Friday, February 26, 2010

I love my slow cooker...

I wish I had more counterspace. If I did, my slow cooker would be used a lot more often.

Hoisin Orange Chicken

1 cut up chicken (I also added 1 extra split breast because we were having company)
4 T orange juice concentrate
1/4 c. honey
4 T hoisin sauce
1 T ginger paste *
2 T garlic paste *
1 T sesame oil
1 T chili oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
optional - 1 green onion sliced for garnish

1. Preheat your slow cooker
2. Brown chicken pieces
3. Place chicken pieces in slow cooker
4. Combine all other ingredients, mixing well, and pour over chicken.
5. Cook on low for 3 hours on high and then 2 hours on low.
6. Serve on rice and garnish with green onion

* I get Laxshmi brand from either the ethnic aisle of the supermarket or from an Indian grocery store.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

The gumbo that won the Super Bowl

Did you know that this gumbo helped The Saints win the Super Bowl? That's right. That nice gentleman from The Saints who intercepted that ball and ran 60 yards down the field for a touchdown was dreaming that he was running to a bowl of this most excellent gumbo. And now it can be yours, just in time for Mardi Gras.

Chicken And Sausage Gumbo (serves a football team)

1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced
3-4 pounds of chicken pieces (legs, thighs, breast)
1 1/2 pounds fully cooked smoked sausage (andouille, keilbasa, etc), sliced on diagonal in 1/2" slices
1 t salt
1 t cayenne pepper
2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t thyme
1 t garlic powder
1 t paprika
1 t dry mustard
1 t ground file
1 t Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal (optional garnish)

1. Chop up your vegetables.

2. In a small bowl, blend together the black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, dry mustard, file powder, garlic powder and salt.

Rub about 4 teaspoons of the spice mixture on the chicken pieces.

3. Combine the all purpose flour and 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture together and coat the chicken.

4. In a large frying pan, cast iron if you have it, brown the chicken pieces over medium high heat for at least 3 minutes each side. Remove chicken and set aside, draining on paper towels if needed.

5. To the large frying pan, add the vegetable oil and heat over medium to medium high heat. Add the flour and spice mixture that was used to coat the chicken pieces. (I needed to add more flour since I'm messy when it comes to coating chicken pieces). Stir the flour and oil together to make a "roux" (aka "a smooth paste"). Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until it turns a nutty brown. DO NOT LET THE ROUX BURN.

When the roux reaches the color brown you want, add in the onion, bell peppers and celery to the roux and remove from the heat. Stir the mixture together to coat the vegetables, making sure there are no clumps.

6. In a large dutch oven, bring your stock to a boil. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot stock into the roux mixture. Slowly add the roux and vegetable mixture to the stock, stirring constantly so there are no lumps.

Add the sausage and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. (Note: I used Oscar Meyer turkey keilbasa and a Texas brand of smoked jalapeno and cheddar sausage. I think the jalapenos made it spicier than normal.)

7. Add in chicken pieces, bay leaves and hot sauce. Cook over medium low heat for at least 40 minutes, or until chicken pieces are cooked through. (I cooked over low for over an hour since I was making it in the early afternoon.)

8. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and cool. When it's cool, remove the skin from the chicken and the chicken from the bone. Cut into bite sized pieces and return chicken to the pot.

At this point, adjust your seasonings and it's ready.

Serve over hot rice and garnish with green onions.

I also made this seven layer dip with black beans, ground turkey with taco spices, guacamole, low fat sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes and green onions. Fantastic.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Soup to warm the cockles of your heart on a cold winter's day

It's a little warmer this week, but still gets nippy. I've been browsing through the chicken recipes for soup. I love Thai food, so this one sang to me. (La tua cantante, or whatever the head Volturi said about Edward and Bella...)

Thai Chicken Soup (adapted from 365 More Ways To Cook Chicken)

2 cans of lite coconut milk
6 cups of chicken stock
1 piece of lemongrass stalk (about 6-8") cut in 1" pieces
1 1/2 " piece of ginger cut into thick slices
1 boneless skinless chicken breast (feel free to use a couple more, this is what I had), thinly sliced
1- 5 ounce package of fresh shitaki mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 scallions, sliced
1 carrot, cut into thin julienne strips
1/4 cup nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 minced jalapeno (I used pickled slices from a jar...)
1 t hot chili oil
1 kaffir lime leaf, cut into thin strips

1. In a large saucepan, bring coconut milk, stock, lemongrass and ginger to a boil. Add in your kaffir lime leaf strips...

... and your chicken. Lower to a simmer.

2. Add in mushrooms, scallions, carrot, nam pla, jalapenos and chili oil. Simmer until carrots are tender.

3. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


"Any woman who sews or knits or weaves, blends colors in a tapestry or creates a patchwork quilt, knows by the feel that a single thread is weak. But the weaving, the blending, the intertwining with many others makes it strong. Any woman alone without friends to sustain her, to nurture and support, to hold with loving arms, like a single thread is weak. But the weaving, the loving, the nurturing of others, the networks of friendships make her strong."
-- Barbara 1994 The Kinship Of Women

I have never read this book, but I find this quote to be incredibly inspiring, especially after meeting some amazing women on the Fit and Fabulous cruise put together by Shannon.

Thank you all for making me a stronger person.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Now that the FabFatties cruise is over and gone (I miss you guys very much!) I'm trying to get back into my routine. So I'm back to figuring out what's for dinner, and that includes figuring out what kind of chicken to cook for dinner. Last night was Oven Crisp Chicken (adapted from recipe on pg. 68 from 365 Ways To Cook Chicken), and oh, this was a good one.

Oven Crisp Chicken

1 cup low fat sour cream
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t regular paprika
1/2 t hot paprika
1/4 t celery seed
1/2 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs (recipe calls for stuffing mix that you pulverize. I used Italian breadcrumbs)
1 chicken, cut up
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl mix together the sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, celery seed, salt, garlic powder and pepper.

Pour breadcrumbs into a dish (I poured onto waxed paper because it's easy and doesn't mess up another dish).

Dip the chicken pieces in the sour cream mixture and roll in the breadcrumbs.

Place coated pieces in a pan that you lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Spritz top with olive oil spray (the recipe calls for melted butter) and bake for 1 hour.

Serve with veggie of your choice, salad, whatever is in the freezer...

The review: This chicken was really moist on the inside and lightly crispy on the outside. I'll be making this one again.