Nice Little Sous Vide Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken breasts can make, among lots of other things, a nice salad. And while many like the light, easy salad that you see almost everywhere, there also is a “more robust” kind of salad that I tend to like. If you really want a meal with a nice one or two chicken breast plopped on top, this is what I had in mind when I decided to fix a nice salad dinner.

This whole dish is really rather easy to make. All it really requires is a sauce made up of butter, vinegar, honey and maybe a little soy sauce to give it a color and add a little to the flavor. You’ve all heard me talk about sous vide on many occasions. But I will never make a chicken breast any other way (unless I’m cooking a whole chicken). If you’ve never had a sous vide breast, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference it makes. Can you do this without? Yep. But if you can, get a sous vide. You’ll be glad you did. 

Once the sauce is made, and the chicken is done, all you really need to do is toss the breasts on a quick grill (or some other kind of grilling machine) with a little bit of the sauce and pull together as much salad as you’d like. When the grilling is done, all you need to do is pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and onto the salad underneath, and you’re done.

Note: By the way, this is the 501st post to this recipe site and while I had no idea we would ever get this far, it is gratifying to know that we’ve done fairly well as recipe blogs go. Much has happened since the first post a little over three years ago and there is much more to do. Stick around. I hope it gets even better. 

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Chicken with Onion Gravy

Chicken with Onion Gravy

While the last  days of summer are soon to be leaving us, we’ve still got a few days yet, and that’s where this recipe for chicken with onion gravy can be a real winner. 

We’ve said it many times, but summer is, above all, about making meal prep easy as possible for much of the time, and whether you’ve got some left over chicken (or want to make some just for this recipe) the onion gravy is quick and easy. Add a little pasta and you’ve got a quick and easy meal. And folks, the best news is that this gravy is one of the best I’ve ever made.

No kidding. It takes maybe 10 minutes to prep and only 20 minutes to cook. The flavor is absolutely amazing.

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Chicken Legs Sous Vide

sous vide chicken legs

By now, you know that I’ve become a big fan of sous vide chicken finished up in a deep fryer. And that’s of course where these chicken legs come from. They’re done sous vide, at 150 degrees for about an hour or so, then — after they’ve cooled — they’re breaded and deep fried, with a little finishing salt on the side.

The main issue with these chicken legs is a breading mix, which uses flour, garam masala, a little parsley, and plenty of paprika. In this case, I use the breading mix first to coat the chicken, then add some mixed egg and then roll it back through the flour as a finish. The result is rather  light and really perfect for a light dinner entry.

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Chicken Chorizo Empanadas

chicken chorizo empanadas

How do you make your own empanadas? Well, I had some chorizo and some fresh chicken in the fridge, so the idea of making chicken chorizo empanadas seemed like something that just HAD to happen. And surprising enough, It actually did happen (although the first try wasn’t very good, but that’s an altogether different story). Turns out, none of it was very hard, and you could use a good frozen package of empanada shells to make it even easier, if you care to. 

The story behind empanadas, on the other hand, was a revelation — at least to me. For a lot of reasons (not the least was my own ignorance of South of the Border cooking) I assumed that empanadas were Mexican. I mean, you get them everywhere in Mexican restaurants, right? Nope. These tasty little meat pies are originally from Argentina, it turns out, and while chicken and chorizo may (or may not) have been a part of the original pies, empanadas have become such a mainstay of all cooking below the U.S., I think they probably fit the norm now. 

The trick is that whether they were part of the original idea, they are first, extremely good and second, well, why not?

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Root Beer Chicken Wings? It Works. Honestly!

Root Beer Chicken Wings

Root Beer is generally NOT something I’d typically apply to chicken wings, chicken or most anything else I can think of. But the truth is, these root beer chicken wings actually work — much better than I would have thought.

First of all, I started out with some chicken wings with some oil and a little salt, made sous vide, and ready to go. With nothing else in the chicken, I breaded them with some flour, egg and panko bread crumbs and cooked them in a deep fryer. From there, you can use any number of sauces, but this time I wanted to do the root beer sauce which began from a blogger friend, who offered up the idea. I was skeptical, of course, but with a great chicken base, what could go wrong, right?

For the sauce, I used root beer, ketchup, a little brown sugar, some honey, Worcestershire sauce a little lime and a bit of garlic and onion. You can taste the root beer in the sauce, but fortunately, it’s not the only or even the strongest flavor in the sauce. And on the chicken, it blends nicely and works very well. I wouldn’t have tried it without a friend’s suggestion, but yeah, it really does work.

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Italian Chicken for the BBQ

Italian Chicken

Italian chicken is one of my favorites, in part because it’s easy to make but produces a very moist succulent bird that defies an adequate description — other than delicious. 

Here, everything is in the sauce, which is made from fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and a generous helping of oregano, basil, a little thyme and some red pepper (as much as you’d like). Start with a spatch-cocked chicken, you know, the one with the backbone and ribs removed. Then cover the chicken liberally with the spices and cover with the lemon and balsamic vinegar. Let it sit for an hour at least (more if you like it).

Then finally, the whole thing heads to the grill. Keep any eye on it. It cooks somewhat more quickly than you might imagine. Through on a few oregano leaves and you’re all set. 

One thing to note is that the sauce has a tendency to make the chicken look somewhat black. That’s normal and the skin is a crispy as you might think it would be.

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A Nice Little Italian Minestrone

Italian minestrone

This is called an Italian minestrone — which usually means whatever you have in the fridge made into a soup — and it is a wonderful soup for those occasionally cool rainy days that still show up in April. This came originally from a Bon Appetite article I saw, probably four or five years ago, and with a little tweaking, became a fast friend at my house, at least.

The base for this soup is relatively easy, and it’s very good in just about every situation I can think of. But what’s great, is there are a whole host of other things you can add, which only make it better. I’ve use a little broccoli, some asparagus, some spinach (added late in the soup) and a few other things. I’d stay away from zucchini (courgette) for this recipe, mainly because it drastically changes the taste, but otherwise — go for it. I tend to like the leeks and carrots in this soup. You might try scallions or better yet shallots instead of the leeks, but keep the carrots.

And for the pasta, main thing is to keep it small, little pasta leaves, ditalini, small shells. Just small.

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