Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chicken Tagine


 

Chicken Tagine (2)

This is a traditional Moroccan, and regional north African dish. The Tagine, above, can be compared to a Dutch oven.  Similar to the Dutch oven, it has a heavy bottom pot for the ingredients to rest in, evenly retains heat, and allows for condensation of water to rise to the top, of this pyramid shaped tight fitting lid, and slowly come back down to the bottom where the food is placed. This lets the food cook low and slow. It’s stove top and oven safe.

I want to note that, in most cases, Dutch oven are usually made of cast iron and then covered with an enamel coating. The Tagine is made of ceramic and makes it slightly different when talking about preheating the pot.  It’s REALLY important that there is always something in the Tagine, like oil, and you start it out on a low heat to start.

The unique spice profile, the preserved lemons, and green olives add a perfect balance to this braised chicken dish.

Photo Jul 20, 4 29 49 PM

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1-1/2 hours
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil ( or a neutral flavored oil)
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
2 inch piece of freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon cumin seeds lightly crushed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 a heaping cup of sliced preserved lemon peels
1/4 heaping cup of pitted sliced green olives
1 large pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups peeled butternut squash and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
2-1/4 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 heaping tablespoon Agave nectar
2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro leaves

Directions:
Due to the height of the Tagine, you may need to remove top rack from the oven. The Tagine should be placed in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You can use a Dutch oven to make this dish.

Season all 8 thighs with Kosher salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil to the bottom pan of the Tagine. Start heating the pan on med- low heat. Place 4 of the chicken thighs skin side down and then turn the heat up to medium. Do this in two batches so not to overcrowd the chicken thighs. Once both batches have been browned nicely, about 10-12 minutes, remove the chicken and set aside. Drain all fat from the bottom of the Tagine dish.

Lower the heat back to med-low and add the 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil.  Add the shallots to the pan. Cook until golden brown all over. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the cinnamon sticks and all the spices. Cook for 1 minute more.

Throw in the butternut squash into the pan and stir to coat completely with the spices. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on the top of the squash and shallots. Pour over the chicken stock. Drizzle in the Agave nectar. Spread the sliced olives and preserved lemons all over the top. Bring all this up to a gentle simmer, place the Tagine lid on and transfer to oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender.

Once the dish is done, remove the lid, scatter chopped cilantro over the top. This dish pairs beautifully with your favorite couscous recipe.

 

 

 

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Chicken Cacciatore


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A very dear friend of mine, Chris, who just happens to be a fireman with the Orlando Fire Department shares my passion for cooking and delicious food.

Chris and I were talking recently, he told me that he would like to make a dish for the men and women that he works with. I knew just the recipe I wanted to share. I thought my recipe for Chicken Cacciatore would be perfect.

This dish is one that braises the chicken low and slow and is basically done in one pot or pan. I’ve made it on top of the stove, but it can be done just as easily in a large disposable pan with a tight fitting lid in the oven. Delicious and easy, this recipe can easily translate into serving larger groups of people.

For my recipe I chose to use Pappardelle pasta. Pappardelle is a thick cut pasta.  This style of pasta allows the sauce to cling to the noodles really well.  Egg noodles would also work great and are readily available in most grocery stores.

Equipment:  2 baking sheets,  6 quart Dutch Oven
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chicken Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hr 20 -25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients: For Chicken
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breast cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, black pepper, dried rosemary- liberal sprinkling

Ingredients:
1 diced onion
2 pints of sliced mushrooms
1 red and yellow bell pepper diced
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 cup of white wine ( Chardonnay)
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1-28 ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes with juice
1-15 ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice
1- 16 ounce package of Pappardelle or egg noodles
1 package of fresh basil leaves

Directions- For Roasting Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take the 4 chicken breasts and cut them in half ( giving you 8 pieces) as shown in the pictures above. Lay them out, skin side up, on the baking sheets. Using a paper towel, pat dry each piece really well. This will allow the chicken to brown nicely. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each piece and rub the oil all over the top of each one. Next, liberally sprinkle Kosher salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary over each of the pieces. Be sure to crush the dried rosemary between your fingers to release their oils.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Switch the oven to broil. Let the chicken continue cooking, about another 5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Note: If your oven does not have a broil option, then turn the temperature up to 450 degrees, keeping a close eye, let the chicken brown and crisp up that way. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

Directions:
In a Dutch oven that’s been preheated on medium heat, add in the olive oil diced onions. Sprinkle in some Kosher salt and pepper just to start the onions to sweat. Stir the onions for a minute, then add in the diced bell peppers and mushrooms. Continue sauteing the veggies for another 5 minutes.

As the veggies start to release their water add in the minced garlic, tomato paste, and spices. Continue stirring all the ingredients together. At this point, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and stir that through. Next, add in the wine and chicken broth. Let that come to a bubble and cook for another 5 minutes.

Moving forward, add in the whole tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes and brown sugar. Using a wooden spoon, break up the whole tomatoes and stir. Add back in the precooked chicken pieces. Make sure they are not completely submerged. Bring everything back up to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let everything simmer together on low for another 45 minutes, until chicken is nice and tender.

Remove the chicken pieces and carefully set them onto a plate. This time keep the lid off, turn the heat up to medium to med-high heat. Let the sauce come up to a bubble, stirring occasionally, cook for another 5 minutes. Once the sauce has thicken, turn the heat off and add in the fresh basil leaves. Stir the basil throughout the sauce.

Have the boiling salted water ready so while the sauce is thickening on the stove. You can drop the pasta and everything will be done at the same time.

To serve, place the pasta in the bottom of each serving bowl. Top with two pieces of chicken and ladle this delicious sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh basil.

Directions: Making more than 4 servings of chicken at one time:
Equipment: Large disposable foil pan with tight fitting lid, and large or more than 2-1/4 sheet pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare and precook the chicken the same as above.
Adjust all the ingredients, from the yield of ( 4 chicken breasts) 4 servings above, to the amount you intend to make.

Add all the ingredients to the large foil pan. Mix all the ingredients together. Next, place precooked chicken on top making sure not to completely submerge the chicken. Place the lid on tightly. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the lid, remove the chicken from the pan and place onto a plate covered with foil to stay warm. Note: Check to make sure chicken temperature is at 165 degrees internally, and nice and tender. Due to the fact that cooking on top of the stove in comparison to oven cooking times may vary.

Pour the sauce from the pan into a large pot. Turn the burner to medium to med-high heat. Let the sauce cook down and thicken, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is starting to reduce, have a pot of salted boiling water ready, to drop the pasta in. Cook the pasta according to the package.Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat off, stir in the fresh basil leaves.

To serve, place pasta in the bottom of the serving bowl. Place two pieces of chicken on top, and generously ladle the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil.

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Curry Chicken With Sweet Potatoes


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Curry Chicken is one of my favorite dishes to serve to family and friends. Many times you’ll see curry chicken made with coconut milk. The coconut milk helps to balance the warm spices that go into the  dish. I’m changing that up!  For my recipe, I’m using sweet potatoes to balance the bold flavor spices of Garam Masala, Tumeric, and ground Curry powder. I’m also serving my Curry Chicken over yellow rice with mixed veggies. I love the vibrant colors of this dish, and how the rice absorbs the delicious sauce. The unique flavors will let you experience what I call, “a roller coaster for you taste buds”.

My recipe for Yellow Rice With Mixed Vegetables can be found under either ” side dishes” or “vegetarian dishes”.

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curry-chicken-with-sweet-potatoes

Euipment: 6 quart Dutch oven
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds, 3 inch cubed skinless-boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup of vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon, per batch, for browning chicken
1-1/2 cup of large diced onion
1 cup of large diced celery
3-1/2 cups of peeled and diced sweet potatoes (3 medium size potatoes diced into 3 inch cubes)
1 tablespoon of ground tumeric
2 tablespoons of ground garam masala
2 tablespoons of ground curry
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4-5  cups of unsalted chicken stock (amount of liquid may vary slightly)
cilantro for garnish

Directions:
Place the 3 inch cubed boneless-skinless breast in a large bowl. Add vegetable oil, Tumeric, Garam Masala, ground Curry powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Toss all the ingredients together and place in the frig, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, start prepping the vegetables for the dish. Mince the garlic cloves, cut the celery and onions into a large dice. Next, peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 3 inch pieces, relative in size to the cubed chicken.

If you are choosing to make the yellow rice with vegetables, start cooking the rice while the chicken is marinating. For this recipe, go to the menu at the top right of my home page and click on “side dishes”.

In a heavy bottom pot, on medium-high heat, add in vegetable oil (1 tablespoon, per batch, for browning chicken) and marinated chicken in a single layer. Brown off all sides of the cubed chicken. This may need to be done in two batches ( a little more vegetable oil may be needed for browning the second batch) and will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and a set on a plate.

After chicken is all browned off, (still on med-high heat, if needed add a tablespoon of vegetable oi) toss in  the diced onions and celery, stirring and scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot. Saute the vegetables until just soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add in minced garlic and diced sweet potatoes. Stir all the ingredients together. Next, add back in the browned off chicken.

For the liquid add in just enough chicken stock to come up to the chicken. The chicken should not be completely submerged. ( Note: the potatoes and vegetables will release water as they cook).

Let everything come up to a bubble, reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are tender.

To serve, spoon some rice into a serving bowl and ladle some of the Curry Chicken and its sauce over the top. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

 

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Sweet Chili Fire Chicken With Red Bell Peppers And Pineapple


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How about making “take out” at home? I’m saying “why not”! Sometimes grabbing fast food once and a while is sometimes a necessity. Making delicious Chinese “take-out”dishes at home is even better. The reason, because you know exactly what’s going into the dish.. A few simple ingredients with a heavy bottom pot can make this dish a reality.

 

 

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: heavy bottom pot and a spider

Ingredients:
1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red bell peppers, julienned
2-1/2 cups of drained pineapple chuncks, fresh or canned
2 bottles of Thai sweet chili sauce
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup of thinly sliced snow peas ( thinly sliced on bias)
3 tablespoons of finely minced chives
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For The Chicken:
2 pounds of 1 inch cubed skinless-boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teapoon of freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of all- purpose flour
4 cups of corn starch
6 large eggs, beaten

Directions:
Prep all the veggies first, having them on stand-by.  Using a meat cutting board, dice up all the chicken, tossing them into a bowl along with the salt and pepper.  Using tongs, make sure the salt and pepper is distributed evenly on the chicken. Grab the largest bowl you have or a large Tupperware container, making it easier to coat the diced chicken pieces. Next, add the flour and toss so that all the pieces are coated.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pot, like a Dutch oven. Over med- high heat, and  using a candy thermometer, have the oil temperature reach 360 degrees F. The oil will take a little while to reach the perfect temperature for frying. Move on to sauteing the veggies.

Add olive oil to saute pan. On med-high heat, add the veggies and minced garlic in. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Saute until just soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks last just to warm them through. Turn the heat off.

Next, transfer the sauteed veggies and pineapple, from the saute pan, to a large skillet, one that has deep sides. This will be necessary in accommodating all the ingredients. Set the skillet with the sauteed veggies to the back of the stove before starting the frying process.

Going back to the dredging process for the chicken. In one large bowl have the beaten eggs and in another bowl have the corn starch. In small batches, dip the diced chicken into the eggs and then into the corn starch. Place the finished coated chicken pieces onto a large sheet pan.

Check the temperature of the oil. Once the oil is ready, add the battered chicken in small batches, about 5-6  at a time, into the pot.Continue dipping the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the corn starch. Cook around 2 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, then transfer them onto a sheet pan lined with paper towel. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are cooked.

Bring back the skillet and turn on medium heat. Add in all the crispy golden pieces of chicken to the sauteed veggie with pineapple. Pour in the bottles of the Thai sweet chili sauce and toss all the ingredients through. Let simmer for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once everything is hot, then turn the heat off and sprinkle on the minced chives. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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