Tagged: chicken

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been on cruise control for weeknight dinners. After busy days for all of us, including our three-year-old, the most I can muster for our family meal is pasta. Don’t get me wrong—we absolutely love noodles, but even they get a bit old when you have them more than two times a week.

Pizza is another one of our routine favorites. I usually stick to just plain cheese to keep things simple, but last week I decided to revamp my recipe for barbecue chicken pizza. This time I balanced off the sweetness of the barbecue sauce with tomato sauce, and I mixed mozzarella cheese with smoked Gouda.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Makes 1-12-inch pizza

For dough
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil plus more for bowl and brushing pizza
1-1/2 cups bread flour plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For chicken
1-8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

For pizza
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly slices into rings
2 ounces shredded mozzarella
1 ounce shredded Gouda
Cornmeal for pizza stone

In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and process until a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with a pizza stone inside the oven. Place the chicken on a foil-lined sheet pan and drizzle both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes before smearing with 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce. Continue baking the chicken for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Once the chicken is finished, increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Wait 10 minutes and then thinly slice the chicken breast.

In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and tomato sauce.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 12-inch diameter circle. Sprinkle the preheated pizza stone with cornmeal and place the dough on it. Spread the sauce mixture leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top the pizza with chicken, scallions, red onions and cheese.

Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
By now I know I could make chili in my sleep. I’ve had a vegetable & bean-heavy version, along with a few variations that deviate from my standard recipe, on repeat since the first chill in the air a few months ago. I think I’ve been on such a non-stop chili kick because I can whip up a big batch on Sunday and be set for the week with healthy, filling meals.

Yesterday I thought it was time for a change. I left the fire-roasted tomatoes and black beans in the pantry, and I made slow cooker chicken chili with cannellini beans and corn. It could not have been any easier. A little chopping and everything went into the slow cooker. About 4 hours later I had a spicy bowl of hearty white chili and plenty of leftovers.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Adapted from The Kitchn

Serves 6 to 8

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 4-ounce cans diced green chili peppers
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or both
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 13.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Shredded monterey jack cheese, sliced-jalapenos, cilantro for serving

Combine the onions, celery, diced green chili peppers and garlic, in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Nestle the chicken into vegetables. Add the cumin, coriander, oregano, salt and bay leaf followed by the chicken stock. Cook on high for 4 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cook time, add the beans and corn.

Take the chicken out and shred it with a fork before returning it to the slow cooker. Divide the soup into bowls and top with cheese, jalapenos and cilantro before serving.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken
I know this sounds ridiculous, but I feel responsible for our neighborhood Chinese restaurant going out of business. For a long time when I walked by I noticed they were never full. I figured they must have had a booming takeout business to balance out the handful of occupied tables. Clearly I was wrong. Of course I don’t know what happened, but the lack of orders, including me, must have led to the shut down.

Now that I don’t have Chinese food right outside my door, I’ve been craving it A LOT. Instead of finding somewhere else to order from, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Besides cashew chicken, kung pao chicken is one of my favorites, so I made my own version of this spicy, sweet and salty classic. Served with brown rice, it turned out to be an easy weeknight stir-fry that was healthier than ordering takeout.
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken

Serves 4

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 scallions, sliced thinly, white and green parts separated
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 dried red chilies, halved
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces broccoli florets
1 cup salted roasted peanuts
Cooked brown rice for serving

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, salt, pepper and cornstarch. Add the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Cook the chicken in a single layer until it has browned and is almost cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the wok and transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining vegetable oil to the wok. Sauté the white parts of the scallions, ginger, garlic and chilies until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the peppers and broccoli sautéing until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, peanuts and remaining soy sauce simmering until it has thickened, about 2 minutes. Toss in the scallion greens and serve with rice.

Grilled Chicken Nachos

Grilled Chicken Nachos
When I did my weekend shopping run, I saw bins of avocados, piles of tomatoes and stacks of tortilla chip bags all on sale. I couldn’t figure out why, and then it hit me. Cinco de Mayo is this Thursday. People might be feeling extra festive, but I don’t need a holiday to get me in the mood for Mexican food. I have a constant craving for tacos & burritos, so I am never without salsa, black beans and cilantro.

I braved the rain on Saturday and took my cooking outside, umbrella in hand, to make grilled chicken nachos. The chicken marinated in a mixture with cumin and lime juice. I grilled the chicken and corn at the same time before layering chips, cheese, black beans, jalapenos and everything else in a cast iron skillet. After a few minutes on the grill, the cheese melted. I sprinkled cilantro on top followed by salsa.
Grilled Chicken Nachos
Grilled Chicken Nachos
Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 ears corn, shucked
6 ounces tortilla chips
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 cup finely shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
Salsa for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Marinate the chicken 1 hour up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat. Grill the chicken for 10-12 minutes, turning once, until cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before shredding with a fork.

While cooking the chicken, grill the corn, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 8-10 minutes. Let the corn cool slightly before cutting the kernels from the cobs.

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, layer the chicken, corn, chips, black beans, jalapenos and cheese. Place the skillet on the grill and close the lid for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Top with cilantro and salsa before serving.

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