chicken


I think pasta is one of the most comforting types of food out there.  Thick and hearty sauces in the winter.  Served cold as a salad in the summer.  Pasta, or noodles, or pretty versatile.  That is why I chose PASTA as the theme for this weeks Eating with Ellie..

 

I picked the

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whole-grain penne with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach

for this go-round.

It was filling and full of flavor. And healthy.  2 cups {which is more than you think!} is only 580 calories.

The ‘sauce’ (which I will make more of next time) was full of chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  You can imagine how good that was.  The reason I said I would make more is because I found it to be a trifle dry.  I made 1/2 of the recipe which was perfect for two servings.  I usually increase the sauce and am sorry I didn’t this time.  he whole dish is seasoned with a little salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, and fresh thyme (altho’ I had to used dried).

This one is from Ellie’s weeknight wonders and is on page 160.I also found the recipe HERE if you want to try it.  This is one of ellie krieger’s great collection of recipes all of which are ready in 30 minutes or less.

Since I had marked 10 pasta recipes I guess we will have to return to this theme a couple of more times.  So I can make the other 9 pasta dishes.

Check out what pasta dishes the other EATERS made this week.

I remember the frozen pot pies mom used to serve for supper.  The crispy crust.  Lots of veggies (even tho’ I didn’t like the peas – and still don’t) and not a whole lot of meat.  Even after I was married I used to buy them because they were pretty good.  Funny thing is, Thomas Keller has the same memories which is why he developed his Chicken Pot Pie.

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When I used to make pot pie i would simply thicken the broth the chicken and veggies had cooked in.  Keller uses a BECHAMEL sauce seasoned with parsley and thyme.  The chicken is shredded but the potatoes, celery, onions and carrots are nice and chunky which meant you could taste each one.  SO much better!  And the top comes out beautifully crispy and browned because of the egg wash.  

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Definitely the recipe to use from now on.  It’s not hard to admit his ARE better than the frozen, but the memories are the same.  

The recipe is from Keller’s ad hoc at home.  (page 24).  I also found the recipe over at Friends. Food. Family

 “I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

This was our last week to cook ‘with’ Ellie Krieger for I Heart Cooking Clubs.  She has been our Chef since October.  It has been fun using her recipes.  This is not the first time I have cooked with Ellie.  There have been several groups who follow her and use her recipes year round.  (Like Eating with Ellie)

This week needed to be something special.  I still have several of her recipes marked in the cookbooks I have on the shelf.  This one has been marked for ages.

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Chicken Parmesan

Imagine chicken breasts ‘fried’ in the oven with a spicy crusty coating then covered with a marinara sauce and then topped with melty mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. HEAVEN!!

I used some of the marinara sauce I made last year from our tomatoes (YUM!) and it was so good.  Lots of chunks of fresh tomatoes and just the right amount of seasoning (with less salt).  I did increase the amount of cheese because – why not?

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I served it with a simple of side of buttered garlic noodles which mixed nicely with the ‘extra’ sauce on the plate.

Oh! Yeah!  Ellie was right, it did scream “you want me”.  And all that loveliness with only 390 calories (compared to the usual 630).

The recipe is on page 163 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix.

We will miss cooking with Ellie but you can see how the other members of I Heart Cooking Clubs said goodby.

Next month begins 6 months with Curtis Stone. Got my books and I’m ready to go.

Lunch for me, when I am home, just about every day is a chicken dish. It is quick to cook and soaks up the flavors of any sauce/spice/herb you cook it with. It’s not a surprise that this week’s Eating with Ellie theme is chicken since it was my week to pick.

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AND when I cook just for me it is often something with an Asian flair if it’s for lunch.  This dish from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix was perfect.

Small chunks of chicken breast that have been marinated in reduced-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey then quickly browned.  Then covered with a sauce made with garlic, ginger, chili paste, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey.   The crisp steamed broccoli is a nice contrast

It made for a quick (less than 30 minutes) and tasty lunch.

The recipe is on page 172 of Comfort Food Fix but I also found it online.

And check over at Eating with Ellie for more Chicken dishes.

Who says a salad has to be made with leafy greans? Or pasta? Why not try one with quinoa instead? Like this one from Ellie Krieger.

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Mixing some cooked quinoa with chicken sausage, corn, zucchini, and lots of spices is a great way to make salad. It is full of flavor, good ingredients, and, as always with Elie’s recipes, good for you.

I could have just eaten all the vegetables by themselves before adding the sausage and quinoa.  Doesn’t it look wonderful?

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I couldn’t find a salad I was really in the mood for my cookbooks so I went on line and this one caught my eye immediately.   After I made it I realized we had originally made a similar recipe in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders  {Corn and Quinoa with Sausage}   but it wasn’t listed as a salad. It is basically the same ingredients but with different flavors (Cumin and parsley) and the zucchini thrown in. Bingo!!

One small change I made – the recipe called for adding the diced red pepper at the end.  I assumed she meant raw and I don’t like raw pepper so I threw the diced red pepper in with the onions to cook.   And I think next time I will add a little more cumin.

And it was great.  Definitely one to enjoy regularly.

You can find the recipe on Ellie’s website.  

Find out what Gaye made for her salad by clicking on over to Eating with Ellie.  I’m sure it will be good.

Cool weather means soup.  Unfortunately we haven’t had much cool weather this winter. We have had a non-winter winter.  UGH!!  But I do love soup and when I saw this lovely one from Madjur Jaffrey I knew I had to make it.  It was delicious, NOT photogenic, but delicious.

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

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This is one of those dishes inspired by Anglo-Indian communities 300 years ago.  A soup with all the Indian spices and ingredients but served at the beginning of the meal rather than as a meal.  The name, mulligatawny, means pepper water. 

The base is pureed red lentils and contains potatoes and chicken along with several wonderful spices.

      I cup red split lentils 5 cups chicken stock
      1/2 tsp ground tumeric
      1 medium  potato
      5 cloves garlic, peeled
      1 1/2″ cibe ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
      1 1/4 cups water
      1 large boneless chicken breast or thigh (2)
      1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
      Freshly ground black pepper
      3 TBS vegetable oil
      1 tsp ground cumin
      1 tsp ground coriander
      1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne
      About 1 TBS lemon juice

Combine lentils, chicken stock and tumeric in stock pot or large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, peel potatoes (I leave skins on) and cut into 1/2 in dice. After 30 minutes of cooking, add potatoes and continue simmering another 30 minutes with lid slightly ajar.
Put garlic and ginger in electric blender or food processor with 9 TBS water and blend into a smooth paste.
Remove all fat from chicken and cut into 1/2 in dice. Put chicken in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the salt and some pepper over it and toss t omix.
After the soup has cooked for 60 minutes total, puree. Add remaining 2 tsp salt and mix.
Pour oil into empty skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the garlic/ginger spice paste, the cumin, coriander and cayenne. Fry, stirring continuously until psice mixture is slightly browned and separates from the oil. Put in the chicken pieces. Stir and fry another 2-3 minutes, until the chicken pieces become opaque. Add 16 oz of water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add to the puree’d soup and add lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Simmer soup very gently for another 2 minutes.  IF too thick thin with stock.

I served mine with some Basmati rice on the side and it added enough to make it a very filling meal all by itself.

Delicious.  It was plenty for me for 3 meals for lunch.  Definitely a repeat – often!

The recipe is from Jaffrey’s  Indian Cooking page 39.

What else is on the PotLuck table this week?  Check it out at I Heart Cooking Club.

This week’s theme:   It’s in the Bag: Cooking in Parchment from Kayte.  Evidently Donna doesn’t cook a lot of food in bags at least not in the books I have.  But I did find a couple of ideas on The Splendid Table that looked really good.  Like this one.

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Spiced Chicken

And it was incredibly easy.  Just place some shredded sweet potato on a piece of parchment (making sure it is big enough to fold over all of the food involved) and then on top of that you place a chicken breast.  I didn’t want a big piece of chicken so I cut some strips instead of using a whole breast.  Then you simply sprinkle with a little za’atar, which I was lucky enough to have some in the spice drawer from another recipe.  It’s really not a spice everyone would have in their pantry.  Drizzle the chicken etc with some olive oil and wrap the parchment around it all forming a small bag.  Bake the package for 12 – 15 minutes at 400°F.  Donna suggests serving it with some yogurt and mint leaves.

Okay.  This was good.  Not great, but good.  I only used 1/2 of a large sweet potato.  I should have used the whole potato.  The za’atar is a Middle Eastern mix  of sumac, thyme, whole sesame seeds and salt.  I really liked the flavor it added to the chicken.

The only thing I didn’t like about the dish was all the chicken ‘juice’ and oil that accumulated at the bottom of the package.  I think I will use less olive oil next time, too.

All that being said I will definitely fix this again.  It was tasty.

See more Parchment cooking over at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

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