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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

And yet another installment in Passover food: this was one of the main courses for the Passover holiday, and it turned out amazing! Easy to do, very tasty, and easy to digest – very important during Passover as the food tends to be very heavy.

And here I can link to Awesome Ashild‘s excellent, funny and useful blog without guilt 🙂

Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil
6 Fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
4 chicken thighs and 6 chicken legs (or whatever fits in your baking pan)
4 tbsp brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise
salt and pepper to taste

Oil a large Pyrex with 2 tbsp oil. Layer half the fennel in the Pyrex. Layer the chicken pieces, skin downwards, on the fennel. Sprinkle the remaining olive oil, garlic and 3 tbsp brown sugar on the chicken. Cover with remaining fennel and cover with aluminium foil (if it sticks up above the Pyrex, don’t worry – fennel looses much of its volume in cooking). Bake for 2 hours at 200 °C in a preheated oven. Take out of the oven, move aside the fennel and turn over the chicken so that the skin is upwards. Baste the chicken with the liquid in the pan and sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp sugar, salt and pepper. Bake without covering an additional 30 minutes until browned. Eat, and don’t neglect the caramelized fennel in chicken stock, it’s excellent!

And it smells even better!

And it smells even better!

 

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My throat is killing me. Swallowing is mildly painful at best, shudderingly painful at worst.  But I’m somehow still hungry. We have schnitzels in the house, but the idea of eating something crunchy and deep-fried makes my body clench. On the other hand, I feel like crap, so this is not the time to take out the gourmet cookbook (I lost it ages ago anyway).

So I started with soup. (While my husband is very talented, soup is out of his league, unless it’s takeaway). I hit my first snag when I discovered I was out of my homemade frozen onion-carrot-celery mix. I hit my second when I discovered we had no frozen vegetable that could be helpful. I did get some hope when i discovered some raw chicken thighs. However, it would make pretty bland soup all alone. I continued searching and hit the jackpot: frozen fresh dill and  parsley,  and even a small bag of beef stock. Now we’re in business!

Clean out the freezer soup

Ingredients:

One chicken thigh and leg, raw
About two bunches dill
one bunch parsley
5 small carrots, peeled but not cut (you can skip peeling them.  Force of habit)
About 1/2 cup beef stock

Boil the chicken in a lot of water and skim the top until clear. Dump everything else in. Boil for 20 minutes (about). Taste. If not bland, sieve into a mug and drink. If bland, simmer more.
No picture, but trust me, it looks like clear broth  🙂

Microwave omelet

Break an egg into a small microwave safe dish. Add a splash of milk or water. Add a pinch salt. Mix with fork until yolk is blended. Cover with a plate or plastic lid (not plastic wrap). Cook in microwave on high for 30 seconds or until cooked.

image

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s quick and easy and i can swallow it. It even tastes pretty good! 😉

Of course, the best option is to call your mother/neighbour/friend and ask them for soup, which is what I’m going to eat tomorrow – there’s nothing like your mother’s chicken soup 😀

Good health to all!

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Finally, the holidays are over. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. I love inviting, and cooking, and visiting people I don’t see that often, and the excuse to be with extended family. But the problem of having three major holidays in one month is that by the end, you’re just dying for a bit of basic routine. And don’t even get me started on the how the kids act during two weeks at home. Also, I tend to forget that I gave birth a few months ago, and still not sleeping more than 4 hours straight. My baby girl, who is sweet, strong and intelligent, absolutely refuses to take a bottle. My husband manages to feed her about 10 cc, but no one else can even get close. So the obvious solution of having my husband feed her during the night so I can actually sleep is out. I’m beginning to get an attractive zombie look, and when people see me the first thing they say is either, “Are you all right?” or “You look exhausted”. Just boosts for my ego, every day 😕

Still, I enjoyed cooking. For Rosh Hashana the undoubted star was the lemon chicken with green rice. I usually don’t make this for Rosh Hashana as it is traditional to serve sweet foods (may you have a sweet year) but my husband asked for this, so I made it. Of course, he doesn’t touch the chicken. But he loves the rice 😉 This is a one pot meal, where rice loaded with fresh herbs is placed at the bottom of a sauteuse pan, chicken pieces are arranged on top, and covered with herbs and preserved lemons. This is all cooked until chicken is done. The results are fragrant and delicious.

I made preserved lemons once, but I use them only for this dish and it wasn’t worth it. So what I do now is use pseudo preserved lemons: Lemons sliced and de-seeded (but with the peel) sautĂ©ed in olive oil and salt until tender. This gives the preserved lemon taste without waiting for three weeks or buying special ingredients. You can also make extra and add to salads or sauces.

Chicken with green rice and preserved lemons

Based on the recipe from Derech HaOchel (Food’s Way)

“Preserved” Lemons

One lemon, sliced thinly with the peel, de-seeded
1-2 tbsp Olive oil
1-2 tsp of salt

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté lemon and salt on medium heat until lemon is wilted and tender. When tasting, lemon should be salty and mildly sour, with no bitterness. If bitter or extremely sour, add more salt and sauté another few minutes.

“Preserved” lemons

The dish

1 1/2 cups long grain rice (I use classic Persian rice)
1 onion
1/4 bunch each of parsley, coriander, spearmint (nana in hebrew) and dill
1 carrot
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste
1 cup water
3 chicken legs and thighs, without the skin (I use TevaOf, chickens without antibiotics and fed vegetarian food)
4 tbsp preserved lemon, diced or one “preserved” lemon, sliced
about 6 garlic cloves, minced.

Mince onion, carrot and herbs in a food processor.

Minced herbs

Put 3 tbsp aside. Mix the rest with rice, oil and salt and pepper. Place in a sauteuse, leveling the rice. Pour water on rice. On top arrange the chicken pieces in one layer.

Chicken on rice

Mix preserved lemons with remaining herbs and garlic. Cover the chicken pieces with preserved lemon mixture.

Before cooking

Cover and cook on a low fire for 1 1/2 hours until chicken is cooked.

The result – divine!

After cooking

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Lately we’ve had guests for at least one meal every weekend. So I’ve been making more chicken than usual. When we don’t have guests I rarely do it as my husband doesn’t like chicken. He likes chicken breast or schnitzel, but not chicken as is. Odd, isn’t it?

Anyway, as I’ve been doing more chicken lately leftovers are more of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken. I just don’t like it the same way every day. On the other hand, making something new when I’ve got perfectly good chicken in the fridge is a bit pointless as well. So this time I made sauce with the chicken, and ate it over pasta. It turned out delectable.

I didn’t photograph it as my baby grew pretty insistent that she wanted to eat as well, so I didn’t have time to savour it properly, and even less time to photograph. But it’s still worth remembering.

The base for the sauce was the chicken gravy and tomatoes. As I’ve already mentioned, a delectable tomato sauce can be made pretty easily in the microwave. Adding the chicken gravy to it made it richer and smoother. I removed fat from the gravy before using it, so it wasn’t too fat, either 🙂 To top it off, I added chopped leftover chicken and chopped leftover grilled fennel, and some dried basil.  The result was a rich sauce with a surprising depth of flavor because of the chicken and fennel.

Definitely something to remember.

Ingredients:

One quarter chicken, cooked
Chicken gravy
About 15 large cherry tomatoes, halved if large
About 1 1/2 chopped grilled fennels
Dried basil to taste
One portion pasta (or rice, couscous, burgul, whatever)

Put the tomatoes in a microwave safe dish. Cook on high for 3 minutes. If tomatoes remain whole, crush them until they pop (carefully! it sprays!) and cook on high for another minute. Add chicken gravy and chicken, fennel and basil. Cook on high for another two minutes. If using pasta, add to sauce and cook for another minute on high or until pasta is warm. Otherwise serve over rice or couscous (or whatever).

Bon Apetit!

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Obviously, if I’m reading Nora Roberts books at the rate of one a day, and taking care of all my kids in the summer vacation (G-d bless my husband, who takes part or all of them and arranges all kinds of projects. Otherwise I would already be nuts by now), I don’t have much time for cooking. But before all the kids were here, I had a hankering to do something special with leftover chicken. I wanted something with dough, as well. So I chose chicken pockets.

I admit, I debated with myself a bit on this one. On the one hand, I really felt like making something interesting and special with dough and chicken. On the other hand, time is limited, and the recipe stated that it took an hour. And the first time you make a recipe it always takes longer than you expect. In the end I went for it. 🙂

I based on this recipe (Hebrew). The dough turned out delectable, and so easy to make. I completely changed the filling to fit my leftover chicken, and did the simplest filling I could think of to save time and effort. Also, I made only half the amount.

Leftover Chicken Pockets

Dough:

75 gr spelt flour (or all purpose)
75 gr all purpose flour
100 ml boiling water
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 tbsp cornflour

Filling:

chicken from a quarter chicken, cooked and cubed
two handfuls olives, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg
Dried oregano to taste

Dipping sauce (optional):

2 tbsp rice vinegar
Dried chilli
Soy sauce to taste

 

To make the dough:

Sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with bread hooks, add the boiling water and mix on low. Add the oil and mix again. Add the cornflour and knead for 5 minutes. (See? Easy!) Put more cornflour on your workspace and make a fat sausage from the dough. Cut dough into 10 equal parts. Roll each part into a circle.

To make the filling:

Mix all the ingredients.

Putting it together:

Put one tbsp of filling in the center of each circle. With an egg brush, put water on the edge of half a circle. Fold the circle in half, using the water as “glue”.

Before frying

 

Fry each pocket for ~5 minutes on both sides or until brown. It is also possible to steam them for 7-8 minutes instead. Eat with dipping sauce of your choice (I ate without, it was good!).

5 pockets before eating

Bon Apetit!

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As usual, by the end of the week we’re left with a bit of this and a bit of that in the fridge. One of the things we had were grilled chicken breasts that had dried out a bit in the fridge. They were still soft enough to cut with a knife, but not pleasant to eat as is. So I decided to cook them in a sauce, and serve over pasta.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
1 small onion
1 tsp minced garlic
5-6 champignon mushrooms, sliced
About 1/2 cup cooked green beans
3 small cooked chicken breasts, sliced thinly so they absorb liquid efficiently
One cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
About 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp spelt flour or other flour, for thickening

(I told my husband that he was lucky I made apricot jam the day before, other we would have had apricots in the sauce as well 😉 )

Heat olive oil. Fry onion until translucent, add garlic and continue frying til fragrant. Add mushrooms, cook until browned. Add chicken, green beans, ginger, stock and soy sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes on a low fire, so chicken absorbs some liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid, add water or white wine. Add flour and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until thickened. If not thick enough, add more flour. Serve over pasta.

My mom dropped by to pick something up and said the scent was overpowering, even outside the building, and said (hint, hint, wink, wink) that she wasn’t in a hurry and that my father was out of town for dinner. So we invited her for dinner as  well 🙂 By the time I thought to photograph the excellent sauce, only this was left:

Umm… Mushroom Chicken Sauce?

😆 😆 😆

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I wanted something quick and relatively healthy for dinner. I had leftover chicken breast and some vegetables that needed using up. So I decide on a salad with chicken cubes. However, I like salads of this type with thousand island dressing. I didn’t have any, and no patience to begin making real thousand island dressing . So I tried to find something similar enough to thousand island without, you know, bothering too much. I googled “quick thousand island recipe” and predictably, the first try was a recipe that indeed was quick, but needed a bunch of stuff I didn’t have or even know what they were (query: does any one know what sweet pickle relish is? All the thousand island recipes I saw had it). And the more serious problem was, that at the end it specified “refrigerate for a few hours until sugar is dissolved”.

This is NOT quick.

In the end I found  this recipe.  The result was spectacular! (It came out a bit too much dressing, but really, I don’t mind 🙂 )

Salad: (serves 1)

1 grilled chicken breast, cubed
1 mini-cucumber, cubed
4 cherry tomatoes
half a grilled squash, cubed
1 large fresh mushroom, cubed
Anything else you have in mind 😉

Mix everything together.

Pseudo Thousand Island dressing:

1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
squirt ketchup
splash balsamic vinegar
1 drop tabasco (or to taste)

Mix everything together. Taste and add tabasco/vinegar/ketchup if necessary. Pour over salad and serve.

Chicken salad with pseudo thousand island

Yum!

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