Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Have you ever had a  craving to devour a big plate of buffalo wings but bathing suit season is coming and you’re trying to be careful what you eat? Well, this may not be super low-cal, but it’s a lot less fat and calories than a pound of wings and is as delicious and more satisfying.  Make your favourite salad (dressing recipe link below) – adding in some carrot, celery and chunks of blue cheese (if you like that) and prepare a simple sauce and chicken breast chunks.  We love this as one of our ‘indulgent’ dinners – still keeping the carbs down but maximizing on flavour.  Once you make it, you’ll be making it again – guaranteed. Continue reading

Kick-Ass Chicken Curry

chicken curry with mango chutney

Are you ready to learn how to make a really good curry? I don’t mean curry like your mother used to make from her ‘Good Housekeeping’ magazine….I mean a really good, authentic-tasting Indian curry. First of all, your spices are really important – at the very least, make sure they are FRESH.  Don’t be pulling that curry powder out of your cupboard that’s been there since 1993. Go out and get some fresh spices, it’s so worth it. The two spices you need (which are actually spice mixtures) are curry powder and garam masala.

Follow the steps in the recipe, taking your time especially when cooking your onions.  Remember a good curry is layered with flavour, and to achieve that, it takes time, and also care and love while you are cooking it.  After you make this a few times, you’ll become quite pro at it, and you’ll never make beef stew again.  So get your ingredients organized, and give it a whirl. You will love it.  And buy a jar of mango chutney and some fresh coriander at the grocery store while you’re at it.

A word about Garam Masala:  This is a common Indian spice mixture and is available at you grocery store in the spice department – I believe McCormack’s now distributes it. However, if you have access to a Southeast Asian market, go in and find some whole garam masala. (see picture). Dry roasting some garam masala in a pan and then grinding it in your coffee grinder will kick up your curry to another level of awesomeness. While you are there, buy a decent curry powder like Lalah’s or Bolst’s. Ask the grocer for a mild or hot curry depending what you like.  Be warned that the hot curry powder is much hotter than you think it will be.

Whole Garam Masala. (dry roast in pan until fragrant)

grind garam masala in coffee grinder and store in an airtight container.

Chicken Curry

serves 6 as a main course

1/4 cup butter (or ghee – clarified butter)

2 large onions, diced

2 tsp salt

4 cloves garlic minced

1  2 inch knob of fresh ginger, minced

1 tbsp garam masala

2.5 tbsp curry powder

1.5 cups water

1 (14oz) can coconut milk (or 35% cream)

6 chicken breasts, cut up into large chunks, or 10 boneless, skinless thighs

Directions:

In a large skillet, melt butter (or ghee) over medium heat. Add onions and salt  and cook, stirring occasionally until  onions are cooked down and quite brown and carmelized.  (about 20 minutes). Take your time.

Add ginger and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle your curry powder and garam masala over your onion mixture. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in your water, stir, and let the entire thing simmer on low, and reduce to a paste-like consistency. (about 15 minutes)

Remove curry paste from pan to a bowl. Add a knob of butter to the pan (or ghee).  Salt and pepper your chicken pieces and add to the pan over medium-high heat to brown.  Once chicken is browned, add the curry paste back into the pan as well as the coconut milk. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and let chicken cook. (longer if using thighs, so they will tenderize). (approx 20-40 mins) At this point, you can also add in some vegetables to cook. I like to use 1/2 a head of cauliflower cut up and some red pepper. The cauliflower works really well with this dish.

Serve over rice or quinoa.  Serve alongside mango chutney and fresh coriander.  Enjoy.

cook onions until reduced and browned (about 20 minutes)

add garlic and ginger, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes

add curry powder and garam masala, cook another 2 minutes

add water to mixture, stir and simmer until paste-like consistency is achieved

remove curry paste and place in bowl while browning chicken

brown chicken in same pan (don't clean it), then add curry paste back into pan

add coconut milk. Simmer for additional 20-40 minutes

Serve with rice and mango chutney. Oh my. Yum.

Asian Lemon Chicken

Asian Lemon Chicken

Here is an easy and fairly quick recipe for lemon chicken — the addition of soya sauce, toasted sesame oil and ground coriander give it some Asian flair.  Follow the steps and you will have a decent meal on the table in about 40 minutes. We enjoyed this with some basmati rice and a green salad.  Stir fried veggies would be perfect alongside instead of salad.

A critical step is in the preparation of the chicken. Preparing it “cutlet” style (as described below) makes all the difference.  Your surface area is doubled, meaning that you’ve got that much more area for flavour in every bite. So try to master that technique – it works well with chicken parmesan and my other lemon chicken recipe – Chicken Piccata.

Asian Lemon Chicken

adapted from Chatelaine magazine

serves 4

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

mixture #1

zest of one lemon

2  tsp ground coriander

1  tsp chili flakes (optional)

1  tsp salt

mixture #2

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

mixture #3

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp water

2 tsp soya sauce

Directions

Mix together each ‘mixture’ as outlined above.

Prepare Chicken Breasts:

Place one chicken breast on cutting board. Using a sharp knife (a fileting knife is ideal) and pressing your hand on top of breast to keep it in place, slice chicken breast in half horizontally, being careful to ensure you don’t cut your hand.  Continue with remaining chicken breasts until all are sliced.

Place 2 pieces of chicken on cutting board;  cover with plastic wrap and pound gently until evenly flattened. Continue until all pieces are flattened then place them in a medium sized bowl and coat with spice mixture #1.  Your flattened chicken pieces can now be referred to as “cutlets”.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with about 2 tsp of vegetable oil.  When pan is hot, place 4 of the chicken cutlets in pan and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a  bowl while you cook the remaining 4 pieces.  Add  browned chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pan and pour in mixture #2. Turn heat to medium and let chicken simmer for 10 minutes.

Move chicken to the sides of the pan, making an opening in the center of the pan juices and pour in mixture #3. Stir until thickened, lowering heat if necessary and sauce is evenly mixed. Serve and enjoy.

slice chicken breast horizontally, using a SHARP knife. (a dull knife is a waste of time)

pound your meat (gently, for gawd’s sakes)

Mixture #1 – spices – coat chicken pieces

brown chicken, 4 pieces at a time. Brown. So it has flavour.

after chicken is browned, add in Mixture #2, continue cooking.

pour in Mixture #3, stirring until thickened.

Shish Taouk

shish tawook

What is Shish Tawook you say? It’s delicious, that’s what. This recipe comes to me from Michelle Blandford-Duggan–she told me she loves this recipe …and so I tried it, and I’m so glad I did (and so was my family).  I love a kebab. This one is made with chicken, onion and peppers.  The marinade, I believe is of Persian origin, although I have done no research whatsoever. All I know is that it’s good.  The marinade, which really works best if you Continue reading

Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken

This is a great recipe for this time of year–bbq season– but also very good in the oven – and you will want to make this all year long. It’s got great concentrated flavour, and all you have to do is put together a super-easy,  yogurt-based marinade, score your chicken, let it marinate and then bbq or bake it.  The yogurt base tenderizes your chicken and the Middle Eastern spices make it aromatic and exotic tasting.  Make sure your spices are fresh –  it makes all the difference. You will be making this again and again, so you might as well get some fresh spices.  I like to serve some cucumber raita alongside. (recipe below). You can use any type of chicken pieces you like. I usually use bone-in chicken breast, skinned and cut in two.  You can marinate a big batch of chicken and put half in the freezer — it’s perfect for that. This recipe makes enough marinade for about 5-6 pounds (3 kg) of chicken. It will be a family favourite. Great the next day for lunch on a salad or with rice. TRY!

Tandoori  Chicken Marinade

1 medium onion, grated (or minced in processer)

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp minced  fresh ginger

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander seed

1/2 tsp tumeric (for colour, if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it)

¼ tsp cayenne (more if you like it hot)

1 tsp salt

1 cup plain yogurt

Juice of ½ lemon

[1-3 kgs of chicken pieces]

[½ cup melted butter for basting at the end.]

Mix up ingredients except chicken and  melted butter–feel free to throw it all in the processor or grate and chop and mix by hand.  Remove skin from chicken, and score deeply. Massage marinade into chicken. Best if meat is marinated for 24 hours. (minimum 6 hours)

*divide remaining marinade into freezer containers (1/2 cup each approx) and freeze. You can marinate the chicken and freeze it too -it works out perfectly.  Defrost and use when needed.

Cooking Instructions

If using BBQ

Turn one side of bbq on med-high. Put chicken in a  foil pan. Place it on upper level on side of bbq that is unlit, to create a ‘convect’ affect. Cook until internal temp of 165 F., approx. 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken from pan with tongs and place on direct heat of grill. Baste with butter , turning until nicely charred. Serve with Cucumber Raita.

If using Conventional Oven

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chicken in roasting pan. Cook until internal temp of 165F. Melt butter. Baste chicken with butter. Turn on broiler, and place chicken under broiler until browned and glistening. Baste again before serving. Serve with Cucumber raita.

mixing up the marinade ingredients

use a cleaver to chop breast in half, then score the meat about 1/2 inch deep

massage marinade into the crevices, and let sit in the fridge to marinate

after baking on top shelf, place on grill, baste with butter until charred nicely

delicious with a salad ( healthy and low fat, low carb)

Cucumber Raita

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup grated cucumber

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (optional)

Grate cucumber and squeeze out liquid with paper towel. Mix into yogurt with cumin and salt.  If you have some  fresh coriander (cilantro) around, add that in too.  Serve with chicken.