Tag Archives: chicken

Lemon Chicken on the Grill

7 Mar

I love chicken. Seriously, I think I might have to join an “anonymous” group to get over this. I know there are a few chicken nay-sayers out there. They think chicken is boring and dry… why eat chicken when there’s juicy medium rare beef and fantastically fatty pork parts. To be honest, I have never ordered chicken at a restaurant. Well, maybe a chicken sandwich, but otherwise I keep to my own chicken. And not that I like to toot my own horn, but I make a damn good chicken.

Tonight I made grilled lemon chicken. Just as with roasting, when you grill the chicken whole, you get all the extra flavor of the skin and bones and drippings. In hind sight I should have taken pictures to demonstrate how to remove the backbone and keel bone of the chicken before you grill the chicken. I guess that means that I’ll have to do another post detailing it. Until then you can check out this page

The recipe is simple. Flatten the chicken and then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then toss on a hot grill skin down. I sliced 2 lemons in half and thew them on the grill as well. Let the chicken cook for 5-7 minutes and then turn it 45 degrees. Allow the chicken to cook for another 10 minutes and the flip. Squeeze the lemons on the chicken and close the grill. Turn the heat to medium let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked to about 155 degrees. Then wrap the chicken in foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken and re-season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve hot.

This recipe works with thighs, breasts, whole chicken and wings 🙂

Always thinking of the next meal


Sweet and Spicy… just like me

8 Feb

Look and the color of these wings! There is no photoshop folks, that is the true color of my feisty chicken wings. As you know it was the super bowl this past weekend. We were planning on getting together with some friends, but it turned out to be a quiet night in. For me, a football game just isn’t the same without wings. Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional wing sauce, but since it was just the hubs and me, I wanted to play with flavor…

I started with Martha’s Stewart’s recipe for sweet and spicy chicken wings and made some changes to make it my own.

Feisty Wings
1/4 cup mesquite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 to 1/2 cup Sriracha hot-chile sauce, or other hot sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted-sesame oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
salt to taste
2 pounds chicken wings not separated, patted dry with paper towels

  • Arrange the wings in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet. Turn your broiler to high and place the cookie sheet in the middle of the oven. Let the wings cook for 10 minutes before flipping them. You may need to flip the wings a couple of times to avoid burning. While the chicken is cooking, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. When the chicken is cooked through, approximately 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and put them directly in the sauce. Toss to coat and serve.

  • You can deep fry the wings instead of broiling, but the cook time will vary.

  • Try these at you next party… they are delicious!
  • Always thinking of the next meal
  • -Katie
  • Week One…Do and Do Not try this again!

    17 Oct

    “Woke up in the morning. Put on my new plastic glove. Served some re-heated salsbury steak
    With a little slice of love. Got no clue what the chicken pot pie Is made of.
    Just know everything’s doing fine Down here in Lunch Lady Land.”

    So week one. I have to say that I had no idea how hard this job was going to be. This past week I was helped by the guy who was filling in for me over the past 5 weeks before I was able to move down. The weekly menu was: Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese, Chick-fil-a, Chicken Teriyaki with fried rice, and Baked Ziti. I was feeling pretty confident in my menu choice. I knew that I had made all of these dishes before and that they were all successful. There was no need for doubt, I had blind ambition and engine full of steam.

    Monday- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. I thought this would be a piece of cake. Toast the sandwiches in the oven and make soup. I even took the sandwiches to a fun new place by using 1 slice of whole wheat bread and 1 slice of white bread. The soup was made from canned tomatoes, condensed tomato soup (only because I inherited some and needed to use it up), Italian herbs and spices, salt, pepper, onion, garlic and water. Since the soup was cooking for 4 hours I figured the water would simply stretch the canned tomatoes and not lessen the flavor too much. After I received my lunch count for the day I panicked. I wasn’t going to have enough soup for all the orders. My counterpart suggested I add more water to the soup to stretch it and then correct the seasonings as necessary. What choice did I have, I didn’t have anymore tomato product and there was no time to run out for more. I added water and corrected the seasoning. The flavor was actually very good. It was the texture that was off. The extra water made the soup too thin. It was more of a tomato broth than a tomato soup. At the time, I didn’t have a food processor, blender, or immersion blender so there was no incorporating air for added volume. I had no cornstarch, butter or flour to thicken it with. So it was served as is, along side of perfectly toasted cheese sandwiches. The kids said the soup was perfect for dipping and the grilled cheese was the best they ever had. Day One… 7 out of 10

    Tuesday- Chick-fil-a Day. This day happens on the second Tuesday of every month. I provide chips, fruit and a dessert, and the fast food joint provides the chicken. It makes for an easy prep day for me. Although no one told me that I needed to provide the extras until the day before, it all turned out fine. Day 2… 9 out of 10

    Wednesday- Chicken Teriyaki with Veggie Fried Rice. Ok so I was really excited about this day. It was a brand new menu item that the kids had never had before. The thought process was to bake the chicken in the oven and then serve with the fried rice. As a side I had orange slices and for dessert, fortune cookies. I was like a little kid at Christmas. Who wouldn’t be excited about this for lunch. Little did I know the horror that awaited me. I had marinated the chicken over night and it smelled awesome. I started cooking the rice and prepping the fruit. The chicken went in the oven and we were rocking and rolling. 35 minutes into the cooking process, the chicken still wasn’t cooked. I started to panic… This was only the first batch of 3 and the clock was ticking. I had finished the rice and it tasted delicious. I was stuck on the chicken. Everything else was on it’s way, but the chicken was no where near done! There is a flat top in the kitchen that had never been used by the school before. It’s always been used be the Knight’s of Columbus for their pancake breakfasts, so I figured it was my only option. I started throwing the chicken on the flattop and bada bing it was beautiful. The searing made the whole kitchen smell like ginger and sweet soy sauce. I was feeling better. What I didn’t realize was that the kids have the choice of what they want to eat at lunch. So, each kid gets the main dish from me but then can choose from the offered sides that are offered by the volunteers. The lesson here is that these kids don’t like rice. Not many of them took it, and some of them didn’t have oranges either. This left them with a lunch of chicken and cookies. I was heartbroken. I thought for sure this would be a huge hit, but alas, not so much. Day 3… 3 out of 10

    Day 4- Baked Ziti. I knew the baked ziti would be a hit. My counterpart had made it the week before and the kids went gaga for it. My version was a little different and I was not offering garlic bread. I did offer instead the school’s first salad bar. I’ve applied for a grant through Whole Foods that would provide the school with a salad bar. I wanted to test out the theory of the bar before we had one and then the kids weren’t interested. Well, they LOVED it. Despite seeing 1 kid eat ranch dressing and bacon bits as his salad or the kid who only had plain pasta and and croutons on his plate, everyone seems to be eating veggies. This is a huge step in the right direction. Day 4… 9 out of 10

    I’m not what to expect out of this next week. There are lots of new recipes and I’m not sure how the kids will react. I have vendor meetings and inventories to do. When I first got married I thought it was had cooking or 2 people. Little did I know 5 years later I’d be cooking for 300.

    Always thinking of the next meal


    100th post! Chicken Tortilla Soup

    27 Apr

    Chicken tortilla soup is working it’s way up to the top of my list. It’s a spicy, flavorful soup that’s garnished with avocado, chicken, and tortilla strips. This soup made a great dinner tonight. It’s chilly out so soup seemed to be the right choice. This soup is a nice alternative to chili. It’s light and spicy and completely satisfying.

    Traditionally, or at least familiarly chicken tortilla soup is a thick, starchy soup that will stick to your ribs. My version however, is brothy.  You will find that this soup has been evolving into this version on the culinary stage. With people looking toward healthier options, a soup like this one can really knock your socks off.

    Since the stock is a flavorful the soup is garnished with what would normally be in the soup. Chicken, tortillas, avocado and lime are all served in the soup bowl and the stock is poured on top right before serving.

    1/2 red onion, chopped
    1 red pepper, chopped
    1 poblano pepper, chopped
    1 celery stalk, chopped
    1 large carrot, chopped
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    1 pint cherry tomatoes
    1 jalapeño, whole
    1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 cups chicken stock
    2 cups water

    In a hot stock pan add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add all the ingredients into the pot and sauté for 10 minutes. Add in the stock and the water. Cook at a simmer for 1 hour. Strain the liquid and set aside. Season and serve.

    1 chicken breast, poached and shredded
    24 corn chips
    1 avocado, cut into 8 pieces
    1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

    Arrange the garnishes in the desired serving dishes and pour the broth on top.

    This only gets better with a margarita or a Dos Equis… Enjoy 🙂

    Always thinking of the next meal


    Old favorites… new twist

    8 Mar

    When I was little, my mom used to make this dish that was great. At the time it seemed insignificant. It was a casserole. It wasn’t that it didn’t taste great, it was amazing, but I just couldn’t appreciate it at the time. When you’re a kid you just eat what’s given to you. A couple of night’s ago I was having dinner with my mom and we were talking about this dish. She told me that she used to make it it with chicken breast and cream of mushroom sauce and frozen peas.

    I love you Mom, but I’m taking my own spin on this and making it from scratch. The other quirky thing about this recipe is that although this dish resembles chicken pot pie or chicken an dumplings, it’s neither, and it doesn’t have a name. It’s half Betty Crocker and half Diane B. Now, it’s part Katie and I guess it’s about time to name this dish. If you have any ideas let me know 🙂

    1/2 cup carrot, small dice
    1/2 cup celery, small dice
    1 cup onion, small dice
    1/2 cup fennel, small dice
    1 tablespoon bacon fat
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon flour
    1/2 cup white wine
    2 cups milk
    1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
    3/4 cup frozen peas
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 package of Pilsbury flakey butter biscuits

    In a hot pot, add the bacon fat and oil. Add in the chicken and cook until brown on the outside. remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add in the vegetables and cook until just starting to turn soft. Add in the flour and wisk into the vegetables. Slowly add in the thyme, wine and milk, wisking to combine. Allow to come to a boil and then add the chicken back into the pot. Season and then turn the heat off and arrange the biscuits on the top of the chicken mixture. Bake in the oven at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until the biscuits are fluffy and golden brown on top.

    This is great for a cool night. It really hearty and has minimal clean up since it’s all in one pot. What’s not to love about this comforting, delicious meal?

    Always thinking about the next meal


    Filipino Cooking Class

    12 Nov



    Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

    Last night I was asked to to teach a class on traditional Filipino cooking. This was a very exciting venture for me, as I had never really cooked Filipino food before. I dabbled in Asian cookery while in school, but there’s nothing like being asked to teach a subject to get you interested and immersed in research.


    I found out that I already had the foundation of what Filipino cooking is all about. The Philippines are islands that have a patchwork history. With influences from Thailand, Spain, Japan, India, and a whole host of others, traditional Filipino food has elements from all of these cultures. The food follows the balanced of Thai food, being sweet, sour, hot and salty. Although most Filipino dishes tend to be far less spicy than Thai dishes. You also see more rice noodles and less rice, than Japanese and Spanish dishes, but it is certainly still important.

    For the class, I did, Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce, Pansit, and Chicken Adobo. Spring rolls are more traditional in Thai cooking, but I wanted to teach the technique of rolling. My client had asked for me to teach her how to make lumpia, but I couldn’t find the specific wrappers and there wasn’t enough time to make the dough for homemade wrappers.

    We started with the Spring rolls. I came with some of the vegetables julienned already (to save time) and we cut some of the cucumbers and herbs together. I rolled the first few to show my client how to do it, and then she took over. Although, a little nervous at first, she got the hang of it pretty quickly. I think that the most difficult part of cooking, is getting over the fear that you’re going to mess something up. We also mixed up some super simple peanut sauce. Here’s the recipe:

    Peanut sauce:

    1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1/8 cup warm water

    wisk all the ingredients together and serve at room temperature

    After snaking on the spring rolls, we moved on the pansit. Basically, pansit is the Filipino version of fried rice or lo


    Pancit with fried tofu

    mein. Choose vegetables that you like and juilenne them. Because my client is a vegetarian I loaded the veggies up. I used red and green bell peppers, onions, cabbage, carrots, and scallions. She eats eggs, so I hard boiled some eggs to throw in too. We stir fried the vegetables and then added in the soften rice noodles. Tossed to combine and then added in about 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Stir and fry and plate. Garnish with the chopped scallions. We topped our version with fried tofu to add some protein to the dish.

    To fry the tofu, use firm tofu pat dry. Dredge the tofu pieces in cornstarch and in very hot oil, cook the pieces until they turn light brown. They won’t be super dark brown, but they will have a light crust around the edges. You can certainly make this dish with shrimp or chicken, just follow the same frying method with the cornstarch.

    The last dish we made was chicken adobo. This was one that we made specifically for her husband, who misses his mother’s version. I knew that I had no chance of reaching that level of expectation, since I had never hear of this dish let alone made it before. But I gave it a try and was thrilled with the result. You know you’ve done something right, when the client’s husband walks in the door and says it smells like home.



    Chicken Adobo with sweet rice

    The adobo chicken is basically a version of coq au vin or any other braised chicken dish. You start by searing the chicken and then building the base of flavor in the same pan. This dish uses garlic, lemon, rice vinegar and soy sauce as the main flavors. Again, emphasizing the sweet, salty, and sour. I wanted to serve it over rice, but not boring rice. The original recipe I found called for added Sprite to the chicken while it was braising. So I decided to make the rice with the soda and some lemon zest instead of just plain water. The experiment was a huge success. The rice was very citrusy and slightly sweet. Since the chicken was lemony and tangy, the sweet rice added just enough balance to perfect the dish. Again we garnished with chopped scallions.


    The class was great. We talked about ideas for the next class before I left and I can’t wait to do it again!

    Always thinking of the next meal (and class,)



    The Versatility of Roasted Chicken

    21 Oct

    IMG_0901There are many basic techniques that can aid one in their quest for ultimate kitchen enlightenment, however, I think that the technique for roasting a chicken is the secret key to conquest.

    There are 3 main components to the perfect roasted chicken.

    1. Chicken

    2. Heat

    3. Time

    First, the chicken. What size you need is determined by how many people you are planning on feeding. If you assume that each person will eat between 1/4 and 1/2 pounds of chicken, you would want to buy a bird accordingly. If you are only feeding 2 people you might want to consider purchasing cornish game hens. The hens tend to be a bit gamier in flavor, but the roasting technique is the same. For the sake of an example I’ll use a 5 pound bird. Make sure that you note the packaging so that you know if you should be looking for a paper treasure in the chicken. It’s not a crisis if you leave the giblet in the chicken during roasting, but you are losing some of the tastiest bits to make gravy with.

    Element 2: the heat. Heat is a bit relative depending on the size of the bird and if you want the skin crispy. Crispy skin is a great debate in my house. No one really eats it, but it does look beautiful when it comes out of the oven. So, the question to me in not so much about skin, but about moist delicious meat. Oh yes, I’d love both and I most certainly strive for both, but I’ll take great moist chicken meat over crispy skin any day.

    With my chicken I start with the oven at 400 degrees and let it cook for 45 minutes. Then I turn the temperature down to 350 and allow it to cook for another 30 minutes. This addresses the third element, time. This is a relative cooking time as every chicken is different. For the 5 pound chicken tis would be approximately the right time, but the only way to know if you chicken is cooked through is to use a thermometer and make sure that it has reached 165 degrees. You can take it out of the oven at 155 degrees if you want since there will be some carry over cooking.

    So know you have this delicious, freshly cooked chicken (or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) what do you do with it? Well eating it with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans is a good start, but the possibilities are endless. Chicken tacos, chicken salad, stir fried chicken, BBQ chicken pizza are on the top of my list. Here’s my recipe for chicken salad:

    Chicken Salad
    serves 2

    1/2 pound diced chicken
    3 tablespoons light mayo
    1/4 cup red grapes, quartered
    1/8 cup celery, small diced
    2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
    salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients and serve on toasted wheat bread with romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes

    Always thinking of the next meal


    Pozole… Spicy Mexican Chicken Soup

    19 Oct

    Yes, another post about soup. But seriously I love this stuff. It’s 50 degrees here and breezy. Fall is definitely here and soup is just so warming and fulfilling. This soup is a little different. A traditional Mexican soup, it has hominy, a chewy, hulled kernel of corn, and ancho chilies. The soup itself is pretty simple, but it is garnished table side with any number of things. My version is garnished with cilantro and lime juice, but you can also use radishes, red onion, scallions or corn chips.

    The other thing to note here is that I roasted my own chicken but you can certainly you can use a purchased rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. You can also use leftover grilled chicken or if you are looking for a vegetarian version just omit the chicken and use vegetable stock.

    Here’s the recipe:

    serves 4
    1/2 sweet yellow onion, julienned
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 12 oz can hominy, rinsed
    1 16 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
    1 large ancho chili, julienned
    2 cups shredded chicken
    32 oz chicken stock
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    for garnish:
    1 lime cut into wedges
    1/2 cup cilantro, rough chopped


    IMG_08951. Sauté onions in oil until soft, about 10 minutesIMG_0897

    2. Season and add in the hominy

    3. Cook to heat hominy through

    4. Add tomatoes and chilies

    5. Add stock and bring to a boil

    IMG_08966. Reduce to a simmer and add in chickenIMG_0898

    7. Cook for 15 minutes to heat chicken

    8. Garnish and Serve

    This is a great twist on chicken soup. The ancho chilies are not overly spicy so they don’t overpower the soup. Like chicken noodle, every version is different, so feel free to use different chilies. You can make a green version by using tomatillos and poblano peppers instead of the tomatoes and ancho chilies. If you’re a  bit nervous about how spicy the end result is going to be, you can garnish with some queso fresco or sour cream.

    The end result

    The end result

    Always thinking of the next meal


    Magic Food

    6 Sep

    I believe that food can be magic. When you were little and not feeling well, your mom made you chicken noodle soup. Maybe it was a holiday meal that made you feel so comfortable and at home that you never wanted to leave the table. Maybe it is just the smell of freshly baked brownies that make you warm up and feel like there’s no other place in the world that you need to be.

    The Italian Chicken Soup that my mom used to make when we were sick, is what does it for me. The smell of the golden broth, and the Italian herbs simmering all day just made you feel better just thinking about it. In fact we’ve even given it the nickname, Feel Better Soup.

    I think I read somewhere that chicken soup is full of all kinds of good vitamins and minerals that make you feel better. Something about boosting your serotonin blah blah blah. The fact of the matter is that chicken soup makes you feel better because someone that loves you did something just for you. Personally I think it’s the love that goes into the food that helps to make you feel better.

    Here’s the recipe:

    Feel Better SoupIMG_0792

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound carrots, small dice
    1 pound celery, small dice
    1 1/2 cups yellow onions, small dice
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    3-4 cloves garlic
    2 large chicken breasts
    48 oz chicken stock
    2 cups water
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 cup pasta, cook separately
    2 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
    grated parmesan for garnish

    Sauté the vegetables and garlic in the oil. When the vegetables are soft add in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Add in the chicken breast whole and bring to a simmer. Allow the chicken to poach for 20 10-15 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, remove and dice. Add back to the soup. Allow soup to simmer for 30-45 minutes. 10 minutes before service, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Add 1/4 cup of the cooked pasta to an empty bowl and ladle the hot soup on top. Grate parmesan on top to garnish.

    When Ryan was growing up his mom would make chicken soup too. She served them with crunchy peanut butter sandwiches. At first, I thought this was a little weird. Peanut butter and chicken? Well, it works in Thai food doesn’t it? I’m telling you it’s actually really good. So the traditions have been combined. My mom’s Italian chicken soup and Ryan’s Mom’s crunchy peanut butter sandwiches.

    Since we are both feeling under the weather, I can’t wait for dinner. The house smells so good and I’m about to go make the sandwiches. Not the best way to spend Labor Day weekend, but I never mind having Feel Better Soup.

    Always thinking of the next meal