Posts tagged ‘chicken’

Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew

I love stews.

Stew is a relative term though. It’s basically just a chunky, hearty soup, right?

Okay, I just checked. According to a stew is, “a preparation of meat, fish, or other food cooked by stewing, especially a mixture of meat and vegetables.”.

Something cooked by stewing…yeah, I guess I left that part out.

Evidently, a stew is also a brothel, and “stews” is a neighborhood occupied mainly by brothels. Who knew, right?! Thanks! What would we do without you?

Now that it’s no longer in the 80’s here (it’s even been getting into the 40’s at night!), I no longer have to pretend it’s cool out when I make fall food, and I actually feel a need for warmer foods. It’s great. I admit, I have a terrible fear it’s going to get back into the 80’s, but I won’t go into that…

This stew is hearty, filling, and (drum roll please) healthy! But tasty-healthy, not meh-healthy.

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, who found it on Cookin’ Canuck, and I honestly have no idea where it originated from. Isn’t the internet great?

This is a chicken broth based soup with pieces of chicken breast, chunks of butternut squash, spinach, tomatoes, and cooked brown rice in it. It’s very tasty, very filling, and the butternut squash adds a lovely sweetness to it.


Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew

(serves 6)

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
  • Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 c. cooked brown rice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Spread out cubed squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 – 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat squash. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1 – 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, and sage, and cook gently 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  4. Add squash, spinach, and rice. Cook until heated through and spinach wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

November 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

Five Spice Chicken and Noodle Stir-fry

I have a confession.

Stir-fries make me a little nervous.

Why you ask?

All that heat!
You have to cook everything very quickly, and at a really really high temperature.
The result?

Spitting oil,

excessive smoke,

smoke detector going off,


At least, that’s pretty much how it goes in my head.

In reality it’s not quite as dramatic. It’s more like I just get really busy flinging everything in the skillet, stirring it around, trying to avoid any spitting oil (okay, that part is true), and not being able to hear anything my husband is saying because the vent for our stove is so ridiculously loud.

So, I honestly don’t make all that many stir-fries. Plus, I have an electric stove, and I think you really need a gas stove and a wok to make really good stir-fries, but that’s just my opinion.

I decided to try out this stir-fry recipe from Jamie Oliver, however, because it sounded interesting yet yummy, is really fast, and quite simple, really.
I wondered if such a simple and fast recipe could be really good or not, so I tried it out.
And it was really good!

It’s called Chicken Goujons with Noodles, but I call it Five Spice Chicken and Noodle Stir-fry. Whatever you call it, it’s definitely tasty, but not your average stir-fry. If you have a really busy night coming up, give this a try. The five spice powder gives it an intriguing flavor that’s delicious with the chicken. Did I mention it’s fast?

Five Spice Chicken and Noodle Stir-fry

(serves 2)

  • 8 oz. dried flat egg noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil (or any high heat cooking oil)
  • 2 medium chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried red chili
  • 2 tsp. five spice powder
  • 5 – 6 green onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • large handful of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions (typically these only need to cook for a few minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken, ginger, and chili. Stir around quickly, then add the five spice powder.
  3. Once the chicken is browned, add the green onions, soy sauce, and honey, and mix everything.
  4. Add the drained noodles and cilantro to the skillet. Toss everything together, adjust the seasoning to taste (add more soy sauce, honey, or five spice powder as desired), and serve.

recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Goujons with Noodles

November 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Curry Chicken Salad

When I was a kid, my mom would often make curry chicken salad. It was the only kind of chicken salad we had at home, and really, it’s all we needed, because we all loved it.

Despite hating celery and olives as a kid, I loved this chicken salad. I still do. It’s a classic.
My husband loves it as well. Heck, he’s loved it since he first had it, before we were dating! How’s that for a good chicken salad, eh?

It goes well on sandwiches, crackers, in wraps, on lettuce, on baked potatoes, and by itself.

I really can’t think of anything else to say about it. It’s self-explanatory in its simple greatness.

Easy. Delicious. What more can you ask for?

Oh, and it’s even better the next day!

Thanks, Mom, for this great recipe!

Curry Chicken Salad

(serves 6 – 8)

  • 2 (10 oz.) cans cooked chicken
  • 2 (2.25 oz.) cans sliced black olives
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 c. diced celery (about 1 1/2 stalks)
  • 1 c. sliced almonds (toasted)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 3 tsp. curry powder
  • salt
  1. Add the chicken, olives, celery, and toasted almonds to a large bowl. Chop up the water chestnuts and add those as well.
  2. Peel, core, and chop up the apple into small chunks, and add them to the bowl. Mix everything well.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and curry powder, and mix until everything is well coated. Add salt to taste.

October 17, 2012 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce


Despite calling these sandwiches “gyros”, you are not required to roast a huge chunk of meat on a vertical spit for hours on end. Fear not! This is the simplified version, but just as tasty.

I found this recipe on Annie’s Eats, and thought I would try them out. My family (and myself) all loved them! They go great with tabouli salad and/or Greek salad. Also, don’t forget the pita bread and hummus! You can’t have Mediterranean food without hummus! It just wouldn’t be the same without it…

recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

(serves 4)

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 cloved garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 3 – 4 med. size chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

To Serve:

  • pita bread
  • chopped tomato
  • sliced red onion
  • lettuce

To make the Tzatziki sauce:

  1. Chop cucumber in a food processor. Drain liquid and add to a medium size bowl.
  2. Add the remaining sauce ingredients to bowl. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

To make the chicken:

  1. Mix the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper into a bowl.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Add to bowl with marinade, mix until chicken is well coated, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Cook chicken over med-high heat in a skillet or under a broiler until cooked through. Drain any remaining liquid, and place in serving bowl.
  4. Heat pita bread.
  5. To assemble, place some chicken, tzatziki sauce, lettuce, onion, and tomato (as desired) in warm pita bread, and enjoy.

April 25, 2012 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Sesame Chicken (the non-deep fried version)

The weather has been so nice this week (high temp around 80° F), that Hisa and I decided to get out of the house and go somewhere yesterday. I’d been wanting to go to the zoo, so we decided to go there.
It was the perfect day for it. It was warm and sunny with some clouds, but not so warm it was hot and uncomfortable. Since the weather was nice, most of the animals were out (if you’ve ever gone to the zoo in the summer when it’s hot, then you probably know that many of the animals are in their dens asleep, where you can’t see them), which was nice.

I’ve always loved animals and going to zoos. It reminds me of my childhood dream to be a zoologist. That is until I discovered that zoologists have to take a huge number of science courses in college. I kinda changed my mind after that…
Still, it was a lot of fun seeing the animals, and just getting out of the house and enjoying the weather.

After the zoo, we got coffee, checked out our favorite used bookstore, and headed home. It was a fun day. With lots of cute, fuzzy animals. That’s hard the beat in my opinion. 🙂


Sesame chicken is probably my favorite American Chinese buffet dish, in all of its fried, artificial, and unhealthy glory. Terrible, I know. It’s still my favorite though. Even if I only eat it once in a blue moon.

I’ve been gradually trying to expand my repertoire of Chinese dishes I can cook, so I decided to try my hand at sesame chicken this week (albiet, a somewhat healthier version).

The breading of this chicken doesn’t have the same uniform texture of deep fried sesame chicken, but it’s still really good. I also didn’t make it as sweet as restaurant style sesame chicken, but feel free to adjust the sweetness level to your own tastes.

First, mix up your marinade ingredients: 1 egg, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. cooking sake (or cooking wine if you don’t have it), a couple drops of sesame oil, 2 Tbsp. unbleached flour, 2 Tbsp. corn starch, 2 Tbsp. water, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. baking soda.
Cut up 3 – 4 chicken breast into bite sized pieces, mix it with the marinade until it’s well coated, and let it marinate for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix up your sauce ingredients: 1/2 c. water, 1 c. chicken broth, 1/4 c. white vinegar, 3 Tbsp. corn starch, 1/3 c. sucanat (or honey or sugar), 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1/8 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. chili paste (more if you want it hot), 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp. onion powder.
Boy, doesn’t that look yummy?! Ahahaha…

 Heat a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or peanut oil if you have it) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and let it cook on one side until well browned, then flip it, and let it cook on the other side.

Once you’ve browned the chicken pieces on both sides, you can chop it up so the pieces aren’t sticking to each other, and stir-fry it around until it’s cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked through, pour on enough sauce to coat the chicken well (Don’t drown it. I had extra), mix it well, and continue stirring it around until the sauce thickens to consistency you want. Add about 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds, and mix them up well.
Serve with steamed rice, and any other chinese dishes you want. I served the sesame chicken with rice and  my sweet and sour vegetable stir-fry.


Sesame Chicken

(serves 4)

  • 3 – 4 chicken breasts


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking sake
  • Around 3 drops sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached flour
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda


  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or corn starch
  • 1/3 c. sucanat, honey, or sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or peanut oil)
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and mix with marinade until well coated. Let marinate for about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook on one side, without stirring, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook on the opposite side, without stirring, until well browned. Stir-fry chicken until completely cooked through, another 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Pour enough sauce on chicken so that it is well coated (you may not need all). Stir constantly until sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Adjust sauce seasoning to taste (add more sugar or chili paste if desired).
  5. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and mix well.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

March 29, 2012 at 8:58 am 8 comments


I love gumbo.

Mainly because it’s spicy and has okra in it; two things I love dearly.

Did you know “gumbo” is the Bantu (language spoken in certain parts of Africa) word for okra? That is why no matter what gumbo recipe you use, you must always have okra in it. Okra-less gumbo is just wrong. I will be morally offended if you make gumbo with no okra in it. Okay, so maybe I won’t be offended, but seriously, the okra makes gumbo so good. Just sayin’.

I keep my gumbo pretty simple. Saute onion, celery, garlic, and green pepper, make a roux with flour and oil or butter, add broth, whisk to thicken, and your spices, okra, and 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, add your chicken and sausage/ham (if using), let it simmer a good 30 minutes, and you shrimp, let it cook another couple minutes, and serve. Bam. Some people will only eat gumbo with rice, but I prefer it with some fresh crusty bread or even cornbread.




(serves 6 – 7)

  • 4 – 5 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 – 5 Tbsp. unbleached flour
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 – 4 tsp. cajun seasoning (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. sliced okra (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 c. sliced andouille sausage or diced ham
  • 2 c. chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. If using andouille sausage, heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add sliced sausage. Stir sausage and cook until slices browned on each side. Drain off fat, and set aside (if using ham, you can skip this step).
  2. In a large pot, heat butter/oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper, and saute gently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir until all oil is absorbed. If flour is still powdery add a little more oil. Cook 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Whisk in chicken broth, and continue whisking until broth thickens slightly.
  5. Add bay leaves, thyme, cajun seasoning, oregano, okra, tomatoes, sausage/ham, and chicken. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove bay leaves. Taste and check spiciness. If you want it spicier, add more cajun seasoning.
  7. Add shrimp, and cook for 3 – 4 more minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste [note: a lot of cajun seasonings already have salt in them, so you may not need to add any extra salt].
  9. Serve with fresh crusty bread, steamed rice, or cornbread.

February 22, 2012 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

Balsamic Chicken

Did everyone have a good Valentine’s Day?

Hisa and I had a good time. We went to an art museum, went to see Hugo (really good movie by the way), and then had dinner at a nice restaurant, where I ODed on really good cheesecake with raspberry sauce and a chocolate cookie crust. *sigh* It was worth it though I tell you. It was that good.

Unfortunately, the next day both Hisa and my dad were sick. They claim they over did it showing the ladies a good time on Valentine’s Day (initiate eye rolling). Whatever the reason, they’ve both been out of action the past couple of days.

I’ve been fine (knock on wood), although I was a bit disgruntled this morning, as I got up early and went to the pool to swim laps, only to discover it was closed. There’s nothing sadder than waking up at the crack of dawn for nothing. I did get to see a beautiful sunrise, however, so I suppose it wasn’t a total waste. At least that’s what I keep trying to tell myself… I don’t know if I believe myself or not though…

This is a fairly easy recipe that makes a great main dish for an Italian food themed dinner. All the work is done by the balsamic vinegar marinade. You just throw the chicken, vinegar, garlic, and sage in a bowl in the morning, cover it, let it marinade all day, cook it, and you’re done. It goes great with pasta and tossed salad, or any Italian dish really. The balsamic vinegar gives it amazing flavor. If you’re like me and love balsamic vinegar, you’ll love this dish.

Balsamic Chicken

(serves 4 – 6)

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 1 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Add the chicken, vinegar, garlic, and sage in a large bowl and mix until chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from bowl, reserving marinade, and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and saute until browned on one side. Flip and continue sautéing until browned on remaining side.
  4. Pour marinade into skillet with chicken and bring to a simmer. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, turning chicken pieces occasionally.
  5. Remove chicken to serving bowl and serve.

recipe adapted from Whats4Eats.

February 17, 2012 at 9:24 am 2 comments

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My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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