A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Spring Chicken March 17, 2010

Filed under: poultry,rice,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 9:22 am
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Spring Chicken!

This is a nice light recipe after you’ve been stuffing yourself full of comfort food all winter! It is very simple and delicious, and goes really well with the lemon rice included in the recipe.  Also, it would appear that I really like peas, what with the recipe I last posted and all! This one comes form my Rachel Ray book “365: No Repeats”. The trickiest part is just making sure you clean the leeks really well, they are totally stuffed full of dirt since you know, they come from the ground and have to be dug up to enjoy! Give it a try!

Spring Chicken

2 c. chicken stock or broth

1 c. white rice

zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

package of chicken breasts, cut up into small pieces or thin cutlets intact

2 medium leeks, trimmed of tough tops and roots

1/2 c. dry white wine (or chicken stock if you don’t have wine)

1 10 oz box of frozen baby green peas

salt and pepper

Method:

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small pot. Stir in the rice, lemon zest and 1 tbsp on olive oil.  Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or so, until tender..make sure to stir and that you don’t let it burn to the bottom of the pot like I sometimes do!

While that’s cookin’, heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium high heat.  Add the remaining olive oil and butter, and when that melts, add the chicken to the pan and cook until lightly golden on both sides, about four minuets.

Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then chop up into half moon shaped slices.  Place the leeks in a colander and run under cold water, separating and releasing the dirt and grit. Rinse and clean one more time for good measure.  Drain and add to the chicken.  Cook the leeks with the chicken until they are soft, another 3 minutes. Add the white wine and scrap up pan drippings. Add the peas and cook through for another two to three minutes.  Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon juice over the leeks and chicken.

Fluff the rice with a fork, the zest will have given it a yummy lemony flavor.

Serve with the chicken and sauce over the lemon rice. Some white wine is delightful with this!

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Pork Fried Rice January 25, 2010

Filed under: one dish,rice — frappqueen @ 9:47 pm
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I love things that involve rice, its just a cozy and delicious accompaniment to anything! Generally on Fridays, Mike and I get Chinese take out, but I recently saw a Rachel Ray recipe for Sizzling Beef and Scallions, and it looked so good, I wanted to give it a try!I figured it was pretty much just like fried rice, and I decided to switch out the beef for slightly healthier pork.  I liked it, its a lot healthier than the rice from your favorite place, and its lighter feeling even to eat. Plus, the leftovers heat up a lot better than the kind you get from the store!

fried rice!

Pork Fried Rice (adapted from Rachel Ray)

8 ounces of pork tenderloin, sliced thin and into small cubes (you can also use steak or chicken or omit to go veggie)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces

2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

10 scallions, green parts thinly sliced, white parts cut into one inch pieces

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups of cooked white rice

Method:

If you haven’t already, cook the rice according to the directions.

In a medium bowl, combine the chopped pork with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the pork and cook, about two or three minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a clean bowl.

Next in the skillet heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the scallion whites, bell pepper and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the peas. Push the vegetables to the side and add the two eggs. Stir the eggs until they begin to set, then stir in the veggies. Add the egg/vegetable mix to the bowl of cooked pork; stir in the 1 tbsp of sugar and the remaining soy sauce.

Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add the rice, breaking it up and cook without stirring for two minutes. Add the beef/vegetable mixture and scallion greens. Toss to combine and cook one more minute. Serve and enjoy!

 

Turkey Jambalaya January 20, 2010

Filed under: one dish,poultry,rice — frappqueen @ 10:49 pm
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It would appear that lately all we seem to eat are things that come in bowl-fuls! Chili, soup, risotto, it’s all in a little bowl of happiness! Oh well, tonight I’ve got another bowl-ful, and this one is even healthy!

Jambalaya is an awesome mix of sausage, rice and spices. I’m not a big fan of spicy though, so I tend to try to sway Mike away from making it. However, awhile ago I made a version from Sandra Lee (of all people!, she scares me, but that’s another story) and it was not that spicy at all; in fact it was really good! So when Mike sent me this Cooking Light version, which uses turkey instead of chicken and ten kinds of fatty meats, I said, why not?! And I’m glad I did!

jambalaya!

Turkey Jambalaya (from Cooking Light)

1 tablespoon olive oil (I just used cooking spray, it’s my bff)

1 1/2 c. chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used yellow, I hate green peppers)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp ground red pepper (I omitted this as I’m wimpy; also we don’t have any!)

1 c uncooked long grain rice

2 c. fat-free low sodium chicken broth

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 c. shredded cooked turkey

6 oz. andouille sausage, sliced thin (you can use spicy italian if you can’t find andouille)

1 bunch of scallions, chopped

Method:

Heat oil in a large dutch oven (really big pot!) over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in bell peppers and next five ingredients (bell peppers through red pepper); sauté 1 minute. Add rice, sauté one minute. Stir in broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add turkey and sausage; cover and cook another five minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and let simmer 1 more minute, uncovered.

Scoop it in a big bowl and dig in! This one is only 249 calories a bowl! With 7.6 grams of fat! Eat two bowls if you wanna!


 

Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto January 17, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,rice,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:32 pm
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I finally made it and it really was heaven! I’ve been dreaming of creating a risotto that included two of my favorite foods, bacon and butternut squash. Finally last night, I went for it! Now I know that others have created the very same dish, as food is just like art: everyone has done everything, and everyone is re-inventing everything. But, it’s still fun to give it a try! A few months ago I made butternut squash and shrimp risotto for my parents and it was okay, but the squash ended up being pulverized by the end of the cooking process, so this time I vowed to change that! How? You ask? Simple, roasted butternut squash, which makes it even more delicious!

bacon and butternut squash risotto!

Now, before you keep reading and are thinking to yourself: “Whatever, she’s crazy! Risotto is scary and hard to make! It takes effort! And time!!” relax! No, really. Risotto is merely scary because it is the unknown. Once you have given it a try, I promise you will be hooked. BUT you do need a fair amount of dedication, and also time. You can not rush the cooking or make it happen quicker. You need a good half hour to kill in the kitchen for it to be delicious. Just a few minutes less can make the rice come out hard and icky. Too long can make it mushy and unpalatable. So make it on a night when you have nowhere to be and plenty of time to babysit the food and you will be thrilled with your hard work. Plus, it makes you look really fancy!

Here is what I did!

Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto

one medium-sized butternut squash, diced into small, mouth-sized pieces (I buy the pre-chopped kind and then chop it further to save time. NOTE: sometimes you can’t find it fresh, but you can always find it frozen and in that case it is chopped perfectly! There’s no shame in frozen, go for it!)

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

ground sage or chopped sage, whatever you’ve got, about 1 tablespoon

6 slices of a nice hickory bacon if you can find it, cut into small bite sized hunks (you can also opt for turkey bacon if you are cutting calories)

1 shallot, chopped small

1 c. arborio or risotto rice

a nice dry white wine (a few glugs, maybe a cup?)

about 4-5 cups of low sodium chicken broth

a few handfuls of parmesan cheese, plus some to top it off with.

Method:

preheat your oven to 400. Get out a nice mid-sized pot with a heavy bottom for the risotto to cook in. Pour yourself a glass of white wine to enjoy whilst standing over the stove for the next 25 minutes!

Prepare a baking sheet by putting down a layer of aluminum foil and then coating that with cooking spray (I’m lazy, this makes one less dish!) If you didn’t already, chop your squash into small bite sized cubes and throw into a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and sage, toss to coat evenly. Spread squash out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about a half hour. Halfway through, take out and give it a shake to keep things from sticking. If you want the squash cooked even further, you can bake it an extra ten minutes or so. I liked it with a little bit of bite, but mike said it could have cooked a few minutes more, so it’s up to you! When the squash is ready, just take it out of the oven and let it sit to cool on the baking sheet until you are ready for it.

While the squash is baking, start the risotto. Heat up the heavy bottomed pot with a medium flame and throw in the bacon. Cook bacon, stirring it frequently, until it is crispy and brown, about 5 minutes (it might have been more, I was drinking wine, who knows!?). When bacon is ready, drain out extra grease, but leave a tiny bit in the pan still with the bacon. Add the risotto and toss with the bacon, lightly cooking the risotto for about 2 minutes. The rice will become slightly translucent. Now deglaze the pan with the wine. Stir rapidly, scraping up all the burnt on bacon bits.

Warm up the chicken broth in a measuring cup in the microwave, about a minute or so. Set a timer for 20 minutes so you have an idea of when to check your rice for done-ness. Add the chicken broth to the rice as soon as the wine is absorbed ONLY ONE CUP WORTH AT A TIME. If you add more than a cup at a time, the rice will not cook correctly and will end up watery and gross! Adjust heat to medium to low and let the broth cook out, stirring occasionally. As soon as the broth is absorbed, add another cup of broth and microwave some more for the next round. Keep adding warmed broth a cup-full at the time until the 20 minutes is up (this usually takes me only four cups of broth but you might need a fifth) . At this time, take a tiny taste of the risotto. If it is a tad hard or crunchy, add the last cup of broth. If it is nice and chewy and sticky, it is perfect! Add that butternut squash that is  roasted and waiting to be eaten, stirring it in and letting the rice cook an extra minute or so. Turn off the flame, add the parmesan and stir. Serve immediately in pretty bowls with extra cheese on top. Pour yourself some more wine too, because you just made super fancy food and it didn’t even take that much time! Enjoy!