Cornish hens was one of the very first what I considered to be back then “fancy” dinners I made by myself. There was something so extravagant about an individual hen for each guest. They made a beautiful presentation on the plate (especially when accompanied by stuffing) and let’s face it they were (and still are) cheaper than prime rib.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any time now I’m sure you’ve heard me say this several times before “I absolutely hate wasting food”. It pains me if I have to throw anything away. Not only it is a waste of food it’s a waste of money. This means that I usually end up with small containers or baggies full of this and that and the other in my refrigerator. This week we happened to have leftover herb roasted chicken as well as a fresh batch of homemade chicken stock. I was debating on making our “take two” (sounds such much better than leftovers) meal of either chicken noodle soup or chicken pot pie. We went with the later.
I was roasting a chicken this weekend because A. I was craving it and B. I also had high hopes to re-shoot said roasted chicken to update a VERY old and ugly post that is finger licking good but is buried in the ehem ugly photo post archives and no one comes to visit it. Of course once it came out of the oven, the smells intoxicated us and we had zero willpower. We carved in too quickly and alas no new photos. Boo. Happens every.single.time. Silver lining, while I was shoving chicken into my mouth eating, it occurred to me that I’ve never shared a simple recipe for making homemade chicken stock. Silver linings.
I’ve partnered with my friends at Hidden Valley Ranch to create a few recipes. I don’t think my kids have ever been so excited about a partnership. I kid not, to them, Ranch is a food group. For my first two recipes I created SOUTH WESTERN RANCH CHICKEN SALAD and CRISPY HONEY RANCH WINGS . Which you promptly made and loved right? This month we’ve taken the taco road. Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos with Jalapeno Ranch Sauce. Another recipe you’re going to need a few extra napkins for. Messy meals seems to be a theme with me lately.
Disclaimer: I am working in partnership with the Tyson Foods and I am receiving compensation for my participation in this campaign.
Chicken to me is like a chameleon. It takes to flavors like a horse to water (did you Grandparents say this? Mine did. All the time). Making it perfect for any cuisine out there. It’s also something that my entire family can agree on. No hard selling the one bite rule when chicken is on the menu. Clearly I didn’t invent chicken lettuce wraps but I did come up with a quick an easy 15 minute version that you’re going to love.
There’s something about being able to pick up your food and eat it with your hands that’s appealing or maybe I just like pretending I’m a cave-girl. Regardless I’m all for it. Give me a plate of ribs and/or wings and I will go to town. The saucier the better. That’s what napkins are for. Or better yet, wet wipes, lemon scented please.
Disclaimer: I was compensated by Tyson Foods to produce this content.
The countdown to summer is on! I don’t know about you but I can use all the help I can get getting myself ready for sundresses, shorts and gasp bathing suits. I’ve teamed up with Tyson Foods, makers of the Tyson® Grilled & Ready® product line to participate in their Countdown to a Better You program. Last month we showcased our Grilled Chicken Caprese Wraps! If you haven’t made them you should rectify that immediately.
The countdown to summer is on like Donkey Kong AND yeah yeah I’m on the workout wagon. And by working out I mean walking. We have to start somewhere right. In addition to moving moving it I’m lightening my plate and eating healthier. We’re not talking or mentioning the D word because that doesn’t work for me. Ever. Instead I’m making better choices without cutting out everything I love. Moderation people, moderation.
Brushetta is one of my most favorite foods on the planet. It’s also one of the top 10 most mispronounced Italian words in my book. It is pronounced: brew-SKet-ta! I’ve actually had waiters in restaurants argue with me over this. Argue. Don’t get me started on that. Sideeye. Brushetta is an appetizer (or anytime all time snack for me) that is made up of grilled bread, garlic, chopped fresh tomatoes, and basil. It’s one of the reasons I grow my own tomatoes and basil (I told you I’m obsessed with it). Those flavors are so perfect it’s easy to transform them into other dishes including this bruschetta chicken skillet. It takes 20 minutes to pull this together. Not kidding. It’s definitely a weeknight wonder.
Now that the weather is turning (somewhat) warmer I’m already starting to think about when I can drop the top on my new (to me) convertible, putt around town and enjoy the sunshine. It also means I gotta shed a few lbs that I’ve put on over the “it’s way too cold to go outside I’m just going to stay inside with a brick of cheese, some salami, a package a crackers and some wine months.” Tell me I’m not the only one? Please. Okay if you worked out all winter and already look amazing, I take it back please don’t tell me. Deal.
Are you ready for some football pizza? Everyone knows that I don’t like football BUT I do like food. And I’ll be making a few of this and that this Sunday for the Super Bowl best commercial day of the year. Apparently high up on the football food request list are: dips, subs, wings, and pizza! Now I realize why people wear yoga pants (I just can’t stand to say sweat pants ugh) while watching. I’m not sure I’ve ever turned down pizza and I don’t think they’ll turn down this buffalo chicken version. Everyone loves buffalo chicken.
My kids love chicken tenders. Seriously LOVE them. Since I pretty much refuse to take them through a drive thru to get them I make them at home, A LOT. Which means I need variety in my bag o’ chicken tender tricks. What else do they love? Ranch dressing. They would honestly put it on just about anything if I let them (and I’m sure they do when I’m out of town). I don’t know why it took me so long to put those two together. Ranch + chicken tenders = happy kids in my house. I start off with a homemade lightened up version of ranch dressing (shhhh don’t tell them) made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
Since we’re all friends here, I have a confession to make. A deep dark ugly culinary one. I can’t make rice. I KNOW, the shame. I can make risotto standing on my head blindfolded but regular rice, not so much. It turns out sticky, goopy, all adjectives that should not be associated with rice. I think it’s the leaving it alone part that I can’t handle. I am a tinker-er, a stir-er at heart. I NEED to be interactive with my cooking. And okay yes a total control freak if you must know. So what do I do when I need to make regular rice. I use my rice cooker.
Have I ever mentioned my love of pistachios? Yes I’m a nut in more ways than one. My love for the little green nut is problematic actually. When they’re in the house I can’t seem to stop myself from popping the entire package once they’re open. It’s a shame they’re so ridiculously expensive and high maintenance. You have to really want that nut to sit there and shell more than a few. Sadly I’m a gluten for punishment and love them never the less. These rosemary skewered pistachio encrusted chicken are a great thing to do with my favorite little nut. You know other than just eat them out of the bag.
I am still STUFFED. If you’re in the states (which most of my readers are) I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday as well. Chances are if you cooked up a feast you have an abundance of LEFTOVERS. I happen to be a big fan of leftovers. I love the challenge of taking them and transforming them into something new and exciting. It’s gets my creative juices flowing. Plus if we’re being completely honest I can’t stand wasting food. It bugs me, badly, to have any food go to waste. Plus you can buy boots (insert your weakness here) with all that money you save.
If I had to pick my most favorite chicken recipe this one would be it. Chicken Cacciatore. Doesn’t that just sound delicious rolling off the tongue? It’s a one pot wonder and it full of deep down home flavors not to mention you can feed a crowd with it on the cheap. I make it A LOT in the fall/winter months when it’s cold out and I need something to warm me from head to toe (I can only drink so much espresso every day people). I originally shared this recipe when I first started my food blog and I’m pretty sure only 3 people saw the recipe. It might have something to do with that awful photo. Thank goodness my photography skills have improved.
I know it may come as a shock to some people but I do make other food besides Italian. GASP. I know. I know. While Italian will ALWAYS be my first love and go to I happen to love all kinds of cuisines. Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Moroccan, Chinese, Greek, German. You get the picture. I just love food. Good food. I also love chicken. It’s like pasta I don’t know how you could ever grow bored with it. There are a gazillion different ways to make it.
Do you like one pot wonders? Cooking things low and slow? Setting it and forgetting it? Then this is the dish for you! ‘Tis the season to break out the slow cooker (or crock pot if you prefer) throw in your ingredients, put the lid on and do more pressing things like spending the afternoon playing random players on Words For Friends or Scramble For Friends. Totally up to you.
One of the most popular recipes on this blog is our Parmigiano Panko Chicken. It’s pretty much my version of Italy meets the Deep South – Italian Fried Chicken. It’s quick, easy and big on flavor. It trumps any drive through chicken and is what I make my kids when they beg ask me for chicken and fries as we’re passing said drive thrus. Because I just can’t leave well enough alone I decided to shake up my recipe a smidge. Chicken and Honey Biscuits anyone?
Grilling is one of summer’s true pleasures. In my house that usually means I have the night off from cooking. It also means there are less dishes. While that may not seem super important, to someone that can’t stand doing dishes (you’re looking at her) it’s a big thing. When someone is grilling in the neighborhood you know it. The smells waft up and down the streets and make those that aren’t grilling wish they were (well unless they’re burning something and well that’s another story all together.)