May 8, 2013

Roasted Quartered Chicken Recipe

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Quartered Chicken, Roasted

Thanks to our budget challenge this month. we are working our way through the freezer. I found a package of a quartered fryer chicken in the bottom drawer of the freezer and it’s been in there longer than I’d like to admit. I bought it (ages ago) because it was only $3.24 for the whole package. I roast whole fryer chickens all the time, so I just followed a similar recipe.

INGREDIENTS

A quartered whole fryer chicken

1-2 lemons

Olive oil, 1 – 2 Tablespoons

Minced garlic, 1 – 2 Tablespoons

Thyme, 1 Tablespoon

Paprika, 1/2 Tablespoon

Rosemary, 1/2 Tablespoon

Kosher salt and pepper

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

2.) I like to rinse my chicken after taking it out of the package. Rinse under cold water. Pat it dry with a paper towel. You want to reduce extra moisture on the chicken before baking because the moisture will dry it out (at least this is what I’ve heard, I’m no expert).

3.) Place the quarters into an oven safe baking dish. I used something like this – Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 6-3/4-Quart Oval French Oven, Cherry. Any type of roasting pan will work.

4.) Cut two lemons in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken inside the dish. Toss lemons into pan to bake with chicken.

5.) Drizzle olive oil over whole fryers. Probably 1 – 2 Tablespoons. Then using your hands, rub in the minced garlic. Give you chicken a nice olive oil and garlic bath. 🙂

6.) Then sprinkle all the herbs over the chicken. Rub it in. Rub it in. Salt and pepper the chicken.

7.) Pop the chicken in the oven, uncovered, for about 60 to 75 minutes. If you want, half way through you can flip the chicken, but I didn’t. You just want to make sure you roast them long enough time to get the temperature to 165 F, which is the safe recommended temp for poultry from the FDA. Don’t over cook, it will dry out.

That’s it! I hope you like them. My family really enjoyed this easy recipe.

Do you have suggestions for how to roast chicken quarters? Do you grill them?

Roasting-Two-Chickens

You might also like my post about Roasting Two Chickens at one time.

Roasted-Whole-Chicken-Crockpot-Slow-Cooker

Or this post on how to roast a whole chicken in the crockpot!

May 7, 2013

Roasted chicken pesto pasta salad

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Roasted Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

We are still on a big budget challenge this month, so I’m trying to avoid the store as much as possible. Sunday I roasted two chickens I had in the freezer – with plans to eat leftovers the next day. I thought we would have roasted chicken salad, but I never made it to the store for fresh lettuce. So we had a roasted chicken pesto pasta salad.

The best thing about this meal is we had everything on hand. The pasta was in our stockpile, I made the pesto last fall and it was in the freezer, and I tossed it with pine nuts and parmesan.

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Here are instructions for making homemade pesto. I make it anytime I can find basil on markdown at the grocery store. It freezes so well – I like to freeze it in 1 Tablespoon dollops in my mini muffin pan.

Roasting-Two-ChickensPin it.

Here are instructions for roasting your whole chickens. I almost always roast two at once – the amount of work is nearly the same as if you roast one, but you have leftovers the next day. Or if you’re in a hurry pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store.

To make the pasta salad:

1.) Boil your pasta per the instructions on the box. We used a wheat penne pasta.

2.) If your pesto is frozen (mine was), add it to a sauce pan with a little water and melt it over low to medium heat.

3.) Slice up your roasted chicken into bite size pieces.

4.) Drain your pasta, save a little pasta water (a couple Tablespoons) and pour into pesto. Heat pesto and heat up until it’s a consistency you like.

4.) In a large bowl toss together pasta, chicken and pesto. Stir well so pesto coats everything. Then shave real parmesan cheese on top and toasted pine nuts.

I wish I would had some big bella mushrooms or cherry tomatoes to add, but that would have required a trip to the store and money, which I’m trying to save.

Roasted-Chicken-Pesto-Pasta-SaladPin it.

What’s your favorite pasta salad? What’s your favorite pesto meal?

April 12, 2013

Shred chicken using a mixer

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Shred chicken using a mixer

Yesterday I discovered how easy it is to shred cooked chicken breasts with my KitchenAid mixer! After a suggestion from a Facebook fan, I tossed my cooked chicken breasts into my Kitchenaid Mixer and using the paddle attachment – I had shredded chicken in a fraction of the time and without a mess or burned fingers! In the past I had shredded chicken using two forks and a big cutting board – no longer!

Shred-Chicken-with-Mixer-how

This is the chicken before shredding it. I tossed the chicken breasts straight from the slow cooker.* Easy, easy.  Using the paddle attachment, just “mix” it until it’s the consistency that you like!

You can use any kind of mixer. If you have a handheld mixer (like this one, Cuisinart HM-70 Power Advantage 7-Speed Hand Mixer, Stainless and White) it should work as well, but could chop it up a bit finer than the paddle on the mixer (KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer).

Shredded-chicken-freeze

Then I put it into Ziploc freezer bags, measured out in 1 pound and 1.5 pound increments, and then I toss this in the freezer until I have a recipe that calls for shredded chicken.

*I tossed about 6-8 whole fresh chicken breasts into my crockpot with a carton of chicken broth and cooked on high for 3-4 hours until fully cooked. 

Have you ever done this before? What else do you use your kitchen mixer for? 

If you like this post, pin it here!

March 20, 2013

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Fajita-Lettuce-Wrap-Recipe

Chicken Fajitas Lettuce Wrap Recipe

We’re watching what we eat around here, so tonight we made chicken fajitas, but ditched the tortillas. We used two shells of iceberg lettuce, stacked inside of each other to serve as the “wrap” portion of the fajita. It was so good and both my husband and I were shocked at how well the lettuce held up to the juices and the weight of the stuffing – even better than some tortillas we’ve had in the past!

Mini-Sweet-Peppers-Wilson-Farms

The star of the show were these Sweet Mini Peppers I found at WinCo Foods. A two pound bag was just $3.98 and they are delicious! They are practically seedless, so super easy to wash up, dice and stir fry.

INGREDIENTS

1 small head of iceberg lettuce, fresh

Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, about 2 pounds

1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly

7-8 Mini Sweet Peppers (or two regular sized), rinsed, seeded and sliced

1.5 Tablespoon canola oil

Fajita seasoning mix – here is a basic homemade fajita seasoning recipe, I add more cumin and garlic powder in my version. WinCo Foods is also a great place to buy bulk seasonings! We usually pick up Taco seasoning and all our spices in bulk at our local WinCo.

Toppings, all optional and based on your likes: Sour cream, cheddar cheese, salsa, cilantro, black olives, tomatoes, whatever you like on tacos or fajitas. You could also make a batch of Spanish Rice in the Rice Cooker

DIRECTIONS

1.)  Add 1 Tablespoon canola oil to skillet on stove. Add chicken and saute on medium-high heat until fully cooked.

2.) Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside. Add 1/2 Tablespoon canola oil to the same skillet and toss in peppers and onions. Saute on medium until softened.

Stir-fry-fajitas

3.) Once peppers and onions are cooked, add chicken back into pan.

4.) Add fajita seasoning with 1/4 cup of water – or basically just add water until the seasoning finely coats everything.

5.) Saute over medium heat until chicken has reheated and flavors have blended together.

6.) To make your lettuce wraps, I recommend using two leaves of lettuce. It’s crunchier and sturdier. Fill with your favorite toppings and enjoy right away.

Fajitas-Chicken-Lettuce-No-Tortilla

Chicken-Fajita-Lettuce-Wrap-Recipe

Have you ever made fajitas and wrapped them in lettuce? What are your favorite toppings for fajitas?

June 17, 2012

Chicken stuffed with arugula and goat cheese

We had this for dinner this week – it was our first time making it, but won’t be our last. I have a ton of arugula from our garden, so we’ve been trying to make the most of it. And we had goat cheese in the fridge left over from this Strawberry, Arugula, Goat Cheese salad – so we make chicken stuffed with arugula and goat cheese!

INGREDIENTS

Chicken breasts, four

Arugula, about 4 ounces

Goat cheese (chevre), about 4 ounces  (Costco has a Kirkland brand goat cheese that is super affordable!)

Olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons

Toothpicks

DIRECTIONS

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.) Wash, dry your chicken breasts. Then place on cutting board, lay a piece of plastic wrap across chicken breasts and pound them with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. We just want to thin them out a bit – it’s easier for wrapping.

3.) On a clean surface, layout the chicken breasts and put a layer of arugula leaves on top. Then sprinkle with goat cheese – it will melt and infuse into chicken, so add a little more than you think you should. Start with the narrowest end of the chicken breasts and roll it up. Secure with a toothpick or two.

4.) Using a skillet that is safe for the oven, place skillet on stove and heat oil on medium high heat. Place your chicken rolls into the pan and brown them on all sides.

5.) Finish them off by placing skillet into oven and cook until chicken is cooked through. Probably 10 – 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven (careful – it’s hot!) and remove the chicken from pan. Cover with foil and let it rest for five minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve – either sliced or whole.

I think there are so many possibilities for this recipe – you could do the same technique with pesto and mozzarella, ham and swiss and . . . ?

What is your favorite thing to stuff inside chicken?

Find other chicken recipes here

Recipe credit: Simply Recipes

May 27, 2012

Grilled Honey Teriyaki Chicken recipe

Mr. Queen Bee made this for dinner last night and it was so yummy! We admit we are grilling amateurs – we do the basics like burgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts and the occasional steak. But last week Fred Meyer had grill packs for $0.88 a pound, so we figured we’d give grilled teriyaki chicken a try – my oh my, we hope you like it as much as we do!

Recipe credit goes to the Food Network’s Grilled Honey-Teriyaki Chicken recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken
We used a grill pack filled with different cuts of chicken.

BRINE
2 cups water
1 cup light brown sugar (We used regular)
1/2 head garlic, unpeeled
4 slices fresh ginger root, gently bashed to open up. (We ended up using jarred ginger, because we didn’t have fresh)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 sprigs fresh thyme

GLAZE
2 cups teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 large (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, sliced and bashed to open up (We ended up using jarred ginger, because we didn’t have fresh)
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, plus 1/2 cup
Freshly ground black pepper
Scallion threads, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1.) Make your brine. Combine water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, salt and thyme in a large resealable bag and mix to dissolve your sugar. We ended up using a glass cake pan with a lid.

2.) Rinse your chicken, pat dry with paper towels. Add to brine for a couple hours in the refrigerator. You can shake it up every once in awhile to really coat the chicken.

3.) When you’re ready – preheat your grill on low-medium heat – not too hot!

4.) Make your teriyaki glaze in a small saucepan, over medium-heat. Combine teriyaki sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and one teaspoon of sesame oil. Simmer until rich and slightly reduced.

5.) Remove chicken from brine and pat it dry. Toss the brine, you won’t use it again. Add chicken to large bowl, drizzle with 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil and season with fresh ground black pepper.

6.) Toss to coat and grill on low-medium heat for up 17-20 minutes per side until cooked through. You are going to baste with the teriyaki glaze only the last 5-7 minutes of cooking. This is a key to cooking with sugary glazes – cook the meat slow and low and then only baste toward the ends – otherwise the sugars easily burn on high heat.

7.) You can garnish with scallions and toasted sesame seeds. If you cut the scallions on a bias and soak in ice water they curl up all artsy.

8.) We served with grilled asparagus.

Recipe credit goes to the Food Network’s Grilled Honey-Teriyaki Chicken recipe.

Like this recipe? Share it on Pinterest or Facebook!

May 7, 2012

Cooking plain chicken in slow cooker, great way to get shredded chicken!

Last night I made chicken enchiladas for dinner. It was super easy and quick because mid-day I threw the chicken breasts into the crockpot, where it simmered and cooked without a hassle. After a few hours of cooking on it’s own, it took only minutes to shred it with a couple forks and add it to the enchilada filling.

Next time you have a recipe that calls for shredded chicken – throw whole chicken breasts into the crockpot with about an inch or two of chicken broth or water/bouillon. I’ve even done this with frozen chicken breasts before! You can add a light seasoning if you’d like, but I usually cook them in plain water or broth. About 2-3 hours later the chicken should shred easily with a fork!

You could do this for taco salads, enchiladas, soups and more!

What do you use shredded chicken for?
How does your slow cooker save you time?

Amazon currently has the Hamilton Beach Deluxe 6 qt. Stay or Go Slow Cooker on sale for $36 with FREE shipping – this is down from regular price of $73.

April 18, 2012

Mango Chicken Curry recipe

Last Friday we scored a dozen mangoes at Safeway for only $5. That deal was awesome. . .almost as awesome as this recipe for Mango Chicken Curry. We made this tonight for dinner and it’s a keeper, in my opinion. This recipe is thanks to Simply Recipes with a few modifications.

I was worried it would be too sweet – but it wasn’t at all! Our mangoes were not overly ripe – so I guess this helps keep it from getting too sweet. I should also add that this recipe is TOTALLY out of our comfort zone. We are experts at ordering curry in restaurants, but never really ventured into making it at home. It is soooo easy and very rewarding to make something new. Our taste buds were grateful.

Don’t be intimidated with these spices – head to your local Winco and pick them up in the bulk bins to save the most. They might also be available at a local co-op or Fred Meyer also has a bulk spice station.

INGREDIENTS

1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)

2-3 mangos, we used three (3)

13.5 oz can of coconut milk – if using lowfat coconut milk, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1-2 onions, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoon cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1.) Get a large saute pan – heat oil over medium heat. Add your pepper and your onions and simmer. Stir occasionally until soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook for another minute. Add curry powder and cumin and cook for another few minutes. It starts to smell soooo good. If needed add a little more oil to keep it from sticking to pan, but we didn’t worry about it.

2.) Add vinegar, coconut milk and about half of the diced mangoes to the pan. Turn up the head and bring it to a light boil. Lower heat to a low simmer and let it “simmer” for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove pan from heat.

3.) Carefully scoop your sauce into a blender. Puree the sauce until it’s smooth. Return sauce to pan.

4.) Add your diced chicken to the pan. Simmer on low, covered for about 8-10 minutes. Chicken should cook all the way through. Check a large piece to make sure.

5.) Throw in remaining mango. If using cream (if you had lowfat coconut milk), add it now. Cook on low temp for another minute or two. Don’t boil or you could curdle your cream.

6.) Taste test. If too sweet, add more vinegar. If not sweet enough, add a little sugar. Add salt, pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

7.) Serve with rice.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did! I’d love other suggestions for similar style recipes!
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