Tag - onions

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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Zoodles: Take 1

A very dear friend gave me a Veggetti for my bridal shower last year. We drove across the country two days later to move to California. Needless to say, it’s taken some time to put all of these exciting gifts to use / remember where we put them when we moved. This is something I wish I’ve been using more frequently. Gluten free pasta is fine, don’t get me wrong. There are a few really good brands and at this point I really don’t miss “regular” pasta’s taste or consistency. Those gf pastas are just as terrible for you though, so this is a lovely and light way to get all the good fixings that you put in pasta, sans guilt. It’s a very tasty first take on zoodles and incredibly filling with so much veggie-chicken goodness! I prepared the asparagus and chicken the night ahead of time because I was making a different meal and just used the leftover pieces for this zoodles recipe.
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Zoodles with Chicken and Veggies
2 chicken breasts, prepared the night before (see first step)
1 bunch of asparagus, prepared the night before (see 2nd step)
Olive oil
12 mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 oz spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 zucchini, “zoodled”
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons white wine
Red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, for serving

1. The night before I cut the chicken into pieces and marinated in Italian dressing for a couple hours. Then sautéed until golden brown, and even a little burned in places. Set aside.

2. Cut tough ends off asparagus, lay flat on a roasting tray and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, dash of cayenne, and garlic powder.  Roast in 425 degree oven for 8 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

3. Heat teaspoon of olive oil in pan and then sauté mushrooms and onions until beginning to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper.
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4. Add spinach and cook down until completed wilted. Add tablespoon of butter and ensure all veggies are coated. DSC_0179

5. Add cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and chicken. Bring to heat and then add white wine. Cook on medium heat until wine starts to boil and burn off, be sure to keep stirring so veggies don’t stick to the bottom. Add zoodles and cook until they are fully heated. No need to sauté or brown them.

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6. Serve with parmesan and red pepper flakes! DSC_0019

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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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Chicken Stroganoff

Just like the pizzagaina was reminiscent of home, this recipe is too. My mom used to make chicken stroganoff all the time. It was one of the first recipes I knew how to cook. This is a lighter take on it, but was a nice way to feel closer to family. This is definitely good but next time I plan to add some white wine, possibly instead of the chicken stock — mostly because wine makes everything better.

Chicken Stroganoff
4 chicken breasts, cut into slivers
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sour cream

1. Cut the chicken into slivers and toss in a bowl with the spices. In a dutch oven, heat the oil and place in the seasoned chicken, cooking for a few minutes on both sides. Just enough to brown the chicken, not fully cook it. Be careful not to crowd the chicken, I did this in three batches. Once all the chicken has been browned, remove from pan and set aside.DSC_0119b

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2. Leave all the good brown bits in the dutch oven. Add a little more oil if you need it and bring to temperature, then add the onions and garlic. Cook and stir until they become translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook down.

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3. Once the mushrooms have begun to brown, make a small area in the middle and add the butter. Once melted, add in the corn starch and stir. This will help thicken the sauce. Stir the mushrooms into the butter/starch and then add the Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock.

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4. Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.

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5. Serve with pasta (usually egg noodles, but I can’t find those in GF) and vegetable of your choosing!

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First Spring Grill

This first grilled meal was supposed to have our garden’s kale in the picture, but unfortunately I lost track of time/the heat of the grill and they charred to oblivion (Jason still ate them?!). The recipe is simple though, just mix the kale leaves with a dash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic and cook on the top rack of the grill for a few minutes until wilted and the edges are crisp. It’s super simple and absolutely delicious, should you not completely burn them 🙂 The meal was great regardless of greens, however!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
8 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
2 lemons, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper

1. Whisk together lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and add oil in a slow stream, whisking.
2. Discard excess fat from chicken and season with salt and pepper then place in large baking dish.
3. Pour marinade over chicken and let sit in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
4. Heat grill on medium flame and let it warm up to around 350 degrees.
5. Cook chicken for 15 minutes on one side, then place lemon slices on the grill for a couple of minutes. Flip the chicken to cook on the other side and place lemon slices on top of the chicken for the remaining 10 minutes of cooking.

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Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
6 medium sized red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, place potatoes in cold water and heat until boiled. Potatoes should cook approximately 7 minutes until beginning to become tender.
2. In a small bowl, mix onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put onions into grill basket and cook until softened.
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3. Add potatoes to a bowl and mix with remaining olive oil and spices. Place into grill basket with semi-cooked onions. Heat for 35 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked and browned, tossing a few times in between.

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Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob
1. Peel back husks on each ear of corn, and remove silks. Place husks back over corn. Cover the corn in cold, salted water, for approximately 10 minutes.

2. Put corn on top rack of grill and heat for 25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.

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Note: The chicken is quite crowded in this last picture. I removed the potatoes soon after and spaced it out a bit more once I flipped them over. I also removed the corn in order to cook (and destroy) the kale. I kept the corn and potatoes in a oven set to 170 degrees to keep warm until everything else finished cooking.