Jerk Chicken Burgers + Simple Crunchy Slaw

It's the end of summer and you might as well spend it grilling these spicy little chicken burgers. I'm pretty excited about these.  Spicy and complex.  We served these with a super simple slaw and lime buttered corn.  These should probably be grilled but they can also be cooked in a pan or grill pan.  

Scotch bonnets are hot, hot peppers with a fruity, almost sweet notes that range in colors from green to yellow to orange to bright red.  They can be swapped out for habaneros if needed.  As with all chile peppers, wear gloves when working with these and wash your tools and cutting board when done.  We keep a box of disposable gloves on top of the fridge for chile pepper chopping.  And don't touch your eyes or nose if you've been touching the peppers.  

Makes 4.

Jerk Chicken Burgers 

1 lb ground chicken thighs

1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded, minced

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 scallions, white + light green parts, minced

s + white pepper

10 allspice berries, ground

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

zest of 1 lime

1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (white, red wine or apple)

Fold all ingredients together to evenly combine.  Be careful not to over mix, it can alter the texture of the ground meat.  Let mixture marinate in fridge 30 minutes (longer is ok too, up to 8 hours)  

Form 4 patties and grill until done, flipping once.  For proper grill marks, heat part of the grill to high heat, once hot, place burger on grates.  Cook a few minutes until grill marks are present and turn 1/4 way.  Cook about 2 more minutes more, flip, cook and then 1/4 turn.  

Serve with a simple slaw: Whisk 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar with 1 teaspoon mayo until there are no lumps.  Toss with 1 1/2 cup shredded savoy cabbage, 1 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce, 1 shredded carrot and 1 tablespoon caraway seeds.  Salt and pepper, to taste.  Use immediately.

 

 

 

Chile Lime Noodle Salad

Noodles are one of my favorite foods.  This includes anything that could be described as noodles.  This weekend, I was really wanting a noodle dish full of vegetables with a lean protein that we full of lime and spicy flavor that I could eat cold.  Here it is.  Toss this one all together, portion into servings and you have an easy takeaway lunch.  

Makes about 4 servings.

Chile Lime Noodle Salad

for the sauce

1/2 cup lime juice, about 4 limes

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 clove garlic, grated

almost 1 inch ginger, peeled, grated

chile flakes, to spicy taste

for the salad

2 boneless skinless chicken cutlets

1 teaspoon high heat oil

1 red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced

3 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

5oz rice vermicelli noodles

1/2 cup crushed peanuts

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine lime juice, brown sugar, tamari, fish sauce, oil, garlic and ginger.  Add chile flakes to taste.  Should be spicy.  Set aside and allow flavors to mingle while other components are prepared.  

Place chicken between two pieces of plastic and pound to very thin, even thickness.  Lightly oil a skillet and place over medium high heat.  When hot, add chicken.  Cook, flipping once.  Transfer to a plate to rest.  Rest 5 minutes and chop.  Set aside.  

While cooking chicken, prepare noodles as per package instructions.  Most rice vermicelli noodles will need to be covered with boiling water and left for 3 minutes, strained and lightly rinsed.  

Toss chicken with bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, noodles, peanuts, cilantro and sauce.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.  

 

 

 

 

Paprika Chicken Braise

This one's a little weird but I love it.   Weird because I used globe artichokes that to eat, need to be pulled out and eaten with a bit of assistance from your hands, which will then need a napkin.  I found this fun and enjoyable but if it sounds odd use baby artichokes.  They're so cute.  

Serves 6.  

Paprika Chicken Braise 

1 lemon, halved

1 globe artichoke or 3 baby artichokes

s + p

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled, chopped

8 oz fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoons sweet hungarian paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 big tablespoons tomato paste

1 heaping tablespoon flour (or gluten free flour of your choice) mixed into 3 tablespoons water

14 oz cups chicken stock

Fill a large bowl with cold water and juice from half a lemon.  Trim up the aritchoke(s) by removing an inch or so from the top, any spines and any nasty part from the stem.  For baby artichokes, remove tougher outer leaves down to the more yellow ones.  Cut in half, remove hairy choke.  A spoon works well for this.  Cut artichoke half into 4 pieces.  Place in cold lemon water.  Let them chill for about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside. 

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy bottom, lidded pot oven medium high heat and warm the olive oil.  Add chicken and brown for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from pot and set aside.  

In the same pot, add onion.  Cook onion, while stirring for 2 minutes, until glossy and translucent.   (If you feel all brown crust of deliciousness at the bottom of the pan is going to burn, use a splash of white wine or stock to deglaze it.  Just puch the onions to the side of the pan and pour a bit of wine on the exposed crust.  Stir and scrap as it boils.)  Add garlic, carrots, potatoes and artichoke slices.  Cook, stirring until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add stock, tomato paste and flour water mix, stir to coat.  Slowly mix in the tomato paste, stock and wine.  Add paprika, cayenne and cumin.  Stir.  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken.  Bring back up to a boil.  Cover, 

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, about 25 minutes.  (After 10 minutes of cooking I like to give it a stir.)  

 

 

Oven Braised Lemon Chicken + Mushrooms

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Served this with wheat berries and sautéed kale.  The citrus really brightens the dish.  Chicken legs or thighs maybe substituted.  They are better for braising but I prefer chicken breast as it is leaner.  Dark meat will need a little longer to cook, about 45 minutes in the oven.  

Serves 4.

Oven Braised Lemon Chicken + Mushrooms

splash high heat oil (grapeseed, canola..)

2 Whole bone in, skin on chicken breasts, halved

1 small yellow onion, sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 a lemon, peel and pith removed, sliced

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

s+ p

Heat oven to 350.  In  a dutch oven or heavy pot on the stove, heat a splash of oil over medium high heat.  Brown chicken very well.  About 4 minutes on each side.  Transfer chicken to plate.  Pour out any chicken grease.  

Lower heat to medium and brown onion, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, chile flakes, mushrooms and carrots.  Sautee 3 minutes.  Add stock, scraping bottom of pan.  Boil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken, skin side up.  Add lemon, bay leaves and thyme.  

Cover and braise in oven 30 minutes.   Remove from oven, skim off any fat and serve.

Chopped Chicken Wrap

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I love a good wrap for lunch, especially one with lots of different things in it.  This one it based on the idea of a chopped salad and uses this Chicken Taco Rub

Serves 8. 

Chopped Chicken Wrap

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoons of Chicken Taco Rub

2 limes

1 apple, cored, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

8 green olives, pitted, chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

8 (10-12") tortillas or sandwich wraps  

1 medium romaine, chopped 

1 avocado, pitted, sliced

Marinate chicken with juice of 1 lime and rub seasoning.  Grill or cook in pan until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Chop and set aside. 

Combine apple, onion, olives, poblano, juice of 1 lime and cumin.  Toss to combine.  Lay out tortillas and fill each with chicken, apple mix, lettuce and avocado slices.  Roll up, cut in half and serve. 

 

 

Red Chicken Jungle Curry

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Jungle curry is a curry dish from northern Thailand that does not contain coconut milk.  It is spicy.   

Pickled or brined green peppercorns can be hard to find in grocery stores but asian or specialty markets usually have them.  Same goes for the kaffir lime leaves.  Tofu maybe used in place of chicken for vegetarians - just make sure your curry paste is shrimp/prawn free.

Serves 6.

Jungle Curry Stew  

6 cups water

3" ginger, peeled, roughly sliced

6 scallions, white parts only

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons high heat oil (grape, sunflower.. )

1 tablespoon (or so) red curry

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup green beans, trimmed, halved

2 carrots, peeled, sliced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 chinese or japanese eggplant, halved, sliced

3 strands pickled green peppercorns

  5 kaffir lime leaves  (optional)

handful baby corn

1 teaspoon fish sauce

juice 1/2 lime

salt

To make the broth:  bring water, ginger, scallions, garlic, soy and rice vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes uncovered.  Strain, discard solids and set aside.   

To make the curry:  heat oil in wok on high heat.  Add curry paste and cook 2 minutes, stirring.  Add chicken, cook 5 minutes, until color changes, tossing occasionally.  Add green beans, carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, 2 cups of prepared stock, peppercorns and lime leaves.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add all remaining stock and boil for 1 minute.  Add baby corn, fish sauce, lime juice and salt.     

Serve hot and with rice.   

 

 

 

Taco Night: Chicken Taco Rub

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I keep a small jar of this stuff around at all times.  I put it in everything.  In addition to being great for chicken it's also perfect for sides like rice and beans.   

Some times chicken just needs a simple rub and marinade. This one has spicy mexican flavors so I like it for tacos but it could be used for anything from flautas, steaks to simple grilled chicken but TACO NIGHT is my favorite night and who can say no to tacos when given the choice?  (Not I.)

Chicken Taco (or anything) Rub

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Juice of 1 lime

1-2 lbs chicken (or whatever you're going to rub this all over be it steak, pork, tofu...  

mix together all dry ingredients.  Generously sprinkle over your main ingredient and follow with lime juice.

For the chicken tacos (pictured), sprinkle over chicken, follow with lime juice.  Let marinate for about 10 minutes and cook.  Chicken was cooked using a grill pan and then cut into pieces.  Served with corn tortillas, shredded cheese, rice, beans, pickled jalapenos, pickled onions, pico de gallo, hot sauce, shredded lettuce and limes.  

Save any extra chicken taco rub for future use.  It's also great seasoning for vegetarian black  or pinto bean taco filling or just a handy mexican tasting spice mix to have on hand. 

Chicken Lettuce Cups

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This is really just a chicken stir fry served in lettuce cups but it's also good eaten on its own, over a salad or over rice.  (To keep things lighter, I like to use a spray bottle of olive oil to coat the pan before cooking chicken or veggies.)  Makes about 4 servings.  

Chicken Lettuce Cups

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cup into thin strips

2 tablespoons soy/tamari + 2 tablespoons soy/tamari

2 tablespoons rice vinegar + 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

dash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 small bunch scallions, white part, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cup into strips

1 carrot, peeled, grated

1 cup red cabbage, thinly chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup peanuts, lightly crushed

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

about 12 lettuce leaves, rinsed, dried

Marinate chicken strips in 2 tablespoons soy and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar for 15 minutes in the fridge.  Remove from marinade and cook in a hot skillet 10 minutes, pouring out liquids as needed.  (I like very well cooked and slightly caramelized chicken so i cooked mine for an extra 8 minutes or so.)  Set aside.  

Wipe out skillet and add a small amount of olive oil.  Saute onion 5 minutes.  Add scallions, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, carrot, cabbage, red pepper flakes and peanuts.  Cook about 8 minutes, stirring frequently so veggies don't burn.  

In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, fish sauce, remaining soy sauce and remaining rice vinegar.  Add this and chicken to skillet.  Add lime juice and stir to combine.

Serve in lettuce leaves.  

 

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

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Everyone seems to be coming down with a cold so here's a little comfort food in the form of chicken and dumplings.  It's really just a simple chicken stew with dumplings cooked in.  (I used boneless, skinless chicken breast but chicken thigh meat would be good too. Also, the chicken does not need to be cooked first, I just dislike boiled chicken and find that the chicken has better texture when cooked on its own in a pan and then added to soups.  But feel free to just add your raw chicken when the recipe says so.)  No peeking at the dumplings with they're cooking.  

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

few springs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery root, peeled and chopped

8oz mushrooms, quartered

1/2 cup peas (frozen ones are ok)

32 oz chicken stock

1/3 cup all purpose flour (for rue)

1 cup cake flour (for dumplings)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

1 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1/2 cup milk, (more if needed)

In a pan, cook chicken and set aside. While chicken is cooking, get the dumplings ready.  In a bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt, cheddar and chives.  Stir in milk.  Set aside.  

In a large pot,on medium heat,  melt butter and add carrots, celery root, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay.  Cook 5 minutes, until onion is glossy and carrots are soft.  Add flour and stir to coat.  About 1 minute.  Turn heat to high and add stock, chicken, mushrooms and peas.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Drop dumpling batter in by the spoonful.  There will be about 6 dumplings.  They will expand a lot when cooking so space them out as much as you can.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes. (No peeking at the dumplings while they're cooking, opening the lid of the pot lets steam escape and your dumplings need that steam to cook.)   Test dumplings for doneness with a toothpick, if not done, cover and simmer 5 minutes more.  

Serve hot!