Tag Archives: Chicken

Chicken and Gnocchi Stew

Since my #1 food tester is in college now (yes, hubby is my #2 taste tester) I sometimes have to rely on myself to eat leftovers. Even though I don’t mind eating leftovers for lunch or sometimes breakfast, there are times I have to make them more exciting in order to eat them. That is why I came up with Chicken and Gnocchi Stew. I had a leftover roasted chicken that needed a little tender love and care so it was perfect for a new recipe.

Using an already roasted chicken meant my prep time was cut in half which made pulling the rest of the recipe together easy. Chicken and Gnocchi Stew is mostly a different take on chicken and dumplings. Instead of nice big fat dumplings, there a little plump pillows of potato gnocchi. Gnocchi are right up my alley because I love potatoes. Adding gnocchi also eliminated the need to include potatoes in the stew. It was like a two for one deal!

I put Chicken and Gnocchi Stew in the comfort food category. It is packed with vegetables and protein along a little of the other stuff we shouldn’t eat too often. Fortunately, the best ingredient in comfort foods like this one is love.  Corny but true.

Chicken and Gnocchi Stew

Ingredients:

1 roasted chicken skin and bones removed then shred meat or

2 chicken breasts

2 chicken thighs

3 carrots peeled and sliced

2 stalks celery sliced

1 pkg gnocchi

1 pkg frozen peas

½ onion diced

½ onion sliced

1 can cream of chicken soup

3 cups chicken stock

2 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried parsley

Prepare gnocchi per package instructions. Drain and set aside.

If using chicken breasts and chicken thighs, cook in 4 cups water with 1 tbsp salt for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool then remove skin and bones. Cut into bite-size pieces.

Pour chicken stock into a large pot. Add carrots, celery, peas and onions along with remaining salt, pepper and parsley. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Whisk in cream of chicken soup. Add chicken and gnocchi cook for 15 minutes more. Serve with or over biscuits. Tastes even better the second day.

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White Bean Chicken Soup

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OMGoodness! It is COLD today so what better time to make a big pot of soup. That is exactly what I said to myself on the way to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few items for dinner. I might not have felt so chilled if I had cranked up the heat in the car but that still would not have warmed me on the inside. To make that happen I needed a nice bowl of homemade soup.

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My choice was either chicken noodle soup or a White Bean Chicken soup. I planned to have spaghetti the next day for dinner so chicken noodle soup was out and White Bean Chicken soup was in. Keep in mind I did not have a recipe for White Bean Chicken soup but not having an actual recipe has never stopped me from cooking. So, while strolling the aisles of Trader Joe’s I made up the recipe that would become “the soup”.

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Most soups are pretty easy to make. They are a one pot dish that only needs a little tender love and care and lots of seasoning. Because it was freezing outside I was in the mood for a healthy, hearty soup. I figured the white beans and chicken would make it hearty plus filling with lots of protein while the mirepoix and cabbage would make it healthy. Did I just hear someone say what the heck is mirepoix? Yes, I did. It was my hubby. He asked me this question while I was writing down the recipe when I got home. I was talking out loud to myself trying to remember how to spell mirepoix and hubby asked “What the heck is that?” When I told him it was diced carrots, onions and celery he said “Why don’t you just say that?” My response was I wanted to sound fancy like the chefs on TV. I know. It is always better to keep it simple.

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Simply put, White Bean Chicken Soup is comfort food. Whether it is freezing cold outside or you want a flavorful homemade meal in a bowl, this soup will do the trick.

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White Bean Chicken Soup

 Ingredients:

3 cans cannellini beans rinsed

1pkg sliced pepper chicken

1 container mirepoix (diced onions, celery and carrots)

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups chopped cabbage

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tbsp Adobo

1 tsp thyme

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp lemon pepper

Shred chicken and set aside. Mash ½ cup of white beans (this will help soup to thicken) and set aside with remaining beans.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add mirepoix and seasonings to the pot and stir. Allow the vegetables to sweat for 3 – 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and add white beans then stir. Reduce heat to medium. Mix a spoonful of broth into the measured heavy cream. Add the mixture to the pot. Stir and let simmer 3 minutes.

Place chicken in the pot and stir. Cook for 20 minutes then add chopped cabbage. Stir to mix in the cabbage. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes until cabbage is softened and cooked through. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

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Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup

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Comfort food is good anytime of the year but fall calls for comfort soup. With slight breezes and the crisp sound of falling leaves, soup is a great way to warm up and snuggle. Chicken noodle soup is a very traditional comfort food which my family loves. But, I wanted to make a traditional chicken soup with a slight twist. That is why I decided to make a Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup.

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When it came to choosing a pasta for the soup I didn’t want a noodle so I had to search for a type of pasta that would compliment the soup. Ditalini pasta turned out to be the perfect pasta for the Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup. Ditalini looks like little tubes and they soaked up the chicken broth. Every bite offered an extra burst of broth and flavor.

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One thing I really liked about the Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup was the fact that including the pasta made the soup very filling. A big bowl of soup makes a full meal with a nice chunk of crusty bread. If you want to have the soup with a meal I would suggest you only have a small cup so that you don’t get full too fast. Either way you will definitely have a smile on your face while eating the soup.

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Think about cooking up a big pot of Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup the next time you feel a chill in the air. It will warm you up and put a smile on your face. Remember comfort food is good anytime of the year but fall and winter call for comfort soup.

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Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup

Ingredients:
4 chicken thighs
5 quarts water
3 cups Ditalini pasta (prepare according to package)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup shredded carrots (rough chop)
3 scallions diced (green part included)
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp dried dill
¼ tsp thyme
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Place water, chicken, ½ cup onions and all seasonings except for dill into a large pot. Cook chicken on medium high for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through and is tender. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool for shredding. Once cooled, shred chicken with your fingers and set aside.

Strain chicken broth and place back into the pot. Skim some of the chicken grease from the surface of the broth. Reduce heat to medium. Add the additional cup of chicken broth, carrots, celery, green onions, dill and remaining onions to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken to the broth and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes. You can either place pasta in individual bowls then ladle soup over the pasta so that the pasta stays al dente. Or, you can add pasta to the soup and remove from heat so that the pasta does not over cook.

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Tex Mex Chicken Salad

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Summer is slowly fading which means all the delicious backyard veggies, fresh corn and fresh herbs I grew will also fade away. Before fall settles in I thought I would come up with a dish that we could have year round but would remind me of our hot and lazy summer days. Tex Mex Chicken Salad became my summer reminder.

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Chicken salad was one of my favorite meals growing up. My mom made some of the best chicken salad around and always made little blueberry muffins to go with the salad. It took me a while but I mastered make my own wonderful version of chicken salad. Because chicken is so versatile it can be combined with a lot of different ingredients to make a fantastic salad.

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Tex Mex Chicken Salad combines black beans, corn (the reason I call it Tex Mex) and avocado along with fresh herbs. Lemon and lime juice help brighten the flavors. As always, my family likes heat so I add a little cayenne or chopped jalapeno peppers to spice up the salad.

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Even though summer will fade into fall it doesn’t mean we cannot continue to enjoy the great tastes of summer. Remember, all it takes is a little chicken, a few fresh veggies and memories of those hot, lazy days we enjoyed so much.

Tex Mex Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
4 cooked chicken thighs diced
3 ears fresh corn shucked
2 15oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
5 fresh basil leaves chopped
½ cup small cherry tomatoes
½ cup olive oil
1 ripe avocado diced
1 tbsp red onion diced small
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
juice from ½ lemon
juice from ½ lime

Dressing:
Place olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, cayenne, parsley and cilantro in a small bowl. Whisk together.

Salad:
In a large bowl add chicken, corn, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, salt, pepper, chili powder and basil. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss.

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Buffalo Chicken and Spinach Flatbread

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Cooking with flatbreads is an easy way to get a meal on the table when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare something more complex. I am not a big “pizza” fan but I do enjoy them now and then. The rest of the family can eat pizza any time. If I am going to eat pizza, I want it to be special and not the basic cheese or pepperoni pizza you find every where.

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One of my son’s favorite pizza choices is Buffalo Chicken so I thought I would try making my own version. The great thing about flatbreads is that they are versatile. You can use just about any topping you like on the flatbread and it will taste wonderful. Of course you need to add a few seasonings to give it an extra kick. We like spicy flavors in my family so besides using Buffalo wing sauce on the chicken I also added pepper jack cheese and red pepper flakes to the toppings. Depending your tolerance for “heat” you can add or subtract the amount of spice you use.

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The first time I made my Buffalo Chicken Flatbread we had it for lunch. This turned out to be a very hearty meal with the thick slices of chicken, spinach, onions and cheese. Protein, veggies and dairy! What more could you ask for in a meal? As you can imagine we had a very light dinner that night.

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Look for more flatbread recipes on dmariedining.com. You cannot beat them for a healthy, quick and easy meal!

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Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

Ingredients:
1 14oz flatbread (Trader Joe’s Ciabatta Flatbread)
1 pkg pre-cooked sliced chicken (Trader Joe’s)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup baby leaf spinach
½ cup buffalo wing sauce
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
½ cup thinly sliced red onion or shallots
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp red pepper flakes
salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place chicken in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle buffalo wing sauce over chicken then toss to coat the chicken.

Place flatbread on a cookie sheet then brush flatbread with olive oil. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella cheese over flatbread. Layer flatbread with spinach then sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper. Next layer chicken, onions and remaining cheeses over the spinach. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until cheese melts and turns slightly brown. Let cool for a few minutes then cut with a pizza slicer.

For a crispier crust place the flatbread directly on a rack in the oven. Check flatbread package for full instructions on cooking crust.

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Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad is another family favorite when the weather is warm and no one wants to eat a real heavy meal. Chicken of course is good any time of the year but chicken salad is one of those dishes I tend to make when I need a quick meal and I am too tired to turn on the oven or stove. I like to make Grilled Chicken Salad when my hubby is in the mood to do a lot of grilling. Grilling is his territory not mine so I take advantage whenever hubby is ready to fire it up.

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That being said the last time I made Grilled Chicken Salad for the family I didn’t wait for hubby to grill the chicken for me. Instead, I went to Trader Joe’s and purchased packaged grilled chicken which is actually very tasty with a great grilled flavor. Home grilled is wonderful but if you are short on time check out the grilled chicken at Trader Joe’s.

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Most chicken salad is just chicken and a few veggies. I kick it up another level by adding fruit. Grannie Smith apples, fennel, green grapes and golden raisins provide both a sweet and slightly sour taste to the salad. The combination of sweet and sour along with different levels of texture from the chicken, walnuts and tomatoes made this one of my signature dishes.

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To really put a smile on my family’s face I served the chicken salad on a bed of lettuce then sliced up a little brie and served it with crackers. De-li-ci-ous!

Grilled Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
2 pkgs grilled chicken cubed (approximately 2 cups)
2 boiled eggs
½ cup sliced apples
½ cup sliced fennel
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
½ cup green grapes sliced in half
¼ cup golden raisins
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dill
¼ tsp celery seed
¼ tsp cilantro
¼ tsp parsley
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp ranch dressing
1 tbsp sour cream
juice from ½ a lemon

Remove yolks from boiled eggs and then chop the egg whites. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix until chicken, veggies and fruit are well coated with dressing. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour then serve on a bed of lettuce or with crackers.

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DMarie’s Jambalaya

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Jambalaya is a combination of sausage, seafood and chicken. At least in my recipe. Although Jambalaya is similar to Gumbo there is a slight difference. Gumbo is considered a thick soup or stew you can serve with rice. Jambalaya on the other hand is really a rice dish. Both are delicious with incredible flavors. I like to make Gumbo strictly with seafood not sausage or chicken. However, my Jambalaya is a little bit of everything.

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Although the mantra of dmariedining.com is Healthy, Quick and Easy, this recipe takes some time to make but you won’t be disappointed at the time well spent. Most folks will want to come back for a second helping and the leftovers will be few.

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Good down home cooking is not easy to get in parts of the northeast. I have been fortunate to discover a couple of restaurants along the east coast that have fantastic southern dishes and occasionally Cajun dishes that truly remind me of the South and Cajun country. Unfortunately, I have to travel too far to enjoy those wonderful dishes on a regular basis. So, I am left to create my own versions of those delectable meals. DMarie’s Jambalaya comes close to what I experienced in Louisiana but even I know nothing will ever beat the real deal.

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Still, I haven’t had any complaints so I must be doing something right. Enjoy!

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DMarie’s Jambalaya

Ingredients:
1 14 oz pkg smoked kielbasa sliced
1 14 oz pkg andouille sausage sliced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 lb ex-large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 large onion diced
1 large green pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 10 oz can of tomato puree
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 12 oz bottle “good” beer (Dogfish Head India Pale Ale)

Seasonings:
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp Adobo seasoning
2 tbsp flour
½ tbsp chopped fresh or dried parsley
½ tbsp gumbo file seasoning (if available)
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp basil
½ tbsp thyme
1 tsp old bay seasoning
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Boil chicken thighs in 1 quart of water, ¼ cup of diced onions, 1 stalk diced celery, salt and pepper until cooked all the way through. Remove chicken then drain broth from vegetables. Shred the chicken thighs and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of chicken broth and freeze the rest to use later for soup or another recipe creation.

Brown andouille and kielbasa in 1 tbsp of oil. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Place oil in a large pot and heat over medium heat. Whisk flour into oil and continue stirring until mixture turns to a rich brown color to create a roux. Be careful not to let the roux burn. If necessary, turn down the heat a little to prevent burning. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and beer to the roux. Add seasonings, tomatoes, tomato puree, green pepper and onion. Simmer for 20 minutes then add chicken and sausage. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add raw shrimp and stir into mixture once they turn pink.

Serve with corn muffins.

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Moroccan Chicken

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A little spicy with a nice wave of heat, Moroccan chicken is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. It is a meal unto itself and is a great way to add some pizazz to chicken. Most folks have had chicken at some point in their life unless they are vegetarian. Because chicken is eaten so often at our house I have to come up with new and creative ways to prepare it for dinner.

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I was inspired to create a Moroccan chicken dish after watching a show about Moroccan foods. I was fascinated by the combination of seasonings the chefs used to to produce new flavors. Since I started blogging I have been more adventurous in trying new seasonings and combinations of foods. For this dish I stretched myself and crossed my fingers that I had not gone too far in throwing together seasonings I don’t usually use with chicken.

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I have to be honest. While the Moroccan chicken was simmering on the stove my youngest son came and asked me what was that smell. He told me it smelled good and bad at the same time. He couldn’t quite explained why but said it was unusual. Not a good sign I thought to myself then told him to be patient and wait until he tasted it before he judged it. I figured it was the combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric that may have thrown him off. I just kept my fingers crossed that I was not cooking a flop.

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Not to worry. Once they tasted it I saw nothing but smiles and happy faces. My hubby loved the various flavors and layers of heat. He could not pin point any one flavor he liked but enjoyed the combination of flavors. You know you have a hit when folks want to lick the plate to make sure they get every drop.

Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients:
8 – 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion sliced
1 can spicy diced tomatoes
2 stalks of celery sliced
4 tbsp frying olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup lite coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Seasonings
½ tbsp cumin
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric
½ tbsp thyme
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper

Wash chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat frying pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken in batches and brown. Drain chicken on a paper towel and set aside.

Add onions to pan and saute until translucent. Pour off oil. Add can of diced tomatoes, garlic and 1 can of water. Add remaining seasonings then whisk in coconut milk. Add chicken to the pan and cover. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes then lower heat and let simmer 30 minutes more.

Serve over angel hair pasta or rice.

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Mom’s Fried Chicken

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My mother makes the best crispy fried chicken I have ever eaten. Unlike most people she doesn’t just dip her chicken in flour. Instead, she taught me how to prepare the chicken by making a batter to coat the chicken which makes it nice and crispy.

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It took me a few years to perfect my fried chicken but I knew I had hit my mark when at a family picnic my mom told me my fried chicken tasted as good as hers. That was one of the greatest compliments I could ever receive. My mom is known for her cooking. Besides cooking being her profession my mom just loves to cook. I cannot remember ever having a bad meal growing up unless you count the occasional frozen TV dinners.

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Since I started cooking on my own I have not resorted to fixing a frozen TV dinner for myself or my family. But my son will let me know if a meal does not quite measure up. Thankfully, he loves my fried chicken and says it’s as good as Mom Mom’s.

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Mom’s Fried Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 drumsticks
1 pkg chicken wings or wingettes
2 cups vegetable oil
½ cup flour
½ cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp Adobo seasoning
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
4 – 6 dashes hot sauce

Heat oil to 360 degrees (should be very hot slightly smoking) in a dutch oven.

In a large bowl add chicken, seasonings and hot sauce. Mix to coat chicken. Sprinkle flour over chicken. Gradually add ½ of the water and mix the chicken. Add more water as needed until a thin paste is formed on the chicken.

Slowly add chicken a 5- 6 pieces a time. Do not over crowd the pot. Turn the chicken after 8 – 10 minutes and cook thoroughly. Drain on paper towels

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Chicken Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage

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Light, bright soups are fun to make and wonderful to eat. I recently wanted to make a light chicken soup to take away the chill on a cold winter day. I didn’t want to use pasta and thought Quinoa would be a great substitute for noodles.

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Quinoa has a unique texture and is easy to use in recipes. I have made salads using Quinoa and even created a Spinach Quinoa Cake that was delicious (check it out at dmariedining.com). Adding Quinoa to the chicken soup definitely kept it light and adding Napa Cabbage helped kick up the flavor and nutritional value.

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Next time you have a desire for a quick tasty soup or just want to use the leftover chicken in the frig think about making a nice Chicken and Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage.

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Chicken and Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage

Ingredients:
2 cups chicken pre-cooked
2 cups Napa cabbage shredded
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups Quinoa rinsed
1 bay leaf
½ cup baby carrots thinly sliced
½ cup slice celery
¼ cup red peppers thinly sliced into strips
¼ cup red onion chopped
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp seasoned salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp cilantro
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook Quinoa according to package. Set aside.

Place chicken in a small bowl and season with seasoned salt and onion powder. Set aside.

Add chicken broth, onions, peppers, celery, carrots, bay leaf and seasonings to a large pot on medium high heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium then stir in chicken, Quinoa and cabbage. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with crackers.

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