World’s Easiest Chicken Chili

chiliHow  easy is this chicken chili?

It’s so easy, you’ll be eating chicken chili faster than you’d be eating if you picked up dinner at a fast food drive-thru. Don’t believe me? Set your stopwatch, and let’s get started!

Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (you can buy this frozen or even canned if you’d like) Continue reading

Chinese Tang Yuan Chicken Soup

WIN_20160424_133707Tang Yuan are glutinous rice balls – easy to prepare, versatile in recipes, and a delicious comfort food. In my German-American kitchen, the equivalent would be dumplings. Today we are making a simple chicken soup with Tang Yuan. Children and grown-ups alike have given this soup rave reviews. I think you’ll enjoy it, too!

One friendly tip: There are only a few ingredients in this recipe, so each of them is important! Please don’t skimp on the quality of the chicken stock by substituting cans of chicken broth or cubes of bouillon. Chicken broth is a watery, less flavorful cousin of true chicken stock… you’ll taste the difference in this soup. Bouillon cubes are mostly salt.

WIN_20160424_132041Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 cup glutinous rice flour (sometimes called “sweet rice flour” or “sticky rice flour”)

3/4 cup boiling water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 quart good quality chicken stock

1 cup diced celery (or substitute carrot)

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Salt to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt)

WIN_20160424_132455Directions

Step 1) Combine glutinous rice flour, boiling water, and sugar in a medium size, microwave safe bowl. Stir together with a fork.

Step 2) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a small edge uncovered to allow steam to vent. Microwave the bowl for 2 minutes. Stir, cover again, and microwave an additional two minutes.

Step 3) Grease the bottom of a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Transfer the microwaved rice flour mixture to the greased bowl. Use your knuckles to press down on the mixture, kneading and compressing the mixture into a dough. Do this for at least five minutes, or until the mixture has formed a smooth dough. If the mixture is too hot for your hands, use the flat bottom of a cup or a mason jar to press down on the dough.

Step 4) Break off tiny pieces of dough and roll them into balls about the size of marbles. Be careful not to roll your Tang Yuan balls too large, especially if you are feeding children! Small, marble size Tang Yuan are more desirable.

Step 5) In a medium size pot, heat chicken stock to just below boiling. Add Tang Yuan balls, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add celery, ginger, and salt. Cook for an additional two minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Ten Minute Rotisserie Chicken Stir-Fry

WIN_20160110_184331This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time or energy for cooking, but the thought of one more drive-thru meal is just too depressing to consider. Pick up a precooked rotisserie chicken on your way home from work, and this Ten Minute Rotisserie Chicken Stir-Fry will have you enjoying a wholesome meal in less time than you would have spent sitting in a drive-thru line waiting for a paper bag full of fast food!

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Ingredients (Serves 6)

4 cups of rotisserie chicken, shredded or cubed

3 carrots, sliced thin

3 ribs of celery, sliced thin

1 inch piece of ginger, minced Continue reading

Peach Mustard Baked Chicken

WIN_20160118_204716Chicken thighs are my favorite for baking and roasting. They are juicier (and less expensive!) than chicken breasts, meatier than wings, and contain a more favorable mix of white and dark meat than drumsticks. The uniform size and thickness of chicken thighs means they are easy to arrange in a baking pan and cook evenly every time. This Peach Mustard Baked Chicken recipe offers a simple preparation for chicken thighs. We’re combining the classic flavor of honey mustard with the bright sweetness of peaches to make a marinading paste. If fresh peaches are out of season, no worries. Frozen peach slices will work just fine!

Ingredients (Feeds a crowd!)

5 pounds chicken thighs (10 – 12 chicken thighs)

1 cup peach slices (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons brown mustard

freshly ground black pepper

Additional peach slices to garnish

WIN_20160118_173742Directions

Step 1) Thaw peach slices if frozen. Puree honey and mustard with 1 cup peach slices until a smooth paste forms.

Step 2) Arrange chicken thighs on a baking sheet with shallow sides. Using a very sharp knife, score the skin on the top of each chicken thigh in one or two places.

3-Piece Baking Sheet Set

Step 3) Rub the peach mustard paste onto each chicken thigh.

Step 4) Bake chicken thighs, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. Check the temperature of a chicken thigh with a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature (not against a bone!) reaches 165 degrees F, your Peach Mustard Baked Chicken is ready to enjoy! Garnish with additional peach slices just before bringing your chicken to the table.

I recommend serving this with fresh baked cornbread and a green salad. Delicious!

 

Easy Pineapple Chicken

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As the name implies, this recipe is incredibly easy to prepare. The simple marinade imparts a subtle, sweet flavor to the chicken that pairs well with just about any side dish. Children in particular seem to love Easy Pineapple Chicken!

WIN_20151116_173027Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

WIN_20151116_173355Directions

Step 1) Place chicken in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan, so that chicken pieces close together.

Baking Pan with Cover

Step 2) Combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and minced garlic to make a simple marinade. Pour marinate over chicken, cover with foil, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Step 3) Remove chicken from refrigerator sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Arrange pineapple chunks evenly on top of chicken.

Step 4) Bake Pineapple Chicken in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the meat (but not against a bone!) reads 165 degrees. Enjoy!

Chinese Barbecue Chicken

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This post offers an idea rather than a recipe… a simple way of jazzing up plain old chicken. Take a stroll through a grocery store which specializes in food items from a specific part of the world, and keep an eye out for items that you can use to spruce up old favorites. That interesting chimichurri you spotted at the South American market? Try it on a hamburger instead of ketchup or mustard. The plum sauce you found at the Asian grocery store? Give it a whirl on your favorite meatloaf recipe. Today, I’m having fun with a jar of Chinese barbecue sauce.

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Chinese barbecue sauce is very, very different from any American-style barbecue sauce I’ve ever tasted. While the ingredients vary from one brand to the next, the jar I selected contains fermented soybean paste. This gives the barbecue sauce a very salty, very earthy flavor – overall, the taste is strong and powerful. A little goes a long way… don’t get carried away. You can always add more sauce to whatever your preparing later!

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To create the meal shown at the top of this post, I started with one pound of chicken tenderloin strips (any boneless chicken will work just the same). I placed the chicken in a greased pan and baked it for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. After removing the chicken from the oven, I shredded the chicken using two forks. Finally, I stirred in about 1 cup of Chinese barbecue sauce, and served the coated chicken over cooked jasmine rice. It was delicious. I hope you give this, or something similar, a try. If you find a new use for an unfamiliar condiment, please post a comment below. I’d love to hear about it!

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