A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Chicken with Champagne Risotto and Asparagus September 24, 2010

Filed under: poultry,side dishes,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 7:25 pm
Tags: ,

This one was really very delicious! The champagne in the risotto was a nice kick, though to be honest, I didn’t taste too much of a difference from using wine when it comes down to it. So, if you have champagne at home, by all means, use it. But if you don’t, I don’t really think you need to go run out and buy some to make this recipe either! White wine is great too.

Oh, one more thing. This came from the Rachel Ray magazine website I think, and the original called for a lemon cream sauce to put over the chicken. Well, I don’t know if it is because I tried to be health conscious and used fat free half and half instead or what, but the sauce was watery and NASTY. We didn’t use it, and the recipe was still great! So, I left it out in my directions below. If you are intrigued by the sauce, look it up on the website!

Chicken with Champagne Risotto and Asparagus

3 cups chicken broth
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
Salt and pepper
1 split champagne or sparkling wine
poultry seasoning (about a tablespoon or so)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/8 pound sliced pancetta, chopped
1 small bunch asparagus, cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3 to 4 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped and chopped

lemon juice (optional)

Method:

In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over low heat. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the champagne and boil to evaporate slightly, about 2 minutes.

Stir a couple of ladlefuls of warm chicken broth into the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates. Add more broth, a few ladlefuls at a time, reserving 1/2 cup. Cook until creamy, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board (reserving the skillet); add the reserved 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan juices in the skillet and stir. Stir this liquid into the risotto as it cooks.

In the nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and shallot and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.

To serve, stir the cheese and thyme into the risotto and spoon generous portions onto plates. Slice the chicken breasts on an angle and fan out over the risotto. Pour the lemon juice over the asparagus and toss; spoon around the risotto.

Advertisements
 

Chicken with Cashews September 17, 2010

Filed under: poultry — frappqueen @ 4:02 pm
Tags:

Terrible iphone photo, really yummy dish! This one came out of my Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine, which I LOVE and MUST purchase whenever I see it at the supermarket checkout line. Its a nice simple version of chinese food with minimal prep, and the crunch and saltiness of the cashews next to the chewy and really flavorful chicken is stupendous!

Cashew Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Coarse salt
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup unsalted cashews, toasted (I couldn’t find unsalted, so I bought low-salt and  I really LIKED the bit of salt, so its up to you!)
2 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
Cooked white rice, for serving

Method:
In a medium bowl, toss chicken with sherry, ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch; season with salt. Refrigerate 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch; set sauce aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken and cook until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add 1 teaspoon oil to skillet and cook remaining chicken (reduce heat if chicken is over-browning). Transfer to plate.
To same skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil, garlic, cashews, and scallion whites. Cook, stirring constantly, until garlic begins to soften, 30 seconds. Whisk sauce and add to skillet along with chicken. Cook until sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Top with scallion greens and serve with rice.

 

Fresh roasted tomato Sauce September 13, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta — frappqueen @ 6:44 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is a nice one when you have lots of tomatoes from your thriving garden and want to eliminate them in an easy and tasty way. Or, if you are like me and kill any plant you lay your hands on, you can just buy some nice grape or cherry tomatoes from the store and make it anyway!

Fresh Roasted Tomato Sauce

about a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (or more if you have a crowd- a pint made enough for two plus leftovers)

salt and pepper

olive oil (like 3 tbsp)

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

fresh parmesan cheese for grating over the top

fresh basil, torn (about 2 tbsp)

Method:

Preheat oven to 450. While it is heating, make spagetti or whatever pasta makes you happy on the stovetop. When it is cooked, save about a cup of the pasta water when you drain it. Don’t be like me and dump it all out and THEN remember the pasta water. That stuff isn’t coming back!!

Spread tomatoes out on a baking dish that has sides…those glass ones are nice. Drizzle with the olive oil, and add salt and pepper rather liberally. Swish tray around to coat evenly. Bake the tomatoes in the oven until they start to shrivel and burst open. This will take around 10 minutes, or a little more.

After straining the pasta (and  saving that water!) Combine the pasta with the tomatoes and any drippings into a bowl (you can add a little bit of pasta water to the pan to collect more drippings if you feel you are missing out during the initial pour). Add in an extra tbsp or two of olive oil, plus the vinegar, basil and half of the cooking water. Toss and coat the pasta, making a very light sauce. If it is too dry, add the remaining pasta water. Sprinkle with cheese and toss again. Add some salt and pepper if it needs it.

Serve with extra cheese, because you can never have enough of that…and also some garlic bread. It makes it extra perfect in my opinion. Enjoy!

 

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder September 9, 2010

Filed under: one dish,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , , ,

I made this soup on a VERY hot day. That was a very dumb idea. Sure, it was tasty, and sure it wasn’t too hard to make. But uh, eating SOUP when it is about 100 degrees in your house is not fun. It makes you sweatier and then it makes you want to pass out because you are 7 1/2 months pregnant and so hot you feel like you might die! Whoops! So, it might be good to make this NOW when it is lovely and fall-like and more like 65 in the evenings. Just a thought. You can totally still get yellow squash at your local place of produce, and if not, I bet butternut squash would be delightful in it’s place!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder (from Cooking Light, August 2010)

2  slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4  cup  sliced green onions, divided
1/4  cup  chopped celery
1  pound  yellow summer squash, chopped
1  pound  frozen white and yellow baby corn kernels, thawed and divided
2 1/4  cups  1% low-fat milk, divided
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Method:

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Add 1/2 cup onions, celery, and squash to drippings in pan; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside. Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth (I used my handy dandy Magic Bullet, it is my best friend!).  Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to blender; process just until combined. Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon bacon, 1 tablespoon remaining onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Please eat in air conditioning, or else avoid during a heat wave. Enjoy!

 

Swell Beef Wellington September 5, 2010

Filed under: meat — frappqueen @ 5:43 pm
Tags:

Ha, I just called it that right now, the recipe IS for beef wellington, but its actually called “No Nightmare Beef Wellington”, and my friend Jen found the recipe on Epicurious and made it back when we watched the first episode of “Master Chef” (which is a terrible show and I’m highly disappointed by the way!)

I’ve never had beef wellington before. It did always sound too fancy to make or even eat, but Jen assured me it wasn’t too bad to make at all. It was really quite tasty too! I think traditional beef wellington is baked inside a puff pastry shell, but this one, to make it less stressful I guess, is just plated over a puff pastry shell, which you can buy right out of the freezer, so it’s less work on that front at any rate!

“No Nightmare” Beef Wellington (from Epicurious.com)

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds sliced button mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup duck or goose liver pâté
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus 6 sprigs for garnish
6 frozen puff pastry shells (one 10-ounce package)
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 4-ounce filet mignon steaks
Coarse kosher salt
2 5-ounce bags fresh baby spinach**
Method:

Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 14 minutes. DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Using on/off turns and working in 2 batches, finely chop mushrooms in processor. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add pâté and chopped thyme; stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pastry shells on baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and deep golden brown, about 23 minutes. Cool.

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks generously with coarse salt and pepper. Cook steaks until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to plate; let rest 10 minutes.

**Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add spinach, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss just until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. (I don’t think we did this part, I don’t recall there being spinach in my portion….we made asparagus on the side instead!)

Rewarm sauce and mushroom mixture. Halve puff pastry shells horizontally. Place 1 pastry shell bottom on each of 6 plates. Top with rounded tablespoon mushroom mixture. Divide spinach among shells, then top with steak. Place thyme sprig atop each steak. Drizzle sauce around and over steak. Prop pastry shell top alongside.

The results? Really good! The steaks were perfectly cooked and tender, the sauce was really delicious, and the puff pastry and mushroom really added flavor. Mike and I were chickens and made Jen make our portions without the pate, so if you are scared of that part, you can leave it out too. Jen loved it with it, but I didn’t feel like anything was missing without it. And trust me, I’m adventurous with food, but duck livers just sceeve me out!

 

Peachy Pecan Pie! September 2, 2010

Filed under: baking — frappqueen @ 4:40 pm
Tags:

I LOVE peach pie. It is one of the things I look forward to most during the summer. Usually my mom bakes me one, or I make it, and we both make a simple recipe with just some sugar and cinnamon and flour and plop it in a ready made pie crust. Easy, and delicious! However, I saw this recipe in my Bon Appetite  magazine and had to give it a try….it is my new favorite recipe! It doesn’t take too much longer and the streusel topping is simply amazing.

Deep-Dish Peach Pie with Pecan Streusel Topping (from Bon  Appetit)

streusel topping

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

crust

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

1/3 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, frozen, diced

3 1/2 tablespoons (or more) ice water

filling

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 3/4 to 4 pounds peaches, peeled with vegetable peeler, halved, pitted, cut into 1-inch wedges

Method:

streusel topping

Stir flour, oats, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture holds together in moist clumps. Mix in pecans. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

crust

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Drizzle 3 1/2 tablespoons water over. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap; chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. If necessary, soften dough slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
Roll out dough on floured work surface to 14-inch round; transfer to 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Cut off all but 1/2 inch overhang. Fold overhang in; crimp edge. Chill crust.

filling

Stir sugar and next 4 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in lemon juice, then peaches; toss. Let stand at least 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Set rack at lowest position in oven. Slide foil-lined baking sheet under rack onto oven floor (to catch any drips). Preheat oven to 400°F. Spoon filling into crust. Scatter topping over, breaking up large clumps.
Bake pie 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 350°F; bake until juices bubble thickly and topping is golden, covering edges with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Cool on rack at least 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature.