Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grilled Chicken Cacciatore

Today was Pinocle day at our house.  Our Great Aunt comes over for dinner and we play cards for the afternoon.  It's nice and relaxing, but often a challenge to find something that pleases palettes from six to eighty-six.

This afternoon, I think I picked a winner.  I knew we were having chicken breasts, they were on sale for $1.86 a pound.  But I wanted to try something new.  I scanned by ever growing pile of cookbooks and cooking magazines, but nothing seemed just right.  Then I found inspiration when thumbing though an old, dog-eared copy of Martha Stewart's first cookbook.

Instead of baking it in the sauce, I decided to grill it to see what happened.  I, of course, ran out of gas in my grill half way through, but transfered them inside to the grill pan and that worked just fine.  I served the chicken with Dill Potato Salad and fresh fruit.

Grilled Chicken Cacciatore

6-8 chicken breasts
1 6-oz. can of tomato paste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 red wine
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper

Mix all ingredients and allow to sit in the refrigerator several hours to overnight.  Start grill on high and allow the chicken to caramelize on both sides, basting with the additional sauce to avoid drying out.  Lower grill and cook through until juices run clear.  

Thumbs up from Big Mama, Little Mouths and Great Aunt. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Barbeque Chicken Burgers with Bacon Ranch Sauce and Foil Potatoes

I love to create new burger recipes...especially during grill season.  With a six and nearly nine year old in the house, I rarely get any flack when burgers are on the menu.  This one was a winner, although not as pretty as I'd hoped.  But it sure was tasty.  

Barbeque Chicken Burgers

1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce
1 clove crushed garlic
Salt and Pepper
4 slices of colby jack cheese
Few drops of olive oil

Mix the ground chicken with the BBQ sauce and crushed garlic.  Separate into eight portions.  Flaten one portion into a patty, fold the colby jack in fourths and place in the middle of the patty.  Flatten another portion and place on top of the cheese.  Seal the edges and repeat until you have four large sized burgers.    Sprinkle with olive oil and rub to cover.  

Place on a hot grill.  They will tend to break apart and the cheese will ooze out if flipped too much, so avoid temptation and let them sear well on the first side before flipping.  

Serve on toasted buns or Ciabatta, drizzled in bacon ranch sauce.   Delish.

Bacon Ranch Sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vinegar
3/4 teaspoon garlic minced
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3-4 slices bacon, crumbled 

Mix together and chill for 1-2 hours before serving.  Store in an airtight container for one to three weeks.  

I served this with...

Foil Potatoes

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large Vidalia Onion
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 clove crushed garlic
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard

Chunk up potatoes and onion, toss with the rest of the ingredients and wrap in foil, sealing the edges well to trap the steam.  I place the foil package on the back part of the grill for about 15 minutes on high before the burgers go on, then flip and keep cooking with the burgers.  Make a slit in the foil and test potatoes for tenderness before removing from the heat.  

Big Mama and the Little Mouths give a big thumbs up to all of the above.  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

I initially got this recipe from my friend Kelli.  It called for the chicken breasts to be breaded in Ritz Cracker Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese.  It was very good, but quite heavy and I hate to bread things.  I added some flavor with the wine and the garlic and took out quite a bit of the calories by removing the cheese and the cracker crumbs...not to mention cutting down on the time. 

2 cups brown rice, uncooked (Used Long Grain and Wild Rice)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup wine
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves(1 lb.)
2 tsp. oil
1 tub PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese

How to make it

Cook rice as directed on package, using 1-1/4 cups of the broth and 1/2 cup water.

Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs and Parmesan on plate. Rinse chicken with cold water; gently shake off excess.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 to 6 min. on each side or until done (165°F). Transfer to plate; cover to keep warm. Add remaining onioni and garlic to the pan and cook until just starting to brown.  Deglaze the pan with the wine and add broth and cream cheese to skillet; bring just to boil, stirring constantly. Cook 3 min. or until thickened, stirring frequently; spoon over chicken.

New Challenge!

My friend Shirley Jump, who also likes to cook and who is the author of about 80 gazillion books has come up with a new challenge and I have accepted.

The challenge:  One new recipe a week Mother's Day until Christmas. 

It's gonna be a blast.  Not as much pressure as when I did the September Cooking Challenge, but still a lot fun and a lot of new recipes to add to my personal cookbook!

We will be posting the recipes on our my poor, horribly neglected little blog will finally see some action.

In case you missed how I finally learned to put the link to her website in her name, Shirley can be found at:   or her blog, Eating My Words

Anyone else care to join us??  It's just one new meal per week...come on,  you can do it!
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