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Chicken

Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew

December 6, 2018

 

I’ve always loved how food teaches you about different parts of the world. Recipes are like an anthrological time capsule.

So when my son was studying Ethiopia for a school project and asked me to make one of the dishes he learned about in his research called Doro Wat, I said yes, not knowing much about this dish.

So glad I said yes.

The spice blend called berbere is a flavor bomb, so so good. (There is a recipe for it below although you can buy it at specialty food stores). Your tastebuds will explode, and you might feel like you are at an Ethiopian restaurant and not at your house when you taste it. The base of the sauce is onion, garlic and ginger, and once that is sautéed in butter, you add the berbere and paprika, and it becomes this intoxicating stew.

Making the berber is easy, even if there are a lot of spices in it. I did it with a baby on my hip, if that encourages you at all.

The best flavor infusion was marinated the chicken in lemon juice and salt.

I think I might try to do this with my chicken all the time now! It made it so tender and flavorful.

And the edition of the hard boiled egg was such a lovely part of the plate, it was a great vehicle for the flavorful sauce. Many recipes call for serving it with injera, which I couldn’t find and seems challenging to make. So I just used naan bread and rice (why do I love to double carb with flavorful sauces?) and they were delicious.

If you’re looking to go on a journey in the kitchen – but not get fatigue from the quest – try this stew! I can’t wait to make it again.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew (printer version here):

Prep Time: 30 minutes plus marinating time. Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs + 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger (1-inch piece)
  • water (optional)
  • 6 T. butter
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 cup berbere spice mix (recipe follows)
  • 1 ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (I omitted for little kids and added it after serving them)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • injera bread, naan bread or hot cooked rice, to serve

Directions

  1. Combine the lemon juice and salt in a large, nonreactive mixing bowl and stir until slightly dissolved. Add the chicken thighs, one at a time, dipping both sides of each piece in the marinade to coat. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, purée the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water, if necessary, to get the blades moving.
  3. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in the paprika to color the oil. Stir in the berbere mixture and cook for 3 minutes, until heated through. Add the onion mixture 
and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates and the mixture reduces, about 15 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock and wine, add cayenne to taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the lemon juice and discard the marinade. Add the chicken to the pot and cover with sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Add water, if necessary, to maintain the liquid level.
  5. Add the whole hard-boiled eggs and continue 
to cook until the chicken is very tender, 10 to 
15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve hot 
with injera bread or rice.

Doro Wat recipe adapted from foodrepublic.com

Berbere Spice Mixture 

Adapted from africanbites.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika  
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander  
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg  
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves  
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)

Mix all the spices together in a bowl. This yields exact amount needed for recipe. Store in a sealed container.

 

 

Chicken Fricassee

October 17, 2018

Have you ever made a dish that you remembered to be just amazing, and then a year went by and you weren’t sure if it would be AS GOOD as you remembered? But then you made it and you realized, YUP it is that good, possibly even better than you imagined.

Just me?

Chicken Fricassee is the dish to make for your next Boss over for dinner/Priest over for dinner/Dinner Party/Birthday/Holiday or just a very special Tuesday night. It’s a classic that should be revived because everyone needs to try this to know that food can taste this good. (It actually dates back all the way to a medieval cook book from 1300’s).

The reason it’s lasted so long through history is because its DELICIOUS. The alchemy of the lemon juice, and the wine, and the fresh herbs, and the vegetables, simmered with cream and egg to make a velvety texture, and then tender chicken that soaks up all the juices, along with rice and bread – it actually makes me close my eyes to take in all that is happening in my mouth, which is my test for the best things I have ever eaten.

Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking describes a fricassee as “halfway between a sauté and a stew” in that a saute has no liquid added, while a stew includes liquid from the beginning. Technically in a fricassee, cut-up meat is first sauteed but not browned, then liquid is added and it is simmered to finish cooking. But most recipes have you brown the meat first, so I guess there is some room for interpretation.

I knew this to be a classic French dish, but when my au pair from Columbia tasted this she said “you are cooking with flavors from Columbia. This is the type of dish we would make after everyone has been partying all night, and they are hungry again at 1 or 2 in the morning, and this is what they all eat to feel better again.” (If that doesn’t make you want to try this recipe I don’t know what will). But I looked and there is a popular Spanish dish called fricasé de pollo that has spread to other Spanish speaking countries so clearly this dish has travelled not only through time but geography, again because it is DELICIOUS.

To make it, you start by cutting up your veggies (doing this prep before makes assembling this dish so much easier, I highly recommend it) and the chicken (I like smaller pieces than a whole breast):

After you’ve browned the chicken take it out of the pan to rest and start building flavor with the familiar flavors of mirepoix + mushrooms (I used a leek instead of onion but it is good either way). Then you add flour + white wine to this and let it reduce:

^I can’t tell you how good this smelled. The wine, the veggies, the bay leaf. You’ll just have to make it so you can smell it too.

Then, add chicken broth and herbs, and while that heats up, stir together cream and egg yolks. Then – and this is the most complicated part of this recipe but still doable –  you add a little bit of the hot liquid to the cream + egg mixture to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble, but instead create this velvety, creamy, rich complex sauce that holds everything together.  (I used a 1/4 cup instead of a 1/2 cup as the recipe calls for to be extra sure I didn’t add it too quickly!)

Then you add this creamy mixture back to the pan and let everything simmer. Then at the end you add lemon juice and fresh tarragon. These flavors go together so well that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and does that thing that makes me love cooking so much – it becomes something special and magnificent and memorable.

My kids love rice pilaf, so I serve it with that but mashed potatoes or crusty bread soak up all that delicious flavor. Or you could just drink it straight. It’s that good.

Last night I was still dreaming of it before I went to bed, and I made a small bowl. And I sat there and thought ‘this is what I would order in any restaurant and be totally blown away and happy.’

I don’t have to wish you Happy Eating with this dish – if you make it I know you will have Happy Eating. Cheers!

xoxo Katie

Chicken Fricassee (I doubled this recipe – printer version here): 

Recipe from the blog Everyday Occasions

4 chicken breasts (I cut them in half for kid portions)

4 chicken thighs (remove skin)

sea salt & black pepper

3 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small onion, diced (I used one leek instead, so delicious)

2 carrots, diced

1 rib of celery, dice

8 oz. of mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons of flour

1 cup of white wine

3 cups of chicken stock

fresh thyme

bay leaf

1/2 cup of cream

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

fresh tarragon

Serving suggestions : Rice, French Bread or Mashed Potatoes

Pat chicken with paper towel.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Melt butter in a heavy dutch oven. Add oil and brown chicken for 4 minutes on each side.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Cook onions, carrot, celery and mushrooms in the same pot until almost soft.  Sprinkle with flour and cook for another minute until flour is absorbed. Pour in white wine and cook for another minute, stirring.  Add chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf.

In a small bowl, mix cream and egg yolks.  Add a small amount of the hot stew mixture to the cream and yolks, stirring constantly.  Your goal is to slowly warm the eggs so they don’t scramble. Once warmed (after about 2 cups of stew mixture is added), pour into the stew pot with vegetables and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture reduces and thickens.

Add chicken back into the stew.  Keep simmering until chicken is cooked through.  Keep warm on low simmer or in the oven (about 250) until ready to serve.  Before serving, add lemon, 1 tablespoon of butter and fresh tarragon. Serve with rice, french bread, or mashed potatoes.

See  this and more great recipes from Jenny Steffens at http://jennysteffens.blogspot.com

 

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

October 11, 2018

I realized on my meal plan that I’ve never blogged about a staple meal in our house, probably because it feels so ordinary and I like a little fancy in a recipe to be blog worthy. But sometimes the classics deserve a space too.

Whenever my family comes down with a cold, like countless other mothers, I try to make a batch of this chicken noodle soup. I love how every mom makes it just a little bit differently and puts there own spin on it, so feel free to play around and make this recipe your own. This is my basic recipe but I like to change up the pasta and the herbs each time.

Sure in a pinch a can of soup works, but I don’t love the flavor anymore – it tastes like tin to me and I notice my kids don’t eat it. When you are feeding lots of people its just as easy and way more flavorful and nutritious to take 20 minutes and put a pot of this together. I usually have a batch of homemade stock in the freezer, and it really adds to the homemade, put-marrow-in-your bones feel to this dish, but boxed works fine.

Side note: One of my rules of feeding a family is always feel good about homemade stock, but never feel bad about boxed. Maybe you already know about the peaceful and easy rhythm of using up your rotisserie chicken carcass and bottom of the veggie drawer contents, and how good it makes your house smell. If not, see how I make chicken stock in this (very old!) blog post. 

One of my favorite things about this soup is using really fine egg noodles. They are creamier than spaghetti noodles, but about the same diameter. You might already have a preference, like larger egg noddles, but its fun to play around with the pasta in this soup. Ditalini? Alphabet Shapes? Orzo? All so fun especially for younger kids. But I usually have a bag of this vermicelli egg noodles in my pantry for this soup. It also goes by thin egg noodles in some brands but it’s the same thing.

And as for herbs, play around with those too. In general, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley are all perfect here. I use either a tablespoon of freshly chopped or a teaspoon of dried. We like it herby.

I could go on about the health qualities of this soup but I’m not a nutritionist. Ok fine – herbs have potent healing properties and so does garlic, so feel free to double the amount if you like. My mom used to scrape raw garlic on Triscuits when were sick, which you could also do if your children will eat it.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (print recipe here):

  1. 2 T. olive oil
  2. 2 medium onions, diced
  3. 5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  4. 5 medium celery stalks, sliced
  5. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 8 cups chicken broth
  7. 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 Tablesoon fresh thyme, I was out)
  8. 1 Tablesoon chopped fresh Rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary)
  9. 4 cups chicken, shredded or chopped – you can use raw or cooked, see recipe for when to add
  10. 6 oz. (about half a bag) thin Egg Noodles
  11. salt and pepper to taste
  12. Fresh parsley for garnish
  13. A splash of lemon juice, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes more. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes until onion begins to soften and brown a bit.
  2. If using raw cubed chicken add it after herbs and cook for 5 more minutes
  3. Add chicken broth.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add noodles.  Return heat to high.  Bring soup back to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium high. Boil for about 20 minutes until noodles are cooked through.
  5. If using cooked chicken add it here
  6. Taste soup and add additional herbs, salt, and pepper to your preference.
  7. Serve with chopped parsley for garnish

Weekly Meal Plan 10/2

October 4, 2018

Hello October!

Fall is my favorite. We’re planning on heading north for the long weekend, and will be eating out at our favorite places to keep it simple. But I’m planning on doubling the beef stew just in case! It travels really well and gets better each day.

Here’s what we’re having this week. Happy Fall! xoxo Katie

Monday

Root Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie – this was my daughter’s dinner choice since it was her Saint’s Day, St. Therese the Little Flower. I am linking my Root Vegetable version (usually post my Easy Shepherd’s Pie) for a little change.

Tuesday 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts 

Wednesday

Eggplant Parm

Thursday 

Instapot Beef Stew 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 

Going North & Eating Out – Time to look at all the peak foliage in the White Mountains.

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

September 24, 2018

Well, it’s official.

The babies like mushrooms. And a garlic cream sauce on their food.

My husband doesn’t love mushrooms but I do, and it’s always interesting to see if any of the kids share his aversion. So far its mushroom lovers 6: haters 2.

I actually forget to make dinner with mushrooms because he doesn’t like them (and rely on Trader Joe’s Mushroom Medley in my freezer for goat cheese and mushroom omelets).

But when someone had shared this dinner on Facebook it was all I could think about all day.
So I made sure to get some mushrooms when I ran to the store that day, and fired up this dinner. I should add that I made a second pan without mushrooms for the mushroom haters.
Everyone loved the creamy garlic sauce, and my kids had it over pasta, while we had it over spaghetti squash. It was such a great comfort food dinner. My five year old actually declared, “Mom, I like chicken now!” so that says something.
I used whole chicken breasts in this recipe, even though the original recipe calls for thinly slicing them. Next time I will do this step, or use chicken tenders. In order to cook the chicken through the drippings in the pan got a bit dark, making the sauce dark. So, if you want a light colored sauce and shorter cooking time, skip the whole chicken breasts. But it still tasted delicious. And if you were really in a hurry you could easily shred a rotisserie chicken into the sauce.

This is definitely going to be in our dinner rotation this winter. Hope it makes it to yours too!
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken (printer version here):
INGREDIENTS (serves 4, I doubled everything and added the extra mushrooms to just one pan)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • Salt Pepper
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In large skillet add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown on each side and cooked until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender. Remove and set aside.
  2. To make the sauce add the butter and melt. Add garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in the flour until it thickens. Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Add the spinach and let simmer until it starts to thicken and spinach wilts. Add the chicken and ,mushrooms back to the sauce and serve over pasta is desired.

Recipe from The Recipe Critic and can be found on the web here.

Weekly Meal Plan 7/30

August 1, 2018

Oh man, July. I’m gonna miss you. You were sweet and slow and delicious.

Our new au pair comes Friday (which is why I have missed a few weeks of meal planning! I hope to be more consistent when she comes and we head into fall!) so you’ll see some meals reflecting her arrival.

Happy Eating! xoxo

Katie

 

Monday

Beef Mac, double recipe. This recipe comes really close to the way I make it, but sub whatever veggies you want to use. I also love to use Rao’s Marinara – it’s amazing.

Tuesday

Smothered Chicken

Wednesday

Oricchiette With Sausage, Tomato and Broccoli

Thursday 

Easy Chicken Parm

Friday 

Our new au pair comes! I’ve heard so much about Bandeja Paisa in my research, so I’m going to try to make a version of this. I also really hope she helps us learn how to make Empanadas.

Saturday 

Mixing it up! Pizza is usually Friday but we have a day at the pool scheduled so pizza when we get home is easy breezy.

Sunday 

Ribs

These are my favorite ribs, and they are so easy! Sometimes they can be intimidating but I found this recipe in a magazine and I have never looked back, they are exactly what I want when I sit down to a rib dinner. These, coleslaw and corn are on the menu for a taste of an American summer dinner. (Though the ribs recipe I use is in a whole post about a southern dinner and the baked cheesy grits and collard greens from Christy (aka Instabrunk) are amazing too.)