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Soy and Sesame Chicken with Cucumbers and Mint

We adapted this recipe from Cooking Light and it was a perfect weeknight dish with amazing flavor.


6 Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/4 Cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced


1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Cup minced shallots
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 Tsp ground red pepper

To prepare chicken, place each chicken thigh between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet. Combine soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl or zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to soy sauce mixture and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

To prepare cucumbers, place cucumber slices in a colander/strainer; sprinkle with salt, tossing well. Drain for 1 hour. Place cucumber slices on a few layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels, pressing down occasionally. Combine cucumber, shallots, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; mix gently. Cover and set aside.

Heat a grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place 4-6 thighs in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining thighs if necessary. Serve 2 thighs over a bed of cucumbers and enjoy!


Almond Ginger Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash and Kale

4 Cups of Chicken Stock
1/2 Yellow onion, diced
1 Minced garlic clove
2 Cups of Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
8 Ounces of boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 Cup of smooth alone butter
1 Cup of Kale, coarsely chopped (collard greens work well too)
2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger, minced
Course salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Lime, cut in wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss butternut squash codes with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper. When oven is ready roast butternut squash for 10 minutes until slightly soft. On medium heat in a large stock pot, cook onion and garlic in olive oil. When translucent, add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add chicken (raw), then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. The chicken will cook in the soup.

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter and 1/2 cup of the existing soup mixture. Add the kale, ginger and squash to the soup and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the almond butter mixture and then season with salt and pepper.

Let soup continue to cook to make sure that greens cook through. When soup is ready, ladle into bowl and squeeze lime over soup. Do not forget the lime, this is an incredible flavor addition to the soup!


Beer Can Chicken with Savory Rub

This recipe is something you can do on a grill, a smoker or in the oven. Since it is Winter we opted for the oven. The can of beer helps the chicken retain moisture while it cooks but it can easily be substituted using a can of chicken broth if desired.

1 Whole Chicken
1 Can of beer
1/4 Cup of savory rub, the ingredients are up to you.
1 Tbsp of olive or grape seed oil.

First preheat the oven to 350 or fire up the grill arranging the coals for an indirect heat set up (where the coals are piled to one side of the grill so you can place the chicken in the area where it won't be directly over the hot coals.) If you are using a gas grill, you can set up for indirect heat using the outside burners and leave the center burner off.

Rinse the chicken thoroughly with water inside and out and coat with oil. Take your rub and massage it onto the chicken on all sides and inside the cavity, be sure to save about a teaspoon of the rub to put in the can. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breast slightly and get some of the rub in the space between the skin and flesh.

Now that the chicken is seasoned, use a can opener to cut off the top of the beer can and carefully drink half (or spill it out to mother earth) and sprinkle the remaining rub into the beer and stir. Now you are ready to stand the chicken up on the can. In a medium roasting pan, place the can in the center and carefully lower the chicken onto the can and use the can and the chicken's legs to prop up the chicken. Arrange the racks in the oven so you have clearance to slide the pan in and set the timer for about an hour and a half. I usually roast the chicken for the first hour at 350 and then lower the temperature to 325 for the last 15-30 minutes. Remove the chicken and the meat temperature should be 170 in the breast and 180 in the legs. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Rub, Beer and Chicken

Rub, Beer and Chicken

Chicken on a can!

Chicken on a can!


Mrs. Scorsese’s Lemon Chicken

We came across this dish when on the "tasting along the wine road" November 6 & 7, 2010. The event features cuisine and wine parings by wineries all across the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County California. This particular dish was featured at Francis Ford Coppola's Winery and was paired with his Director's Cut chardonnay. We just attended the 2011 Wine Road event, so stay tuned for more recipes!

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 3-lb chicken, cut into serving pieces (leg and thigh separated and breast into 3 pieces)
3 Large garlic cloves
1-1/2 Cups lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup of water
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, torn plus 3 additional sprigs.

Preheat the oven to 400

Coat the bottom of a cast iron baking dish with olive oil. Peel and cut the garlic cloves into thirds. Evenly distribute the garlic pieces in the pan.

Rinse the chicken and pat the pieces dry with paper towel. Arrange the chicken in the baking dish, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste the mixture, and if it's too sour or acidic add water as desired. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the chicken, turning to coat all sides. Add the torn oregano and sprigs to the top (skin side) of the chicken. If you don't have access to fresh oregano, just use your favorite seasonings such as Italian seasoning or Fines Herbes etc.

Put the baking pan into the oven and cook the chicken until the skin is browned, basting occasionally with the pan juices, for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and pour pan drippings in a sauce boat to be served separately.

Alternatively you can shred/pull the chicken and pour the pan drippings over the pulled chicken and serve over rice or even on a salad.


Chicken Chipotle Nachos with Cilantro-Avocado Crema

1/2 Cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp cumin seed
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1 Canned chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 Cup water
2 Cups shredded cooked chicken
'A couple dozen' tortilla chips
1 1/2 Cups shredded jack cheese (about 6 oz)

Boil chicken in medium sauce pan for 8-10 minutes, remove from water and set aside to cool. Once cooled, shred the chicken using two forks and set aside.

In a skillet heat olive oil and add onions and cook until they begin to brown. Add cumin seeds and oregano, stir for a minute, then add chilies, tomato paste, vinegar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently stirring often to blend flavors, about 5-6 min. Add shredded chicken and stir until hot.

Preheat oven to 450 and arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle equal portions of cheese on each chip, then spoon 1 tablespoon of chicken on top of each chip.

Bake for about 5-6 minutes (should be slightly bubbly). When done, transfer to a serving platter and top each with 1 teaspoon of the cilantro-avocado crema. Garnish with a cilantro leaf and serve warm.

For the cilantro-avocado crema:

This can be made up to 2 hours ahead of time. Mix 1 ripe diced avocado, 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add salt to taste.


Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Thyme and Garlic

This recipe is a simple and delicious way to roast/bake a chicken with lemon, thyme and garlic cloves.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 Cleaned and prepped roasting chicken (roughly 4 - 5 lbs)
4-6 garlic cloves
4 Thyme sprigs
2 Lemons, halved
1 Pinch of salt
1 Pinch of pepper
1/4 Tbsp of Italian seasoning

Place chicken in a roasting pan and ensure the cavity is emptied of the neck and other chicken parts. Add the garlic, lemon and thyme in sets of 2 and try to ensure a even distribution so the flavors work evenly in the roasting process.

Sprinkle salt, pepper and Italian seasoning evenly over the top of the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and bake at 400 for 60 - 70 minutes. Remove chicken and let rest for 10 minutes prior to carving.


Baked Chicken Thighs with Roasted Apples and Garlic

5 Cups peeled and chopped apples (preferably Braeburn or Gravenstein)
1 Tsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 Tsp ground nutmeg
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 Tsp salt
Cooking or olive oil mister
8 Chicken thighs
1/4 Tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475

Combine apples, sage, cinnamon. nutmeg and garlic. Add salt and stir. Spread the apple mixture on the bottom of a pyrex roasting pan coated with olive oil or cooking spray.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and arrange on the top of the apple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is done and apples are tender. Remove chicken and set aside; use potato masher to slightly mash the apple mixture and serve with the chicken.

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Apples

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Apples


Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Melon Salsa

4-6 (6 oz) Skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
4 Cups of buttermilk

For Salsa:
1 Cup Cubed honeydew melon
1 Cup cubed cantaloupe
1/2 Cup Diced peeled English cucumber
1/2 Cup diced onion
1/4 Cup chopped fresh mint
1 Tsp lime zest
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tsp diced jalapeno pepper
1 Tsp light agave nectar
3/4 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tsp fresh ground black pepper

Pre-soak chicken in buttermilk for an hour or so. Buttermilk helps chicken retain moisture while cooking and ensures a rich flavor.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Combine ingredients for salsa stirring in 1/4 Tsp salt and 1/4 Tsp pepper.

Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/2 Tsp salt and 1/4 Tsp black pepper. Remove chicken from buttermilk and grill 5-7 min on each side until done. Serve with salsa; garnish with mint sprigs if desired.


Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, Rosemary and Sage

2 Bone-in chicken breasts (with skin)
2 Sprigs of rosemary (or one large one halved)
1 Clove of garlic
1 Sprig of sage
1 Fresh lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 Tsp kosher salt
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the chicken by trimming off excess fat. Slightly separate skin from flesh and lightly brush both breasts on the flesh with olive oil. Add salt, pepper and coarsely chopped garlic. Slice lemon into whole rings thin enough to slide under the skin. Insert rosemary and sage sprigs between the skin and the flesh and then add one to two lemon slices, press the skin and all ingredients to the flesh slightly to secure. Refrigerate for several hours if possible to increase flavor.

Prepare charcoal for medium to medium-high heat or pre-heat your gas grill to medium or medium-high heat. Place breasts on the grill bone side down, positioning the thicker part of the breasts over the hotter portion of the grill. After about 5-7 minutes flip the breasts so they are skin side down and position the breasts so the thicker portion is still over the hotter portion of the grill. The skin should be fine, but in case it creates flare-ups it may be good to keep a spray-bottle full of water nearby to extinguish flare-ups. After 6 Minutes flip the breasts back to bone side down position and continue to grill them for another 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. On average you will need to grill medium sized bone-in breasts for 22-25 minutes. If the meat is charring slightly you can move the meat toward the cooler sections of the grill. Remove meat from the grill and let rest for several minutes. Remove skin before serving, leaving lemon and rosemary for presentation.


Domenick’s Chicken Marinara

1 Package of 2 split breasts of chicken (though you can use your preferred type of chicken meat)
2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 Small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 Yellow onion
4 Cloves of garlic
1/2 Tbsp of oregano
1/2 Tbsp of basil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Pan-brown chicken with garlic and onions for about 5-7 minutes flipping midway through. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil; once boiling lower heat and cover to simmer for one hour. After an hour remove chicken and separate meat from bone and skin. Discard bone and skin and add pulled chicken back to sauce; also add oregano, basil, cheese and red pepper flakes and stir. Simmer the sauce for another 30-45 minutes.

For pasta, fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and add a pinch of salt and a 1/2 tsp of olive oil cover and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add pasta of your choice and lower heat. Stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook time will vary on the type of pasta, so be sure to read the directions on the pasta packaging.

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