Archive for the ‘chicken’ Category

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anita’s meatloaf

March 17, 2020

Did you ever mean to type “meatloaf” but you type “meatload” instead?

I think this is why most people don’t like meatloaf.
Not because of a typo.
Because most meatloaf is just a meatload. Dense, dry, almost painful to eat. Flavorless. Just a load of meat. Without oats or breadcrumbs to bind, veggies to add textural interest, moisture in the form of some condiments inside the loaf, and onions and garlic for flavor, meatloaf can be downright unpleasant.

This meatloaf is different. It is everything I like – sweet, savory, and filling. The meat is kept moist by condiments. Of course, you can use a classic ketchup, but I love the complexity of barbecue sauce, apricot jam, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or mustard.

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my version:

– saute carrots on a med-high heat
– after a while, add minced onions, sour apples, peppers, or whatever you have
– when caramelized, add garlic. turn off the heat when everything is caramelized.
– separately, in a large bowl, add
+ a pound of ground chicken to a half a pound of pork or very fatty beef (like 75/25)
+ a large egg or two small eggs
+ breadcrumbs (maybe a half-cup or so; can use oats, gluten-free cracker crumbs, or anything similar)
+ apricot jam, unsweetened applesauce, mustard, or barbecue sauce to taste. more than you’d think, around a half-cup
+ something savory, like a few drops of fish sauce or worcestershire sauce
+ a handful of dried fruit (apricots, raisins, whatever) and chopped nuts (whatever you have, pistachio or almond)
+ spices – lots of garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground black pepper – or get creative!

my mom’s version:

“I don’t actually have a recipe for the one I make at home frequently…..it’s just a lb. of ground chicken (I like it better than turkey), an egg, about a cup of bread crumbs, about ½ to 1 c. of BBQ sauce to which I add a few chopped dried cranberries and commonly a couple of pinches of smoked paprika. – all of which I mix with sautéed and cooled: ½ large or 1 medium finely chopped onion (sautéed until translucent), 1 or 2 finely chopped celery stalks, and a few finely chopped carrots. I do it differently depending on what I have in the house. In the past I’ve substituted Saucy Susan for the BBQ sauce and I’ve added sautéed sweet potatoes. I bake it in a moderate oven for about 40 min. If I have bacon in the house, I’ll lay that on top before baking.” -Anita

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WHAT TEMPERATURE?

325 = ina garten, alton brown

350 = ellie at food network, betty crocker, spend with pennies, the neelys, brown eyed baker

375 = paula deen

400 = mar-mar-stew-stew, the kansas beef council

425 = bobby flay

if you like a soft meatloaf, go with a lower temperature. if you like a crust, go for a higher temperature. as you can see, everyone has a different preference, and there is no “wrong” temperature for a meatloaf!

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MEATLOAF TIPS:
– DON’T OVERMIX! #1 easiest way to mess up a meatloaf. think of it like a burger – it’ll get weird if you smush it too much.
– let it rest after pulling it from the oven, like a steak or any other meat. cutting it too early will encourage the juices to leave, making a dry meatloaf.
– like the crust the best? form the meatloaf free-form on a baking sheet. you get crust on the top and sides, too! make sure to bump up the oven temp to 400.
– hate the crust? make it in a loaf pan, and leave the heat low, like 325.
– watching your calories? DON’T go with 100% lean turkey meat without at least a little fat, or it will come out dense. you can still make a very healthy meatloaf with just a bit of beef.
– if you’re making it super lean, you can soak bread in milk or veggie stock, and use that instead of breadcrumbs to bind the loaf. that will help keep it from drying out.
– think of texture when you’re planning the veggies. roasted sweet potato adds moisture, nuts and seeds add crunchy textural interest. caramelize some carrots, and leave some less cooked for the consistency.
– don’t skimp on the sauteed veggies! they add moisture, flavor, and texture!
– pan-fry slices of leftover meatloaf for an amazing sandwich.
(tips from my own experience, and bread-soaking tip from the today show)

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE SWEET?
– instead of apricot jam, use mustard, worcestershire, a little fish paste and hot sauce, or another savory condiment. leave out the dried fruit.
– substitute carrots and apples with more savory vegetables, like fennel, cauliflower, grated cabbage, or mushrooms.
– use savory spices. this recipe is totally flexible, and just as good with cumin and chipotle as with smoked paprika and thyme, or hot chilis and green onions. get creative!

MIX IT UP:
– caramelize onions in cider vinegar or a splash of apple juice or honey for sweetness – or add a pinch of baking soda to get them to caramelize faster, according to cook’s illustrated
– go with a theme for the seasoning. curry powder, cashews, and apples? thyme, dijon mustard, and sausage? roasted poblanos, jalapenos, bell peppers, and chili powder for a four-pepper meatloaf? moroccan spice blend? peanuts and sweet potatoes? oregano, thyme, basil, and a little spaghetti sauce? the only limit is your imagination!
– replace some of the ground chicken with ground turkey. replace the ground pork with ground beef or sausage. replace some of the chicken with sauteed mushrooms.
– cook’s illustrated turkey meatloaf calls for a half-cup of grated Parmesan and 3T melted butter mixed into the turkey meat for texture and flavor – but they say never use 99% lean meat, as it will become “pasty” or “mushy and compact” when cooked – they recommend 85% lean

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How does your family make their meatloaf?

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easy shawarma-spiced roasted chicken

January 16, 2020

Simple go-to weeknight roasted chicken recipe.

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

just combine the spices, mix with the oil, pour over chicken, and bake your favorite way

I like getting the oven pre-heated (425 or 450; any lower and the chicken will bake pale and won’t roast,) starting the cast-iron over med-high heat, and scorching the skin until it shrinks up a bit.
Then I flip the thighs, and finish off in the oven. Depending on the size of the thighs, you may only need 10 to 15 minutes in the oven!

adapted by friedsig from Rhoda Boone via bon appetit

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They say to serve with pita, a cucumber-tomato salad with red onion, and a simple tahini-yogurt sauce. I ate it with my fingers, dipped in a tahini-yogurt-lemon-garlic sauce similar to her recipe here. The spices were very subtle – nothing a picky eater would reject – not spicy, or strongly spiced – just a little something different to mix up your roasted chicken routine. For my taste, I would probably double the spices next time, and definitely add the cucumber-tomato salad. And, hey, if you’re too broke or too lazy to eat it with pita, just say you’re being gluten-free and paleo and keto! I’m not broke; I’m just “watching my macros”!

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panko-crusted mustard-thyme roast chicken thighs

March 18, 2019

Easy weeknight chicken! What could be better? I’m including the original, from epicurious, and my own (way better) crispy-skinned version!

MY VERSION:
– preheat oven to 450
– rub chicken thighs with black pepper
– on the stovetop, brown chicken thighs on a smokin’ hot cast iron, skin-side down, til the skin is crispy
– flip thighs, sprinkle with thyme and a little bit of salt, and place in oven til done (about 25 min for small thighs)
– remove thighs, put smoking hot cast iron onto the stovetop on medium heat, and add white wine and mustard to deglaze the pan, maybe some thyme to taste.
– turn off heat, add fresh lemon juice to taste, and pour pan sauce out into another container so the acidity doesn’t mess with your cast iron. serve chicken with pan sauce. great served with a honey mustard dressed salad, or some roasted veggies like orange carrots with tahini drizzle, or even just toss potatoes in the pan sauce and roast them on the side! also great with veggies sautéed in tarragon mustard citrus butter.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:
•3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
•4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
•1/4 cup Dijon mustard
•2 tablespoons thyme leaves, plus 3 sprigs
•8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry
•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
•1 pound medium carrots, scrubbed, cut into 3″ pieces, halved lengthwise if thick
•2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place a rack in highest position in oven; preheat to 450°F. Place panko in a small bowl. Mash butter, mustard, and thyme leaves in another small bowl with a fork (it will be a little lumpy). Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange skin side up a rimmed baking sheet and smear all over skin side of thighs. Working with 1 piece at a time, firmly press chicken, skin side down, into panko so crumbs adhere. Place back on baking sheet skin side up.
Arrange carrots and thyme sprigs around chicken and drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and bake until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked though, 25–30 minutes.
Heat broiler. Broil chicken and carrots just until panko is golden brown and carrots are tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour pan juices over top.

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first recipe adapted by friedsig from the second recipe, which is by epi and bon appetit

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I found the panko crust didn’t get crispy and brown, even when I broiled the thighs for six or seven minutes. My version is way better! You still get that nice mustard and thyme flavor, with a little more depth of flavor from the wine and lemon. Also, instead of the carrots absorbing all that great chicken fat, you get a huge quantity of pan sauce and you can use that to flavor a ton of different roasted veggies throughout the week! Try the Bon Appetit version if you want, but if you want a nice crispy skin, try my version! Tagged “rotation” because I make this all the time.

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peach balsamic chicken skillet (and a vegan alternative!)

August 12, 2018

It’s peach season here, and there is nothing in the world like a fresh, ripe peach. But if you grab some early, not-quite-ripe peaches, turn them into dinner!

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about two pounds of chicken legs or thighs
one medium onion
two to four cloves of garlic
two to three peaches
about a half-tablespoon of balsamic
handful of cherry tomatoes, or some tomatoes from a can (optional)
raw basil (optional garnish)

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Preheat oven to 425.

Heat a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet on the stove on medium-high until very hot. Add some drippings, schmaltz, oil, or butter.

Brown chicken, skin side down, til crispy. (If you don’t eat chicken, heat some coconut oil or margarine, and add veggies cut side down. I have not tried this yet with vegetables, but I bet brussels sprouts cut in half, cauliflower, or something else savory would go great with the sweet peaches. Maybe even some mushrooms for that savory flavor.)

Remove chicken or veggies from the skillet. Add chunks of onions. When beginning to caramelize, add chunks of garlic, or whatever you have in the house, like shallots. Stir often. When cooked, add the chicken back to the pan, along with chunks of peaches, and if you have them on hand, cherry tomatoes. Splash balsamic on top – not much, just a few dashes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well.

Roast at 425, stirring every fifteen minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with veggies and garlic rice, and top everything with fresh basil.

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original recipe by cooking classy and adapted by friedsig.

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Really fantastic. A very August dinner, using everything from the garden or farmers market. I left out the honey from the original – August peaches don’t need sweetening. In fact, this recipe might be too sweet for some. Adding some tomatoes (from a can, or an acidic varietal like calabash or celebrity from your garden) will help cut that sweetness. It’s worth noting that the handful of cherry tomatoes I threw in were totally overwhelmed by the caramelized onion-and-peach flavor. This makes me think that a caramelized onion and peach pie would taste amazing, maybe in the style of a zweibelkuchen!

Adding this to the “rotation” tag because this is as easy as it gets for a sweet and savory weeknight dinner! Next time, I want to try this with brussels sprouts for a vegan peach stew – or maybe even both chicken and veggies?

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bourbon chicken liver pâté

August 17, 2016

“Pâté” feels pretentious, but chicken liver is less than half the price of hamburger meat.

I eat organ meats because:
they’re cheap
they’re delicious
it reduces waste
they’re nutritious (one serving is 280% of your daily need for vitamins A and B12)
did I mention they are cheap?

If you do eat meat, I highly recommend you give chicken liver a try. It’s so quick to cook, and very easy.

One of my favorite preparations has never made it onto friedsig, so here we go: a modification of the classic bourbon chicken liver pâté. This one is modified from epicurious.

– Heat a cast iron pan with about 1.5 T butter, or however much you like. (They say half a stick.)
– Saute a medium onion over medium-low til it caramelizes.
– Add a minced clove of garlic.
– Add one container (~1 lb) of rinsed chicken livers. (Pick off the little globs of fat if you want, but leave some on if you went light on the butter.)
– Saute about 4 minutes on one side, then flip.
– Add lots of fresh or a little dried sage and thyme. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir and add 2 T bourbon.
– Make sure each piece has been cooked on both sides when stirring.
– Cut one of the biggest livers in half. If it’s no longer bloody, mostly cooked, but still pink in the middle, it’s perfect. Don’t overcook – 8 minutes should be plenty.
– Blend in a blender or food processor. Do NOT add the liquid unless you want a drinkable pate – just the liver and onions. You can add the liquid as needed to blend into a thick consistency. I like to add a dash of heavy cream, but that is optional. Or, like epicurious suggests, scoop it into tiny bowls and add a little melted butter over the top.

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modified from epicurious

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You can serve this as a dip with cut up veggies, crackers, or toasts. You can use this as a sandwich spread – great with lots of fresh greens and herbs. You can roll this up in greens and make it into finger food. You can add a little to make a sauce richer, or to sneak it in if you don’t like the taste. You can eat it with pasta. You can layer it in casseroles like any other meat. Just try a little spread on a cracker!

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honey mustard chicken salad

August 15, 2016

really fast and easy.

cooked chicken
mayonnaise
honey
sour cream
dried cranberries
pecans
green onions and/or onions
lemon juice
mustard (dry or prepared)
salt & pepper
optional parsley
optional celery seed

optional chopped celery, or radishes, or something for crunch

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recipe by schnucks

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back to basics. adding this to my chicken salad rotation for the fall, along with chicken salad with spinach, apple, and dill, and coconut lime chicken salad.

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chicken salad with spinach, apple, and dill

May 22, 2015

breast meat of 1 whole roasted chicken (stuffed with half a lemon, fresh oregano, and a few cloves of garlic), shredded with 2 forks
1 small package organic dill
1 sour green apple, like granny smith
1 pinch crumbled feta (optional)
1 spoonful sliced kalamata olives (optional)
minced raw garlic and/or minced scallions or onions, to taste
washed raw spinach leaves, torn into small pieces

salt to taste

combine all.

add a bit of mayo, then slowly add enough plain (unsweetened!) yogurt to lightly coat, and lemon or apple cider vinegar to taste
if dry, add a splash of vegetable stock or chicken broth.

chicken salad with spinach, green apple, and dill