Category Archives: Poultry

Chicken Marsala with Spaghetti Squash

I love being inspired by flavors I used to love, and re-creating them in still delicious, and healthy ways. For instance, I used to love chicken Marsala, whether it was a main course, over pasta, or a pizza topping. The creamy, mushroomy goodness was swoon worthy. So I decided to put my healthy spin on it and serve over some roasted spaghetti squash. For this recipe, to get the creamy texture I used Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk, and instead of marsala wine, I used organic balsamic vinegar (no added sulfites or caramel coloring). It’s really easy, and came out great.

Before preparing the dish, pre-heat your oven to 375. Poke a few holes in the spaghetti squash and roast for 60-90 minutes depending on the size of the squash. When it’s done, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and use a fork to scrape out the squash in strands. OK, now on to the dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced (about 1-2 cups)
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut milk
  • 1/8-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, basil, oregano
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into chunks

In a pan over medium, heat the coconut milk, garlic, onion, vinegar, and mushrooms. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the mushroom flavor the liquid. Stir occasionally. Add the chicken and seasoning and stir. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Spoon over the spaghetti squash, or eat by itself.

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Balsamic Chicken

Oh good, as my cold subsides (it’s almost gone, though my sense of smell hasn’t returned as of yet… Well, slightly) I can get back to normal in the kitchen. Tonight’s dinner happened because I forgot to thaw fish, and the boyfriend forgot to take it out when I asked him from work. I had some mashed pumpkin in the fridge that I had prepared the night before, so I was really just looking for a good protein. I ran to the store and picked up some organic free-ranged chicken breast tenders, and whipped up this easy preparation in about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs chicken breast tenders
  • 1/4 cup organic balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons organic stone ground mustard
  • 2 small, sweet apples (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped or sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • A little salt, pepper, thyme, and cayenne pepper

In a pan, heat some coconut oil. Add the onions, garlic, and apples, and sauté for a few minutes. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the chicken into chunks and put them in the pot as well. Then add the balsamic, mustard, seasonings, and stir. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Uncover, stir, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.

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Crock Pot Chicken Soup

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There is something so comforting about a good bowl of chicken soup! In the past, I’ve always made it in a big pot on the stove, but when I wanted to make a batch of it (due to the boyfriend potentially coming down with something), I decided to try it in the crock pot. Let me just say, stop the presses, crock pot chicken soup is SO EASY! You don’t even have to cut the chicken into chunks, because after cooking for 6-10 hours it pulls apart with a fork! I ate chicken soup every day this week, and it was so good. Oh and he didn’t get sick….I totally think the mega awesome, soul warming, homemade goodness, of the chicken soup helped.

Chicken soup doesn’t have to be crazy, in fact, I think simple is better. That’s why this chicken soup had all the essentials and nothing more.

  • (2) Carrots
  • (2) Parsnips
  • (2) Turnips
  • (3-4 stalks) Celery
  • (1)Onion
  • (4 Cloves) Garlic
  • (2 Cups) Duck Broth
  • (2 lbs) Chicken Breast

I know, I know, duck broth? I happened  to have some in the fridge, and it added a nice richness, but chicken broth is fine too. If you have it, use home-made, it’s hard finding chicken broth without sugar and crap in it. Anyway, I chopped everything up nice and big.

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I threw about half the vegetables, put the chicken breast in, and then added the rest . It came awfully close to the top, but I just made it. I put 2 cups of duck broth in and then just filled the rest of the pot with water. But that’s it! Throw in a couple of Bay Leaves, and some allspice berries, and let the crock pot take over.

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Cook on Low for 8-10 Hours. After it is done, and before serving, use a fork to break up the chicken. This is a hearty, meat and veggie filled chicken soup, and is just totally comfort food on a chilly day!


Sweet Cabbage Chicken

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This recipe is actually A revision, or rather a version of my Hot, Sweet, and Sour Chicken which can be found by clicking the picture below.
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This version, has red cabbage, and isn’t QUITE as asian inspired. It also isn’t as spicy or sour. In a way it’s a completely different thing, but at the same time, there are a lot of similarities, and the basis is pretty much the same.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon duck fat
  • 1 lb chicken (2 breasts cubed)
  • 1/2 a head of red cabbage – chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw (Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh, or frozen from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp Coconut aminos
  • Generous amount of Ginger powder
  • a little Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large radishes sliced – added 5 min at end

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Look how pretty it looks for something so simple! I just melted some duck fat in a pan over medium heat, threw the veggies in for a few minutes, added the liquids and chicken, covered, and let cook until the chicken was cooked through, stirring occasionally.  with dishes like this, I don’t really pay much attention to the order I put the ingredients in, or even cook time, It’s kind of hard to screw up. I stir often, and keep an eye on the chicken, but because of the liquids, I never have a problem with it getting dried out. The radishes were the only thing I left out until the end. Dishes like this are really great for the week, because they take minimal effort and cook time for you busy folks like me.

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Unburgered Portabella Chicken Sandwich

So how many of us, in our pre-paleo lives, ate chicken sandwiches? If I could look through the monitor into your world right now, I’m sure I’d see a pretty good show of hands. Well, buns are so unneeded let me tell you! I ate this with a fork, but you know what, it felt like an open-faced sandwich, and it was just fun and enjoyable to make. Did I mention it’s as easy as making a sandwich? Well it is….easy breezy. I recommend using a george Foreman grill. Don’t have one? Well you can use a real grill, but it might take a little longer.

Anyway, My “Sandwich” contains the following

–The Bun–

  • 1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
  • 1 Large Slice of Sweet Potato

–The Meat–

  • Chicken Breast

–The Fixin’s–

  • 1 Slice Red Onion
  • 1 Large Kale Leaf
  • 1 Large Tomato Slice
  • A little Tessemae’s Paleo BBQ Sauce
  • A few Avocado Slices

First I threw everything on the grill. Before putting them on the grill, I put a little duck fat in my hands, and rubbed everything over with a little of it. I did very basic seasoning, salt/pepper/ maybe a little oregano, with a little ginger powder as well on the sweet potatoes.

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The addition of the sweet potato slice, gives a bit more carbs to the “bun”, and makes it feel a little bit more bun like. Once taking them off the grill, I just layered, starting with the mushroom, then the sweet potato, then the onion.

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I even threw the kale on the grill for like 1 second, just to wilt it. The tomato too, just for a minute. Then I added them to the layers.

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Once the chicken was done, I layered it off to the side, leaning against the bun. That’s what restaurants do anyway right? Added some BBQ sauce, and avocado, and we were in business!

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This is how the layers looked when I cut them with a knife. Stays together nicely, which I like. Too many layer things fall apart when cut.

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And that’s it! It’s really an easy way to make a fun, easy, and visually appealing dinner.


The Joys of Roasting a Duck

Sometimes you discover recipes, or just general acts of doing things, and wonder to yourself why you hadn’t thought of doing it earlier. That’s sort of how I felt when I roasted a duck this weekend. Seriously, why haven’t I done this before….It’s so easy, and the rewards are endless.

I think, partially, I avoided it because the idea of cooking something bigger than a chicken seemed intimidating. Not to mention, duck isn’t your average white meat/dark meat poultry. I’ve cooked duck breasts before, seared to medium rare like a steak, and was comfortable with that, but I just never attempted a whole duck. Until now! Now keep in mind, roasting a duck does not give you breasts like searing does. Mine had some pink, and were moist and tender, but it’s a totally different animal.

I picked up my bird (weighing in at nearly 6 lbs)  at the end of last week, from the same poultry farm I get my chickens. It ran me somewhere between $4-5 a pound, which is not much more than chicken. I decided to make it on saturday, so I had it in the refrigerator until then. Up until this point, I didn’t have a proper roasting pan, or even a roasting rack. I had been roasting my chickens in a glass Pyrex pan, propped up with tinfoil, which worked great, but with the bigger bird, I thought it time to be legit. I picked up a basic roasting pan w/ rack for $15 on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond….and we were in business!

Now, you know me, I’m not one to follow recipes. But, with the exception of seasoning, I followed the prep and method from this blogger to a T. It worked great, so I really felt no need to mess with a good thing! [Click on any of the pictures of my finished bird, to click-through to the original blogger’s recipe, or click below ]

http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/02/11/the-best-way-to-roast-a-duck-hello-crispy-skin/

To season the bird, I sprinkled it with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme after scoring the fat, before putting it in the oven. Then I did the poke-flip every hour method she outlined. Remember, if you are going to put a glaze or something on at the end, strain the fat after the last hour, before putting the glaze or sauce on! I got almost 2 cups of glorious, glorious duck fat! I just strained it into a mason jar with a fine strainer/cheesecloth combo. It’s the best cooking stuff ever…. to discard it….it’s almost sacrilege!

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I seasoned my bird with a combination of salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and dried orange peel. After draining the fat at hour four, and roasting at the higher temperature for 10 minutes,  I splashed on some coconut aminos and roasted for a final 3-5 minutes more before letting it rest for 10 minutes. Following the hourly “Flip-Poke” method as outlined on the page, I had this beauty!

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Let me tell you…..Delicious! The four hours it takes to cook was so incredibly worth it. The meat was moist and flavorful, and getting all that duck fat out of the deal makes for some serious economic bonus. We ate some of the breast for dinner, and then again in the morning, as well as throwing the dark meat into some breakfast hash. Oh, and new guilty pleasure…..Duck Cracklin’s! Move over pork rinds (not that I’m a big fan), there’s a new crispy skin treat in town! When making breakfast, I took some of the skin, and put it on the griddle, flipping once, until it was fried in its own fat and crispy. It might be better than bacon.

Yes, that's some crispy duck skin on the left....Holy cow good.

Yes, that’s some crispy duck skin on the left….Holy cow good. Duck breast on the right, and in the middle is a mixture of Japanese Yams, Red Onion, and duck leg/thigh meat. Season with Salt, Thyme, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.

Oh, and the carcass? I’m totally sticking that in the crock pot to make stock. I also have to figure out something to do with the giblets (Which included a gizzard, liver, and kidney….I believe).


Light and Summery Crock Pot Curried Chicken Soup

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This came out really tasty. It was a happy accident actually. When I first started making it, I expected it to come out thicker, because of the coconut milk. I think between the water content of the Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk, and the liquids that come out of the chicken, it caused it to thin out. I liked it that way though, instead of it being a rich, thick, creamy stew – It came out more light and refreshing like a soup, and sometimes a spiced spin on good ol’ chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered. I found the flavor interesting enough yet still refreshing, but if you are expecting some intense curry flavors, you may want to up the spice. In terms of influence, I would say it’s more on the Thai side of things.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Trader Joe’s Light coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 medjool date
  • 3-4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons turmeric
  • a few good shakes of
    • cardamom
    • cumin
    • salt
    • pepper
    • cayenne

The process couldn’t be any easier, which is the great thing about crock pots. I threw it together in the morning before heading out to work.

  1. Peel and cube the sweet potato, and chop the vegetables into large chunks. Throw them in the crock pot.
  2. Add the chicken, which should be cut into cubes. I use kitchen scissors, and just cut the breasts up right over the crock pot.
  3. Add the spices, liquids, and any remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours
  5. Towards the end you can take the lid off or leave it open a crack to thicken it a slight bit if needed.

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