Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken with Feta Cheese

Recipe by Lindsay Church
This was an excellent recipe that we will be using at least once a month.

1 C flavored feta cheese (we tried sun dried tomato and basil)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 TBSP unsalted butter
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
coarse salt and pepper

Make a pocket in chicken breasts: Holding chicken flat with palm of one hand, make an incision in thicker side of each breast with a paring knife. Carefully pivot the knife to create a deep pocket, keeping the other side of the chicken intact. Stuff pockets with feta. Season each side of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides about 6-7 minutes per side. Cover skillet and continue cooking until chicken is done, about 5 minutes more. Remove chicken to a platter, and keep warm. To the skillet, add chicken stock and cook, stirring up browns bits until slightly reduced. Add lemon juice and butter. Reduce the heat to low and swirl pan until butter is melted and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve chicken drizzled with sauce.

Chicken stew with sausage and beans

Fall Style Chicken Stew with Sausage and Beans

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (I used chicken on the bone)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
12 ounces cooked sausage links, sliced
15 ounce can White Beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place oil into large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season each chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper then place into hot oil. Cook for 5 minutes each side, until golden brown. Once golden brown, place pot into oven and bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through. Remove chicken and transfer to large plate or cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes then shred. I removed skin and just used the shredded breast.
3. Place same Dutch oven with chicken drippings over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion cooking until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. I cover with lid to speed the process. Add sliced sausage and beans, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low.
4. Place butter into a medium pot over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour until thick and combined. Slowly add chicken broth. Will start out thick, keep whisking and slowly add remaining broth. Whisk for a good 5 minutes then transfer to pot of vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh Rosemary.
Makes 8 servings

*I added a little more chicken broth for a more soupy effect.

Snowman pizza

Well...why not a snowman for January? I have also done a jack-o-lantern for Halloween, and a heart for Valentine's Day.With pizza the possibilities are endless. 

I got a few requests for my pizza dough recipe, so I thought now was a good time to share.

It is from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, with my own tweaks.


Makes: 2 large pizzas, 3 medium pizzas 

4 c. bread flour {I have used all purpose and wheat before. Bread flour yields the best results. If you want wheat in there I wouldn't do more than 1 c. wheat and the rest bread flour}

1 envelope instant yeast - 2 1/4 tsp. {I use the big bag of Fleischmann's you can buy in bulk at Sam's and just store it in the fridge}

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 TBSP olive oil

1 3/4 c. water, very warm

The cookbook lists two mixing methods, the food processor method and the hand mixing method. I don't have a real food processor...just a mini food chopper...so these are directions for a Kitchen Aid mixer, which the cookbook doesn't actually give instructions for. I just adapted the hand mixing method...Anyway...I will stop babbling. Let's get started.


1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. 

2. Add the flour, salt, and yeast to the mixer and start it on low, using the dough hook.

3. Add the oil.

Note: I measure and add the oil while I let the tap run on hot so it can warm up.

4. Then add the warm, almost hot water.

5. Let the mixer run for a couple of minutes while the dough comes together. Then turn the mixer up to medium or medium-low and let it knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. I like to see how fast I can clean up the counters and dishes, put ingredients away, and prep the pans during this time. 

6. Prep your pans: Spray them with spray oil. Optional: Then lightly dust with some corn meal. The original recipe doesn't call for this, but I like to.

7. Stop the mixer and let it rest for a few minutes. Now I'm going to give you two methods to follow next. The first one is the one the book recommends. The second one is my preferred method.

1) You can transfer it to an oiled bowl and let it rise for about an hour - until doubled. Punch it down and divide it into 2 to 3 even balls, depending on how many pizzas you want to make and how big you want them. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes more at room temperature. Then roll out the dough and proceed with making your pizzas.


2) You can do what I often end up doing...since I sometimes don't leave myself enough time to do all that was listed in the first method. You can just roll the dough out right away and proceed with the rest of the steps.

Either way it tastes good. 

The first way actually makes a lighter, and sometimes puffier crust...at least for me. My pizza doesn't end up looking like the cookbook picture. Maybe because I use a non-preheated cookie sheet and not a pre-heated pizza stone? I just know that I have made this pizza both ways probably at least a dozen times each and it is always turns out a bit puffy and light when I do it the first way.

The second way makes a little bit crisper, chewier crust. I like the second way's taste and texture better AND I don't have to fuss with the rising and resting bit. It's win-win for me.

8. Now...roll out the dough and place it on your prepared pans.

I use a combination of a rolling pin and just stretching it with my hands.Use a little bit of flour if you need to, to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and your hands. Most of the time my dough doesn't need it though.

Kalua pork and rice bowles

This was super good!
This is seriously one of the EASIEST recipes to make and it tastes AMAZING!

1 (2-4 lb) pork shoulder/butt roast (they are the same thing, even though it seems like they would be totally different body parts! Ha ha! It's usually an inexpensive cut of meat because it is tough and fatty. I always try to trim the fat off as much as I can)
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

1. Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub salt then liquid smoke over meat. Place roast in a slow cooker.
2. Cover, cook on LOW for 10-12 hours (don't over cook- I just cooked one yesterday and I did it for 4 hours on high and 4.5 hours on low and it turned out perfect). Turn once during cooking time.
3. Remove meat from slow cooker and shread, adding drippings as needed to moisten.

We then serve it over rice (either brown or white) and put meat on top. We then put chopped green peppers, tomatoes, onions, olives, banana peppers, cucumbers, and cheese on top- you really could do any kind of veggies on top that you like! Jared likes to eat it just like this, but I always like to add just a tiny bit of sauce, like Hawaiian BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce. Super easy and super good!

Easy cheesy biscuit pull aparts

Easy Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts

2 tablespoons melted butter
One roll refrigerated biscuit dough, 8 count
6 thin slices fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick
1 cup Smithfield cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and brush a 9-inch cast iron skillet with melted butter.
Unroll biscuits from can and place into bottom of skillet. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese, bacon crumbles then shredded cheddar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and biscuits are cooked through. Serve warm.

Chicken Makhani (Indian butter chicken)

Recipe by Anne Thorne 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast 1 onion, sliced 6 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tsp. Curry powder 1/2 tsp Cayenne 2 tsp Garamond masala ( didn't have and it still tasted great) 1/2 tsp. Ground ginger 4 tablespoons butter 1 6 oz can tomatoe paste 2 tbs lemon juice 1 14 oz can coconut milk 1 cup plain yogurt (to add at the end) Use a 6 qt slow cooker. Throw in the chicken, still frozen is fine, and add all the spices. Plop in the butter and tomatoe paste, then add the lemon juice and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. When cooked, shred the chicken with two forks in the cooker. Stir in the yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Feel free to tweak the spices to your liking. Serve with rice and naan.