chicken

Ma’s Chicken Scampi

It’s my husband’s birthday on November 20th, and ever since we’ve moved in together 6 and a half years ago, I’ve made this dish for him every birthday.  This recipe is called Ma’s because it’s my mom’s recipe. I always loved when she made it, and I’m so grateful to have seen the women in my life duplicate it so I can have it etched in my memory forever.

I have a love-hate relationship with this one, because it tastes so damn delicious, but it takes forever to prepare.  Sure, I can go the easy route and just bread cutlets and cut them up afterwards, but where’s the fun in that?  The term “Scampi” actually refers to tiny shrimp from the seas, but nowadays, the term Scampi refers to the style of cooking: a light fry in a shallow pan in oil until golden.  Traditionally, this dish is made with garlic, butter, and white wine, with a pinch of parmesan and cream.  I leave out some ingredients and stick with the big guys: garlic and crap-ton (yep, it’s a word) of buttah!fullsizeoutput_1066

Let me start by saying the trick with this dish is pacing – you have to be cognizant about timing the chicken and the pasta water, and how long the pasta cooks so it all finishes at roughly the same time.  I start out by taking 3 meaty chicken breasts and slicing them into “nugget” form.  I dip the chicken nuggets into the beaten egg, then into breadcrumbs (no skimping out on the carbs here), and set aside.  Olive oil is the choice of fats for frying the chicken, but start out with a small amount, just enough to coat the bottom (the oil with sputter if it’s not evenly distributed).

Fry a few pieces at a time and, this is important, be quick with the chicken.  They’re small pieces so they’ll burn fast.  Each piece takes about 2m per side.  As the second batch of chicken cooks, I turned the pasta water on to boil. This dish is always best with fresh pasta, which we’re grateful for at our little Italian market that opened up the block.  The water boils, add in salt, and dump in the pasta (we used Rigatoni).  Continue to fry the chicken and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Once all the chicken is done, take the garlic (3 cloves roughly chopped) and add to the pan with 3 (yes THREE) tablespoons of butter to melt.  I really feel like garlic and butter are the perfect combination for any recipe, especially as a sauce.  This dish calls for a lot of oils and butters, which thankfully is part of my diet on the regular, so no difference to me.  Mix around with a spoon and scrape the bottom of the pan to get the remnants of the chicken mixed in as well. *Wipes drool from mouth*.  Throw in the chicken to mix around in the butter-garlic sauce, strain the pasta (about 9-10m until al dente), then add the pasta directly to the sauce/chicken.  Stir together until all noodles are coated.  If you need more butter, DO IT.

Serve immediately with garlic bread, some roasted veggies, and top with a dollop of ricotta. Buon Appetito!

Ma's Chicken Scampi

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Chicken, italian, pasta, scampi
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting time for chicken 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Chicken breast or 3-4 breasts
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) pasta fresh is better!
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic rough chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pan or skillet, drizzle the olive oil into the pan to coat the bottom.

  2. Clean the chicken breasts, trim of excess fat, and slice into "nugget" style.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

  3. Pour breadcrumbs onto a plate and crack and beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

  4. Create your assembly line: (left to right)

    Chicken - Egg - Breadcrumbs.

    Dip the chicken into the egg and then into breadcrumbs, coating both sides well.  Put breaded chicken nuggets on a separate plate.  Repeat until all chicken is breaded.

  5. Turn stove on for the pan with oil to medium.  Place 6-7 pieces of chicken in the oil at a time, monitoring the chicken as it cooks.  Chicken will cook quickly; turn chicken pieces over when sides are lightly brown (about 2m).  repeat for all chicken and set aside on paper towel/plate.

  6. Meanwhile, take a large pot and fill with water.  Place on stove. Turn flame onto high to boil water. Add salt pasta to boiled water and cook for time described on package (9-10m).  Drain pasta and set aside.

  7. Take chopped garlic and 3 tbsp of butter and add to pan that chicken cooked in.  Heat on medium-low flame and melt butter, sautéing the garlic.  Add chicken back into garlic-butter sauce and stir.  Add in pasta and stir to coat all noodles. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

We used fresh ricotta to add to the pasta on top, if this fits your fancy, feel free to do so!

Baked Garlic Buffalo Wings

When Football season kicks in (see what I did there? Kick? No? Okay…), it seems like there’s only two options for food: burgers and fries, or wings.  I love me some good ol’ fashioned buffalo wings, fried to perfection and drenched in hot sauce. Boneless or on the bone, they’re so freaking delicious.  I’m of the “ranch dip” type rather than blue cheese, but that’s not a problem in our home.  I’m proud to say that this recipe calls for five ingredients: wings, avocado oil, cassava flour, garlic powder, and hot sauce.  THAT. IS. IT.IMG_4274

I played around on the internet to see how other food bloggers and foodies make their wings, and realized that everyone except for moi have a wire rack.  Rather than running out to the local 99c store to buy a cheap one, I just prayed that a lined baking sheet pan with sprayed aluminum foil would work.  Honestly? It did, and it did taste pretty damn good.  I started by cleaning and pat drying my wings (I got them from an online meat-delivery system Butcher Box, I highly recommend them if you want to ramp up the quality of your meats – plus, they have add ons like bacon and breakfast sausage… mmmm, sausage.)

After drying the wings, I tossed them in avocado oil (this oil has a high smoke point and will not burn in the oven) and coated with a generous layer of garlic powder.  Lastly, I added 1/3 cup of cassava flour to crisp the wings as they bake.  Grease a pan (or use a wire rack) and lay the wings down skin side up, bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees, and then toss in your favorite hot sauce (I’m not sure of the brand we used but it was really yummy).

The beauty about eating wings is that it is versatile and goes with just about any dipping sauce, any sides, and of course celery and carrots.  Now go throw on your Giants jersey, crack open a Corona, and enjoy them wings!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I’m a fall girl, 100%.  I could deal with being in warmer weather, if I lived super close to a beach, or in Florida.  Living in New York, and experiencing all four seasons, Fall is absolutely my favorite.  The leaves change, the holidays approach, the smell of pumpkin and apple pie, and SOUP.  I could eat soup everyday, and I love all varieties.  This one in particular reminds me of Panera’s chicken and wild rice, and its hearty, filling, and good for the soul!IMG_4174

I broke out the crockpot for this guy, as I usually do for soups because I love a slow cooked meal, especially in the Fall/Winter seasons.  Crockpot meals are the best because you literally throw everything in at once, checking in every so often, and stir.  With this recipe I used Trader Joe’s Basmati and Wild Rice blend that comes with dehydrated veggies and seasoning, bay leaves, organic chicken breast, fresh carrots, and celery.  For the broth I used 2 cartons of bone broth.  Bone broth is an old tradition of boiling poultry or beef bones, getting all the gelatin and collagen from the bones, for hours (like, upwards of 10-15 hours).  Bone broth has so many benefits and nutrients our bodies need, which is why I’m so glad that it’s readily available in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

I played around with the different lengths of time and temperature, but the end result:  cook on low for 6 hours and add in water or broth as needed.  This recipe in particular requires a good amount of liquid, and a 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2 at the end, hence the “creamy” part of the recipe.  I didn’t season with any salt or pepper until it was almost ready to be served, as I wanted to be sure the seasoning wasn’t overpowering.  To create the shredded chicken, I took the chicken breasts out about 30 minutes before the soup was done, shredded with two forks, and added it back in.  Serve with a slice of baguette and you’re ready to feast!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Course Dinner
Cuisine Soup
Keyword Chicken, Fall, Hearty, Soup, Wild Rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Organic chicken breast
  • 1 pkg Wild rice
  • 2 cartons Chicken bone broth
  • 3 stalks Carrots sliced
  • 3 ribs Celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup Half and half
  • 3 Bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Chop/slice the carrots and celery. Set side

  2. Layer the chicken, celery, carrots, and package of rice into a medium size crockpot.

  3. Pour in the cartons of bone broth into the crockpot.  Cover and set to low for 6 hours

  4. Add in more water as need and desired if the liquid becomes absorbed as the soup cooks.  Stir occasionally.

  5. 30 minutes before the soup is done, take out chicken and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back into the soup.

  6. Pour in the 1/2 cup of half and half and season with salt and pepper.  Taste and add more as desired.

  7. Serve with a slice of french baguette and enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

Who doesn’t like teriyaki chicken?  I always think of a bento boxes or lunch specials when I hear the word “teriyaki.”  I’m a sushi girl, but the hubs isn’t a fan, so we compromise and get thai a lot of the time (or chinese food).  This time, I decided to step up my Asian cuisine game and make teriyaki chicken from scratch.  I cannot begin to say how easy (and delicious) this was.  It was literally four ingredients (ok, maybe five when you add in the butter to brown the chicken, but whatever) and made in a #paleo style – with coconut aminos.IMG_3813

“Morg, what the heck is that?”  Well, coconut aminos is a sauce derived from a coconut that acts as a substitute for soy or actual teriyaki sauce.  I don’t prefer soy products nor do I cook with anything made from soy, so this was a perfect fix!  The taste is spot on and is versatile.  I started with slicing and seasoning the chicken with sea salt.  Then adding the chicken to a hot pan with melted butter to brown the chicken.  After most of the chicken was brown, I poured the coconut aminos with some toasted sesame oil (for a nuttier flavor) to the chicken and simmered.

The chicken soaks up all the aminos and oils and turns such a beautifully burnt orange color.  Lastly, I add 1/2 cup of light brown sugar and turn the heat to low.  This simmers for some time to allow the sugar to emulsify and get a little thick.  Taste the sauce to make sure it isn’t too sweet – if so, add a dash of garlic powder (trust me, it’s hella awesome).IMG_3823

Scoop some jasmine or basmati rice aside of a heaping pile of this teriyaki chicken and have at it! Let me know what ya think 🙂 Nomaste

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onion

Sometimes there are things that just come to mind the night before, or even the same night when trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.  This recipe is no exception.  I love cooking with and using turmeric in a variety of ways, as turmeric is great for inflammation and overall health.  This is a dish that calls for marinading the chicken the night prior so that all the great herbs and spices get fully absorbed into the chicken, leaving it nice and juicy when cooked.  I used garlic powder, turmeric powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and chipotle powder.  I blended the spices in a Ziploc bag and let sit overnight.

I chose to use chicken thighs for this recipe.  What most people forget is that darker meat of a bird is actually more nutritious than the chicken breast.  The darker meat has loads of vitamins and essential fatty acids our bodies need to function and to stay healthy.  I love thighs because they are meatier than drumsticks, and cook for varied length of time (especially boneless).

To prep, I julienned (thinly sliced) the peppers (one orange, one yellow) and sliced the onion and let them start to sauté in a large pan in some oil.  After they started to get soft, I added the chicken and some butter and water.  I covered the chicken so it can cook in its own juices (instead of adding tomato sauce or a broth, it simmered in water and its own juices). This simmered for just about 45 minutes and was ready to serve with some rice on the side.  It was kind of awesome!

 

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken thighs
  • 1 orange pepper 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Turmeric powder
  • Paprika
  • Chipotle pepper
  • Coriander
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a ziplock bag, add the chicken thighs with all spices and let sit overnight in fridge.
  2. Cut the peppers and onion in thin slices. In a medium pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil on medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Stir to coat and let sauté until soft.
  3. Add in chicken thighs and layer the peppers and onions on top of the chicken. Turn chicken over after five minutes to sear on both sides.
  4. Add butter and 1/4c water to the pan and cover. Bring heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure that chicken is beginning to get tender and fall apart.
  5. Serve with a side of your favorite rice, pasta, or potatoes and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you want to make a gravy from the leftover sauce in the pan from chicken:
-- Add a tbsp and a half of flour to the pan and whisk until thick
-- Layer on top of chicken