Tag - dinner

Slow Cooker Chicken with Creamed Spinach

This is one of the three dishes I made from the two chickens last weekend. It came out great, but I forgot to turn the crock pot off and it cooked for closer to four hours. The chicken turned out a little dry so I made a gravy with the drippings and that helped quite a bit. I think you can cook this for closer to 3 hours on high and it should be fine.

The gravy in the dish gives it a nice creamy texture, but without any dairy. I made up for that with the spinach side though, you can half the heavy whipping cream and use a soft mascarpone cheese instead if you prefer. I also made a baked potato with a a salt and pepper crust and it was to die for. Who doesn’t love a crispy salty potato crust? Throw some chives from the garden in there and you’ve got yourself a winner.

P.S. Double triple this spinach recipe for your own good because it’s real tasty and you’re going to want a lot more if you’re cooking for more than one night or more than two people.

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Slow Cooker Chicken with Creamed Spinach
1 Whole Chicken, wings, breasts, and thighs
1/2 lb bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb pearl onions, peeled
1 lbs white mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

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1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove from the skillet and transfer to a slow cooker.

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2. Add the chicken to the bacon fat and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. 3. Pour the wine into the skillet and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, rosemary, and salt to the slow cooker.

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4. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high.

5. Transfer the chicken, mushrooms, and onions to a serving dish and pour sauce into a small saucepan. Combine the water and cornstarch and then slowly pour into the sauce. Bring to a boil and stir until the gravy thickens. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Creamed Spinach
2 lb baby spinach, stems removed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

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1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add spinach, cook for 2 minutes. Remove spinach from the water and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking and keep bright green color.
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2. Wipe out the saucepan and add the butter, heat until it melts. Add the onion and salt, cook down until the onions have softened. Add the spinach, cream, cheese, and nutmeg. Cook until the cream has cooked down a big and the cheese has fully melted.

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Vegas Recap + Chicken with Polenta

Our Vegas trip last weekend was outrageous. It was a once in a lifetime chance to see such a historic UFC card and even better to have seen it with our friends Deana and Jimmy from NJ. I couldn’t have imagined a more flawless outcome. We went to the Fan Expo, Old Vegas, the Weigh Ins, and of course, the fights. On top of all that, all of the fighters we wanted to win, won!

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The Weigh Ins Crowd

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Sitting in front of the FOX Table at the Weigh Ins

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Old Vegas

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UFC 189 — “It’s Time”

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Conor McGregor — Interim Featherweight Champion!

July has been unbelievably busy and exciting so far, which has in turn, limited my cooking time. I missed it a lot so it was nice to get in some kitchen time this weekend.

Chicken, Peppers, and Onions with Polenta
Olive oil
4 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup polenta
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

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1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a dash of olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Brown chicken thighs on both sides then set aside on a plate.

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2. In same skillet, sauté the peppers and onions for about six minutes until they’re almost caramelized then add garlic and cook down. Add the chicken back to the skillet with skin side up and heat for about five minutes.

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3. Add chicken broth and a cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes then uncover and cook for another 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced in half.

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4. While the chicken is braising, make the polenta. Bring 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of water to a boil then slowly whisk in the corn meal. Bring back to a boil and continue to whisk. Once the meal starts to thicken, add the butter and reduce heat to low. Stir frequently and add a dash more milk if the polenta starts to harden too much. The polenta should take about 15 minutes to become tender. Add parmesan cheese right before serving.

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… Also, Jason was craving chili and we needed to use leftover ground beef.

Quick Dutch Oven Chili 
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano
3 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
1 6-ounces of hard cider
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1 6-ounce can of green chilis

1. Saute onions, peppers and garlic together. Add beef. Stir in everything else except beans and bring to boil. Add beans and let simmer for 2 hours. Serve with sour cream and cheese.
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Turkey and Spinach Meatballs

I have no idea what’s happening with our broccoli plants. They’re producing broccolini-type veggies now, but they’re just as tasty so that’s fine by me. They were delicious sautéed with sliced garlic and olive oil and perfect with this meatball recipe. The fennel in the turkey-spinach combo is a really nice touch but I will replace the spinach with fresh kale from the garden next time. Definitely a recipe to keep around, thanks to bon appetit again.

Turkey and Spinach Meatballs
2 slices of gluten free bread, toasted
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped sweet vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained of excess moisture
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Place toasted bread into a food processor and pulse until they turn into breadcrumbs. Use 1/2 cup for meatballs, keep the rest in an airtight container for the next recipe!

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2. In a medium bowl, combine turkey, onion, garlic, parsley, fennel, parmesan, spinach, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and egg. Roll into meatballs, approximately 16.

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3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook meatballs for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Do not crowd the skillet, you will probably have to cook in batches. Once one batch is done, place on a paper towel covered plate to remove excess oil.

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4. Serve with broccoli and marinara sauce.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe makes a lot of food! Our landlord and two of her friends came over and it was enough for the five of us to have decent portions. Everyone really enjoyed it and asked for seconds, which is usually a good sign. As a first attempt at making an Indian dish, this came out great. Next time I will serve it with basmati rice instead of brown rice. The chicken might also be better if marinated for a bit longer, I only had an hour to do it so I might put it in the fridge overnight next time.

Chicken Tikka Masala
(Recipe inspiration from bon appetit)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup whole milk yogurt (not greek)
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
4 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
2 cups heavy cream
Fresh cilantro and brown or basmati rice, for serving

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for one hour, overnight if possible.

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2. In a large dutch oven, heat oil and add onion, tomato paste and pods. Heat until onions begin to soften.

3. While the onions are doing their thing, heat the oven to broil. Place chicken on a wire rack on top of a aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Broil for approximately 10 minutes. The chicken should become crispy but not necessarily fully cooked inside.

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4. Add tomatoes to the pot, crushing them and adding all of the tomato juice to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally.

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5. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken to the pot and stir in cream. Keep simmering until the chicken is cooked through completely, approximately 8-10 minutes.

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6. Serve with rice and enjoy with your neighbors!

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Garden Cauliflower Soup

The cauliflower in the garden is doing pretty well considering it usually only flourishes in consistently cool weather. We had about four small/medium sized heads that we could harvest this weekend which was incredible. I wanted to use them as soon as possible to capitalize on the freshness so I made some soup with the florets.

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We also had an entire head of butter lettuce — slightly covered in slugs, but delicious nonetheless.

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Garden Cauliflower Soup
4 links of hot chicken sausage
1 small vidalia onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
4 small heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 teaspoon chili flakes
Salt and pepper
Cheddar cheese and parsley for serving

1. Remove the skins from the sausages or pulse in a food processor until they’re in bite size pieces. In a large soup pot brown the sausage. Set aside.

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2. Add cornstarch to the pot and whisk in a little bit of olive oil if more fat is needed. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth. Add the cauliflower and bring to a boil.

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3. While the stock and cauliflower are coming to a boil, sauté onions in a separate pan with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then them sweat and caramelize.

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4. Add the onions to the cauliflower and reduce to low heat to simmer for 25 minutes.

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3. When the cauliflower is tender, stir in the sausage, cream, chili flakes, and a touch more salt and pepper. Cook for another 5-10 minutes so the sausage can heat up again.

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4. Serve with cheese and parsley.

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