The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Baked Chicken with a Cream Sauce November 13, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 8:06 am
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Chicken with a cream sauce

This recipe was titled “Coq Au Vin, My Way.  I’m pretty sure that Coq Au Vin doesn’t have cheese or cream which probably makes this recipe better than a traditional one!  Replace the cream with milk for a lighter version.  My changes are in green.

Source: All

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 skinless chicken thighs

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset)

3 medium tomatoes, sliced

4 portobello mushrooms, sliced (omitted)

1 pinch salt (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 sweet onion, chopped

1/3 cup Burgundy wine (Merlot)

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, crushed garlic, and Italian seasoning. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, then add the tomatoes and portobello mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Strain off about half of the liquid from the skillet, and pour in the Burgundy wine. Cover, and simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms to a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Cover with sliced onion, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring the liquid remaining in the skillet to the boiling point over medium-low heat. Gently whisk in the heavy cream and Gruyere cheese. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth. If the sauce is not thick enough, whisk in the cornstarch, and simmer over very low heat until it thickens. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until onions are tender. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Slowcooker Latin Chicken November 8, 2009

Latin Chicken

Wow this chicken was so tender and flavorful.  My guess is that you could skip the browning of the chicken part since you’re using skinless chicken and the slow cooking tenderizes the meat so much.  For some reason I can’t find my veggie picture on my computer but we loved the sweet potato/bell pepper combination.

Source: All

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 pounds skinless chicken thighs (I used a thigh/leg combination)

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

1 cup hot salsa

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

lime wedges, for garnish

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet; season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over the chicken thighs; brown the chicken in the frying pan, 3 to 5 minutes each side.
  2. Arrange the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, and black beans on top of the chicken. Mix together the chicken broth, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, salsa, cumin, allspice, and garlic together in a bowl; pour into the slow cooker. Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for 4 hours. Garnish with lime wedges and serve with hot rice.

Slowcooker White Chicken Chili November 7, 2009

White Chicken Chili

It’s hard to have a true white chicken chili that’s also spicy.  Once you put in the cayenne and chili powder it doesn’t look like a white chili anymore!  I make chili pretty often and am always trying new ingredients and spice mixtures.  This one was delish!  Chili doesn’t really need much of a recipe though; be creative and use what you have on hand.

1 pound dried navy beans, picked over

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup carrots

2 cups onions

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

2 tablespoons garlic

1 2/3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Sprinkle crushed red pepper (to desired taste)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoons ground black pepper

1/8 – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to desired taste)

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound chicken breast, diced

2 (10-ounce) cans Ro’tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (original), undrained

1 can cream of chicken soup

1-2 tablespoon heavy cream

  1. In a large bowl, soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches overnight. Drain beans in a colander and add to Crockpot.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion, carrot and jalapeno until soft and beginning to caramelize, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the spices and chicken broth, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add to Crockpot.  Add the chicken, canned tomatoes, soup and stir to combine.  Cook on low 8-9 hours or on high 4-5 hours.  Finish by adding the cream.
  3. Serve the chili in deep bowls, garnished with dollops of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, cilantro, jalapenos, and green onions to taste.

Chinese Fried Rice September 9, 2008

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,Quick dinners — xigumdrops @ 9:49 pm
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A tasty, easy to prepare fried rice recipe.  My changes are in green.
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, lightly beaten  (2 eggs)
3 drops soy sauce
3 drops sesame oil
8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or chicken, chopped (I cooked mine during step 5)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 cup)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (omitted)
4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts (omitted)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove from wok. (OK, so I’ve never had onions take 8-10 minutes to cook so maybe this is a mistake in the recipe?  or do they want us to burn the onions?  I cooked them for maybe 3-4 minutes tops)
2.  Allow wok to cook slightly.
3.  Mix egg with 3 drops of soy and 3 drops of sesame oil; set aside.
4.  Add 1/2 tbsp oil to wok (omitted as I used a nonstick pan), swirling to coat surfaces; add egg mixture; working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok; when egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly; remove from wok, and chop into small pieces.
5.  Heat 1 tbs. oil in wok; add selected meat to wok, along with carrots, peas (omitted), and cooked onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes (cook until chicken is no longer pink).
6.  Add rice, green onions, and bean sprouts (omitted), tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes.
7.  Add 2 tbs. of light soy sauce and chopped egg to rice mixture and fold in; stir-fry for 1 minute more; serve.
8.  Set out additional soy sauce on the table, if desired.

Sweet and Hot Pepper Chicken August 19, 2008

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 9:09 pm
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This one is a spiced up healthier sweet and sour chicken recipe.  I didn’t have any dried chilies so I added an extra jalapeno.  As I was mixing them in, I decided that each piece of chicken probably shouldn’t be covered in jalapeno (AGH!) so I removed some before I finished cooking.  Comments are in green.

Source:  Food Network Emeril

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce (?! never head of that; I just used more soy sauce)

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup chicken stock (low sodium)

1 Tbs. chili garlic sauce (overflowing 1 Tbs.)

2 tsp. sugar

4 tsp. vegetable oil

2 tsp. minced ginger (ground)

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. minced green onion bottoms

10 dried red chiles (omitted)

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced (probably around 1.5 jalapenos after I took some out of the pan, stemmed, seeded and chopped)

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 cup sliced yellow onion (red onion)

2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp. sesame oil (omitted – as I am typing this I realized I forgot this!  Didn’t miss it.)

1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves (stems left in; I love how they taste!)


1.  In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, dark soy and cornstarch.  Whisk to blend well, add the chicken to the sauce.  Toss to evenly coat the chicken and set aside to marinade for 15 to 20 minutes as you chop everything else.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, stock, chili garlic sauce and sugar.  Stir to combine and set aside until ready to use.

3.  Place a wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil to the pan.  (I add the oil first and then turn on the heat to avoid splattering.)  Swirl the wok to be sure to coat well with the oil. Add the ginger, garlic, green onions, dried chilies (omitted) and jalapenos to the wok.  Cook, stirring often until the garlic is frangrant and the chilies begin to brown, about 20 to 30 seconds.  Add the chicken, bell peppers and onions to the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a boil, being sure to toss well to coat all the chicken and vegetables evenly, about 1 to 2 minutes.

4.  Sprinkle the sesame seeds, sesame oil (oops omitted) and cilantro into the pan and toss to combine.  Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.


Caribbean Grilled Chicken Kebabs August 17, 2008

Filed under: Chicken,Grilling — xigumdrops @ 4:40 pm
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You can be creative with the veggie/fruit sides with this marinade.  Try red onion, pineapple, red bell pepper, shallots, or peaches.

Source:  Cook’s Illustrated

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks

3 cups vegetables and/or fruit (I used 1 large red onion and 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch chunks, and 1 large peach sliced)

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 recipe caribbean marinade as follows:

Caribbean Marinade:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 Tbs)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon


1.  Mix marinade and chicken in 1 gallon zip-lock bag; seal and refrigerate, turning once or twice, until chicken has marinated fully, at least 3 and up to 24 hours.

2.  Light grill.

3.  Lightly coat vegetables and/or fruit by tossing in medium bowl with oil and salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Remove chicken chunks from bag; discard marinade.  Use 1 hand to hold 2 skewers about 1/2 inch apart, then thread portion of chicken and vegetables on both skewers at once for easy turning.  Repeat with remaining chicken and vegetables to make 8 sets of double skewers.  I used single wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes.  I also cooked the veggies separately from the chicken in a grill pan.

5.  Grill kebabs, uncovered, turning each kebab one-quarter turn every 2 minutes, until chicken and vegetables and/or fruit are lightly browned and meat is fully cooked, about 9 minutes (or 8 minutes for white meat chicken).  (Lid should be down if cooking with gas.) Check for doneness by cutting into 1 piece when it looks opaque on all sides.  Remove kebabs from grill when there is no pink at center.


Jerk Chicken July 30, 2008

Filed under: Chicken,Grilling,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 9:20 pm
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I didn’t have Scotch bonnet or habanero on hand and substituted 1 huge jalapeno and 1 serrano chile pepper.  It was not hot enough to be called jerk.  Sub 4-6 jalapenos if you can’t find Scott bonnet or habanero.

Source:  Cook’s Illustrated

1 bunch scallions, root ends and tops trimmed, chopped course

2-3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed.  (Be sure to use gloves or take out your contacts first if you wear them.  Trust me you will thank me later.)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 Tbs. light molasses

1 Tbs. dried thyme

3 medium garlic cloves, peeled

2 tsp. ground allspice

2 tsp. table salt

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, legs, or breasts, trimmed or excess fat and skin

1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

1.  Puree scallions, chiles, oil, molasses, thyme, garlic, allspice, and salt in blender or food processor until almost smooth, scraping down side if necessary.  Wearing disposable gloves and working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, slide finger between skin and meat to loosen skin, then rub 1 Tbs. spice mixture under skin of each piece and transfer chicken to 1-gallon zip-lock bag.  Pour remaining spice mixture over chicken, seal bag, and turn bag so that chicken pieces are covered with mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 36 hours.

2.  Light grill to build a two-level fire.

3.  Remove chicken from bag and arrange skin-side down over hot side of grill.  Cook chicken until well browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to cooler part of grill and continue to cook, turing occasionally, until very dark and fully cooked, 15 to 22 minutes.  Serve with lime wedges.