Indian Butter Chicken (Instant Pot)

This was delicious!  I mean really, really delicious.  The chicken was so moist, the sauce spot on, and the meal was perfect.  Admittedly, I haven’t found the Instant Pot nearly as fast as advertised.  You will still need to chop and saute, but, and this is key, for this meal, it is totally worth it.

Original recipe source: My Heart Beets Blog

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp butter (or ghee if you have it– I also added a dollop of coconut oil when my pot seemed dry during sauteing)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (I left this out because I didn’t have any and the sauce was perfect)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into large pieces
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup coconut cream

Directions

  1. Saute the onion in the Instant Pot with the butter for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, shortly followed by the spices.
  3. The original recipe suggests searing the chicken at this point.  I skipped this step and my chicken was moist and delicious.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and pepper.
  5. Lock the Instant Pot and set to “Poultry” (the default time is 15 minutes).
  6. Allow the pressure to release naturally (or quick release after a few minutes).
  7. Stir in coconut cream and serve with Basmati rice.

Baked Chicken with Sour Cream and Crispy Panko

This recipe came neatly sorted in a box from Hello Fresh.

Baked Chicken with Sour Cream and Crispy Panko

Ingredients:

  • 24oz chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
  • 1/2 cup plain panko
  • 6 Tbsp sour cream (rough estimate, let taste preference be your judge)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or less, again, this is a preference thing)
  • olive oil, salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you are cooking the sweet potatoes too, pop them in the oven just before your put the chicken in the oven.
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the crushed or minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Toss in the panko, toast it, but quickly turn off the heat. Season with the chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a slightly oiled baking sheet.  Spread sour cream on the top side of each breast. Season with salt and pepper.  Press the panko mixture into the sour cream.  Put in the oven for about 20 minutes (start checking the meat temp at around 15 minutes).

This chicken is surprisingly moist and flavorful.  Enjoy!

Red Curry Chicken

IMG_0678Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into strips or chunks
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2-3 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stepped, caps quartered
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • toasted peanuts and cilantro leaves for garnish
  • cardamom rice

Directions

  1. Whisk together the coconut milk, curry paste, and fish sauce until combined.  Set aside.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet until very hot and add 2 Tbsp oil. Add chicken to skillet and cook, turning once, until the chicken is browned but not cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken to a plate and pour off the fat from the skillet.  Add the remaining Tbsp of oil and the mushrooms, stir-frying over high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic for about 1 minute.  Add the chicken, curry mixture, and the water.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Transfer chicken and curry sauce to a serving dish and garnish with peanuts and cilantro.  Serve over rice with lime wedges.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms are low in calories and packed with nutrients.
  • They are an excellent source of B vitamins and minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and manganese.
  • Mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called L-ergothioneine.
  • They contain more protein than most vegetables.

Source: The New York Times Recipes for Health

Chicken with Mushrooms

For years I thought I didn’t care for mushrooms and I’m not even sure why I thought this.  We didn’t eat a lot of mushrooms at home growing up, and I’m certainly not crazy about them raw in a salad or as a meat substitute on a bun, but even so I have no good reason for this aversion.  Plus, it turns out, that I really like cooked mushrooms. So, the next two recipes I will share are a nod toward this fun-gi (oi! that pun even hurt my soul).

IMG_0677Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken cutlets (I also use breasts and slice them in half myself, but whatever floats your boat)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 lb mushrooms, trimmed and quartered– button mushrooms work or include a variety, I did about half button and half baby portabellos
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (garnish)

Directions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.
  2. Heat a large skillet with 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high.  Cook the chicken until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add thyme, mushrooms, and the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.  Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add wine and broth and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Return chicken to pan, top with parsley, and enjoy.

Serve alongside cardamom rice.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms are low in calories and packed with nutrients.
  • They are an excellent source of B vitamins and minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and manganese.
  • Mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called L-ergothioneine.
  • They contain more protein than most vegetables.

Source: The New York Times Recipes for Health

One Skillet Chicken with Carmelized Onions and Cardamom Rice

Full disclosure, the first time I made this recipe it didn’t come out right.  I used too much cardamom (because I made a foolish substitution) and the flavor was simply too intense.  The chicken was perfect, moist and fragrant, but the Christmas-spicy aroma of cardamom and cinnamon made my nose itch.  My husband said the dish caused him to sneeze.  He was exaggerating, but not by much.  Yet, and this is the important part, we ate all of the chicken and much of the rice– and we ate all that after I made the dish completely wrong!  Clearly this is a recipe with potential; it just needed a better cook.  I vow to try again, to follow the directions, and to master the dish.

This is time consuming, but the second half of the effort is largely hands off which makes it a good dish for company.  Prep ahead, start before the doorbell rings, and then entertain your guests while the chicken and rice simmer in the spices.

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s wonderful cookbook Jerusalem.

Ingredients Serves about 4

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 whole chicken quartered or 2 1/4 lb chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
  • 10 cardamom pods (Here is where I erred.  I couldn’t find cardamom pods– you can order them on the internet if necessary– and so I substituted ground cardamom.  This substitution can work, but you need only a small amount of ground cardamom , use no more than 1 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, but I would suggest starting with just 1 tsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half (My husband thought there was too much cinnamon, but I didn’t.  Use your discretion and taste buds here.)
  • 1 2/3 cups basmati rice
  • 2 1/4 cup boiling water
  • approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • approximately 1/2 cup dill, chopped
  • approximately 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large skillet with available lid, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a mixing bowl and season with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp pepper.  Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.  Mix well.
  4. Set the onions aside, wipe out the pan if necessary, and add the chicken and spices. Sear the chicken for about 5 minutes per side (this part-cooks the chicken and is an important step). Mid step, start boiling the water in a separate pot.  Remove the seared chicken (it is okay to leave the spices and some of the oil in the pan) and set aside.
  5. Add the rice, caramelized onion, 1 tsp salt, and plenty of black pepper to the still hot pan.  Stir together and return the seared chicken to the pan, pressing it down into the rice mixture.
  6. Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. (Now you can start to relax and drink wine with your dinner guests.)
  7. Turn off heat, remove lid and cover pan with a clean dish towel, quickly replace lid to create a seal.  Leave dish undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the herbs, stir, season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy.

Chicken Piccata

DSCF0001This recipe found its way from the Food Network to my dinner plate.  I was hosting dinner club and was looking for a fairly easy chicken entree that wouldn’t require endless time locked in the kitchen.  Voila!  Also, added bonus, this is delicious, moist, bursting with flavor, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already.

Ingredients, serves 3-4

  • about 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used organic chicken, nice hefty breasts that I sliced in half and pounded to roughly equal thickness)
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • flour for dredging the chicken
  • about 6 Tbsp butter
  • about 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (if you don’t have fresh parsley on hand, simply omit, don’t substitute the dried variety)

Directions

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
  2. In a large skillet over fairly high heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter with 3 Tbsp oil.
  3. Add the chicken and cook (about 3 minutes) until nicely browned, flip and repeat on reverse side.  Don’t crowd the pan; add more butter and oil as necessary as you work through your batches of chicken (I have a 13″ pan and didn’t need to add the extra oil / butter, use your judgement).
  4. Once all the chicken is cooked, add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan for flavoring.
  5. Return the chicken (briefly! don’t overcook it) to the simmering pan for that added flavor.  Remove again and put chicken on platter.
  6. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in sauce, whisk.  Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

My Favorite Salad: Chicken, Blue Cheese Dressing

Salad recipes seem silly, I realize, because what is a salad, really, if not the tossing together of the items on hand, but this salad is one of my favorites.
Don’t be put off by the initial prep time; it’s worth it– I promise!

Ingredients for the Chicken

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

Directions for the Chicken

  1. Cut the chicken into 2 inch strips
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together and put in a zip-close plastic bag.
  3. Add the chicken, be sure to coat chicken in mixture.
  4. Squeeze out air and seal bag.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  6. You have a few options when it comes to cooking the chicken.
    • Option 1: Put chicken on wooden skewers. Grill or broil for 3 -4 minutes per side.
    • Option 2: Lay out chicken on grill pan and broil for 3 – 4 minutes per side.

 

Ingredients for Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese (soft, crumbly)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

  • Mix together and keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

Ingredients for the Salad (obviously, use your own judgment and what you have on hand)

  • Lettuce, chopped (I usually use romaine for this salad, but whatever your green of choice)
  • Cucumber, skin on, chopped small
  • Pears, chopped (canned will do if you don’t have fresh) or other fruit– strawberry, whatever is in season
  • Toasted nuts (pecans are my preference, but walnuts or almonds work well, too)
  • Dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • Chopped chicken