Lemony Greek Chicken Thighs

Greek chicken 4

So delicious – olives, caper berries, sweet onions and tender chicken thighs …… you will be licking the pan, at least Leah did!

This is one of those “guideline” recipes.  I’m going to go ahead and give some amounts, but feel free to adjust to whatever you have on hand, or whatever your taste buds are asking for!

  • vegetable or peanut oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 large lemon, halved, then sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed lightly then halved
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mixed olives (I used kalamata, stuffed green & caper berries)
  • 2 tbsp of sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • generous handful of minced herbs (today I used parsley, oregano & thyme)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Splash of good dry white wine

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Bring cast iron skillet up to a moderate temperature, add just enough neutral oil to generously coat the pan.  As soon as it starts to shimmer, add chicken thighs. Try not to overcrowd the pan as you want to get a nice sear on the chicken pieces.

Turn once they release easily from the skillet.  Once the second side has seared, remove from the heat.

To the same pan, add a splash of white wine and the onions, garlic, lemon & sun dried tomatoes.  Saute until the onion is translucent and just starting to soften.  Add the herbs and nestle the chicken back into the skillet.  Scatter olive mixture in amongst the chicken and put the whole skillet into an oven at 375 for 30 minutes.  Watch carefully and if you think the chicken is browning too quickly – cover with tinfoil so it cooks through.

Remove from heat, if desired finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a splash of your best olive oil.

Taiwanese Chicken Bites

Taiwanese chicken 7

We had this chicken for the first time at an outstanding restaurant in Huatulco.  Only about 7 tables, most of them on the sidewalk, and yet they had the most amazing fusion of flavours.  The owners spent a fair bit of time traveling around Asia, and this is reflected in their food.  If you get a chance to try out “Mercader”, then go.  Until we go back, I will just have to make this at home!

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Globetrotting tonight ….. served with Korean Fried Cauliflower (KFC) and loved it!

 

Ingredients
Chicken
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

Marinade
1 medium head of garlic
1/2-inch ginger
3 green onions, white and 1-inch of the green part, minced
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon sweet potato starch
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Taiwanese chicken 1

Just the aroma of this marinade will have you salivating!

Coating

1 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
2-3 cups sweet potato starch (I had to ask one of our daughters to buy this from an Asian market in Vancouver and bring it home for me!)

To fry
3-4 cups peanut, rice bran or avocado oil

To serve
Leaves from 1 bunch of fresh Thai basil
salt and white pepper to taste

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Have everything ready to go before starting to fry the chicken.

 

Directions
1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks and place in large bowl. Make the marinade by mincing or forcing the garlic through a press into a small bowl. Add the minced green onions, soy sauce, Mirin, 5-spice, white pepper, sweet potato starch and cayenne pepper, stir to form a paste and then scrape into the bowl with the chicken. Mix to coat all the chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. Once the chicken is done marinating, place the eggs in medium sized bowl with the 1/2 cup of water. Beat together with a fork. Place the sweet potato starch in another medium sized bowl. Heat the frying oil in a sauté pan or wok until it reaches 350˚F. Using chopsticks or tongs, dip the chicken first in the watery egg mixture then in the starch and fry the chicken pieces without crowding them too much for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Try not to overcrowd the pan, I usually fry about 6-8 pieces at a time in the wok and 8 – 10 pieces in my 10” sauté pan.  Side note, I don’t recommend using a deep fryer that re-uses the oil.  The sweet potato starch is so fine that it doesn’t filter easily.

3. Once fried, place the chicken on a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Immediately toss with generous amounts of salt and white pepper to taste. Once you’ve fried all the chicken, fry the Thai basil leaves for 30 seconds or until they darken and then serve with the chicken.

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Moroccan Chicken with Olives & Artichokes

Moroccan chicken 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Meyer lemons (or sub 1 regular lemon/1 orange)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 – 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup quartered (canned) artichokes
  • fresh thyme sprigs (you could use whatever herb you have on hand)

Garnish

  • minced parsley
  • slivered green onions
  • lemon slice

 

Cut 1 lemon into 8 wedges. Squeeze enough juice from second lemon to measure 2 tablespoons; set wedges and juice aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add next 5 ingredients; stir 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Add lemon wedges.

Moroccan chicken 1

I made this with whatever was in the fridge – and that did not include Meyer lemons!  Meyer lemons are quite a bit sweeter, so if you don’t have them, use equal portions of regular lemons and oranges to get the right balance.

Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally, 20 minutes (or so). Transfer chicken to platter.   Taste!!!  Every lemon could have a different acid content and you don’t want this to be more than a lovely, subtle lemon flavour.   Add olives, artichokes and (if needed) 2 tablespoons lemon juice to skillet. Increase heat to high; boil uncovered to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken.

Tonight we served it with saffron rice and beautiful fresh soft handmade pita bread.

Pita bread

 

Honey Garlic Chicken

I saw this recipe on “RecipeTin” and knew right away I would have to make it.  As promised, it is quick and easy, although definitely not as quick as listed.  I never find 15 minute recipes to actually take me that long ….. not sure if it is my common home stove (not gas) or my slow moving self … but nevertheless this was quick enough and the house smelled amazing!  Moist inside, sticky outside and with the best drizzle you can imagine.

honey Garlic Chicken 4

I made this tonight without a trip to the store.  Everything is something you probably have on hand.  If we weren’t trying to clean out our fridge before a holiday I would have had some cilantro, or green onions, or parsley to sprinkle on top and that would have looked so pretty!

  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs,  boneless and skinless 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter (or 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white or other clear vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup  honey (or maple syrup)
Instructions
  1. Cut the breasts in half horizontally to create 4 steaks in total.  If using chicken thighs, you don’t need to do anything to them!  Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
  2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  3. Melt most of the butter in a large skillet over high heat – hold back about 1 tsp for later.
  4. Place chicken in skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until golden.
  5. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute.
  6. Turn heat down slightly to medium high.
  7. Make a bit of room in the pan and add garlic and top with remaining dab of butter. Stir garlic briefly once butter melts.
  8. Add vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Stir / shake pan to combine. Bring sauce to simmer, then simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  9. Turn chicken to coat in sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a touch of water and stir.

  10. Remove from stove immediately. Place chicken on plates and drizzle over remaining sauce.
Honey Garlic Chicken 1

Don’t overcrowd your chicken in the pan or it will just steam instead of developing a lovely crust.

Honey Garlic Chicken 2

Turn once the first side has this lovely crispy, crackly golden crust.  Yes, you sure could do this without the flour to make it gluten free and it would taste delicious, just without that “crust”.

Honey Garlic Chicken 3

When you pour in that mixture of vinegar, soy and honey be ready for this rich, dark sauce to immediately start bubbling and smell tantalizing!  Allow it to thicken slightly, spooning sauce over just until chicken is cooked through.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Once again the Smitten Kitchen website and cookbooks really knock it out of the park.  This was the best roast chicken ever!  I did marinate overnight as recommended and the chicken was so moist and flavourful, with the crispiest crunchiest skin,

buttermilk chicken

Crispy crunchy skin with bits of sea salt – best ever!

 

2 cups buttermilk
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus some for sprinkling
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 -3 pounds chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Drizzle of olive oil
Flaked or coarse sea salt, to finish

Mix buttermilk and seasonings in ziplock bag, and drop the chicken in, giving it a good massage.  Set in fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, and up to 48 hours – no more or the chicken might get a bit mushy.

buttermilk chicken marinade

Take the chicken out of the marinade, put it into a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkling salt crystals over top.  I’m sure you can see the foil …. not something I would normally do, but it sure made for easy clean up!

Roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes, depending on on the size of the chicken pieces.  Use a thermometer to be sure you have the right temperature, …. 165 degrees for cooked chicken.  The best part is the crunchy bits of skin!

Indian Spiced Chicken Korma

This rich Indian sauce is packed with enough spices and layers of flavour, you will want extra rice or naan bread to mop up every bit of sauce left on your plate.
Korma 8
  • 2 white onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 1/2 cup ground raw almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 a small red chili, de-seeded and minced (dried or fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (packed)
Korma 7

Key to making a dish like this is to have all your ingredients ready at hand.  Here I’ve blended all the dry spice together so it is ready to be stirred in at the moment I need it.

Korma 2

Chefs call this “mis en place”, which simply means having everything ready to go, BEFORE you start cooking at all.  It sure does make things smoother!

Instructions

  • Place the onions, garlic, and 1 cup of water in the bowl of a blender. Puree until smooth.
  • Measure out the spices (curry powder through nutmeg) into a small bowl.
  • In a large saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the pureed onion mixture and cook for a 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until it begins to darken in color.

Korma 6

  • Add the tomatoes, ginger, ground almonds, coconut milk, yogurt, red chili, pre-measured spices, and brown sugar. Stir well.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer 30 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan; simmer for an additional 15 minutes. 

Korma 4

I had roasted a whole chicken the day before and felt like this Korma would be the perfect way to eat it all up the next day.  Use a rotisserie chicken for a quick dinner if you don’t have leftover chicken on hand.  Honestly, when we eat out, we usually order lamb korma, so you could just as easily use any protein of your choice – or go vegetarian and stir a bunch of fresh vegetables in.

Korma 3

Served today with homemade naan and the best crispiest crunchiest vegetable pakora!

Korean Bibimbap

Quick disclaimer here …. this is unapologetically inauthentic!  At Fat Boy Moves in Mexico City we ate Bibimbap a couple of times and this is my version of trying to replicate that in my own kitchen, minus of course the stone bowl to serve it in….

Bibimbap

What’s missing you say?  Any authentic Bibimbap will have a soft egg on top!

In terms of recipes, this is more of a guideline.  I’m sure you can find lots of real, true Korean Bibimbap recipes out there, but for my own preferences, in my kitchen, this was pretty delicious.  I think it is key to have either a cast iron frying pan or a stainless steel pan to get the rice nice and crusty.

First, make a sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chile garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp gojuchang

Taste the sauce, I can’t say that enough, make sure it is delicious …. each of those components will be slightly different by brand so hit a balance you like.

Second, make pickled cucumbers:

  • cut about a 4 inch piece of cucumber in half, lengthwise
  • scoops out seeds and slice very thinly

Put cucumbers in a bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each of salt and sugar.  Sprinkle with 2 tbsp rice vinegar and mix well.  Set aside.

To assemble you will need:

  • cooked rice
  • protein (if you like, easy to just make it vegetarian also)
  • stir fried veg
  • pickled cucumbers
  • sesame seeds
  • cilantro
  • slivered chives

Thinly sliver nori sheet and toast until crispy

If you are using a protein, cover your steak, chicken or prawns with a light bit of gojuchang and allow to marinade for an hour.  Grill, and once rested, slice into bite size pieces.

Prepare the vegetables you are going to use, today I used coloured sweet peppers, onions, snow peas, bok choy and cabbage.

Heat fry pan until very hot, add neutral oil and sauce some ginger and garlic.  Add in vegetables and stir fry just until tender.  Set aside.

Reheat the pan, barely cover the bottom with sesame oil and then cover the bottom with the rice.  Allow to sit undisturbed until the rice is heated through and the bottom develops a nice golden brown crust.

Centre your cooked vegetables on the rice, scatter the protein around the edge and garnish with the pickled cucumber, toasted nori and sesame seeds.  Drizzle over the prepared sauce and enjoy!