It’s grilling season! Both the chicken recipe and the sauce recipe for these chicken kabobs are a hybrid of several recipes that I like, and not straight forward traditional Persian or Greek kabobs and not a traditional tzatziki. I still play around with this marinade and sauce, adding a little harissa to either (but not both) for some spice or omitting the cucumber to keep things creamier. You don’t technically need a sauce, but who doesn’t love sauce??? It’s definitely needed if you intend to serve the chicken in a lavash or pita or on a grain bowl. Continue reading
Chicken is still the most popular protein in my classes, so I am always trying to come up with new flavor profiles for this versatile meat. The seasonings I use for this roasted lemon sumac chicken are Middle Eastern and I love the tart, herbaceousness of sumac and za’atar together. I use these spices/dried herbs a lot. Don’t be put off by cooking a whole bird. It’s easier than it looks and I find it much more economical, plus I can use the bones afterwards for stock. 2 in 1! If your family eats white meat and dark meat, a whole bird is the way to go. Continue reading
It’s the perfect time to try a new one-pot meal! September is like the New Year, in a way. And I am back into a cooking routine, but I want to ease back into it. This recipe is a twist on my favorite one-pot meal, Mediterranean Chicken with Rice. There’s also another variation in my cookbook, Quicker Than Quick, called Weeknight Arroz con Pollo. Delicious!Continue reading
This was originally published in January 2014, but I have been making it again on the regular and thought the website needed updated photos!
You know what is just the worst? Getting sick. Life is great until you feel horrible. I think most of us run around like maniacs until we’re so wiped out while our poor bodies are trying to tell us to slooooooow down and get some rest. First it’s a little whisper like feeling so tired. But we don’t listen. Then we get a sore throat. We don’t listen. Then our bodies have to whack us over the head with a crazy cold and body aches until we have no other choice but to stay in bed. A friend of mine who came down with a bad cold said to me the other day,”If I just spent a little time in bed resting when I wasn’t sick, maybe I would have stayed healthy!” I think she’s onto something.Continue reading
This recipe is “the whole enchilada,” so to speak. I’m giving you a method for poaching the chicken, making the enchilada sauce from scratch, and assembling the actual enchiladas. The only thing we’re not covering today is how to make corn tortillas, and I am sure homemade corn tortillas are the only thing that would make these enchiladas better. If you buy cooked chicken and canned enchilada sauce, you don’t really need a recipe to make enchiladas. Not judging of course, because we’ve all been there and shortcuts have their time and place. But if you can plan ahead, these are amazing. My entire family loves these and let me tell you, they’re a tough crowd.
I grew up on Long Island and didn’t even taste Mexican food until I moved to Los Angeles after college. My kids have grown up in LA and they are Mexican food experts, sometimes having lengthy discussions about which local taco joint has the best this or that. So when I make something Mexican that gets the thumbs-up, I am relieved and proud at the same time. Ironically, these are not my personal favorite enchiladas. I am more of a green (tomatillo) sauce person, so I am obsessed with the enchiladas verdes here. But my family digs these. I’ve been making enchiladas rojas for years and my son (Mr. Picky) used to call these “chicken tacos with Mexican tomato sauce.”
I’m sure you all pushed away your keyboards and ran into the kitchen to poach chicken after Monday’s post, right? Perfect! Now let’s do something healthy and delish with your chicken. I have a recipe for the BEST curried chicken salad I have ever eaten! Even my family, which to my chagrin prefers more “simple” flavors, loves this salad.
I thought it would be a great time to post this curried chicken salad since you might be looking for some new options for school and/or work lunch. At it’s most basic, curried chicken salad is just what it sounds like — chicken salad with curry mixed in. I use a yellow curry powder, which is a blend of different anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek and many others. But as opposed to basic, standard chicken salad to which I add celery and onion, I like to add a little something sweet to balance the curry. My husband and I disagree on whether diced apple or halved grapes is better. I think they’re both good, but since I am a sucker for crunch, I usually add apples.
I used to make Ina Garten’s version with Major Grey chutney and white wine, but the chutney is not something I usually use and it was taking up space in the fridge. So I created my own blend of ingredients, including apricot preserves, to mimic the sweet, hot, tart flavor of the chutney. This is the best part of the dressing. So, so good and flavorful! I also like to use shredded, as opposed to cubed or diced chicken, because I think the nooks and crannies of the shredded chicken pick up more of the dressing.
You can make it the day before and tuck it inside of a pita or 2 slices of hearty, whole grain bread. Or, as I like to do it, eat it in a lettuce cup. A little avocado would put this over the top! Feel free to make this spicy or change up the preserves. I think any variation of orange, apricot, peach or kumquat would be great. I like the St. Dalfour brand which is sugar-free and without added preservatives. I think this might become your new favorite chicken salad! For you vegheads, I may try to do a tofu version of this. How does that sound?!
There are a few basic techniques I think are worth knowing how to do, such as scrambling eggs, cooking rice, and making a versatile salad dressing among other things. In that category, I also include poaching chicken (if you eat chicken obviously.) I thought this was a good time to do a refresher on this technique since back to school has made many of us desperate for make-ahead meal tips and fodder for school lunches. Enter poached chicken.
Poached chicken is very easy to do and provides limitless options for meal planning. It is delicious in chicken salad, with mixed greens or grains and a vinaigrette, in enchiladas or quesadillas, in a sandwich or wrap, and so on. Poaching is probably the cleanest way to cook chicken, since we avoid the formation of carcinogenic compounds that are created when we grill and sear, or cook animal protein for long periods of time at high temps. Read this article if you would like to learn more. So if you’re going to eat animal protein, steaming, poaching and low temps are the most healthful ways to go.
If it’s so much better to poach and steam chicken, why don’t we do it all the time? Because unfortunately, it’s not as flavorful as searing and roasting. All those crispy brown bits, albeit carcinogenic, are tasty. So once in a while, it’s a good idea to change it up a bit. And if you’re looking for cooked chicken to add to meals, try poaching. We’ll add some extra flavor by including onion, garlic, salt and pepper to the poaching liquid though.
Poach some chicken on a Sunday and have it for a couple of days’ worth of lunches and dinners during the week. You can also freeze poached chicken, wrap it well in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and use it within 3 months. This week I will also share one of my favorite salads using poached chicken. Stay tuned!