Tag Archives: chicken

Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 1: Noodles!

12 Jan

Always on the hunt for tasty lunches to bring to work, I’d bookmarked a few recipes for meals in a jar. They are so appealing! They’re contained, they’re colourful and they’re endlessly adaptable. I could have soup with noodles just about every day in winter so I opted to make that first. I based it on a Michael Smith recipe but made a bunch of alterations to suit my tastes.

soup-prep

Makes 2 meals

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, poached and cubed
1 carrot, shredded
2 large handfuls bean sprouts
3 tb cilantro, chopped
2 tb peanuts chopped (optional)
1 package ramen noodles
2 tb ketchup
2 tb smooth peanut butter
2 tb grated frozen ginger
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb fish sauce
1 ts hot sauce
1 ts lime juice

Directions

1. Mix together the ketchup, peanut butter, ginger, soy, fish sauce, hot sauce and lime juice making a flavour base. Taste and adjust as necessary, keeping in mind you’ll be adding water that will dilute the flavour. Spoon half into the bottom of each mason jar.
2. Layer in the shredded carrot, chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro and peanuts (if you’re using them). Place in the fridge til you’re ready to eat.
3. Two options for cooking the noodles. Just pick based on the size of your mason jar!

a) Place the noodles in a bowl (for the love of all that’s good, discard the sodium-laced flavour packet that comes with them) and pour boiling water over. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Pour off some of the water into the mason jar, cover and shake then pour everything out into the bowl.

OR

b)Break up the noodles in the package and pour them into the mason jar. Pour hot water into the jar, cover and wrap up in a towel. Give the jar a gentle shake and let sit 6-7 minutes.

soup

Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

12 Oct

Every time the seasons change, I start hunting for new recipes. Anything I can toss in the slow cooker in the morning and have ready for dinner in the evening shoots straight to the top of my to-try list. When I came across a burrito bowl recipe from The Kitchn, I was pretty sure it was going to be a hit. It’s healthy, it uses ingredients I have in the house already and appeals to the adults and the foodNURDling. We topped the tender chicken, fluffy rice and kernels of corn and black beans with shredded cheese, avocado and hot sauce. You could also add sour cream, salsa and/or cilantro. I let everything cook for 6 hours, but you could certainly go 8 hours if that’s the timing that works for you. Cook up some rice on the stove, top with all the burrito-y goodness and you’re set!

Makes a lot. Unless you’re feeding a football team, you’ll have leftovers.

Ingredients

1-1 1/2lbs chicken thighs or breasts
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 c chicken stock (plus more for rice)
2 ts chili powder
2 ts salt
1 ts cumin
1 ts pepper
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
1 c corn
2 c rice
Optional: sliced avocado, shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce

Directions
1. Place the chicken, diced tomatoes, stock, chili powder, salt, cumin & pepper in the slow cooker. Ensure the chicken is immersed in the stock/liquid from the tomatoes. Add more stock (or water!) if necessary. Cook on low for 5 1/2 – 7 1/2 hours.
2. When the timer goes off, add in the black beans and corn. Stir everything let it cook for half an hour.
3. In the meantime, cook up the 2 cups of rice (I used jasmine rice, but you can use whatever you have in your kitchen). If you’ve got extra stock, use that instead of water. It’s much more flavourful.
4. When the 30 minutes are up (or are close enough to up) remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with a couple of forks, taking care to remove any small bones. Toss the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir.
5. Grab some bowls and spoon in some rice, then the chicken, beans and corn with a good helping of the sauce. Top with whatever appeals to you and enjoy!

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Salbutes

24 Nov

This is one of my absolute favourite Belizean dishes to make. I first tried them years ago when J’s mom made them for dinner. Instantly hooked. As with many local specialties, everyone makes them just a bit differently and everyone claims their (or their mom’s) way is best. The basics, though: crunchy fried tortillas topped with shredded chicken or pork. The toppings and sauces are totally up to the cook: pickled onions, salsa verde, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, green onion, sliced jalapeno, and cilantro are all popular options. We do ours with thinly sliced avocado, shredded chicken simmered in salsa verde, sour cream, green onion, cilantro and a bit of hot sauce. You can include or omit just about any of the ingredients listed above: it’s truly about your own personal taste. We usually roast a whole chicken so we have leftovers for the rest of the week and shred both wings, a thigh and a breast. (Tip: take the skin off and save it to add when you’re dressing the tortillas. You want it to be crispy.) You could also poach chicken breasts in spice-tinged water – salt, pepper and oregano would be a nice combo.

This recipe makes 10. Two of us can polish that off but we are very full afterward.

Ingredients

10 tostadas (or 10 tortillas, fried)
2 chicken breasts or equivalent, cooked & shredded
1 c salsa verde
2 avocados, sliced
salt & pepper
lime juice
3 green onions, sliced
1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
sour cream
hot sauce, optional

Directions

1. Warm up your tostadas in the oven at a low temp. They have a high oil content, so make sure you keep an eye on them ensuring they don’t burn.
2. Heat up the salsa in a sauce pan til it simmers. Add in the chicken and stir. Allow chicken to warm through, 5-8 minutes.
3. Divide the avocado slices evenly among the warmed tostadas then season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Layer on the chicken, sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Top with dollops of sour cream and, if you wish, dabs of hot sauce.

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Pad Thai

24 Feb

By request, here is a great Pad Thai recipe. Don’t be intimidated: it’s really not too difficult. It’s going to require a bunch of ingredients, but the steps are not complicated. If you can have everything ready, so much the better as once you get cooking, things go quickly. I ended up making this dish twice in a week it was so yummy. Feel free to add more veggies if you want more crunch, or more chili powder if you want it to have more heat (or omit it entirely if you want no heat at all!). You can make it vegetarian by replacing the chicken with tofu or add shrimp for some extra protein: any way you make it, it’s going to taste great.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, sliced as thinly as possible
1 pkg 5mm rice noodles
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 ts cornstarch
1/2 c soy sauce
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3c fish sauce
2 tb tamarind paste
1/4 ts white pepper
1/2 tb chili powder
1 tb vegetable oil
2 eggs
4 c bean sprouts
1/2 c crushed peanuts
6 green onions, sliced
1 c fresh cilantro
4 lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, stir the cornstarch and soy sauce together. Add the chicken, stir to coat and put in the fridge while you get everything else ready.
2. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Be sure to stir the noodles every few minutes so they don’t stick together. Drain and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind, fish sauce, brown sugar, white pepper and chili powder until thoroughly combined.
4. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Then toss in the chicken and its marinade. Cook for roughly 7 minutes.
5. Remove the chicken from your pan and add the eggs, stirring them constantly so they scramble. Once done, add the chicken back to the pan. Cook both the eggs and chicken together for 1 minute.
6. Add the noodles and sauce to your pan. Using two utensils, toss all the ingredients together so they are thoroughly combined. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the bean sprouts and repeat.
7. Divide the Pad Thai among four bowls. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and a lime wedge.

Fresh Canteen Grocery Service

16 Sep

You worked all day. Getting home in rush hour is a hassle and you just didn’t have the time or desire to hit the grocery store. You’re home now and you’re starving. You want to have something healthy for dinner but you don’t have all the ingredients you need so you throw your hands up in the air and pick up the phone and order delivery.

Let’s rewrite this scenario:  you worked all day. Getting home in rush hour is a hassle and you just didn’t have the time or desire to hit the grocery store. You’re home now and you’re starving. You want to have something healthy for dinner…so on your way in the door you pick up the box of ingredients you ordered from Fresh Canteen and prepare yourself a healthy, flavourful, properly portioned meal.

This second scenario sounds more appealing, non?

From six possible entree options, I tried out the Jamaican chicken dinner. The box was delivered Tuesday afternoon and I received an email notification when it arrived. (Note: in speaking with owner Matt O’Leary , he told me that the boxes are packaged with materials and ice packs that allow the ingredients to remain unrefrigerated for up to 24 hours. Additionally, all the materials are recyclable. ) When I got home, I opened up the box to find all the ingredients I would need: two chicken breasts, pineapple salsa vegetables and herbs, 1/2 cup of quinoa and individually packaged spices. Included in the box was a step-by-step recipe card with clear instructions and pictures.

fc box

Food is snug as a bug in its recyclable packaging.

fc menu

Helpful recipe card.

The whole meal, from the time I opened the box to the time I sat down to eat, took 40 minutes. It didn’t require me to use any special kitchen tools and the only things I needed from my own pantry were salt, pepper and vegetable oil.  I wondered if there would really be enough food for two of us but we were quite full – in fact, there actually might have been too much salsa. That being said, having extra red pepper and pineapple salsa on hand is not a bad thing: it makes for a good snack later!

fc chicken

fc veg

fc final

Fresh Canteen is serving most of the GTA thus far, delivering a package of three meals once per week. “We know people are going to order out, too,” Matt tells me, “but at least they can have enough food in the fridge for a few days so they can eat healthy meals at home.” FC is a great service for those who love to cook but don’t always have the time to get to the grocery store. Each week the menu options change and there are fish, chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes from which you can choose. Check them out, folks. It’s a great service run by friendly, knowledgeable people who care about your food as much as you do.

Roast Chicken & Smashed Kimchi Potatoes

13 May

In the mood for something easy, something reliable, but with a twist? Try this recipe from Bon Appétit! I had it whipped up in about 40 minutes from the time I turned on the oven to plating. You can find kimchi in most large grocery stores but I got mine at the Lisa Marie market and it was quite tasty. You could also head on over to Koreatown and have fun going through the markets there!

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1.5 lb small potatoes (new, fingerling, whatever you’ve got)
vegetable oil
salt & pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 jar kimchi (roughly a cup) plus 1/4 c liquid
1 tb rice wine vinegar
4 c greens

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Toss the potatoes with 1 tb of vegetable oil on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes, turning once.
2. Rub the chicken thighs with garlic and season with salt & pepper. Heat 1 tb of oil in a pan to medium-high. Place the chicken skin-side down in the pan and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, 10 minutes.
3. Place the chicken skin-side up on the baking sheet and cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
4. With a large spoon, gently smash the potatoes. Spoon the kimchi over and roast until warmed through, no more than 5 minutes.
5. In the meantime, combine the reserved kimchi liquid, 2 tb of vegetable oil and rice wine vinegar in  a small bowl.
6. Scatter the greens over the chicken and potatoes, drizzle half of the dressing and toss gently. Plate and finish with the rest of the dressing.

chicken kimchi

Chicken Cacciatore

11 Feb

Me: “So what do you feel like for dinner this weekend?”
J: “Chicken cacciatore.”
Me: “…wow. You were prepared for that question. OK – chicken cacciatore it is!”

I haven’t made this dish in years, but it was one of the first dishes I made by myself. To my recollection, it took me something like two hours to make it but it came out well and I was going to add it to my repertoire. Fast forward six years and I’m making it for…the second time. So many recipes, so little time!

Anyway, here’s the recipe I use. It’s a little spicy and very hearty – hope you enjoy!

Serves 4.

Ingredients

6 chicken thighs
2 chicken breasts
1/2 c flour
salt & pepper
3 tb extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet pepper, chopped
1 c mushrooms, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
3/4 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 ts dried oregano
2 ts chili flakes

Directions

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. 
2. Heat the oil in a large pan – I used my dutch oven – to medium-high and brown the meat on all sides (roughly 5 minutes per side). You may need to do it in two batches if you can’t fit all the chicken in a single layer. 
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add in the garlic, onion, peppers and mushrooms and saute until the onions have softened. Add in the wine and let reduce for a few minutes.
4. Toss in the tomatoes with their juices, broth, oregano and chili flakes. Stir, then nestle the chicken pieces into the mixture so that they are covered. Bring to a simmer and then leave it alone for 30 minutes.

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5. Remove the chicken from the pan and stir the sauce. Season to taste and then pour over the chicken pieces.
6. Serve over pasta, polenta or rice.

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