August 30, 2015

Chicken Piccata

Posted in Chicken at 6:48 pm by Sheila OConnell

Here is an easy and fast recipe that makes a wonderfully flavorful dish. Takes about 15 minutes prep time and 20-25 minutes cooking time. You will not believe the results. With basmati rice and some steamed or sautéed veggies and a nice crisp white wine or light red, it is wonderful. Bon Appetite!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 lemons (1/3 cup lemon juice)
1/3 cup brined (jar) capers, rinsed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tbsp. flour
salt & pepper
6 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. olive oil

lay the chicken breasts flat and cut in half (top and bottom)
wash, dry and pick parsley from stems
Squeeze 1 to 2 lemons to get 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
rinse capers
salt & pepper chicken to taste
dredge chicken in flour

heat 3 tbsp. oil & 2 tbsp. butter in skillet
When sizzling, add 2 chicken pieces and cook 2-3 min per side
remove chicken to plate
add 1-2 tbsp. butter to skillet
when sizzling, add remaining 2 chicken pieces and cook 2-3 min per side
remove chicken to plate
add capers, lemon juice and broth to skillet and bring to boil
season with salt & pepper to taste
add chicken back to skillet and reduce heat, simmer for 5 min
remove chicken to plate(s)
add 2 tbsp. butter to skillet and whisk to blend
spoon capers and sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve  with rice & vegetables (yellow squash & red peppers)

Serve any nice wine such as a Sancerre or Chateauneuf-du-Pape

posted by dad


September 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Curried Chicken Salad

Posted in Chicken, Salads at 8:45 pm by Sheila OConnell

This recipe is from a book called “The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth”.  Most of the recipes take me about 30 minutes, but I am notoriously slow at doing everything.  I used Perdue frozen pre-cooked grilled chicken strips for the chicken (just thaw in microwave or frig) but you could also use rotisserie chicken.  I suppose it would be possible to cook an actual chicken, but who does that any more??

1/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 or 2 tbsp honey (I used 2 tbsp)
1 tbsp curry powder
3 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 cups chopped green apple (about 1 large apple)
2 stalks celery, diced
1/3 cup dried unsulfured apricots, chopped  (I couldn’t find any apricots without sulfur, and I try to avoid sulfur.  So I used golden raisins instead)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, honey and curry powder until smooth and well-blended.  Gently stir in the chicken, celery, apples, apricots and almonds.

That’s it!  It’s good with a simple side salad of greens dressed with vinaigrette.  And corn bread.

Posted by Sheila

June 7, 2013

Essential stir-fry recipe

Posted in Chicken, Dips and Sauces, Fish, Rice, Vegetables at 7:35 pm by Sheila OConnell

This is copied from a recipe I tried out recently:

In theory, a stir-fry is the model weeknight dinner. It’s fast, it combines vegetables and protein in a single dish, it’s relatively healthy, and it requires no accompaniment other than rice. (OK, fine, maybe also some Riesling or a beer, preferably a pale ale.) But many home cooks shoot themselves in the foot by being far too ambitious in their stir-frying. Stir-fries can accommodate many different kinds of meat and produce—but that doesn’t mean you should dump the entire contents of your refrigerator in your skillet or wok. In fact, the best stir-fries are as restrained as James Blake’s eponymous album: They combine two principal ingredients—one protein, one vegetable—with a trio of essential aromatic seasonings and a simple, delicious sauce. The below recipe, featuring chewy tofu (made chewier via freezing, if you have time) and vernal asparagus, is the ideal stir-fry iteration, as far as I’m concerned. But it can serve as a blueprint for virtually any stir-fry, so long as you remember three fundamental rules.

The first is to cook your protein and your vegetable separately, and combine them only after both are fully cooked. Protein—whether chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu—should be stirred minimally so that it maintains undisturbed contact with the hot pan and acquires a nice, seared exterior. (If you’re tempted to prod mercilessly at your protein, distract yourself by chopping your other ingredients as it sears.) Meanwhile, vegetables must be stirred fairly often so that they cook through quickly without any part getting mushy. Attempts at stir-frying protein and vegetables simultaneously will result in an erratic mélange of overcooked and undercooked ingredients, many of which will end up slimy and tattered.

A second rule of thumb for stir-frying: Choose one vegetable per stir-fry. Not all vegetables cook at the same rate, and getting two vegetables to hit that cusp between tender and crisp at the exact same time is pretty much impossible. (You can, of course, cook multiple vegetables in batches, but once you head down that road, stir-frying no longer qualifies as quick and easy.) Furthermore, crowding your pan with vegetables will result in their releasing more liquid, which threatens to make them soggy instead of crisp. Though you should not combine more than one vegetable in a stir-fry, you may combine your vegetable with a fungus: Mushrooms cook through quickly but never really become overcooked, which makes them a great companion to any vegetable. You must combine your vegetable with three important aromatics—ginger, garlic, and chile—without which your stir-fry will taste flat.

Finally, always remember to add liquid only after everything is more or less finished cooking. A proper sauce for stir-fries combines something salty—soy sauce, usually, though fish sauce also works—with something a little bit sweet. Mirin, sweet Japanese rice wine, contributes a wonderful fermented flavor, but if you don’t have any, substitute a teaspoon of honey or sugar combined with two teaspoons of water. Soy sauce and mirin both burn if cooked for much longer than a minute, so plan to leave them on the heat just long enough to coat the other ingredients and thicken into a glaze.

Stir-Fried Tofu, Asparagus, and Shiitakes
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Time: 25 to 30 minutes, plus time to freeze and thaw the tofu

One 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 medium jalapeño or bird’s eye chile, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch segments
3½ ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
Cooked short-grain brown or white rice for serving (optional)

1. At least one day before you plan to make the stir-fry, cut the tofu into ½- to ¾-inch slices and cut each slice into 1- to 2-inch triangles or rectangles. Freeze the tofu overnight, then thaw it in the refrigerator.

2. Put 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the tofu, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning every 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the tofu to a plate.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the pan. When it’s hot, add the ginger, jalapeño, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Return the tofu to the pan, and add the soy sauce and mirin. Cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Serve hot, over rice if desired. (Store leftover stir-fry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days.)

Posted by Sophie

November 4, 2012

Chicken and Sausages

Posted in Chicken, Pasta at 8:37 pm by Sheila OConnell

The amounts of the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste and the number of servings.  Here is approximately what I would do for six servings:

6 or 8 hot Italian sausages, cut into pieces about 2 inches long
2 whole boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
olive oil
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup sliced onions
2 sliced green peppers
1 tsp basil
pinch sugar
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup flour

Fry sausages in a small amount of olive oil in Dutch oven until brown; remove from pan.
Fry chicken until lightly browned.  Pour off remaining oil.
Add tomatoes with juice, wine, onions, green pepper, basil and sugar and start to simmer, scraping drippings from bottom.
Add meat and mushrooms.
Cover and simmer about 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender.
Make a paste of flour and water, and add some pan juices.  Add mixture to pot and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Serve over pasta.

August 18, 2012

Spinach and Mushroom Smothered Chicken

Posted in Chicken at 10:14 am by Sheila OConnell

Chicken breasts stay moist with a mushroom and spinach topping over a blanket of cheese.

3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 oz each)
salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 slices provolone or swiss cheese, halved

In a large skillet, saute the spinach, mushrooms, onions and pecans in oil until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside and keep warm.

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder.

Broil chicken 4 inches from heat for 4 – 5 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer reads 170.

Top with cheese.  Cover and broil 2 – 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

To serve, top each chicken breast with reserved spinach mixture.  Serves 4.

July 6, 2011

Breast of Chicken Cockaigne

Posted in Chicken at 6:07 am by Sheila OConnell

This is a simple but delicious recipe for poached chicken breasts, from the Joy of Cooking.

   boneless chicken breasts, 4 halves

Dust chicken breasts with flour.  Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a heavy skillet.  Put the floured chicken in the hot skillet.  Shake the pan constantly so the flour crusts but does not color.  Cover and poach in the butter/oil over very low heat, turning occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts.  Remove from heat and allow to stand covered for 10 minutes more.  This rather unorthodox procedure makes breasts puff up, so the meat is tender and moist. 


November 28, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

Posted in Chicken at 11:52 pm by Sheila OConnell

I made this last night and I am finishing up the leftovers as I type. Mmm.


3 cups cooked chicken, hand torn
1/2 cup roasted green chilies, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
Juice from a large fresh lime
Cracked pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 cups enchilada sauce* see below
10-12 white or yellow corn tortillas
Light olive oil, as needed
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Fresh chopped cilantro

Lightly oil a 13×9″ baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, toss together the cooked chicken, green chilies, sour cream or mayo, and lime juice; season with cracked pepper and cumin. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, diced fine
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and spices for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and cilantro, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes.

Spread some of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the oiled baking dish (enough to cover)

Heat each tortilla in a small amount of hot light olive oil before you stuff it, till coated and softened.

Set the warm tortilla into the prepared baking dish and coat the tortilla. Spoon one tenth of the chicken mixture into the center of the tortilla and roll it up into place, seam side down. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce all over the tortillas and top with shredded cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted, the sauce is bubbling, and the enchiladas are hot.

Posted by Jeff

October 18, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Posted in Chicken at 6:49 pm by Sheila OConnell

I found this recipe on the Whole Foods website and it meets my two criteria for a great recipe: (1) good (2) easy. Dad liked it so much that he suggested having it for Thanksgiving but I’m afraid there would be a mutiny in RI. 

1 lemon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 4 to 5 lb frying chicken
4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges
2 small yams, peeled and cut into chunks
1 fennel bulb, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly flattened with side of knife
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash chicken.  Pierce lemon all over with a fork.  Place lemon and rosemary sprigs into cavity of chicken.  Skewer skin flaps to close cavity and tie legs together with cooking twine.  Place chicken breast-side up in large roasting pan.  Arrange vegetables around the chicken.  Pour broth and wine over chicken and vegetables, then drizzle chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover chicken tightly with foil and roast chicken and vegetables for 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350.  Remove foil and save for later.  Continue to roast chicken, basting chicken and vegetables every 20 to 25 minutes, for 1.5 hours more.  Test chicken to make sure it’s done; if not cook it a little longer.  Transfer chicken to a platter and set it aside to rest for 20 minutes.  Cover vegetables with reserved foil and continue to roast for 20 minutes more.

Carve chicken and serve with the roasted vegetables, drizzled with pan juices.

Notes:  I made mashed potatoes to go with this too just to make it even homier, and a simple green salad goes well too.  I bumped up the temp to 375 for the last half hour or so because my chicken was on the larger side and was taking too long to cook.  Don’t skip the lemon and rosmary – they add a wonderful flavor to the meat.

July 22, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

Posted in Chicken, Pasta at 8:10 pm by Sheila OConnell

This is kind of a variation on my pasta recipe with a little more emphasis on the chicken part.
There are two variations I’ll present here. One is a earthier version featuring mushrooms and beef broth. The second uses capers, white wine and chicken broth. Both are delicious.

1 frying chicken
1/2 cup flour
2 tblsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tblsp red pepper flakes
1 28 ox can diced tomatoes (RedPack if available)
1 medium onion, chopped
salt & pepper
1/2 box pasta (linguini or fettucini)

15 or so mushrooms, cut into 1/2 in thick pieces
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 tblsp dry parsley

1/2 tblsp capers
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tblsp dry oregano

You can make this easier by using boneless, skinless chicken. Real easy and quick using chicken tenders. But I use one whole frying chicken. Rinse the chicken well and pat dry. Cut it up: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts each cut in half (4 pieces). 2 wings (eh – your choice, I don’t both since there isn’t much meat on them). I remove most of the skin and fat and take breast off bone.

Start water boiling for pasta

1 tblsp oil in medium hot pan.
dredge chicken pieces in flour and place in hot oil
fry chicken pieces for 3-5 minutes per side. (do in batches if they don’t all fit in pan)
remove pieces to plate and sprinkle with salt & pepper
Add 1/2 tblsp oil and reduce heat to medium
Add garlic, onions, pepper flakes for a minute or two

Add (A) mushrooms or (B) capers
sprinkle w Salt & pepper (salt brings liquid out of mushrooms)
saute for 5 minutes or so, until onions are tender and mushrooms.

Add (A) beef broth or (B) white wine then chicken broth 1-2 minutes later
When bubbling at good clip, add tomatoes and (A) parsley or (B) Oregano.
When that is bubbling again at a good clip, return chicken to pan – submerging as much as possible.
Let cook over medium-low heat (a little more than a simmer really) for 5-10 minutes (depending on how confident you are that the chicken is fully cooked)

While chicken and sauce are simmering, cook pasta – linguini or fettucini.

Serve with salad, bread, and, of course, a nice red wine – Chianti, Rhone, or Tempranillo work great.

Bon apetit

Posted by Dad

June 27, 2010

Chicken Salad

Posted in Chicken, Salads at 8:51 pm by Sheila OConnell

   3 cups diced cubed chicken (use a rotisserie chicken if you don’t feel like cooking one)
   1 1/2 cups diced celery
   3 hard-boiled eggs, cut in eighths
   3 sweet pickles, chopped
   1 tsp salt

   Mix chicken, celery, eggs, pickles and salt.  Moisten with mayonnaise. 

This is good served on a bed of spinach leaves.  You can drizzle a little balsamic dressing on the spinach leaves for extra flavor.

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