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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Indian Chicken with Spicy Spinach Quinoa

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This was the first real official indian dish I’ve actually made from scratch and it was delicious. I’m sure it was the hard to find garam masala that added the extra-awesomeness. The Indian Fare packets from Trader Joe’s are fantastic and ridiculously easy, but I wanted to try it out myself finally! This is a super simple meal to make on a weeknight with plenty of flavor. Have a side salad or toasted garlic naan or something to make it a complete meal.

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. It’ll resemble sort of an oily paste mixture with a copper coloring from the paprika and garam masala. Using your fingers, daintily rub spice paste over chicken coating as evenly as possible. Pan fry with onion ~4 minutes each side until chicken is tender and fully cooked. Use the same pan to cook the spinach so it picks up the leftover spices. Cook just long enough to get it to wilt then remove from heat. Mix the spinach and spices into the quinoa and serve the chicken on top of a nice cozy bed of quinoa.

Indian Chicken
~1lb chicken breast
1/2 onion diced
2 tsp fresh crushed black peppercorns
2 tsp paprika
~1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp yogurt (plain or vanilla)

1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 cup water/broth
1 cup blanched spinach
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 dashes chili powder or cayenne pepper

Makes 2 dishes, easy to scale up for more. 30 minutes from start to finish. ~$1/plate, but you’ll need a bunch of spices. Very healthy, low carbs, protein power-pack. No pictures of this one either…


Written by Brent

April 2, 2011 at 8:30 am

Teriyaki Grilled Chi’eese on Sourdough

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I was inspired by an Indian Food Truck a few weeks ago by a “Tandoori Grilled Cheese”, but this was a disaster of a sandwich. The cheese wasn’t melted yet, the tandoori didn’t have chicken, and it was on sourdough. I have no idea how this was a “Indian” dish by any means. So while eating this unfortunate lunch I decided I could do something better. And so here’s a new dish soon to be on every swanky restaurant menu: Grilled Chi’eese. Definition: Take your standard grilled cheese, add chicken and a light chutney sauce. Cook until delicious. I now present my Teriyaki Grilled Chi’eese on Sourdough with Mint Chutney.

Marinate thawed chicken breasts in teriyaki sauce for 5-10 minutes in the fridge in a plastic bag. While this is marinating, make the chutney in a food processor: combine all ingredients and pulse until the mint is well incorporated and it smells delicious. Pan fry chicken (add diced fresh ginger to pan?) in skillet, discarding excess teriyaki sauce. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside to shred with knife & fork. Once shredded, add back to pan to keep warm. To prepare the sandwich, spoon/spread the chutney over what will be the insides of the grilled cheese. Top with cheese and add both pieces to a lightly buttered skillet (or griddle) openfaced and chutney side up so you won’t have to flip it later. When the cheese is almost melted, add a healthy amount of chicken to one of the slices and a bit more cheese and let is meld for a minute. Take the other slice and place it on top and remove from pan. Unfortunately this means you can only do a limited number of sandwiches at once, but they’re easy to keep warm and the cheese keeps melding.

There are so many slight variations on this that would also be amazing: mild cheeses, different chutneys (cilantro, basil, mint, oregano, even fruit!), chicken marinades. Go experiment!

Grilled Chi’eese
8oz Mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded
Mint Chutney (see below)
2 Teriyaki Chicken breasts, shredded (see below)

Teriyaki Sauce — Makes ~ 3/4 cup sauce
1/3 cup worsteshire sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tbsp honey

Mint Chutney
4 tbsp Plain Yogurt
4 tbsp chopped fresh mint (about 6 good stalks of mint)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Makes 6 Chi’eese Sandwiches. 30-45 minutes from start to finish. ~$2/sandwich. If you use a low-fat cheese, this would be a very healthy dish: low calories, protein and not a lot of fat. Yummmmm! Unfortunately no pictures this time around… Figure a post with no pictures is better than no post at all!

Written by Brent

March 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Sausage Quinoa Enchiladas

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Puttin' in the goods

Puttin' in the goods

So here’s my summation of enchiladas: a cheesy, beany, meaty, saucy, quinoa-y goodness. Yummy! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?? Oh, and it’s also a great post-night adventure food for when your kickball team wins another championship and is awarded bottle service downtown(!). This is definitely a dish you can cheat with pre-cooked items. We used precooked chicken sausage and shrimp to help with making things easier (it’s also what we happened to have in the freezer!). Plus, we cut down dramatically on the prep and baking time because there’s no raw meats we need to cook or worry about. Now the quinoa is a relatively new thing for the ESC and I… we’ve had a box of quinoa in our pantry for a few months and hadn’t ever cooked it until a week ago. Now we’ve had 3 dishes and will definitely be buying more. ESC definitely agrees that it has become our new best friend.

Quinoa Enchiladas Pre Baked

Just before going in the oven

The quinoa takes the longest to make so we’ll start with that – we have Trader Joe’s brand that comes in a yellow box but used veggie broth instead of plain water. Following the directions on the package, it was a 1:2::rice:water/broth ratio you bring to a boil then simmer for ~15 minutes until the little white germ thingys pop out of the grain and the broth is all absorbed. While the quinoa is bubblin’ away, brown the pre-cooked sausage slices in a skillet. This helps keep their flavor within themselves but also warm them up a bit. I also spooned about 1/2 can of the refried beans into a pan to heat them up too. While everything is heating on the stove, you should have time to grate the cheese, if not do it before starting and set aside. Almost done… Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce across the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish so the tortillas don’t burn or stick to the bottom. Lastly, warm up some tortillas in the microwave (covered for 15-20 seconds). Having warm tortillas makes them a bit easier to roll and handle as they stretch instead of just breaking when you bend them. Now comes the fun part: Combine and Smother! Everyone prepares burritos/enchiladas differently, so here’s how I do it: Spread a nice spoonful of beans on a tortilla then layer with two or three spoonfuls of quinoa, add your shrimp and/or sausage, top with a sprinkle of cheese, and finally drop two spoonfuls of sauce into the middle. Roll it up and place it in the baking dish. Repeat until there’s no more room or you run out of ingredients! Top with a healthy amount of cheese and sauce and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is starting to brown.

Quinoa Enchiladas Baked

Ready to be devoured!


1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1/2 lb cooked sausage, sliced
1/3 lb cooked shrimp, peeled
1 can low-salt refried beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 16oz can green enchilada sauce (El Pato)
8 flour tortillas, standard size

Makes 8 enchiladas. 30-45 minutes from start to finish. ~$2/plate – shrimp & cheese the most expensive parts. By using low-salt beans and adding the quinoa, I think this is actually a fairly healthy dish. Especially so if you drop the cheese down to a cup total.

Written by Brent

January 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

Perfect Pistachio Pesto Pasta w/ Peppered Poultry

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Pesto In Da Choppa!

Pesto In Da Choppa!

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter ‘P’! Pesto is a fantastic dish that can be served fresh or refrigerated for a week and used in a multitude of leftovers. The combination of pesto and chicken made for a great weeknight meal that provided leftovers to take to work AND a little tub of extra pesto to be used in a few days. It can even be made well ahead of time to add to that quick meal!

Making pesto is super simple and requires almost zero effort. Just put the basil, olive oil, garlic and nuts into a food processor (we have a very cute baby one that holds about 4 cups) and pulse until everything is well processed. It should be sort of an oily paste-y consistency before adding the cheese. Now add the cheese, mix/process enough to get the cheese incorporated and you’re done! My lovely sous chef did the rest of the cooking while I made the pesto, but as for timing to do by yourself:

Pesto Chopped!

Pesto Chopped!

  1. Gather Pesto ingredients
  2. Start Pasta water
  3. Start chicken in a skillet
  4. Make Pesto
  5. Finish rest of everything
  6. ????
  7. Have a root beer float for dessert
  8. Eat Deliciousness
Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Peas and Poultry

Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Peas and Poultry

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 3/4 cup Fresh Basil
2 large Garlic Cloves, pressed
2 tbsp Pistachos (Dry Roasted or Raw)
1 tbsp chopped Walnuts (raw)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 pinches pepper
3 pinches salt
2 pinches crushed red pepper
1 Garlic Clove, pressed

Makes ~5 servings of pesto. 7-10 minutes prep. ~$3/tub. Nothing that’s exactly unhealthy, but it’s probably not something you want to gorge yourself on — your sweat will taste like garlic.

P.S. – I am totally fired for only having 3 posts since returning from Europe! Time to rectify!

Written by Brent

November 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Orange Honeyed Chicken – Back in Action!

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It has been ENTIRELY toooooooo long since I actually wrote down some of the delicious things I’ve been cooking! Lasagna, Pizza Bagles, Assorted Pasta dishes to name a couple. Time to remedy that whole writing thing right hurrrr. Also, happy end of August to you all and keep bugging me about posting things, it’s very encouraging even if I have the lamest excuses! Most of the time I really just get distracted by the ESC being awesome.

Overall this was a pleasant dish and not quite what I expected. I found this recipe in a cookbook given to me by a loving relative titled “New California Cuisine” – Published 1984. Needless to say it is pretty good, but definitely could use some sprucing up. ESC definitely agrees. Fresh pressed garlic when browning the chicken and using a White Wine instead of water when thickening the sauce would both be welcome additions. The sauce has a great orange flavor, but it needs something else. Either more sugary-sweetness or some spicy bits to add a different dimension.

Brown both sides of chicken breasts in the hot butter using a large skillet. Add Orange Juice, Onion, Salt, Pepper & assorted spices to pan, cover and simmer for 10ish minutes (until chicken is cooked). Remove chicken and set aside, cover them to keep warm. Mix the flour into water then add to the skillet along with 2 oranges peeled & sectioned. For best results, mash 3/4 of the orange slices with a wooden spoon or something to get some extra juices and mushy bits into the sauce. Also add some orange zest fit that extra bit of flavor. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken and unify. Place the chicken on a bed of rice and spoon sauce & remaining orange bits over completely. For timing consideration, always start the rice before you do anything else, it’s easy to keep rice warm but not easy to make it cook faster.

Orange you sweet, honey! You brought me chicken!

2 tbsp butter
4 chicken breasts
2 Oranges
1/2 cup Orange Juice
2-3 tbsp Honey
1/4 cup chopped Onion
Salt & Peppa’ to taste
Hot Rice
1/4 cup White Wine (Riesling for sweetness?)
1 mounded spoonful Flour

Makes ~3 servings. 2 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking. ~$4/plate. When oranges are in full season this would be a fantastic way to get your recommended 5 fruits & veggies a day! Serve with steamed broccoli or fresh farmer’s market veggies for extra healthy.

Written by Brent

August 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Whole Grain Rotini with Seasoned Chicken and Sautéed Veggies

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Veggies!!!! And Curly Pasta!!!!

This is a pretty basic dish that’s both tasty and has a lot of flexibility with what goes in it. Zucchini and Yellow Squash provide some nice colors and compliment the pasta well. Overall, it was a good meal, but the Whole Grain Rotini would’ve been much better covered with a nice red meat sauce along with the sautéed veggies.

Start heating the water for pasta and a skillet to cook the chicken breast. Cook the chicken breast in a pan with garlic, oil, salt, pepper and assorted spices over medium heat ~4 minutes on each side. When the chicken is about halfway done, turn the heat up to high and toss in the veggies. The pasta water should be about boiling, add rotini and cook al Dente (~8 minutes). Just before the pasta is finished, remove the skillet from heat and prepare your plates! Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle parmesan.

1/2 lb Whole Grain Rotini pasta
1 Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
1 Chicken Breast
Olive Oil
Assorted Spices

Makes 3 servings. Total Time: 15-20 minutes. ~2$/plate. Veggies, protein, starchy-stuff, more veggies!

Written by Brent

May 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Chicken Caesar Salad with Fresh Veggies

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On a hot spring/summer day, the last thing you want to do is be in the kitchen slaving away over a hot stove. Chicken Caesar Salad is a great summer meal: cold, refreshing, healthy and delicious. It is also ridiculously easy and quick to make. This could be a great appetizer for a larger meal or a dinner party! We had three kinds of raw veggies to much on between creamy chicken caesar salad bites: carrots, green beans, celery. They really helped clean the plate of creamy caesar dressing.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Refreshing, Delicious, Creamy Chicken Caesar Salad

Cook the chicken the same way as you would in Lemon-Herb Chicken. In a pan with some olive oil, season chicken breast with herbs & ground pepper, when it’s almost done, squirt them with lemon juice (use fresh lemons to make it even tastier!). While the chicken is cooking, wash and prepare the lettuce. ESC utilized the “Rip-Em-Apart” method to tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. The chicken should be about done so get out your cutting board! Chop the chicken into small bites and let them cool a bit. Toss the lettuce with dressing and Parmesan, add chicken and toss again. Top with fresh ground pepper and more Parm.

1 Chicken Breast
~6 Large Romaine Leaves, chopped/torn
1/3 cup Creamy Caesar Dressing
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
~3 tbsp Lemon Juice
Assorted fresh veggies

Makes 2 large plates of salad. Total Time: 15 minutes. ~$3/plate. Very healthy, use Lite Caesar Dressing!

Written by Brent

May 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm