slow cooker garlic chicken thighs

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I jumped on the slow cooker train way too late.  Even when I actually had one in my small kitchen, I kept it in the box because there just wasn’t any room for it.  So this year, when K and I moved into our new townhouse, which had a kitchen about double the size of our old kitchen, I couldn’t wait to give the slow cooker a try.

Since then, the slow cooker gets used about once a week.  Our regulars are pulled pork, chili, and of course, these garlic chicken thighs.  I love this chicken dish (and generally any slow cooker dish) because I can put everything in the slow cooker (even if the chicken is still frozen) and voila! 8 hours later, I have a stunning, juicy yet crispy chicken dish.

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken Thighs
(Makes 2 servings)

4 chicken thighs, skin on and patted dry
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine such as Chardonnay
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the wine and flour until no lumps remain.  Set aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.  Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the slow cooker, skin side up.  Pour the wine mixture on top of the chicken.

Cover and cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.

Transfer 2 cups of the sauce from the slow cooker to a small saucepan over medium heat.  Allow to simmer and reduce to about half the volume.  Set aside.

Serve the chicken thighs over couscous with some of the reduced sauce.

slow cook on,
Sharon

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Za’atar crusted Chicken

_dsc0004Growing up in Israel, Za’atar was a staple at our house.  Za’atar is a spice mix made from thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac (along with a few more mix ins) and is typically sprinkled over hummus or on bread. A few months ago, I was ecstatic to find Za’atar on Amazon – it was an authentic mix, imported from the middle east – in one pound bags.  Needless to say, I was looking for some other ways to use the mix aside from when snacking with some hummus.

This recipe is so so easy.  And as a busy mom, I’m always looking for the flexibility that this recipe provides.  Aside from searing the chicken, everything else is cooked together in one pan, and the whole recipe requires about 10 minutes of hands-on time.  This is something I can prep ahead of time and let it cook while I bathe and feed my son.

Za’atar crusted Chicken
(serves 2-3)

1 lb boneless chicken thighs
2 medium potatoes, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 sweet potato, cut into 2 inch cubes or slices
1-2 carrots, cut to 1/2 inch thick slices
1 turnip, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 tbs Za’atar
1/2 tbs lemon juice
3 tbs olive oil

Set oven to 375 degrees.  Coat both sides of the chicken with 2 tbs Za’atar seasoning and sprinkle with lemon juice.  In a saute pan with 1 tbs olive oil and under medium heat, sear the chicken for about 45 seconds on each side.  In a pyrex pan, lay all the vegetables and sprinkle with the rest of the zaátar seasining and olive oil and mix to evenly coat.  Place seared chicken on top of vegetables, cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, until vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked thoroughly.

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Cook on,
– shirley

 

Chicken Katsu Curry

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It has been unusually rainy and cold here in San Diego this winter.  Don’t get me wrong, we need the rain and I’ve welcomed the change in temperatures that I miss since moving from the east coast, but it still leaves me craving warm and cozy meals.  Soups usually fit the bill, but I was looking for something different.  Enter this rich and creamy curry, coupled with a crispy chicken breast – it really hit the spot!

Chicken Katsu Curry
(makes 2-3 servings)

For the curry:
1 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 medium sized potatoes, diced into 2 inch cubes
1 red pepper, cut into 3 inch long sticks
3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tbs curry (I use golden curry sauce mix)
3 cups rice, cooked

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup vegetable oil

In a large skillet, under medium heat, saute garlic and peppers in olive oil for approximately 3 minutes.  Lower heat to low, add potatoes, carrots, and chicken stock. Continue to cook until the mix simmers, then add curry.  Mix well to ensure curry is dissolved or well mixed. Continue to cook until potatoes and carrots are soft, about 15 minutes. Add chicken stock or curry to thin or thicken the consistency, respectively, to your liking.

While curry is cooking, combine egg, milk, a dash of salt and pepper, and any seasonings you prefer (I like using adobo). Pound chicken breast to tenderize it, dip in egg mixture, followed by panko, and place into vegetable oil under medium-high heat.  Cook chicken until browned, approximately 4 minutes, then flip and repeat.

Serve curry and chicken over rice.

food on,
-Shirley

 

 

coffee chicken

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As a child, when your mom tells you that she’s going to make coffee chicken for dinner, your initial reaction is, “Ew, Mom.”  And for most adults, coffee is coffee.  You don’t really mix it into savory foods very often.  But as I grew up, I came to realize that this is an absolutely unique and delicious dish.  This recipe has been in our family for many generations, and continues to get passed down.  Most people are reluctant, until they smell the chicken cooking in the coffee mixture.  The chicken cooks in a mixture made up of freshly roasted coffee, ketchup, soy sauce, and more.  The result is a juicy and flavorful piece of chicken.  One bowl, one mixture, one hour.  Couldn’t get easier than that.  Serve it with rice pilaf and broccoli, and you’ve got yourself a meal that will not disappoint!

Coffee Chicken
(Serves 6)

1 whole chicken, cut to small to medium pieces
¾ cup brewed coffee
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce

In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the chicken.  Mix well.

Spread the chicken pieces onto the bottom of a large pot.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Leaving the pot uncovered, reduce the heat to low and let cook for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and tender, and the sauce has reduced to a semi-viscous sauce.  Be sure to stir occasionally.

– food on,
Sharon

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hot pot soup at home

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Hot Pot is a traditional chinese concept in which a boiling bowl of stock is placed in the middle of the dinner table.  The pot is kept simmering and  guests around the table place raw meat or vegetables into the pot. The ingredients cook quickly and enjoyed by the diners.

It’s a unique experience that J and I have been able to partake it at a few restaurants, but our favorite was in Hawaii.  J actually went to the restaurant while I stayed behind and caught some rays (can you blame me?), and enjoyed it so much that he brought me with him a couple days later.  Just like Poke, we enjoyed it so much that I was determined to bring the hot pot soup home with me. I might not have a setup to keep a large bowl boiling in the middle of the dining table, but I’ve been able to adapt the recipe to a bowl of soup.  With the cooling temperatures, it’s a cozy meal.

I love the flexibility I have with this soup.  The base is pretty simple and I add whatever is available at home to the broth.  I try to always put some sort of starch  (noodles, udon, or rice cakes), protein (thin shredded beef, chicken, or tofu), hearty vegetables (cabbage, bok choy, even kale).  If you like eggs, add one towards the end of the cooking process.  A soft yolk makes an awesome addition to gulps of hot, spicy, broth.

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Hot pot soup at home
(makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 quarts water
1/4 cup kimchi paste
1 1/2 tbs Bouillon chicken stock
3 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch strips
1 medium sized bok choy, sliced into 3 inch slices
3 leaves kale, sliced into 3 inch slices
1 cup shredded carrots
1 jalepano pepper, thinly sliced
6 ounces noodles
2 eggs, if desired

In a large pot, add water, kimchi paste and chicken stock. Bring liquid to boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat so that broth is simmering and add vegetables and meat.  Cook until ingredients are cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add noodles and cook based on package directions.  With approximately 2 minutes to go until the noodles are ready, add eggs if desired.  When noodles are cooked, Serve and Enjoy!

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Soup on,
– shirley

chicken and bok choy stuffed pattypan squash

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Remember when I said that my csa forces me to cook and try new things?  And when we said my cooking style is flexible and laid back?  This dish says it all.  Not only would I never think to make squash the main dish in a dinner, if it wasn’t for the fact that I made it, J would never touch it.  Seriously, squash scares him.

But, it was in the weekly basket so I looked for some inspiration online and went from there.  The inspiration was a pattypan squash stuffed with spinach and chicken sausage, which sounded great, so I just ran with that and what I had at home – it was a great way to clean out the fridge.  This took me less than a half hour of cooking time and came out great!  J even said he liked the squash on its own.  Total win.

Chicken and bok choy stuffed pattypan squash
serves 2

3-4 pattypan squash
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
2-3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1 -2 cups bok choy, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 small fennel bulb, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2  tablespoon adobo seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon chipotle seasoning
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Heat over to 300 degrees.  In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil, add a little salt, and add the squash.  Cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, in a pan, saute together the onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic in olive oil until browned, about 2-3 minutes.  Add bok choy, fennel, and chicken breast.  Also add seasonings and wine.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.

Remove squash from water and blanch in cold water.  To assemble, cut about an inch off the bottom of the squash to allow it to stand.  Then, cut the top of the squash across, about 1/2 inch from the top.  Using a spoon, scoop the inside of the scoop, in order to remove any seeds.  Any edible portion of the squash that is removed can be cut into small squares and added to the chicken and vegetable mix.  Once the squash is hollowed, stuff with chicken and vegetable mix.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted and slightly browned, approximately 10 minutes.

food on,
-shirley

grilled chicken with broccoli and kale cream sauce

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For the most part, I eat healthy and actually like the taste of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.  But I have a confession.  Every once in a while, I run into a vegetable I can’t stand.  And no matter how I cook it, it still tastes just like you’d expect a healthy veggie to taste – bland and gross.  Brussels sprouts are like that. I HATED them until I was about 19 (it didn’t help that my mom LOVES them, and I think she enjoyed torturing Sharon and I by cooking them. All. the.time.).  Even now, I only eat them if they are cooked with pine nuts and garlic.  Kale is another veggie like this, except I think this recipe changed that.  The cheese and the bacon give the kale such a rich flavor.  Definitely will be making kale this way again!

I made zucchini potato latkes as a side to this dish.  See, latkes are versatile.  I loved the flavor the zucchini added to these!

Grilled Chicken with Kale and Bacon Cream Sauce
(Serves 2)

2 chicken breasts
5-6 leaves kales, cut into 1 inch strips
3-4 strips of bacon, cut to 1 inch strips
½ cup water or chicken stock
2-3 laughing cow light cheese wedges
¼ cup cheddar cheese

Butterfly the chicken breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute in a pan, flipping over once, until cooked.  Remove chicken from pan.  Place kale in pan, and add about half the water.  Bring the water to a boil and sauté/steam the kale.  In a separate pan, cook the bacon.  Add the cheese wedges and the cheddar cheese to the kale, along with the rest of the water.  Mix together until the cheese melts creating a cream sauce.  Add the bacon to the pan.    Serve the sauce over the chicken.