Saturday, October 20, 2012

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground chipolte chili pepper
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground cumin (comino)
3 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white onion, chopped in large chunks
½ cup chopped sweet peppers
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken and mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (4 ounce) can Hatch’s diced green chilies
1 cup chicken broth
bag of thin tortilla chips
1 ½ cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream (optional)
In a small bowl, add chili powder, chipolte chili pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and cumin, and then mix all together.

In a large bowl add the 3 cups of shredded chicken, then sprinkle all the spice mixture on top and finally mix all the chicken and spices together.  Making sure mix thoroughly, and then set aside.

In a skillet over medium high heat add olive oil and heat.  Then add onions and sweet bell peppers and sauté about 5 minutes or until tender and just turning light brown.


Add tomatoes and spiced chicken and saute another 2 minutes.  Stirring to combine all; remove from heat and skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, that you just removed the chicken from, over medium heat, add the 2 cans of soup, green chilies and chicken broth.  Just warm enough to stir all together and create a sauce.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a 10 x 6 inch baking dish spread some of the sauce mixture, and then layer tortilla chip pieces on top of the layer of sauce.

Top with ½ the chicken mixture and ½ cup of cheese.

Add sauce to just cover the chicken, spread with serving spoons.

Add another layer of chips, then remaining chicken and cheese.  Add remaining sauce, spread it with serving soon.

Bake at 350° for 40 - 45 minutes, and until nice and bubbly and the top just turning a light brown.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.  Serve and top with sour cream, or extra chopped onions!  Enjoy!

Tip:  You can freeze the casserole up to 1 month, if desired.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cornbread Stuffed Pork Loin

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

1 cup cornbread dressing
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 (2-pound) piece pork loin
2 cups brown gravy
Make a cut 1/4-inch from the top of the loin down the full length and roll the pork cutting at the same time, this will give you a flat piece of meat ( if you were to roll it back up it would look like it did before you cut it).  Cover with plastic wrap and pound out to about 1/4" thick.  Flip over with plastic wrap underneath and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Evenly spread the stuffing over the flattened pork loin and then re-roll it back to the original form.

Tie together with butcher's twine, so the loin is tied approximately every 2 inches, by cutting the kitchen string so that you have a piece about 5-feet long.  Make a loop around the pork loin with one end of the string and tie a firm knot.
Use one hand to keep the string taut, and the other to bring the string around and under the roast. The best way to do this is to move the string away from you then loop it under the pork loin.  Slide the string under the part of the string you are holding taut and gently tug. This makes the first hitch in the chain.  Repeat step 3 and 4 until you have tied the entire pork loin. You should have a chain hitch about every 2 inches along the meat so that they are evenly spaced. Tie a knot in the kitchen string at the end of the pork loin.
Sprinkle the loin with salt and pepper, then wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 1 hour to rest and firm up a bit.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Using a large skillet over medium high heat, add the grapeseed oil and sear the whole pork loin until golden brown all over, then transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 18 to 23 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F.  Check the pork temperature after 10 minutes, as some ovens cook faster than others, and we don't want the meat to overcook.  The loin should be removed from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Transfer the loin to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil, to rest for 5 minutes.  It will continue to cook and reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Slice the pork and arrange on a serving platter to serve.  Enjoy!
Tip:  You can also stuff a pork loin with different ingredients such as, apple and cornbread, spinach and goat cheese, apple cranberry, herb stuffed, rice.  Instead of brown gravy, you can use mushroom gravy or a side of applesauce or cranberry sauce!  The ideas are endless so be creative and add your own stuffing idea!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

Read directions completely before preparing.


4 chicken leg quarters, skin and access fat removed
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ large white onion, grated (about 1/2 cup)
¼ cup light olive oil
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ cup tequila
Non-stick grill cooking spray

Remove the skin and all the access fat as possible from the leg quarters.

In a large bowl, mix the minced garlic, cumin, sweet paprika, sea salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, 1/2 cup grated onion, , tequila, lime and the oil.

Add the chicken to bowl and mix everything together, making sure chicken is well coated.  Place in a large plastic bag to marinate, and seal the bag, trying to release as much air as possible.  Place in refrigerator and marinate overnight.

Allow your chicken leg quarters to come to room temperature before putting them on the grill.  Putting cold meat on a hot grill will cause the meat to contract and become tough.  Coat the grill grates with oil or a nonstick grill cooking spray so your chicken will not stick to the grill.

Preheat the gas grill with all burners on medium heat.  Then turn off one side of the grill, this will be your cooking, side, once chicken is lightly browned.

Remove that chicken from the bag and place on the chicken on the grill directly over the hotter side first, using tongs and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until is lightly browned.

Now move the chicken to the coolest side of the grill, close the lid and cook chicken leg quarters on each side for about 22 minutes, for a total cooking time of about 45 minutes.  The grill temperature should be around 350 to 365 degrees F. with lid closed.  Every grill is different, so keep a close eye on the chicken for fire flare ups, in order to avoid burning the chicken.

Use a meat thermometer to check when the chicken leg quarters are done. The internal temperature should reach a minimum of 165 degrees F.  Do check for doneness.  You can know when chicken is done without a thermometer as the juices run clear.

Let the chicken rest after taking it off the grill for five to 10 minutes, so the juice can redistribute.  Tent cover with aluminum foil, then serve.  Enjoy!

I served it up with a salad of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, olive oil, goat cheese, pine nut pesto and thin sliced white onion.  Also some grill roasted fingerling potatoes!

Tip:  Did you know that, Tequila which is made from the Agaves of the Highlands produce sweet and frutal tequilas, while agaves from the Lowlands are more herbaceous in nature. This becomes evident in the liquor's aroma and taste.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Braised Chicken Fennel and Leeks

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 - 5 chicken thigh, skinned, fat removed and cut in 1” cubes, a little over a pound
2 leeks, cut diagonally in half, and then into ¼” – ½” slices
1 large fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1/4 cup white wine (Riesling or other slightly sweet)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper (for sprinkling on chicken)
2 cups cooked white rice (optional)
¼ cup julienned carrots (optional)
1 jalepeno sliced paper thin (optional)
¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat a large 4 quart, deep skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil, making sure to completely coat the bottom of skillet.

Sprinkle the cubed chicken with pinch of sea salt and pinch of fresh ground pepper. Add the chicken to skillet, brown the chicken in two batches, removing from the skillet and setting aside.

Add leeks to skillet, and sauté 2 minutes, turning a couple of times.

Add fennel to skillet, and saute 2 minutes turning a couple of times.

Add ¼ cup of white wine and let reduce, about 3 – 4 minutes.  Add chicken broth, coriander, salt and browned chicken, and then stir.  Let come to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with ½ cup white rice, sprinkled with chopped cilantro, julienned carrots, and thin sliced jalapeños.  Enjoy!

Tip:  Fennel is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chicken Spiedies

2 1/2 pounds chicken, cubed
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup  Champagne French Wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed dried mint
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes or metal skewers

Place the cubed (about 1" x  1") chicken into a large re-sealable plastic bag or container.  In a bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, garlic, garlic salt, oregano, garlic salt, mint, basil, parsley, onion power, bay leaf and black pepper and mix.  Pour the mixture into the bag/container and seal, then shake until combined.  Refrigerate for 1 to 3 days, shaking the container to turn the meat every 8 hours.

When you are ready to cook, remove meat from the marinade and place on skewers.  Preheat an outdoor grill for medium high heat and lightly oil grate or spray with Pam's Grilling spray.

Place the skewers on the preheated grill, turning every three minutes until cooked through and the internal temperature of the meat reaches 170 degrees F.  Be careful not to overcook or the meat will be very dry.

Serve the grilled meat on Italian bread or hotdog bun, by placing the skewer on the bread, grip the bread and slide the skewer out, leaving the meat on the bread.   Enjoy!

Tip:  Spiedie meat cubes can also be eaten straight off the skewer or can be served in salads, stir fries, and a number of other dishes.  The Spiedie is a dish local to Greater Binghamton in the Southern Tier of New York State, and somewhat more broadly known and enjoyed throughout Central New York state.