Stuff and Nonsense: poultry and fowl

Showing posts with label poultry and fowl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poultry and fowl. Show all posts


Making Martha Stewarts "Asian-Style Chicken and Rice"

After therapy last week, I popped into the Asian market across street for a big bowl of tonkotsu ramen and a poke around the produce section. The produce section is small, but always packed with amazingly cheap and delicious things and it's difficult not to go buyallthethings. Having only a vague idea of what I needed/wanted for the weekend, I picked up a pound of shiitake mushrooms ($3!), a ridiculously large bouquet of scallions, and a fat bundle lemongrass.

While I wasn't sure what I'd end doing with the lemongrass stalks, I had a faint memory of a bookmarking a Martha Stewart chicken-thighs-and-shiitakes recipe that seemed like it might make excellent comfort food on a snowy weekend. The recipe "Asian-Style Chicken and Rice" does not get high reviews, but I chose to go ahead and make it, anyway, as many of the complaints were about the dish's lack of flavor, not about cooking method or gaps in the recipe. Flavor is subjective, after all, and there was never any chance I was ever going to limit myself to four scallions or three garlic cloves, anyway.

Changes I made:
I ended up doubling the amount of shiitake, garlic, and scallions.
I also seasoned the chicken with five-spice powder (in addition to the salt and pepper) and crisped it using a combination of sesame and olive oil.
I didn't have quite enough arborio rice, so subbed in enough carnaroli rice to cover the difference. (Like arborio, carnaroli is a medium-grained rice that is used in risottos. However, carnaroli holds its shape better during long, slow cooking).
After the chicken and rice had cooking for twenty-five minutes, I took the lid off and let it cook for another five as there was still a bit of liquid in the pot.

The Husband and I both enjoyed this chicken rice dish and look forward to eating the leftovers for lunch. Admittedly the reviewers were right to complain that the flavor was not strongly "Asian" and, next time, I might use something like Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Pho Soup Starter or Simply Asia Japanese Inspired Ramen Soy Ginger Chicken Broth to boost the flavor a bit more. That said, it is deliciously creamy and chicken-y.


Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms

I'd planned on making Pillsbury's "Slow-Cooker Creamy Tuscan Chicken" for Sunday dinner, but failed to notice I didn't have any sun-dried tomatoes left until it was too late. And by "too late" I mean it was Sunday morning and I was not getting out of my comfiest jim-jams to go to the store for anything. Rummaging around, I saw I had roasted peppers and mushrooms ... so I made this modified version, which was garlicky and good.

Yes, the original recipe calls for boneless chicken breasts and I clearly used boneless thighs. I was always going to use thighs. Thighs are dark meat and, therefore, more flavorful and "chicken-y." Also, unlike breasts, thighs don't go all dry and mealy in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms

Yield: 4


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 14.5 oz jar creamy cheese sauce
  • 8 oz sliced white button mushrooms
  • 5 oz jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry & sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dehydrated minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cornstarch plus cold water as needed
  • 4 oz baby spinach


  1. Layer chicken, mushrooms, and roasted pepper strips in the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle with seasoning and garlic flakes.
  2. Cover; cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is 165°F.
  3. Whisk together cornstarch and cold water until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  4. Stir slurry into slow cooker. Add spinach and continue to cook on low for 20 minutes or until sauce is thickened and spinach is limp.
  5. Serve over pasta, rice, or more spinach.
I left the thighs whole when I made this, but I think it would be easier to serve if I had cut them into chunks to begin with.


Sick Day Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Various winter-time illnesses have been rampaging through work and it is no surprise that I have finally succumbed to one of them. I blame my compromised immune system on a dip in my generally high stress/anxiety level -- my body took a risk and unbent a little from its constant state of vigilance against everything that could go wrong and **BAM** sickness came upon me.

So I made soup. Nothing as comforting as a bowl of chicken noodle soup when I'm feeling sick, after all. While I had no energy for anything fancy, I've made soups similar to this before -- they're very dump and go (in this case, "go" meant back to bed) and do the job of filling my tummy with something hot and nourishing.

I used boneless thighs in this soup, because they were already in the fridge and it was either shift them to the freezer or cook them. You could use boneless breasts, although I don't find them as flavorful as thighs and they tend to be more expensive, anyway. Also, obviously, you could use fresh aromatics -- using dried simply saved me time and energy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield:4 generous bowlfuls


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrots
  • 1 Tbsp onion flakes
  • 2 Tbsp celery flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dehydrated garlic
  • 2 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 wax carton)
  • 6 oz egg noodles
  • Sea salt & coarsely ground pepper, as desird


  1. Add the chicken, carrots, onion, celery, seasonings, broth, salt, and pepper to slow cooker insert. Cover.
  2. Cook on Low heat setting 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  3. Shred chicken. Add egg noodles to slow cooker and stir well.
    Cook 1 hour longer.
  4. Stir well. Adjust seasonings as necessary and serve.


Lazy Roasted Chicken Thighs & Vegetables

This dish one-pan chicken and vegetable dish makes a comforting supper on a murky October Sunday. Not only will it fill your house with delicious odors, but it assembles in no time at all and can simply be forgotten in the oven until the timer goes ding -- leaving sufficient time for book-reading or cat-petting.

While I used fresh thyme when I made this, because that's what was still thriving in my garden, fresh oregano or marjoram would be tasty, too. You could probably use drumsticks instead of thighs, but I don't know how that would change the cooking time -- a meat thermometer would be a your friend, there. I wouldn't use boneless skinless thighs, because the bones lend flavor and the crackly roasted chicken skin is not to be missed.

Lazy Roasted Chicken Thighs & Vegetables

Yield: 2 servings


  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 small yellow potatoes, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • Salt and pepper, as desired


  1. Place the chicken thighs in a casserole dish.
  2. Arrange tomatoes, potatoes, and garlic cloves around the chicken.
  3. Drizzle everything with olive oil and season generously of with salt and pepper. Scatter with thyme sprigs.
  4. Roast, uncovered for 45 minutes or until chicken thighs reach 165°F.
  5. Set oven to broil and broil 5 min or until chicken skin is crisped and brown.

Serve the chicken and vegetables in shallow bowls with chunks of delicious crusty bread to sop up all the lovely pan juices.


Spicy "Southwestern" Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts

Because I don't go in to work until quite late on Wednesday and Thursdays, but still get up at the crack of ohmygoshwhattimeisitnooo to go to the gym I find I have extra time in the mornings to cook and so been making larger, fancier sit down lunches for the two of us. Not only does this make me look like an (even more) awesome, loving wife but it also means I'm not desperately hungry at supper time and have started running errands ... errands like visiting libraries I don't work at, because books.

Anyway, it was approaching lunch time and the fridge was full of odds-and-ends that needed using up before they spoilt. The guacamole and tomatoes were, in particular, edging toward spoilage with a determination that annoyed me until I looked at the calendar and properly calculated out just how long I'd had them on hand. Oops! And I thought, how can I take all these things and turn them into a meal that will please The Husband and empty out my fridge? Et voilà, spicy "Southwestern" oven-fried chicken breasts and roasted potatoes.

Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts

Yield: 4


  • ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp Southwestern-esque seasoning blend
  • ¼ cup plain kefir
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 Tbsp shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 Tbsp guacamole
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 4 Tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a half sheet pan with foil and brush with oil or spritz with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour and seasoning in a pie plate or shallow soup bowl. In another pie plate, add kefir.
  3. Dip chicken in kefir. Coat evenly with flour mixture.
  4. Place chicken in single layer on foil-lined baking pan. Drizzle with melted butter.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  6. Sprinkle chicken with cheese and broil until melted.
  7. Plate chicken and serve garnished with guacamole, tomato, and cilantro.

I used Penzeys' salt-free "Salsa & Pico" seasoning blend, because I'd not realized I'd run out of the "Arizona Dreaming," but any salt-free taco or fajita seasoning blend you favor would work well.

I served the chicken with spicy roasted potatoes I made by tossing halved baby potatoes with olive oil and pico seasoning then roasting in the 425°F oven for 10 minutes, before adding the chicken, giving the potatoes a stir, and letting them roast until the chicken was done.


Easy Chicken With Artichokes & Sun-dried Tomatoes

This is an easy dump-and-go end-of-the week dish for when you need to eat but don't necessarily feel like cooking. It's made up of pantry staples and takes less than 15 minutes to assemble and get in the oven. Leaving plenty of time to get on with reading James Essinger's extremely interesting Ada's Algorithm: How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age.

Baked Chicken Thighs With Artichokes & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Yield: Serves 3


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small red onion cut into eighths
  • 2 roasted peppers, drained and chopped
  • 8 oz baby artichokes, drained and halved
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained & rinsed
  • 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly brush a baking dish with a little olive oil.
  2. Combine all ingredients in the baking dish.
  3. Bake 25 minutes, uncovered, or until chicken reaches 165°F.


Gobble-Gobble In My Pot

We'd pretty much picked the turkey carcass clean of white meat by Saturday so I decided to go ahead and make soup right away rather than chucking the carcass in the freezer and making it Someday. Also, the freezer is kind-of full right now and I'm not sure it would have fit ... someone needs to do a no-shopping challenge, again.

Each time I make turkey or chicken soup it comes out differently because I don't have a set recipe -- I always start the same way, but what goes in at the end varies as I tend to simply round up whatever open bags of frozen vegetables I can find and dump them in the pot with whatever slightly wrinkly potatoes or rice/barley/noodle bag ends I find in the pantry. Seasoning depends strongly on taste and mood -- sometimes, I make a spicy turkey soup but more often it is just very garlicky and redolent with thyme.

How I made this turkey soup:
  1. Removed all bits of skin/fat from the turkey carcass and then crushed it down a bit to fit in my big French/Dutch oven.
  2. Surrounded the carcass with carrots, onion, celery, bay, and fresh thyme.
  3. Topped the whole thing off with cold water and let it simmer for about three hours (I took an unplanned nap at this point).
  4. Drained pot contents through a cheesecloth lined colander into a big basin.
  5. Picked vegetable bits out and set aside.
  6. Separated edible turkey bits from inedible.
  7. Used my OXO Good Grips (a Thanksgiving gift to myself and well worth it) fat separator to remove the fat from the broth.
  8. Poured most of the broth back into the pot (reserving four cups for another soup)
  9. Broke the veggies up a bit and put them back in the pot. Ditto the turkey, odds-and-ends of bagged frozen corn and peas, and a half cup of pastina.
  10. Let everything cook for about thirty minutes, then taste-tested and added parsley, salt, and black pepper as whim took me.

And the leftover dark meat? I turned most of that into easy turkey enchiladas using kitchen staples like corn tortillas and salsa verde. They weren't fancy (or in any way authentic), but they tasted good.

Also, the cats got some turkey, because it's Thanksgiving and they deserve a little feast of their own. Unfortunately, they now demand turkey every time we wander near the kitchen ...


Improv Challenge: Garlic & Rosemary

Wow, the summer has flown by! I can't believe it's time for the August Improv Challenge already! While I went sweet in July with peaches and cream, August is all about savory garlic and rosemary.

I thought about baking a red onion, garlic, and rosemary focaccia -- like this -- because I'd like to ease back in to bread baking. And King Arthur Flour's "Garlic-Herb Mac & Cheese sounded pretty delish, too. But, in the end, I decided to take the easy road and roast some chicken breasts.

My first thought was to use split chicken breasts and slip a mixture of garlic, rosemary, and lemon under the skin before roasting, but then I forgot what I was doing at the grocery store and came home with a package of boneless skinless breasts. Whoops!

Since I find boneless skinless breasts need a lot of help, flavor-wise, I scored them each with a crisscross pattern, increasing the surface area available to marinade and more surface area means more flavor. (Also, I think they look prettier/more interesting that way).

So ... how did it taste? Tasty. Succulent. Richly aromatic. A definite repeater.

Garlic & Rosemary Roasted Chicken Breasts

Yield: 3


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1½ Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, as desired


  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry and score in a crisscross pattern with a sharp knife. Place in a food-safe storage container.
  2. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Use a spatula or spoon to really work it into the crisscross cuts. Cover container and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove container from fridge and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Pour chicken out into a baking dish and roast, uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  6. Remove chicken from oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

For anyone new to my blog, Improv Challenge is a monthly blog hop where two ingredients are assigned, participants must make a new-to-their-blog recipe using both ingredients, and publish a blog post about it on the third Thursday of the month. If you think that sounds like fun, click on the Improv Challenge logo below.

improv cooking challenge logo (aqua rolling pin, spatula, fork, whisk suspended from rack)


Chipotle Chicken Bake

When it comes to canned chipotle peppers, I feel I'm doing it wrong. Many of the recipes that I've tried which use chipotles usually have instructions that read like "X tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce" but all the cans of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce I see are packed with whole chiles. Sure, I could fish a chile or two out and chop away until I have the right measurement, but what about all the sauce left in the can? And all the other chiles?

No, I pour the can into my stick blender's beaker and then process the peppers and sauce until they've formed a thick puree. I portion the puree out by tablespoons and freeze them until needed. When I later make a recipe that says "X tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce," I just throw in some frozen tablespoons. Yes, the heat and smokiness may be a little more or less than the recipe writer intended, but I've had no disasters so far.

Anyway, this chipotle chicken bake makes for a tasty weeknight supper. You could even assemble it ahead, if you wanted to save yourself some time at the end of the day. I know I sometimes frequently come home from work to find that the recipe that once seemed so doable now seems utterly exhausting. (If you are going to assemble this ahead, you'll need to adjust the cooking time to compensate for the chill of refrigeration).

Chipotle Chicken Bake

Yield: 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, well trimmed
  • 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp pureed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 3 oz red onion, halved and sliced very thin


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Brush a baking dish or large pie plate with a little olive oil or spritz with cooking spray. Nestle chicken in the dish.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor or stick blender, combine chile puree, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper and pulse until a chunky sauce has formed. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover dish and bake 45-60 minutes or until the chicken has reached 165°F.

I served this over cilantro rice (literally, chopped cilantro stirred into hot rice) and sliced avocado. The Husband thought the chicken really good, which pleased me as I worried he'd find it too spicy, but we both agreed it's a very mellow, smoky heat.


Taco Rice Bowls

I kinda promised The Husband taco salad for lunch, but I never managed to leave the house to grab lettuce (it was raining, I had a good book to read, the oldest cat needed a lap and much petting ... you know how it goes) so we had taco rice bowls, instead.

What's in them? Birdseye Steamfresh Southwestern Style Rice, leftover slow cooker turkey taco meat, shredded taco cheese blend, sour cream, tomato, avocado, and lashings of freshly cracked black pepper.

I usually make the slow cooker taco meat by browning lean ground beef or turkey in a pan with lots of onion and garlic, then throw it in the slow cooker with black beans, corn, salsa, and any one of Penzeys taco seasoning blends and let it all cook away on Low for 4 hours or so, but I'd made this batch of turkey taco meat for work (Taco Thursday!) so omitted the beans and corn (and used less seasoning blend) because I wasn't sure what everyone liked.


Ham & Cheesy Chicken Breasts

This was my first attempt at prosciutto-wrapped, cheese-stuffed chicken breasts for April's Improv Challenge. While it came out well, I didn't think it came out quite well enough for the Challenge -- the spreadable cheese was both too mild to stand up to the stronger flavors of the prosciutto and too soft as it ran out of the chicken has it baked. Still, this was my first attempt and I thought it came out pretty well, so I'm leaving it here for kicks.

You can see the (better) prosciutto-wrapped, cheese-stuffed chicken breasts recipe I actually submitted for April's Improv Challenge here. The cheese still escaped, but the flavors were better.

Ham & Cheesy Chicken Breasts

Yield: 2


  • 4 thin slices prosciutto de parma
  • 4 tbsp soft spreadable cheese like Boursin or Aloutte
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the prosciutto in pairs on the baking sheet.
  2. Slice each chicken breast in half, almost-but-not-quite all the way through, so it is falls open like a book.
  3. Stuff each breast with half of the cheese, then gently smoosh together to close. Place each breast cross-wise on a slice of prosciutto. Fold the prosciutto over the chicken and tuck the ends under.
  4. Arrange tomatoes around the chicken. Drizzle both with olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with lots of pepper.
  5. Roast for 20 mins until the chicken is golden around the edges and the tomatoes look a little shriveled.


Improv Challenge: Ham & Cheese

This my second attempt at cheesy ham-wrapped chicken for April's Improv Challenge. The first time, I used a soft, spreadable cheese that ran out of the chicken as it baked and was also a little overwhelmed by the sweet, salty, prosciutto. For my second attempt, I turned to a firmer cheese -- Gruyere -- whose sweet, salty, creaminess balanced a little better with the prosciutto. As I've used it in grilled cheese and paninis, I knew it would also melt better.

But it still tried to escape from the chicken! How do you keep the cheese inside the chicken? Should I have frozen the cheese first, the way you can freeze butter for chicken kiev? Seared the chicken to seal it shut? Using less cheese isn't an option, as I'd say that even with an ounce of cheese per breast, there was still not enough cheese!

Ah, well, what is cooking for if not to master new things? Slowly. With many redos!

If you want to skip the cheese and tomatoes altogether and tweak the cooking times, chicken tenders wrapped in strips of prosciutto are delish on a salad.

Why roast tomatoes, anyway? Why not? Roasted grape tomatoes are one of the most delicious things on Earth. The tomatoes roast down to an excellent jam-like state and their bright, sweet-sour tang goes really well with chicken.

Fancy Ham & Cheese Chicken Breasts

Yield: 2


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts [Coleman organic]
  • 2 oz Gruyere, thinly sliced [Boar's Head Blanc Grue]
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto de parma [Boar's Head]
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cut a deep pocket in each chicken breast, going almost-but-not-quite all the way through.
  3. Stuff each breast with half of the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, then gently smoosh together to close. Wrap each breast in two slices of prosciutto, tucking the ends underneath like a blanket.
  4. Arrange tomatoes around the chicken. Drizzle both with olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with lots of pepper.
  5. Roast for 25-30 mins -- until the chicken has reached 164°F, the prosciutto is golden around the edges, and tomatoes have collapsed in on themselves and look a bit charred.


Easy Chicken & Black Bean Burritos

Looking for a supper that could be quickly assembled ahead of time, would use up a bunch of odds-and-ends, and also create ample leftovers for lunches, I turned to burritos. I simply tossed shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, black beans, thawed fire-roasted corn, salsa, shredded cheese, salt-free taco seasoning, and sour cream together in a big bowl. Then I portioned the filling out evenly among a package of flour tortillas, and folded the tortillas up around the filling to make little bundles that could, if you're feeling generous, be called burritos.

I arranged the burritos in a large baking dish, sprinkled them with cheese and salsa, covered the dish with foil, and left it in the fridge overnight. About 30 minutes before I came home, The Husband popped the covered dish in a 375°F oven and let them bake. When I came home, I uncovered the pan, switched the oven to broil, and let everything cook until the cheese was melty and the exposed tortillas had gone golden brown.

We ate the burritos topped with chopped romaine, grape tomatoes, scallions, guacamole, and salsa. It was not the most elegant of meals, but it was filling, economical, and (mostly) homemade.


Easy-Peasy Barbecue Chicken Naan Pizza

Too lazy to run any of the errands I'd planned, I instead frittered away the day reading webcomics ... but, eventually, the growling of my stomach began to distract from even the most thrilling adventures of Far to the North and Blindsprings. Food must be acquired. Easy food. Food that definitely didn't involve putting on pants and leaving the house.

Naan pizza to the rescue!

I readily admit all the amounts in the following recipe are approximate as I was hungry and not measuring as I went. I'm also dead cert you could use buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese to create a delicious buffalo chicken version.

Barbecue Chicken Naan Pizza

Serves: 4


  • 2 garlic naan [Stonefire]
  • 4 Tbsp barbecue sauce [Stubb's]
  • ½ cup chopped cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie)
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat shredded "Mexican" cheese blend
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Pop your pizza stone in the cold oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce over one side of each naan.
  3. Toss chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, and spread chicken over naan.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with red onion and cilantro.
  5. Slide naan onto hot pizza stone and bake for 8 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is all melty.
  6. Quarter each naan pizza and serve.

If you don't have a pizza stone, just prepare and bake the naan pizzas on a baking sheet.


Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potato

If you hadn't noticed, this past Sunday was the annual championship game of the National Football League. I don't follow football, but I do enjoy chicken wings and Pinterest has been wall-to-wall with chicken wing recipes in the weeks leading up to the game. So, Sunday I really wanted wings for dinner but I hadn't picked any up when grocery shopping and knew that ordering delivery on Super Bowl Sunday would have been an act of madness. However, I did have a leftover baked potato, rotisserie chicken, and a bottle of sriracha wing sauce so...

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potato

Yield: 1


  • 1 6-oz baking potato, well scrubbed and dried
  • ½ tsp (or so) olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 Tbsp wing sauce
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 scallion, white & green parts coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prick the potato all over with a fork, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay it directly on the middle oven rack.
  3. Bake the potato for 45-60 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the potato gives a little when you squeeze it.
  4. Meanwhile, combine chicken, buffalo wing sauce, garlic powder, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is melted.
  5. Cut a cross on top of the potato and squeeze the sides open.
  6. Top potato with chicken mixture. Garnish with blue cheese and scallions. Eat.

Well, while it wasn't wings, but it was a pretty decent substitute ... and not just because I've recently become totally infatuated with baked potatoes. It's an easy dish to throw together and the flavors can be easily adjusted to suit your particular tastes. I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sriracha Wings Sauce and Glaze, which I'd bought on a whim a while ago when I needed barbecue sauce for something else and thought, I don't know why, that I might make my own wings someday. The sauce starts off sweet and smoky like barbecue and then the tongue begins to tingle and there's a delicious bloom of heat. Mind you, I'm pretty much a lightweight when it comes to hot sauces, so ymmv.


Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Potato

The Husband has been away at a conference and proper cooking for one seemed an ... onerous ... obligation when I'd rather be catching up with my giant backlog of graphic novels or reorganizing The Dread Cupboards of Random Storage under the bay window. So I've been eating a lot of fancy-ish grilled cheese and baked potatoes. Also, some salad ... but mostly cheese and carbs. And red wine to wash it down, because red wine's heart-healthy, you know ...

This baked potato is a stuffed with a very simple combination of shredded rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce with cheese and scallions to bling it out a bit. I bought the rotisserie chicken at the fried chicken place down the street. They keep their rotisserie -- always full of plump, golden chickens -- in their side window so it's in front of you, tempting you with promises of juicy poultry goodness, as you walk across the parking lot. Cunning fried chicken peddlers. Tricksy.

I actually baked three potatoes in one go, as well as a tray of broccoli florets and sliced carrots, because heating the oven for one potato simply seemed too decadent. However, I'm giving the directions for one, because I only made one barbecue chicken stuffed potato. The others were topped later in the week, with random toppings, as I needed them.

Yes, that means I ate three baked potatoes in one week. It. Was. Fabulous.

Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Potato

Yield: 1


  • 1 6-oz baking potato, well scrubbed and dried
  • ½ tsp (or so) olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp shredded reduced-fat four-cheese Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 scallion, white & green parts coarsely chopped
  • Black pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prick the potato all over with a fork, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay it directly on the middle oven rack.
  3. Bake the potato for 45-60 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the potato gives a little when you squeeze it.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the chicken and barbecue sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes or until evenly heated all the way through when stirred.
  5. Cut a cross on top of the potato and squeeze the sides open.
  6. Top potato with chicken mixture and cheese. Garnish with scallions and black pepper. Eat.

I'd meant to serve the potato with a dollop of plain 0% Greek yoghurt on top, but forgot and didn't end up missing it, anyway.


Slow Cooker Lemon Caper Chicken Thighs

Boneless chicken thighs combine perfectly with bright flavors like lemon, white wine, and capers to create a quick prep, no-fuss meal perfect for a lazy winter afternoon. Just put all the bits in your slow cooker, turn it on, and go about your business for 4-6 hours. That's just about long enough to become thoroughly addicted to the BBC Scotland crime drama Shetland, by the way.

Slow Cooker Lemon Caper Chicken Thighs

Yield: Serves 3-6, depending on appetite


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, well trimmed
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 8 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup Sauvignon Blanc or similar dry white wine


  1. Nestle chicken thighs at bottom of slow cooker insert. Sprinkle with shallot, garlic, tomatoes, capers, and seasoning blend.
  2. Whisk together wine and lemon juice. Pour around the thighs, trying not to get it on the thighs, because you don't want to wash away the seasoning blend.
  3. Cover and cook on Low 4-6 hours or until chicken's internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. Remove chicken from slow cooker and, if desired, turn the juices into a sauce by whisking in a cornflour slurry.


Slow Cooker Tomato & Artichoke Chicken

Last time I was at the warehouse club (to buy vitamins and salad mix and only those things), I picked up an enormous (35 oz!) jar of marinated artichoke hearts to "put on salads and things." While I've yet to actually put them on salad, they have made their way into my slow cooker. With chicken. And tomatoes, of course. The three just work so well together and make one of my favorite flavor combinations. (A little wine doesn't go amiss, either).

Slow Cooker Chicken With Tomatoes & Artichokes

Yield: 3-6, depending on appetite


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cups drained marinated artichoke hearts
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup Sauvignon Blanc or similar dry white wine
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs


  1. Mix together onion, artichokes, tomatoes, white wine, garlic, and seasoning blend. Pour into the slow cooker insert, if using right away. Otherwise refrigerate until ready.
  2. Trim the chicken thighs so that the skin just covers the tops of the thighs like a little
  3. Nestle the chicken thighs in the artichoke mixture, skin side up.
  4. Cover and cook on Low 6-8 hours or until chicken reaches 165°F.

(To save time, and knowing I'm not at my best in the mornings, I combined all the artichoke mixture ingredients in a food storage container the night before and then just poured it into the slow cooker the next morning. I'd like to think this helped give the dish a greater depth of flavor, but I might be reaching).

You could, of course, remove the skin entirely from the thighs but then you'll probably want to pour the artichoke mixture over them so they don't dry out in the slow cooker. I know, it seems impossible food should dry out in such a steamy environment but it has happened to me before so I try to make sure all meats are topped with something juicy -- like sauce or skin -- to keep them moist. The fat melts out of the skin, anyway, flavoring the rest of the dish, and the skin almost disappears into the flesh so there's no need to fear the dread "slimy chicken."

We ate the chicken in shallow bowls with garlic knot rolls for sopping up the sauce, but you could be more "healthful" and have it over whole wheat couscous or quinoa pilaf.


Slow Cooker Peanut Chicken

When I put Pillsbury's "Slow-Cooker Spicy Chicken in Peanut Sauce" on this week's menu plan I wasn't really thinking about how The Husband might react to it. But, the week moved along and it was the only supper left unmade, I started to fret. Cumin? Cinnamon? Chiles? Peanut butter?

Oh, he was going to hate it.

But he didn't. Except for the peanut garnish (which was too crunchy), he thought the dish was fine and would eat it again. Hooray. I quite liked the dish myself, although I found it more aromatic than flavorful. Other cook's comments on the recipe suggest I am not alone in this, so I might follow a few of their suggestions next time (yes, it's worth making again) and use more peanut butter (maybe a few tablespoons of PB2 stirred into the amount of peanut butter already called for?), more garlic, and add a squirt of sriracha.


Too Tired Chicken Enchiladas

Last weekend, I had a pound of thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts in the fridge that were nearly at their eat by date and I still had no energy to do anything with them. So I tossed them in the slow cooker with a tablespoon or two of Penzeys salt-free Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend and a jar of salsa and just let them cook away for six or so hours. (Seriously, I wasn't keeping track of things so it could very well have been ten hours). At the end, I shredded them, mixed in half a can of chickpeas (the other half having gone into salad earlier in the week) and shoved it all in the fridge until I was sufficiently motivated to make a proper dish out of it all.

There are probably lots of things I could have done with the shredded chicken and I'm sure Pinterest is full of ideas, if you want to go take a gander, but I just made up a pan of enchiladas and called it good enough. I simply mixed the shredded chicken and beans with enchilada sauce, cilantro, and crumbled queso Cotija then spread the mixture down the middle of multigrain tortillas, rolled the tortillas up, popped them in a rectangular baker, covered them with more enchilada sauce and Cotija and baked them at 425°F until everything was brown and bubbly.

These "enchiladas" were surprisingly good and even reheated pretty well for lunches, so hooray!