Chef Armstrong’s Chicken Casserole (aka President Obama Stew)

March 12, 2017

IMG_5974 (1)

So I know I’ve been all about my mate Theresa’s gorgeous debut cookbook: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen. And a lovely book it is. However, that is not to say that there aren’t other lovely cookbooks out there…and another one I’m all about is: My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn.

517OrrW9SbL._SX424_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I have not had the pleasure of meeting Chef Armstrong, but I am certainly a big fan. Chef Cathal Armstrong, originally from Dublin Ireland, has a culinary empire here in Northern Virginia  which includes Restaurant Eve, the Majestic Cafe, two branches of Eamonn’s – A Dublin Chipper, PX cocktail lounge and Society Fair a gourmet emporium and wine bar. He is an internationally recognized four-star chef and leader in the sustainable food movement which he attributes firmly to his Irish upbringing. Chef Armstrong has brought forth this cookbook which contains a collection of family recipes and Irish inspired dishes from Restaurant Eve. It is from this cookbook that I take this recipe for Chicken Casserole, which he fondly calls “President Obama Stew”. According to Chef Armstrong, it seems that on Saturday October 9th of 2011, while taking a little time off of work and preparing his mother’s chicken casserole for a family dinner, he received an unexpected call from his restaurant manager at Restaurant Eve. The Obamas were coming for dinner. And it wasn’t just any old dinner for them, that night they would be celebrating their nineteenth wedding anniversary. Well, needless to say, the family chicken casserole was forgotten as he rushed back in to the restaurant. The recipe I give you today is that casserole. Now I would definitely be a bit remiss if I told you that i wasn’t a little bit sorry that the Obamas didn’t dine on this casserole. Nevertheless, this is an amazing dish!

IMG_5970 (1)

Cooked low and slow, this chicken is so savory, so succulent and so all around spectacular it is definitely elevated from a mere casserole rating. Now I will admit, I did make a couple of wee changes. The Chef does call for the use of an entire cut up chicken. I did decide to go with solely chicken thighs – less choice but better for consistency in cooking. That being said, when I cook this again- oh and I will – I will use skinless boneless thighs and will remove the bones and shred the chicken once the casserole is cooked through. But to each his own. I hope the Chef will forgive my adaptations. I will tell you this casserole, or stew even, is brilliant all on its own – so savory, thick and hearty with just the right amount of spice (who would’ve known 20 cloves of garlic was just the right amount…) but it is absolutely amazing when served over mashed potatoes.

IMG_6143 (1)

A feast worthy of St. Patrick himself I tell you! I assure you folks will be over the moon if you serve up this feast on St. Patrick’s Day. Heck with the 20 cloves of garlic in this baby, you wouldn’t go wrong serving this up on Halloween – t’would definitely keep the vampires at bay! Though seriously, if you want to treat yourself to some amazing Irish recipes, beautiful photography and various cooking tips in general, invest in a copy of Chef Armstrong’s My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve.

IMG_5975

Chef Armstrong's Chicken Casserole (aka President Obama Stew)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland & Restaurant Eve” by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 1/2 pound ) chicken – cut into 14 pieces – (or….I just used 3 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, very coarsely chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch coins
  • 6 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 – inch dice
  • 20 cloves garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped (yup…not a misprint….20!)
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), coarsely chopped, and their juices
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large fresh bay leaves
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped, with seeds
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch fresh bails (1 cup loosely packed) coarsely chopped.

Directions:

If the chicken you purchase is not already cut up into pieces, then cut your chicken in 14 pieces, making 6 breast pieces, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs and 4 wing joints. (Or just use a big old package of thighs – this is per me-not Chef Armstrong). Season them well with salt.

Brown the chicken in a large pan over high heat. Arrange all of the chicken evenly in the pan skin-side down and cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown. The pieces should release easily from the bottom of the pan; if they don’t , let them brown longer until they don Transfer the pieces to a flameproof casserole, arranging them skin side up. ( I used my largest Le Creuset dutch oven.)

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the sauté pan, stirring to combine them. Sweat the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes until they are translucent but still bit firm. As they cook and water releases from them, use a flat edged wooden spatula to deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the garlic (seriously…don’t be scared- use all 20 cloves – the stew will taste amazing and somehow not over garlic-y) and then the tomatoes and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, serrano chile, chicken stock, thyme and rosemary.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to the casserole. Bring to a boil then decrease the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer slowly for 45 to 60 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are very tender. Remove the stew from he heat. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if you like. (Truth be told – here is where I would recommend removing the chicken pieces from the stew. Shred the chicken meat from the bones and stir the meat back into the stew mixture.) Stir in the basil leaves at the last second before driving. The stew can be made a day before and gently reheated on the stove or in a 300°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

I have served this chicken casserole all on its own or over mashed potatoes and I gotta say – Mashed Potatoes are the way to go. I am sure it would also be good over rice, but again go with the Mashed Potatoes for the win!

Enjoy!

Chef Armstrong’s Chicken Casserole brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Chef Armstrong’s Chicken Casserole (aka President Obama Stew):

My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Oval Dutch oven – 8 quart

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Ricer – The key to perfect unbelievably creamy – dare I say dreamy – mashed potatoes every single time. Well, this and a good amount of butter and cream…

 


Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

November 4, 2016

img_5019

I’ve got a delicious spicy dish for you today that will definitely warm you up this Fall…Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas. Oh my goodness! It is just absolutely delicious with that golden crispy skinned chicken and those devilish little harissa chickpeas that pack quite a punch! For folks unfamiliar with harissa, it is a spicy North African Red Chili Paste. It is available at most large grocery stores. You can sometimes find it in a can in the ethnic food section or occasionally you will find in fresh in the refrigerated section. I have also provided you with a link below if you wish to buy it online. I will warn you though that not all harissas are created equal. Some are much spicier than others, so although this recipe calls for 1/4 cup, you should definitely taste the harissa you are working with first and decide how much to add depending its spice level and your sensitivity. We love spicy in this household so we just shoveled it in!

img_5007

Besides being wonderfully flavorful, this dish is also great because you only need dirty one dish to make it. You want to use a large oven-proof skillet. My 12″ le creuset skillet was just perfect. Serve this dish over couscous with a little tzatziki or other yogurt sauce on the side to help cool the burn. Just the thing to warm you up as the temperatures cool down this Fall!

img_5010

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Tzatziki Sauce, for serving (Optional but can help cool the burn if your harissa is very spicy!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.

Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes (until it reaches 165 °F with meat thermometer). Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Enjoy!

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas:

Le Creuset Iron Handle Skillet

Harissa


Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

October 23, 2015

IMG_3432

The weather around here recently has been pretty wonky. Like it has a split personality or something. Seriously…I was pretty sure we were doing the Fall thing around here and the next thing I knew was the mercury shot up to 80°F only to plunge down to 43°F the following evening! What the what! And it wasn’t done there. Nope…it plunged down to scarcely above freezing. Had me scrambling to get the plants inside. But now we’re back up into the mid-70’s. It is a wonder my head hasn’t totally exploded. Not to mention, while all that roller coaster weather nonsense is happening, I’m in the midst of a big house renovation. Nothing like walking through a fog of dry wall dust every day! But the good news is that I will finally have a master bathroom again. Ours burned up about 1 1/2 years ago now. (Time for my own little Public Service Announcement: If your bathroom exhaust fan was made prior to 1990 – it does not have a thermal fuse in it, which means if the bearings seize up, the fan can become so hot that it can catch the surrounding insulation on fire!) Our reaction? The husband and I just nailed up some plywood, boarded that thing up and have been using the guest bath down the hall ever since! Pretty pathetic huh? We just couldn’t decide what we kind of renovation we wanted to do. Oh well – we did finally get it together and in a few weeks I’ll be soaking in my glorious new bath tub! But in the meantime, this place is a complete shambles! So I’m going to share a wonderful recipe with you today which not only comes together quickly and easily with minimal preparation but also tastes fantastic and refreshing. Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad.

IMG_3443

This delicious dish comes from one of my favourite blogs Once Upon a Chef. Every recipe of Jenn’s that I’ve ever made has been a winner. And this was no exception! So if you’re having a rather hectic day, this salad, which is just bursting with fresh Asian flavors, is just what you need to help you deliciously reign in some of that chaos.

IMG_3428

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 2 heaping cups cooked shredded chicken, from one store-bought rotisserie chicken
  • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated or matchstick carrots
  • red bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 -2 thai red peppers, chopped (optional: add if you like it spicy!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from about 3 limes
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (preferably a brand imported from Thailand or Vietnam)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

In a large salad bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients except for the peanuts. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing; whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Right before serving, toss the dressing with the salad. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the peanuts. Serve cold.

Enjoy!

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Savory Crispy Pancakes

March 8, 2015

 

IMG_1605

So I’ve got a bad feeling right about now. Not one of those “oh no, disaster is imminent” kinds of feelings, but more like a “I totally missed out on that” deprived kind of feeling. As it turns out, kids in  Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Italy and Iceland (and possibly even more countries) have been happily enjoying a childhood staple known as the Findus Crispy Pancake for years. Apparently if you talk to any person who was a child from the 1970’s on in these countries they will become oh so nostalgic and wax poetic about these crispy pancakes, the most wonderful comfort food they remember. From the many blogs I’ve read, it seems that children really wanted these mass-produced , deep-fried, frozen savoury pancakes which were filled with apparently suspect meat (more on that later…) and gloopy sauces, but their wise Moms (lesson here…always listen to your mom…) wouldn’t let them have them. Now that they’re grown, they’ve found that if they are feeling a bit retro and can’t find these little blasts from the past in their local market, (you can possibly blame the great UK Findus Factory fire from a few years back…) they can just make them at home. Even Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from the River Cottage has tried his hand at reproducing the classic treat. (Take a look at the video link of him doing just that noted below). But for those of us here in the U. S. of A….not a crispy pancake in sight. In fact, I had never heard of them until I read about them on Warm & Snug & Fat (great blog! ). That was the moment that I figured out that I had been cheated!

IMG_1649

But what is a Crispy Pancake? Well apparently it is a pancake which has been filled with various mixtures of meats and or cheese, folded over, breaded and deep-fried. Findus sold many varieties of these frozen delicacies, such as Cheddar Cheese, Chicken Sweetcorn & Bacon, Chicken Curry, Minced Beef & Onion, Ham & Cheese, Tomato & Mozzarella. They even tried to get a bit posh and sell a Lobster Thermidor one a few years back. But alas, Findus was recently hit with quite a scandal back in 2013 when it was revealed that the “beef” in their beef lasagne was actually mostly horse meat. And that was not true only of the lasagne beef, turns out that the beef in the Minced Beef Crispy Pancake was also quite suspect. Yikes! (As I said…always listen to your Mom).

IMG_1624

Hmmm…I’m thinking that these Findus Pancakes sound a bit like Hot Pockets, but not really. And horse meat scandal aside, I was really curious about these little devils. As I’m sure those of you who have been following along with me know, the husband and I love meat pies, and this is basically a meat pie in a deep-fried kind of pancake way. So, there was nothing to be done but to go ahead a make a bunch up. I did the Chicken, Sweetcorn & Bacon recipe as did Amee at Warm & Snug & Fat. I must say, Savory Crispy Pancakes are delicious! I don’t know if these are anything like those original Findus ones from everyone’s (but mine) childhood, but wow, they are pretty yummy! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, with a warm rich and gooey bacon-y filling. These are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner…Oh and then there is Pancake Tuesday (Pancake Day). You know the day that some folks call Fat Tuesday? The Tuesday before Lent. These would be just the thing to serve then. Whew! I’m so glad I’m in the know now…make up a batch today so that you will be too! And if you grew up privy to this pancake secret, you should really do a Findus Pancake brunch, complete with fancy champagne drinks and all, just for old times sake…

IMG_1612

Savory Crispy Pancakes

  • Servings: Eight 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage (watch him actually cook them here) via Warm & Snug & Fat

Ingredients:

For the Pancakes:

  • 165 grams all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small egg
  • About 300ml whole milk
  • Oil for frying

For the Chicken/Sweet corn filling:

  • 25 grams butter
  • 25 grams all-purpose flour
  • 250 ml hot chicken stock
  • Kernels sliced from 1 cob of corn (3/4 cup corn)
  • 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced (about 4 ounces)
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Final Assembly:

  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200 grams Panko or fine white bread crumbs
  • A little paprika (optional)
  • A little turmeric (optional) -Apparently these pancakes a la Findus had a pronounced nuclear orange coloring and the tumeric will help you achieve this fake tan look.
  • Oil, for frying

Directions:

For the Pancakes:

Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Break the egg into the centre, then start whisking it into the flour, gradually incorporating the milk. Keep adding milk and whisking until you have a smooth batter the consistency of single cream. Rest the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, then cook this gently for two minutes. Remove from the heat, add a good splash of the hot stock and beat until you have a smooth paste. Repeat with a little more stock, then a little more. Add the remaining stock in two or three lots, beating well with each addition to get rid of any lumps. Return the pan to the heat. Bring slowly to a simmer, and cook gently for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Add the chicken, bacon, corn kernels, garlic and herbs and simmer for another five minutes or so, until the chicken is completely cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to cool.

To Cook the Pancakes:

Heat a little oil in a small frying pan (about 6″ or 15cm in diameter) over a high heat. Pour in 1/3 cup of the pancake batter, immediately swirling the batter around to form a pancake (don’t make it too thin – these need to be a little more robust than your standard crepe). Cook for a minute or two, until bubbles appear on the surface of the  pancake and it is golden-brown underneath. Flip it and cook the other side for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Final Assembly:

To assemble, take one pancake and spoon some of your chosen filling on to one half of it. You only need a tablespoonful or so – don’t overfill the pancakes. Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the pancake and sprinkle on a little flour to form a natural glue. Fold the pancake over to make a half-moon shape, and press the edges to seal.

Put the flour in a deep dish and season well with salt and pepper. Put the beaten eggs in a second dish, then the Panko or breadcrumbs in a third. Season the breadcrumbs, if you like, with paprika and turmeric – not essential but it gives the pancakes their fake tan orange colour, which is large part of their charm. Dip the stuffed pancakes into each of the three dishes until completely breaded.

Heat a 1mm layer of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the breaded pancakes a few at a time, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and piping hot in the middle. Drain briefly on kitchen paper. Serve straight away.

Enjoy!

Savory Crispy Pancakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Chicken Skink

March 3, 2015

IMG_1367

Yup, you read that right…Chicken Skink. Skink is an old Irish term meaning “broth”. So Chicken Skink is an Irish Chicken Soup. You might have actually heard the term before in the famous Scottish dish, Cullen Skink. Cullen is a small town in Moray on the Northeast coast of Scotland. Apparently the way they make skink there is with smoked haddock. The husband was very happy I chose to go with an Irish skink, since he has a seafood allergy.

IMG_1383

This skink has chicken in it, along with leeks, carrots, celery and peas. It is enriched with cream and egg yolk which makes it a bit heartier than  your average chicken soup, which is a good thing because winter seems to be firmly entrenched around here. This skink is just what you need to warm you up but not weigh you down when you’re dashing around to all the St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities. Make a big pot up of it today!

IMG_1410

Chicken Skink

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and diced
  • 4 small carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 small leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 1/2 Cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 4 small scallions, some green tops included, sliced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 Boston or butter lettuce leaves, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Put the celery, carrots and leeks in a saucepan with the stock, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, then simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.

Add the chicken, peas and scallions. Simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the peas are just tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. Lightly beat the egg yolk and cream together and stir the mixture into the soup. Reheat gently, stirring.

Ladle into warm bowls, add the lettuce and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Chicken Skink brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


White Chicken Chili

January 28, 2015

IMG_0406

Brrrr! Is it cold out there or what?!!! I guess those temperatures do tend to plunge in the winter. And then there’s the snow and sleety/icy mix that shows up as well. Oh yeah, and the howling winds. Just ask any of the folks up there in the Northeastern States that just suffered through a whopper of a winter storm. They’ll tell you all about it. Lucky for us, Virginia was spared. We did get some snow, but it was very little and we were so uber prepared. I saw snow removal trucks rolling down the street in front of our house all night on Monday, spewing salt, plows with sparks flying because there wasn’t even enough snow on the road to push aside. Yes, even the snow novice Virginia locals did well in this storm with a mere 2 hour delay for school and work. I don’t know. Perhaps we’re getting more snow savvy around here. We did have a major snowpocalypse a few years ago and I think we might’ve gotten a baptism by fire back then. Well, there’s no doubt about it, Chili weather is upon us. No not chilly, but Chili (errrr…the husband says that it is Chili weather year round…) and today I have a great recipe for a White Chicken Chili for you.

IMG_0436

Not only is it very easy to make, in fact you can probably have it on your table in about one hour, but it is also incredibly tasty. I would even go so far as to say that this is the best White Chili that I have ever had the good luck to stumble upon. I found the recipe over at Once Upon a Chef and  as usual Jenn did not disappoint. I made it just as she did and it was perfection. No tinkering required. Now don’t freak out when you see that there is a jalapeño pepper as well as two poblanos. As long as you take care not to add the seeds, it isn’t blow the top of your head off spicy. It has just the right amount of heat, especially considering those temps outside. And I love, love, love that you just use a shredded rotisserie chicken in it. Can’t get much easier than that.

IMG_0450

I served this White Chicken Chili topped with sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips and extra cilantro and with a big batch of tasty corn muffins which we ate hot out of the oven and slathered with butter. With a big pot of this chili simmering away on the stove, you’ll likely forget the eternal snow shoveling that is headed your way before Spring is sprung. Yup… although us Virginians were able to dodge the bullet this time, I don’t think Winter is done with us yet…..

IMG_0402

White Chicken Chili

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • salt
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more to taste

For Serving:

sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, lime wedges, avocado, Monterrey jack cheese

Directions:

In a food processor, blend 1 can of the beans with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Set aside both the pureed beans and the remaining whole beans

Add the oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper and poblano peppers and saute until soft, about 5 -7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one minute more. Add the cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute more to toast the spices. Add the chicken stock, pureed beans and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in the shredded chicken, reserved whole beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice; bring back to a simmer and cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and lime juice. (The broth will be somewhat soupy – don’t worry, that’s how it is supposed to be. The chili will thicken the longer it sits. If you have made it ahead of time and need to thin it out some when you are ready to serve, just add a little more broth before warming.) Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips and any other fixins you desire.

Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

September 26, 2014

IMG_8612

I am so excited to tell you about these Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls. They are absolutely one of my favourite discoveries this year. And let me tell you with a list of ingredients that includes fresh spinach and basil, creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese, savoury grated Parmesan Reggiano, moist, tender chicken breast, crispy panko breading and zesty Arrabiatta sauce, how could this dish go wrong? The answer is simple.. it doesn’t! It not only delivers on flavour, but it is also actually pretty low in calories – that is if you manage to refrain from eating the whole pan in one sitting, which I’ll admit is a bit of a challenge. These little devils are that delicious!

IMG_8648

And they are pretty easy to make. Though I will say, they are a bit “fiddly”. And if you are freaked out by handling raw chicken, you might have to take a few deep breaths (ie. glasses of wine or shots of whisky…depending on how serious your phobia is) because you are going to have to get a bit messy. Basically you take a flatened chicken breast, place the creamy spinach/ricotta mixture on top and then roll it up. Yes, it will try to sneak out of the ends, you’re going to have to be expecting that little trick and keep heading it off at the pass and herding it back into that roll of chicken. Then you take that roll, dip it in the egg whites and roll it in a panko/Parmesan Reggiano breading. So yeah, a bit messy. But just you wait…it is so worth it. Once you’ve wrangled all of those chicken rolls into the baking dish, just pop them in the oven and you just won’t believe how wonderfully they bake up. They are moist and tender on the inside with layers of gooey ricotta spinach all wrapped up in a golden crunchy panko crust on the outside. You’ll be tempted to chow down on them right now, but show some restraint! You aren’t finished with this dish….no indeed. Next you take some of your favorite marinara sauce – you know us by now, we went for super spicy Arrabiatta – and ladle it over the top. Wait! There’s more. Then you top it with some big slices of fresh mozzarella. Remember, I said fresh! Not those little shredded plastic shards. Pop it back into the oven. Once the marinara sauce and mozzarella are piping hot and bubbling, take it out of the oven and sprinkle a bit of fresh basil over the top.

IMG_8609

I am telling you, it is to die for! Creamy, dreamy, gooey, crunchy, cheesy, zesty bliss. You’ve got to make a big pan of these Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls today!

IMG_8618

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy - but a bit fiddly
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 4-ounce pieces)
  • 1 cup Italian style Panko
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 clove minced garlic and olive oil for sauteing
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup beaten egg whites
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup  of your favourite marinara sauce (you know spicy us…we chose Arrabiatta!)
  • fresh basil for topping

Directions:

Prep the chicken: Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and pound the pieces until they are thin (for quick cooking) and have expanded in surface area (for more filling). Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan Reggiano cheese and set aside.

Prep the filling: Chop the spinach and saute it with the garlic and just a drizzle of olive oil for 2-3 minutes or until just barely wilted. Combine the sautéed spinach with the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and 2-3 tablespoons of the egg whites. Place the remaining egg whites in a separate shallow bowl and set aside.

Assemble the chicken: Oil the bottom of a large baking dish and preheat the oven to 450º F. Place one piece of chicken on a flat working surface. Put a spoonful of ricotta-spinach filling right in the middle and roll the chicken up so that the edges meet to form a “seam”. Dip the entire chicken roll in egg whites, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place in a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat for the remaining 7 pieces of chicken, taking care not to crowd the pieces in the dish. If the sides of the rolls are not touching they will be crispier. Bake for 25 minutes.

Finishing touches: After 25 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through and browned on the top. Cover the chicken with the marinara sauce and slices of fresh Mozzarella. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melting. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Enjoy!

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


%d bloggers like this: