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Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches Uncategorized

Hot Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Arugula

This Italian-inspired hot sandwich is just the thing to get you through a cold winter day. While most of the ingredients in this sandwich would normally be associated with summer, this hot version is cozy and filling and just what your body needs on a frigid day. 

I prefer to serve the hot pesto chicken sandwich on a small country loaf filled with plenty of pesto chicken, red peppers, mozzarella and arugula. What takes this sandwich up a notch is definitely the last step of baking it in the oven so that all of the flavors meld together perfectly.  

Ingredients:

2 small country loaf buns

½ c. shredded chicken

¼ c. pesto

¼ red pepper, thinly sliced

2 tsp. olive oil

2 slices mozzarella

Handful of baby arugula

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. 

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the red pepper and cook until slightly browned. Add the chicken and pesto and cook quickly until hot. 

Cut the buns lengthwise and place mozzarella slice on the bottom half and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top half. Season the olive oil side with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, red pepper and pesto mixture on top of the mozzarella. Top with a handful of fresh arugula. Wrap tightly with foil and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and arugula is wilted.

Enjoy immediately! 

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Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches Uncategorized

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

One of our favorite meals to eat is a big ol’ plate of chicken gyros. It’s super simple to prep and cook, it’s healthy, and it tastes so darn good. Chicken gyros are versatile and always a delight, whether served on a pita, on a salad, or with potatoes or rice. The marinated chicken is both flavorful and tender, and indeed, craveworthy. If you want to up the ante with the veggies, serve these gyros with a traditional Greek salad or my yummy quinoa tabbouleh salad. If you’re feeling a bit more cheeky and want some dipping items for your tzatziki sauce, you could also serve these with some fresh french fries. You can’t go wrong either way.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs (your preference), sliced into bite-sized pieces

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. olive oil

Juice from 2 lemons

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 c. plain Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. mint

Juice from ½ lemon

¼ c. cucumber, finely diced

Gyros:

6 pita

Crumbled feta cheese

Sliced cucumbers

Lettuce, tomatoes, onions (if desired)

*Gyros are also delicious when served with quinoa tabbouleh salad – link here

The night before serving, combine all ingredients for the chicken and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

You can prepare the tzatziki sauce in advance too, or wait until right before serving. To make the tzatziki sauce, combine all ingredients and stir. Store in the refrigerator. 

To cook the chicken, place a skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Dump the contents of the chicken (including all of the marinade) into the skillet and cook until the marinade cooks off and the chicken is browned. 

To assemble the chicken gyros, place the chicken on top of warmed pitas, followed by lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, onions and tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!

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Chicken/Turkey Pasta Uncategorized

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash is a popular Hungarian comfort food meal loaded with paprika and sour cream and usually served over buttered egg noodles. It’s perfect for a cold winter night, so last night when it was insanely windy and cold I decided to whip up a batch for dinner. It did not disappoint. The luscious and tender pieces of chicken bathed in a creamy aromatic sauce is just what the body and soul craves this time of year. 

Chicken paprikash is traditionally served with spaetzle, but can be paired very successfully with egg noodles, rice or potatoes. Whatever pairing you choose, it will be heavenly! 

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts

½ c flour

3-4 Tbsp. paprika or hot Hungarian paprika if you like it spicier

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 c. yellow onion, chopped

2 c. chicken broth

1 c. sour cream

Parsley, for garnish

Mix together flour, 2 Tbsp. paprika, salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge the chicken on all sides and save the flour mixture for later. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Set the aside on a plate. 

In the same skillet, add onion and the remaining paprika and cook for about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape all of the bits of chicken from the skillet for added flavor. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Add chicken back to the skillet and cook for 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. 

In a small bowl, mix together the leftover flour from dredging the chicken, ½ c. sour cream, and ½ c. liquid from the skillet. Add it to the skillet to thicken the sauce and mix together thoroughly. Turn off the heat on the stove and add remaining sour cream. Mix together and serve hot with noodles.

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Chicken/Turkey Uncategorized

Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is pretty much always tasty, but sometimes the same ol’, same ol’ can get stale. If you’re a fried rice lover, but you’re craving something with a little more zing and color . . . try this amped-up Thai version of basil fried rice. The combination of basil, thai chilies, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and shallots meld so perfectly into a flavor bomb of a meal that comes together in 20 minutes or less. Once you try this version of fried rice, there may be no going back to the same ol’, same ol’ version.

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large shallot, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch basil

1-3 Thai chilies, sliced

2 eggs

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

2 Tbsp. oyster sauce

1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. honey or agave

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook through until slightly browned. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the oyster sauce, fish sauce and honey in a bowl. Add shallots, garlic, and chilies to the skillet with the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add cooked rice and mix everything together. Push everything to one side of the skillet and add the eggs. Scramble the eggs and mix into the rice. Quickly add the sauce to the rice and mix together. Add the basil and remove from heat. Toss together thoroughly until the basil is wilted. Serve immediately!

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Chicken/Turkey Soups Uncategorized

Avgolemono Soup (Tangy Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

It seems that every culture has its version of a comforting, crave-worthy soup. For many Americans, it’s grandma’s chicken noodle soup. Avgolemono soup, made with a scrumptious base of lemons and eggs, is Greece’s version of grandma’s soup that can always lift your spirits and make you feel safe and warm.

Avgolemono soup is creamy and rich. It tastes like a cream-based soup that will go straight to your hips . . . but the awesome news is that it’s actually very healthy. Best of all, avgolemono soup is so quick and easy to make. The whole process takes less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect meal for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked, shredded chicken

1 c. carrots, finely chopped

½ c. celery, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ c. green onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 bay leaves

1 c. uncooked white rice

½ fresh lemon juice

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, onions and green onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bay leaves. Increase to high heat and allow the mixture to boil. Add the uncooked rice and turn to medium-low heat and allow to simmer until rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Add the cooked chicken to the pot.

Mix together the eggs and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add a ladle full of the soup mixture into the bowl and whisk again until mixed. Add egg, lemon and soup mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with parsley and serve immediately. 

I recommend pairing this with pita bread for a perfectly delicious Greek meal.

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Chicken/Turkey Uncategorized

Amazing and Super-Fast Chicken Shawarma

Raise your hand if you ever get home from work and don’t feel like cooking, so you find yourself dreaming about ordering some spice-bomb pita sandwiches with a side of hummus from a local restaurant. Yeah, same here. The only problem is . . . you’re ravenous and can’t wait the hour it takes to get to your house. I admit, I get hangry sometimes, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

With just a little planning ahead the night before, you can have a lip-smacking, satisfying take-out style meal in 15 minutes or less. This chicken shawarma is outstanding in the taste department and involves nothing more than heating up a pan, warming some pita bread, and chopping a few veggies. Try this, and you may find yourself just saying no to take-out. Gasp!

Ingredients:

Chicken:

2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized strips

Juice from 1 large lemon

½ c. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. turmeric

1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped

Place all ingredients in a container with a lid, refrigerate and marinate overnight. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and dump all of the contents from the container into the hot skillet. There’s no need to add oil, since there is plenty of oil in the marinade. Cook the chicken until the marinade has cooked off and the chicken and onions are browned and caramelized. Add salt and pepper as needed and top with fresh parsley. 

Serve on warm pita bread with hummus or yogurt sauce, topped with cucumbers and tomatoes. For a healthier option, serve with tabbouleh salad. Personally, I like all of these options combined!

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Chicken/Turkey Uncategorized

Hong Kong Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles

Do you ever feel really intimidated by even attempting to cook some of the gorgeous and tasty noodle dishes served at Chinese restaurants? Yeah, me too. If there’s a silver lining to this whole world pandemic event that is currently going on, having more time on my hands to try cooking nearly anything is it! 

In the past if I was crazing a really solid noodle dish, I would visit a local restaurant. I truly thought I could never quite recreate what those magic kitchens in Chinese restaurants did to food. Enter: Hong Kong Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles. 

One day while frequenting my favorite local Asian market, I encountered these pretty noodles called Cantonese style egg noodles. They look like pretty little bird nests, so obviously I just had to buy them. I had no idea what to do with them. I did a little research and found that they were perfect for making those delicious fried noodles I had only eaten in restaurants. So, I went for it. I took inspiration from all kinds of sources, and came up with what I think is the most finger-licking chicken meal ever. Sorry, KFC. 

Ingredients:

Noodles:

8 oz. Hong Kong style noodles or Cantonese style egg noodles

1 large chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces

2 carrots, sliced

1 medium crown of broccoli, florets only

1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves garlic, miced

1 inch piece of ginger, minced

¼  c. water

3 green onions, sliced

½ c. cilantro, chopped

Chicken marinade:

1 Tbsp. mirin

1 tsp. Cornstarch

Pinch of salt

Sauce: 

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce

¼ c. mirin

1 ½ c. chicken broth

Slurry (made by combining 2 Tbsp. cornstarch and 3 Tbsp. water)

Salt and pepper

Cook the noodles according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, mix the sliced chicken with the mirin, cornstarch and salt. Let it marinate for 15 minutes. Drain the cooked noodles.

In a large skillet, add a generous amount of vegetable oil, e.g. 2-3 Tbsp. and turn to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the noodles evenly into the skillet and cook the noodles (like a pancake) until the noodles are slightly browned (6-8 minutes). Flip the noodle “pancake” over and cook the other side for the same amount of time or until both sides are slightly browned and the noodles are crispy. Place the noodle “pancake” on a clean platter. 

Wipe out the skillet and add 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil. Heat over medium high heat until oil is hot. Add chicken slices and cook until slightly caramelized on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Set chicken aside.

Wipe the skillet out and add 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil. Heat over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger. Stir for 15-30 seconds. Add the carrots, broccoli and mushrooms and stir fry, making sure to add a little water (so the veggies don’t get burned). Cook until the veggies are tender, but not soggy, and the water has cooked off. Add the cooked chicken into the skillet. Pour in soy sauce, chicken broth, hoisin sauce and mirin to the skillet. Then, add the cornstarch slurry and cook until the sauce thickens.

Place the mixture on top of the pan-fried noodles, top with green onions and cilantro and serve.

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Chicken/Turkey Pasta Uncategorized

Slow Cooker Sicilian Turkey Meatballs

I’m always a bit perplexed when I see people buying giant bags of frozen meatballs at the grocery store. I think too many people believe that making good meatballs is labor intensive and time consuming, so they take a meal shortcut by using frozen meatballs. The thing is, frozen meatballs never measure up to their homemade counterparts; and oftentimes, they just plain suck. 

This recipe is ridiculously simple, so there’s really no excuse to not make homemade meatballs. In order to make this meal just a little healthier, I opted for turkey in this particular recipe. But because good meatballs are all about ratios of meat/other ingredients, you could easily substitute with a different type of meat, e.g. pork, beef. I have made this many times with beef or a beef/pork combo and it turned out beautifully.

Meatballs:

⅓ c. seasoned breadcrumbs

⅓ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

3 Tbsp. basil

1 egg 

1.3 lb ground turkey

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Sauce:

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp. basil

1 Tbsp. oregano

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly with clean hands. Form meatballs in your hands and set aside on a tray.

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Pour the garlic, onions, and oil into the slow cooker. Then, add crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano and red pepper sauce into the slow cooker. Finally, gently place the meatballs into the sauce.

Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 4-5 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite type of pasta! 

Categories
Chicken/Turkey Soups Uncategorized

Heartwarming Chicken Soup with Homemade Noodles

Seriously, is there anything more comforting on a cold night than chicken noodle soup? The cold and windy weather over the last couple of days encouraged some comfort food cooking and heartwarming eating. All weekend, the girls and I hunkered down and ate all of the wonderful winter things – cookies, warm bread, and chicken noodle soup. It was such a happy stay-at-home and cuddle under blankets type of weekend.

This chicken noodle soup was just like our weekend: comforting, warm and cozy.  With the addition of wine and Herbes de Provence, along with homemade noodles, this soup accomplishes a depth in taste that most chicken noodle soups just can’t. I wish I had made a double batch!

Ingredients: 

Shredded chicken: 

2 chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 c. chicken broth

Salt and pepper

Noodles:

2 c. flour

2 tsp. salt

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

 6 Tbsp. cold water

Soup base:

2 Tbsp. butter

2 carrots, chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 c. chicken broth

½ c. red wine

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. Herbes de Provence

1 Tbsp. parsley

Make sure you start your chicken early, as it will take about 6 hours to cook. Place all ingredients for the chicken into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. When the chicken is finished cooking, shred with a fork. 

For best results, make the noodles a few hours in advance so that they can dry a little. To make the noodles, whisk egg yolks and whites together thoroughly. Then, whisk in water and salt. Next, stir in the flour with a spoon until combined and not sticky. Separate the dough into three balls. Roll each ball out thin and cut into small strips with a sharp knife. Let it dry on a baking sheet for a minimum of one hour.

To make the soup, place a large pot on medium heat and melt butter. Add carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add bay leaves, Herbes de Provence, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and wine to the pot and increase heat to medium high heat. Add cooked chicken and egg noodles and cook for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Remove bay leaves and serve.

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Chicken/Turkey Uncategorized

Chicken Piccata

One of my favorite childhood meals was (and still is) the amazing chicken piccata my mom made for us. Science tells us that memories and emotions are closely tied to smells, and for me, this smell evokes such happy memories for me of our family gathering around the table. Even as an adult, I feel so much comfort and joy every time I smell the unique blend of browning chicken, lemons, and capers smell coming from the kitchen. 

Lucky for my daughters, I have passed on this love for chicken piccata to them. They too are comforted by the smell of this special meal coming from the kitchen, and as an added bonus, they even like to help me cook it now. I hope this meal makes you just as happy as it makes me!

Ingredients: 

1 ½ pounds chicken breasts, pounded thin

½ c. flour

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ c. chicken broth

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. cream or whole milk

¼ capers

Chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

Place each chicken breasts into a freezer bag one at a time and pound so that the breasts are an even thickness of about ½ inch. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Cover each chicken in a thin layer of flour on both sides.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Place chicken breasts in a single layer in the skillet and cook until they are golden brown on both sides. This will take about 5 minutes per side. Set the cooked chicken breasts aside on a clean plate. 

Reduce heat to medium low and add about 2 Tbsp. of flour to the remaining oil in the skillet. Whisk until there are no lumps and the mixture is slightly brown. Whisk in chicken broth and lemon juice a little at a time, then add cream or milk. Simmer until the sauce is reduced a bit, for about 1-2 minutes. Stir in capers and parsley. Return chicken to the skillet and let it soak up the saucy goodness for about a minute. 

Serve immediately with pasta, mashed potatoes or rice.