Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Chicken

Recently my PBS station aired a special about how Julia Child influenced many of today’s well-known chefs as well as the viewers who watched the shows. This special made me realize that I, too, had learned many cooking skills from her shows. Growing up I learned some basic Italian recipes from my mother and father (Italian men like to cook.) but not the kind of food America was eating when I got married. My mother was not an enthusiastic cook and tended to make the same things every week. My father would make things she did not like, such as rabbit or crab in spaghetti sauce. So as a young wife I liked cooking but needed to know more. It was about that time that Julia’s shows came onto PBS. There were no other cooking shows on TV at that time. While her recipes highlighted French cooking, she did focus on skills. I learned how to cook a whole chicken, prepare fish and make good sauces from watching her shows. If you have never made her chicken recipe, give it a try. It comes out moist and full of flavor.

Poulet Poele a l’Estragon

(Casserole- Roasted Chicken)

Ingredients

Seasoning Chicken
1 (3-4 pound) roasting chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 shallot, halved

Browning Chicken
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

For Vegetables
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

Sauce
2 cups brown chicken stock, or 1 cup canned beef broth and 1 cup canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons port wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1 tablespoon softened butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. Thoroughly dry the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with the salt, tarragon and 1 tablespoon of butter. Insert the shallot and rub the remaining tablespoon of butter on the outside of the chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen string.

Heat a heavy, fireproof casserole dish or pot over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. When the butter foam has begun to subside, lay in the chicken, breast down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, regulating the heat so butter is always very hot but not burning. Carefully turn the chicken to another side, using 2 wooden spoons. Be sure not to break the chicken skin. Continue browning and turning the chicken until it is a nice golden color almost all over, particularly on the breast and legs. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Add more oil if necessary to keep the bottom of the casserole filmed.

Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Pour out the browning fat if it has burned, and add fresh butter. Cook the carrots and onions slowly in the casserole for 5 minutes without browning. Add the salt and tarragon.

Salt the chicken and place it breast up over the vegetables. Baste with the butter in the casserole. Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the chicken, cover the pan, and reheat it on top of the stove until you hear the chicken sizzling. Then place the casserole/pan in the preheated oven.

Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Baste once or twice with the butter and juices in the casserole. The chicken is done when the drumsticks move in their sockets, and when juices run clear.

Remove the chicken to a serving platter and discard trussing strings. Combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup of the chicken broth and the port wine and set aside. Add the remaining broth to the casserole and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up coagulated roasting juices. Blend in the cornstarch mixture, simmer a minute, then raise heat and boil rapidly until the sauce is lightly thickened. Stir in tarragon and butter.

Serve chicken with sauce. Good sides are peas, potatoes, asparagus, carrots or broiled tomatoes.

The recipe above is from Julia Child’s, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One, Pages 249-251.

You can watch the original episodes on Amazon Prime Video or your local PBS online site.

Amazon Season 1 Episode 3 Chicken Video is the recipe for Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Bacon, Onions, and Potatoes -a variation of the above recipe called Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme.

https://www.amazon.com/French-Chef-Julia-Child/dp/B0062246R8

 


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 servings

Ingredients

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces sliced Swiss cheese (4 slices)
4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup fine unseasoned dried panko crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, plus chopped fresh parsley for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each piece of chicken in half horizontally and place each piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound out to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Place the 8 chicken pieces on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the cheese evenly between 4 pieces of chicken. Arrange ham slices evenly over the cheese; top with remaining 4 pieces of chicken. Tuck in any cheese or ham that extends over the edges. Secure chicken pieces together using toothpicks along the edges to form a “sandwich.”

Place flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, mix together eggs and milk using a fork. Place panko crumbs and parsley in a third shallow dish. Dip a chicken “sandwich” in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture, followed by the panko crumbs; transfer to a plate. Repeat process with remaining chicken “sandwiches.”

Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken “sandwiches” in skillet and cook, until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken and cook 2 minutes more.

Transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is cooked through about 5 minutes. Remove toothpicks and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately.


Roasted Asparagus And Tomatoes

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine all the ingredients in a glass baking dish and roast the vegetables until tender about 15 minutes.


Greek Salad Topped With Chrispy Chicken Fingers

4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken
1 lb chicken tenders (about 8)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Flour (any type works here)

Chicken Marinade
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
`1/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning or dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salad
1 head of romaine hearts
1/4 of a cucumber, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1/4 of a red onion sliced thin
1 celery stalk, sliced thin
Half a bell pepper, seeded and diced
20 grape tomatoes, halved
16 Kalamata olives
8 pickled pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 mini pita breads, warmed

Dressing
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 ½ teaspoons of Greek seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

For the chicken


Combine the chicken tenders and the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Place in the refrigerator for several hours before cooking.
When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Drain the chicken from the marinade and dredge the tenders very lightly in flour. Place the tenders in the skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate to cool.

For the salad dressing
Add all dressing ingredients to a jar. Cover and shake for about a minute. Store salad dressing in the refrigerator. Remove the dressing from the refrigerator15 minutes prior to using it.

For the salad
Tear the romaine hearts into small pieces, wash well and spin dry. Place the washed romaine in a large serving bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients except for the pita and add just enough salad dressing to moisten the salad. Start with about ¼ cup, mix well, taste and see if more dressing is needed. Place the salad in four serving dishes and top each with two cooked chicken tenders. Serve with pita bread.


Crispy Baby Kale Chips

The kale chips were tasty but small and fragile after baking. I think the next time I make this recipe, I will use regular-sized kale for a hearty chip.

Ingredients

1- 5-ounce package organic prewashed baby kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets or rimmed baking pans with parchment and set aside.

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until the kale leaves are evenly coated.

Lay the leaves in a single layer on the pans and put them into the oven. Switch and rotate the pans halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Bake for 30 minutes, until crisp.

Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool before eating. Leftover chips can be stored in an air-tight container or ziplock bag for 4 days.

Southern Style Air Fryer Chicken

The chicken turned out delicious and crispy. The best thing about making fried chicken in the air fryer is that there is no messy/greasy clean up after cooking.

Ingredients

Chicken

4 skinless bone-in thighs, about 1 ¼ lb
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon paprika

Dry Coating
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup cornstarch

Wet Coating
1 egg room temperature
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons water
Butter flavored or olive oil cooking spray

Directions

In a bowl combine chicken with olive oil and then add the spices. Rub it in and set aside. In a large shallow dish, mix together flour, cornstarch, and spices. In a medium dish, mix together eggs, hot sauce, milk, and water.
Coat chicken very lightly in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
Place on a plate to allow time for some of the flour to be absorbed; set aside for about 10 minutes
Coat the chicken in the egg mixture; shaking off excess.


Immediately, coat the chicken in the flour mixture making sure all areas are coated, shaking off excess.
Let chicken rest for 15 minutes.


Coat the chicken all over with cooking spray.
Place chicken in greased Air Fryer basket, allowing room for the air to flow all around the chicken.
Cook on 350 F. for about 16 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through the cooking time.


Remove and serve immediately.

Zucchini Crust Pizza

This recipe is amazing. It tasted like real pizza and you can actually hold the slice of pizza in your hand. Great for a low carb option.

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini about 1 1/2 cups shredded
1/3 cup almond or cassava flour
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
¾ cup pizza sauce
¾ cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
¾ cup optional Toppings: olives, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, cooked sausage, or whatever you prefer on pizza
Olive oil cooking spray.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Line a pizza pan (14-inch) with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray, set aside. I use a cast iron pizza pan.
Place shredded zucchini on a kitchen towel.


Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt.
Set aside for 10 minutes.
Squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini in the towel. Place the squeezed zucchini on a paper towel until ready to make the dough.

In a medium bowl, mix the shredded zucchini, flour, egg, cheese, Italian spices, and garlic powder with a spoon until combined; then by hand form the dough into a ball.

Transfer the mixture on to the greased parchment paper on the pizza pan.
Press the dough into a 12-inch round on the greased parchment paper.


Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust looks set and is starting to brown.


Remove the pizza crust from the oven.
Add the sauce, followed by the toppings and scatter the cheese on top.
Return the pan to oven and bake for another 8 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Let rest a few minutes and then cut into serving pieces.


Tortilla Soup

The tortilla strips and the garnishes are best prepared on the day of serving. The rest of the soup can easily be prepared ahead by several days.
I make my own chipotles en adobo, so I included the recipe at the end of the post. Canned chipotles can also be used.

Makes about 9 cups, serving 6

Tortilla Strips
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon avocado or vegetable oil
Table salt

Soup
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (total about 1 1/2 pounds)
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium onions (total about 1 pound), peeled, 1 cut in half and the other onion finely diced
2 cups corn kernels
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled, 2 cut in half and the other two minced
2 sprigs fresh epazote or 2 teaspoons dried ( or 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano if you don’t have epazote)
Table salt
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 medium jalapeño chile, chopped
1 chipotle chile en adobo with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, finely chopped

Garnishes
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Hass avocado diced fine
8 ounces shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Mexican crema or sour cream

Note on Epazote
Epazote is a Mexican herb with an acidic lemony flavor.
I use the dried version since fresh is not easy to find in my area.

FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until the strips are deep golden brown and crisp, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through the baking time. Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several layers paper towels. Set aside.

FOR THE SOUP: Bring the chicken breasts, broth, 1 onion halved, 2 garlic cloves cut in half, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large plate. With a spider or slotted spoon remove the onion and garlic halves and discard them. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.

To the broth add the tomatoes, the chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, jalapeño, corn, 1/2 teaspoon salt, chipotle chile, and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through about 5 minutes. To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in the bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.

 

Loaded Nacho Platter

I save leftover steak in the freezer for making dishes like nachos.

2 servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound leftover steak or lean ground beef, cooked
1 cup chopped bell peppers
3 cups tortilla chips
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup sliced jarred pickled jalapenos
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup salsa or pico de gallo

Directions

Shred the cooked steak.
Preheat your oven to 375 F, or you can use your broiler.

Spread the 3 cups of chips over the bottom an ovenproof platter so that you can’t see the bottom of the plate.
Sprinkle1 cup cheese over the top of the chips. Evenly distribute the toppings so that every chip has some toppings.
Top with the remaining cheese. Place the platter into the oven or under the broiler.
When the cheese is melted, remove the platter from the oven and use a metal spatula to put nachos onto individual serving plates.

Homemade Chipotle Chiles en Adobo

Ingredients

12-14 dried Chipotle Chiles
3 cups of water
1/2 medium onion finely diced
6 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions

 

Simmer all the ingredients in a covered pan for one hour, stirring occasionally or until the liquid reduces to about a cup.
I store the chilies in snack bags in the freezer for when I need them-1 pepper and 1 tablespoon sauce in each snack bag. They defrost very quickly. when you need them.


Speedy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

I used the last of my roasted chicken in this recipe. Here is a link to the post:

https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2019/11/13/mediterranean-style-roast-chicken/

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
One (8 oz) container enchilada sauce (I use Frontera brand), divided
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
8 tortillas
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add 1/4cup of the enchilada sauce, chili powder, and the chicken. Hest over low heat until warm. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels; microwave at high 30 seconds or until warm. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; roll up tightly and place tortillas, seam side down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas, and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream mixed with the cilantro.


Most of the ingredients in this pie are leftovers from my roast chicken dinner that I shared last week.  Here is a link to the post: https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2019/11/13/mediterranean-style-roast-chicken/

Roasting a whole chicken is a delicious and economical way to give you several meals over the next week. Here is the recipe for one of them. Later in the week, I will share the Chicken Enchilada recipe I made with the remainder of the chicken.

Shepherd’s Pie

2 servings

Ingredients

2 carrots, diced
2 cups cubed leftover roasted chicken
2 cups diced leftover green beans with mushrooms and onions
11/2 cups leftover sauce from roasting the chicken
2 cups leftover olive oil mashed potatoes
Butter-flavored cooking spray

Directions

Partially cook the carrots either in the microwave or by boiling. Set aside.
Reduce the chicken sauce down to 1 cup in a small saucepan.
In each of 2 individual ovenproof casserole dishes, place half the carrots, half the chicken, half the green beans and ½ cup chicken sauce. Mix well.
Spread 1 cup of mashed potatoes over the top of each pie bringing the potatoes to the edges of each dish.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray the mashed potato topping with butter-flavored cooking spray.
Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the broiler on for a minute or two to brown the topping if it doesn’t brown during the baking.



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