Tag Archives: chicken

Low-Carb Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

1-recipe

Today’s dish isn’t much like the original recipe. It is “inspired by” the clipping, but there are several significant differences: I don’t have a Dutch oven, I added strips of chicken, and I substituted spiral-sliced yellow squash and zucchini instead of using actual fettuccine noodles. The “thick” slice produced by my Veggetti slicer makes a pretty good pasta substitute!

Finding ways to make recipes low-carb is a challenge on several fronts. In recipes like this, which have a thick sauce, the biggest issue is water content. Vegetables tend to release liquid, where rice and noodles would absorb it. I’m still working on ways to alleviate this issue. I’ve had decent results with roasting vegetables, and less success with salting them. For this recipe, I chose to blanch the spiral-sliced vegetables in boiling water for 2 minutes, and then drained them onto paper towels. This did reduce the volume of released liquid, but the sauce still became thinner than I wanted. Perhaps next time, I’ll skip the “pasta” altogether and simply toss the alfredo sauce with a selection of primavera vegetables. :)

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 medium yellow squash and zucchini, spiral-sliced and boiled for 2 minutes
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

2-chicken

In a medium skillet, combine the sliced chicken, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper, and sauté over medium heat until thoroughly cooked.

3-butter

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.

4-cream

Whisk in the heavy whipping cream, and heat gently to a simmer.

5-parmesan

Add the Parmesan cheese, and whisk until thick and creamy.

6-veggie-pasta

Remove from heat, and toss with the chicken and spiral-sliced vegetables.

7-finished

Serves 4.

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Low Carb Chicken Broccoli Casserole

1-recipe

Doctor’s orders: it’s time for us to start cutting carbs. This is fine: I want to do what’s necessary to maintain good health. It does pose a challenge with some of these old recipes, however. Nobody cared about carbs when most of these were written. I’m going to have to find ways to adapt the recipes without sacrificing enjoyment or flavor. The basic truth is that if it’s not tasty, we won’t eat it. Health food shouldn’t make you miserable. Life is too short for that.

Ingredients-wise, today’s recipe is pretty similar to the Chicken and Broccoli Casserole I found earlier. This recipe is in my grandmother’s handwriting, so my guess is that she and my mother created a variation of their own and wrote it down. There are no biscuits on top, and this recipe calls for cream of celery rather than cream of chicken soup. The seasonings are the same, but they differ in proportions. For this casserole, I used leftover shredded chicken from a whole chicken I had cooked previously. We never make it through a whole bird in one evening, so I strip the leftover meat from the carcass and freeze it for just such occasions.

In order to make this recipe low-carb, I replaced the rice with “cauliflower rice”. For those unfamiliar with this substance, it is generated by finely chopping raw cauliflower into tiny chunks, which are texturally similar to rice. I highly recommend using a food processor for this, unless you like spending a great deal of time chopping cauliflower. :) The chopped cauliflower is blanched in boiling water for about 5 minutes, to soften it, and is then served in the place of rice. The flavor is not the same, but the texture is good enough for now – especially in a casserole, where everything gets mixed together anyway.

One key factor to be aware of with cauliflower rice is that it does not behave like rice in the presence of liquid. Rice absorbs liquid and increases in volume as a result; cauliflower rice tends to release liquid in small amounts, and may shrink ever so slightly. Note this carefully, and adjust your own recipes accordingly when using this substitute.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cauliflower rice
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-caulirice

Grease an 8” x 8” x 2” Pyrex baking dish, and spread the cauliflower rice in the bottom.

3-chicken

Place the chicken on top of the cauliflower rice.

4-broccoli

Sprinkle the broccoli on top.

5-sauce

In a medium bowl, combine the cream of celery soup, egg, mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, milk, celery seed, salt, and curry powder.

6-in_casserole

Pour this sauce over the casserole.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

7-finished

Serves 4.

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Southwest White Chili

1-recipe

I played with this recipe a little bit as I was making it. I began by adjusting the quantity of beans: my supermarket didn’t carry 19-ounce cans, and I felt a bit silly leaving half a can of beans sitting in the refrigerator. This led to me increasing the amount of green chiles (wouldn’t want that flavor to be weak), adding more onion, and increasing the amount of spices. I’m very happy with the result, and I think I’ll keep the rewrite. This chili is a win in my book!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white kidney beans, drained
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Sour cream to garnish

Directions:

2-chicken

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chicken and onion in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes.

3-broth

Add the chicken broth, green chiles, beans, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and red pepper, and reduce the heat to low.

Simmer for 2-3 hours, adding water as necessary.

4-finished

Serve topped with sour cream and green onions.

Serves 4-6.

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Crispy Dijon Chicken

1-recipe

I enjoy (and sometimes miss) my grandmother’s style: she had the acerbic wit of a stand-up comic, and the tact of a charging rhino. The notation on this recipe is very much in her mode; the bottom of the card reads “see OVER, for another bland recipe.” On the reverse of the card is another recipe, with another note at the bottom: “see OVER, for another delicious chicken recipe.” Naturally, I decided to go with the “delicious” recipe. After all, if Grandma said it was good, she was probably right.

I highly advise you to use a properly pungent Dijon mustard for this dish. The flavor comes through beautifully, and adds a great “zing” to the chicken. The crumb coating actually does become rather crispy when cooked, which is nice to find in a non-fried preparation. I did reduce the oven temperature and increase the cooking time, because I found that the original directions caused my chicken to become a little bit black on the bottom. I removed the offending portion of the breading and all was well, but the temperature modification should prevent this issue.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup evaporated low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I used entire boneless skinless breasts in the pictures, as I was only feeding 2 people)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-milk

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the mustard and evaporated milk.

3-crumbs

In a separate shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

4-dip

Dip the chicken in the mustard mixture,

5-bread

then coat in the bread crumb mixture.

Place the chicken on a greased baking sheet, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

6-finished

Serves 6.

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Sesame Chicken

1-recipe

Hooray for weekends! This one couldn’t come too soon… the week has been a little more hectic than I would prefer, and I’m happy to have a small break. Perhaps I’ll make a batch of homemade caramel corn over the weekend to relax. Watch this space. :)

I’m really pleased and impressed with how today’s recipe came out. The original card has a question mark and a note of “T.M.” by the sugar amount. Working on the assumption that this meant “too much”, I added sugar to the sauce slowly, and found that it was really delicious with only half of the recommended amount. I also made a slight change to the chicken: instead of using chicken wings, I cubed a couple of chicken breasts and used them instead. I have nothing against wings, but I didn’t have any in the freezer, and they are less convenient to eat than pre-boned meat.

The flavor of this dish is excellent. The ginger has a fairly strong “bite”, which is well balanced by the honey and sugar. The garlic is less of a flavor than an aromatic, and the sesame seeds are primarily cosmetic. When I make this next, I may try either toasting the sesame seeds or adding a bit of sesame oil to bring out the flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-make_sauce

In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, sugar, water, honey, ginger, sesame seeds, and garlic.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes.

3-in_pan

Place the cubed chicken in a 13” x 9” Pyrex baking dish, and pour the sauce on top.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, basting occasionally.

Serve over white rice.

4-finished

Serves 4.

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Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

1-recipe_card_1 2-recipe_card_2

Once upon a time, my grandmother, my mother, and I took on the task of organizing the recipe collection. This primarily consisted of trimming old clippings and pasting them onto recipe cards. I was somewhere around 9 years old at the time, and my job was to make sure that each recipe had a title written somewhere. Hence the awful handwriting heading this particular card. :)

There are a few things which automatically set off my suspicions, and mayonnaise in a warm dish is one of them. I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe, however: it is quite delicious! I made a few alterations to the original: since both the broccoli and chicken spend at least 40 minutes in the oven, I do not feel that there is a need to pre-cook them. Using raw broccoli produces a much more satisfying texture, and while pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken could be used in this recipe, it is not required. Also, when I had mixed everything together in the first step, I felt that the ratio of sauce to content was rather high, so I doubled the amount of broccoli. More vegetables are never a bad thing.

A note for the home cook: do not follow the original instructions for the final bake time! If you add the biscuits and then bake for another 25-30 minutes, they will burn. Use your own judgement, and remove the casserole when the biscuits are a nice golden brown. Mine took 13-14 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cubed chicken breast
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated biscuits
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

3-mix_all

In a 2-quart casserole dish, combine the chicken, broccoli, cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and curry powder, and mix well.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

4-top_cheese

Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the grated Cheddar cheese.

5-add_biscuits

Separate the refrigerated dough into individual biscuits, slice each biscuit in half, and arrange the biscuit halves around the edge of the casserole.

6-topping

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, egg, celery seed, and salt.

7-add_topping

Spread the sour cream mixture over the biscuit halves.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown.

8-finished

Serves 4.

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Chicken Divan

1-recipe

According to the top of the clipping, this recipe is from 1956. Food has changed a lot in the last 58 years: people are encouraged to eat “heart-healthy”, to “get their 5”, and to substitute, substitute, substitute. Fad diets have taken over the horizon, and many people now define themselves not by who they are, but by what they do not eat. To quote Jesse, the little boy from the Simpsons episode “Lisa the Tree-Hugger”: “I’m a level 5 vegan – I won’t eat anything that casts a shadow.” For the times, they are a-changin’.

This old but good recipe would probably chill some modern health activists to the bone. 1/4 cup of butter? 1/2 cup of heavy cream?! Heresy! Chaos! Run for your well-toned carefully balanced lives!!! I’ve been reading this interesting webpage on the Illustrated History of Heart Disease. While I feel that some of the information presented has been carefully curated to support the author’s point of view, I did learn a few things about the background of modern eating practices that I wasn’t aware of. Check out the link and form your own opinion; as for me and my house, we shall eat butter (specifically, delicious grass-fed Kerrygold Irish butter), and enjoy our lives.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, trimmed and cut into 4-inch spears
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled and whipped until it holds stiff peaks
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • Lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

Directions:

Preheat the broiler.

2-blanch_broccoli

In a large pot, cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, and drain.

3-melt_butter

In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat.

4-make_roux

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

5-add_broth

Add the chicken broth, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

6-add_cream

Fold in the well-whipped cream, sherry, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

7-broccoli_with_sauce

In a 2-quart dish, arrange the broccoli and pour half of the sauce over it.

8-add_chicken

Layer the chicken on top of the broccoli.

9-add_sauce

Stir 1/4 cup of the Parmesan into the remaining sauce, and pour it over the chicken.

10-parmesan

Top the casserole with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Place the casserole in the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

11-finished

Serves 6.

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Rolled Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1-recipe

Ever run into one of those recipes that leaves you wondering “What was the chef thinking?”

This is a tasty recipe, make no mistake. It does, however, have one very serious problem: the quantity of filling. In order to fill 5 chicken breasts with approximately 1/4 cup of filling apiece, logically, one requires 1 1/4 cups of filling. This recipe calls for 3 cups of mushrooms and 2 cups of bread crumbs. Even taking into account minor shrinkage of the mushrooms during the cooking process, this is still 5 times too much substance!

The pictures in this post are from my original attempt, which used the “wrong” filling proportions. I have revised the recipe to remedy the quantity of filling, and have also altered the proportions of mushroom to bread crumbs; originally, it was nearly impossible to find the mushrooms in the finished dish. I hope that you enjoy the “new, improved” version!

Ingredients:

  • 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter, plus more to brush chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions:

2-pound_thin

Pound the chicken breasts to between 1/2 and 1/4 inch thickness.

3-in_sherry

Place the chicken breasts in a shallow pan, pour the sherry on top, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4-saute_mushrooms

In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms in the butter until browned, and remove from heat.

5-add_herbs

Add the parsley, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

6-add_rest

Add the bread crumbs, and stir until thoroughly moistened.

Remove the chicken from the sherry, and pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

7-add_filling

Spread about 1/4 cup of the mushroom mixture on top of each chicken breast.

8-toothpicks

Roll up each chicken breast, and fasten with toothpicks.

9-in_pan

Place the breasts in a shallow pan, seam side down, and brush with melted butter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

10-finished

Serves 5.

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Oven-Fried Pecan Chicken

1-recipe_card

Some meals turn out the way that you hope they will. Some, unfortunately, do not. This recipe falls into the latter category. Everything looked promising during preparation, during baking, and even while plating the food. Unfortunately, upon eating the chicken, I realized the fatal flaw of this recipe: butter overload!

As fried-food substitutes go, this isn’t bad. The problem lies with the combination of breading and butter: the pecans make up such a significant amount of the breading that it is unable to successfully absorb the butter. When served, the butter actually drips from the food and makes it slightly messy to eat. I am reluctant to reduce the amount of pecans, because they lend a very nice flavor and texture to the breading. If I were to make this recipe again, I would either cut the amount of butter by half, or simply avoid the problem altogether by spraying the food with a butter-flavored cooking spray instead.

Aside from the butter issue, the texture of the breading is enjoyable, and the flavor is pretty good, although it could use some more “zing”. While no replica can ever truly recreate the crunch of a fried food, the ground pecans in this recipe do a good job of creating an interesting simile. I may attempt this recipe again at a later date, with some experimental modifications, and see if I can bring the entire dish up to standard.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk biscuit mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 frying chicken, cut up, or 3-4 pounds assorted chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-make_breading

In a medium bowl, combine the Bisquick, salt, paprika, poultry seasoning, and pecans.

3-dip_milk

Dip the chicken into the evaporated milk.

4-bread_chicken

Dip the chicken into the breading mixture, and coat well.

5-in_pan

Place the chicken in a 13” x 9” baking dish.

6-add_butter

Pour the melted butter over the chicken, making sure all pieces are well coated.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

7-finished

Serves 4.

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

1-recipe_card

The attentive reader may notice a discrepancy between the title of this blog post and the title of the original recipe card. I have retitled this meal for a very good reason: the recipe here has as much to do with barbecue as this blog does with professional basketball. I was suspicious when I read the ingredients, and my concerns were confirmed when I tasted the sauce-in-progress. To put it plainly: this ain’t barbecue. Not in any sense of the word. It is, however, a pretty decent basic chicken in sweet and sour sauce; I put some white rice on the side, retitled the recipe, and felt better about the whole thing.

I made one other fairly substantial alteration when cooking this meal. The original recipe makes two casseroles of 4 servings each, which then become freezer-dwelling convenience meals. I have a very small freezer, and my casserole dish will not fit in it. So, I halved the recipe, and made one casserole only. The ingredients and directions below reflect my actions, and will generate one meal.

The sauce is good. I can’t deny that. It’s just not a barbecue sauce. I might or might not make this recipe again in the future… it does make a huge amount of food, and the food is good, but it simply isn’t what I was looking for. Oh well: you win some, you lose some. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) bottle ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

2-flour

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and the salt.

3-breading

Coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.

In a large skillet (I ended up changing over to my wok, because it is larger) heat the oil over medium heat.

4-brown

Brown the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and remove from the skillet.

5-onions

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil, and use the remainder to sauté the onion until golden brown.

6-add_others

Add the celery, green pepper, ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar, and mix well.

7-readd_chicken

Add the chicken to the sauce, and turn to coat.

8-cover

Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

9-casserole

In a 13” x 9” casserole dish, arrange the chicken pieces, and pour over the sauce.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Serve on a bed of white rice.

10-finished

Serves 4.

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