Chicken Vol Au Vent

I always have a package of these shells in the freezer and this is a wonderful way to use them and enjoy a great light lunch or dinner before going out for the evening.

  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 minced large shallot
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped white mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2-3 tbsp. good white wine
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 Vol au Vent shells, baked as per instructions on package

In a saucepan, put in the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat.

Melt the butter in a fry pan and cook the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook a further minute.

Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and golden in colour.

Sprinkle the flour  over and, stirring constantly, cook for a minute. Add the wine and continue cooking until it has all evaporated. Pour this into the stock and add the chicken breasts. Cook this for about 3-4 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Carefully spoon into the baked shells. If you wish, pour a glass of chilled white wine and Voila! a perfect meal.

Enjoy.

Grilled Chicken Salad With A Twist

The days are finally in summer temperature mode and I thought this would help out for making a light supper to be enjoyed on the deck.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pinch of pepper and crushed oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • spring salad mix (about 7-8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, chopped coarsely

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well. Let stand for 1 -1  1/2 hours to allow them to mellow out.

Cook the chicken over the grill, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until tender and no longer pink. Cool slightly.

On 4 plates, arrange the salad greens, topping with the grapes, goat cheese and nuts. Slice each breast and arrange 1 per plate. Shake the dressing and drizzle over all.

Add a glass of your favourite chilled white wine and simply enjoy.

Bell Peppers Stuffed With Turkey

In the past, I have never warmed up to stuffed peppers. Maybe it was the texture or the flavors, I don’t know BUT I do know this recipe put my head in a spin. All the while it was baking in the oven, I could swear the neighborhood was lining up at the front door. It is beyond fabulous. Give it a go!

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cooked rice (1/3 cup raw)
  • 4 large peppers, cut in half, seeded

Cook the rice (1/3 cup rice and 2/3 cup water) and salt until done.

Spray a medium size roaster with non-stick spray and set aside.

Prepare the peppers by cutting half, removing the stems and all the seeds. Shave off the pointy top part so they sit better. Arrange in the roaster and set aside.

In a large bowl mix the turkey, seasonings, onion, sour cream and rice by hand and then fill the peppers equally.

Sauce

  • 1 can condensed Campbell’s tomato soup
  • 1 can chicken broth (could use beef)
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the peppers and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 75-90 minutes. When ready to take to the table, spoon all the sauce over the peppers. OMG! These are sooooo delicious.

  • Even if you don’t care for bell peppers, you will love this recipe.

 

Chicken Breasts With Egg Noodles

Here is a quick and easy dinner to make when the schedules make time a premium in your household or you want to impress company.

  • 4 chicken breasts, boned
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. grated onion
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/4 cup Pinot Grigio wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Pinot Grigio wine
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/2 of 340g pkg. extra broad egg noodles
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cleaned and steamed

Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the grated onion, garlic and brown the chicken breasts.

Place the chicken in a casserole dish, skin side up, and add the wine, onion and garlic. Cover and cook for 350 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and cook a further 15 minutes.

In a small saucepan, add the remaining wine and sour cream, whisking together until smooth,. Heat through but do not boil.

Clean the asparagus and steam until done to your liking.

Distribute the cooked noodles equally on 4 plates, and top each one with a chicken breast. Cover each with lots of the delicious sauce and place a few spears of asparagus along side.

Watch your guests devour this up.

YUM!

 

 

Turkey and Rice Casserole For Buffets

With the festive season fast approaching, here is a recipe to help with the Buffet. It is made with leftover turkey (this makes it a great Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve treat) and rice.

  • 1 cup rice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 3 cups white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, sauted in 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 pint of whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of turkey stock OR chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. grated onion
  • 2 tbsp. diced pimento
  • pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp. grated Tex Mex cheese (or more)
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the rice until tender. Drain the rice, if needed and put in a large bowl.

Toss in the turkey and mushrooms. Add the whipping cream and stock, onion, pimento and salt and pepper, Mix this up and put into a buttered  baking dish and bake for approx. 1 hour.

YUM!

Chicken With Mushrooms

This really is a tasty dish. Looks ‘rich’ but isn’t and is a great dish when served with rice or pasta.

 

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 16 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth (better flavour here)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

In a skillet on medium heat, add the oil and chicken, cooking until seared and browned, flipping over and searing the under side. Place this now in a slow cooker.

In the same skillet, add the onion cooking until tender. Add to the slow cooker.

Place the garlic and mushrooms in an even layer over the chicken. Pour in the beef broth, pinch of salt and pepper and cook on low for 4 – 4 1/2 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, add the cornstarch to the juices and mushrooms. Add the sour cream and whisk until smooth. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and cook another 20 minutes until the gravy is thick.

Serve this delectable dish over rice or a pasta of your choice. I guarantee you will be licking the plate clean. Okay, have a dinner roll handy to pick every trace of the gravy.

 

*Note

We found the beef broth gave a much better flavour than a chicken broth would. Truly.

Fig Balsamic Chicken Thighs

This recipe is quick, easy and you only need a few items from  your pantry. Yes, I think your kids could even make this or at least help. It only takes your barbecue.

 

  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar (love this stuff)
  • 1  1/2 tbsp. grainy mustard
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 8 bone in chicken thighs, skin removed

Now, whisk together the vinegar and mustard until well incorporated. Add the salt and pepper and mix.

In a mixing bowl, add the chicken thighs and pour about half of the liquid over and toss to ensure you have coated them all.

On a prepared grill, place the chicken on a 350 temperature. Simply close the lid and grill for about 6 -7 minutes. Turn them over and brush the remaining sauce over. Grill a further 5-6 minutes. The chicken is done when you pierce them with a fork and the juices are clear.

Serve with rice, or noodles. These are so yummy.

Cold Duck Salad With Zested Orange

This, my friends, will make your company stand up and applaud. What a rare experience to enjoy a duck anything. It is not on everyone’s bucket list, but it is worth it.

 

  • 1 whole duck (about 3 1/2 – 4 lbs.)
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves,
  • 1 tbsp.  thyme
  • 1 tbsp.  sage
  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 4 oz. pkgs. alfalfa shoots
  • 1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained well and sliced

The day before stuff the cavity of the duck with the celery, onion andgarlic. Rub the thyme and sage into the skin.

Place in a roasting bag and make 5-6 slits to allow the steam to escape. Roast this in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. Roasting this slowly will allow it to remain moist.

Peel the oranges making sure to carefully remove the membrane along with the rind. With the peel from one orange, julienne into 1 1/2 inch strips. Blanch the strips in boiling water for 5 minutes. Reserve the 2nd orange.

Remove the duck from the oven and take out the celery and onion. Save the garlic and spread it like a soft butter over the duck. Put in the refrigerator to cool down.

 

Dressing

  • 6 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 tbsp. pecan oil
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel

Whisk all the ingredient together until well blended. Refrigerate.

 

To Serve

Slice the duck in sand dollar size pieces. Slice the remaining orange. Pile the alfalfa shoots in the center of a plate and in the center of this, add the reserved orange peel. Arrange the duck and orange slices around the garnish,

Sprinkle the sliced water chestnuts and julienne strips of orange peel over the duck and orange slices. Drizzle the dressing all over and pour the remaining dressing into a pitcher (creamer) and serve separately for everyone to add more to their serving.

 

This should be served with a wonderful pasta dish of your choosing and dinner rolls.

Chicken And Greek Yogurt

Here is another dish that can be fancied up for company or your family instead of the same old-same old way of preparing this poor bird.

  • 6 chicken breast halves, bones removed
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon
  • 4 tbsp. lightly roasted sliced almonds

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Saute the chicken in2 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. oil until golden in colour, Remove from the heat and keep warm,

Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan, cooking the onion and garlic. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the moisture from the mushrooms starts to evaporate. Whisk in the yogurt, lime juice, tarragon and flour and stir until the sauce is smooth. Strain through a sieve and return to the pan.

Add the chicken to the pan and simmer until tender. Top with roasted almonds and add beautiful mashed potatoes, asparagus tips and a chilled green salad.

Yum!

 

30 Minute Chicken Tomato Stew

When life becomes busy this might be a quick way to serve a nutritious dinner under 30 minutes. Let’s go.

 

  • 3 slices bacon, thinly sliced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. Crisco oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 pkg. white mushrooms (227g)
  • 1 can white navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar

In a large skillet, cook the bacon only until the fat renders (about 2 minutes).

Add the chicken and cook, stirring until brown, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove from the pan. Set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the onion, until clear, add the garlic and thyme and cook about a minute. Add the mushrooms and 2 tbsp. water, until the mushrooms are tender and there is no liquid remaining.

Return the chicken to the skillet, stir in the beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper and wine, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the stew has thickened and the chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and vinegar.

This would best be served over buttered broad noodles and a green salad.

Now, eat and off to the game or sporting event that is important to your family.

Island Chicken

This can be  a great ‘company fare’ meal if you want it be . Turn up the ante a bit by simply adding different vegetables or a special salad if for a family meal.

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup crisp cooked bacon, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using the 2 tbsp. butter, cook the chicken for about 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.

In a processor, put all the ingredients up to the whipping cream and process until smooth.

Butter a large baking dish and place the chicken in, laying each breast flat and pour the avocado mixture over the top. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and sprinkle the bacon over the mixture, and bake for a further 10 minutes.

In a word or two – yum, yum and yum. Sorry that is three. All that is needed would be warm dinner rolls and a glass of a nicely chilled Pinot Grigio.

 

Drumsticks to Love

 

Okay, the gang is coming over and  you want to make a snack to chomp on during the game. Well, here is a great one. You can vary the amounts, depending on how many people you will have over.

 

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 16 chicken drumsticks
  • 3/4 cup Panko crumbs
  • 3/4 finely chopped pistachios
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the honey and mustard and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Remove from h eat.

With a brush, coat the chicken legs all over with the butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, add the bed crumbs, nuts, salt and pepper and roll the legs in it to completely coat. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake until tender and brown. This should take 45-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

The only thing to supply now is a pile of napkins and small plates.