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Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

2 Apr

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 1
I love cookbooks. Seriously. LOVE. I have a ton and am running out of room to store them in my kitchen. I’m starting to consider a bookshelf or wire baskets hung on the wall so that I can continue my obsession collection. Wouldn’t three of those baskets hung vertically on the wall be really cute! I think I’m going to do it in my dining room since I don’t have any real wall space in my kitchen.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 2
But in the meantime I should probably stop purchasing them. The addiction still calls my name so when I take Noah to the library every couple weeks, I always hit the cookbook section and borrow a few. When I recently spotted Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, I snatched it up since I’m a big fan of The Chew and his 5 in 5 segments.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 3
Let me start off by saying this recipe is delicious but it definitely took me more than 5 minutes to make. Maybe it was because I move too slow or perhaps because my sous chef is 3 years old rather than a culinary trained celebrity chef. Either way, it was still a quick weeknight meal that was packed with bright flavors.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 4
Citrus, jalapeno, peanuts and cilantro all combine to create a zippy Thai flavor profile. And have I told you that I love chicken thighs. I’ve always been a white meat kind of girl (and still would usually choose it) but it’s a nice change every once and awhile. So much more flavor and juiciness. To make it a bit healthier, you could switch to boneless, skinless breasts but I think the extra fat is totally worth it here.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
recipe from Michael Symon’s 5 in 5

2 Tbsp. peanut butter
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
8 (4 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, orange zest, orange juice, jalapeno, soy sauce and olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with half the peanut sauce.

3. Thread 2 pieces of chicken onto skewers (I skipped the skewers but it would make it easier). Grill for 3 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes.

4. Remove chicken from grill and drizzle with some reserved peanut sauce and top with cilantro.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken

24 Mar

Chipotle Chicken

We very rarely eat fast food around our house but when we do we always go for subs or Chipotle. My meal of choice at Chipotle is always the chicken burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans and hot salsa. A few months ago, my mom made a cilantro lime rice and black beans that was very similar to Chipotle and ever since, we have all been obsessed. Like eat it every two weeks or so obsessed. Now, if you know me, that’s saying a lot since I rarely make the same thing without a few months in between. I enjoy variety and trying new recipes, but I always seem to crave that meal.
Chipotle Chicken
I’ve always just made a simple Mexican rub that is really yummy but I was craving the real deal Chipotle copycat so I went on the hunt for something more similar to the restaurant, with chipotles in it of course, and this recipe I found on epicurious is so perfect. I changed it up a bit by removing the oil to make it healthier and adding lime juice because it just makes things like this better. I also upped the amount of cilantro because I’m kind of addicted right now. I know cilantro is usually a love or hate herb for most people and I used to fall into the latter category but I kept trying it in things and I totally love it now. If you are a hater, you could leave it out with delicious results still.
Chipotle Chicken
Mmm, now I really wish we had a can of chipotles in adobo. Pretty sure they will become a staple pantry ingredient from now on.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken
recipe adapted from Epicurious

1/4 cup canned chipotle chiles in adobo
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 lime, juiced
3-4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

1. Combine all ingredients, except chicken, in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely combined. Place chicken and marinade in a large ziplock bag and squish around, ensuring all the chicken is covered. Place in refrigerator and marinade for 3 hours or up to overnight.

2. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Dice and serve over cilantro rice and black beans.

Buttermilk Almond Chicken Fingers

7 Mar

Buttermilk Almond and Panko Encrusted Chicken Fingers
Man do I love me some fried chicken. Like, it would be my last meal kind of love. But I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I eat it in a year. Especially now that we are eating clean for Lent. Why is it that you crave something so much when you just can’t have it? Walking past the kettle chips at the grocery store yesterday just about killed me. KILLED ME. They are another one of my weaknesses.
Buttermilk Almond and Panko Encrusted Chicken Fingers
Since real deal fried chicken is absolutely out of the question right now, I figured I should find a substitute to curb the craving. Do these taste just like fried chicken? Um, no. But they are a delicious, healthy version that totally hit the spot. The buttermilk soak creates a moist chicken tender while the almond meal and whole wheat panko lend a nutty flavor. They don’t get super crispy but baking them on a rack help bring some texture reminiscent of the fried stuff.
Buttermilk Almond and Panko Encrusted Chicken Fingers
Buttermilk Almond Chicken Fingers
recipe from How Sweet Eats

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1. Place chicken tenders and buttermilk in a zip top bag and place in refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray a wire rack with nonstick spray. Place rack on top of baking sheet.

3. Combine almond meal, panko, flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a bowl. Dredge each chicken finger in the mixture, pressing to adhere, then place on the rack. Spray the chicken tenders with nonstick spray. Bake for 12 minutes then gently flip them over, spray with nonstick spray and bake another 12 minutes.
Buttermilk Almond and Panko Encrusted Chicken Fingers

Skinny Sweet and Sour Chicken

4 Feb

Low Cal Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sooo, today we have a preschool tour set up for Noah. Did you hear me? A PRESCHOOL tour. Can you tell that I’m kind of freaking out? First of all, nobody told me that enrollment for preschool in the fall started in freaking January/February. So you better believe that when I found out, I promptly freaked out and immediately went on the hunt.

Once the panic wore off, a bit of sadness set in. I can’t believe my baby is going to be in preschool. And although I’m not ready, I know he totally is. He’s smart, charming and a little social butterfly so I know that it will be a great thing for him. When the day finally arrives, I’m going to need a big slice of cake or a cookie the size of my head.

But let’s not think about those things right now. We should stay positive and healthy and not get all teary eyed, ok? Let’s talk about chicken instead.
Low Cal Sweet and Sour Chicken
I have been craving Chinese food in the worst way. Ya know, the deep fried, drenched in sauce kind of Chinese food. But I’m trying to keep on track so I whipped up this skinny version of sweet and sour chicken instead.

This dish definitely leans more towards the sour than sweet but it has just enough sugar to tone it down. The tender chicken combined with the crisp veggies produce a satisfying mix of textures that almost makes you forget it isn’t deep fried. And there’s no guilt.
Low Cal Sweet and Sour Chicken
From start to finish, you can whip this up in less than 30 minutes so I’ll be keeping this one in my back pocket, especially once Noah starts preschool and our days get busier. For those of you that have been through it, any hints, tips or pointers when looking for a preschool? Tell me all you know!

Skinny Sweet and Sour Chicken
recipe from Diet Recipes

2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut in cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar
1 (6 ounce) can pineapple juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into strips (left these out)
1/2 medium sweet red pepper, cut into strips (left these out)
1 (8 ounce) can unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
cooked brown rice

1. In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice, sugar, pepper and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, lemon juice and ketchup then set aside.

2. In a wok or nonstick skillet (or use vegetable spray) until the chicken is browned.

3. Add the red and green peppers and zucchini. Stir until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

4. Pour the sauce that was set aside over the chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir in the pineapple pieces. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Serve over cooked brown rice.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Mustard Cheddar Sauce

10 Jan

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Mustard Cheddar Sauce
Pretzels are one of Noah and my favorite snacks so there is always a big ‘ole jar of them sitting on the counter. When I saw this recipe, I knew it had to be in my life. Pronto.

Chicken? Pretzels? Cheese? This is totally up my alley. I made this a few week ago and it was glorious. The crunchy pretzels coating juicy chicken was good enough but then top it with a cheesy mustard sauce? Delish.
Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Mustard Cheddar Sauce
I am totally drooling because since making this I have embarked on a pretty strict diet to lose this baby weight. Womp womp. It actually hasn’t been too bad. I’m using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone to track my calories (1410/day) and exercise. I am a major visual person and love lists so it really helps me to see it all written down. And knowing that something is going to be tracked and calories calculated makes me think twice about what I eat. I just started on Sunday but I haven’t gone over my caloric count yet but it’s been hard. I’m hoping this diet will result in a lifestyle change with mostly clean eating around here.

I’ve been trying out a lot of new smoothie recipes so I will be sharing those with you all soon.
Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Mustard Cheddar Sauce
But back to this chicken….you have to make it. A piece of it would be worth having to eat spinach the rest of the day.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with a Mustard-Cheddar  Sauce
recipe from Taste and Tell
serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
about 6 ounces of salted pretzels
salt and pepper
2 eggs
vegetable oil

Mustard Cheddar Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Slice each chicken breast in half (horizontally to make them thin), making a total of 4 thin chicken breasts.  Place each chicken breast in between plastic wrap and whack with a mallet to flatten slightly.

2. Place pretzels in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.  Put the crumbs in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.  In another shallow dish, beat the eggs.

3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat up the oil, about 1/8″ deep.

4. Dip each chicken piece into the pretzels, then eggs, then back into the pretzels. Carefully place chicken into the hot oil and cook until browned and the chicken is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes per side).

5. Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk and the mustard, and cook until slightly thickened.  Stir in the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

6. Serve the chicken with the Mustard-Cheddar Sauce.

Penne with Chicken Thighs

30 Oct

Penne with Chicken Thighs
A few weeks ago I received an email from a good friend telling me that Ree Drummond was coming to Omaha in November for a book signing and asking if I would be interested in going. My response: absolutely. I am so excited! I love her blog, Food Network show and cookbook. As soon as I found out about the signing, I jumped on Amazon and pre-ordered her new cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays.
Penne with Chicken Thighs
Every one of her recipes I have tried has been a huge, delicious success. I love the ease of her recipes and her hilarious way of presenting them. This penne with chicken thighs was easy to throw together and really yummy. I usually like to make homemade spaghetti sauce but to make this recipe simple, jarred sauce is used but onion, garlic and fresh basil are added to make taste fresh and almost homemade.
Penne with Chicken Thighs
With the addition of Hannah to our family, this will certainly become a new favorite and go to for hectic nights (which I’m sure will be every night for the foreseeable future).
Penne with Chicken Thighs
Penne with Chicken Thighs
recipe from The Pioneer Woman

8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 whole large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jars (24 ounces each) marinara sauce
Fresh basil, to taste
Parmesan cheese
16 ounces penne or rigatoni

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear chicken thighs quickly on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.

3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add marinara sauce and stir to heat. Place chicken thighs back into the skillet. Cover and put pan in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

4. During the last few minutes of cooking, boil the pasta according to package instructions. Spoon out pasta then top with 1 chicken thigh and marinara sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders {Football Food}

11 Oct

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
I have more buffalo goodness to share with you all for my football food series and it’s Buffalo Chicken Sliders. I know I just shared some delicious buffalo wings with you all a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist posting these cute little sandwiches that are a bit friendlier on the waistline.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
They are super simple to throw together to feed a crowd and they only require a few ingredients. Totally my idea of entertaining these days.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Spicy chicken, creamy dressing, soft bread…all sounds good to me!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
Slider buns (I used honey wheat Hawaiian rolls)
Bleu cheese dressing or ranch
Carrots and celery on the side

1. Cut chicken into small pieces, about 3 per breast, so that they will fit on the slider buns. Place in a ziplock bag and pour wing sauce over them. Seal tightly and marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

2. Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Grill chicken until cooked through and juices run clear.

3. Slice rolls in half and place grilled chicken and bleu cheese dressing on bottom halves. Top with top bun and enjoy! Serve with carrots and celery on the side if you wish.

Hooters Copycat Buffalo Wings {Football Food}

27 Sep

Buffalo Wings
Buffalo wings are the ultimate football food in my book. And not any of those fancy or crazy flavored ones, just hot buffalo wing sauce for me. That guy I live with usually prefers the honey bbq or parmesan garlic version when we go out for wings but well…he’s kind of a sissy and can’t handle the heat (and I say that in the most loving way possible). But he can totally get behind these wings and just deals with the spiciness because they are so delicious. I honestly don’t think they are all that spicy and would kick up the hot sauce if he wasn’t eating them too.
Buffalo Wings
This recipe is a copycat of Hooters wings but I can’t compare as I have never been there.  Everyone seems to rave about how delicious they are though and if they taste anything like these homemade wings, then I would have to agree. But I’ll still stick to making them at home.

I know many wing traditionalists think it’s just wrong to batter and fry a wing but we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I love the crispy coating the seasoned flour gives these wings. It does add a bit more work and time to the process but I think it’s worth it. The juicy chicken, crispy coating and spicy sauce is just perfect to us.
Buffalo Wings
I definitely don’t love frying things at home but every once and awhile I make an exception for these bad boys and you should too. And don’t forget some homemade bleu cheese dressing or ranch on the side!

Buffalo Wings {Hooters Copycat}
recipe from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 1
prep time: 60-90 minutes
cook time: 10-15 minutes

For the sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce (Louisiana Hot Sauce is my favorite)
Dash ground pepper
Dash garlic powder

For the wings:
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
10 chicken wing pieces

1. Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl with a lid that is large enough to fit the wings. Place wings in the bowl, cover with the lid and shake until they are all completely coated and are not stuck together. Put the wings in the refrigerator for 60-90 minutes (this will help the coating stick when fried).

2. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F. You want just enough to cover the wings entirely.

3. Carefully place the wings into the hot oil and fry for 10-15 minutes or until they begin to turn dark brown.

4. Meanwhile, combine the butter, hot pepper sauce , ground pepper and garlic powder over low heat. Heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well blended.

5. Remove the wings from the fryer and place on a paper towel to drain. Toss the wings with the sauce in a large bowl until they are evenly coated. Serve with bleu cheese or ranch dressing, carrots and celery.

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

11 Sep

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 3
This is officially my new favorite dinner. I could literally eat it every week. That’s saying something since I usually make a new recipe then don’t make it again for months because I keep trying new things to share with you guys. But this…
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 2
This happens a lot around here. It’s easy, healthy and fills you up!

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of cilantro but it has slowly been growing on me and this recipe is one of the reasons. I still don’t love a ton of it as I find it overpowering but a little really brightens up any dish it is in.
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 4
And just an FYI, this is really yummy with steak too! It’s like making your own rice bowls at home but way cheaper and healthier!

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

For the Cilantro Lime Rice:
recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella

1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 lime, zested
1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced

For the Seasoned Black Beans:
recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or use cooked dried beans)
2 teaspoons oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Rub
1 Tbsp. olive oil

salsa/pico for garnish

1. Cook rice according to package directions. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add oregano and cumin, cooking over low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, to allow flavors to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp. lime juice right before serving.

3. While beans are cooking, rub chicken with olive oil and Mexican spice rub. Grill until juices run clear. Once rice has cooked, stir in lime zest and 1/3 cup cilantro.

4. To serve, spoon rice on plate then top with seasoned black beans. Top with a few slices of chicken and enjoy!
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 1

Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

17 Jul

Asian Chicken Salad 4
I have been wanting to make an Asian Chicken Salad for quite some time now and I keep seeing them pop up everywhere around the blogosphere. My absolute favorite version is from Granite City and it was my mission to recreate it and share it with you all.
Asian Chicken Salad 5
Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list…a lot of the ingredients are the same throughout the different elements and the dressings and marinade can be mixed up ahead of time.
Asian Chicken Salad 3
Although this wasn’t exactly like the restaurant version, it was still quite a light and delicious dinner on a hot night. I have to say the dressings are what made it for me. That sweet chili lime vinaigrette is sweet, a little spicy and has just the right amount of sesame. I could probably eat it with a spoon. The light drizzle of the peanut dressing gives a nutty depth that puts the salad over the edge for me. And I just can’t eat a salad without some kind of crunch on top so the wonton strips were a perfect addition.

Joel wasn’t a huge fan so it probably won’t be hitting the dinner table too often but it will be on frequent rotations for my weekday lunches.
Asian Chicken Salad 2
Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

For the Pineapple Chicken Marinade:
1 lime, zested and juiced
6 oz. can pineapple juice, or 1 cup
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

For the Salad:
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
2-3 carrots, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, small dice (I didn’t use but thought it would be a good addition)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Green onion, to taste
Wonton Strips

For the Chili Lime Dressing:
recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum
1/2 cup sweet chili garlic sauce
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice

For the Peanut Dressing:
recipe adapted from myrecipes.com
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. dry-roasted peanuts

1. For the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag and mix around to combine. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness and marinate for 1-4 hours.

2. While the chicken is marinating, mix up the dressings. For the chili lime vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a mason jar, seal tightly and shake until well combined. Refrigerate. For the peanut dressing: Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add in peanut and blend for 10 seconds more. Place in bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook chicken until juices run clear. Meanwhile, put the salad together. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, cilantro and green onion. Mix to combine ingredients. Once chicken has been grilled, slice into bite size chunks and place on top of salad. Scatter with wonton strips and drizzle with a good amount of chili lime vinaigrette and a bit of the peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Asian Chicken Salad 1

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