My husband is getting on my nerves w/ his dinnertime complaining. Husband has requested no more "PLAIN CHICKEN". Apparently Zuni = plain, Beer Can = plain, Chicken w/ 40 gloves of garlic = plain, Chicken, mushroom fricassee = plain, etc. Apparently I need something that completely obscures the presence of chicken.
The last chicken dish that made him happy was chicken pot pie. He usually likes cordon-blue-type chicken preps, but too much ham and cheese are defying the whole reason we eat so much chicken (low-fat).
Recipes that use breast only, are not loaded w/ fat, and will reheat nicely for leftovers would be appreciated. I ususally do the chicken dish on Sunday, so time-consuming is OK. I'll be using organic chicken which normal people would enjoy plain ;-)
We have a few chicken dishes we enjoy that have different spicing than the "boring chicken" routine.
I like to make grilled chicken w/ a curried yougurt sauce. I throw about 2 tsp curry pwdr or garam marsala in 1/2 cup yogurt for several chckn breast or thighs. If I have spicy mango chutney on hand, I use that as well. I also sometimes add a bit of garlic, ginger and hot peppers (jalapenos, etc) to the mix. If I think about it, I'll marinate for the day. If not, just throw it together before I heat up the grill.
We also look to a lot of other food traditions to make chicken more interesting. I'll marinate chicken in jerk seasonings and grill.
Thai recipes have a lot of great ideas for chicken...we like a dish w/ a cilantro marinate, baked or grilled. We also have a few green curry or basil chickn stir fries that work well.
Cooks Illustrated has a recipe for a chicken and broccoli stir fry w/ sweet/sour orange sauce that is popular w/ our picky, mostly American food liking teen.
Penelope Casas has a honey-cumin marinade in the Food and Wines of Spain that I use for grilled or baked boneless chicken breasts.
Folks have already mentioned Chicken Piccatta, but we like this version w/ green olives and roasted lemons: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
We also really enjoy arroz con pollo and chicken enchilladas.
I could dig up the ingredients for these, if any strike your fancy.
One thing I like to do with chicken breast is a version of something I used to get at a little Thai place in Portland. You just steam the cubed chicken (actually, I usually nuke it), season with salt, and place on a serving platter atop lightly steamed cabbage and broccoli, and then top it with peanut sauce (which is the easiest thing in the world to make).
There's a nice recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens New Dieter's Cookbook for "Cheesy Chicken Rolls," which might satisfy the desire for the cordon-bleu-type stuff without defeating the purpose of eating the chicken. It's stuffed with parmesan, mushrooms and pimiento, and rolled in just a little bit of breadcrumbs before you bake it. They're actually really nice.
I'd also guess you could do Bittman's herb-roasted chicken parts with just breast. i generally make it with hindquarters or thighs, but I'm sure it'd work with breasts if that's what you wanted.
I love my mom's chicken salad! My Dad is a man's man (read: farm boy raised on steak and potatoes) and he LOVES this meal. It is definitely the most frou frou thing that he eats. I usually just eyeball it, but here goes:
Poached Chicken (I use whatever I have on hand. Today I am using a whole chicken, but sometimes I use just the breasts), cubed
red grapes, sliced in half
1 stalk of celery, diced
salt and pepper to taste
The proportions are all to taste. I don't glop mine with too much mayo. Tip: I make a very large batch, dicing and mixing everything but the mayo and then I add the mayo an hour or so before serving and only to the portion to be eaten. That way, if there are leftovers they don't get watery in the fridge over night.
Almond-Lemon chicken from Southern Living. My daughter begs for this. I leave out the butter, w/no problem. It is good.
Also, try this article & recipes from Fine Cooking:
Non-plain chicken recipes:
1) Garlic and mustard encrusted chicken:
Make a marinade of equal parts olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard of your choice, 2 parts fresh parsley and however much garlic, salt and pepper you like (I like a LOT of garlic), put it through a food processor and dip your chicken in that and then breadcrumbs before baking. This works wonderfully on any cut of chicken and on plenty of vegetables (big brocolli pieces, quarters of a fresh pepper, asparagus... yum). This is what I use as my basic chicken recipe and its soooo good, and just as good the next day cold. Don't be afraid to let the sauce be a little gloppy when it first goes on.
2) Sugar and spice baked chicken (or shrimp, this is excellent on shrimp).
Mix the following in a bowl:
1 cup sugar
2 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1½ inch slice of ginger, minced
½ tsp each cayenne (or red pepper flakes) & allspice
2 TB flour
Dip your chicken or shrimp in this dredge LIGHTLY. It should barely glisten over the meat, or else it will get gloppy and gross. Bake however long your meat needs it (I usually make this as an hors d'ouvre and make little cubes of chicken on sticks so I can't really tell you how long for a breast).
When your meat is cooked, squirt lime juice all over it -- this recipe is honestly no good without the lime juice, you NEED the lime juice. It's really delicious... when I serve it as I described above, people generally suck on the sticks.
3) Balsamic Honey chicken
This is Giada's, but I'd use less sugar than she calls for. Very good cold (actually I think it's better cold than it was hot).
4) This is a great stuffing for just under chicken's skin:
1 cup low fat Ricotta cheese
1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp basil
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp salt
Adrienne, I just tried your Sugar and Spice with Shrimp. Awesome flavor but I did it on a cookie sheet, big shrimp, and much of the sugary coating melted off - but still very tasty. Is that typical or should I have used a different pan, skewered them maybe? They were fabulous, just the pan was left with lots of sugary drippings. The coating didn't get crispy or anything, shouldn it have? Wouldn't think with shrimp since they cook quickly. But what about chicken, dieing to try that now. What an awesome flavor, that sweet but spicy. Thank you.
When I make this I do skewer the shrimp or cubes of chicken, which does hold the meat a little away from the pan and might make it easier for the meat to lose the extra dredge, but I think the main "trick" is just dipping the meat into the dredge very lightly, because the less you use, the less drippy it gets, and the more crispy the coating gets (when I say crispy I don't mean very crispy like fried food, just a little nice textured carmelization on top). I haven't done this before, but if you wanted to do it on chicken breasts, maybe it would be best to cook them over something with holes in it so that the extra sugar can drip off?
The oil confused me initially as well (this is an adapted recipe from a cookbook; I changed the spicing a little but kept the basic mix). The way I handle it is to mix all the dry ingredients together well, then add the oil carefully so that it doesn't clump up all in the middle, then I use a fork and beat it in. The ratio of sugar to oil is high enough that it really just winds up moistening the mixture -- kindof like making flavored or colored rimming sugar for a margarita, if that helps you picture it at all. Bottom line, use a fork or whisk and give it a good going-through.
The quantity I posted was based on an original recipe for 24 jumbo shrimp, but in my opinion you can spread it way thinner and have it be just as good (or even better). I've used that amount of dredge on a whole package of chicken (like 8 thighs, chopped into 2X2 pieces), and still had plenty left over. It should really only be a little bit of mix on each piece.
I wish my answers were more direct...but if you make this recipe anyway you won't be sorry, it's delicious. Good luck!
Totally agree with the mole suggestions - Trader Joe's has the red mole in a bottle these days (at least in No. Cali), and I like the flavor better than the moles available at other grocery stores.
I have a couple other suggestions - chicken divan (many recipes out there, which you can lighten up by using milk or half and half instead of cream). With the addition of white wine and Parm on top, it makes a wonderful dish, which also gives you fiber and nutrition from the broccoli. The other item I make are chick kabobs. Cut up chicken breast into chunks, and marinate for at least an hour at room temp (or longer, refrigerated) in a mixture of plain yogurt, salt, pepper, paprika, dissolved saffron, minced garlic, a sprinking of dried onion or shallots, and poultry seasoning. Add the juice of a lemon, and stir all. Thread onto skewers and grill, outside or in. He won't find that boring, and the chicken retains its moistness from the yogurt.
My husband's favorite is deviled chicken thighs - I've also made the recipe with cut-up chicken breast. You could probably up the health factor by using olive oil instead of butter. As far as leftovers go...I don't know that I've ever had a chance to reheat them, as I've been known to sneak then straight out of the fridge - first thing in the morning! I'd bet they're pretty good, though.
Curry Chicken Kabobs
Preheat the Grill – Medium temperature
6-8 Water Soaker Wooden Skewers
1 1/2 lb of cubed chicken breast – large 3 inch cubes
1 T Garam Masaala 1T Hot Paprika
½ Cumin 1T Turmeric
½ T Cardamom Whole Seeds
¼ Tsp cinnamon
2 T Fenugreek
Grind all of the spices in a separate blender for spice only (tip! Clean –blend bread)
4 cloves garlic
1 C fresh cilantro
2 Serrano Chiles-seeded or less if you wish less hotness
2 C of non fat plain yogurt
In a blender – mix all of the herbs and 2T of the spices (package remaining spice for another time) until coarse then add the lemon and the 1 cup yogurt – puree for several minutes. Then a large jar place ¼ of the cubed chicken and a layer of the sauce mixture, alternate layers and top with remaining sauce.
Let this marinate for at least 24 up to 3 days in the refrigerator at least 6 hours prior soak the wooden skewers.
When you are ready to grill- make sure to preheat and lightly oil the grill. While the grill is heating:
Skewer the meat and put any remaining sauce in a bowl to brush on while grilling BUT, make sure that the sauce has a chance to cook or you will CROSS CONTAMINATE!
Unless you’re going to cook it, throw away any remaining sauce since it has had raw chicken in it.
Grill chicken kabobs for 6-7 minutes per side – test for doneness- but don’t’ over cook
Prepare in advance:
Seed and chop (don’t grate) a large cucumber and mix it with 1 cup of the plain non fat yogurt seasoned with salt and pepper to your taste – add red pepper flakes for zip!
Sliced tomatoes & carrot curls
Sliced thin red onion Or green onion fine strips
Sliced paper thin and seeded a jalapeno pepper & red bell pepper
And whatever other fresh veggies you wish
In flour tortilla wrap or Nan place grilled chicken cubes with the sauce, and the veggies. A favorite around here and not the usual chicken dinner...
Oh, I'm cooking plenty of other protein, but there are 7 days in a week. I'm Absolutely Not married to boneless, I prefer to do it bone in. However thighs and legs have 3 times the fat as a chicken breast. I might as well eat pork chops from a fat content standpoint. Plus husband does not like dark meat, although I (unfortunately) do.
Voice of dissent, noted, though ;-)
jfood is a dark meater. Mrs jfood and the little jfood are white meaters. It's a wonderful world. Jfood agrees that there is waaay more fat in dark meat, but a little knife skills go a long way.
Take a good look at the thigh/leg combo the next time. You can see a tremendous amount of fat. Now take a good sharp boning knife and go for it. Forst around the edges, this is the low hanging fruit. Flip over so the skin side is down and look carefull around the edges, you will find evn more the cut off. Last but not least is the joint where the leg meets the thigh. You will find a strip of fat running across this joint. The end result probably cuts out more than 50% of the fat in the leg/thigh section.
The jfood cooks. No this will not equal the boneless-skinless breast but if you love the flavor of dark meat, this is where jfood has reached the compromise.
Same here jfood. I can't live without my dark chicken meat, so I've learned to defat it as best as I can. I also pull the skin off, and find that most recipes are just as good, if not even better, without the skin. Especially grilled or broiled. The outside of the meat gets a bit crunchy and ....mmmmmm!
I just looked at a couple of calorie/fat charts... yes the thigh does have about twice as much fat as the breast, two grams instead of one, but a pork chop was listed at nine - a far cry from an equal amount, unless I'm looking at it wrong.
I feel sorry for you, my dad is a very picky eater, as is apparently your husband. It drove(drives) both my mom and stepmom nuts. They smile when he comes to my house for dinner and has to follow the rules he laid down a long time ago..... you will eat what is served you.
BBQ chicken pizza is a favorite in my house. Poach chicken breasts, shred and mix with BBQ sauce. Top any pizza dough (I like the raw whole wheat dough from Trader Joe's) with more sauce, the chicken, caramelized onion and just a small amount of any cheese you like. After it's baked, sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
This is another one of Ina's recipes....We love it, and you can serve it hot or at room temperature: Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese - loosen skin of 3 whole bone-in, skin-on breasts. Tuck 2 or 3 slices of Montrachet goat cheese with garlic and herbs under the skin plus a large basil leaf. Rub each breast with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Bake on a sheet at 375 for 35-40 min.
My first thoughts were chicken fajitas and making yakitori (Japanese skewered and marinated chicken; the sauce has mirin in it and is delicious and different) or satay with peanut dipping sauce. Adding some heat and different spices with the fajitas or putting the chicken on a stick with yummy sauce are ways to make boring chicken not so boring. I read somewhere once that putting food on a stick is a sure fire way to get kids to eat new things or make meals seem fun, but I think this is equally true for adults, or at least for me. And yakitori and satay are sooooo good. They'd both reheat well and could even be de-skewered and tossed into a salad or pita for lunch.
I make chicken enchiladas that are deceptively simple. I start by browning about 3 pounds of chicken (about one chicken worth, 4 breast with bones in would do just fine -- using bone in chicken is a key for this recipe because the little bit of collagen/gelatin you'll get from the bones gives the dish that unctuous quality that is so wonderfu ) in some oil on all sides. Remove the chicken and pour off most of the fat, then add about a pound of tomatillos (canned works if you don't feel like prepping fresh) and break them up a bit. Add any combination of jalapenos and serranos (I usually go with two of each and test them to determine how much of the seeds I leave in). You can also just go with a good salsa verde at this point instead of the peppers. When it comes to a simmer, put the chicken back in and braise it for 45 minutes or an hour on low heat, covered. Then I pull the chicken out and let it cool enough to handle. Let the sauce reduce a bit while the chicken cools, then shred the chicken back into the sauce.
Warm some corn tortillas, put a base of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and fill the tortilas with the chicken mixture, rolling them so that they are seam side down. Fill up the dish and pour the remaining sauce over the top. They work wonderfully just like this, but get better with cheese on top. Jack, or any smooth melting not too strong cheese is great. Bake them at 350 or 375 for about 15 or 20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. These freeze great, are delicious at pretty much any temperature and have tons of flavor.
I tried your recipe this weekend. We BOTH liked it, so THANKS!
I couldn't find any tomatillos (I was surprised, it's a good store), so I used a jar of bought salsa verde. I really needed two jars. I also sauteed some extra onion and a zucchini just after the chicken was browned and before I added the salsa. I thought the corn tortillas were key...the corn flavor really came through and was nice with the slightly spicy chicken. I used a combo of goat, swiss, cheddar, and manchego on top. (we had a party recently) The only thing I had some problems with...the tortillas wanted to break open after I rolled them. What did I do wrong? I warmed them briefly in the microwave before filling. Anyhow, the cheese covered my tortilla sins.
I make a chicken piccata from cook's illustrated that is so delicious. I have given the recipe to 4 or five people and everyone, without exception, has said they get raves when they make it. If he doesn't like it buy him a rotisserie chicken or let him eat cake.
Use 1 1/2 lbs of chicken cutlets or, 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts: remove tenderloin and slice in half horizontally to create thin cutlets.
Adjut the oven rack to lower middle postiions and set a large heatproof plate in rack and heat oven to 200 .( I use my warming draw).
Cut two large lemons from pole to pole. Trim the ends from 1/2 and cut crosswise into slice 1/8 inch thick.
Sprinkle bothh sides of cutlets generously with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.
Heat a heavy 12 inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and swirl. Saute cutlets on one side without moving about 3 minutes until lightly browned.
Turn over and brown other side. transfer to heated plate in oven or warming draw.
Add additional oil (2T) to pan and cook remaining cutlets. Transfer to heated platter.
Add 2 tbsp of minced shallots to skillet. cook 30 sec. Add 1 cup chicken broth,,cook until reduced about 1/3 cup. Add juice of remaining 1 1/2 lemons, the sliced lemons, 2 tbsp capers, and simmer 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Swirl in 3 tbsp unsalted butter until melted then add 2 tbsp minced parsley. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately. Sorry to say that it is unlikely that you will have leftovers.
I adore this recipe, too and it's great hot OR cold. When I first read the recipe in Cook's, I thought it said shallots and garlic. (It said "or.") I thought it tasted great with both so that's how I always cook this dish. It's also great that I don't have to go to the trouble and expense of getting white wine -- this dish just uses lemon juice.
A favorite of mine is the braised chicken and spices from Jennifer Brennan's "Original Thai Cookbook." To paraphrase:
make a paste of
5 dried red chilies
1 t shrimp paste
1 stalk lemon grass
5 cloves garlic
5 coriander roots (I use a bunch of stems)
1/2 t salt
1 t galanga powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
(all of which you can adjust to taste)
and fry the paste in oil until it has darkened some, but not burnt. Add 3 pounds chicken on the bone and stir until it's coated. Add a cup or more of water, bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until the chicken is nearly cooked. Lower heat, uncover, and add
1 T tamarind concentrate (I add a bunch more because I love it)
2 T fish sauce
and more salt if necessary. Simmer five or ten more minutes. Serve with rice.
Thanks...that sounds great. I made a Thai chicken curry (as suggested farther up) last night, and it was well received. I thought it was a little one dimensional...i useds the Thai Kitchen green curry paste. It's fine, I've used it before, but your recipe sounds great. I need to make a stop at the Asian market.
I've posted this one before. It's delicious, easy, and very healthy. And it's NOT "plain". If you can't find Israeli couscous (which is a toasted pasta product, and not a grain), substitute pearl pasta.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1”-wide strips
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 habenero chili – whole (for mild), or ½ seeded and chopped (for hotter flavor)
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
2 zucchini, sliced 1” thick
4 small artichokes, halved, trimmed, choke removed (or use 1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts)
8 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned, each half cut into 4-6 pieces.
8 oz. Israeli couscous (or 8 oz. pearl pasta)
Heat the oil in a large pot.
Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil about 4 minutes. Add sliced bell peppers and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add curry powder and sauté 1 minute.
Add crushed and diced tomatoes, broth and habenero pepper. Stir until blended. Add cilantro, zucchini, artichokes and chicken pieces. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer 30 minutes.
Add Israeli couscous. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve.
The ATK chicken enchilada recipe is fantastic.
I'm also (right now) making the curry chicken and cashews recipe that someone posted a link on in another thread. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec... It's still cooking but smells fabulous.
I'll tell you tomorrow how well it reheats.
I may be completely off base here, but is it possible that you're going a bit light on the salt? Chicken is one of those things that people like VERY salty, but they don't necessarily realize it.
I learned this the hard way. No matter how many layers of flavor I carefully crafted, the chicken itself was often still kinda blah. I'll admit, I now put lots of salt on chicken and it makes a world of difference. It needs to go in at the start of cooking to permeate and alter the flavor of the meat.
That's an excellent suggestion, Christnp, but actually I'm the salt freak in the family. Trust me, everything is WELL salted. I think that's why I like the Zuni chick so much. Thank goodness we're both athletes w/ no hypertention problems...last night after I rode I made myself a glass of watered-down, salted pomegranite juice. Foodie Gatorade?
Moroccan Chicken Stew
One large chicken breast, in large cubes and browned. In same pan add half an onion, sliced, saute 1-2 minutes then deglaze with about 1.5 C chicken stock or broth. Add 1t each turmeric, cinnamon, sugar, and ground or fresh grated ginger. Add large cubes of sweet potato, chopped carrot, and .5 can chickpeas (optional). Simmer 15 or so minutes 'til sweet potatoes are tender, then add 1-2 sliced zucchini and cook a further 5 minutes. Season with S&P, a squirt of lemon juice, and serve with rice or couscous.
This dish has virtually no fat, a ton of fiber and vitamins, and my hubby really digs it. :)
Here's a recipe from CookingLight for Citrus Glazed Chicken Thighs that is really good. You can pump up the level of ginger/garlic if your husband really is big on flavor, but mine goes nuts for the gooey glaze, and it's healthy too. http://food.cookinglight.com/cooking/...
how about chicken mole. I would like it very much to cook my own dinner, I do it all
the tim e. I got burned out on chicken when i was growing up, and when I married
my wife she can`t get enough chicken and most of the time I can`t stand it. and there
is more chicken recipes than any other kind. I do like chicken mole.
Of course, my inital reaction was that perhaps he would like to cook his own dinner :) I have two go-to chicken recipes:
(1) chicken curry= chicken breast sauteed in 1 T oil, 1 can of light coconut milk, 2T fish sauce, 1 T red curry paste, sugar to taste, mushrooms, serve over rice with green onions and sprouts
(2) Chicken green chili stew= cooked chicken breast, can of creamed corn, can of navy beans, cup of irish cheddar cheese, cup of milk, 2 cloves garlic, large can chopped green chiles, salt, pepper.
Both are pretty healthy, easy, and reheat well.