look a little prettier. Once the arugula was on the chicken I drizzled a small amount of olive oil and and the juice of half a lemon over the top, as well as the zest of half a lemon plus a pinch each of kosher salt and pepper.

Dennis loved this chicken! He’s quite happy that I made enough for him to take for lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • 4 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sicilian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • arugula
  • 2 lemons (1/2 per breast)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Set up dredging station:
    1. In first bowl, whisk together egg and dijon mustard.
    2. In second bowl, mix together flour, Sicilian seasoning, ground mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and pepper.
    3. In third bowl, pour breadcrumbs.
  3. Cover chicken lightly, but completely with flour mixture.
  4. Dip chicken in egg mixture.
  5. Wrap 2 slices prosciutto around each breast.
  6. Cover chicken with breadcrumbs.
  7. Place on pan with rack and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  8. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Cover chicken with arugula, lemon zest, drizzle of olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

Balsamic Chicken over Mini Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

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It’s almost the end of summer, but it is still summer. School is starting up soon, if it hasn’t already for some kids. I keep hearing on t.v., “summer is almost over”, and I think to myself “where did the time go”. This year, summer seemed to fly by. I think in part, for me, it’s because all my friends have kids heading off to their first year of college. We didn’t want summer to come to an end as quickly as it did. The kids are all going to have a great year in college, I can feel it.  I do look forward to fall, as I do every year … it is my favorite season. This year, however, I’m not quite ready for summer to end. We actually haven’t even made it to a San Diego Padre’s Baseball game yet! I have a few days left to fit one in … maybe this weekend. Dennis?

I was looking forward to a light, summer dinner tonight … and I wanted my dinner to show some summer color. The colors of heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil is what I wanted to see on my plate. I’ve heard the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest, and this dish was the perfect Mediterranean meal.

After sprinkling both sides of four thin sliced chicken breasts with kosher salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning, and adding 3 cloves of minced garlic to them, I marinated them in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a couple hours. (You can certainly marinate the chicken all day. I usually do.)

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(chicken before adding olive oil and balsamic vinegar)

Once the chicken was done marinating, I placed it on a rack on a baking sheet and roasted it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. While the chicken was marinating, I put together my heirloom tomato caprese salad. I put two pints of heirloom tomatoes into a large glass bowl. I added mini mozzarella balls (I found mine at Sprouts Farmers Market.) I also added 1/4 cup of basil that I cut into a chiffonade. To the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, I added 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and pepper. I set it aside to let the flavors meld together while my chicken was roasting.

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Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • drizzle of balsamic glaze (for finishing)

Ingredients for Mini Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

  • 2 pints mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 18 mini mozzarella balls (or pearl mozzarella balls)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil, cut into a chiffonade

Directions for Chicken

  1. Place chicken breasts in glass dish.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add minced garlic to chicken.
  4. Mix together olive oil and vinegar. Pour over chicken.
  5. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 2-8 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Roast chicken for 30-35 minutes (for thin sliced breasts), or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Directions for Mini Heirloom Caprese Salad

  1. Pour heirloom tomatoes into large glass bowl.
  2. Add mini mozzarella balls to tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar and mix together.
  5. Add basil.

After plating salad and chicken, drizzle balsamic glaze over.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

Smoked Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausages & Green Beans on Pappardelle Pasta

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We are heading out of town for the next several days and I wanted to use up some things in my refrigerator before leaving. I had a beautiful package of fresh green beans I bought at the market this past week that I didn’t want to go to waste. I started with those green beans in building my recipe for tonight’s dinner. Realizing that I also had a package of Smoked Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausages and parsley had me adding those to my recipe as well.

I love the chicken sausages I buy at Trader Joe’s. I enjoy all the flavors, but find myself buying the Chardonnay ones most often.

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Ina Garten introduced me to the Pappardelle pasta. Dennis and I love it. I watched one of her episodes where she used that type of pasta and I was intrigued. I’ve bought it several times since then. I bought my pasta from Trader Joe’s.

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I started out sautéing a small yellow onion and three cloves of garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. To that, I added the fresh green beans, that I had cut into thirds (bite size). Once the beans were incorporated with the onion and garlic, I added kosher salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. I stirred the seasonings into the bean, onion and garlic mixture and let them cook together for a few minutes. I then added the chicken sausages and one cup of chardonnay wine. I let this simmer while my noodles were coming to a boil.

Once the noodles were done, I took them directly from the pasta pot and added them to my pan with the vegetables and chicken sausages. I also added about a cup of the pasta water to loosen my sauce up a bit.

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Once I plated my pasta, I topped each serving with fresh parsley and goat cheese. The goat cheese added a freshness that I really enjoyed in this dish.

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This is definitely a pasta I recommend trying, it was really tasty and not too heavy in the summer months. I loved the freshness of the green beans and parsley!

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged dried pappardelle pasta
  • 1 package of Smoked, Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausages (4 links), cut into slices and then in half
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces of fresh green beans, cut to bite size
  • 1 cup chardonnay
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like a little more heat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, broken into chunks

Directions

  1. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add green beans and seasonings and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  3. Place cut up chicken sausages into pan with wine and let simmer while noodles cook.
  4. Cook noodles.
  5. Add cooked noodles directly to pan with sausages and vegetables, adding pasta water a cup at a time if needed.
  6. Serve with fresh parsley and goat cheese.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris