weeknight gourmet

Category : Poultry

Chicken & Sausage Cacciatore

IMG_1732Here’s a quick cacciatore with chicken and sausages.  It was delicious and perfect for a cold, snowy night.

Despite the two pints of grape tomatoes, the tomato flavor was not dominant.  Some reviewers of the recipe mentioned adding tomato paste.  If you want more tomato flavor, try this.  But I really enjoyed the earthiness from the mushrooms and red wine.

The store was out of skin-on, bone-in thighs so I used skinless, boneless.  If you make this change, add the chicken and sausages back to the pot at the same time.

We mopped up the delicious sauce with some crusty bread.

Chicken & Sausage Cacciatore
Bon Appetit

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 large chicken thighs with skin and bones (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  • 3/4 pound fresh mild or hot Italian sausages
  • 3/4 pound large mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 12-ounce containers grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and sausages to skillet. Sauté until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken and sausages to bowl.

Add mushrooms to skillet. Sauté until brown, about 4 minutes; add to same bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet; add tomatoes, red wine, garlic, and rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Using potato masher, lightly crush half of tomatoes. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Add remaining contents of bowl and simmer uncovered until chicken and sausages are cooked through, turning often, about 15 minutes longer.

Place chicken and sausages on platter. Cut sausages on diagonal into thick slices. Stir basil into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Chicken Braised with Red Wine Vinegar & Tomatoes

IMG_1618Who doesn’t love braised meat on a cold day!  But doesn’t braising take hours?  Here is a very tasty weeknight braised chicken dish.

The red wine vinegar and tomatoes create a delicious piquant sauce.  You’ll want plenty of bread to dip in the sauce.

Chicken Braised with Red Wine Vinegar & Tomatoes
Fine Cooking

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 4 even pieces
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag. Close and shake to combine. Add the chicken to the bag, zip it closed, and shake vigorously to coat with flour.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet(preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaf, raise the heat to high, and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil vigorously until almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Return the chicken and any accumulated juice to the pan, along with the chicken broth, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley, cover, and cook for 1 minute more.

Season to taste with salt. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

IMG_0760After making some less than stellar chicken thighs, I was on the quest for a better technique.  This recipe was easy and delicious!!

In addition to the salt and pepper, I added a touch of Italian seasoning.  But other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and the chicken was moist and the skin was crsipy. YUM!

 

 

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs
Bon Appetit

  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 475°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12″ cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale

IMG_0413Here’s a light and healthy dinner that only requires one pot!

The broth has a nice flavor from the shallots and lemon.  The meatballs — which are gluten-free — are quite tasty thanks to the garlic, shallots, scallions, and red pepper flakes.  The braised kale is tender.

Overall an easy, healthy weeknight meal.

Gluten-Free Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale
Bon Appetit

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, minced, divided
  • 1 scallion, minced (all parts), plus thinly sliced green tops for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground chicken meat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, destemmed

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallot, scallion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly until softened and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

Add 1/3 of ground chicken and cook just until cooked through, breaking up any clumps. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Add remaining chicken meat, salt, and several grindings of black pepper. Mix just to combine. Wipe out pot and add remaining Tbsp. oil. Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Form meat mixture into 8 meatballs each about 2–2 1⁄2-inch in diameter and add to pot (mixture will be soft). Cook until light golden brown on all sides, 6–8 minutes total. Remove meatballs to a plate; set aside.

Add remaining shallot and lemon slices and cook until lemon slices are tender and starting to turn light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and return meatballs to pot.

Bring to simmer, lower heat and cover. Cook meatballs until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Add kale to pot, and cook until tender and bright green, 4–5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Divide kale and sauce among 4 shallow bowls, topping with meatballs and lemon slices. Garnish with sliced scallion tops and serve.

Weeknight Chicken: Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

IMG_0320Delicious and easy weeknight chicken!  There is basically no chopping required except for one little shallot!

I followed the recipe and the chicken turned out quite moist.  But the tomatoes are the real star of the show.  So much flavor from the roasting; the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce add a nice touch.

Will definitely be making this again!

 

 

 

 

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce
Bon Appetit

  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes on the vine
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet until oil shimmers. Carefully add tomatoes to pan (oil may spatter). Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce.

Meanwhile, season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; add tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice chicken; divide among plates. Spoon tomatoes and sauce over; garnish with herbs.

Weelicious: Turkey Pesto Meatballs

My friend Amy bought me the Weelicious cookbook for my birthday.  The recipes are family-friendly, healthy, and relatively easy to make.

Other than hot dogs, Charlotte is not much of a meat eater.  But I keep trying new things in the hope that I find a dish or two featuring meat that she’ll enjoy.  The Weelicious cookbook is proving to be a good source for some recipes Charlotte will enjoy.

These turkey meatballs looked so simple but tasty!  The addition of pesto looked interesting and added a nice flavor.  Charlotte and I both enjoyed them!  She did not devour them but eating one meatball was a win!

One note: I had to cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for.

Turkey Pesto Emails
Adapted from Weelicious Cookbook

  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 store-bought pesto
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 cups tomato sauce (I used Rao’s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the turkey, pesto, bread crumbs, cheese, and salt in a large bowl and combine thoroughly.

Pour the tomato sauce into a 9×9 baking pan.

Use about 1 tablespoon per meatball, roll the mixture into balls and place in baking pan.  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

 

Turkey Meatloaf

Here is a super simple and delicious turkey meatloaf.

I made a few changes so I could use what was in our fridge.  I used swiss chard and curly parsley (from my mother-in-law’s garden) instead of spinach and flat-leaf parsley.  I also used seasoned breadcrumbs — didn’t have whole wheat breadcrumbs.  I think the addition of dijon mustard added a great flavor to the meatloaf.

 

Turkey Meatloaf
Real Simple

  • 1 1/2  pounds  lean ground turkey
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 1  bunch spinach, thick stems removed and leaves chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1  cup  fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2  cup  whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2  tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1  large egg white
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  ketchup

Heat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, combine the turkey, onion, spinach, parsley, bread crumbs, mustard, egg white, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet and form it into a 10-inch loaf. Spread with the ketchup. Bake until cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.

 

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Here’s a tasty fall soup and a nice alternative to a traditional chicken soup.

To save time I used pre-cut butternut squash.  I used chicken stock rather than water to add additional flavor.  I used a potato masher to break up / puree the roasted squash which gives nice texture to the soup.

I enjoyed a bowl tonight and am hoping Charlotte enjoys it for lunch tomorrow!

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup
Everyday Food

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and diced medium
1 small yellow onion, diced medium
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together chicken, squash, onion, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until squash and chicken are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Transfer squash and onions to a medium pot and add broth, cumin, and coriander. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, mash some vegetables until soup is thick and chunky. Discard skin and bones from chicken; cut meat into small pieces and add to soup. Stir in lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Here is a great slow cooker recipe if you like a little spice!

The chicken had the great buffalo flavor and was super tender.

Instead of sandwiches, I served the shredded buffalo chicken over a simple green salad with tomatoes and avocado.  I don’t care for blue cheese dressing but Tim thought it added a nice complement to the chicken.

Note that there is about 15 minutes of prep time before you can set it and forget it.  But there is nothing like coming home from work to dinner already prepared!

Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
From “Everyday Food® magazine”

Variation: You can also use the chicken filling in tacos or in a salad with blue cheese dressing.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup hot-pepper sauce, such as Frank’s
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
8 hamburger buns

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring once, until meat is golden brown, 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a slow cooker, leaving as much oil behind as possible. Repeat with chicken breasts.

To skillet, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent, 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to slow cooker.

To slow cooker, add crushed tomatoes, hot-pepper sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and molasses; stir to combine. Cover and cook on high until chicken is very tender, 4 hours. Shred chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on buns.

Cook’s Note: Use a potato masher to shred the cooked chicken in the slow cooker. Or, transfer chicken to a large plate, pull apart with 2 forks, then return to sauce.

White Chipotle Chicken Chili

I’m using Pinterest to discover new recipes.  I get drawn in by the beautiful photos but the recipe sources are not always known to me.  This recipe falls into that category and was a bit disappointing.

This white bean and chicken chili is not my favorite chicken chili.  That honor belongs to the Barefoot Contessa.  But the recipe is quick enough for a weeknight dinner and was good, especially if you don’t like your chili super spicy.

Even though Tim and I both thought the chili was missing a little something, it was still worthy of a second bowl when we topped it with shredded cheddar, pickled jalapenos, and several dashes of green Tabasco (my fave!).

White Chipotle Chicken Chili
Organic Gardening Magazine

Serves: 8
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 20 min
Total: 35 min

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder or chili seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt
  • 3 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Push the onions to one side of the pan, add the chicken, and sprinkle with the chipotle chile powder, cumin, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until most of the chicken is opaque on the outside, 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Stir in 3 cups of the beans and 2 cups of the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the remaining beans and remaining 1 cup broth. Process to a smooth puree.

5. Stir the bean puree and half-and-half into the soup. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and serve hot sprinkled with cheese and cilantro.