Posts tagged ‘chicken’

February 24, 2011

Jumps-into-your-mouth Chicken Saltimbocca!

So, I had a major prosciutto craving. I’m not even the slightest bit ashamed either because it’s been a while since the two of us have dined together, so it was only right that I rekindle the flame. Yes, I’m still talking about my love for prosciutto.

I had always liked prosciutto, but it wasn’t until I lived in Italy that I really fell in love with the meat. Over there, it’s never just an ingredient, it’s the star of the dish. You can always find a cured hunk of ham leg, bone and all, hanging from butcher shops or local grocery stores, being delicately sliced by request. My homestay mom, Flora, would bring home the best prosciutto crudo (cured ham) and prosciutto cotto (cooked ham), simply paired with mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella cheese) and a dash of balsamic and oilo nuovo (which is the very freshest olive oil, vibrant green in color).

One day, she asked me what I would like to eat for dinner: mind you, this was a rarity because she cooked what she felt like that day and never took orders ahead of time. So, as I was put on the spot, I tried so hard to think of a dish I really loved, that had not already been prepared before. Little Yellow Note: Flora was a culinary genius and always had a new recipe up her sleeve.

With a huge smile on my face and with such an air of confidence, I blurted out: “Chicken Saltimbocca.” Why you ask?? Well, I hate to admit it, but this prosciutto-topped chicken dish from Buca di Beppo was really delicious, and I wanted the authentic version, straight out of Italy. The only problem was that she had no idea what I was talking about. I forgot to mention that there was a huge language barrier at first, as I spoke no Italian, and they spoke no English. Oh an also, the word saltimbocca means “jumps in the mouth.” No wonder why I got a blank stare when I asked for “chicken that jumps in my mouth!” Apparently, they have a different name for the dish.

I think that night she ended up making prosciutto and cheese panini’s. Clearly not what I asked for, but it was delicious, regardless. I am fairly sure that Flora figured out what I was asking for later in my stay there, as she provided a feast of prosciutto-topped veal. It was close enough. My belly was happy.

Without further adieu, here is one of the most flavorful Italian dishes!

Chicken Saltimbocca:

Salt and pepper the chicken, then wrap each tender in a cozy blanket of prosciutto. Then top with whole sage leaves, although you may want to tuck them in just a tad, to ensure that they stay in place.

Make a plastic wrap envelope and place the chicken inside, spaced apart so that they have room to be tenderized. Don’t be alarmed, they will grow a bit.

Next, lightly dredge in flour and place in the pan with the melted butter and oil combo, sage-side down.

Afer 3-4 minutes, it’s time to flip the chicken cutlets!

Set cooked chicken aside, and prepare the wine shallot sauce. Then arrange the chicken-prosciutto wonderfullness with pretty little lemon slices, drizzle with sauce and EAT!

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken cutlets (we used 6 chicken tenders)
  • 6 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 sage leaves, more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, a little extra won’t hurt 🙂
  • 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Lemon slices

Directions:

1. Pat each tender dry and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around a chicken tender and tuck in two sage leaves, just enough to keep them in place while cooking. Repeat this step for each of the chicken tenders.
2. Place chicken tenders between a long piece of plastic wrap, and with a rolling pin, gently pound cutlets to an even 1/4-inch thickness. You want to pound the chicken after it is nicely wrapped up in prosciutto and sage, in order to help distribute the flavors and pound the ingredients into the chicken.

3.  Shovel the flour onto a plate and dip the pounded chicken in it, lightly coating each side. Heat a tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large pan. When the butter is melted and starts foaming, add the chicken cutlets to the pan, sage-side down. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, until lightly browned, a little crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm, while making the sauce.

4. Add wine to the hot pan and stir with a wooden spoon to de-glaze the pan. Add in the shallots and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Let the wine reduce by half, then add the chicken broth and reduce by half again. Turn off the heat and stir in remaining tablespoon of butter (we used a little less than a Tbsp). Pour over the plated cooked chicken cutlets and it’s ready to serve with lemon wedges.

*Little Yellow Note: we crisped up a little more sage to add to the tops of the chicken…we love the extra flavor!

Lemon Garlic Asparagus:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb asparagus
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus. This is easy to to by hand, by snapping off the bottom portion.

2. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the asparagus and stir it up. Squeeze in the lemon and add a dash of salt and pepper, to taste, and you got yourself a simple side-dish!

Multigrain Garlic Crostini:

Ingredients:

  • multigrain loaf–we got ours from TJ’s
  • fresh parmeggiano reggiano cheese, shredded or shaved
  • rosemary, dried or fresh
  • garlic, for rubbing
  • olive oil

Directions:

1. Cut bread into 1 inch thick slices. Drizzle each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary.

2. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until they look golden and crispy… Keep an eye out for these puppies! They can burn quickly, so stay near the oven to constantly check on them.

3. Take slices of bread out and rub vigorously with garlic. Top with a few shreds of cheese and place back under the broiler for another minute or two, or until desired melted-ness is reached.

4. Serve with meal!

Look! It's quite the balanced meal! Buon appetito!

 

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

-Chrissy



February 9, 2011

Lemon Herb Dutch Oven Chicken

I have been wanting to do this for a while now… but I needed a little inspiration. Thanks so much Julie @ The Little Kitchen !

With the temptation of a delicious  rotisserie chicken at a steal of a price for just $6.99 and ready to eat, it’s so hard to turn down. And the stores are smart, they always have these sitting on a warmer, right near the checkout. Normally, I’d just grab one and go, but not this time; this time I sacked up and bought a little raw 4.5 lb fryer chicken, some veggies and herbs, and set out on a culinary adventure. Not only does it give me the satisfaction of knowing I cooked a tasty chicken from scratch, but also it gives me the liberty to incorporate different flavors with much less sodium! Score!

Here’s how the fun process works:

First, grate some lemon peel.

Combine lemon peel with chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, and some salt and pepper and a pad of  butter.

Rub the herb butter on chicken breast, underneath the skin. This will  make it super moist and extra tasty!

Coarsely chop carrots, celery, and onion.

Make the Spice Rub and apply to the skin of the chicken….really rub it on there good,  you won’t regret it.

Then stuff the cavity of the chicken with a few handfuls of veggies, along with a quartered lemon and a sprig of rosemary.

I bet right now you are getting so excited that you are almost ready to get your little guy cooking. I know that I was so giddy… but first, you should infuse some olive oil with a few smashed cloves of garlic and rosemary.

Put the chicken in, breast-side down to brown for 5 minutes. Add the remainder of the veggies around the chicken.

Flip the chicken over, breast-side up, and let other side brown for another 5 minutes. I threw some more thyme on top too, just for fun.

Put the lid on the b-e-a-utiful dutch oven, and put in the oven.

After about 30 minutes, pull it out and pour in the wine along with placing  the quartered potatoes on top. Put the top back on and pop back in the oven for another half n hour or so.

Check done-ness with instant thermometer (our new kitchen tool, compliments of Lauren’s dad, Thanks Mike!)

Take chicken out of the pot, and set on cutting board (with grooves, so juice doesn’t flow all over the place), cover with foil for 20 minutes.

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.

Add in parmesan cheese, chopped rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper, a pad of butter, and some milk. Get smashing, until preferred texture.

Strain out the juices from the solids, applying a little pressure on the solids to help the process, and discard them. Then let the juices settle and spoon out the fat, which is that whole top layer. Cook the remaining juice with lemon juice and serve this “sauce” with the chicken & smashed potatoes!

Meanwhile, chop up some onions, green bell pepper, and trim some asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with garlic salt. Let bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Plate the chicken, smashed potatoes, and crispy balsamic veggies… and you have an amazing 100% home-cooked 3 dish dinner!!

Ingredients:

1 whole roasting chicken (41/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded,

salt & pepper

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

7 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3 sprigs fresh rosemary (one to stuff in the chicken, and one to finely chop)

2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp lemon peel, grated

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 red potatoes, cleaned and quartered

Spice rub: (1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper) This combination was inspired from The Little Kitchen blog

Chicken Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange racks to make room for dutch oven.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season outside with spice rub (see directions above).

3. Mix butter, rosemary, thyme, and lemon peel and distribute evenly underneath the skin, atop the chicken breast. Stuff the chicken cavity with the carrots, celery, onions, 4 cloves smashed garlic, sprig of rosemary, 2-3 wedges of lemon.

4. In a large Dutch oven over high, heat the oil and add small sprig of rosemary (only the leaves) along with 3 smashed cloves of garlic to infuse the oil. Add the chicken, breast-side down. Scatter the remaining onion, celery, and carrots around chicken.

5. Cook until the breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken breast-side up and cook another  6 to 8 minutes. Add in the wine.

6. Cover with lid and transfer the pot to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, about 60 to 80 minutes. Halfway through, throw the quartered red potatoes on top, close the lid and return to oven.

7. Once it’s finished cooking, first take out the quartered potatoes and put aside, in a medium bowl. Then, transfer the chicken to carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

8. Now the fat has to be separated from the juice. While the chicken is resting, strain chicken juices from the pot through fine-mesh strainer into a glass measuring bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard the solids (carrots/celery/onion). You don’t want to eat the veggies since they are doused in fat, although I suppose they are tasty.

9. Allow the liquid to settle, about 3 minutes, then pour back into dutch oven and set over low heat.

10. Carve the chicken, adding any accumulated juices to the saucepan (if at all possible). Stir lemon juice into the saucepan to create some really delicious “au jus” type sauce, and serve with chicken.

Herb-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes preparation:

1. Smash potatoes with fork, or a masher if you have it.

2. Add a pad of butter, 2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until desired consistency (it’s best to start with less liquid, and then adding more as needed). Also it would be a great idea to add in a few tablespoons of the chicken “au jus”.

3. Enjoy!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen

-Chrissy

January 26, 2011

Mean Green Chicken Enchiladas

That’s right. Watch out, these cheesy fiends will enlarge your thighs! Ha, funny. But seriously, check these puppies out!

IMG_2121

FYI, this isn’t a totally unhealthy dish, it has tons of spinach in it and light cream cheese. Plus, the color comes from lots o’ yummy veggies: green onion, cilantro, spinach, and chiles.

IMG_2120

It’s been a while since the Fajita Fiesta for One so we thought it was time to re-release our inner urges to Americanize Mexican food. We just can’t resist things like California burritos (carne asada, avocado and fries), nacho cheese sauce from a push pump, and apparently green and creamy enchiladas. If American’s love of cream and cheese and Mexico’s love of tortillas and cilantro had a baby, this would be it.

I made this with my mom during the holidays and have been thinking about it ever since. It was clearly love at first bite.

Mean Green Chicken Enchiladas

Sauce

  • 1/2 12-ounce package fresh spinach
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
  • 1  teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Enchiladas

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and salsa to top it all off

How to:

Warm cream cheese and milk for 20-30 seconds and blend well. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture for about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream cheese and milk mixture. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, cilantro, green onion, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree (or put into a food processor). Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_2092 IMG_2093

Heat oil in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Dip tortillas in oil to soften, shake it off, and put onto paper towels to drain.

IMG_2097

Let’s just pretend the Italian wine in the background is a Corona with a snazzy little lime in it. Thanks.

Combine cheeses in large bowl; set aside 3/4 cups for topping. Combine onion and cilantro in small bowl.

IMG_2094

Place 1/4 cup cheese mixture in center of 1 tortilla. Spoon 2 teaspoons onion mixture over. Roll up tortilla. Place seam side down in large glass baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and onion, using 1/4 cup cheese for each.

IMG_2106

IMG_2110

Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle the top with with a happy trail of reserved 3/4 cup cheese.

IMG_2117

Bake until the cheese browns a bit, about 25 minutes.

IMG_2126

Enjoy your Mean Green Chicken Enchiladas with LOTS of loved ones, because it can sure feed all of them + some.

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

January 6, 2011

Dutch-Oven Chicken Cacciatore

As you know from the last post, Lauren put up a great picture of our Christmas gift pile, which consisted entirely of  new kitchen and cooking items! Well, one of them happened to be the prettiest dark burgundy enameled Dutch oven that I have ever laid eyes on. It was a steal from Costco. Who needs to spend $250 bucks on a brand name Dutch oven, when Costco’s low-cost and quality Kirkland Signature does the trick. (Yep I grew up in a big family, so shopping at Costco Wholesale on Sunday after church, is a favorite pastime).

A great dish that will definitly impress the italian lover's palate!

After deciding on a hearty Chicken Cacciatore dish, Lauren and I embarked on our first ever Dutch oven adventure in the Little Yellow Kitchen! It was the perfect time to set out on this mission, because we also had to cook to impress our fabulous new neighbor, Pearl, so that she would want to come back for dinner.

She contributed a delicious Caprese salad, topped with basil pesto and some balsamic dressing. She used a tube of basil pesto because apparently, the winter “storms” in SoCal killed all the fresh basil crop! It was the perfect insalata italiana to compliment the Chicken Cacciatore.

Pearl, you're invited back any day.

Here is how our tasty dinner went down. Drum roll please….

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions:

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Fry the chicken until golden brown and a little crispy, about 7 minutes per side. Set the browned chicken aside on a plate and drain the oil. (Try not to dump any crunchy bits!)

Return the Dutch oven to the heat and add 2 more Tbsp of olive oil. Saute the bacon until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. (You don’t have to work too hard, the veggies will soak up the browned goodness off the bottom eventually). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic, marjoram and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the wine reduces to half the amount. Add the bacon back in along with the can of tomatoes; don’t forget the salt and peppah’! Bring the sauce to a slow simmer and partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes (we were a bit behind schedule and let it simmer for more like 20 and it still turned out great).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and transfer the pan to the oven, and cook the chicken until tender, about 35 minutes.

Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and skim any fat off the surface of the sauce. Stir in the parsley, maybe add a little more salt and pepper, and serve!

**Little Yellow Note: this dish can be served over your favorite pasta, to make it go a little further. We ate it without pasta the first night, but for lunch the next day the left-overs were great with a little added penne!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

–Chrissy

December 9, 2010

No Mo’ Pasta

While extensively discussing a dish to make, and we kept saying “pasta this pasta that”, and we decided…wait, let’s make a dish without pasta! So we did just that. Since we still wanted the dish to feel filling, we substituted pasta for a savory cream sauce.

We started with 4 chicken tenders, TJs sells a bargain bag of these. With just two of us, its easier to use chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts because they cook faster and don’t give us mass amounts of meat. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and cook, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan, but leave all the browned goodness in there for the next round of ingredients.

Sautéing shallots, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes

To the same pan,  we added finely chopped shallots, a couple cloves of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes then sautéed them all in a little more heated olive oil. After adding a little more salt and pepper, we poured in about ¼ cup white wine, and let the flavors introduce for a couple minutes. Once they were well acquainted, we added about ½ cup chicken broth into the conversation. After a few more minutes, the liquid reduced by about half, and it was time to whisk in a few tablespoons of (always fat free) half & half. Be sure to whisk well, an immersion blender would be even better! Lastly, if you are feeling like going wild, crack open that jar of artichoke hearts, quarter them and add to the white wine cream sauce; be assured, you won’t regret adding those little gems in.

Option: Let the chicken hang out in the sauce while cooking veggies

Once the delectable sauce is finito, place the chicken tenders on a dish and spoon a generous amount of sauce on top. In order to add a bit more sustenance, we sautéed some fresh cut green beans and yellow crookneck squash. It was simple yet divine.

 

Buon Appetito!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen

–Chrissy