Goat Cheese And Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts….Step By Step Instruction….

I love stuffed chicken breasts but sometimes they can dry out.  I decided to stuff bone in breasts with skin.  The end result is moist and juicy.  I’ll take you though how to prepare the chicken breasts for stuffing.  Serve with rice pilaf and a simple vegetable or salad.  They can be stuffed ahead of time and ready to go in the refrigerator.   Bake while dinner guests are enjoying appetizers and cocktails.  So easy!

As with any recipe, you can make your own yummy variation.  I think sundried tomato pesto and goat cheese would be fantastic as well!  Don’t care for goat cheese?  Use blue cheese instead.  The possibilities are endless!

Here we go…

Start by gently pulling the skin back without tearing it.  Try to keep the skin intact a little on the rib side as well.

Using a very sharp knife, make a slit in the flesh, try not to cut completely through the breast.  The slit should be large enough for about 3 tablespoons of the cheese filling.

Stuff the breast with about 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese filling.

Gently bring the chicken breast back together, pulling the skin over to cover.  Season generously with kosher salt and pepper.  Now you’re ready for the oven!  If you are making them ahead to bake later, cover and refrigerate immediately.  Take them out 30 minutes before baking.  Give the chicken a light drizzle of olive oil just before going into the oven.

Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts

For the filling:

4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces of softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs (or use 3 tablespoons of regular)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 large cloves crushed garlic
2 dashes of Worcestershire or hot sauce
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch black pepper

4 large chicken breasts with skin and bone (or 6-8 chicken thighs)

1)  Foil line a roasting pan large enough to easily fit the chicken breasts.  Preheat the oven to 375′.
2)  In a medium size bowl with a hand mixer, beat the goat cheese, cream cheese and milk until smooth.  Gently stir in the rest of the ingredients until well blended.
3)  Rinse and dry the chicken breasts.  Gently pull the skin back from the center of the rib, keeping it intact on both sides of the breast.  Using a sharp knife, cut a large horizontal slit in the chicken breast, being careful not to cut completely through to the other side.
4)  Stuff each breast with 1/4 of the cheese mixture.  Gently pull the flesh and skin back over the stuffing.  Season generously with kosher salt and pepper.  Place into baking pan and lightly drizzle the chicken with olive oil.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes tented with foil before serving.  Makes four generous servings.

E
njoy!!

Angie

Individual Turchicken Meatloaves…..

Yup.  You guessed it, ground turkey and chicken meatloaves.  Here’s how I came up with this meatloaf.    I was watching Food Network and Rachel Ray was making turchicken burgers.  I then used my good friend Lori’s meatloaf recipe and used this combination of meat instead of ground beef.  I find boneless skinless chicken thighs really flavorful.  I bought the boneless, skinless thighs and trimmed them of excess fat.  I cut them into chunks and put them into my food processor to finely chop the meat.  Worked out perfectly.  You can skip this step, of course, and buy ground chicken.

As far as my friend Lori’s recipe, it’s awesome!  I think the ingredient list is quite unique and I love the lemon juice in the meatloaf and the lemon slice that goes on top.  It’s different than my meatloaf I’ve ever had.  I’m not sure if she got this one from her Mom, but I tell you, everything her Mom made was so delicious and so different from what I grew up eating. (and I LOVE my Mom’s cooking)  One of the most interesting things she made was barbecued  chicken with this sauce that consisted of equal parts yellow mustard, molasses and cider vinegar.  Deeeeeeelish!  She just kept basting the chicken with this interesting sauce.  She also cooked over charcoal, need I say more?

The greatest thing about cooking is you can take bits and pieces from different recipes and put them together to your own taste.  I encourage you to do this with my recipes as well.  Make little notes on your recipes so you can duplicate the next time.   Take little risks in the kitchen.  Sometimes it’s great, sometimes not so.  This is how you develop your very own unique recipes and kitchen skills.

Individual Turchicken Meatloaves

3/4 lb. ground chicken (buy ground or process boneless and skinless chicken thighs)
3/4 lb. ground turkey
4 slices stale bread or bread ends
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 slightly beaten egg
6 lemon slices

Sauce

2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 350′.  Foil line a cookie sheet and coat well with cooking spray, or use non stick foil.
2)  Place the bread in a large mixing bowl and add the lemon juice, onion and egg.  Squish together well with very clean hands.  Add the meats and mix well with your hands.  Shape into 6 oblong loaves and place on cookie sheet.  Place in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
3)  Mix all sauce ingredients together until well blended and divide in half.  After the loaves have baked for 15 minutes, top with half of the sauce and 1 slice of lemon.  Bake an additional 40 minutes.  Serve with the extra sauce.  Serves 6.

Serve with a simple baked potato and steamed broccoli or green beans.

Have a great day!

Angie

 

Turkey Enchilada Casserole…..

You’ve got to try this.  I have made many versions of enchilada casserole.  I normally use corn tortillas but this time I used whole wheat flour tortillas.  I love how nicely the casserole sliced and stayed together when I served it.   Use the Twenty Minute Turkey Taco meat recipe I posted this week.    Enjoy with my black bean and corn salad.    Perfect, simple, comfort food.

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

1 1/4 lb. taco seasoned turkey meat
4-6 8″ whole wheat flour tortillas
14 oz. mild red enchilada sauce
14 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

1)  Preheat oven to 375′.  Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2)  In a small bowl, mix the enchilada and tomato sauces together, set aside.
3)  Cover the bottom of the baking dish with the tortilla.  Cut them to fit if you have to.
4)  Ladle just enough sauce to cover the tortilla.  Add a layer of the prepared turkey meat.  Repeat so that you have 3 layers, end with the remaining meat and sauce.   Top with cheese.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.  Serves 4.

When you make a batch of the turkey taco meat, reserve half of it for this casserole or for another taco night.  This casserole freezes beautifully.  You can also make it ahead and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to bake.

I cut the enchilada sauce with tomato sauce because even the mild sauce full strength can be a bit strong tasting.

Have a great evening!

Angie

Twenty Minute Turkey Tacos….

Can an old favorite be improved upon?  Of course!  Forget those little sodium packed seasoning mixes and follow this recipe instead.  Use this seasoned meat in taco or enchilada casseroles, taco salads and burritos.  I make extra for the freezer for an even easier meal down the road.  Feel free to use ground beef as well.

Turkey Tacos

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped, or 2 teaspoons granulated onion
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 1/2 lbs. ground 93% lean turkey
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water

1)  Heat  a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the canola oil.  Add the onion and cook for 5-7  minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.
2)  Add the meat and cook through.  Break up the meat with a spatula while cooking.  Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.   Stir to combine and add the water.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.  Serve with warmed soft or crunchy shells and your favorite toppings.

Enjoy with your happy family!

Angie

 

Lebanese Chicken…..

This chicken couldn’t be more simple.  Start out by putting some color on the skin by grilling or broiling, then finish cooking in the oven.

The marinade has few ingredients that most of us have on hand.  Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken in a large zip bag.  Marinate the chicken 30-60 minutes.

Place the marinating chicken into a plastic container so avoid any leaking in the refrigerator.   When you marinade this way you can mush and squish (official cooking terms) it around to distribute the lovely marinating liquid.

Lebanese Chicken

1 whole frying chicken, either cut in half or into individual pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1)  Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
2)  Place chicken into a large zip bag.  Pour marinade over chicken.  Place in a bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.  Half way through marinating, shake up the bag and move the chicken around.
3) Preheat the grill and the oven to 350′.    Foil line a baking sheet.
4)  Grill the chicken just until there is good coloring on the skin, 10-15 minutes.  Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.  Makes 5-6 servings.  Serve with hummus and warm pita bread, and salad.

Enjoy!

Angie

Turkey Pot Pie With A Twist…..

Who doesn’t like pot pie?  The perfect combination of creamy savory filling topped with a buttery crust.  I decided to use as many Thanksgiving leftovers as possible for my pot pie.  Turkey, of course, turkey stock from the carcass, and stuffing.  Stuffing?

I decided to press a thin layer of stuffing into the bottom of each individual pot pie.  It was DELICIOUS!  Turkey, stuffing, vegetables, gravy and a killer crust.  YUMMY!

Of course, you can make this pot pie without stuffing.  You can also easily substitute chicken and chicken broth for a chicken pot pie.  Add whatever frozen vegetables you like.  I would normally add a one pound bag of frozen mixed vegetables but all I had on hand were frozen petite peas.  Gosh, you could substitute all vegetables and vegetable stock if you wanted a completely vegetarian pie.  It’s your choice.

This recipe is large, it makes 8 individual pies.  You can very easily cut the recipe directly in half if you like.

I use a food processor for the crust.  It goes quickly and perfectly blends the cold butter into the flour.

Here we go:

Add 4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 stick of unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ cubes to the food processor . Pulse 15 times, should be perfect.
It should look like this.  No uneven lumps.  Should resemble cornmeal.   Alternatively, you could use a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour.   Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Next you’ll need to add ice water.  With this recipe you can go ahead and add 1 cup of ice water and mix with a fork.
Add additional water a tablespoon at a time so that it looks like this.  You do not want lots of dry ingredient left in the bottom of the bowl.  Most of the ingredient should come together and be pretty moist but not too wet.
Dump the dough onto your board or counter.
Form a ball of dough with your hands, kneading only 2-3 times.
Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Do this by first cutting it in half, then half the halves, you know what I mean.
Place the chunks of dough into a bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.  Warm 6 cups of turkey (or chicken or vegetable) stock in the microwave until just warm (like the temperature you’d give to a baby).  When you add this to the flour mixture below this will prevent lumps.
Have a large spoon and a whisk handy.  Melt one stick of butter in a large pot.  Once it’s completely melted, add 1 cup of flour.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes.   With your whisk in hand, add all 6 cups of the warm stock to the flour mixture.  Whisk the mixture to prevent any lumps.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Cook another couple of minutes.  Remove from heat.
Add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half.  Optional.  This is the perfect time to taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.
Add 5 cups of shredded cold turkey.
And 1 pound of frozen vegetables, you can see that I used peas.  Don’t worry that it will cool the sauce.  It’ll be in the oven soon and will make it easier to place the crust on the top.
You will need eight 2 cup oven proof dishes.  Coat with cooking spray.  Layer 1/2 cup or so of prepared stuffing. (optional)  Evenly distribute the filling into the prepared dishes.
Time for the crust.  Form each chunk of dough into a ball and roll out on a floured board until large enough to for 1″ of dough to go over the side of the bowl.  Cut a slit in the top for the steam to escape.
It should look like this.
Lastly, using a pastry brush, coat the crust with milk.  This will make for a nicely browned top.  Bake at 350′ for 45-55 minutes or until bubbly and nicely browned.    Serve with a salad with a vinaigrette.  Serves 8.

Enjoy!

Angie

How To Defrost A Frozen Turkey Safely…..

We’re down to the wire.  Thanksgiving is only one day away.   It takes several days to defrost a large turkey in the refrigerator.  Never defrost a turkey at room temperature.  If your turkey is frozen, this is the safest and quickest way to defrost.    With this method, there are two things you MUST have. 

1)  An accurate instant read thermometer.

2)  A large enough pot to completely submerge the turkey in water.

To defrost a frozen turkey completely submerge it in water.  Allow 30 minutes per pound.  So if you’ve got a 10 lb. turkey at 30 minutes per pound comes out to about 5 hours of defrosting.  If you’re not cooking it right away, put it right back into the refrigerator.  Cook within a day of defrosting.  Optimum water temperature should be 41′ or below.  Check the temperature of the water with an instant read thermometer every hour making sure not to touch the side of the bowl or the turkey.  If the temperature reads above 41′ simply change the water and replace with cold tap water. 

Email me if you have questions.

Happy cooking!

Angie

Thanksgiving…..

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!  An entire holiday with the focus on wonderful food and getting together with friends and family.  Good times.

I am cooking, are you?   There are many things to think about like how am I going to cook all that food and serve it hot with only one oven!  Check out my tips for a stress free Thanksgiving holiday.  http://www.angiespantry.com/stress-free-thanksgiving-day/

Here’s what I’ll be making:

TURKEY-I am a purist when it comes to a Thanksgiving bird.  I don’t want my turkey to have an Asian or Southwestern twist.  I want good old fastioned turkey, very close to how it was originally served on this momentous holiday.  The meat is so mild that I don’t want to cover up that lovely gentle taste.  I do not want it to taste like chicken….ok, you get my drift.  Don’t mess with the turkey.

STUFFING-I love sage stuffing.  I also happen to be a big fan of sausage, so I’ll be making sage and sausage stuffing.  I will stuff the bird as I think that makes for the most delicious stuffing.  I will make it in advance so I’ll be stuffing my cold turkey with cold stuffing.  Will post recipe tomorrow.

PAN ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH BACON– I bought them on a stalk.   Made me feel like a pilgrim.  Don’t have much else to say about these but YUM!

FRESH CRANBERRY SAUCE-so simple.  Just follow the directions on the back of the package of fresh cranberries.  I do not add lemon or orange zest, I just like the cranberries.  I grew up on the jellied canned stuff….can’t stand it!

SWEET POTATOES-I’m going to first roast them in the oven.   Toss in lemon juice, honey, olive oil and salt and pepper.  I will them mash them.  Simple and delish!

PIES-Traditional Pumpkin Pie made with fresh pumpkin I made a couple of days ago and Blueberry Crumb. 

My peeps will be making the salad, mashed potatoes,  and rolls.  I think we’re good!

Have a great week!

Angie

Dijon Chicken with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes….

This chicken is tender and luscious.  I served it with sour cream mashed potatoes which was great with the pan sauce.  Throw in a salad and you have a spectacular dinner!  The best part about it is that it’s so simple. I used legs and thighs as they end up being incredibly moist and succulent.   Prep time takes about 20 minutes then finish in the oven.  I would definitely serve this at a dinner party.

If you’re serving mashed potatoes with this chicken, prep the potatoes into the boiling pot before you start the chicken.

Dijon Chicken

3 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, about 2-3 tablespoons
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons coriander
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried tarragon

1)  Preheat the oven to 325′.
2)  Season the legs and thighs with kosher salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy skillet that has a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat.   Brown each seasoned piece of chicken.  Remove from the pan onto a plate.
3)  Add the onion to the pan.  If you have a lot of goodies sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of the broth to deglaze.  Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the coriander and broth to the pan and add the browned chicken pieces.  Cover with the lid and into the oven for 45 minutes.
4)  Remove the pan from the oven.  Remove the lid (carefully!) and remove the cooked chicken onto a serving platter, cover with foil to keep warm.
5)  Put the pot over medium heat.  Whisk the dijon mustard, sour cream, and tarragon in a small bowl until all ingredients are incorporated.  Whisk into the pan juices.  Cook about a minute.  Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken…Serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings.

Sour Cream Mashed potatoes

2 lbs. russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 1/4″ inch
2 teaspoons salt
Water to cover
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup (or more) milk, zap in the microwave for a minute so that it’s warm

1)  Peel and slice the potatoes and put them into a large pot.  Cover with water and add salt.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes.  Poke a potato with a fork while in the pot to be sure they’re tender.  Drain well and put the potatoes right back into the pot.  Add the butter, sour cream and warm milk.  Cover with the lid and allow to stand for about 5 minutes.
2)  Beat with a hand mixer for about a minute so that it doesn’t have large lumps.  Add additional milk if too thick.  Taste.  Add additional seasoning if necessary.   Cover with the lid until ready to serve with the chicken.  Makes about 6 servings.

Enjoy!

Have a great day!

Angie

Simple Thai Red Chicken Curry With Steamed Rice….

I love grilling and all but I can’t stand over a hot grill in 95′ heat, come on!!  When it’s like this I want a quick and delicious dinner that goes together in a snap. 

This is a favorite dish that fits the bill.  Prep the vegetables  first.  Actually cooking time is only about 30 minutes.   Serve over brown or white rice.  Brown rice will take more time, so start it before you begin preparing the curry.

Use whatever vegetables you like.  I used carrots, red bell pepper, onions, sugar snap peas, and fresh basil.  Add edamame, broccoli or even sliced jalepeno peppers if you’d like more heat.  Feel free to substitute peeled and deveined shrimp for the chicken.   Cook until the shrimp turn bright pink.

The key ingredients in this dish would be the coconut milk and Red Thai Curry Paste.

This curry paste is slightly spicy, it will not over power the dish with heat.  It is incredibly flavorful and delicious.  My recipe calls for enough to make the coconut milk slightly pink.  Feel free to add more to your taste.  Coconut milk lends a rich and deep flavor to the dish.

Thai Red Chicken Curry

1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into bite size pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 medium sweet onion, cut into bite size pieces
8 ounces sugar snap peas or pea pods
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk (you can use light or regular)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ chunks
1 large bunch of basil, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked brown or white rice

1)  Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Add the prepared red pepper, carrots, and onions.  Cook, stirring often, for about 4 minutes.  Add the snap peas and cook another minute.  Dump into a large bowl and cover loosely with foil.
2)  Add the curry paste to the pan.  Using a wooden spoon, mix into the oil.  Add the coconut milk and whisk to combine.  Add the brown sugar and whisk.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the raw chicken and simmer another 15 minutes.   Add the sliced basil just before serving.
3)  Add the basil and serve over steamed rice.  Makes 5-6 servings.