Hominy with Kale and Chicken

By Corinne

Living here in the great white north I’ve only recently been introduced to hominy.  After a bit of looking around on the internet, it seems like canned hominy is easy to find and can usually be found near beans in the grocery store. Most sources recommended using canned rather than dried, and if you can find them, it will certainly save them a step. If you’re living in Thunder Bay, I haven’t found canned hominy anywhere (though word on the street is that Bulk Zone has brought in some canned hominy now!) and the only place I’ve found whole dried hominy is Renco’s Foods on Court St.

Once you’ve figured out the hominy part, this is an easy supper.

wp-image-1661188791jpg.jpg

Time: about 35-45 minutes (depends on the thickness of the chicken you are cooking)

Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups of hominy* (rehydrated and cooked) or probably one can drained will do
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 6 cups of washed and finely chopped kale leaves – no stems
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (I used mini san marzano because they are my fav)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes, or one crumbled red chili
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth. I used white wine.
  • Salt and pepper

*If you can find canned hominy, by all means, use that. If using dried hominy, start this recipe the day before by cooking the hominy. I skipped the soaking overnight step and cooked it in the slow cooker on low overnight. It still took until early afternoon before kernels were tender and had popped. I cooked the whole bag of dried hominy and froze what I didn’t use in two cup portions so that I won’t have to do this step again for a while.

In a large pan heat 1 tbsp canola over medium heat. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and add to pan. If your chicken breasts are quite thick, you may wish to cut them in half to reduce cooking time. Cook for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken) until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken from pan.

Add 1 tbsp canola to the pan and turn up the heat a bit to medium high. Add the hominy and stir and cook for about 10 minutes until some of it is getting a bit browned on the edges. Add the onion and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Slice the chicken breasts and add back to pan with the other ingredients. Add the chili flakes, thyme, garlic and kale. Add the white wine and the lemon juice. Stir until chicken is reheated,  kale has wilted and the liquid has been mostly absorbed, about 5-7 minutes. Some of the tomatoes may have just started to break down, that’s ok, but if they’re all still whole that’s ok too. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.

Advertisements

Left-over Chicken Fettuccine In A Light Cream Sauce

The other night I made some delicious Turkish Chicken and have been having a creative food-fest with the leftovers.  Yesterday I made some Chicken Salad and today, pasta!  Yummy, yummy pasta.  I have to start by telling you I don’t really like Alfredo sauce.  I find most of it sweet and rich and too thick.  I have never really had an Alfredo Sauce that made me stop and swoon the way I’ve seen some of my girl friends do.  Hence, I’ve never made it.  This sauce is sort of like Alfredo, but since it doesn’t use heavy cream it is not as sweet and rich and also not as fatty.  You’re very sad, I know.  I like light sauces, I almost always pick a tomato based sauce over a cream sauce, with the exception of some white wine creations which I love.

Don’t have any leftover chicken?  Slice and saute a chicken breast and set aside before starting.

You Will Need

  • 10oz of fettuccine
  • 2 tbsp pasta water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups of sugar snap peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 leftover chicken thighs, chopped
  • 100g of smoked Gouda (or any other favourite)
  • 1 cup of half and half cream
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Prepare pasta as per package directions, reserve 2 tbsp of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.  Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat and add onion and a pinch of salt.  Cook 2 or 3 minutes until softened, add peas and red pepper.  Cook until tender crisp, about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook 1 min more until fragrant.  Add cheese, cream, pasta water and chicken and bring to a simmer. This needs some salt and a generous amount of ground pepper.  Don’t be shy with the pepper, you won’t be sorry.  Add pasta and simmer until slightly thickened.  Serve immediately and garnish additional Parmesan.

 

Harissa Chicken Wraps with Hummus

img_5193

By Corinne

I am generally not one for buying spice blends, though I do enjoy when my friends visit exotic places and bring them back for me! Harissa is a Tunisian (though variants are found throughout north Africa and the Mediterranean) blend of of chilies, garlic and other spices such as mint. It’s often found as a paste rather than as the dry spice blend and either will work in this recipe. I picked up this Harissa blend on a bit of a whim, though I did receive a cookbook for Christmas that calls for harissa in a few recipes. I made my own wraps for this, but you can certainly use store bought tortillas or pita breads.

Makes: about 6-8 wraps

Time: about 30 minutes, more if you make your own flatbreads

You will need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • about 1 tbsp of harissa spice blend
  • about 3/4 cup of hummus (mine was very garlicky!)
  • veggies you like- I used sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and red onion- other options might include red peppers, lettuce, baby spinach, mushrooms or any other veg you like in a wrap
  • wraps or pitas (I found this was enough chicken to make about 7-8 wraps, but I used a lot of veg in my wraps) I used Homemade Flour Tortillas, but certainly store bought is fine

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with harissa spice. I cut my chicken breasts in half lengthwise as they were fairly thick and I wanted to reduce the cooking time. Set chicken aside and allow to marinate for a bit while you prep any of your veggies you will be using with your wraps.

Add a little oil to pan if necessary. Add chicken to pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side.  When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan and slice into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Since these wraps are delightful with the chicken warm or cold, you could certainly prep the chicken the day before, and they are awesome for lunch the next day.

To assemble, spread about 2 tbsp of hummus on centre of wrap (or more or less as you like it!) and place chicken and veggies of your choice down the middle. Fold up from the bottom, then wrap both sides around. You can pin it all together with a toothpick.

 

 

 

 

Italian Chicken Soup with Quinoa and Spinach

img_5036

By Corinne

Doesn’t this sound like some sort of hipster healthy living type soup? Well. Sure it does. But just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it can’t also be filling and delicious! If you don’t love quinoa, then feel free to use a small pasta instead.

This recipe calls for a parmesan rind. If you haven’t started using fresh parm (or asiago) I highly recommend it. While it’s more expensive than the stuff that comes in a can, it also has a great deal more flavour, since you know, it’s not mixed with sawdust. One of the best things about using fresh cheese is saving the rind for soups. When you get down to the rind, just throw it in a bag and put it in the freezer until you need it. It adds an incredible amount of flavour to soups and stews. It generally doesn’t dissolve fully in the soup, but does get softer. If your soup is at a full roiling boil it may somewhat dissolve, and I’ve accidentally forgotten to take it out before pureeing soups. Oops.

Serves: 3-4

Time: about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how long you let the soup simmer

You will need:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 pound (250 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs – about 3
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, thyme, basil
  • several generous grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1 cup white navy beans -I used dried, which I rehydrate and freeze. 1 cup is more than half of a standard can – you can probably just use a whole can if you’re using canned beans, unless of course you have a use for your leftover beans!
  • 1 can (28oz, 794g) tomatoes -I used whole and smushed them up, but diced would work great as well
  • 4 cups chicken or veggie stock – I used my favourite Homemade Veggie Bouillon
  • 1/2 cup dry wine – red or white, if you happen to have some open, it’s awesome to deglaze the pot with after cooking the onion/celery/chicken, but it’s ok to omit
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • grated parm or asiago for garnish if desired
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dry) – to be added to individual bowls
  • handful of chopped fresh spinach- to be added to each bowl

Dice onion and celery, add to a heavy bottomed pot with a few tbsp of butter or oil. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to pot with onion and celery. Allow to cook until the vegetables have some colour and the chicken is cooked. Add the minced garlic and stir around until fragrant, but don’t let the garlic burn.

If you are using wine to deglaze – pour a little in the pot and scrape up all the delicious browned bits.

Add the tomatoes, stock, carrots, beans, thyme, basil, oregano, pepper and parmesan rind. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes, but longer if you have time.

While soup is simmering, rinse quinoa well in a small mesh sieve to remove bitter saponins. Cook quinoa in a 1:2 ratio of water – if you are using half a cup of quinoa, use 1 cup of water. If you are using 1 cup of quinoa, use 2 cups of water etc. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes. When liquid is absorbed and quinoa has ‘popped’ it is ready.

Chop a handful of fresh spinach for each bowl, ladle in hot soup, and then add a few tbsp of cooked quinoa to each bowl. Garnish with grated parmesan or asiago cheese if desired.

Roast Chicken and Stuffing For Two… And A Half.

By: Julie

Time:  2 hrs – 30 min prep and the rest is wait time.

On Sunday night I made the best roast chicken that I’ve ever had.  It was juicy and flavorful and amazing.

I love to cook big meals and I love to entertain.  However, sometimes I like to spoil Tyler without all the fuss so we can enjoy it together, just the two of us.  Just the two of us and busy toddler that thinks the knobs on the gas stove is a game that no one will let her play.

I wanted to make a meal that didn’t take a lot of time, but still tasted like a Sunday Dinner should.  once you prep this meal you have a whole block of time in the middle to either make fun sides, or build a Lego castle while singing the alphabet song for the eighteenth time.   Also, a whole, fresh chicken was only $6 dollars.  It’s difficult to find two boneless-skinless chicken breasts for that.  We each had a breast for supper and saved the legs and the thighs for lunch for tomorrow (plus extra for the tiny human).

The stuffing is a faster version of my holiday stuffing. It doesn’t have any sausage and I’ve left out a few other things to make it a little easier and less time intensive.  My holiday stuffing I usually prep the night before but this one can be whipped up in minutes.

You Will Need:

For The Chicken

  • 1 stalk of celery – broken into 3 pieces
  • half an onion, peeled
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3-4lb chicken

My dad once told me that to have the perfect juicy turkey, stuff the cavity with onion and celery instead of using stuffing or leaving it empty.  I am happy to tell you that this is correct.  I do this every time and it works just as well with chicken.  I never cook my stuffing in my bird, the bread absorbs moisture and flavour out of the chicken.  I want that juice to stay in the bird.

Preheat the oven to 400F and mix the spices together in a bowl.

20161211_165444

That being said, stuff the celery, onion, and sprig of rosemary into the cavity of the chicken.  If you can, just tuck the legs through the fat at the bottom of the chicken.  Mine was ripped so I used a skewer and a raw potato to keep the legs of the bird together.  Drizzle the olive oil over the breast, rub it into the skin and legs.  Then add the spice rub and make sure to get it everywhere.

It will look something like this:

20161211_16573720161211_170011

Place the chicken in the oven in the center rack and roast for 20 min.  Then reduce to 325F and continue roasting for another 60-80 min, until the thickest part of the bird reaches 175F.  I check temp about every 20 min.  When the chicken reaches 150 I remove the foil so it browns nicely.  Once you take it out it needs to be covered to rest for at least 10 min to absorb the juice back into the meat.  Temp will rise another 5 degrees and the chicken actually continues to cook outside of the oven.

For The Stuffing

  • 3 slices of stale bread – I used bran, whole grain bread adds extra flavor to your stuffing.  Cubed into half inch pieces
  • 1 stalk of celery – diced
  • 1/2 medium onion – diced
  • 1 small apple – diced
  • 1/3 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp of sage
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – plus more for bread cubes

Mix the herbs together and set aside.

20161211_171853

Toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and throw it in the oven with your chicken for 10 min to toast them.  They should be lightly browned, but not hard.  Prep the rest of your ingredients while they are toasting.

20161211_172239

In an oven-friendly pan, melt the butter and the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and the celery and saute until softened.  Add the apple, cranberries, and spices and stir to combine.  Add the white wine, the bread, and half of the broth.  Only add half the broth to start.  You want the bread to be wet, but not soggy.  Add the other half if necessary.  Set aside and cover with foil.  You want to put the whole pan in the oven when your chicken has about 20 min left.  It’s very forgiving so don’t worry too much.  You just want to make sure the apples have time to cook through.

20161211_173545

Remove the chicken from the oven when it reaches 170-175F.  Cover with foil and let rest for a min of 10 minutes.  I leave the digital thermometer in mine, stabbing it through the foil.   When the temp stops rising and starts to fall, I know it’s done cooking and has rested enough.

20161211_19011820161211_193106

Carve and enjoy.  I cut along the breast bone and then horizontally just above the wing to remove the whole breast, a trick my mom taught me.

I served this with some Cran-apple Marmalade I made and a nice green salad.  It was amazingly juicy, just how I pictured.

20161211_193341

Easiest Honey Garlic Chicken

 

img_4771-1

By Corinne

I know that pre packaged sauces can be super convenient. That being said, honey garlic sauce is so easy to make and has such a short and simple list of common pantry ingredients that it makes going out to buy a jar of sauce more work than mixing it up 🙂

Time: prep 5 min, bake 1 hour

Makes: 4 chicken thighs + extra sauce

Oven: 350F

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup sodium reduced soy sauce*
  • 3 cloves of garlic – pressed or minced
  • 2 tsp of sesame seeds (if desired)**
  • 1 chili pepper minced (if desired) I usually use a thai red chili pepper, though a regular chili pepper or 1/2 tsp of chili flakes also works
  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs

*This recipe is gluten free as long as you ensure you use a gluten free soy sauce

**If you wish to give this a more ‘sesame’ flavour, add 1/2 tsp of toasted sesame oil to the sauce.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a measuring cup, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Place chicken in an oven safe dish with lid. Pour sauce over chicken.

Place covered, in a 350F oven for 1 hour. Remove lid and broil for 3-5 minutes to crisp up skin. Serve with rice and snap peas.

While this is certainly enough sauce to do more chicken, I like to pour the sauce over my rice and veg. The sauce is easy to make more of since the honey and soy are in an equal ratio, so if for example you want to do 6 or 8 thighs, you could add and additional 2 tbsp each of honey and soy, and an additional clove of garlic if desired.

Guest Post! “Week Night Chicken Fajitas” with Garden Salsa and Guacamole

By Mandi 

As we leave Labor Day behind us and the structure of fall begins to take shape it is easy to become overwhelmed with the pressures of the day to day and forget to make family meal time a priority.  I get it: schedules are hard to co-ordinate, and we are all so busy with work, school, sports and other activities that our time to gather together with our loved ones to enjoy a meal is limited.

 

One of my favourite parts about Pampered Chef are the fun, festive and FAST solutions that can be shared that help make family meal time easy.  My tool of choice is the Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven – this amazing “Magic Black Pot” truly makes my life in the kitchen a breeze.  The key to the RockCrok’s magic is its versatility; it is created from clay that is heat resistant, so you can sear, braise, simmer, slow cook, fry, boil, bake, broil, microwave and grill in one pan (oh yeah, and afterwards it can go in the dishwasher)!  In terms of cost, I tell my customers, that if the RockCrok helps you avoid one trip to the Drive Thru per week it will pay for itself in less than 2 months.

 

One of my family’s favourite go-to’s are Week Night Chicken Fajitas, which satisfies all 3 meal goals – they are fun, festive and fast!  I like to pair these with homemade Garden Salsa and Guacamole which is a super easy “piggy-back” recipe that can be whipped up quickly while the fajitas are cooking.  Add some margaritas and in 30 minutes you have a Mexican fiesta!

Time: prep 10 min, depends on cooking method- microwave 18 min, bbq 35 min, oven 40 min
Week Night Chicken Fajitas
You will need:
  • 2-3 bell peppers (any colour combo you desire), cut into strips
  • 1-2 red onion, cut into strips (I chop mine finer because my kids are more likely to pick out the strips)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos (optional and depends on your preferred level of heat – my little guys and hubby don’t enjoy a lot of spice so I eliminate completely.)
  • 4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub (I also enjoy the Pampered Chef Chipotle Rub in the recipes too)
Fixing Suggestions
– 12 small flour (or corn) tortillas
– shredded cheddar cheese
– sour cream
– chopped jalapenos
– chopped cilantro
– Garden Salsa and Guacamole (recipe included below).

– anything else you desire

Steps

1. Using your Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven,  Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, or other microwave safe, lidded cooking vessel, start adding your sliced peppers (including jalapenos if you are including them), onions and garlic (Pampered Chef Garlic Slicer quickly creates paper thin garlic slices).  Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Tex Mex Rub.  Mix gently to combine.

2. Lay chicken over the bed of vegetables.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cover with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Tex mex rub.  Manually rub the seasoning on to the surface of the chicken.

3. Place cover on the RockCrok or other cooking vessel and place in the microwave (on high) for 10 minutes. Redistribute the chicken, microwave for another 8 minutes.  Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer (should be 165 degrees).  If you don’t have meat thermometer, cut into the largest piece of meat, if the meat is white and juice is running clear, they are done.  If not, microwave for another 3-5 minutes.  Every microwave is different, which is why it is important to check.

4.  Once cooked completely, remove chicken breasts and slice into strips.  Mix them back in with the veggies and replace the lid to maintain the heat.  Serve with tortillas and desired fixings.

This is a microwave recipe, but it can be adapted to the oven or the BBQ, but times would have to be adjusted.  Depending on the cooking vessel, BBQ would take about 35 minutes and oven would take about 40 minutes at 350F.

Every kitchen needs to have a meat thermometer – use this to determine when your chicken is cooked (should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 2-3 minutes to be considered done.

 

Piggy Back Garden Salsa and Guacamole
I call this recipe “piggy back” because I make the salsa first and then use some of it to flavour the guacamole.  For these recipes I use another Pampered Chef favourite, the Manual Food Processor (or as is affectionately known, the MFP).  I love this tool because it is compact, easy to use (my kids like to take turns pumping it) and because it is manual, it really allows you to control the consistency of what you are making.  You can make your salsa and guacamole as chunky or as smooth as you like it personally.
Salsa
This recipes is a great use of tomatoes from your garden and is great on its own.  When I make this salsa in the winter the flavors always remind me of late summer.
_dsc2186
  •  2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 lime, juice and zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 jalapeno (optional)
1. Add 1/2 tomatoes to the Manual Food Processor (MFP), process a bit to break them open.  Add remaining tomatoes, process a bit to break them open.
2. Cut onion, jalapeno (if adding) into chunks and add to MFP.  Rough chop cilantro before adding it.   Add pressed garlic, lime zest, lime juice, rub).  Process until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Remove salsa from the MFP, but leave ~1/2 cup behind.
Guacamole
1/2 cup of garden salsa
2-3 ripe avocados
1/2 lime, and zest
2 gloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cut avos into chunks, and roughly chop the cilantro and add to salsa.  Add the garlic, lime juice and zest, and salt.

2. Combine until desired consistency is achieved.

These recipes are great to serve buffet style or family style.  I love placing the components into interesting and eclectic serving vessels which contributes to the fun and festive feel of this quick week night meal!!

Adapted from
https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/recipe/Main+Dishes/Under+30+minutes/Quick+Chicken+Fajitas/1129445
__________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about Pampered Chef, or would like to check out any of the products mentioned above.  Follow one of the links below and search for (RockCrok Dutch Oven, Manual Food Processer, Garlic Slicer, Tex Mex Rub, Chipotle Rub)  If you are interested in making a Pampered Chef Purchase, Brown Butter and Pink Peppercorn is hosting an ONLINE Pampered Chef show from Sept 20-30, 2016.  If you have a Canadian shipping address, you can order via either of these links.  If you live in the U.S.  drop me a line and I will connect you with a consultant that can help you.

https://pamperedchef.ca/go/corinnebbpp
https://pamperedchef.ca/go/juliebbpp

If you are interested in earning some Pampered Chef product for free — check out some of the benefits of hosting.

https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/pws-host-a-show

If you would like some more information about how to become a Pampered Chef consultant, check out this link, or send me an email mandifow@gmail.com.  I am looking for team members in all provinces and territories, and would love to help you get started.

https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/be-a-consultant

Amanda (Mandi) Fowler van Wyk
Team Leader and Trainer Pampered Chef Canada