Category Archives: Poultry

Asian Chicken Wings

this is the prettiest picture ever. that is because susan took it.

To me, chicken wings are the fowl equivalent of sugar pie, which is when you take all the odds and ends from your pie crust and bake them with sugar on it.  Chicken wings are what is left over when the parts of the chicken people actually want are spoken for: unsellable, weird pieces of what is very obviously a bird.  The marketing department of Giant Chicken Conglomerate, however, figured out a way to make money off the pieces no one in their right mind would actually want:  PUT A LOT OF SAUCE ON THEM.  Realistically, chicken wings are vehicles for sauce.  Which actually I am totally fine with, though it does raise a question that has troubled me for some time.  Why must we use animal parts to ferry sauce from our grubby hands to our  mouths?  Why is it not ok to eat sauce with a spoon?  Some questions just don’t have answers.

The good news is, these chicken wings have a really good sauce.  It’s more like a glaze, really.  And it can be modified very easily.  If, for example, you are making these for someone who does not hate ginger, it would be lovely to put ginger in the sauce!  I’m not usually one for recipes that require a long marinating time, because I don’t plan food in advance much, but the longer these marinate, the better they will be.  Because you broil them, the skin gets all crispy and caramelized from the sugar and the fat, and soy sauce, garlic and sugar are a magical combination in any situation.  Also, if, like me, you make these for a whole bunch of people during which time you drink a large quantity of red wine, you will appreciate how salty, sweet and spicy they are in contrast to how drunk you feel.  And, if, like me, you ALWAYS want a snack when the red wine-drinking is over, these are excellent left over.

Vaguely Asian Chicken Wings (these proportions are for 1 lb of chicken wings, double, triple, 14-ple as needed.)

1 lb chicken wings

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup  brown sugar

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 tsp Sriracha, depending on how spicy you like things

Some other things you could add to the sauce if you wanted:  minced ginger; sake, if you have some lying around; sweet Thai chili sauce; peanut butter, if you want a peanut sauce kind of thing; ponzu; FISH SAUCE, and I would highly recommend this; grated pear, which I use when I make Korean bulgogi, it is magic.

Method:  Whisk together the sauce ingredients, coat the wings with it for at least 2 hours, but preferably 24.  When you’re ready to cook them, put all the wings on a cookie sheet (reserving the marinade) and bake them in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or so, until they’re more or less cooked through.  Take them out, brush the glaze you reserved back over them and put them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  Take them out, flip them all over, broil the other side for 2-3 minutes.  If you want to then flip them one MORE time and broil the other side for a further minute, you can, because there’s so much fat in chicken wings it is basically impossible to overcook them, and you’d rather have the skin be crispy all the way around, trust me.  Serve, with Sriracha and chopped green onion for garnish.

– Cat

another beautiful picture, courtesy of susan.

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Filed under Appetizers, Meat, Poultry, Recipes

Thai Chicken Noodle Salad

So here’s the thing about ginger. I hate it. I think it tastes like soap. I am extremely sensitive to it and I can taste even a small amount in things. Now, I realize there are some things where ginger is imperative and in general if it’s cooked into something (like chutney) I don’t notice it that much, but fresh ginger makes me feel like I’m in that scene from A Christmas Story.

While writing this post, I searched long and hard to find information on why ginger tastes like soap to some people (because I know I’m not the only one), but I couldn’t find anything. I did find some disturbing things pertaining to why people thing ginger tastes like soap, but I assure you- none of it was scientific.  Somewhere along the line I read something about how the way ginger tastes is some kind of chemical reaction, or recognition, similar to why some people think cilantro tastes like soap (not me, I love the stuff). Either way, I give up. If you find it, tell me.

Until then- keep that nasty crap away from me.

As for this recipe, it is common for Thai food to have ginger in it. I was immediately drawn to this recipe after I realized it was missing that one loathed ingredient.  I love rice noodles, everything from their texture to how quickly they cook. Aside from a short marinade for the chicken this recipe comes together extremely quickly. It tasted light and refreshing and I had visions of enjoying this in the backyard with fresh herbs from the garden. Screw you winter, bring on the sunshine!

Anyway, this is a modified version of this Martha Stewart recipe

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

Ingredients for dressing/ marinade:

4 thinly sliced scallion whites

2 minced garlic cloves

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup rice vinegar

2  Tbs brown sugar

1 Tbs fresh lime juice

½ tsp anchovy paste

1 tsp red pepper flakes

¼ cup sesame oil or olive oil

Whisk or shake together all ingredients except the oil (the oil will be added after it is used as a marinade).

Ingredients for salad:

1 ¼ Lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced crosswise

3 ½ oz Chinese rice noodles

1 Tbs. veg oil

2 carrots, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler (or julienned if you’re fancy)

1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro

Handful of bean sprouts

3-4 sliced scallions

A dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

Method:

Place chicken and half of the dressing in a sealable plastic bag, reserve remaining dressing. Marinate at room temp for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. Boil about 3 cups of water in a kettle or a pot. Put the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for two to three minutes until cooked (these directions will also be on the package). Drain and set aside. In a Large skillet heat oil over medium high. Working in batches, cook chicken until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk the remaining dressing with ¼ cup sesame or olive oil. Top the noodles with the chicken, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro and bean sprouts. Drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and scallions.

A few notes:

The original recipe called for basil- both cilantro and basil work for Thai food and I happened to have cilantro on hand. It was delicious. If you had Thai basil it would be even better.

You could literally modify this recipe ANY way you want. You could add ginger (eww) to the marinade/dressing. You could add spicy Thai chilis instead of red chili flakes for even more heat. You could use pork or beef. You could top it with crushed peanuts, or any other kind of vegetable you might like.

-Sue

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Filed under Pasta, Poultry, Recipes, Salad

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a bit of a production, but it’s worth every ounce of effort. You have to make a pie crust, roast chicken, make the filling, and then assemble the pie. It’s quite an ordeal, but it’s fantastic. Of course, there are a lot of cheater methods for chicken pot pie including buying pre-made pie crust, or even puff pastry. You can substitute cream of chicken soup instead of making the filling from scratch. You can even use biscuits as a topping…but I’m telling you right now, if you make it my way, you won’t regret it. In fact, if you have someone you want to impress (a boyfriend or girlfriend by chance) you might want to consider making this for them. This was one of the first meals I made for my boyfriend, and I’m fairly confident it sealed the deal for me.

Classically, chicken pot pie is a cream based filling with chicken, carrots, onions, celery, peas, and potatoes; which is exactly how I make mine. Many recipes add things like mushrooms (which I do love, but my boyfriend doesn’t), bell peppers, and even green beans. Bells peppers and my stomach don’t get along, and I think there is no worse crime than an overcooked mushy green bean, but you can add whatever you like. If you want to add or omit any vegetables in this recipe, you can do it without making any adjustment.

Now, there are a few things I should tell you about this recipe:

–          This is a recipe for a full double pie crust. Depending on how you make your final product you might have left over. If you have left over you can roll out an extra pie crust and freeze it in a disposable pie tin for use later.

–          This recipe makes more than enough filling. My boyfriend calls it “chicken stew” and he loves to eat it alone as much as he loves it in pie form.

–          This can be made in various ways: In a pie plate with both a top and a bottom crust, in a pie plate with just a top crust, or in ramekins or small crocks topped with crust.

–          I made the original in the traditional way with a top and a bottom crust in a pie plate. With the leftovers for picture (and round two eating) purposes I made a small one in a ramekin. One was prettier, but they were both equally delicious.

The filling for this recipe is my own, but the pie crust recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen.  I have a number of different pie crust recipes under my belt (including the secret family recipe), but this one was excellent for this dish.

Pie Crust Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar (I left this out since I was doing a savory preparation and this dough is quite sweet)
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka  (Don’t skip this, see the note at the bottom of the post)
1/4 cup cold water

1 egg, for egg wash

Pie crust method:

Process 1½ cups flour, salt and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening, and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds, and there should be no un-coated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Filling (a.k.a. Chicken stew) ingredients:

1 ½ to 2 lbs of chicken, roasted  and diced (or shredded) *See notes at bottom*

1 onion, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

4 Tbs butter

¾ cup flour

4 cups (1 box) chicken stock

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds

2 large stalks celery, slice into ¼” pieces

1 medium to large russet potato, diced and par boiled

1/3 cup frozen peas

1 Tbs Better Than Bouillon chicken flavor, or 1 bouillon cube

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

¼ cup heavy cream or ½ and ½

Filling method:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large pot or sauce pan heat olive oil and sauté onions over medium heat until translucent. Add butter and let it melt. Add flour and whisk into butter and onions, cook over medium heat until a thick paste has formed and has started to lightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in chicken stock and bullion, bring to a boil. The sauce should be significantly thickened, turn heat back down to medium and add the carrots and celery, and chicken. Cook for about 10 minutes until the carrots and celery have begun to soften. Add peas and potatoes and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, about a tsp. each, or more to taste. Whisk in heavy cream and remove from heat.

Chicken Pot Pie assembly:

For full crust: Assemble the bottom crust of the pie and rub with butter (yes, more butter, but this will help the crust from becoming soggy).  Add the filling and top with an additional crust. Crimp edges.  And cut 3-4 vents in the top. Whisk one egg and brush lightly over the entire crust. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and ground pepper.  Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling

For individual pot pies: Spoon filling into 4-6 ovenproof bowls (depending on their size). Roll out dough and cut into strips to create a lattice top, or cut into rounds large enough to drape over the edge of each bowl.  Brush the edge of the bowls with egg wash and top with crust. If you are using rounds, cut 2 vents in each. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and ground pepper. Bake at 350 for 18-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

A few notes:

You can buy roasted chicken, or roast your own. I used two large bone-in chicken breasts with skin on. I like to buy skin on because it keeps the breasts moist. My method is to rub each breast with olive oil, place them in a roasting pan skin side up and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast at 375 for about 35 minutes until they are cooked through and have an internal temperature of at least 170 degrees. Let the chicken cool , then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin, cut into a large dice.

Vodka in pie crust?! No, I’m not crazy. There is some science behind this.  Essentially the alcohol adds moisture without aiding in gluten formation, because gluten does not form in alcohol. For good flaky pie crust you want layers of fat and layers of gluten, and much of this is achieved by using cold ingredients and not allowing too much gluten to form too quickly. One other note- don’t skip that step about folding in the water/vodka, it makes a HUGE difference, trust me. There are a LOT of things I have learned about dough making over the past few years, but that’s a whole different post.

-Sue

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Filed under Baked Goods, Meat, Poultry, Recipes

Chicken Tikka Masala

you can see chunks of onion because i gave up on pureeing after my magma spatter disaster. hopefully yours will be smoother.

I do a lot of cooking.  I especially do a lot of cooking while drinking wine and dancing around my kitchen.  Luckily for me, my chopping skills stay mostly intact while drinking.  When I am (occasionally) unlucky, I employ the Bryan Monaghan Certified Medically Sound Method for Healing Kitchen Injuries – I wrap a paper towel really tightly around wherever I’ve cut myself, then swathe the whole thing in duct tape.  It’s great, because it’s really inconvenient AND looks ridiculous.

I didn’t cut  myself during the making of Chicken Tikka Masala, though I did spray myself, the stove and the wall with many droplets of screaming hot pureed tomatoes and onions.  The unfortunate thing is that Sue’s mom JUST sent me a really cute apron for my birthday (thanks again Mrs. Croal!), which I wasn’t wearing because I want to keep it pretty.  Can someone please send me an ugly apron?

Here’s something: Chicken Tikka Masala is the national dish of Britain, according to someone who said that once in Britain.  Basically, it’s a rich, sweetish curry made mostly from tomatoes, cream and spices.  Chances are, if you’ve been to an Indian restaurant in America, you’ve ordered it, as it’s the Indian restaurant equivalent of Pad Thai.  It’s delicious, and this recipe, from Use Real Butter,  is really easy and doesn’t call for anything your local store doesn’t have.  If you cook any Indian or Mexican food at home, you probably have most of the spices already.  It’s hardly any prep at all, and the actual work involved (not including marinating time) takes about 45 minutes.  Simple.  It also makes for EXCELLENT leftovers to take to work for lunch.

Chicken Tikka Masala, from Use Real Butter

For the kebabs:

1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

2 tbsp plain yogurt

juice of 1 lime

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp paprika (any kind, sweet, hot, whatever)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

3 tbsp vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Method: Mix together all the ingredients but the chicken, then put the chicken in the marinade, in the fridge, for 2-24 hours.  I marinated mine for 6 hours and it was plenty of time.

longer is better, but at least 1-2 hours is fine.

30 minutes before you want to make the curry part, skewer the chicken onto sticks (metal if you have them, if your skewers are wood, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to using them on the grill) and grill them, for about 6-8 total minutes, turning once.  If you don’t have a grill, you can bake them in the oven, on 400 degrees, on a cookie sheet, for about 6-8 minutes, turning once.  When the kebabs are done, remove them to a plate and get them ready to put into the curry a little later.

For the curry:

2-3 tbsp butter

2 big sweet onions, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 inch piece of ginger, grated

2 big, ripe tomatoes, diced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tbsp salt

black pepper

1 tbsp sugar

juice of 1/2 a lime

1/4 cup heavy cream

Method:  In a big dutch oven on medium heat, melt the butter, and put in the onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and lightly browned.  Then, put in all the tomatoes and cook another 5-6 minutes, mashing the tomatoes around.

i mashed the tomatoes for awhile. it was a little like hungry hungry hippos.

At this point, you can do the smart thing, which is put the whole mess into a blender and puree it, or you can do the stupid thing (which of course, is what I did) and try to use an immersion blender to puree it, even though there’s definitely not enough stuff in the pot to NOT spray yourself with many droplets of tomato puree the same temperature as lava.  In any case, puree the mixture, taking care because it is HOT, and then return it to the pot.  Stir in all the spices, lime juice and cream, then mix in the chicken pieces.  Heat the whole thing through, maybe 5-8 minutes.  Serve with jasmine rice and naan.  (Not that I ever advocate eating pre-made food items, but Trader Joe’s has thoroughly decent frozen garlic naan that heats up in a toaster oven in like 2 minutes.  Just saying.)

– Cat

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Chicken Divan

Everyone’s mom has a go-to “casserole”, at least if you’re from the Midwest they do. Well, my mom’s was Chicken Divan.  Right now you might be thinking of cans of questionable cream-of-something-soup. Well, you would be right. I ‘m normally the one to upgrade things like this, or make my own cream-of-something-soup to replace it; this is one of those recipes (like beef stroganoff) that you just don’t mess with. Well, I mess with it a little, but I swear it’s just a little.

What makes this casserole different than your typical bag of frozen this, can of cream of that, is that it’s made with fresh ingredients. It’s poached chicken breasts, freshly steamed broccoli, and a lightly curried cream sauce. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?

Chicken Divan- from the Kitchen of Sue’s Mom.

Ingredients:

2 medium to large heads of broccoli

4 large chicken breasts

1 can cream of chicken soup (light is fine)

¼ cup mayo (light is fine)

½ cup milk (once again, skim is fine)

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

½ tsp curry powder

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup bread crumbs

2 Tbs melted butter

Method:

Start by poaching the chicken. In a large pot of boiling water cook the chicken for about 30 minutes or until completely cooked through. This will largely depend on the size of your chicken breasts, check them by cutting into them with a knife, don’t worry about appearance, they are going into a casserole after all. While the chicken cooks, cut the broccoli into spears.

Steam the broccoli until it is fork tender.

In a 9X13 baking dish, arrange the chicken alternating with spears of broccoli. I place two stems of broccoli, florets facing opposite sides, in between each piece of chicken. In a small bowl whisk together soup, mayo, lemon juice, and curry powder. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with cheese.

In another small bowl pour the melted butter over the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

A few notes:
-Cat hasn’t eaten this in years- she won’t eat things with warm mayo. But I think after reading this and seeing the pictures even she may reconsider.

-My slight modification is extra curry. The recipe above reflects the original but when I make mine I use a highly mounded ½ tsp of curry. I love curry, what can I say.

-I always serve this with a side of Uncle Ben’s wild rice. It just goes together perfectly.

-My Mom also used to make an excellent version of this on pizza. That’s right- PIZZA. I may have even liked it better than this. She would use a plain pizza crust (which she of course made from scratch) use the curry sauce as the base, and top it with shredded chicken, broccoli florets, and sprinkle it with shredded cheddar. I think I need to make this soon…

-You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake it. Or you can freeze it before you cook it and let it defrost in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before you bake it. I’m mentioning this because this is super common of Midwest style casseroles; they are often made ahead of time or given to neighbors and friends in times of need.

-Sue

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Grilled Hawaiian Chicken with Coriander Rice and Veggies

I wanted to call this post Grilled Hawaiian Chicken with Pile of Health, but I thought it wouldn’t read well in Google searches.

Trader Joe’s has an interesting new product called “Bag of Stir Fry Stuff”, which has chopped up baby bok choy, carrots, snow peas, broccoli and Napa cabbage.  It seems like the kind of thing that exists to solve some other problem, like their fruit leather Odds and Ends (which is a bag of the trimmings from giant sheets of fruit leather).  The problem was probably: How can we make more money off of stuff we’d probably just throw away otherwise?  The solution is obviously:  Put it in a bag and find a cutesy name for it.

Normally, I am strenuously opposed to produce that is pre-chopped.  I hate that someone can fool me into paying more for something that is exactly the same as something that is cheaper.  I come from a long line of overblown dramatics, so getting pretty worked up about something like pre-chopped produce is routine for me, and luckily my boyfriend finds it amusing.  Recently Dom got a satisfying laugh at me while we were standing in the produce section at Trader Joe’s and I was agonizing over buying the pre-skinned and chopped sweet potatoes, because even though I really didn’t want to spend the time peeling and chopping those things if I bought the regular kind, I REALLY didn’t want to buy a bag of pre-peeled, pre-chopped sweet potatoes.  In the end, I bought the regular ones and felt superior through the whole arduous process of peeling and chopping them.

This Bag of Stir Fry Stuff, though, barreled right through the chink in my anti-marketing armor labeled: Stuff She Will Buy if it Saves her Chopping Many Items, Rather Than Just One Item.  It has baby bok choy AND carrots AND snow peas AND broccoli AND Napa cabbage!!!!  That’s enough saved chopping time to run a mile and a half.  Or, watch the Daily Show while eating cheese.

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

1 lb chicken (I used 4 boneless breasts, but you could use thighs, bone in parts, a whole chicken, anything)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil

juice of 1 lime,  plus the squeezed limes

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped (no need to peel it)

2 tbsp Sriracha

1/3 cup coconut milk

3 green onions, roughly chopped

Whisk all the ingredients together (it will be chunky) and pour over the chicken.  I marinate stuff in big Ziploc bags, because that’s what my mom does.

see, the marinade is all big and weird, but it doesn't matter.

2-24 hours of marinating should do it.  When you’re ready to grill it, turn the grill on high and OIL THE GRATE.   Remove the chicken from the marinade, and grill 4-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Coriander Rice

1/2 a sweet onion, chopped

2 tbsp butter

2 cups brown rice

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric (will make the rice that pretty, pretty yellow)

4 cups water or chicken stock or coconut milk

3 green onions, chopped

In a large saucepan on medium heat, cook the onions in the butter until translucent, about 7 minutes.  Pour the dry rice into the pan and stir it around in the liquid for a couple minutes, then put in the coriander and liquid.  Cook, mostly covered, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.  When done cooking, stir in the green onions.

Stir Fried Vegetables

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp soy sauce or ponzu

2 tbsp Sriracha

2 tbsp brown sugar

juice of 1 lime

2-3 tbsp water

a whole bunch of chopped veggies (I used a bag of frozen edamame and  pre-chopped, pre-washed Bag of Stir Fry Stuff, which was AWESOME.  But you could use carrots, any kind of cabbage, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, anything.)

In a saucepan on medium heat, put in everything but the veggies.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until it thickens up a bit.  Dump in all the veggies and cook until just shy of the point you like your veggies cooked to.  I like a crisp vegetable, so I cooked mine for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

– Cat

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Balsamic Roasted Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes with Sweet Corn Polenta

bowl o' tastiness.

My favorite recipes are the ones where I discover I only need to buy 1 ingredient.  I don’t think I’m able to fully express the depth of my love for that situation.  It’s the opposite of the feeling I get when I see a recipe for something s’more flavored and I think I have all the ingredients, and then I realize that I ate all the mini marshmallows again, so I don’t have any.

In any case, you probably have almost all these ingredients too.  If you are a better person than me, you probably keep frozen chicken in the freezer, as I should.  If so, you probably never find yourself wondering what you can make for dinner out of kidney beans and lasagna noodles, because you plan the week’s meals in advance.  Well done you.  Please come live with me.

This whole process took me 40 minutes, from halving the tomatoes to eating my first bite.  And I had time to watch snippets of Tosh.0 during it.  This dinner goes out to my cousin Susie, who appreciates quick, easy and healthy recipes more than anyone, having 3 adorable kiddos under 4.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes

1 lb or so chicken (1 package of thighs, 1 package of breasts, a whole chicken cut up, whatever)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or not

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp good olive oil

salt and pepper

Method: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl (or jar) mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic.  In a 9×13 baking dish or a roasting pan, put the tomatoes in the bottom of the pan.  Place the chicken on the tomatoes.

i always think boneless chicken thighs look like floppy socks.

Pour the vinegar/garlic mixture over the chicken.  Roast for 30 minutes, depending on what kind of chicken you used.  Baste the chicken with the pan juices 2 or 3 times during cooking.  If, toward the end of the cooking time you want to turn your broiler on high for a minute or two, that would be good. THAT’S IT.

Sweet Corn Polenta

1 cup corn polenta (polenta and grits are the same thing.  I use Bob’s Red Mill)

3 cups liquid (I used 2 cups chicken stock, 1 cup skim milk and a dash of half and half, because I had it.  The point is, cooking ratio for polenta is 1:3, meaning for every cup you use of dry polenta, you need 3 cups of liquid.)

2 cups or so of sweet corn, fresh if you have it, frozen if you don’t (if you had fresh corn on the cob recently and have leftovers, this would be an excellent use for it)

salt and pepper

Method:  About 20 minutes from when you think the chicken will be done, start this process. In a large saucepan on medium heat, mix together the polenta and 3 cups of liquid.  Stir frequently as it cooks and absorbs the liquid, this will take 20 minutes or so.  Near the very end, when it’s just a bit waterier than you’d like, stir in the corn and let it heat through.

Serve the chicken on the polenta, and pour the tomato-y pan sauce you created in the bottom of the pan over it.  You could shave a little parmesan over it, too.  And I served mine with a green salad.

Notes:  During the roasting process, if you open the oven door and are knocked over by the vinegar fumes, don’t worry, they will mellow by the end.  Also, this heats up REALLY well as leftovers.

– Cat

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