Mommy’s Asian Chicken and Spaghetti

Who doesn’t love spaghetti? What kid won’t eat chicken? Put the two together and you have a staple food in our house: chicken and spaghetti. However this recipe from The At Home Gourmet is not the traditional Sephardic chicken and spaghetti we are used to. It uses soy sauce for a more Asian taste and looked like it would take significantly less time to create.

Ingredients; spaghetti, chicken cutlets cut into strips, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, ground ginger

The Process: First things first, you have to boil the spaghetti according to package directions and drain it. Nothing surprising about that.

While the spaghetti was cooking I sautéed the garlic in the olive oil and then added the chickens trips to the hot pan and cooked them for about one minute. Then I added soy sauce, sugar and ginger. The chicken was coated in the resulting sauce, and cooked for another 4-5 minutes. I found stirring and having a non stick pan important to prevent the chicken from burning. I tossed this into the spaghetti, a

nd voila dinner as served.

The Results: For the amount of effort needed (minimal) this turned out pretty well. We still prefer the taste of Chicken and Spaghetti from the Aroma’s of Aleppo cookbook but that recipe takes a significant investment of time and labor. I also didn’t love how much sugar was in the recipe. I will still make this again as a quick and easy dinner but it is not on the all time favorite list.

Advertisements

Quick Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry

I grew up on pasta, my husband grew up one rice. Rice and meatballs, rice and beans, rice on Passover. While I definitely enjoy the liberalized Passover diet, I still haven’t quite gotten used to the substitution of rice for pasta. Therefore when I saw this Stir Fry recipe in the Bais Yaakov Cookbook call for rice OR orzo I immediately whipped out a box of orzo and got cooking.

Broccoli also happens to be one green vegetable that my kids will actually eat. Combined with the one pan, stove-top nature of this recipe I practically HAD to try it.

Ingredients: chicken breast, salt, Italian dressing, water, teriyaki sauce, garlic powder, frozen broccoli florets, uncooked rice OR orzo

Substitutions: None

The Process: The Italian dressing is used to sauté the chicken strips. I will admit the smell of heated Italian dressing is mildly revolting. Luckily it dissipates quickly. I then stirred in the water and teriyaki sauce, greatly improving the smell, and the garlic powder. Everything is brought to a boil and the broccoli and orzo are added. I placed the lid on and cooked over low heat for five minutes. That’s it. Done!

The Results: I was skeptical that everything would finish cooking in five minutes, and indeed I found I had to add a little more water water and cook for another few minutes before the orzo was done. However all in all this was a very fast one pot meal with minimal clean up. It also tasted great and was very filling. Containing a starch, protein and vegetable all in one, I found this to be the perfect meal to pack up and take to work. My kids however refused to try it. I think if they had, they would have liked it.

Personally I enjoy the smoother and less dense texture of orzo to rice. I do not know if I would like this dish as much had it been made with rice.

Quick Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry

Sauteed Chicken Breasts With Avocado and Tomato

It’s Friday afternoon, Friday night dinner is rapidly approaching and I am using my lunch break to cook before returning to work.  I have chicken in the fridge and not much else on hand. In an age old dilemma the aforementioned chicken is chicken breasts, while my children will only eat chicken on the bone or chicken nuggets deep fried to a point beyond what is nutritionally wise.  Luckily Hip Kosher contains simple recipes that take fresh ingredients and makes them pop in a way that is both sophisticated and understated – perfect for kids who don’t like a lot of competing flavors or sauces and a parent with less than 50 minutes to cook. My kids do like both avocados and tomatoes so I was hoping this would be enough to get them interested in trying the chicken. A quick run out to the vegetable cart on my corner and I was ready to start!

prepped veggies

Ingredients: flour, black pepper, cumin, 4 chicken breast halves, extra virgin olive oil, red onion, avocado, tomato, habanero pepper

Substitutions: I left out the habanero. My kids don’t do well with spice and I wasn’t about to run around and find a habanero that they would likely not eat.

 

The Process:

The first bunch of ingredients are combined to make a coating to dredge the chicken in, following by sautéing the chicken in the olive oil. This took about 10 minutes since I had to reuse the pan to sauté the chicken in several batches.

While that was going on I sliced up the avocado and tomatoes and minced the red onion. This way they were ready to cover the chicken right before I slipped them into the oven at 375 F to bake for 6-8 minutes.

sautéing the chicken

Sautéed Chicken with Avocado Awaiting the Oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Results:

The chicken was surprisingly moist and retained the flavor from the the avocado. It probably would have been tastier for the adults with the habanero. The kids did agree to try it and made it through several bites before rejecting it. Overall not a total loss and a good quick dish for when company is coming over but I wouldn’t call it a kid friendly food if you have picky eaters.

sautéed chicken with avocado and tomato

Sweet ‘n’ Tangy Chicken

As a busy working mom, I love the ability to put in a little effort in the morning and come home to a dinner that is ready to serve. That’s why I am always looking for new slow cooker recipes.  I also like having options other than traditional meat/bean cholent dishes to serve on Shabbat. Crock-pot chicken recipes are great additions to summer Shabbat meals since they allow me to keep the tradition of serving at least one hot dish yet are not as heavy as cholent. Plus the crockpot does not generate as much heat as using the oven on to heat up baked chicken. This recipe came from Quick Cooking Annual Recipes 2007.

Ingredients:

onion, minced garlic, 1 chicken cut up and skin removed, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice,  chili powder, dried basil, salt, tsp pepper,  hot sauce,  corn starch,  cold water

Nothing on this list is too hard to find, but I still managed to run out of hot sauce forcing me to run around to several grocery stores to find one that is kosher. Fairway had about ten different hot sauces and only one was kosher.

The Process:

It doesn’t get any easier than this. You place the chicken in the crockpot with all the ingredients and then cook on low. After a few hours you mix in the cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken up the sauce, heat for a few minutes and it is ready to serve.

The Results:

This chicken tasted very similar to many other crock pot chicken recipes that I have made. It was nice and moist because the chicken is cooked soaking in sauce. However this rather lengthy list of ingredients did not seem to add that much more flavor over a recipe that uses fewer ingredients. While there was no photo given, the results were nothing special to look at. Below is a photo of the cooked chicken before mixing up the sauce. For a  quick meal the next day, shred the leftover chicken off the bones, throw it back in with the sauce and make chicken sandwiches.Sweet 'N' Tangy Chicken Waiting to Cook

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is a classic dish that I’ve enjoyed on many occasions, so I was glad to see it represented in Saveurs selection. However, I had actually never tried making it before. This was recipe the impetus I needed to pick up a pan and dive in. This version is surprisingly low labor, uses only a few ingredients and seemed very simple. I suppose that’s why they call it a classic. The recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

chicken cutlets, salt and pepper, flour, olive oil, butter, button mushrooms, shallots, garlic, Marsala wine, chicken stock

Substitutions: I used Earth Balance instead of the butter and onions instead of the shallots.

The Process

Dredging and browning the chicken is a quick process, but it works best when you keep one “wet hand” to handle the chicken and one “dry hand” to handle the pan, oil and utensils. As usual, I needed a little more oil than the recipe called for. I then browned the mushrooms, which always takes a fair amount of time, and plated them atop the chicken. Finally the sauce step involved browning the onions and garlic, adding some flour and wine and letting it thicken. I had to scrape a little to keep the flour from sticking to the pan but otherwise was very satisfied. returning everything to the pan for a good coating meant having a large enough pan was imperative unless you like having a stuff spill onto you oven. Luckily I had a large enough pan.

The Results

This has got to be one of the moistest, most flavorful chickens I have ever made in a pan. You do need to like the Marsala flavor of course, but I found it blended very well with the chicken and mushrooms. The one difference between the photograph accompanying the recipe and my results were that I was expecting more sauce than the recipe produced. However, as mentioned, the chicken was still very moist and I did not mind. For thinner slices than I obtained you can consider pounding your chicken cutlets with a meat tenderizer

Chicken Marsala Recipe from Saveur

Chicken Marsala Recipe from Saveur

before starting.