Southwest Chicken and Pork Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers

Southwest stuffed Bellpeppers

Southwest stuffed Bellpeppers

Southwest Chicken and Pork Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is literally one of those “use what you’ve got” recipes.  So… if some of the ingredients seem a little different…  you’ll know why.  It would be very easy to change up this recipe according to what you have on hand… different meats, different vegetables, different seasonings, different cheeses…  I somehow ended up with an abundant supply of assorted bell peppers as well as some hot peppers.  Not to mention that all of the holiday cooking left me with a whole cooked chicken and some leftover delicious pork chops.  None of which I wanted to see get wasted, however, I really needed a new flavor!  So, here it is and I hope you enjoy it!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Start out with an assortment of colored bell peppers.  I had several red, green, yellow and orange so that is exactly what I used.  Nine of them to be exact!  Lop the tops off of the peppers. Don’t throw them away…  they make a pretty presentation in the end.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and arrange the peppers and tops however they will fit.  Spray them with olive oil spray and give them a light sprinkle of kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper. Roast them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until they have a slight char on them.  When you take them out of the oven, there will be a small amount of liquid in the cup of the peppers.  Either pour this out or use a paper towel to blot this out.  Set them aside until ready to use and put the “lids” of the peppers on a separate plate.  You won’t need these until you get ready to serve.

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing mixture:

Olive oil, aprox. 1/4 cup

1 purple onion, chopped

2 poblano peppers, chopped

2 anaheim peppers, chopped

1 whole pod of garlic, chopped

2 beers, I used Sam Adams Boston Lager

Juice of 2 limes

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, hand crushed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/8 cup chopped fresh basil

1/8 cup fresh oregano, fine chopped

1 Tbs Kosher salt (or more to taste)

1 Tbs coarse ground black pepper (or more to taste)

4 chicken bullion cubes

2 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs dried thyme

1 Tbs garlic powder

1 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs corriander

1/2 Tbs mustard powder

Leftover cooked chicken and pork (already cooked).

Cheeses:

Sharp cheddar, fine grated

Fontina, fine grated

Fresh Mozzarella, hand torn

Fresh cilantro for garnish

cayenne for garnish

Cooking Instructions:

Saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil over high heat until somewhat caramelized and soft.  Add the garlic and saute for about a minute.  Pour in both beers and the lime juice.  Reduce the heat to medium/low and add in the remaining ingredients all the way down to the mustard powder.  Mix well.  Bring the heat back up to a slow simmer but then reduce again to low and let the flavors meld for about 15 minutes over low heat.  I have always heard that you have to bring the flavors up to a low boil to get the most out of the flavors.  I have always done this and it has never failed me… so I am staying true to the saying!!!  Gently fold in the chicken and the pork and taste to adjust the seasonings.  Now you are ready to stuff the peppers.  Put a little of the cheddar and fontina into the cup of the peppers.  Pack in as much stuffing as you can get in the peppers.  Top with the remaining cheddar and fontina and finish off with the fresh mozzarella.  By the way… the peppers can be stuffed and baked on the same baking sheet that you originally roasted them on…  Return the stuffed peppers to the 425 degree oven.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the oven to broil and let the peppers cook just long enough to let the cheese brown a little more.  Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro and cayenne.  Top each pepper with a “lid”.

Serve and Enjoy!!!

Hot Wings

Hot Wings

Hot Wings

Hot Wings

My family is going to be SO happy that I finally typed this recipe!!! The date on my original “chicken scratched and re-scratched” recipe is 2008 and it is never in a place where I can find it when they ask for wings.  I think the process of finding the recipe usually takes me as long as it takes me to make the wings themselves.  These wings are baked crisp instead of fried so that within itself makes this version healthier.  The hot wing sauce is just right… spicy but not so much that the “mild” people wouldn’t like them as well.  The blue cheese sauce makes the perfect compliment and the leftovers (if there are any) can be used as a delicious salad dressing!!! 

2 – Family size packages of chicken wings, clipped and cut into two sections

2 – dark beers

olive oil spray

salt

pepper

garlic powder

Soak the wings in the beer for several hours.  After soaking, spread the wings on a foil lined baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with the olive oil no stick.  Season both sides of the wings generously with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.   

Blue cheese dip:

1 1/4 cups Blue cheese, preferably Maytag, crumbled

1/2 package 8oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tbs Mayo, I like Dukes because it has no sugar

1Tbs White wine vinegar

1 Tbs minced garlic

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Juice of a lemon

*Aprox. 1/2 cup milk to thin the mixture

Mix all ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Blend well and whisk in the milk to thin to desired consistency.

Hot Wing Sauce:

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup crystal brand hot sauce.  I like the consistency of the Crystal brand.

1/4 cup ketchup

2 Tbs Worcestershire

1 Tbs Balsamic vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp coarse ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp white pepper

Juice of a lemon

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Set aside until ready to use.

Cooking instructions:

Preheat your oven to 450.  Turn all of your chicken wings skin side down on the baking sheet.  Cook them for 10 minutes on the back side.  Flip them skin side up and cook for 15 more minutes.  Turn the oven to broil and cook them for about a minute or longer just so the skin gets crispy but careful not to burn them.  Take them out of the oven and place them in a large mixing bowl.  Pour the hot wing sauce over them and mix them up so the sauce coats the wings.  Pour them out on a platter and serve them family style along with the blue cheese dip and fresh cut celery sticks.

Serve & Enjoy!!!

Hot Wing Feeding Frenzy

Hot Wing Feeding Frenzy

Red Curry Chicken

Red Curry Chicken Cooking

Red Curry Chicken Cooking

Red Curry Chicken W/ Angel Hair

Red Curry Chicken W/ Angel Hair

Red Curry Chicken W/ Angel Hair Pasta

Red Curry Chicken W/ Angel Hair Pasta

Red Curry Chicken

 

We have been on a curry kick lately!!!  We have been sticking to the yellow curry but after a recent conversation with the Vietnamese lady at our favorite Asian grocery store… we are venturing out!  This is our recent experiment and I must say it was DELICIOUS!!!  Somewhat on the very spicy side but that’s what red curry is!  And when served over the pasta the heat is toned down somewhat and just a flavor that leaves you craving more!!!  Most Asian pasta dishes are served over some type of rice noodle which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!!!!!  But…  I am watching my carbs lately and chose to use the Dreamfields angel hair.  It is truly the best brand for low carb and doesn’t taste like cardboard!  High in Fiber but not lacking in flavor….  We love it!!!

 

Ingredients list:

1 – whole chicken cut into 8 pieces

salt and pepper

aprox. 1/2 cup canola oil, give or take a little

 

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, rough chopped

1 large jalapeño pepper, fine chopped

 

1 heaping TBS minced garlic

1 – 2 x 1 node of fresh ginger, grated

1/4 cup Shou Wu Chih, this is an herbal beverage concentrate available at Asian Groceries

1/4 cup fish sauce

2 – 28 ounce whole tomatoes, hand crushed and drained

1 – 114 gram can red curry paste, I used Mae Ploy

2 – 5.6 ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk, I used Aroy -D

Juice of a lime

1/2 – 3/4 cup chicken stock

1 – Kaffir lime leaf – fine chopped

2 – 3” long stalks of lemon grass finely chopped, also available at Asian grocery stores

 

1 – tsp kosher salt

1 – tsp coarse ground black pepper

1 – chicken bullion cube

 

1/4 cup Thai Basil, hand torn, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup Green onions, chopped, plus more for garnish

lime wedges

 

1 box Angel hair pasta cooked according to package directions

 

Season each piece of chicken with the salt and pepper.  Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Be sure the oil is very hot before adding the chicken.  Brown each piece of chicken for about 2 minutes on each side.  You may have to do this in batches.  Set aside to drain on paper towels until ready to use.  Wipe the skillet out with paper towels but don’t wash it.  Heat the extra 1/4 cup canola oil over high heat.  Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers.  Saute’ until somewhat golden.  About 6 minutes…  Add in the garlic and ginger and continue to saute’ for another minute or so.  Pour in the Shou Wu Chih.  I am using this in place of where I would normally use white wine.  Add the fish sauce, crushed tomatoes, curry paste, coconut milk, lime juice, chicken stock, kaffir lime leaf, and lemon grass.  Blend well then add the salt, pepper, and bullion cube.  Add the Thai basil, cilantro, and green onions.  Wedge in the browned chicken pieces and cook uncovered over medium heat for about 30 minutes.  As it cooks, add more chicken stock if necessary but you want the sauce to be somewhat thick with just enough juice!!!  Serve over the cooked angel hair along with more basil, cilantro, green onions, and lime.

Loaded Chicken Salad

Loaded Chicken Salad

Loaded Chicken Salad

 Loaded Chicken Salad 

 This chicken salad is so fresh and delicious!  I have to be careful when I make it… It’s so good that I can’t stop eating it.  It is almost identical to my salmon salad that I posted last week but my portions are different.  I also use this recipe for fresh tuna salad (that will be another post).  One ingredient that makes this salad so good is fresh chicken.  I do not use canned chicken and would suggest that you do not either.  Boiling a chicken takes hardly any time and it makes such a difference if the flavor of the salad.  In addition… it gives you some fresh chicken stock to put up in your freezer for another use.   I have heard some people say that they only like to use the white meat but I like to use both white and dark meat in my salad.  It is also very versatile which is great for this time of year when we are tailgating.  You can put it in a serving bowl surrounded with mini croissants or your favorite crackers.  You can stuff it into pepperoncini peppers and serve it over a bed of micro greens for a pretty presentation.  Or, make finger sandwiches with a variety of breads.  Anyway you serve it, it will be a hit!

 Ingredients list:

1 –  whole chicken boiled and deboned

6 – hard-boiled eggs.  Peeled and chopped

1 –  whole bunch of green onions, chopped

1 –  red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 – ribs of celery, finely chopped

1 –  kosher pickle, finely chopped

2 –  TBS Dukes mayonnaise, or more

1  – TBS yellow mustard

A dash of kosher salt

Fresh cracked pepper to taste

To boil a chicken, simply put it in a pot large enough to fill with water and cover the chicken.  Season the water with salt, pepper, and dried parsley.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 40 – 45 minutes.  Cover and let it sit in the liquid for about 15 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a baking sheet and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Allow the stock to cool and freeze it for making soups and sauces later.   Debone the chicken and discard the fat and skin.  Mix everything together in a mixing bowl.  Mix well but don’t over mix and shred the chicken.  It is nice to have some bite sized pieces of chicken in the salad.  If you need more mayonnaise you can add it but don’t overdo it.  Taste it to see if it needs any more salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Serve and Enjoy!!!

Lebanese Chicken

Lebanese Chicken

Lebanese Chicken

Lebanese Chicken

 Looking for a spin on roasted chicken???  Next to just a GOOD roasted chicken, this is probably one of my favorites ways to cook chicken. I grew up eating “baked chicken”  and eventually started roasting chicken at a higher temperature with wonderful results.  This is one of the first chicken dishes that I ever cooked that wasn’t just a roasted chicken and it has such a different flavor.  Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of lemon juice in the recipe.  Also, if you decide to dip your little finger into the lemon mixture in the beginning to “check” for taste… it is a little bitter!  Don’t be alarmed…  The way the chicken is seasoned along with the lemon mixture makes a perfect blend!  It is so easy and the lemon, garlic, and paprika have such a tart but pleasing flavor. The few ingredients in this dish make it easy and quick to prepare.

 

Ingredients List:

1 4 – 5 lb. chicken

Aprox. 2 Tbs. (or more) olive oil

Kosher salt

Garlic powder

Onion powder

cCoarse ground black pepper

Juice of 7 -8 lemons (save the lemons)

2 heaping TBS minced garlic (the jar kind is fine)

2 TBS paprika

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

On a baking dish, season the whole chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Season liberally on all sides as well as in the cavity.  Spray a large cast iron skillet with olive oil no stick and place it inside your oven.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, juice the lemons and set aside the remains. Add the minced garlic and paprika into the lemon juice and mix well.  Drizzle the lemon mixture into the cavity of the chicken and all over the outside of it. Insert a few of the “left over” lemon halves inside the chicken. When the oven is hot, remove the skillet from the oven and place on the stove top. Turn the burner to high. Place the chicken breast side UP into the skillet (save what is left on the baking sheet. We will add this before putting it back in the oven).  Allow the back side of the chicken get a good sear on it … about 3 minutes but be careful not to burn it. Using tongs, turn the chicken over so that it is breast side down. Let the breast side sear for another 3 minutes. With one minute remaining on the timer, toss the remaining lemon halves into the skillet.  Pour what was left on the baking sheet over the chicken and pour in the wine. Be very careful here because a flame might come up!!!   Add a little chicken stock for some extra liquid in the skillet. Turn the burner off and place the skillet back into the preheated oven. Let it cook at this high temperature for about 15 minutes.  Watch it.. you may have to baste several times.   When it starts to get very brown on top, turn the oven to 325 degrees. Again, baste it with the pan juices (sometimes the liquid wants to cook out) Add more chicken stock to the pan. Let it cook for 30 minutes longer basting with the pan liquids a couple of times during the 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let in sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into it. I like to serve this with stewed lentils and a big green salad.

 Enjoy!!!

Lebanese Chicken and Lubi B' zyiat

Lebanese Chicken and Lubi B’ zyiat

Lubi bi Ziat

Lubi bi Ziat

Here is a link to the Lubi!

http://tastefulthyme.com/2013/08/27/lubi-bi-ziat/

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I am going to start out by saying that you may want to cook this dish when you have an extra hand…  maybe your husband likes to help out in the kitchen, maybe your bestie is over having a glass of wine, or maybe your 11 year old needs something to do!  Regardless…  the recipe in general is quite easy… It is the tying up the breast after adding the stuffing ingredients that I found somewhat awkward.  Thank goodness for my sweet, sous chef,  husband who loves to be anywhere I am, that the tying part was made easy!  I don’t think I could have done it by myself!  Adding two meats to the stuffing along with the cream cheese mixture really added an extra flare to the taste of the meal!

Ingredients List:

6 – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin, aprox 1/4”  between two sheets of wax paper *hint* – Spraying the wax paper with a little no stick (just the side that touches the chicken) helps the chicken from sticking to the wax paper.)

1 – 3 oz. package sliced prosciutto ( my package happened to have exactly 6 slices)

6 – oz. shaved deli ham (divided into 1 ounce portions)

6 – slices baby swiss cheese, sliced thin

6 – heaping tsp. Cheese mixture, recipe follows, use remaining mixture for the cheese topping

Breading Mixture, recipe follows

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

 

Cheese Mixture:

3/4 of an 8 oz block cream cheese, softened (room temperature)

2 TBS sour cream

1 1/2 TBS dijon mustard

1/2 tsp prepared horseradish sauce

1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup chives, chopped fine

slight pinch of kosher salt

 

*Cream all of the cheese mixture together in medium sized mixing bowl.  Use

6 heaping tsp for the stuffing and save the remaining for the sauce.

 

Cheese topping:

Use what is left to make the topping.  Reduce it on low in a small pot.  Add 1 /2 cup white wine.  Whisk until blended, let thicken, about 5 minutes.  Set aside until ready to use.

 

Breading Mixture:

2 cups Italian style panko bread crumbs

1 TBS dried parsley

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

*Mix all together on a baking sheet.  Blend well.

To prepare:

Spray wax paper (again) with no stick.  Place chicken on the waxed paper, pounded side up.  Evenly spread 1 heaping tsp of the cheese mixture onto the chicken.  Top with 1- 6 ounce slice of the baby swiss, 1 slice of prosciutto, and 1 ounce of ham.  Roll the chicken breast sort of “tortilla” style.  Secure the roll with kitchen twine.  I had to tie 3 strings along the short side of the breast and 1 string along the long side.  Drizzle it with some olive oil.  Roll it around to get the olive oil coated.  Roll it around in the seasoned bread crumb mixture and coat well.  To bake, cover a baking sheet with olive oil no stick.  Make a light bed with some of the left over bread crumb mixture.  Place each of the tied breast onto the bread crumbs and give them an extra sprinkle of the bread crumb mixture.  Give them a little drizzle of olive oil.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Drizzle with the cheese topping and enjoy!!!!