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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Chicken Cacciatore

2016-11-05-18-02-13

2016-11-05-18-02-05

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 at the department. 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 chicken low and slow and is basically done in one large pot. 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, drop the pasta. 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

curry-chicken-with-sweet-potatoes

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”.

2016-09-07-16-55-39

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

2016-07-15 16.50.51

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2016-07-15 17.24.11

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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Rigatoni al Forno With ShitakeMushrooms, Radicchio, And Sweet Italian Sausage

2015-12-31 14.04.30

Maybe my grandmother wouldn’t have approved of me adding sausage to this traditional Italian dish. I could just hear her now saying, ” Linda, you’re supposed to use the pasta shells with the ridges, not Rigatoni, that’s why it’s called Conchiglie al Forno With Shitake Mushrooms and Radicchio”. I just like to put my own spin on a traditional dish, so you’ll see, that’s what I’m doing here. You can most certainly leave the sausage out of this recipe too.

Yields: 8 servings
Oven Temp: 500 degrees F.
Prep Time: 30-35 minutes ( this includes cooking all the components and the actual prep)
Bake Time:  roughly, 8-12 minutes
Equipment: large baking dish
Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
2 pints of Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 stick of unsalted butter, 8 tablespoons, (plus 2 tablespoons to dot the top of the dish and some to grease the baking dish)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 heads, (2 cups) of finely sliced radicchio
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-1/2 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 cup of shredded Fontina
1/4 cup of good quality crumbled Gorgonzola
4 teaspoons of Ricotta
8 sage leaves chopped finely (see note)
1-1/2 boxes of Rigatoni
Flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish

Directions:
To start, I want to dice and mince the onion and garlic and just set them aside. Next, I’m removing the casing from the sausages. In a large saute pan, on med heat,  I add olive oil, diced onion, and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauteing those for a couple of minutes, then adding in the sausage. Breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon, I let the sausage saute until fully cooked. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Then I remove the cooked sausage, using a slotted spoon to drain off any extra grease, and place the cooked sausage into a large bowl. I remove any grease, left in the pan, and add a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Next step is to saute the mushrooms. I have a pint each of Shitake and Cremini mushrooms (I could only get one pint of the Shitake mushrooms so I had to improvise). The Shitake mushrooms need to have the stems removed, and the Cremini need to be cleaned off with a damp paper towel, to remove any extra grit from them. I’m doing all this while the sausage is sauteing in the pan. This allows me to get right into the next step of sauteing the mushrooms.

I’ve already sliced the mushrooms before adding them, in the pan, to the melted butter. I stir them around, still on med heat, until they start to brown. At that point is when I add in the minced garlic. Once all the mushrooms have caramelized, are dark brown in color, and fully cooked, about 4-5 minutes I’m going to add them to the bowl with the cooked sausage. While the mushrooms are sauteing, I’m slicing the Radicchio and  grating the cheeses for the next component of this dish. To the sausage and mushrooms, I add in some fresh chopped sage leaves. Note: If you are not a fan of sage, don’t use dried, use fresh thyme leaves.

At this point, preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  I have another large bowl that I have two heads that I’ve sliced of radicchio. I also have a large pot of water on the stove boiling and ready. In the mean time,  I’m adding the ricotta, grated Fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and crumbled Gorgonzola, and heavy cream to the bowl with the Radicchio. Before I mix all these ingredients together, I sprinkle in some Kosher salt and black pepper. Not too much salt because the some of the cheese can be salty already.

Moving forward, I add the bowl with the cooked sausage, mushrooms, and sage to the larger bowl that has the radicchio, heavy cream, and cheeses in it. I mix all the ingredients until everything is well combined.

Now, I’m ready to dump the pasta into the water. The reason I waited, is because, the pasta is only going to cook for 4 minutes in the water. I then can drain it off and add the Rigatoni to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Mixing carefully, not to break up the pasta, combining all this together.

I have a large casserole baking dish that I use for this recipe, and I’ve butter it well. Place the Rigatoni mixture into the baking dish making it as level as possible. Dot the top with butter and place into the oven for about 8-12 minutes. You want to keep an eye on this dish so, it gets bubbly, the top browns nicely, it doesn’t burn. Once out of the oven, garnish with fresh chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.

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