Tag Archives: chicken

Ideas for throwing a Superbowl Party on a Budget

30 Jan

Well, I’m poor and maybe so are you.

But, you want to watch the game with a few friends, and don’t mind having Cletus and the gang over.  Don’t fret; there are ways you can still entertain and do it on a budget. All it takes is some planning, and a bit of creativity.

Have a Pot-Luck Party

There is nothing wrong about pot-luck. Suggest to the masses if they want to watch the game on your brand, spanking-new plasma tv that you bought, they may wanna bring a dish or two. It just takes some coordination, never leave it up to the masses. You are supplying the venue, so provide the paperware and beverages. Guide your guests to what they should provide. Everybody you invite should be willing to bear some cost. Have the guest that can’t cook bring some chips, a dessert or a dip. Tell them to bring enough for the amount of guests you are having.  Tell them if they are briniging a guest, the guest should bring something as well. Nobody shows up empty handed.

Avoid some pre-packaged food

Ideally when you buy that bag , box or tray of prepared food,  you should look at the realistic serving size, not the one put on the package. Example: Frozen Buffalo wings from some of the leading companies cost between $8.99 and $9.49 a pound for a 2.5 lb. bag. That’s spending between $3.59 and $3.79  a pound for just over 3-4 servings, especially if you have a bunch of hungry guys over. It’s just cheaper to make your own, especially if chicken wings cost between &1.69 and $2.49 a pound.

But CC, I don’t want to spend time making food; I just want to order it or just pop it into the oven and be done with it.

Only you can be the judge between the cost of convenience versus time. If you want to order wings from your local wing joint, call them NOW and make your reservation. You aren’t the only one wanting wings of fire for the shindig.

Making your own cold cut tray has its advantages. First, you can use sale cold cuts and cheeses and choose the ones you like.  Second, it’s just cost effective.   For $28, you can have 2 meats and 2 cheeses and have enough to feed a hungry crowd. Why pay extra for the kale and the  pile of unidentifiable lunch meat that nobody ever eats?

B.Y.O.B.

Alcohol ain’t cheap, y’all. How many times you’ve had to empty half-full cans of beer? It is a proven fact that people are less wasteful of things if they had to pay for them, and alcohol is no exception.

A note, however: You should be diligent with your guests if you are serving drinks. Cut them off if they appear to be too inebriated, and never serve alcohol after the third quarter ( this always eliminates that guy who won’t leave until all of the alcohol is gone).  You may save yourself a headache later on, especially if your state is one who holds a homeowner responsible for how much his guests drink.

The idea is to have fun. If you need any ideas for something to either serve or bring, try one of the following recipes:

Beer-Battered Chicken Fingers

Warm Crab Dip

Chicken and Brown Rice Meatballs

Dirty Rice

My soon-to-be famous Sangria

Now go and root for your favorite team!!!

Easy Chicken Marsala

14 Oct

What does one do when one wants a taste of Italy, but cannot afford the airfare? You make Chicken Marsala! This is a super easy version of the classic recipe using golden mushroom soup ( you food snobs out there: try it yourself and find out). Marsala is a fortified wine that is similar to sweet sherry, but do not use sweet sherry as a substitute. If you must use a substitute, use dry sherry or white wine. Be warned; if you use white wine or no alcohol, you will no longer have a dish resembling marsala. You will have a chicken-with-mushroom- concoction.

4 servings

Equipment List

1 large skillet ( nonstick is ok)
measuring spoons
measuring cups ( liquid and dry measure)
measuring spoons
whisk
wooden spoon
knife
cutting board
2 ea. plate
small bowl

Ingredients

4 each trimmed and portioned boneless and skinless chicken breasts
( Perdue Fit and Easy brand is best; they are already prepared), or
I lb. chicken tenders ( fresh, not breaded)

1 cup sliced fresh button or baby bella mushrooms
1/3 cup onion diced finely
1 Tbl. chopped garlic
1/2 cup marsala ( or white wine)
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can water
1 Tbl.  freshly chopped parsley (1/2 Tbl. dried parsley)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbl. butter, cold (opt.)

olive oil for sauteeing
flour for coating chicken

Assemble all ingredients together and read recipe before proceeding

Remove chicken from packaging; rinse well and pat dry. Put 1 cup flour in a large ziploc  bag, add chicken to bag of flour, close well and shake until all pieces of chicken are coated evenly. Remove chicken from bag, place on a plate and refrigerate.

Heat 3 Tbl olive oil in your pan over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, onions and garlic to pan and cook, stirring frequently for five minutes or until soft. Lower heat and remove mushroom mixture; set aside.  Raise heat to medium and add 3 more Tbl. of oil to pan. Add chicken to pan. Brown the chicken for two minutes on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Note: Be VERY careful with the next step!!!!! Alcohol is extremely flammable.

Pull pan away from the stove and add the marsala ( or wine), stir with wooden spoon to loosen up all of the bits in the bottom of the pan. Lower heat and return pan to stove. Cook marsala for 3 minutes, then add golden mushroom soup, water, and mushroom mixture to pan. Whisk together until  blended, then add chicken breasts. Cook for 6 minutes ( 2 minutes for tenders) or until done. Add pepper, chopped parsley and butter. Stir until butter is melted.

Serve over cooked egg noodles, pasta or rice.

Buono Appetito!!

 

Chicken and Brown rice meatballs

9 Oct

I made these a couple of days ago when my new roommate moved in ( that’s where I’ve been!). I wanted to make a meatball that was light ( wait a minute; it has brown rice in it. How can it be light?), and can hold up in a sauce. Well, I made these and they turned out great! These meatballs have a surprisingly light texture, and great flavor.

Serve these as you would regular meatballs; with tomato or marinara sauce over pasta, or in brown sauce with sour cream over noodles ( Swedish meatballs). This also makes a great meatloaf* as well.

Makes 14 to 18 meatballs

You will need:

food processor

knife

cutting board

mixing bowls

measuring cups

measuring spoons

gloves for handling ground beef

*meat thermometer

sheet pan

spray oil

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chicken ( do not use breast meat for this recipe)

4 ea. baby bella ( cremini, or button) mushrooms

1 ea. small onion

2T. chopped garlic

2 T. olive oil

2/3 cup cooked brown rice

1 egg ( or 1/4 cup egg substitute)

1 T. dried parsley

1/2 t. pepper

2 slices stale bread

1 1/2 t. sea salt

2 T. milk

1/4 c. grated parmesan

Slice and chop the mushrooms and onions in the food processor until finely chopped.  In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil to pan. Saute the onions, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings ( salt, pepper, parsley and italian seasonings)  together until all liquid is absorbed and onion mixture is done. Take onion mixture and cool completely.  Crumble stale bread and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together ground chicken, brown rice, egg, crumbled bread, Parmesan, milk and onion mixture. Mix well. Set aside and chill in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Wash hands thoroughly.

After chilling; either use gloves, or spray cooking spray onto hands lightly. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray. Shape meatballs into small balls and place 1/4 inch apart onto sheet pan. Place meatballs in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until bottoms of meatballs are brown.

Make sure all surfaces that came into contact with ground meat are washed thoroughly with soapy hot water ( including your hands).

* For meatloaf: shape into rounded loaf, and cook in oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees ( or about one hour)

BBQ Turkey Wings

26 Sep

Don’t trip…

Turkey wings are great. A family member kept raving about how great the wings were. Well, I tried barbecuing them, and they were great. This is a really simple treatment that allows you to use your favorite sauce, whether it’s Open Pit ( but I would’ve hoped you have graduated from the entry-level flavor of that sauce by now), to the sauce that was handed-down-from-your-great-great-grandma.

Either way, it’s great for toting to that tailgating party. The wings I buy are from Shady Brook farms, and come without the drummette attached. It has only the flat, two-boned part and the tip. They are packaged six to a package. Allow three pieces per person. If you can’t find the turkey wings, chicken wings will do just fine, just trim off the tip from each wing and allow four chicken wings per person

Serves four

You will need

chef knife

paper towels

plastic rap

gallon sized Ziploc bags

pan coating

bowl for  BBQ sauce

brush

Ingredients

2- packages of Shady Brook Farms, or 24 whole chicken wings

1/2 cup BBQ Spice Rub

1-2 cups your favorite Barbecue sauce, room temperature

Place two layers of paper towels on a sheet pan ans set aside. Cut tips off turkey wings and discard, or freeze  the tips for stock. Wash and pat dry.  Lay wings on paper towels and sprinkle wings liberally on both sides with the spice rub.  Place wings in Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least four hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Move rack to center of oven. Spray pan coating lightly on sheet pan or baking dish. Place wings in a single layer on dish. Lightly sprinkle leftover spice over wings, and place in oven. Cook wings in oven for 30 minutes, then turn and using a basting brush, paint wings with barbecue sauce and cook for 10 additional minutes, or until meat pull away from ends of wings. Discard leftover sauce.

Pull wings from oven and let rest for ten minutes. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on the side, or use ranch or sour cream.

Make you wanna smack your mama!

Simple ways to cook chicken breasts: Chicken Bosciaola with Penne

30 Aug

Chad wrote:

CC – I’m a simple, single man with limited culinary skillz.  I like to eat  chicken breast.  I cube it and fry it in a pan with olive oil, and sprinkle some  garlic salt.  Its getting old.

Do you have any favorite, simple ways to cook chicken breast?  Bake?  Fry?

Why yes, Chad; I do indeed have several simple ways of cooking chicken breasts. I have several recipes on this site which may involve some prep, but are really good. This recipe for Beer-battered chicken fingers with honey mustard is really easy to prepare.  I will simplify a recipe I posted earlier on for chicken parmesan and e- mail that to you in a few days. In the meantime, try your hand at making this recipe: Chicken Bosciaola( BOSSY-OLA)!

Make sure that you familiarize yourself with this recipe before you attempt to cook this. It is easy, but it has a few steps.

Prep time is about 15 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes. Total time should come in at 35 minutes

You will need:

heavy skillet

liquid measuring cups

dry measuring cups

large ziplock bag

measuring spoons

wooden spoons

cutting board

kitchen knife

large pot for cooking pasta

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts ( try Perdue fit and easy chicken breasts; the are uniform in size and easy to work with)

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 sliced small onion

1/2 sliced mushrooms ( you can also buy these freshly sliced as well, or buy them canned; drain them before use)

1 tbl chopped garlic ( you can buy this chopped)

2 slices bacon

1/2 cup  diced tomatoes ( Italian flavored ones are great for this dish)

1/4 cup red wine

1 pkg. brown gravy mix

1 tsp. italian seaoning

1 ½ cups penne pasta

1 ½ tsp dried parsley

2 tbl. butter

salt and pepper to taste

Put 2 qts. of water on stove in large container and bring to boil. While waiting for pasta water to boil, measure out flour,  1 tsp. salt and  1/2 tsp. pepper in ziplock bad and set aside. Cube chicken and  add to bag of flour. Close ziplock bag, and shake pieces of chicken in bag. Pull out chicken from the ziplock bag and shake the excess flour of the chicken pieces. Set aside.

Dice bacon, and onions and set aside. Mix brown gravy with water as directed on envelope and set aside.  When pasta water comes to a boil, cook penne pasta for ten minutes and drain. In the meantime, in a heavy skillet add olive oil and heat over medium heat.

Cook bacon , mushrooms and onions for about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add tomatoes, wet gravy mix, Italian seasonings, parsley and red wine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Add butter,  and toss desired amount of cooked  pasta into the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

You will need

Dirty Rice

28 Aug

Do you like it dirty? Well, do you? MMmmnnnn, you cheeky monkey!

The CC does! But shhhh, my doctor wouldn’t be so thrilled about knowing that. So, the CC made a version of her favorite dish using ground turkey and turkey sausage to achieve the legendary taste that helped put N’Orleans ( Nawlins) on the map.

For those of you that don’t exactly know what dirty rice is, it is a rice dish made with ground sausage, livers, vegetables, herbs and spices. It is the dark appearance of the rice that gives the dish its name. Now, a note to all of you who find liver offensive: COWARDS! the lot of you. Seriously, you can skip the livers but the liver add a component to the dish that cannot be matched.

(Sigh). So if you must, skip the liver and add extra turkey sausage in its place.

You will need

large iron, aluminum, or enameled skillet

Lit to fit skillet

dry measuring cups

liquid measuring cups

measuring spoons

cutting board

chef’s knife

spoons for stirring

Ingredients:

3/4 c. green peppers, diced

1 1/2 c. yellow onions, diced

1/2 c. celery. diced

1 tbl. garlic

1/2 lb. ground turkey*

1/3 lb. italian-style turkey sausage**, casings removed

1/2 cup chicken livers, rinsed and patted dry

1 tbl. worcestershire

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne

1 cup uncooked white rice

2 cups chicken stock

salt and black pepper to taste

2 tbl. fresh parsley, chopped

vegetable oil

Place 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in bottom of skillet, and heat over medium flame. Briefly brown livers on all sides, then remove from pan. Let cool, then chop livers coarsely and set aside. Add ground turkey to pan and let brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add an additional 1/4 cup of oil, if needed and brown sausage stirring to break up in pan. Add peppers, onions, celery, and garlic and cook until softened. Add rice and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Add ground turkey, bay leaf, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, cayenne, livers and stir until blended. Add stock, turn heat to high and bring to boil. Turn down heat and cover pan. Cook over low heat for 15- 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove covered pan from heat and le stand with lid on for five minutes. Fluff rice with fork and stir in chopped fresh parsley.

Serves four to six persons.

*This dish needs a certain amount of fat to round out the flavor, so don’t use ground turkey breast for the turkey, It is too dry for this dish. Try to find regular ground turkey. Also, ground beef or pork can be used as a substitute

**As for the sausage, I used Shady Brook Farms Italian-style Turkey dinner links for the sausage. I used 2 links for this recipe, Add one more if you plan to sub sausage for chicken livers. However, you can use regular pork sausage for this dish, or smoked sausage will do as well.

Try compound butters to liven up grilled food!

21 Aug

Hey gang!

Tired of the same old A1© sauce on top of your charcoal grilled steak? Is that marinated grilled chicken boring the heck out of you? Sick of the same old grilled vegetables? Yes, I know.

Have you tried making compound butter before? You should.  It is a great way to add flavor and pizazz to any of you summer food fare. Compound butters are made with softened butter and a choice of herbs, spices, or anything you can think of that will give your grilled food that  certain savoir-fare, and is a great preparation to add to your growing repetoire of culinary tricks. Best of all, they are super easy to make. Below are two recipes for compound butter; one is a classic preparation, the other a sassy little number to bring your steaks and burgers to life.

Both recipes will freeze quite nicely, and can be made in advance.  They keep in your refrigerator for up to one week, or stored in your freezer for up to one month.

You will need for both recipes

bowls for mixing

wooden spoons

cutting board

knife

measuring spoons

dry measuring cups

grater or zester ( for hotel butter)

containers for storage

plastic wrap

Classic Maitre D’ Hotel Butter

This lemony butter is great for chicken, fish and vegetables, or even tossed into cooked angel hair.

1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz)

1 tbl minced shallots

zest of one lemon

juice of 1/2lemon

1/2 tsp. coarse-grind black pepper

1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1  tbl. olive oil

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Soften butter to room temperature until soft and pliable. DO NOT MELT! Add ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in lidded container, or roll into cylinders using plastic wrap. Either brush on grilled food during the last stages of cooking, or place a small dollop on top of finished grilled food.

Gorgonzola Green Onion Butter

Great on all types of grilled steak. Try  putting a knob of this butter inside homemade burger patties before grilling them for added zing.

1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz.)

6 tbl. crumbled gorgonzola cheese

1/2 tsp. coarse-grind black pepper

1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup chopped scallions ( tops only)

Soften butter to room temperature.  DO NOT MELT. Add rest of ingredients except scallions, and mix well. Add scallions and mix gently. Put in lidded  container, or roll into a cylinder using plastic wrap.  Either brush on grilled food during the final stages of cooking, or serve a healthy dollop on top of finished grilled food.

Either way you choose to use these butters is ok. Or, try and make your own versions of these recipes. Just remember not to melt the butter or you will have a mess on your hands.

ENJOY!!!!