Chipotle Chicken – Copycat Version

It’s a rare thing for me to make exact copycat recipes. But I’m a huge fan of the popular chain, Chipotle. I’ve already made a cilantro-lime rice that rivals theirs, and a corn salsa. Now it’s time for the main ingredient, the chicken. This chicken is full of strong flavors and you can turn up the heat or turn it down by how many chili’s you put in it. I didn’t put the whole 7oz of chipotle peppers in because I didn’t want it too spicy. I was able to find dried ancho chiles in my local Walmart’s produce department. You should also be able to find the chipotle peppers in adobo in Walmart’s Hispanic section. When you make this, use the leftover peppers in adobo in my hot corn dip. It’s to die for!

I will admit, that while these were really good, nothing can beat the actual burrito’s at Chipotle’s. Maybe it’s the atmosphere. But you can have fun with your family making them at home. I put everything together and then set everything out on a table so people could make their own burrito’s. Make sure you have plenty of lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and of course, the cilanto-lime rice and corn salsa. It’ll make your burrito’s shine!

Chipotle Chicken:

  • 5-6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat (about 1/2 inch thickness)
  • 1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles or 4-6 ancho chiles
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (discard chipotle pepper, skim out seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup oil (canola/vegetable/olive)

 

  1. Soak the dried chilies overnight in water, until soft. Remove seeds. (If you forget to do this part, like me, pour boiling water over chiles and let soak till soft, about 30 minutes)
  2. Add chilies and rest of the ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Let refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Once chicken is ready, prepare your gas or charcoal grill. Cook over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes per side. Make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly. When done, take off heat and chop into small dices. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Chipotle Fan

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Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

There are times when I see something on my Google Reader and I have to make it right away. This is one of those times. Pioneer Woman posted this recipe and it looked so good, that I knew I had to make it ASAP. What makes it even better is that I already had all the ingredients. It was totally meant to be. I am going to admit something… I am not a huge chicken fan. If given the choice, I won’t ever pick chicken. I will make it and eat it, but I won’t ever get seconds. I loved this dish so much, that I got a second piece of chicken! Even my daughter, who doesn’t like a lot of saucy things, loved it. This says a lot. The only thing I changed from the original recipe was adding shallots. Personally, I love shallots, but my husband said I could leave them out next time. It’ll be up to you and whether you want to add them or not.

You must go make this dish now! It’s fast and easy and you won’t regret it.

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce:

*Serves 4-8

  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or 8 chicken cutlets
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 medium shallots sliced thin (optional)
  • 1 cup Brandy (or White Wine If Preferred) *I loved the Brandy*
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Grainy Mustard
  • 1/4 cup (to 1/2) Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 cup (to 1/2) Chicken Broth
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  1. If using chicken breasts and not cutlets, cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that you have eight smaller, thinner chicken cutlets. Salt and pepper both sides.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook cutlets on both sides until nice and golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and keep on a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the garlic to the pan and saute it for a minute, stirring to make sure it won’t burn. Next pour in the brandy (or wine if using) being careful if cooking over an open flame. Then just let the brandy bubble up and cook until it’s reduced by half.
  4. Throw in the mustards and stir to combine, then pour in the cream. Stir in chicken broth, adding more if the sauce seems too thick. Taste sauce and adjust whatever you think it needs. Add chicken breasts back to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Allow sauce to cook for another few minutes, shaking the pan if needed to move things around.
  5. Serve chicken with the sauce spooned over the top.

Source: slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman

Baked Penne with Chicken and Kale

Lately, I’ve been all about healthier eating. I am feeling a lot better and even losing weight. But I have to admit that I can’t cut everything out, I must have my baked pasta’s! But who’s to say you can’t eat baked pasta? As long as it’s healthy, go for it! That’s where this recipe comes in.

We really loved this dish. I was so happy to see my kids eat everything including the Kale. Kale is one of those greens that has many nutrients and vitamins. I don’t make it often, but I think that will change. I did omit the red bell pepper, but that’s because my husband can’t eat them. I’m leaving it in the recipe because I’m sure it tastes great in the dish. The recipe also calls for leftover chicken but I didn’t have any. I took chicken breasts and roasted them in an oven for 35 minutes, till they were done and shredded that. All in all, it’s a dish I do plan to make again. I really think you and your family will enjoy this meal.

Baked Penne with Chicken and Kale:

  • 13.25 oz box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 48 oz ricotta, part skim
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 oz Parmesan, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken, shredded. (you can roast 2 chicken breasts in the oven at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes, till done)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot pot.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion and red bell pepper, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Add grated carrot and garlic, cooking another 2 minutes. Add kale, toss, and cover, turning off the heat and letting sit for 5 minutes. Transfer to the pot with pasta.
  4. Stir in ricotta, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, chicken, and reserved pasta water. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Top with remaining Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and the top golden brown, 30 minutes.

Source: Slightly adapted from Foodie Bride

Chicken and Dumplings

I’ve been on a sweet kick lately so it’s time for something savory. The weather has turned cold and we even had our first big snow storm of the season last week. When there is 5-6 inches of snow in your yard you want something warm and comforting. This is where chicken and dumplings comes into play. Most chicken and dumplings can be very bland and not at all impressive. I’ve found a recipe that is neither one of those. Everything is full of flavor even down to the dumplings. I was impressed how the dill dumplings complimented the chicken stew. My whole family loved this and it’s now a regular in our house.

Chicken and Dumplings:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 medium carrots, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 3/4 Teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  1. In a Dutch oven (or a 5-to-6-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat butter over medium. Add onion, carrots, and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken in pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, dill, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup milk to form a moist and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon. (Add additional 2 tablespoons milk if too thick.) Set aside.
  3. Stir peas into pot. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm, 20 minutes. Serve.

Chicken and Couscous with Fennel and Orange

I would first like to apologize for not posting in almost 2 weeks. We have had some hiccups with the house and I’ve had my main focus on those. Hopefully, we won’t be having many more hiccups and I can get back to blogging. Now, onto the food.

This dish is full of flavors. My favorite one being the fennel. I LOVE fennel! And anytime I can use it in a dish, I will. For those not familiar with it, it’s got a licorice taste. I personally don’t like the candy licorice, but fennel makes me swoon. I could go on and on about fennel, but there are other elements to the dish too. The couscous gets cooked in chicken broth and orange juice to give a wonderful flavor. The chicken gets a great browned exterior from the dredging in flour. But what’s best of all about this whole thing is that it’s all done 1 skillet! No need to dirty several pans. I am looking forward to making this recipe again. Enjoy!

Chicken and Couscous with Fennel and Orange:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed and breasts trimmed. (I bought cutlets and used 6 cutlets)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 cup plain couscous
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tbs)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  1. If you are not using cutlets, pound each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a uniform 1/2 inch thickness. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  2. Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a 2 inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until well browned on the first side, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Flip the chicken breasts over, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 6-8 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while cooking the vegetables and couscous.
  4. Add 1 tbs more oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, fennel, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until the onion is softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the couscous, garlic, and a pinch cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.. Stir in the 3/4 cup of the orange juice and broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let sit off the heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk the remaining 5 tbs oil, remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tbs of the cilantro, and a pinch of the cayenne together in a small bowl.
  6. Gently fold the remaining 2 tbs cilantro into the couscous with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.. Drizzle the oil-orange juice mixture over the chicken and couscous before serving.
Source: The Best Skillet Recipes by Cook’s Illustrated

Review: KC Masterpiece Southern Style BBQ Sauce

What a crazy week I’ve had. Heck, the next month or two is going to be crazy due to my son’s baseball, finding a house, and then planning the move. But I wouldn’t ask for anything else. I have a decent stockpile of recipes to share but no time to sit down and get them on the blog. But I do want to share with you my review on a new product until I can focus a little better.

When I got the KC Masterpiece Souther Style Barbecue Sauce in the mail, my plan was to get my charcoal grill ready for barbecue chicken. But, when the day came and I had everything ready, the skies opened up and said you will not be grilling today. Instead, I threw the chicken in the oven and smothered it with the barbecue sauce  and baked it for about an hour. The barbecue sauce itself is a lot thinner than most other sauces. It’s really tangy and has a nice kick from the red peppers. I wasn’t too excited about it over the chicken. I personally think it would be much better with pulled pork or a beef brisket. I love a tangier sauce with my beef brisket.

Overall: KC Masterpiece has a winner with the Southern Style Barbecue Sauce. When I buy a bottled sauce I always get KC Masterpiece and will continue to do so. I recommend using it with pork or a beef brisket. But try it and see which way you like it best.

Note: I was not paid for this post; the opinions and views are strictly my own.

Chicken Piccata

WOW, is all I can say about what has been going on the past couple weeks with us. For those who aren’t familiar with our situation, my husband lost his news job last year. We ended up moving back to his home state of PA, while he pursued an instructor job at Penn State University, and took a break from his journalism career. But, the draw of news was way too strong and an opportunity came to get back in the business and also be close to family. I am proud to say that he’s the new News Director for WJAC in Johnstown, PA. There are so many things that we are thankful for and looking forward to. This past year we have been with my in-laws, and getting back out on our own, well, I can’t even put it into words. I’m excited to have my own kitchen again so I can cook and bake like crazy. I hope my husband’s new staff is ready for me. They have no idea how much food they will be eating. The next couple months we are going to be house hunting, kids finishing school, and moving,  so I will do my best to post as much as I can.

Back in January, my husband got me a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated magazine. One of the bonus items I received was their All Time Best Recipes magazine. It’s filled with many great things and one of them is this Chicken Picatta. I couldn’t wait to make it so I went out and got everything I needed. It was amazing, everyone loved it, especially my son. My son seriously loves lemons and this was right up his alley. The sauce is surprising light and refreshing with the lemon, chicken broth and butter. It was a great weeknight meal, serve with rice and a nice arugula salad.

 

Chicken Picatta:

  • 2 large lemons
  • 8 chicken cutlets or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half, lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tbs) or 1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbs drained small capers
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbs minced fresh Italian parsley leaves
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Halve 1 lemon pole to pole. Trim ends from one half and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside. Juice remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of cutlets with salt and pepper. Measure flour into pie tin or shallow baking dish. Working 1 cutlet at a time, coat with flour and shake to remove excess.
  4. Heat 2 tbs oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Lay half of chicken pieces in skillet. Saute cutlets, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn cutlets and cook until second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and transfer cutlets to plate in oven. Add remaining 2 tbs oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add remaining chicken pieces and repeat.
  5. Add shallot or garlic to now-empty skillet and return skillet to medium heat. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds for shallot and 10 seconds for garlic. Add broth and lemon slices, increase heat to high, and scrape skillet bottom with wooden spoon or spatula to loosen browned bits. Simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter until butter melts and thickens sauce; swirl in parsley. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best Recipes