Chili Mango Chicken

I’ve noticed a sale on mangoes at Cherry Valley Market. And then there’s chicken in the freezer. Let’s put these to work. Now, if your kitchen is like mine, you probably have a lot of those Chinese condiments on hand so let’s get a little Asian inspired cooking done.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 mango peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic suace
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp. sesame oil

Combine the chicken cornstarch sesame oil and soy sauce and let this sit and marinate for about ten to fifteen minutes. Heat  little peanut oil in a wok and stir fry the vegetables, the peas, onion and ginger, but you could also throw some peppers and carrots thin cut or a little celery, whatever you have on hand here. Stir fry this up and add the chicken. Start browning the chicken and add the chili garlic sauce and add the mango. Cook this up until the chicken is cooked through thoroughly.

Serve this over some brown rice, and sprinkle with some sesame seeds for a little added ‘crunch’ and enjoy some saki for a change of pace.

Chili Mango Chicken jpeg


Simple Chicken Broth

It’s a few days into spring by way of the calendar, but you couldn’t tell it from the weather out there. It’s still cold and blustery out there. And this weather can certainly lead to a bad case of the sniffles. To help combat this, have a nice bowl of homemade chicken broth. Broth is not the same thing as stock even though many people use the two interchangeably. Stock, which is a basis for many soups and sauces, is made from water and bones, chicken bones, beef bones, fish bones. Broth is made from water and meaty bones. It also often contains vegetables and aromatic herbs in the mixture as well. So broth contains much more flavor than stock. A chicken broth is a great thing to make for those packages of very inexpensive chicken backs.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound meaty chicken backs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery rib
  • A couple stems of parsley
  • A pinch or two of rosemary and thyme
  • A pinch or two of sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in a stock pot, cover them with water, and bring it to a rolling boil to break down all the connective tissue in the chicken backs. Reduce the heat to low and cook for two to three hours replacing water as you go. Then, strain everything through a colander into another pot. Discard the solids. Then, slowly strain the mixture through cheesecloth to further clarify the broth. Then serve it in a mug or bowl. I like to server this with toasted garlic bread.

Chicken Broth

Caldo de Gallina (Dominican Chicken Soup)

We just can’t seem to let go of winter’s chill out here on the island. Perhaps some Dominican style chicken soup will be good for the soul. A bit of red pepper flakes adds just the right amount of heat to this fairly straight forward broth.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds cooked chicken (skinned, boned, cut into small pieces)
  • 2 medium potatos (cut into cube-like structures)
  • ½ cup of Yucca (cut into cube-like structures too)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup celery stalk (chopped into cubes)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro (if not available, substitute dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 10 cups water
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add chicken, bouillon cubes, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried cilantro. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, yucca. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Break up the angel hair pasta and add to the pot. Stir frequently until noodles are tender. Remove from the heat and serve.

dominican chicken soup

Chicken Schnitzel with Duck Walk White

Chicken thighs are an inexpensive dinner choice. They work well in this recipe as we are going to be pounding the pieces thin. So there is less work when you get the thighs rather than the boneless breasts, and it’s cheaper than getting those thin cut chicken cutlets.  The boneless thighs are best for this recipe, and don’t forget the thick cut bacon from Western Beef.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 4oz chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup of Duck Walk white wine
  • 4 rashers of thick cut bacon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp minced garlic

Brown the garlic in olive oil and add the bacon. Cook the bacon till well crisp and remove to a paper towel. Now fry the chicken in the rendered bacon fat, garlic bits, and oil. Give each piece of chicken about two minutes per side. Make sure the pan is hot so you get a little burning going on the around the edges of the chicken.

Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it over the chicken. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and get that entire flavor into this light pan sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bring it to the table. I like to serve this up with a side of kasha and warm sauerkraut.


Dry Rubs 01 – Dried Herbs

I like to apply different types of seasonings to many things I prepare. I like to think that it’s one of those small changes that can make a big difference to the meals we make. Dry rubs, wet rubs, marinades, sauces, these can change the flavor profile of food. So, when on your third day of chicken from that big weekend sale, it won’t be ‘oh, chicken again’ blah blah, but ‘wow! It’s chicken, again’. So I will share some of my favorite dry rubs this week. I think they are rather simple and easily made… give them a try and enjoy ‘wow, chicken again!’.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup dry rosemary
  • ¼ cup course sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried garlic flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage

I run the dry rosemary needles through a mortar before adding them into a large mixing bowl. I don’t try to powder them, just crush the needles up a bit. Use the mortar to crack those peppercorns too before tossing them into the bowl. Toss the other dry herbs and salt into the bowl and mix this together thoroughly. Transfer to a jar and store away from light and heat and this should stay fresh for several weeks. If you alter this and use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, use the rub right away and store the excess in the fridge. This is one of those occasions where dried herbs are better than fresh. This should make about ¾ cup of rub. Apply it to porkchops or chicken before cooking and add a bit of Tuscany to your table.

Dried Herbs Rub

Dried Herbs Rub

Six Can Chicken Stew

So now that storm season is under way, I want to share a secret recipe for making meals from cans… all cans… the stuff we should start stocking in our pantries. This first recipe, six can chicken stew is a quick and easy way to make a four hour meal in thirty minutes or less.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 can of chunk chicken
  • 1 can low salt chicken gravy
  • 1 can sliced potatoes
  • 1 can sliced carrots
  • 1 can mixed vegetables
  • 1 can mushrooms

Open all the cans and drain out the liquid. Toss the gravy and the chicken into a medium sauce pot over a medium heat. Then, rinse the contents of the rest of the cans to wash off any excess sodium and add them to the pot. Heat this through thoroughly. Now, you can add your own seasonings, I usually use rosemary and thyme and a little basil.

You can serve this in thick bowls and get about two or three servings. Quick and easy, that’s the theme.