Sunday, June 8, 2014

Buttermilk Ranch Chicken Skewers

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 oz Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Cut chicken into one-inch cubes.
Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl for marinade.
Place the chicken in the bowl and coat well in the marinade.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Thread chicken onto skewers (if using bamboo, soak in water for 30 minutes first.)
Preheat grill, and bring to medium-high temperature.
Oil or spray the grate to prevent sticking.
Grill skewers for 10-15 minutes or until no longer pink, flipping halfway.
Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

Martha:  This recipe came from Chef Thomas Grossmann.    I did do my usual and make a change or two.  Actually I made the chicken using his recipe and made my changes afterwards.  I put my chicken in a baking dish, sprinkled it with Panko and cheese, put it in the oven to melt the cheese and brown the Panko.  After that I added it to my salad.  YUM!  The taste of the chicken is wonderful.  The melted cheese added great flavor to my salad and the toasted Panko added even another taste.  But that wasn't all I did.  I took the leftover chicken along with the Panko and cheese, placed it in a processor and ground it up for chicken salad to which I added - don't tell Arby's - 2 packages of their horseradish sauce and a little mayo to cream it up.  OMGoodness!  This was great too.  So, make this up and create 3 meals out of one simple chicken recipe.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes

(Make this mixture twice)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
4-5 med. potatoes, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In 1 large bowl mix oil, paprika, rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl.  Add chicken.  Toss to coat well and set aside.  In another large bowl mix 2nd batch of oil, paprika, rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Add potatoes and toss.  Arrange potatoes in single layer on a foil lined 9 x 13 x 2 baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake 15 minutes.  Place chicken in another baking dish and place in the oven.  Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and chicken is done.  Turn occasionally through cooking.

Martha:  I found this recipe in a McCormick handout.  I ended up making just a couple changes.  The original used bone-in chicken thighs and red potatoes.  I used chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces.  I also used regular baking potatoes instead of the red.  The original had the chicken and potatoes tossed in the same bowl as well as cooked in the same bowl.  I separated them not only in tossing with the mixture but also in cooking.  Doing this required me to make up 2 mixtures and it was worth it.  I did combine the 2 when serving.  The potatoes came out with such a wonderful taste, as did the chicken.  I served this with slaw and farro.

Food Tester Carol:  Succulent chicken and crispy roasted potato wedges, both rubbed in an enticing combination of spices that bring zest to the palate - that's what this dish is.  Can't wait to see what these spices are.  Farro is a nice mild partner and the coleslaw was a fresh and lightly acidic taste just the way my family likes it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/2 cup brown & wild rice blend, uncooked
1 leek, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small
1 celery stalk, chopped small
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 can Campbell's turkey gravy
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Cook rice according to package directions.  In a large sauce pan melt butter.  Add leek, carrots and celery.  Saute until tender.  Add water and bouillon cubes, chicken, gravy, rice, salt and pepper.  Cook 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water.  Stir into soup.  Cook on medium heat another 5 minutes allowing cornstarch to thicken.

Martha:  One of the restaurants I enjoy going to serves chicken and rice soup once a week.  I've always loved the slight thickness of the soup so decided to ask what they used.  I was told cornstarch.  That, along with the H. T. Trader brand of brown and wild rice blend that I love so dearly, prompted me to work up this recipe.  The rice has wheat and rye berries which give you a slight chew that is really good.  The turkey gravy was a thought to add more flavor, which it did.  And the cornstarch measurements above gave this the perfect thickness for my taste.  You can add less or more for your own taste or you can leave it out completely.  And for the chicken, you can use pre-cooked frozen, fresh cooked and even canned.  Whichever you happen to have on hand.  I used pre-cooked frozen.  This dish has so many flavors and textures that it's simply delicious with our without crackers.

Food Tester Carol:  The chicken noodle and chicken rice soup I grew up with turns out to have been a weak, watered down broth based soup, nothing like the whole hearted flavor in this soup.  The generous chicken pieces are intensified by the addition of the turkey gravy that deepens the flavor and creates a pleasing balance with the nutty flavors of the blended rice and grains, a heartier rendition of the previous neutral white rice or limp noodles that I always thought were added just to "stretch" the soup.  This chicken and blended rice soup is the "real deal!"