Tag Archives: chicken

GARLICKY SAUCED PAN~SEARED CHICKEN

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GARLICKY SAUCED PAN~SEARED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS
♥ 4 T. OLIVE OIL
♥ 1 LARGE PACK OF CHICKEN THIGHS
♥ ½ TSP. SALT
♥ ½ TSP. PEPPER
♥ 2 CUPS SLICED FRESH MUSHROOMS
♥ 1 T. CHILI PEPPER FLAKES
♥ 1½ FISTS OF GARLIC
♥ 2½ CUPS SAUVIGNON BLANC WHITE WINE
♥ ¼ CUP MILK
♥ 2 T. BUTTER
♥ ¼ CUP FRESH CHOPPED PARSLEY
♥ 2 SPRIGS FRESH ROSEMARY

DIRECTIONS
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375°F

HEAT THE OIL IN A DEEP DISH PAN ON YOUR STOVE TOP. (OR LARGE DUTCH OVEN OR CAST IRON POT) CAST IRON WORKS BEST I THINK AND THE DEEPER THE BETTER, YOUR APPLIANCE WILL THANK YOU LATER. SPLASHY GREASE BLAH.

SEASON THE CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SALT AND PEPPER AND PLACE CHICKEN IN THE PAN. SEAR THESE BAD BOYS UP UNTIL GOLDEN AND THE JUICES JUST RUN CLEAR. THEY WILL COOK MORE IN THE SAUCE.

REMOVE THE SEARED CHICKEN FROM THE PAN AND SET ASIDE.

SEPARATE THE GARLIC CLOVES AND PEEL THEM. ADD THE MUSHROOMS, PEPPER FLAKES AND GARLIC CLOVES TO THE CHICKEN PAN AND IT’S LEFTOVER LIQUIDS.

SAUTE UNTIL TENDER AND GOLDEN, BUT MAKE CERTAIN NOT TO BURN THE GARLIC. TILL JUST GOLDEN. GARLIC GOES QUITE BITTER WHEN OVERCOOKED.

ADD THE WINE, MILK, BUTTER AND STIR IN THE PARSLEY.

GENTLY ADD THE CHICKEN BACK TO THE PAN.

ADD THE ROSEMARY SPRIGS AND COVER.

PLACE IN PREHEATED OVEN. BAKE FOR 20-30 MINUTES. TURNING THE CHICKEN OVER HALF WAY THROUGH.

REMOVE FROM OVEN WHEN THE SAUCE STARTS TO REDUCE AND THICKEN UP.

I TRANSFERRED ALL OF THIS TO A HOT FRYING PAN FOR APPEARANCE PURPOSES FOR THIS BLOG BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY FINISH IT UP IN THE OVEN IF YOU CHOOSE. LESS MESS. HOWEVER IF THE SAUCE IS TOO DRY YOU MAY WANT TO ADD MORE WINE AND LET IT SIMMER A BIT LONGER. THIS WAS DEFINITELY EASIER TO DO ON THE STOVE TOP.

SPOON THE GARLICKY SAUCE OVER THE CHICKEN AND SPRINKLE WITH A LITTLE MORE FRESH PARSLEY AND CHILI PEPPER FLAKES.

SERVED SEARING HOT OVER LINGUINE NOODLES.



I am needing a large tripod and to get my amazing Canon Rebel T3i camera up and running to do these blog photos now that the “Cooking With Hay” Kitchen is nearing completion!

At the time of making this dish I had cabinets, counters and some lighting in. Oh and the backsplash tile was added but had just been grouted. No appliances, no running water, just a much more appealing place for a food blog photo set.

Regardless, it’s all a vast improvement from the basement temp. kitchen, 2×4 studding and insulation backdrops seen in previous blog photos.

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Is ‘garlicky’ even a word ? ? ?

The recipe I was using called for white wine… I have drank wine in the past but by any means, don’t consider myself a wine drinker.

However… GalPal is!

She came to my rescue with some suggestions after I let her know my ingredients and what I was making.

Monkey Bay Sauvigon Blanc from New Zealand was the perfect wine, as this dish was phenomenal. Not too sweet, not to dry. I’m not even going to bother experimenting with other wines.

The bottle… as GalPal mentioned, coordinated nicely with the ingredients needed to make this dish. Thanks for the help Amber!! Guess I should make this for you now hey?!

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This pepper tho! Gift from Mother-In-Law and I’ve become quite addicted to it. I use it on my sunny side up eggs in the morning to grilled salmon and everything in between. It’s made just a few hours from my house in Keremeos BC. It’s pepper, onions garlic and herbs and is a great change-up to the regular black pepper or fresh ground peppercorns.

Season the chicken thighs with a little salt and sprinkle of pepper. There is enough flavour coming in the garlic and wine and parsley that not much seasonings are needed on the chicken.

I assure you. This dish packs a savory garlic KA-POW with a mix of fragrant herbs. Absolutely delish my gosh!

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My mom is a wonderful cook, and I’ve used many of her recipes to get me into cooking. She got me this gorgeous glazed cast iron KitchenAid dish and this is what I used to pan~sear my chicken thighs. Keeps even heat and kept the splatter in the dish rather than on my stove-top.

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I used this dish on the stove top to brown the chicken and saute the mushrooms, chili pepper flakes and the garlic. It also has a lid to cover so this same dish was what I used to baked it up into the perfect saucy chicken while in the oven. From Canadian Tire and I definitely recommend one for your cooking adventures also.

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After transferring the chicken, there was a fair amount of liquids, chicken grease and juices, left in the bottom of the pan. I removed most of it and left just a small amount in the bottom to saute the mushrooms and garlic in. Your choice.

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Now on the bottom of this dish was a dark golden layer from the chicken juices etc. searing up. Don’t be alarmed… I was thinking to myself… Oh shit, did I ruin this whole thing? Is everything now going to stick and burn?

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But the mushrooms and garlic seemed to soften it up and cook together and created such a rich flavourful sauce.

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I couldn’t have been more pleased. It is really a good day when things work out for me, haha. I’m sure you’d feel the same. Yay for good cooking. Go me Go. Feel free to do a little booty shakin touchdown dance when things like this happen. It’s all about the simple things in life am I right My Lovelies?! LOL

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Adding wine to things like this also acts as a de-glazer for your well cooked pans. Don’t waste that seared liquid. That’s your concentrated flavour right there. Just the same as the bottom of your roaster from your roasts and hams make the best gravies and soup broths.

In this case it’s our deglazer and the base for this sauce. I am not a wino so I will admit that I have always been apprehensive about dishes that are made with wine. If someone made this for me and I ate the whole thing… I don’t think I would have even known it was made with wine. I’m serious! So so so so so so good!

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**NOTE: Milk is added for volume. This will help create that thicker fuller sauce to coat the chicken. If you wanted a more concentrated demi-glaze like sauce, you can omit the milk completely. As mentioned in the recipe, you may need to add more wine if you find the sauce to dry when you turn over the chicken half way through cooking.**

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Time for the fun! Let’s bring it all together. Gently add the chicken back in once you’ve mixed in the wine, milk, butter and parsley.

Nestle it down in that fragrant garlic bath. Time for these thighs to tantalize.

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Cover it with a tight-fitting lid and place it in a preheated oven and bake it up so the sauce can thicken up.

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Don’t forget to check it half way through and flip that chicken over. Keep it saucy!

It will look soupy at first. As it continues to cook the sauce will get darker and richer in colour and of course flavour.

Be patient and wait for it. It will look ‘blah’ before it looks ‘ta da’

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There it is! TA DA!!!

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As mentioned in my recipe, I then transferred my contents of my kitchen aid glazed cast iron dutch oven to a pan for appearance purposes for this blog. LOL

Got to love dirty dishes! LMAO

This pan is worthy of a few photos though. Another splendid purchase from Canadian Tire. I think I’ve gotten every single one of my pans from Canadian Tire over my years. They always have good deals on cookware FYI. Watch the flyers. This is a Heritage Rock Forged Non Stick Pan. It’s got a big capital ‘H’ on the stunning stainless steel handle. My name, being Haley… thus…H-Town bitches…. hahah. Nah my Mommy has one and I used it while at my parents place this spring and of course I fell in love. It having a big ole ‘H’ on it for ‘Cooking With Hay’ is just an added perk. I love this pan so much that I don’t really use any other pans besides The H Rock, this KitchenAid glazed dutch oven or my cast iron dutch oven and griller.

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This will be a regular meal cooked in my kitchen. Please give it a try guys! Feedback is always appreciated. As is your SHARES and LIKES on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc…. Sharing is Caring and it would really help expand my page! Love you all! Thanks for your support.

There you have it. Garlicky Sauced Pan~Seared Chicken ♥

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Grilled Chicken with FETA + BASIL SAUCE

FETA + BASIL SAUCE

♥  2 C. FETA CHEESE, crumbled
♥  2 T. FRESH BASIL, chopped
♥  1 HEAPING T. GARLIC, fresh and minced
♥  ½ C. MILK
♥  ½ TSP. CHILI POWDER
♥  ½ TSP. SUGAR
♥  ½ TSP. PEPPER

Boil a couple inches of water in a double boiler, reduce to med-high.

(or set up a small pot with water and bring it to a boil and have all your ingredients in a heatproof glass bowl larger than the pot.  Place the bowl over the pot.  Make sure it doesn’t touch the water, needs to be above the water)

Combine all the ingredients to the upper pot of your double boiler or into your glass bowl.  Mixing and stirring until creamy and fairly smooth.

You may need more milk if it’s too thick.  This is a thicker type of sauce so it’s not going to be thin and runny…  You want to dollop it on top of your grilled chicken.

Who doesn’t love a dollop of anything?  LOL

I have a large square cast iron dutch oven and the lid for it has grills on the underside so lately I’ve been using this heavy duty thing for everything.  I flipped the lid over and heated up the grills and grilled the chicken.

My go to staple is frozen boneless skinless chicken breast.  I buy them in 4 kg boxes or bags whenever they go on sale and usually have 4-5 packs in my deep freeze at any one time.  Chicken breast is high in protein and low in fat.

Season them with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper and grill to perfection.

When cooking chicken without skin, I always baste with a brushing of olive oil.  This will help seal in the natural juices of the meat and keep your dinner from going dry.  Have the grills or your pan preheated to med-high before adding the chicken.  Avoiding moving the chicken once you place it on the grills.  It will stick at first and you know you’ll be tempted to try and move it and “un-stuck it” but don’t!  It will pull away from the heat source on it’s own when it’s ready.  Well for the most part… just be patient alright.  This way you’ll get the perfect sear and grill marks.  Also, avoid turning and turning pieces of meat.  The raw juices cook on one side and then when you flip the piece of meat you allow the cook juices to run down through the rest of the meat helping cook that side through.  Flipping prematurely and back and forth might withhold some of those raw chicken juices and leave the center raw.  RAW!!!!  Don’t want that.

I heard this along time ago.  I only assume it’s true but it makes sense.  So I try to be as patient as I can and cook evenly and properly per side.

The image above includes salt. However my recipe does not.  When I made this, I added salt and found it to be incredibly too salty.  The feta gives this creamy topping enough salt…
Yum!  Look at it in all it’s feta and basil goodness.  I find I don’t cook with a lot of cheese, but feta can be used in so many ways!  I’m loving it.
Now #getinmybelly!

Give this one a whirl guys, it’s super easy and delicious too!

 


 

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Blackened Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cilantro Dressing (salmon or cod or whichever fish you want)

Finally, this post is done. I still consider myself a beginner food blogger even though this blog has recently had it’s 3rd anniversary. Blogging recipes takes work. Writing an accurate recipe takes work. It’s work but it’s work I enjoy. I just wish I could do nothing but cook, take pics, and blog… Haha True story.


Been talking about these a lot, I know, I apologize for the redundancy. Finally got all the components together….

You’re going to need to check out my last 2 posts!

Click this photo to get this recipe!

Click on the photo to the left to get this yummy Chipotle Cilantro Dressing recipe for these Blackened Fish Tacos that we’re about to make.

Click this photo to get this recipe!

Click this photo to see the ingredients needed to make the Blackened Seasoning that will crispify (is that a word?)the fish to a nice golden crunch on the outside and give it a deep savory flavour.



BLACKENED FISH TACOS
♥ 2 BAGS COLESLAW
♥ 1½ C. CORN KERNELS
♥ SALT + PEPPER
♥ FLOUR TORTILLAS
♥ 1 BIG SALMON FILET or 4 LARGE COD FILETS
♥ HIGH SMOKE POINT OIL FOR FRYING (i used Canola Oil)
1 BATCH OF BLACKENED SEASONING
1 BATCH OF CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING
♥ AVOCADO, FRESH, CHOPPED
♥ CILANTRO + LIME FOR GARNISH

Saute the coleslaw and corn with salt and pepper until just tender.
Set aside, but keep warm.
Heat oven to low temp and slowly warm the tortillas. I like em just before they get toasted.
Cut salmon or fish into large pieces suitable for frying.
Heat oil, just above medium, not too hot or the fish won’t cook thoroughly and not too cold or the fish will soak up to much oil and become soggy.
Fry till dark and golden on each side.
If you’re using salmon you may have to do the ends too. Use tongs. They work best.
When they are done gently remove from hot oil onto a papertowel lined dish to remove excess oil.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and break into good chunks.

THE ASSEMBLY
Warmed Tortilla
Sauteed slaw and corn
Blackened fish
Drizzle with some Chipotle Cilantro Dressing
Top with chopped fresh avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice


Place the Blackened Seasoning in a shallow flat bottom container of some sort so you can press the fish into it.  Coating every inch of it.  The better it’s coated the better the crisp.

You don’t want to over cook the cabbage, or it will lose all it’s structure.  You want to saute it till it just starts to wilt.  Keeping it warm will also allow it to keep cooking so with the pan on medium heat, just keep an eye on it.
This is the cod I used last night.  Seasoned all over every surface of fish with the Blackened Seasoning.

Fried in some oil till golden and delicious. I use a large cast iron flat bottom deep dish for frying. Allows maximum room for the fish to fry properly without over crowding the pan.   The heavy duty cast iron can withstand the high temperatures and will maintain it’s heat better when you drop in the fish.

I fried the fish in 2 batches to ensure it cooked evenly and properly. Or you can use a deep fryer but I’ve only used one once and I didn’t like it…. it was too small for what I needed and I don’t want a big greasy appliance kicking around here. I fry as little as possible.
Frying foods took a lot of practice for me over the years.  So many times chicken or potatoes or whatever it was I was cooking, was either undercooked or well well well done. Practice makes perfect.

Frying can be very unhealthy if done incorrectly.  When done the right way you are using the least amount of oil to get that desired crunch and crispiness.

✰ Oil thats too hot will scortch the food on the outside while leaving it raw inside. ✰

✰ Oil that isn’t hot enough won’t seal the food as it should when you drop it in. ✰

(Rather it will sit and soak up the oil.  This results in that drippy soggy mess we’ve gagged on one too many times.

The first time I made these I used some fresh plump salmon and they were to die for! This time around i used cod. I preferred the salmon over any white fish but both were really good.


BLACKENED SALMON TACOS

Here are some pics from the salmon ones I made last week!  These ones were my favourite!

Since the photos were taken down in my temporary basement dungeon kitchen they aren’t of the greatest quality.  We can only go up from here my friends ☺

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Chimichurri Chicken

Chimichurri… where has this been all my life? Chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce similar to a pesto with many variations for sure.  Make it your own😉

🌿I’m telling you, amazingly good and I can’t even believe how much I love it.  I had it in Jamaica and had to try it at home.  Fan-freakin-tastic.  I also made it with my Mom a few weeks ago.  We had it on some bbq’d pork chops… Hello melt in my mouth delicious!  I’m already checking the calendar to see when I can make it again!  On steak next time I think… 😊 INGREDIENTS

• 1 CUP FIRMLY PACKED FRESH FLAT LEAF PARSLEY

• 1/2 CUP FIRMLY PACKED FRESH CILANTRO

• 2 TABLESPOONS FRESH OREGANO LEAVES (or you can use 2 teaspoons of dried oregano)

• 4 GARLIC CLOVES

• 1/2 CUP OLIVE OIL

• 2 TABLESPOONS WINE VINEGAR (red or white, I used white)

• 1 TEASPOONS SEA SALT OR KOSHER SALT**

• 1/4 TEASPOON GROUND BLACK PEPPER

• 1/2 TEASPOON CHILI PEPPER FLAKES

DIRECTIONS

1. Pulse the parsley, cilantro, fresh oregano, and garlic in a food processor until it’s a coarse consistancy

2. Scrape down the food processor and get all that good green out into a nice little glass dish

3. Gently stir in olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and chili pepper flakes. 

💡Adjust your seasonings to your liking.  If you won’t be using all the sauce the first night, any chili pepper flakes will continue to make the sauce hotter as they marinate in the oil… Sometimes hotter is better💡

4. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. 

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CHICKEN SATAY WITH COCONUT PEANUT THAI SAUCE

 

I was on vacation in Jamaica🌍 a few weeks ago and we stayed at a fabulous resort; Secrets Wild Orchid.🌴  I was impressed with all the food that we had during our week long stay.🍴  Everything felt and tasted well made, light and never heavy or greasy if you know what I mean.  Everything looked fresh and made to order; it was delicious.  While I enjoyed Jerk Chicken and Jamaican spiced patties usually for lunch😋… in the evenings we enjoyed the fare from most of their specialty restaurants.  

After the pool bar it was up to the room to primping and get dolled up for the evening fun.👠👗  My favourite part of these vacations is suprisingly the evenings.  As much as I love the sunshine and the ocean, pool bar fun and all….  there is nothing better than getting dolled up in the carribean at a fancy shmancy resort, eating and drinking with friends that we’ve known for 8 years and that we only get to see for 1 week a year.☺️ Call Don and Laurie’s room and meet them down at the lobby bar for Pre-Cocks (pre drinks/cocktails😜, and yes non alcholic for me, 34 weeks today without a drop of booze. #noboozejustshoes)  From there we would wander down restaurant lane, a cobblestone/brick swooping pathway through the resort and along the oceanfront with a gorgeous view of the jamaican hillside in the distance.  Hubby wants to move there, just for that evening view!!  I am so game!!  

As in most of these resorts, you get to choose your style of dinner from French to Italian, steak, seafood, or Asian cuisine.  One night we chose Asian and I had a Chicken Satay dish in a delectable peanut sauce, and I vowed to make this as soon as I got home.  And I did… and the recipe is below, but first, a few pics of Jamaica to share with you😘         

And now let’s get back to cooking shall we😜

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MARINADE

1/2 CUP COCONUT MILK

1 CLOVE MINCED GARLIC

1 TEASPOON CURRY POWDER

1 1/2 TEASPOONS BROWN SUGAR

1/2 TEASPOON SALT

1/2 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER

1/2 TEASPOON CHILI PEPPER FLAKE (OPTIONAL)

4 CHICKEN BREASTS (boneless & skinless, cut in 1 inch strips)

DIRECTIONS

1. Stir together the first 6 or 7 ingredients until the brown sugar has dissolved. (chili pepper flakes are optional)

2. Pour over chicken breasts in a sealable container

3. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for 4 or more hours

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COCONUT PEANUT THAI SAUCE

1 CUP COCONUT MILK

1 TABLESPOON CURRY POWDER

1/2 CUP CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER

3/4 CUP CHICKEN STOCK

1/4 CUP BROWN SUGAR

1/2 TEASPOON CHILI PEPPER FLAKE (OPTIONAL)

2 TABLESPOONS LIME JUICE

1 TEASPOON SOY SAUCE

SALT TO TASTE

10 (6 INCH) WOODEN SKEWERS (soak them in water for a few hours before cooking, this will keep them from burning when on the grill.)

GARNISH

CHOPPED SALTED PEANUTS

THINLY SLICED GREEN ONIONS 

DIRECTIONS

1. Turn on your bbq or grill for medium-high heat.

2. Bring coconut milk, currey powder, peanut butter, chicken stock, brown sugar and optional chili pepper flake to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

3. Simmer and stir constantly until it’s thickend up and smooth.

4. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and the soy sauce.

5. Season to taste with salt

6.  Skewer marinated chicken slices onto presoaked, 6 inch, wooden skewers

7. Grill each skewer for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

8. Drizzle with some of the warm Coconut Peanut Thai Sauce, reserve the rest for dipping.

9. Garnish with chopped peanuts and sliced green onions

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Marianne’s Fancy Chicken Salad

My first post in 2015!😮 Hello!!!!!  Oh wow it’s been soooo long since i did a blog post.  I’m sorry!   I was recently back home visiting my family and my wonderful creative mother made me this scrumptious salad for dinner!  I loved it so much that I asked for all the recipies so I could try it for myself.  I’m very glad I did as it’s now one of my favourite dishes ever.  If you like grilled chicken and fresh wholesome salads, then this is something you should try.  😋

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MARINATED RED ONIONS

• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

• ½ cup apple cider vinegar

• 1 cup warm water

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt

• Red pepper flakes

• Garlic

PREPARATION

1. Combine Ingredients and bring to a bowl. 

2. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 6 hours.

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MARINATED CHICKEN BREASTS

• 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, like cider, balsamic, or red wine

• 2 to 3 teaspoons dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary, or crumbled bay leaf

• 1 to 2 tablespoons mustard, whole grain or Dijon

• 1 to 2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder, optional

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, each about 6 ounces

PREPARATION

1. Put the vinegar, herbs, mustard, powders if using and oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag. 

2. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients. 

3. Open the bag, drop in the chicken breast in the bag. 

4. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly. 

5. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.

I love to bbq and the flavour that grilling gives these marinated chicken breasts is so perfect, and just in time for summer.  I bbq year round because I have a covered patio off the kitchen.  So although the rain was coming down hard it didn’t stop me from getting these gorgeous cross grill marks on the chicken.   Slice each breast in 1/2 inch slices to add to your bed of greens and veggies.

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APPLE CIDER VINAGRETTE

• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

• 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 2 tablespoons agave syrup

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 cup canola oil 

• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

PREPARATION

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 

2. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk; stir in shallots.

I kinda splurged and purchased some Jamie Oliver Pinot White Wine Vinegar because… well… I’m a fan!  It was very pricy but I’ve learned my mistake in the past by buying cheap vinegars….  I definetly recommend you buy good vinegars for your food.  You’ll notice the quality of the flavour for sure.  Well I do anyways.

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FERNIE SALAD

• Greens/ romaine

• Carrot sticks

• Red cabbage

• Cukes

• Marinated red onions

• Toasted Pumpkin seeds

• Feta

• Grilled chicken breast

• Apple cider vinagrette

• Fresh Dill

PREPARATION

1. Place romaine and greens on a plate. 

2. Add shredded red cabbage, carrots and cucumbers. 

3. Sprinkle with salad dressing. 

4. Top with sliced grilled chicken breast. 

5. Add marinated red onions, feta and pumpkin seeds.

 

Once this salad is plated it’s a vibrant flavourful delight!

I had some leftover toasted sunflower seeds and slivered almonds so I added those too and topped it off with a sprinkle of chopped fresh dill. ________________________________________

And there you have it My Lovelies, Marianne’s Fernie Chicken Salad.  Named after a similar salad that she had tried in Fernie, British Columbia.  Awesomesauce!  I hope you give it a try and if you do, I hope you enjoy it.  Please let me know what you think guys!

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Szechwan Chicken with Toasted Chick Peas

Good Morning Friends and Followers. I hope the snow has all melted in your neck of the woods and summer has shown her face. I know it was a long winter for some. Here, it has been a very long spring. A long spring of BBQing outside on the patio and doing things around the house. Hence why there has been a lack of blogs from me lately. Got to keep an eye on our BBQ as it’s a rickety crispy old thing that was well on its last legs 3 summers ago. No time to take pictures and write. BBQ food practically gets inhaled so fast over her that again, no time for pictures. I apologize for the absence. Since we live here on the West Coast, this ultimately means lots of rain. While the sunshine is great, we have been getting a lot of the wet stuff in between. Our patio is covered but when it’s raining sideways I stand no chance and I fear: me, in a plastic poncho, beside my crispy old rickity BBQ….. not a good plan…. So where does that leave me? Back down into the basement temp kitchen… #temporarynottemporary haha. {See what I did there?! LOL. Look, I’m in a dungeon and rarely even know if it’s daytime or nighttime out there. My humour is going to be lacking and lame… just go with it, please… for my sake 😊 thank you}

Yesterday I hit up the market and came home forgetting so many things and as well a couple of items for dinner as planned. Ok, let’s wing it. No baby corns, no nuts, no problem. The end result was very good, and I got to try something new like toasted chick peas? Who does that? #dopeopledothat

Szechwan Chicken and Toasted Chick Peas

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This is a quick fix meal and does not involve a whole lot of ingredients. It does however require the main seasoning for this dish, which you may not have on hand and most likely won’t have everything needed to make it from scratch. So be sure to grab some from the market. I used Simply Asia Spicy Szechwan 5 Spice Seasoning blend and depending on how much you use it can have a wee bit of bite to it! This Szechwan seasoning is made up of Szechwan peppercorns, red pepper flake, ginger, paprika, garlic, cinnamon and clove, anise, brown sugar and sea salt…. pretty sure that’s more than 5 but it tastes good so whatever.

3 good things:
-The chunky texture, it’s not a powder. Flavour power!
-Very colourful, foods that look good, must taste good!
-It was cheap. Got it from costco.

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See what I mean!? Tell me that doesn’t look like it’s going to taste great. All that garlic and red pepper flakes.

As per the usual, this will be a ‘half assed’ recipe. 😜. I don’t follow recipes exactly and you shouldn’t either. Get the idea and give it a go yourself. Adjust, tweak, tinker, make it your own. You know what to do.

I wanted to top my meal off with some toasted nuts…. I like crunch and different textures. I must have used all my almonds in my Heavenly Chicken meal… {I need to blog this one} do I skip it. Well I probably would have except that I wanted to add some baby corns to this meal as well but I can’t see any of those in my pantry either. {seriously so frustrating as I just got back from the store!!!!?}. My eyes scan chickpeas.. Friggin chick peas that I bought for hummus but bought more chick peas when I went to make the hummus. “What do I do? Just peppers, onions and snow peas with the chicken and rice? Ya do that, that should be fine…” This is me talking to myself, hands on my knees searching my pantry shelves for a solution to my first world problems. “But it certainly isn’t going to be very interesting…”
Final though, snatched the can of chick peas, opened, rinsed, drained those big peas and into a hot pan seasoned with some coconut oil they go. Added some of that Szechwan seasoning and tossed em round for a bit until they were golden and slightly crispy. Put them in a warm shallow dish, lined with a piece of paper towel to absorb any oils. Set aside.
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So very, very cool!

The next part happens fast as well. “Easy breezy” as Toby would say.

2 hot pans on the stove; one with coconut oil a and one with sesame oil.

Add sliced white onion, sliced red peppers, and snow peas to the coconut oil. Add in Sezechwan seasoning and sauté till they get a bit soft. Simmer in some chicken stock.

In a bowl, toss sliced raw chicken breast with some Szechwan seasoning. Add it to the 2nd pan. The one with the sesame oil. Grill it up fast, till cooked through and slightly golden. Sprinkle with some brown sugar and continue cooking for a few minutes until the sugar starts to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with a small amount of chicken stock and simmer for another minute. Remove from the pan. Done.

I made up a sauce basically by heating a very small slurry of flour and stock in a pan and added in lots of Szechwan seasoning. You want it thin to drizzle over top and remember it will thicken as it cooks and cools and depending on the amount of flour as well. Hubby likes everything saucy 😉 and great for reheats aka leftovers.

Hot fluffy rice on a plate. Add the veggies, top with the chicken, a drizzle of extra sauce for Hubby and top with the way cool, toasted chick peas.

Scarf down rather quickly.

Remember to take a few photos first lol…
Mmmmmm spicy!
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And there you have it friends, my easy breezy Szechwan Chicken dish topped with toasted chick peas.
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GRILLED CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD with RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

My mommy has always made a spinach salad and it is THE BEST! When we have it, we can’t get enough of it. It has bacon in it and when you get a bite it literally is a tongue tantalizer. Normally we will have this with a steak and potato but how can I make this fabulous little tongue pleaser more of a meal. So it’s easy. Make a salad with lots of fresh spinach, green onions and mushrooms, some grated hard boiled egg and then…… grilled bbq’d chicken chopped on top. Heck yes! Let’s do it up. A big plate full of this goodness!

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GRILLED CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD with RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

Here’s what you’ll NEED:
Lots of fresh baby spinach
Lots of sliced fresh mushrooms
Lots of chopped green onions
6 cooked eggs, hard yolks (see below)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp.pepper
1/2 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALLS
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dijon mustard or mustard powder

Here’s what you’re GONNA DO:
To make the best hard boiled eggs that are cooked to absolute perfection follow these simple steps:
1. place eggs in the bottom of a pot
2. add cold water, fill to be 1-2″ above the eggs
3. bring water to a rapid boil
4. once boiling, remove from heat and cover with a lid
5. set a timer for 20 minutes
6. after 20 minutes add ice cold water to stop the cooking process
7. drain water
8. with eggs still in the bottom, gently shake back and forth to slightly crack the egg shells
9. under cold water the shells will come right off.
Easy peasy!

For the chicken part:
Pound out your chicken breasts in a big ziploc freezer bag. I use a wooden rolling pin! LOL You don’t want to demolish them… just break down the structure of those bad boys and flatten them out a bit. This will allow them to cook much faster and be a tender bite instead of a big mouthful and hope it’s fully cooked bite…
I gently massage them with a little big of olive oil just so they stay moist on the grill. I seasoned them with a small bit of sea salt, seasoning salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic, and oregano, because I love oregano.
Preheat your bbq, I’m going to say med-high but you need to know your bbq, you need to watch your food when you’re bbqing. Practice makes perfect! When they turn that white cooked colour flip them, about 10 minutes the first side and about 5 or so minutes on the second. Ensure they are cooked through and grilled up nicely Oh on the bbq! Oh on the grill Yo! haha I love bbq’d food!

–In a large salad bowl add in spinach, green onions, mushrooms
— you can slice the cooked eggs or you can use a cheese grater. I was so hungry, I opted for the grater, and also it makes the egg go further. Slicing the eggs makes for a much nicer presentation. Add to the salad bowl.
–mix it up and serve onto salad plates
–chop up a grilled chicken breast and then gentle swipe it ontop of the salad off of the cutting board.
–repeat for all servings
–serve with the red wine vinegar dressing

Oh the dressing!!! I make this in a jar. It’s easy to add in all the ingredients and shake it up. Because it’s oil and vinegar it will seperate obviously, just shake it up before serving it and keep it in the fridge. Add to the jar the last 7 ingredients. Shake it up. Taste it and adjust it to your liking!

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So like I said up there at the top, my Mom used to make Spinach salad for us all the time, the same as this but with bacon and no chicken. Gosh I love that version, and I will still make this version, when I feel like being a bad girl. 😉

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ROTEL TOMATO & MOZZA GRILLED CHICKEN

I wasn’t feeling up to par today, but I wasn’t up for take out either so I opted for something extremely simple, quick and easy. Here it is. Butterflied chicken breasts seasoned with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic. Grilled them on the bbq and topped them with mozzarella and some Rotel tomatoes and green chilies.
EASY! GOOD!
How cute are they, heart shaped and red!
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GRILLED CHICKEN FAJITA SKEWERS WITH CILANTRO AND LIME

In keeping with the spirit of Mexico, how about another easy meal idea using some of that homemade Fajita Seasoning we made last month?
I will never buy a store bought packet after using this simple recipe. The seasoning is very mild, feel free to tip the chili powder shaker a little more if your tongue likes to dance as much as mine. Make this up and then carry on below for the Grilled Chicken Skewers with Cilantro and Lime recipe.

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FAJITA SEASONING
2 tablespoons – cornstarch
4 teaspoons – chili powder
2 teaspoons – salt
2 teaspoons – paprika
2 teaspoons – sugar
1.5 teaspoons – chicken bouillon crushed
1 teaspoon – onion powder
1/2 teaspoon – garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon – cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon – cumin

Mix it all together and keep it in a dry container.

Approximately 2 tablespoons of this mixture equals a packet of that store bought stuff.
This recipe made just over 6.5 Tablespoons.

This will save you money too as those packets can start to add up after a while.

Please give it a try!
If you do make it, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.
Click here to see my previous blog post for FAJITA SEASONING

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The great thing is that there is no oil or butter used in this one, therefore super healthy. Wooooo Hooooo Anything to keep the waistline from growing. Don’t fret, these are so good you’d never know they weren’t drizzled in expensive olive oil or dipped in seasoned butter. You can thank me later, no worries 😉

Here’s what you’re going to need:
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
3 roma tomatoes
1/4 onion
cilantro
lime
Fajita Seasoning

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For the 5 skewers I used 4 chicken breasts. I cut the breasts in half so they were thinner then sliced those up to make bite sized pieces. The thinner the pieces the faster the will cook. You don’t want to completely burn your veggies on the bbq while you’re waiting for the chicken to cook. Does this make sense. Some of the chicken pieces were ultra thin so I stacke 3 pieces together. This make for juicy chicken bites. I hope this make sense. Look at the pic above to understand.
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Remove the ribs and seeds from the peppers. This is how I do it. Flip the pepper onto it’s stem and slice down the lovely pepper lumps. Check it out! 🙂 This leaves the ribs and seeds intact, less mess and less work for you.
Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and rib stuff with a spoon. I like the tomatoes to be very thin. I used a sharp knife and sort of fillet the tomatoes. For the onions pull off some of the wider outer layers. Cut them up the same size as everything else. My pieces were about 1″ x 1″. Layer the veggies and the chicken, alternating as you go. Push them together real tight and you’ll have less burny bits. 🙂
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Lay your skewers in a nice big dish. I made these up early so they were going to be going in the fridge….. be sure to make room in the fridge before hand if this is your situation. Nothing worse than having your hands full with an oversize tray of something and no where to put it and no hands free to move things about. Or don’t, and then bitch about it later like I do almost everytime.
Sprinkle on some of the homemade Fajita Seasoning that you made up earlier…. if you didn’t make it, I suppose you could use a store bought packet. I won’t tell anyone…..
Flip the skewers over and sprinkle the other side. This was enough for us but like I said way up there at the top, the seasoning is quite mild for my tastebuds. You could sprinkle more on the other 2 sides if you want more. This was just nice and light and allowed for the veggie flavour to come through.
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Chop up some fresh cilantro or don’t if you get your knickers in a knot over it 🙂 Now squeeze on some fresh lime juice
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Grill these babies on med-high I did 8 minutes then flipped and did 3 minutes then flipped to one of the other sides and did 3 minutes. They were cooked thru by this time and I took them off. But you could put the last side on for a couple of minutes if you wanted.
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Here’s a “Visual Summary” I made this for Pinterest 😉 😉 Wham, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am!
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We served this up with some light and fluffy rice. That’s it that’s all. Clean eating is best and still so tasty. I use a rice cooker that my sister gave me years ago. However I created my own directions because everytime I did as I was told the rice was hard and not yet done. So I don’t know what I do wrong but it never ever turned out so here’s what I do now. I measure 2 cups of dry rice and rinse under cold water in a strainer for close to 5 minutes. This removes alot of the starch and then when it cooks you won’t get that browned or scortched bottom. Although I was reading up on some Dominican cuisine and it said that some rice dishes are delberately cooked to have that type of browned bottom. I was intrigued. Here read up for yourself My Dominican Food Drain the rinsed rice and dump it in the rice cooker. Then I add twice as much cold water. So 4.5 cups…. ya, weird right…. the directions all say equal? Or at least mine does. How do you make your rice?
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As you can see, Hubby enjoyed. I too enjoyed and even though it was cold and rainy out on the deck manning the bbq like a boss…. I knew it was much milder here than my friends weather back east. So I mustered up my big girl panties and put on some boots. Yup that’s it some booty shorts and boots, oh and well a hoodie (I refuse to cover up these tanned legs while they are still tanned legs) and grilled those babies to Hubby’s preference. Hope you enjoy them like we did.
PS this is a beautiful christmas gift from mom! My Gordon Ramsay Rectangular Roaster/Dish from the Royal Doutlon Collection!!! EEEeeeeek It’s massive and I love love love it.
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