Chicken Parmesan…Well, Sort Of.

Warmer weather, work, and holidays have made the past few weeks quite eventful (and tiring) so I apologize for the lack of posting over that time period- though it may extend over the next week or two as well. In the meantime, just bare with me and enjoy šŸ™‚

This particular meal is somewhat reminiscent of a Chicken Parmesan type dish, with some modifications. Instead of a pasta-based side, I went with a wild rice. And as for the chicken itself…

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The boneless thighs were already in the freezer and were stuffed with Mozzarella and Asparagus (prep work already done). At first I was unsure what type of way i was going to cook it so I actually started off by boiling some rice. As my mind got to thinking, I was like “hmm, I can make this in similar fashion to chicken parmesan- just stuffed.” And so I made my panko batter and threw the chicken in along with some tomato sauce and red wine and slow cooked in the oven.

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I topped it off with some fresh parsely and grated some pepito cheese.

Enjoy.

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Continuing the Barbecue Trend- Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Lately with the weather and Summer being almost upon us, there have been an influx of recipes and posts pertaining to various types of barbecuing. Keeping up with the trend, I went a slightly different route then the normal version (usually pork), and went with Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.

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For the chicken, I had boneless thighs which I initially tossed on the grill and used a little oil/honey combination which seem to be a nice combination for keeping the chicken very juicy on the inside and a nice crisp outer-coating. After this step, I took the chicken and tossed in the 5-quart Le Creuset. I proceeded to scoop in my homemade barbecue sauce (spice coming from Anaheim Pepper) aand I poured in some spiced rum as well for a little moisture. I then covered the dish, tossed in the oven at 200 degrees and let it go for a few hours.

In the meantime, I decided some type of potato would be in order. Since I had decided we would have sandwiches, I went the route and cut up some potatoes and proceeded to cook in the oven to make some homemade french fries. My seasoning mix for them included: white-truffle infused oil, sweet paprika, finely diced garlic, ground peppercorn, and salt.

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Throw in a side of pickles (counts as my green vegetable) and you have a complete meal.

Enjoy.

Orange-Chicken Fried Rice

With all the great weather we have been having lately, the random days where it decides to rain- or hail, i’m left to scrambling to come up with some various dishes. With what I had in the pantry I knew I had to be a tad creative (as the wife is not a huge fan of rice), so I had to kick up the flavor intenstity. In the end, I wound up making my own version of orange-chicken fried rice with broccoli and asparagus.

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The rice part was simple enough. Boil it like you normally would, drain it, and then set aside. Similar regards with the vegetables as i steam em first (not quite all the way) and then set aside. The main component of chicken had already been packaged with diced garlic and soy sauce before I froze the package. Once thawed out, I took the pieces and cut into smaller cubes. I tossed these in a bowl along with some chili powder, a little pineapple juice (optional), a little more soy sauce, some cor starch (give the chicken a crispyt coating while cooking), and I zested two oranges. All of this was mixed thoroughly and I proceeded to cook on my 2-burner griddle in some grapeseed oil (slightly higher smoke point). As this was getting close to the point that I wanted (slight crispiness) I then tossed in the vegetables to finsih cooking them through and for the flavors to soak in.

At this point, I also cleared off a portion on the front of the griddle, tossed on some oil, and poured on the rice to start “frying” it. Once it got to a point I was happy with, I then proceeded to mix all of the ingredients together on the griddle.

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Enjoy.

Some Quick and Easy Grilling (Healthy Too): Spaghetti Squash and Grilled Chicken

This was a nice meal as it did jnot take terribly long (just over a half hour) to cook, and the results are quite flavorful and it’s an all-around healthy meal.

To start, I took the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. I then score the inside with a fork and then drizzle on some oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, paprika, lemon/lime zest, and then some parsley. Once cut and seasoned, I put these on the grill, cut side up. Since this takes about 35 minutes to cook, I then had a few minutes to prep the chicken and toss it on the grill as well.

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The chicken I initially tossed on the grill unseasoned and cooked both sides slightly. I then applied a mixture of balsamic and honey and cooked until almost done. I then applied my homemade bbq sauce (has stuff like tomoato paste, worcesteshire sauce, ground up garlic, onion, anaheim peppers, amongst other “secret” ingredients). I then cooked until i gotĀ a nice slight char on the sauce coating.

While that was going on, I placed some asparagus on the top rack of the grill and basted in a combination of truffle-infused oil and pumpkinseed oil.

Upon removing everything from the grill, I scooped out the squash and plated and then I cut up the chicken and placed on top.

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Enjoy.

Cavatappi with Grilled Chicken and Sauteed Shrimp in a Light Sauce

With grilling season in full swing, I felt it was time to combine a few different cooking styles to form a dish that breaks away a little bit from traditional grilling.

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I started off with some boneless thighs which I seasoned lightly and then tossed on the grill. While on the grill, I basted them with a combination of balamic vinegar, honey, and chili powder. Upon completion I put them on a cutting board and cut into small pieces/strips and set aside.

In my double burner griddle, I poured in a little oil and a teaspoon of butter and put the heat on low. I then tossed in some diced garlic and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. I then tossed in some broccoli and let cook for a few minutes and then tossed in some cooked baby shrimp. At this point, I added in 2 more teaspoons of butter, 1/4 cup of diced up parsley, and stirred around. I When it was close to being done, I threw in the chicken, some heavy cream, and Ā grated on some fresh pepito cheese.

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After theĀ cavatappi was done cooking in a separate pot of water, i drained it, poured in the mixture with the sauce, mixed well and served.

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Enjoy.

Keeping it simple with an outdoor Lunch

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Sometimes it is not about going “all-out” in the kitchen but just being able to get away and enjoy a meal- and with the nice Spring weather it is even more enjoyable when you can sit outside and relax.

In this particular case, I made a simple chicken salad with leftover bbq chicken from the night before. I then did a simple potato salad as a side.

Since we decided to have a “semi-picnic” at Heritage Winery, we enjoyed a nice bottle of their Rose.

BBQ Drumsticks…in the Oven??

Tonight’s dinner was a nice modification to one of my favorite styles of cooking- barbecuing. However, since it was around 20 degrees out and some fresh snow on the ground actual grilling would not suffice. Time to utilize the oven.

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Beforehand, I had marinated the chicken overnight in a nice spicy marinade as I like to have a little kick to the flavor. I then set up a rack over a sheet pan and started to cook them on 425. After they had been in for a while and getting to the point where they were more thoroughly cooked on the inside (i.e. not much red left) I then basted them with a blood orange and honey reduction I had made while they were first put in the oven. The consistency was almost like a barbecue sauce but with pieces of orange pulp throughout. I then coated one side of the drumsticks, cooked a little longer, flipped over, and then did the other side.

Overall, they still had that spicy kick to them but then had a nice citrusy sweetness (think oriental like Orange Chicken).

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