Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore

This was delicious! If a dish involves wine... I'm in! I don't know what it is about meals with that subtle wine flavor but they remind me of my grandma's cooking. This particular recipe is also very easy to adjust to your family's taste (no mushrooms, less onion or even to add veggies like peppers or zuchinni).

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you could always add more if you needed)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion sliced into thin wedges
3 garlic cloves, chopped (or just the chopped stuff in the jar works)
2 large tomatos, diced (keep the juice with it)
6+ mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of white wine (I used a sweet white wine that has been opened for a bit)
salt and pepper

Heat your oil over medium to medium high heat. Saute your onion until translucent. Remove from pan or push to the side and put your chicken breasts in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown both sides. Add the garlic to pan and cook a couple minutes longer.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by 1/3-1/2. Now add the tomato paste along with about 1/3 cup of water and mix gently in the pan. Toss in the tomatoes and mushrooms and return the onion to the pan if you removed it. You should have nearly enough "sauce" in the pan to mostly cover the chicken. If not, add a little more water.

Turn heat to low and simmer with the lid on (open just a little to release some extra steam). Simmer for about 35-40 minutes. Turn pieces over during cooking and basta with the sauce.

Now, I enjoyed my chicken served with brown rice that I topped with the "sauce" from my chicken along with a healthy side of lima beans! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blackened Chicken with Lime and Cilantro Quinoa

This was so yummy. It was light, refreshing, tangy, and different from the norm around here. Best of all, it was healthy! This was a lean meal, packed with protein! I got the recipe from Sarcastic Cooking and of course, made a few modifications. Keep in mind this meal has some ingredients that you may not have tried yet, but don't let that scare you off! If you haven't tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) before, this is a great starter recipe!

2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Peppe
r¼ Teaspoon of chili powder (or you could opt for a spicer version and use cayenne pepper)
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock (I used bouillon because it's what I had on hand)
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 acocado
2 TBSP plain greek yogurt
sprinkle of garlic powder

To start, bring to a boil your quinoa and chicken stock (keep in mind, if you buy your quinoa in the bulk section you want to rinse it very well to keep it from tasting bitter. Once brought to a boil, simmer, covered, for 15 minutes on low until all water is absorbed (it might need a little longer, mine took about 20 mintues).

Mix your seasonings together to coat the chicken with. Rub this mixture into your chicken. Heat 1-2 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add your chicken and cook about 7 minutes on each side until nice and black and cooked thoroughly (this would also be awesome cooked on the BBQ). Let rest for about 5 mintues before slicing.>

Prepare your avocado sauce by combining those ingredients and either mixing them well by hand or tossing in your mini food processor (like my magic bullet).You might need to add some water to reach your desired consistency.

Saute your pepper and when it's nearly done add your can of corn and black beans to the pan and heat them up. Add this mix to the cooked quinoa. Add your lime juice )use more or less to taste) and your cilantro (I used more of course, cilantro is a bit of an obsession of mine).

So, serve up your dish with the avacado sauce as a "dip"... and ENJOY!