Tag Archives: Chicken

Chicken Balls


I finally done did it!
I made some incredible, just like the restaurant, Chicken Balls.
I’m so happy.

Honestly, I think I need a life.
Nah.

Sorry, I got side tracked, again.

I love Chinese food, but as I said before, I live 30 miles away from the nearest Chinese restaurant, in either direction.    And to think I used to just take running out to get Chinese food, casually.  sigh.
But that’s OK, it just makes me stretch my cooking chops.
Did that make sense?

Well, for years I’ve experimented and tried and failed to make a good, light, crisp coating for one of my husband’s favourite dishes.
Chicken Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce.
I nailed the sauce years ago, but the coating for the Chicken Balls, well, let me say, we’ve eaten a lot of marginally good chicken balls, and a few recipes have been offerings to the Kitchen Goddess.

Not any more.

I nailed it.

I found this recipe by Kittencals on Food.com  Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls 
And I will never, ever, ever make them any other way.

Recipe:
1/2 cup all-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, mooshed through the garlic press or
1/4 tsp. garlic powder or more to taste
1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons Cold Water
Oil for frying.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces
or
2  boneless pork chops cut into pieces.

Whisk the first 8 ingredients together and let sit for a couple of minutes, while the oil is heating.  If you have a Fry Daddy, use it.   I have a Fry Baby, and it heated the oil perfectly.   If not, then heat the oil to 375 deg. in a pot, and monitor it carefully.    The oil should be at least 2 inches deep.
Cut the meat into small pieces, and dip them into the batter, and then into the hot oil. Let them cook for a couple of minutes, until golden brown, remove and let drain in a sieve or on something where the oil can drip off.

Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Chow Mein and Ham Fried Rice.

I have to say, this was so good.   I actually did one chicken breast and one pork chop.   And there was just enough batter.   And more than enough for the two of us.  There probably was more than enough for 3 or more people.  But I like leftovers, so…

I’ll probably play around with this a little more, but for now, my mouth was happy.  Very happy.

I think this could also be made gluten-free, using the cornstarch and some gluten-free flour.   I’ll be experimenting with it later on.

And the Ham Fried Rice.

Well, I do it my way as well.  Cook the rice and set it aside to cool.  Chop up some ham, and half an onion.  Saute the onion in a little oil, just til soft, add the ham, stir it around a smidge, then add the rice and some soy sauce.  Fry it for a couple of minutes, then add a half cup or more of bean sprouts, and stir together.  Serve with some chopped green onion on top, and even a little egg.

Herbie the Chicken


Or should that be Herby Chicken?

hmmmm

Well, I may have gotten carried away the other day when I decided to defrost and cook a lovely big roasting chicken I had in the freezer.

It was so pretty, big and plump and juicy.

And it was also hot outside so I didn’t want to cook it in the oven, like I should have.

I decided to cook it in the crock pot and I think I outsmarted myself.

I did, actually.

I thought 4 hours in the crockpot would be OK, but it was about 2 hours too long.   My poor chicken fell apart.

And the fresh herbs, well, they kinda over took the chicken and hijacked it.

But the beginning of it was just fine.

I took a half lemon (and cut the skin off and used it in the Lemon Extract)  and two garlic cloves, put them inside the cavity and then browned the chicken in some EVOO and butter.

 

 

Placed the chicken in the Crockpot. Added a half cup of Riesling wine, cause it was sitting on the counter  and I still had a half bottle left from the weekend.

Then I went out in the garden, well, to my herb pots and picked some fresh oregano, mint, thyme and parsley and raided a few leaves off of the Celery plant as well.

Took them in the house, gave them a rinse, then popped the herbs into the pan I’d browned the chicken in, just wanted to get the herby oils released from the leaves and then added some of my Home Made Chicken Stock, about 2 cups worth.

***Hint*** If you make your own stock, freeze it in a muffin tin.  Each depression holds about 1/2 cup.
***Hint***  If you are using fresh herbs, remember that they are a lot stronger in flavour than dried herbs.  In other words, you get more oomph for your recipe.

I then put the herbs on top of the chicken, put the lid on and walked away.

 

If you noticed I did not salt and pepper anything.  The chicken stock was well seasoned and the herbs, well, they took the place of the stock.

After 4 hours, I decided to take the chicken out of the crock pot and it fell apart. sigh.  But all the wonderful liquid in the bottom was good.  I used part of it for a gravy and froze the rest.
I really liked the taste, especially since I sautéed some frozen veggies with some leftover rice for my side dish.

It was a little too herby for my DH’s taste, but I noticed he ate all the breast meat anyway.

Curry Chicken and Rice


A long time ago, in a country far away, a little girl tasted this dish for the first time and loved it.

Sorry, couldn’t resist this.   But, it’s true.

Many years ago my older sister had a neighbor who taught her how to make this dish, and I’m sure many others as well, but this is the one my sister taught my mother to make.   And it turned out to be one of those dishes that was surprisingly portable in the era before crock pots, and one that we all liked.   I remember having this at a picnic once, the pot had been wrapped in a quilt and placed in the trunk of the car.   When we got to our picnic spot, it was still hot and yummy.   Nowadays, we’d stick it in a crock pot and bring it along, but there weren’t such niceties 30 + years ago.

In the intervening years my sisters have gone on to make many other Indian dishes, but I’ve stuck with this particular one.   It’s the one I make when I’m going to be alone for a few days, it’s my go-to curry dish, and one that one of my dogs absolutely loved.  Yes, she did, and the hotter the better.   And how do I know this?  Well, one night many years ago, I was all alone and made up some Curry for dinner.    My dog came over and was sniffing at me, and pointedly not begging.   So I let her have a taste.  I already knew she loved Chile Verde (and I only gave her a bite or two) and she liked spicy food.   So I gave her a taste of the chicken, thinking gee, she’ll spit it out and then I can eat the rest of this in peace.   No such luck, Mauli ate her bite of chicken, and then begged for more.  So we ate Curry Chicken and Rice together.  Luckily there were no after effects, other than I had to share.  From then on, every time I made it, she and I would eat our curry together.  She passed away this spring at the age of 15 1/2, which I consider a venerable age for a large dog.

I brought this to a potluck awhile back, and it all got eaten.   It’s really easy, only a few ingredients and it tastes wonderful.    You can make it as hot as you like or as mild.   Personally, I’m all for hot, but you know that, if you’ve read any of this blog before.     I usually only make Curry Chicken and Rice when I’m alone, mainly cause I’m the only one in the household who eats it.

For the Curry Chicken and Rice you need onions, chicken, curry powder, some ghee if you have it, or just some olive oil and butter.

Start by cutting the onions in half, and then slicing them again.  I like them cut like this, but you can also make them into rings.

 

Set aside for a few minutes until you can have a chance to wipe your eyes and stop the tears.   (Just kidding).

Put a heavy pot on the stove and place some butter and olive oil into it.   The olive oil will keep the butter from burning at a higher temp.   If you have some ghee made, you can skip the olive oil, if you like.   Ghee is clarified butter, and can withstand a higher heat than regular butter can.   It’s the milk solids in the butter that turn brown and can become bitter and taste burnt.
Dump the sliced onions in the pot, and cook until just translucent or a little beyond.  I do like a bit that bit of caramelization and the sweetness that the onions produce.

Add the chicken pieces and brown them a little.  You do want them to have a nice brown on them, but don’t want them too dark.     Add about a tablespoon of curry powder, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground salt and stir together.   At this point I put a lid on the pot, and let it cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about an hour.   Check the chicken, and taste a little of the onion, at this point you can add more curry powder and correct the seasonings.    I usually add more curry powder and salt here.   The chicken should be nice and tender now.   The onion will have cooked down to the point that you may not really see it, but it adds a wonderful sweetness which offsets the curry.

Measure out your rice, add it to the pot with enough water to cook it, taking into account that there is some liquid already in the pot.   Cover it and let it cook for another 20 minutes or so.   Take the lid off, give it a stir and if there is still some liquid, leave the lid off for a few minutes, and let it cook off.   Go ahead and taste again at this point, sometimes you need a little more salt and curry, OK, so I always add more curry.  Stir it at this point, if some of the chicken has stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Serve and enjoy.

Curry Chicken and Rice.

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces,  or package of chicken already cut up.
3-4  onions, cut into slices (I like onions and wouldn’t use less than 2 in this recipe)
butter or ghee and olive oil for browning
1 cup uncooked rice (I like Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, it holds up well).
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
Curry powder to taste, start with a teaspoon and work up.
Salt to taste.

Heat olive oil and butter and place the sliced onions in the pan, stir until the onion starts to cook a little, add the chicken, and brown it.   Turn down the heat, place a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about an hour.
Add rice and enough water to cook the rice.   Cover the pot, let cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Tarteletter med Kylling, Svampe og Asparges (Patty Shells with Chicken, Mushrooms and Asparagus)


It was Tapas Night again this week, and I made Tarteletter med Kylling og Svampe og Asparagus.     OK, so it’s Patty Shells with Chicken,  Mushroom and Asparagus filling, if you insist on a translation.   And according to this website Danes are known to consume 40 million tartaletter (patty shells)  a year.    And I can believe it.   There are also over 100 different filling recipes as well.   I just use one basic recipe, and I will vary it from time to time, but it’s pretty basic.

Personally I love this, and probably could eat it a couple, three, five times a week.  But Mom only made it once in a while and it was a special occasion kind of dish.

The original recipe calls for white asparagus, but my mom made it with mushrooms, so that’s the way I do it as well.  However, she also added Asparagus from time to time as well.   So, it’s up to you.  Gee you could also go wild and add both to it, trust me it tastes wonderful.   And I know this, cause I just did it.

And I use a couple of shortcuts as well.  You can do it this way as well, or make your own sauce.

Basic Recipe.

Puff Pastry Sheets  (I’m using the frozen stuff for this recipe)
Chicken
Mushrooms
Asparagus (optional)
Sauce

Too basic?   I know, but since I already know how to make it, I don’t need more than that.  But if you like, I’ll share the step by step.

To start with, cook your chicken breasts til they are tender.  Believe it or not a good hour in the pot with some carrots, onions, or leeks and celery to flavour the stock, and just let them simmer.   When the chicken is tender, take them out and chop them up.   Then strain the stock, and reserve a couple of cups for the sauce and freeze the rest, you just got a good base for home made soup.  (nothing like a multi purpose dish).    You can also use a whole chicken, cooked and cut up for this, or even a rotisserie chicken.   I’ve done it all the ways.

For the sauce, you could use canned Mushroom Soup for this (and yes, I’ve used Canned Mushroom soup for this many times, just don’t dilute it,  or just make your own soup.  Or you can do the following.   I believe in options, lots of options.

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
8 oz sauteed mushrooms, chopped or sliced, you choose
1/4 cup finely chopped onion, sauteed
1 garlic clove, minced, sauteed
1 tablespoon each, butter and olive oil
1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup chicken broth or be really decadent and
mix 1/4 cup flour or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons butter and stir that in.
2 cups cooked, diced chicken

Saute the sliced mushrooms and onions til they are just cooked through and the onion is softened in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil.     Add the garlic and saute an additional minute or so, set aside.   I don’t let any of them get brown, you just want them cooked through.

Heat broth and half and half to just under boiling, then add the thickening agent, either the cornstarch and broth or the roux, and stir it in.   Let it come to a low simmer, and let it cook for a couple of minutes to get the raw taste out, then add the mushrooms and onion, continue to let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Then you add the chicken, mushrooms and let it heat up.   At the end add a can of asparagus, and just let it heat through a little.   The asparagus breaks up very easily, so you don’t want to stir it in.

Now for the fun part, the tarts.   I outsmarted myself this time.   I thought, ooh, I can make teeny little bites using the pastry and baking them in my mini tart pans.  Well, let me just show you what happened.

Before baking…

After baking.   Kinda hard to fill those up.   (although I did cut them in half later on, and use the top and bottom to put filling in, hey, life hands you lemons, make lemonade or in this case, tart shells).

So then I went a more labor intensive route.   But the end result, well worth it.

Using a pretty shaped round cookie cutter, I cut out two rounds for each tart.

Then I cut out the center of the second round, and placed it on top of the first round.

You have to kind of noodge the rounds together.  Oh you do need to brush the bottom round with a lightly beaten egg, it helps it to stick together.   I did take out the center cut, and baked them separately.

As you can see, these worked.   I even took more out of the center with a sharp paring knife, cutting very carefully around and prying out that center bit.   Made more room for the filling.   Very important that, the ratio of filling to tart.

These had the chicken, mushroom and asparagus mixture (and the picture is fuzzy, bad picture taking night I guess)

These were the vegetarian ones.   I did the whole kit and caboodle on these.   Made some veggie stock from scratch, simmered a mixture of vegetable stock and cream together and then thickened them with a roux, and added the mushrooms and asparagus.

And just to let you know, you can buy the Puff Pastry tart shells already made, just bake them off in a hot oven, 400 degrees, for about 18 minutes or until browned, pull out the little cap, and then place them back in the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking.   While they are baking, heat up a can or two of Cream of Mushroom soup, add a cup or two of cooked chopped chicken, and some sauteed mushrooms or even a can or two of mushrooms.  Heat together and spoon into the baked pastry shells.    Now, how easy is that?  hmmm, and to think I played in the kitchen with the tart shells, and chicken mixture for over an hour, sigh.  But it was good and worth it.

There were a few leftovers, but I’m enjoying them for lunch this week.   Like I said before, I could eat this two, three, five times a week.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken


Awhile back I was talking with a friend and comparing notes on using our George Foreman grills.   I have one and use it a lot.   And I do mean a lot.    I don’t own a proper BBQ grill anymore, and have to say that for the most part I don’t miss it.   She was telling me how easy bacon wrapped shrimp were to do on the grill.    And it sounded so good.   But then I ran across this recipe on  the Charbroil grill site.    Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed chicken breasts.  YUM.

I thought that it might just work out on my George Forman grill so I decided to make them for dinner one night.   Now, I did not chill the filling, and the jalapeno’s I used were way too mild for our taste, but on the whole, not a bad dish.

I had two big chicken breasts in the freezer so I pulled them out, let them thaw for a little while, then while they were still a little frozen cut them into cutlets, and then proceeded to cut pockets into the cutlets.   Believe me when I say these were BIG chicken breasts.   And it worked very well.

  I had the filling made, cream cheese, chopped jalapeno’s and then decided to add some Shredded Pepper Jack to the mixture.   And if you’ve read any of my posts in the past, you know I always have frozen jalapeno’s in the freezer.  Never know when you’re going to need them.

Now, at this point I should have stuffed the chicken breasts and then put them into the fridge to firm up, but hey, it was late, I wanted to get dinner made and on the table so I just stuffed them and wrapped them in bacon.

I had my grill heated up, and placed the chicken breasts on the grill, and had my handy, dandy wired thermometer stuck in the largest of the chicken breasts to check the temp.

Well, the filling kinda leaked out, and the grill didn’t cook them as evenly as I would have liked, but the flavour wasn’t bad.   I think if I make this again, I’ll change the ratio of cheese a little, more grated cheese, and instead of chopping the jalapeño peppers up, I’ll just stuff the pepper, then put it inside the chicken breast.   I think the filling will stay in place better.   And I will par cook the bacon a little as well.   Because I used the grill, the bacon didn’t cook as well as it could have.   But it was still pretty darn good.

And we ate them all…

Chicken Fricassee


While my first meat love is pork, chicken comes in as a close second.    I like love chicken.   There are so many things you can do with it, fry it, boil it, bake it, grill it, sauté it, stew it, or fricassee it.  Which is a combination of frying and stewing,    I just love saying Fricassee, it makes it sound so exotic, and good.    Every so often I get a hankering for a good old fashioned meal of Chicken Fricassee.    It’s a nice comfort food, and you can serve it with noodles or rice or mashed potatoes or, whatever you like.    I think it’s a great combination of several veggies, in the past I’ve made it with celery and green peppers along with the mushrooms, but yesterday I just used half a green pepper, a pound of mushrooms and some green onions for the sauce.   And it was good.   Very good.   And best of all I have leftovers, giggle.  Or at least enough left over for another meal.  So, I’m putting it in the freezer so the next time I don’t feel like cooking, TA DA, my dinner is ready, well almost, I’ll still have to defrost it.

To start with, I used some chicken breasts that I’d boned and skinned.   But you can use cut up chicken for this as well, if you like drums and thighs, they go wonderfully here.

Chicken Fricassee
4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned or
1 whole chicken cut up, and skinned
2 tbsp. Flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil (just enough to sauté the chicken and brown it a little)
1 whole green pepper, cut into chunks
8 oz.  mushrooms sliced
4 sliced green onions
2 cups chicken stock  (home-made is best here if you can)
1 teaspoon Marjoram or (Basil or Oregano or Sage)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk or cream

Dredge the chicken in a little flour you’ve seasoned with some salt and pepper.   No need to go exotic here, unless of course you want to.   And in that case if you want to season it with some other herbs, feel free.  This is your dish, you can do whatever you want.    Saute the chicken until it’s browned a little and then remove it from the pan.

Place the chicken aside, then sauté the green onions, mushrooms and green pepper for a few minutes until the green pepper softens a little and the mushrooms start to cook.

Put the chicken back in the pan, add the chicken stock and let it cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.   Make a slurry of the flour and milk and add to the pan juices to make a gravy. Cook until it is thickened and then add the chicken back to the pan and let heat through.   Serve with noodles or rice or mashed potatoes.

Another view, giggle.   I do have to say, this is an easy dish, and I think it tastes great too.

Danish Chicken with Parsley Stuffing


I almost hate to admit to this, but it’s been a few years since I made this dish.  It used to be one of my favorites, in fact it was one I knew how to do well when we first got married and it was my ‘company’ dish when I wanted to serve a special meal.   Now,  as to why I haven’t made it for some time, I really couldn’t say.  But when I saw some lovely plump roasting chickens on sale for .79/lb, I grabbed a couple with the express idea of making Danish Chicken with Parsley stuffing.   I was suddenly craving it, to the point that I barely got the chicken thawed enough yesterday to get the parsley stuffed inside.

Oh, and I also have a lovely big parsley plant outside so the parsley was nice and fresh.

This is such an easy dish, so easy, you can put it on and let it cook while you go do some thing fun, like, oh I don’t know, cleaning out the vegetable drawer in the fridge or taking a nap or…    Just kidding about the vegetable drawer, mine needs cleaning   and it’s been nagging me to do so.

To begin with, get yourself a nice roasting chicken, rinse it off if you like and then pat dry.   Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and then take a big handful of fresh parsley,

and stuff it inside.

Then get a heavy saucepan, pour in a little olive oil and then add about 2 tablespoons of butter to it, let it get hot and place the chicken in the pot, breast side down.

Brown it a little, then using a large fork, turn it on the side, brown that, then brown the other side, and finally brown the back.   When it has browned on all sides, which will take about 30 minutes total, then place the chicken, breast side down in the pan.

Add some chicken stock, and a little water, I used 4 of my chicken stock cubes, and added an extra 1 cup of water.    For a total of two cups of liquid.    Placed the lid on the pot and walked away for 30 minutes.  Came back and checked to make sure that the liquid hadn’t cooked away, if it looks too low, go ahead and add another cup of water.
After 40 minutes I turned the chicken over and let rest on its back in the pot.   Cook another 30 minutes or so, or until a thermometer placed in the breast meat measures 160 deg.  Or do it the old fashioned way, wiggle the drumstick, and if it moves freely, the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter to rest, and strain the liquid that’s left in the pot into a smaller pan, if you like, or just add some flour and water you mixed together and use that to thicken the gravy.   Taste at this point to see if you need to add some salt.   If you want the gravy a little browner, add some Kitchen Bouquet or other gravy enhancer.
Slice the meat from the breast and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.   We also had some lovely asparagus with our meal.

Simple, easy and tasty.