Tag Archive | Chicken

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

This year I’ve decided I want to come up with more recipes which use my slow cooker. I love the convenience of the slow cooker, and my sweet husband got me a new one at Christmas time which is even more fun. Part of what I love about this slow cooker is that, unlike my first slow cooker, it is programmable by temperature as well as setting a high or low slow cook. It has a very nice non-stick surface and I find if I tackle the dishes right after dinner just about everything cleans off easily.

This slow cooker Jambalaya recipe was the result of finding some nice spicy chicken sausage in the freezer that needed using. I also had chunked up chicken and veg on hand. Traditionally Jambalaya is a cajun dish that’s pretty much based out of cleaning out your meats and veggies, adding spice and pouring it over rice. Many versions of Jambalaya have seafood in them, but here in landlocked Utah I can’t always lay hands on excellent seafood, and chicken makes a pretty good stand in. You can make this as hot or not as you like by adding more cajun spices or a few extra shots of hot sauce, I like the Louisiana style.

Ultra Gel is a great ingredient when working with a slow cooker because we don’t have to heat everything to boiling in order to thicken it. We can just sprinkle the Ultra Gel on the top of the Jambalaya, stir it in and serve. It’s convenient and not forcing the vegetables to boil hard in order to thicken the stock means the vegetables stay in bigger chunks and taste amazing.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

1 pound chicken chunks

1 pound spicy sausage, cut into piece (andoullie sausage is traditional and yummy)

1 medium onion, diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1-2 cans diced tomatoes (I prefer the low sodium versions. I’ve also used 3 fresh tomatoes)

2 cups chicken broth

salt

pepper

1-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

dash hot sauce

Ultra Gel

Combine all ingredients except for Ultra Gel in a large slow cooker. For additional flavor you can saute the onion, pepper, celery and carrot before adding to the mix. Slow cook for 4-6 hours on high. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Thicken with Ultra Gel and serve over rice.

This dish freeze well and will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.

*Shelled and deveined shrimp can be added in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

Every evening I’m feeding a pretty full household. Teenagers, not toddlers, husbands, cats…the kitchen is always busy, and, let’s be honest, I like it that way. Usually. But sometimes I feel less inspired than others and I like having a file of easy go-tos which I add to upon occasion.

This is one such occasion and one such recipe. I love these Easy Chicken Enchiladas, and the power of Ultra Gel makes them even better. These Chicken Enchiladas are great with either chicken breasts or thighs, you just want a pile of cooked, boneless meat to start with and everything goes from there.

Because of the Ultra Gel these Chicken Enchiladas can be made days ahead of time and frozen, then baked for about an hour before dinner time. Viola! Easy, tasty, yum.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

1 can (10-12 ounces) red enchilada sauce (You can make this, but this is the way easy version)

1 can (15 ounces) chicken broth (homemade will also work well here)

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 pounds cooked, diced boneless chicken

1/2 medium onion chopped

1-2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1/2-3/4 cups sour cream

1 small can diced green chiles

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups cheese

8-10 corn tortillas

In a small pan combine enchilada sauce, chicken broth, Ultra Gel and black pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a medium pan combine 1 Tablespoon oil, chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until onion is transparent. Don’t over cook or garlic will burn. Add chicken, sour cream, green chiles and rinsed beans and mix until well combined and warmed through. Add salt and pepper and Ultra Gel.

Line the bottom of a 9×12 inch pan with 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. Place 2 Tablespoons chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place each roll into enchilada sauce in baking pan, seam side down. When pan is full cover all tortilla rolls with remaining enchilada sauce. If you want to freeze the batch cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil and move to the freezer. Otherwise, cover with cheese and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly and amazing.

For frozen batches: Remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

Mangoes have been on sale for the last little bit and I’ve been looking for different things to do with them. Mango Cake is always a fun option, but this time I wanted something savory and light.I had some chicken breast pieces and bell peppers which also needed using so I put everything together to end up with a Mango Chicken Stir Fry. Let me tell you this is a magnificent combination. The dish is chewy and sweet and crunchy with a little bit of spice and goes great over a little baked rice. This was good enough that we ate mango chicken for dinner, and then again for lunch…and another lunch…every scrap was eaten. That’s one of the things I love, a food where the leftovers are just as desired as the first go around!

I found more mangoes on sale this week and I think we’ll be giving this mango chicken stir fry an encore.

IMG_4022

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound chicken breast, sliced

2 medium mangoes, cubed

1-2 bell peppers, cubed

1 medium white onion, sliced

1 can sliced water chestnuts

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce

salt

pepper

garlic

ginger

Leftover Teriyaki sauce (optional but gives it a great flavor boost or you can use a dollop of Cornaby’s Peach Habanero sauce if you want more kick!)

Ultra Gel

Heat a large skillet or wok. When the pan is good and hot add 1-2 Tablespoons of oil. Add chicken and cook until mostly done. Add fruits and vegetables and cook until tender. Add soy sauce and spices and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add Ultra Gel as needed to soak up extra liquids. It’s usually 1-2 Tablespoons depending on how juicy your mangoes are.

Serve warm over rice.

Using Ultra Gel in Marinades and Rubs

I don’t know about you, but around here we’re firmly in the middle of grilling season. I love this time of year when we start seeing wonderful fresh vegetables and have a chance to move the cooking outside and keep my kitchen cool!

One of the things I hear from people a lot when it comes to grilling is questions about improving marinades and rubs that can be used on various meats and veggies before putting them to the heat. This is another one of those odd places where Ultra Gel rides to the rescue, let me explain.

Marinades. A marinade is a sauce usually containing oil, an acid, spice and herbs that meat or large pieces of fruit or vegetable are soaked in before cooking. There are two big keys to a great marinade. The first is the balance of flavors, enough acid, enough oil and the right herbs and spices. The second is getting as much contact with the food as possible. This is where Ultra Gel and good ziptop bags come in. Adding a little Ultra Gel, about 1 Tbl per cup of marinade, thickens the marinade just a little and creates an emulsification which holds the spices in solution instead of just having them drop to the bottom of the bag. This thickness and emulsification helps to make the marinade stick to the meat or veg and gives you superior flavor and results! Give it a try with your favorite mix. You can even just add a little Ultra Gel to a store purchased marinade.

Rubs. A rub is a combination of salt, spices and dried herbs which is applied to meats and vegetables before grilling. Sometimes the dish is allowed to sit after receiving the rub as the salt helps to get enzymes in the meat going, sometimes it’s a sprinkle and grill thing. This is another place where Ultra Gel steps in to keep your rub from clumping, naturally, and to keep the rub sticking to the surface of your meat or veg enhancing the flavors. I use about 1 tsp of Ultra Gel per cup of rub and just stir it in well.

One other suggestion when it comes to your grilling. Take a look at Cornaby’s Cooking Sauces! Available in Raspberry Jalapeno, Raspberry Chipotle and Peach Habenero these sauce are great as part of a marinade, as a basting sauce, or a pour on after your meal has left the grill. As well serve up any of these sauces over a block of cream cheese with chips or crackers and you’ve got a party with pop!

So what grilling is happening at your house?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Oh! And check out our Bavarian Cream contest on Facebook!

Labor Day Love – Cornaby’s Cooking Sauces

Just a quick drive by post as we’re happily spending our Labor Day making ribs and enjoying some family time.  There was laboring this morning too which lead to curtains in the right place and a bunch of dishes done, YAY.

Anyway…as you head into your grill-a-thon remember that Cornaby’s Cookine Sauces, like Raspberry Jalapeno, Raspberry Chipotle and Peach Habenero are the awesome on ribs, steaks, chicken, fish and even as a vinaigrette base for a salad.  This has been a shameless plug and now we’re off to eat!

Have a great holiday!

Peach Habanero

Mother’s day – Chicken Cordon Blu

Today Bunneh, my adorable sweetheart, is guest blogging to talk about the Mother’s Day dinner he made for me yesterday.  I lurve this man.

Mother’s Day Dinner 2012

Bunneh here.    I’m sure I’m not revealing any secrets when I confess that I like to cook.  I especially like to cook for someone else.  Making food for me usually ends up being fuel, but making food for My Kitty or our boys or friends is an act of love and creativity. 

With mommies day just last Sunday I had a chance to make a special meal for my special wife.  It all started about two weeks ago when I began pestering her for what she wanted.   “I don’t know, let me think” is the answer.   So I asked again.   Nope.   So I asked again.  “I want something like cordon bleu” she says.   So then I asked again, because I forgot what she had said.  I definitely never said anything like “are you ever going to tell me what you want for Mother’s Day dinner”, because that would just be rude.  Kitty reminded me that I had been told already.   And when my blank stare convinced her that I really didn’t remember, she even told me cordon bleu again.  

Whew.  Ok, now I have an idea for the menu.  That means I can go shopping and pick up things and figure out the rest of the menu.  When I went to the store for chicken, I found a package of dried wild mushrooms that I grabbed because I knew there had to be a way to use it.   Also some M&Ms…. Uh… for creative fuel… yeah, that’s why. 

The basic cordon bleu recipe.  Scale to your own needs:

Chicken breast

Swiss cheese

Ham

Egg wash

Panko

Vegetable oil

First take the chicken breast and use Alton Brown’s method for smooshing it flatter.  Score the underside of the breast if it’s very thick.  Place the breast on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Sprinkle some water on the chicken breast.  Put another sheet of plastic wrap over the top.  Sprinkle some water on top of the new layer of plastic wrap.  Then, using a wide heavy pan, pound the chicken using a downward and then sliding motion.  Once the chicken is thin enough, layer ham and cheese on it, and then roll the breast up, tucking in the ends to form a nice package.   Place the rolled breast into a pan, and repeat as necessary for the remaining chicken breasts.

Put the rolled up chicken in the fridge to firm up.    I left mine in for about 3 hours, but I’m sure longer would be fine.   Then prepare two dishes, one with an egg wash (beaten eggs and water) and one with seasoned bread crumbs.  I only added salt to the panko.   Heat a heavy pan of vegetable oil to around 375 degrees.   Roll the breasts in the wash, and then in the panko.  Put immediately into the oil, turning it to brown each side.  When the surface is all toasty brown, place the chicken on a rack over a cookie sheet in a 375 degree oven.  

Cook in the oven for a further 25 minutes or until the internal temperature hits the “safe-to-eat-poultry” temperature.  Be safe.  Don’t undercook your chicken.   But be careful not to blast it to a cinder either.

To accompany the dish I made wild mushroom risotto, and Kitty added a spinach and strawberry salad.   The risotto is pretty easy, just really time consuming.   The basic recipe I followed was:

 

2 cups Arborio rice

8 cups stock (hot, but not boiling)

Green onions

Parmesan cheese

Nutmeg

Wild mushrooms (8 oz)

Butter

 

Heat enough butter to heavily coat the pan you are using over medium low heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until they are soft and fragrant.   If anything turns brown you are cooking to hot.  Add the rice and cook stirring constantly for like 5 minutes.   When the rice starts to have clear edges, add enough stock to cover the rice and stir frequently as the stock evaporates.  At this point I turned my flame up to medium.   Once the pan is almost dry, add more stock to just cover again.  Continue stirring frequently and adding stock until the rice is creamy and soft.  It took about 60 minutes and all 8 cups of stock.   Your mileage may vary depending on the vapor pressure in your kitchen that day.  (Heh.  That is science nerd talk for weather and altitude conditions.) 

 

The stock I used was homemade chicken stock with the strained water I used to rehydrate the mushrooms.  I’m glad I strained it because the cheese cloth had what looked like dirt from the mushrooms after their soak.

 

Once the rice is creamy, add the mushrooms, and grate in some parmesan cheese and a touch of nutmeg.  I also added a bit of salt at this point to brighten the flavors.  

 Serve warm under the cordon bleu, and you will be sure to have a fantastic meal just like we did.

Serving this meal to my sweet wife was a joy.  She is a wonderful wife and mother and I’m a lucky Bunneh to have found her.

Chipotle Chicken Wraps

I promise I’m not obsessed with Chipotle…however I still had the last of a bottle and was trying to clean out the fridge.  So this recipe was a spur of the moment kind of dinner, but I was pleased with the results.  Bunneh thought it was a little on the ‘too spicy’ side and I agree, so I’d use a little less sauce next time…or more sour cream!  Either way it’s yummy and served up with fresh spinach, tomatoes and chipotle tortillas from Deer Creek foods, another Utah’s Own company!  I think it’d be good if I quick grilled the spinach, maybe next time.

Raspberry Chipotle Chicken Wraps

Chipotle Chicken Wraps

1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

4 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup Cornaby’s Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

1/4 cup chicken broth

1-2 Tbl Ultra Gel (if needed)

spinach

tomatoes

sour cream

Deer Creek Foods Chipotle Tortillas

In a large saute pan brown chicken, onions and mushrooms until meat is cooked through and onions are translucent.  raspberry chipotle sauceAdd broth, chipotle sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook down until sauce clings to chicken, add Ultra Gel to help absorb additional liquid and help sauce to adhere to the meat.  Serve in wraps with veg and sour cream.