Lemon Chicken Skewers

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Today’s dish is a super simple and easy one. It is a product of being basically broke and wanting to eat healthier. I don’t think I realized that when I started all this, how expensive eating healthy can be. These skewers don’t require a lot of time, money, or preparation though, which is definitely a plus. You can make them if you are in a pinch, like me, and have little money AND little time to cook anymore. I find myself coming home from work super late and exhausted – making the prospect of cooking a daunting task. Fear not, just prep these the night before and pop em on the grill/grill pan and you are ready to go!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or garlic powder)
  • Parsley, finely minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes

Directions

  • Season the chicken cubes with pepper, salt, garlic, and parsley
  • Place in a bag with lemon juice for 1 hour – overnight
  • Place chicken cubes on a skewer and grill until cooked
  • At the same time, lightly wilt some spinach with EVOO in a pan and add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes
  • Place the skewers over the bed of spinach and tomatoes and enjoy your gluten free, high protein meal!

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Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes

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Fall is almost over, and we are headed into winter, but before we do, this is a really Fall dish I made.  It is really simple and doesn’t take that much time to be honest.  I think I have said this before, but I like chicken thighs because they are easy to bake and are more juicy and tender (not a breast fan). Also, I am kind of a sucker for the skin. I got the recipe just randomly browsing sites (not even really sure how I got there). In the end, I definitely enjoyed this one, but next time I probably won’t use as many cherry tomatoes, as it can get kind of pricey the more you use.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

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Instructions

  • Sprinkle both sides of the thighs with salt and place in baking pan with some space in-between each thigh, skin side up
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and mix in a bowl with garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar
  • Pour the tomatoes over the chicken pieces and arrange them so they fill the gaps between the thighs
  • Lay sprigs of rosemary over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ~45 minutes
  • Skim excess fat/oil and serve with whatever you feel like
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Shiny Crispy Chicken Wings

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My mom gave me a Chinese cookbook a while back, but I have never actually opened it or used it. Now I cook a lot of run of the mill Chinese food, using a lot of pre-made sauces thanks to Lee Kum Kee. However, this time I decided to open the book and try a chicken recipe. This recipe is called “Shiny Chicken” and I was hesitant because of the name, but it actually turned out pretty well. It can be used as an appetizer, or serve it with some rice and call it a main dish.  However you want to do it! Have a crack at it and let me know what you think.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 chicken, or chicken wings/legs
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, separated
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • t tsp sesame oil
  • oil for frying

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Directions

  • Wash and dry the chicken
  • Rub the chicken with 1 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • Combine the green onion, ginger, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce in a bowl and set aside
  • Heat a wok and add the oil to fry (or use a deep fryer if you got one)
  • Fry the chicken wings until skin is golden and crispy (and the meat is cooked)
  • Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and feast!

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Red Wine Roasted Chicken

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Like I said in a previous post, I pretty much spend free time trolling Yahoo Food and other food blogs/sites.  I came across this one for a roast chicken recipe and it looked good and easy, so I thought I would do it.  I have tried this dish twice now, and I have to say, the first time, I wouldn’t call a disaster, but it definitely didn’t turn out well.  Thankfully, I stuck with it and it was much better the 2nd go around.  A few of the flaws that arose were I didn’t use any potatoes and I also had way more chicken than the original recipe had.  As it turns out, you need those potatoes to soak up some of that water, and when you have about 2x as much chicken as the recipe calls for, it also takes a lot longer to cook.  Who woulda thunk?  Anyways, the 2nd time, I was much better about what I was doing ad while I still didn’t use potatoes, I put in less water and had a much better turn out. I think the one downfall this time around though was that it came out a little too oily in the vegetables from both the water and the chicken juice.

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Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup red wine
  • 6 tbsp/100 g tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 sprigs marjoram, leaves picked, or ½ tsp dried
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I used chicken leg quarters)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 18 oz/500 g baby potatoes, washed (Didn’t do that)
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • ½ cup water

Directions

  • Mix the wine, tomato paste, marjoram, thyme, and red wine vinegar
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • Place the chicken in a plastic ziploc bag and pour the sauce over the chicken
  • Shake the bag to make sure each piece is well coated and let marinate for at least 30 minutes (I did about 2 hours)
  • Make a bed of vegetables at the bottom of a large baking dish/tray and pour in the water
  • Place the chicken pieces over the vegetables (skin side up) and pour the remainder of the marinade over the chicken
  • Cover with foil and roast in the oven for ~30 min at 400 degrees
  • Uncover the chicken and baste with cooking liquid and roast again uncovered for another ~15 minutes (I had to go ~30min)
  • Pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and enjoy!

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Roasted Chicken Leg

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Hi everyone. It’s been about a month since the last post now. I have been on vacation for the past month, visiting Berlin, Paris, Bangkok, Siem Riep, and Phuket. That obviously means I have not been cooking, but maybe I will post some food pictures from my travels later. Anyways, today was the first time I have cooked since being back, and I decided to roast some chicken leg quarters because they were on sale at the market (when you are gone for a month, you come back to an empty fridge). It was a simple recipe that did not require a lot of ingredients, which was well suited to my current situation. So here goes.

Ingredients

  • Chicken leg quarters (or any part of a chicken skin on I suppose)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Olive Oil

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Directions

  • Wash and pat dry the quarters
  • Cut off the excess fat
  • Separate the skin from the meat, but leaving it still attached
  • Mix the seasoned salt, garlic salt, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and paprika together in a small bowl
  • Brush the inside meat and the outside skin of the chicken with olive oil
  • Lightly rub the seasoning mix onto the chicken (both inside the skin on the meat, as well as the outside of the chicken quarters)
  • Place onto a foiled baking pan (make sure to space them out so they cook properly)
  • Bake for 45 min at 350 degrees and then at 425 degrees for the next 15 minutes (total 1 hour)
  • Enjoy

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I paired the chicken with a light mixed salad for a relatively easy and light meal. The skin came out slightly crispy, which is how I like it and the meat was still tender and juicy. It was probably a little too salty, so in the future I would definitely use less salt. But other than that it was a good and pretty hearty meal.

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Baked Teriyaki Chicken

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So this week I decided to bake some chicken thighs.  When I bake chicken, I like to use bone-in and with the skin still on for the added flavor.

Marinade (all measurements approximated because I guessed)

  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • dash of minced ginger

After mixing the marinade, add the chicken thighs and some green onions, making sure to coat the chicken.  Let the marinade and chicken rest for ~1 hour. After, place the chicken in a baking pan with the skin side up.  Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken and bake at 350 degrees for ~1 hour.  Serve with rice or whatever you want to do with it, but enjoy!

Chicken Pesto Pasta

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Happy Monday! I was pretty surprised Nate was up to do another dish for the blog today. That’s 3 in a row! I was thinking once a week was going to be our average quota. Nate opted to do a noodle based dish today, so I persuaded him to do pasta!  Mostly because of my love for cheese and the fact that his basil plant was starting to wither. He forgot plants needed sun. After going on a quick run to Trader Joe’s after work, we were set to start cooking.

This is the recipe Nate used.

The Dish:  Chicken Pesto Pasta

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Ingredients:

  • A Couple of Chicken Breast
  • 2 cups of Basil (or all of his potted plant basically)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Pasta (we used linguine)
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
  • Salt & Pepper

Steps

Pesto Sauce:

  • Add 1/3-1/2 cups of walnuts and 3 cloves of garlic to a food processor and pulse it a few times
  • Add the basil and pulse a few more times
  • Slowly add the 1/2 cup of EVOO and pulse a bit more (scraping off all the sides)
  • Add the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and pulse it yet again
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

Pasta

  • Boil the water and salt it accordingly to cook your pasta
  • Heat the pesto in a pan with a little EVOO and stir it
  • Add as much cream as you deem necessary (We ended up adding more than we originally planned to thicken it, but it didn’t turn out super creamy)
  • Add some tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Add the pasta and mix thoroughly

Chicken

  • Salt and pepper
  • You can grill it or pan fry it (He used a pan, since he can’t have a grill at his apartment)
  • Cook throughly
  • Cut and enjoy!

Here is the final product!

After the two major fails (see below), Nate’s dish actually came out as a major success! He was very impressed with himself, which he claims is hard to do. Obviously, I added more parmesan cheese to my pasta. The pasta wasn’t as heavy as I expected which is how I prefer it. It was pretty light dish overall and I loved the nutty and crunchy texture of the pesto. We paired our pasta dish with a light side salad as well to balance out the heavy carbs.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our next noodle dish!

Cooking Fails

**Please don’t be as clumsy as we were