Chicken Tikka Masala

I have to admit that I’m no expert in Indian cuisine. But this dish is one that I’ve loved since the first time I tried it a couple of years ago, and so I finally decided to make a from-scratch version myself. Total success – despite the fact that new baby Berkley needed mommy’s attention about 58 times during this meal preparation. I persevered and 3 hours later I finally had the spices measured and the chicken marinating. Not to worry, while this recipe does contain a lot of ingredients, it’s really not too complicated to make, especially if you measure out the spices for the marinade and sauce at the same time and are able to do so without double digit interruptions. The whole family loved this, and so it’ll definitely make it into the dinner rotation occasionally. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cutlets

Marinade
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp paprika

Sauce
4 tbsp butter
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp paprika
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
8 ozs tomato sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream

Tip: There are many shared spices, so measure out for both the marinade and the sauce at the same time to save time and measuring spoons.

1.) Combine chicken and all ingredients for marinade in a gallon Ziploc bag, toss around and set aside. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.) Place chicken cutlets on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove chicken and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
3.) While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add all the spices and sauté for a minute longer. Stir in the tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and heat throughly. Remove from heat and add in chicken. Serve over jasmine rice.

Chicken tikka masala1

Chicken tikka masala2

Chicken tikka masala3

Chicken tikka masala4

Chicken tikka masala5

Chicken tikka masala6

Chicken tikka masala7

Chicken tikka masala8

Chicken tikka masala9

Chicken Tikka Masala

Mushroom Asiago Chicken

Trying to get my husband to tell me what he wants for dinner is next to impossible. So yesterday morning when I got a Facebook notification that my husband had tagged me in a post, only to find it was recipe he was reposting, I was intrigued. And just to be clear, I replied, “Are you trying to tell me you want this for dinner?” and he responded, “Yes.” Hallelujah – at least we can communicate about dinner via Facebook.

So trying to seize this rare opportunity, I went to the store, got the all the needed ingredients and made his requested dish for dinner. I must say, he was spot on with thinking this would be good, because it really, really was. I was pretty true to the recipe, except I increased the mushroom asiago sauce by 1 1/2 (which is how I wrote the recipe below). I served this over simple buttered angel hair pasta, so I wanted enough sauce to flavor the pasta sufficiently. I also opted to buy chicken cutlets versus butchering a plain ole chicken breast. Yes, it was a little more expensive, but it save me time and hassle, and so for a weeknight, it was money well spent. I cooked this in an electric skillet so that I could cook all of my chicken at once – would do fine in a dutch oven as well.

I will definitely make this dish again – the flavor was rich (but not too rich, thanks to the bite of the asiago), and very unique. Winner, winner, chicken dinner – thank you honey for the delicious request!

Mushroom Asiago Chicken

6 chicken cutlets
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
6 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs sliced mushrooms
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

1.) Salt and pepper each chicken cutlet and dredge both sides in flour. Heat 2 tbsp butter in an electric skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sauté the cutlets in the butter for 4-5 minutes on one side, flip, then cook for 1 more minute. Place cooked cutlets on a plate and cover with foil.
2.) Add remaining 4 tbsp butter to skillet. Add mushrooms and salt and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté for a few minutes more. Add wine to deglaze and cook until it is nearly evaporated. Add chicken stock and simmer over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat again to medium low and add heavy cream and Asiago cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and then add chicken back to pan, covering each one in the sauce. Allow the chicken to simmer for a few minutes until it is heated through.
3.) Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.

Adapted from CherylStyle’s Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken1

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken2

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken3

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken4

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken5

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken6

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken7

Savory Mushroom Asiago Chicken

Caprese Chicken Bake with Balsamic Reduction

This Italian dish is a fresh take on traditional pasta and tomato sauce. Simple to make and full of flavor. This is another Pinterest inspired recipe, but this time I took a few things from two different dishes. The end product was great! But to be fair, soaking just about anything in a balsamic reduction would be pretty awesome…

Caprese Chicken Bake

Caprese Chicken Bake 

2 pints of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 red onion, julienned
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned (plus a little more for garnish)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 chicken breasts
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz angel hair pasta, cooked according to box in salted water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar

1.) Place first 8 ingredients in a casserole dish and stir until well combined. Add chicken breasts and try to rub the chicken in the tomatoes to transfer some of the olive oil and seasoning, then place chicken breasts on top of tomatoes. Salt and pepper liberally.
2.) Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place 1/3 of the mozzarella on each breast. Place chicken back in oven for about 10 more minutes. Exact time will vary based on the size of the breasts, so check to make sure they are done.
3.) While chicken is baking, place vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until vinegar has thickened and sticks to a spoon. Watch that this doesn’t burn.
4.) When pasta is done cooking, toss in about a tablespoon of olive oil.
5.) Serve chicken and tomatoes on top of the angel hair pasta and drizzle the balsamic reduction over top.

Caprese Chicken Bake1

Caprese Chicken Bake2

Caprese Chicken Bake3

Caprese Chicken Bake4

Adapted from Our Story’s Italian Chicken and The Novice Chef’s Caprese Chicken

(Homemade) Ranch Grilled Chicken with Skillet Potatoes

Dinner tonight was two of my favorites – chicken legs and potatoes. Inspired by the ranch dip and carrots that Blake was snacking on this afternoon, I decided to try something different with a ranch marinade for my grilled chicken legs. I used buttermilk and the herbs and spices I use in my ranch dip, and at the suggestion of my in-home chef, I added a little tarragon too. The flavor of the chicken was great, although it’s hard to go wrong when you’re grilling chicken legs. For the potatoes I actually made one of my breakfast time favs – skillet potatoes. These are super, super simple and absolutely delicious. I rounded the meal off with a little roasted lemon and garlic broccoli and stopped just short of licking my plate. Hope you enjoy!

Ranch Chicken and Skillet Potatoes

(Homemade) Ranch Grilled Chicken

10 chicken legs (skin on)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp dill
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper

1.) Place all ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag and toss until evenly coated. Let sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
2.) Place chicken on a hot grill and then reduce the temperature down. Chicken should cook with the grill at about 450 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken legs).

Ranch chicken1

Ranch Chicken

Ranch chicken2

****

Skillet Potatoes

Skillet Potatoes

3 tbsp veg or canola oil
1/4 of a large sweet onion, julienned
4 medium sized russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1.) Add oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onions and potatoes, making sure that potatoes are all separated and evenly spread around the pan. Add salt and pepper.
2.) Stirring occasionally, cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat. At the end of the 20 minutes, potatoes should be tender enough to cut with the spatula. If they are not that tender, continue cooking. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Skillet Potatoes1

Skillet Potatoes2

 

Scalloped Potatoes and Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

I love a good side dish. Sometimes, more than the “main course”.  For me, scalloped potatoes have the potential to trump any meat, any day. And while this honey mustard grilled chicken was really good, the scalloped potatoes were great. I’ve attempted these half a dozen times before, but never got it just right. All that practice paid off with these bad boys. Issues I’ve had before – not enough/the right cheese, potatoes not cooked through and overall too bland were solved with using parmesan cheese (and lots of it), cooking it at a high heat (425 degrees) and flavoring it with thyme and green onions. Viola. Awesome potatoes.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes

6 medium sized russet potatoes
2 cups parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp green onions, chopped
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp pepper
1 stick butter, divided
2 cups half and half
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme

1.)  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel potatoes and slice thin. Place in a bowl of water to prevent discoloring.
2.)  In a separate bowl, stir together 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese, flour, green onions, ¾ tsp salt and pepper. Set aside.
3.)  In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add half and half, half the stick of butter, garlic, thyme and ¾ tsp salt.  Heat thoroughly and stir occasionally.
4.)  While sauce is heating, place the other half stick of butter in a casserole dish and place in the oven to melt. Watch that it doesn’t burn.
5.)  Drain and dry potatoes. Once butter is melted in the casserole, remove dish from oven and begin by layering a thin layer of potatoes on bottom, sprinkle evenly with the cheese/flour mixture, and then pour some of the sauce on top as well. Repeat until you’ve layered all potatoes (I think I had 4 layers). After the final layer, take remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top.
6.)  Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and potatoes are fork-tender.

Scalloped Potatoes1

Scalloped Potatoes2

Scalloped Potatoes3

Scalloped Potatoes4

Scalloped Potatoes5

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

3 chicken breasts
¼ cup Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

1.)  Place all ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag and make sure chicken is evenly coated. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
2.) Grill on a preheated grill for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Honey Mustard Chicken and Scalloped Potatoes

Chicken Tetrazzini

I’m not sure I had ever actually had chicken tetrazzini until just recently. We had an assortment of pasta dishes at the shower I helped host this weekend, and one of the other hostesses put this dish on the menu. Ever since Saturday night I’ve had the itch to make it, and while I knew it would be ambitious for a week night meal, Blake was home tonight and so I thought what the heck. Totally worth it. This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe. I stayed pretty true to the original, but due to some of the quantities I had on hand (and the fact that I messed up a couple of steps), I veered ever so slightly. I am sharing the way I made it because I can personally attest to the fact that it tasted really, really good. I will definitely make this again, and it has potential to be a great care package meal too. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

2 chicken breasts, boiled and shred
1 lb linguine
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter, divided
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup parmesan
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.) Add 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil to large dutch oven. Add mushrooms and sauté until any liquid is cooked up and mushrooms are golden. Add onion, garlic and thyme. Saute for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add wine and chicken stock. Saute until liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in shredded chicken.
3.) While the mushroom mixture is cooking, boil linguine in a large pot of salted water for 10 minutes. Set aside when done.
4.) In a separate large sauté pan, heat remaining 4 tbsp butter until it is melted. Add flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add milk, heavy cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Once sauce has thickened (about 8 or 9 minutes), remove from heat.
5.) In the largest pot you used, add pasta, mushroom/chicken, cream sauce, peas and parsley. Stir until well combined. Pour into a 9″x13″ casserole dish. Top with parmesan cheese and then Italian breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and the top is golden brown.

Chicken Tetrazzini1

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s Chicken Tetrazzini

One Pot Stovetop Chicken and Yellow Rice

Ever since I started avoiding MSG in my food, yellow rice has pretty much been off limits. But my favorite variety of chicken and rice is chicken and yellow rice. So I decided to try to make it from scratch, which required me to work with a foreign ingredient – saffron. I was very proud of my small-town Publix for actually carrying it (in the ethnic section near the Spanish and Mexican foods). I made a “saffron tea” with some of the chicken stock, and it worked like a charm – yellow rice the natural way.  This turned out really good and was exactly what I’ve been craving. If I wasn’t feeding it to the kiddos, I would have added a little heat, some more paprika and probably some red pepper flakes. This can be done start to finish in under an hour, so it’s definitely a weeknight possibility. And only one pot to clean, definitely a plus in my house! Hope you enjoy!

Chicken and Rice

Chicken and Yellow Rice

2 – 3 tbsp canola oil
3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (I used legs and thighs), seasoned liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder
2 carrots, quartered and diced
1 stalk of celery, halved and diced
1 sweet onion, diced small
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
4 cups chicken stock
1 pinch saffron
1 3/4 cup white rice (I used Jasmine)
1 cup frozen peas
Corn kernels from one cob
Juice from 1 lime

1.) In a glass dish, heat about 1 cup of chicken stock in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until very hot. Add saffron and stir. Allow saffron to dissolve in hot liquid until the recipe calls for the chicken stock (although all threads will probably not dissolve fully).
2.) In a large dutch oven (I used a coated cast iron pot), heat oil and add chicken pieces to pan, skin side down, in an even layer. Fry over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes, and then turn each one over. Cook for about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Remove some of the oil from the pot until only about 2 tbsp remain.
3.) Add carrots, celery and onion to pot, scraping bottom to release any brown bits. If bottom starts to burn, add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock to deglaze. Add garlic, salt, pepper and paprika and sauté until veggies begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add rice and cook for about 1 minute longer.
4.) Remove any remaining saffron threads from the cup of chicken stock. Add that stock, as well as the other remaining stock to the pot. Stir well and then add chicken back to pot. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 17 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure rice does not stick, and that chicken cooks evenly.
5.) Remove chicken from pot and check the temp to ensure it is at 165 degrees. Add frozen peas, corn and lime juice to rice. Stir well and then add the chicken back to the pot. Cover and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Saffron

Chicken and rice1

Chicken and rice2

Chicken and rice3

Chicken and rice4

Chicken and rice5

Saffron1

DSC_0297

Chicken and rice7