Sticky Honey-Soy Chicken

I make a lot of chicken in this house. It’s better for our bodies and the only beef The Hubs likes is steak. Pork I’m still working on (it’s usually too dry and over cooked). I can and will start incluing more fish. overall, though, that leaves us with chicken. Chicken several times a week can get sooo boring. How do you mix it up, making it interesting? By constantly being on the lookout for something different, even if it’s a little tweek here or there. While this chicken is similar to many other chicken recipes, especially using soy, this one has a secret ingredient. It’s hidden right there in the name, honey. In this instance, I used the honey at the end, to add a sort of glaze. This locked in the flavors and added a very nice, sweet finish. Served over rice, a pretty perfect meal.

Ingredients:

2 Lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger (I use Gourmet Garden’s Ginger Paste)
2 cloves minced garlic (Pre-minced can save a few minutes in prep time)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup honey

Preparation:

Mix together soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add chicken to a gallon zip-lock bag, pour in sauce. Allow to marinade from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper. In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, melt butter in olive oil. Grill chicken on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes each side. The last 2-3 minutes each side, brush with honey butter mixture.

Serve with sticky rice topped with teriyaki sauce (recipe to follow).

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Gewürztraminer
Grüner Veltliner
Riesling

Serves 4

Total time: 40 minutes

  *Derived  from Tyler Florence at Cooking.com

Apricot Chicken

Say good-bye to take out!  This is a super delicious and extremely easy chicken recipe that you can count on being ready in less time than it takes to get take out. This was a hit with the fam (and you know if it’s not, it won’t show up here)!  Even D, who I struggle to make lunches for because she doesn’t like sandwiches, said, “I want THIS for lunch tomorrow!”  I’m seriously considering keeping it on hand for just that reason. ¡Buen Provecho!

Ingredients:

3 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbs BBQ Sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1½ Tbs soy sauce (I always opt for the low sodium version)
1½ Tbs honey
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use breast meat, too)
½ cup apricot jam
½ cup orange juice

Preparation:

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together sesame oil, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, and honey.  Add chicken chunks, cover and marinade for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight.

Heat large pan to medium high.  Remove chicken from marinade with tongs or a slotted spoon (don’t throw away the marinade) and brown.

Add the apricot jam and orange juice to the marinade.  Add to chicken and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is done.  Serve over warm steamed rice.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chenin Blanc
Riesling
White Zinfandel

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes  Marinading & cooking time: 40 minutes

Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken

*Derived from Nora Rušev

Easy Fried Rice

There is not a lot that intimidates me, especially with cooking.  I view life as a “roll-up your sleeves and give it a try” ride.  This has translated very well to my cooking.  Sure, I’ve had my major flubs (#thoseareNOTsnickerdoodles, #omgthatshorrible), but it doesn’t stop me from trying new things or rejected things over again.  And then we come to fried rice.  I know, I know.  Fried rice?!?!  Really?  Fried rice??  You don’t say.  But, I come by my intimidation quite easily, I simply adore fried rice.  You know how you set someone up in your mind as just the end-all, be-all of X (insert talent here).  But you don’t want to actually meet Said Talent of X because what if they turn out to be a real jerk and forever change your opinion of them?  Well, that’s kind of how I feel about fried rice.  Now, before you attempt to cart me off in a straight jacket for a padded cell, let me explain.  I so adore fried rice that I was terrified of messing it up SO bad that it would be forever etched on my brain.  And I would never be able to go to OIC Bowl again and stare lovingly at my bowl of fried rice without images of how badly I ruined it.  So there you have it, rational or not.  This attempt, however, has turned it around for me.  I’ve concurred fried rice, and still love it!

Ingredients:

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded (uncooked) carrots
1 cup sliced green onions, divided
3 cups cooked rice
½ cup thawed frozen peas
¼ low sodium soy sauce

Preparation:

Spritz a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add eggs, making sure to cover the bottom of the pan with the eggs.  When eggs start to set, break them into pieces and cook about 1 more minute, until cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Spritz pan 1 more time; when re-warmed, add carrots and all but 2 Tbs of green onions; sauté until carrots are crisp-tender; about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in cooked rice, peas and soy cause; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute.  Gently stir in cooked egg and remaining scallions; heat through.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Grüner Veltliner
Gewürztraminer
Riesling

Serves 6

Total time: 30 minutes

East Fried Rice

Easy Fried Rice

*Derived from Weight Watchers

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

It seems like lately I’ve had those, “This recipe says what?? How am I going to do that??” only because when preparing my menu I haven’t thoroughly read the recipe.  This is one of those times.  I pulled a great looking recipe from Annie’s Eats on Pinterest.  I quickly scanned the ingredients, no worries there.  And that is where I went wrong.  The recipe called for marinating 2 hours.  Yes, I gave the kids a snack but not a great enough snack that I could add 2 hours to the dinner prep.  Sure, we could get more homework done in that 2 hours, but dinner would be ready at bedtime!  So, below is what I came up with by morphing two recipes together.  And wow, it was a huge hit!

Ingredients:

2 small lemons; zested and juiced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp each thyme and crushed rosemary
1 tsp Kosher salt
4-6 Tbs olive oil
2-4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (I used mostly drumsticks)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine garlic, lemon zest and juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large ziplock bag.  Add chicken and move it around in plastic bag to ensure even coverage.  Let sit for about 20 minutes (enough time to start your side dishes).

Remove chicken from marinade and place in a baking dish lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Use the marinade to brush over the top of each piece.  Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, until skin is well-browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes and then transfer to a serving platter.  Garnish with lemon slices.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves: 6

Total Time: 1 hour

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

*Derived from Annie’s Eats and Our Best Bites

Pancetta Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs with ‘Rice Pilaf’

Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are totally different, but each have their place and bring their own flavor (and I’m sorry Friends, soyrizo does not count. It, too, has its place, but not here). I know you are asking why I am talking about chorizo. It’s because this recipe originally called for Spanish chorizo. I wasn’t worried, I had bought it before. I could even picture exactly where I had seen it in the store (deli section, by the way). So of course, feeling all chorizo full of myself, I waited until the last minute. I know that you know what comes next. No Chorizo!! Imagine the sound from The Shining and the knife going through the shower curtain. I can’t even try to duplicate it here. But that is what I heard through my head. What to do, what go do. Oh, look! Pancetta! It will give me the salt I need and the fat. I’ll be missing the spice, but I can work around that. This is the result.  PS – I got to use my rice cooker again!  Swoon!

Ingredients:

4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup cut spaghetti (such as Barilla)
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
4 oz chopped pancetta (I buy the little prechopped package in the deli section)
8 Chicken thighs (I used boneless skinless, it what I had on hand)
4 small onions, quartered
2 small lemons sliced about 1/2″ thick
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation:

For Rice:  In rice cooker melt 3 Tbs butter.  Add spaghetti and toast for 3 minutes.  Stir in rice to coat.  Add 2 cups chicken stock, stir to combine.  Cover and let it do its t hing.

For chicken: In a large deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta and cook, turning, until browned.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper-towel lined plate.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat turning once, until browned (about 15 minutes).  Transfer to a plate.  Add remaining 1 Tbs olive oil to skillet.  Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, for 2 minutes.  Add the lemons, garlic, and paprika.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 2  minutes.  Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits from the pan.  Stir in remaining 1 cup chicken stock.  Return chick and pancetta to skillet, cover and lower heat and simmer for about 5  minutes.

Transfer solid ingredients to platter.  Reduce sauce for a minute over high heat, then stir in the remaining 1 Tbs butter and parsley.  Serve chicken over rice pilaf, pour sauce over both.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Blanc de Blancs
Chenin Blanc
Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 6 large portions
Total time: 45 minutes

 

 

Chicken

*Derived from 30 Minute Meals

Maple Salmon

We know I like salmon, that is an undisputed fact. But did we know I like maple, because apparently I do. It seems like I make a lot of salmon and maple recipes. I can’t help it, I love the savory with the sweet. If done right, the salmon almost looks pickled by the syrup, in that you can see that the fish has completely accepted the syrup, invited it into its flesh. THIS is when I know I’ve got a great dish emerging before my eyes. This one, I’ll be honest, I questioned. I made it completely off the cuff. I overslept by, oh, I don’t know, maybe an hour this morning ( 1 FULL HOUR! Hello office, I think I’m going to be late . . .). So, in the mad dash to get the four of us out the door I grabbed what I thought I could work with when I got home from work. Of course I had salmon. 🙂 I didn’t even have to stand, tapping my foot, in front of the pantry wondering, “What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” I spied the brown sugar. I spied the maple syrup. A dish was coming together.

Ingredients:

3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets

Preparation:

Combine sea salt, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Spread evenly over salmon fillets.  Let stand 30 minutes.  About 5 – 10 minutes before salmon is done, preheat broiler to high.

Spray broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Add salmon, skin side down.  Broil 12-15 minutes, check for doneness after about 10.  Serve with salad, rice or mashed potatoes, and some warm, buttery bread.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris
Riesling
Viognier

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 25 minutes

Salmon

*Original Serves 4 Recipe

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Everyone likes a “sure thing”, right?  Well, this is my “sure thing.”  This is what I make when I have no idea what is going to be for dinner the next day.  Since it’s in the slow cooker, there does have to be a little thought, but not much.  It uses ingredients I always have on hand and comes together so quickly.  Put the chicken in the slow cooker, mix the sauce ingredients, dump that in over the chicken.  Set the slow cooker and . . .  wait for it . . . GO!  Go do what you need to do.  Go spend time with the family.  Go get a pumpkin spice latte  🙂   Go to lunch with your friends.  Or, my personal favorite, Go buy a new pair of shoes. 

Ingredients:

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs)
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 Tbs cider vinegar
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper
4 1/2 tsp cornstarch
4 1/2 tsp cold water

Preparation:

Place chicken in a 4 qt slow cooker.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 4 – 5 hours, or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken to a serving platter, keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into liquid and stir until sauce is thickened.  Serve with chicken over rice.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Gewürztraminer
Grüner Veltliner
Riesling

Serves 6
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 4 hours

*Derived from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen