Browsing Tag

chicken

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Slow Cooker White Wine Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes

October 28, 2013

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It took me a long time to start loving my slow cooker. Even today, I wouldn’t describe myself as a true slow cooker devotee, but I can certainly see the merits of using it now and again. I don’t have a lot of food pet-peeves, but cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker is pretty high up there on my list. I used to be guilty of doing this, until I realized the error of my ways.

You see, if you’re going to slow cook a piece of meat, the meat you are cooking needs to have a little fat in it. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts? They don’t have much fat. Next time you’re looking to make slow cooker chicken, seek out a cut like boneless skinless chicken thighs, which have more fat and consequently taste a whole lot better after simmering away in the slow cooker.

This meal was a huge hit after church on Sunday. I stole a couple bites of the chicken before serving up a bowl to Joe and the meat was incredibly juicy, buttery and tender. And although the meat itself has a little more fat than other cuts of chicken, the recipe doesn’t require any extra butter or oil, which balances everything out in the end.

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Slow Cooker White Wine Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes
Makes 3 to 4 servings
Ingredients
*1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
*1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
*3/4 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in large cubes
*1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into thick slices
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1 1/2 cups good-quality chardonnay

Directions
*In small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the paprika, thyme and pepper. Rub spice mixture onto chicken thighs. Set aside.
*Place sweet potatoes and onion in 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Add the garlic and the chardonnay and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
*Place seasoned chicken thighs on top of sweet potatoes and onions, arranging evenly in slow cooker.
*Cook on HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until chicken thighs are very tender.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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Honeyed Asian Grilled Chicken

May 20, 2013

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First things first, the winner of the giveaway is…
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Elizabeth, send an e-mail to madisonjanemayberry@gmail.com and I’ll get your gift card in the mail! And thank you for all the beauty recommendations. I’m excited to try some of them out!

Grilling season is finally here! Does that make anyone else crazy excited? Joe and I both love to grill, and this year I’m trying to beat him out for title of “grill master” in the Hofmeyer house. Usually I prepare the veggies/meat to be grilled and Joe is in charge of the actual grilling, but last week I decided to do a little grilling on my own. First, because I really actually love to grill. And also because Joe was mowing the yard and wanted to get done before it began to rain.

I have to admit that I think I did a pretty darn good job with this chicken. Since I’ve overcooked many a chicken breast on the grill and I hate serving dry chicken, I decided to switch up my method a little bit this time. The result was flavorful, moist chicken that didn’t taste dry in the least bit.

For starters, I cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally so that they were thinner and required less time on the grill to reach a safe temperature. Second, I made a brine solution for the chicken with water, sugar and salt, then let the chicken sit in the brine for hours in advance (I popped them in the brine solution before work so they were ready when I got home.) And third, since I didn’t want to wait any longer for the chicken to marinate in the barbecue sauce, I pierced the surface of the chicken with the tines of a fork and brushed the barbecue sauce on top so that the sauce could get into the meat in less time.

If you’re looking for an easy, flavorful chicken recipe to kick off grilling season, I would highly recommend this recipe. Especially if, like me, you have had a tendency in the past to serve your dinner guests dry chicken. Be a better host. Eat better chicken. That’s what I call a win-win.

Honeyed Asian Grilled Chicken
Ingredients
*2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally
*8 cups water
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/4 cup salt
Barbecue Sauce
*1/4 cup ketchup
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*2 tablespoons soy sauce
*2 tablespoons honey
*1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions
*Bring water, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and cool completely. Place chicken breasts in a large bowl with the water. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 6 hours up to 8 hours.
*Heat grill to medium heat. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients for barbecue sauce. Stir until well combined.
*Drain chicken breasts from brine mixture. Pierce the chicken several times with the tines of a fork to create holes for the barbecue sauce. Brush chicken with the barbecue sauce on both sides. Place directly on grill and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Flip; brush with additional barbecue sauce. Cover. Turn grill off. Keep grill covered for 5 to 7 minutes more or until chicken breasts are cooked through and no pink remains. Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Happy Grilling!
Madison

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Recipes for the Final Four

April 5, 2013

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Good morning and happy Friday, friends! I can’t believe that another week has already come and gone. Joe and I find ourselves asking “where did the time go?” at least once a week these days. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’ve been enjoying our jobs so dang much. There are times throughout the week that I stop and just soak up the thankfulness I feel about my new gig and where God has placed us. But that’s a story for another day.

As part of my job as a food editor at General Mills, I’ve been working with various Pillsbury products developing recipes. Since there are some big college basketball games coming up this weekend, I visited our local Minneapolis NBC station, KARE 11, to share some recipes from the Pillsbury Kitchens that are prefect for game day. I promise, they really are super tasty recipes!

If you want to view the video of yesterday’s segment, you can do so HERE. Links to the recipes can also be found on the same page, including:

*Bourbon-Bacon Chex Mix
*Chipotle Chicken Pizza
*Crescent Jalapeno Poppers
*Salsa Guacamole

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Happy cooking!
Madison

Maple Glazed Grilled Chicken

March 14, 2012

Before Joe and I got married, one of my greatest stressors was what we were going to do career-wise. I was working (very happily I might add) in my current job in Des Moines and Joe was searching for a job back in Iowa (he was working in Illinois at the time). Knowing how much we both loved our jobs, I was worried about one of us having to sacrifice a career we loved.

Thankfully, Joe’s company ended up giving him a work territory in eastern Iowa, meaning we could live halfway in between his territory and my work. And since that meant I would be over an hour from work, my company allowed me to work two days a week from home in order to save money and my sanity.

Initially, it was a little difficult to adjust to working at home. So many distractions, poor internet connection at home, you get the picture. Thankfully, Joe and I discovered that a building right across the street from our apartment rents out office cubicles. I can promise you that once we decided to rent out a space, my work situation improved immensely. It’s so nice to be able to have a little work/life separation during the days I work from home, and I feel as if I get so much more accomplished.

Of course on the days I work from home, I have two extra hours on my hands (!!) In the morning, I use my extra hour to get caught up on blog work, do laundry or clean up around the house. And in the evening, I usually spend my extra hour preparing meals that are a little above and beyond what I would normally make on a weeknight.

This week I put my efforts into making this Maple Glazed Grilled Chicken for Joe*, paired with homemade mashed potatoes, which I never make. The sauce that goes atop these chicken breasts is incredibly easy to make and packed with flavor. If you have even more time to spare, I imagine that this sauce would make a great marinade for the chicken a couple hours before putting it on the grill. But, if you’re anything like me, planning that far in advance is not going to happen. In that case, using it as a barbecue sauce (as in the recipe below) works out nicely, too.

*For those of you wondering, I made myself roasted kale and roasted sweet potato fries with cumin and ground mustard.

Maple Glazed Grilled Chicken
Loosely adapted from Cooking Light magazine 
Ingredients
*1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half width wise to make two thin chicken breasts
*Salt and ground black pepper
*1/4 cup maple syrup
*1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
*2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
*1 tsp. dried oregano
*1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
*2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
*1/2 tsp. Worcheshire sauce
*2 tablespoons ketchup

Instructions
*Preheat grill to medium high.
*Meanwhile, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside.
*In a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat, combine the maple syrup, chicken broth, garlic, oregano, Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently with a silicone pastry brush or rubber spatula. Add in the worcheshire sauce and ketchup and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced slightly and the mixture has thickened to resemble thin barbecue sauce. Remove from heat.
*Brush chicken breasts with some of the sauce. Lightly grease the rack of your grill with nonstick cooking spray.
*Place chicken breasts on grill and brush with some more of the sauce. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chicken. Brush with some more of the sauce. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. Remove from grill. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Happy Cooking!

Madison

Tamale Casserole

March 12, 2012
Being someone who loves to cook, I didn’t anticipate the stress that would come from having to prepare a meal for our little family every night. Before Joey and I got married, dinner used to be the meal I used to round out my day. If I had eaten a lot of fruit for breakfast and lunch, I would choose whole grains and veggies for dinner. And if I was low on protein earlier in the day, dinner would be based around something like beans or a veggie burger. 
But now that I live with a guy who likes a good square meal on the table each night, it’s not quite so simple. Meal planning must not be in my DNA because I find the task of finding new weeknight recipes that are quick, simple and healthy a bit of a chore. Anyone with me?
Most weekends when I’m looking for recipes for the week ahead I go to Cooking Light magazine. Their recipes are health conscious, easy to prepare and don’t require a host of expensive ingredients. And for someone who is watching their grocery budget that’s a major bonus.
I made this Tamale Casserole from Cooking Light for dinner a couple weeks ago and it received rave reviews from Joe. Since he loves casseroles, I searched out a healthier casserole recipe that I could easily make vegetarian. Although the recipe calls for putting chicken atop the entire dish, I left off the chicken on about a third of the pan so I could enjoy it, too.
This dish is dense, flavorful and reheats well the next day as leftovers. And if you make the chicken breasts ahead of time, it comes together in no time at all. While the original recipe called for an entire can of enchilada sauce, I cut it back to a half cup since it seemed like an entire can would make the dish soggy. But if enchilada sauce is your thing, feel free to add more than the half cup I call for. 
Do any of you feel the stress when planning meals for your family during the week? What’s your solution?
Tamale Casserole
Adapted slightly from Cooking Light 2010
Ingredients
*1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
*1/3 cup fat free milk
*1/4 cup egg substitute
*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
*1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
*1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy brand)
*1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained 
*1/2 cup enchilada sauce
*2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
*1/2 cup fat-free sour cream (optional, we didn’t use it)
Instructions
*Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 
*In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the cheese, the milk, egg substitute, cumin, red pepper, cream-style corn and corn muffin mix. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. 
*Remove dish from oven. Pierce the surface liberally with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce on top. Top with the shredded chicken breast and the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Cut into squares. Makes 8 servings
Happy Cooking!
Madison
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