Tag Archives: Chicken

Middle Eastern Chicken with Green Harissa #SundaySupper

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

Welcome to a special April Fool’s Day edition of Sunday Supper! Seeing as my family or origin were definitely pranksters, April Fool’s Day was quite up our alley. I’ve detailed our shenanigans in this post. However, my childhood experiences didn’t really help me in coming up with a recipe to share today, because things like putting cat food under scrambled eggs, or possibly putting um, “dietary supplements” in brownies, were not what Sunday Supper had in mind.

making green harissa

My first idea was something I randomly pulled on Matt, my English-pea-hating husband, a few years ago. This one is kinda cool: you take thawed frozen, or fresh blanched peas and place them on a pizza dough round with some minced garlic and olive oil. Then cover it with shredded cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake it off, and when you take that bad boy out of the oven, no one sees the peas. It just looks like a pepperoni pizza, so it would be an awesome, perfectly edible recipe to share today! But Matt was somehow less than enthused about repeating that experience (no, I didn’t tell him the peas were there before he took his first bite), so I decided to spare him the misery and brainstorm further.

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

I came up with this gem of a recipe, and the April-Fool’s-appropriate part is the green harissa. It looks mostly like pesto, but doesn’t taste a thing like it. It really is harissa paste that happens to be green, so I thought that worked for April Fool’s Day.

And this chicken, plus that homemade harissa, is really outstanding, with those deep, sharp flavors from garlic and za’atar spice blend and the piquant spiciness of the harissa. Fairly easy to pull off, too. So I hope y’all will enjoy it, on April Fool’s or whenever the mood strikes you. And be sure you check out the April Fool’s-worthy dishes my Sunday Supper gang has brought to the table today!

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

{One Year Ago: Shaved Asparagus and Spinach Salad; Veal Oscar}
{Two Years Ago: Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Tartar Sauce; Slow Cooker Refried Beans}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

CHICKEN:
1 large clove garlic, minced
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
Leaves from 1 large sprig of rosemary, minced
1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs.), spatchcocked (also called butterflied)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Za’atar spice blend
Olive oil, for drizzling

GREEN HARISSA:
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small bunch of spinach leaves
2 fresh serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and rough chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the minced garlic, softened butter, lemon zest, and rosemary. Carefully loosen the skin over the chicken breasts and insert the softened butter mixture in between the breast skin and flesh. Season the skin side of the bird generously with salt and pepper, then place the chicken in a baking dish or large cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle liberally with za’atar. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it in to coat the chicken evenly.
Roast the chicken at 425 F for 15 minutes, to crisp up the skin; then lower the oven heat to 350 F and continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a breast reads 165 F, about an hour longer.
Meanwhile, make the harissa. Add the cilantro, spinach, chiles, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, plus salt and pepper to taste to the bowl of your food processor. Process until everything is minced and mostly uniform. With the machine still running, remove the feed tube and stream in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside until time to serve.
Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with a dash more za’atar, then transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a good 5-10 minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve with the harissa.

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Lemon Basil Roast Chicken

lemon basil roast chicken

It’s been said countless times, and I’m reiterating it one more time: I (like many others) truly believe that one of the best investments a home cook can make is learning to properly roast a chicken. (Unless you’re vegetarian/vegan, of course.)

lemon, basil and garlic

Roasting a whole chicken is one of the more satisfying meals I make, and this is echoed throughout the land of chefs and home cooks everywhere. But I’ve always wondered if our diners feel the same way. There’s something romantic and grounding about getting that chicken prepped perfectly, then while it’s cooking, hearing the crackling of the skin and the spattering of fat drippings that you know make really tasty gravy or jus later, and then the whole reward of taking it from the oven to the table.

Lemon Basil Roast Chicken

Lemon Basil Roast Chicken

Looking at that perfect bird, sitting there proudly with her perfectly crispy skin and juicy, moist flesh. It’s a sight to behold. But it’s really, when you think about it, all about the cook. Do diners really feel the same about roasted chickens? I of course think chicken is incredibly delicious when cooked just right, but I’m probably biased to like the taste even more because I put in all the work and saw the entire process through. I always wonder how others feel, when the only part of the process they participate in is the eating part.

Lemon Basil Roast Chicken

But, I’ve yet to get a complaint about roast chicken from any diners who regularly eat my food, so I’ll doubtless keep making it. Chickens are such blank flavor slates, so there’s about a bazillion different directions in which you can take any one particular meal. This one is lemon and basil.

Lemon Basil Roast Chicken

Happy and cheery, a reminder that warmer temperatures are coming our way, thank god, this one is everything you want your roast chicken to be. I’d love to tell you this is so easy and comes together in a snap, but neither is really true. Prepping a roast chicken always takes longer than I think it will, but I want to get it just right. And it does take some practice, time and experience to truly feel comfortable and in command of cooking the bird, but I’ve found that using a meat thermometer cuts down on the uncertainty and produces consistent results. Please enjoy this beautiful main course.

Lemon Basil Roast Chicken

{One Year Ago: Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa; Oatmeal Raisin Muffins; Nutella Pie}
{Two Years Ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream; New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp; Cranberry Orange Waffles}

Source: Real Cajun by Donald Link

Ingredients:
1 small lemon
2 cloves garlic, left whole
6 large leaves of fresh basil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced into 6 pieces
1 (3 ½ lb.) whole chicken, trimmed and patted dry
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbs olive oil
1 whole onion, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
Slice 6 very thin slices of the lemon (discarding the very end). Cut the remainder of the lemon into chunks. Place the chunks of lemon into the cavity of the chicken, along with the whole garlic cloves and the stems of the basil leaves.
Place the basil leaves on a flat surface, then place a lemon slice on top, then a garlic slice on top of the lemon. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the salt, black pepper and paprika. Generously rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the chicken, really massaging it in. Without cleaning your hands, use your index finger (preferably with clipped nails!) to very gently loosen the breast skin from the flesh. Work at this from both sides of the breast. Now gently roll the basil leaves up and over the lemon and garlic slices. They should look more like an envelope than a roll. Very gently, slide 3 basil-lemon packets underneath the loosened skin on the chicken breast, then slide the other 3 on the other breast. I found it easiest to insert one from the neck end and the other two from the cavity ends. Now wash your hands off.
Place the sliced onion in a single layer in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, or another oven-safe skillet or baking dish of equal size. Truss the chicken (to ensure it cooks evenly), then place it breast side up on top of the onions. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Without removing the bird from the oven, lower the heat to 350 F. Bake until the meat thermometer registers 165 F, which will be about another hour, but possibly more or less, depending on the size of your chicken and the particulars of your oven. When the bird is cooked, remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest while you prepare the jus.
First, drain the excess grease out of the skillet and into a small bowl without removing the onions. Place the skillet with the onions still in it on a burner over medium-high heat. Pour in the white wine and gently scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. When the wine has reduced by half, pour the onion and wine mixture into a small pot and add the chicken stock. Let this simmer for 5 minutes or until it reduces by one-third. Now add the butter and as much or as little of the reserved pan drippings (grease) as you like. Once the butter melts, stir to combine, then lower the heat to low and keep the jus warm while you carve the chicken.
Once the chicken has been carved, transfer the jus to a gravy boat and serve alongside the chicken pieces.

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! This month I was assigned Angel’s Homestead, written by the lovely April – a lady living with her husband and the last of FIVE children in Southern Indiana. April has a very full blog as she writes about her family’s journey being simple, frugal and living off the land as much as possible; she also shares allergy-free recipes and blogs about her weight loss journey. Spoken from someone who’s been there, huge congrats on your accomplishment, April!!

It’s always such a treat when you peruse your assigned blog for SRC and find that they have a recipe you’ve been dying to try anyway, and thus they give you this perfect excuse to make it now. April has a restaurant remake on her blog that has been on my to-make list for a few years now, so what better time to take the plunge? This is Alice Springs Chicken from Outback Steakhouse.

Alice Springs Chicken

Although I grew up frequenting the Outback, I never tried this dish until a couple years ago, I guess because… well, who goes to a steakhouse and orders chicken? Judging from the popularity of this dish and the fact that so many try to copycat it at home, apparently lots of people order it and love it, and two years ago, I joined those legions of people who went to a steakhouse and ordered chicken.

I was visiting my sister and her family right after my niece Claire was born. My brother-in-law’s parents had just come in to see the baby too, and our first night for dinner, seeing as everyone was a bit too weary to cook, his parents generously brought some Outback takeout home. I decided to order the Alice Springs Chicken – see what all the fuss was about.

Alice Springs Chicken

And? It’s really good! It’s rich and decadent and comforting, and everything I wanted after the agitation of missing my connecting flight in Charlotte because someone in air traffic control saw two whole snowflakes. Though I’d never done it before, I was not the least bit regretful about ordering chicken from a steakhouse. I vowed to make it at home, and somehow that’s taken two years. I have no excuses…

The homemade version might be even better, I kid you not. This is really cheesy and flavorful and fun to make, and more important, it just tastes really, really good. Perfect comfort food, and no futzing around with getting out and worming your way through a crowded restaurant. So thank you so much for having this wonderful recipe on your blog April! Y’all be sure and check her out. Enjoy!

Alice Springs Chicken

{One Year Ago: Collard Greens, Mushroom, and Cheddar Bread Pudding}

Source: adapted from Angel’s Homestead and See Aimee Cook

Ingredients:
6-8 slices bacon (April calls for 6 slices, my bacon was looking very puny so I went with 8)
2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Oil or butter, if needed
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Smoked paprika, to taste
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Preheat a 12″ cast-iron, or other oven-safe skillet over medium heat. If you do not own an oven-safe skillet, then use your regular large skillet and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish. Cook the bacon in the skillet until crisped. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
Add the mushrooms to the bacon fat. Some versions of this recipe instruct to drain most of the bacon fat, but remember that mushrooms are little sponges that love to soak up any fat the encounter, which just makes them taste better in the end, and this is a splurge meal anyway, so I say leave all that bacon fat and don’t worry about it! Anyway, cook the mushrooms until they are softened and browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Pour off any mushroom liquid in the pan. Add a touch of oil if it’s too dry to sear the chicken.
Turn the skillet to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Sear the chicken in the skillet, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a heat-proof flat surface.
Meanwhile, make the honey mustard by thoroughly whisking together the Dijon mustard, honey, mayonnaise, and garlic powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
As soon as you remove the chicken from the skillet, brush the side facing up with a generous amount of the honey mustard. Place the chicken breasts back into the skillet, OR in the prepared baking dish, mustard side down. Brush the other side generously with the honey mustard. Now top the chicken with the bacon, the mushrooms, and some of both cheeses. Really press the cheese down, and do not worry about it spilling over onto the skillet or baking dish. Transfer the chicken (carefully!) into the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the chicken is just cooked through. Slide a chicken onto each of 4 dinner plates, making sure you scoop up a good amount of that cheesy goodness too.


New Mexico Hatch Chile Chicken Soup

New Mexico Hatch Chile Chicken Soup

Happy weekend!! And happy three-day weekend for many of us! Yea! This particular recipe is from a new cookbook I received for Christmas, Soup of the Day by Ellen Brown. I adore soups (plus stews, chowders, bisques, chilis), so having a book where soup is the major theme of the book just excites me to no end! When I learned of this soup, a soup where I can use up FOUR of my hatch chiles sitting in my freezer, I knew it was getting made immediately.

New Mexico Hatch Chile Chicken Soup

This soup is quite delicious, and extremely health-conscious while not compromising on flavor or heartiness. Perfect for this cold weather.

New Mexico Hatch Chile Chicken Soup

So I’ve made a decision that 2015 should see more recipe development from me. Y’all know how much I love my cookbooks here, and I’ve learned pretty much everything I know from them. But I think it’s high time I started flexing my creative muscles a little more. So I’ll update you periodically on how things are going in my little test kitchen, so to speak, and hopefully be sharing a few perfected recipes throughout the year! The first thing I’ve been working on is Bacon Cheeseburger Chili. It needs more bacon…

New Mexico Hatch Chile Chicken Soup

In the meantime, stay warm with this delicious, slightly spicy soup!

{One Year Ago: Brunswick StewFish, Fennel and Saffron Stew; Garbanzo Bean, Lentil and Vegetable Stew}
{Two Years Ago: Homemade Old Bay Seasoning}

Source: Soup of the Day by Ellen Brown

Ingredients:
3 tbs olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½” cubes
1 large onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
4 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, undrained
2 quarts chicken stock
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Cotija cheese, crumbled, for garnish

Directions:
Heat the oil is a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until opaque. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and chiles and cook another minute.
Add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the potato, and simmer the soup, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the chicken back in and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Season the soup to taste with salt and black pepper.
Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with cilantro and Cotija.

King Ranch Casserole #SundaySupper

King Ranch Casserole

Welcome to another Sunday Supper! Today we bring you our theme of Captivating Casseroles! I have to admit, I struggled a little with ideas for what to make for this one. A long time ago, back when we were engaged, my dear husband told me that he hated casseroles and would be perfectly happy going to his deathbed not taking another bite of one. I think he may have had a scarring experience with a bad one at some point during childhood.

King Ranch Casserole

So as long as we’ve been together, I’ve never made one, which presented a little bit of a challenge this week! I knew that we could make lasagna or a baked pasta dish, both of which Matt loves, but for whatever reason lasagna just wasn’t calling my name this week. Despite the fact that I love it too.

King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch Casserole

So I thought, and I thought, and I thought about it. I pondered the casseroles I’d had growing up (not nearly as many as Matt, it sounds like), and then it dawned on me – King Ranch Casserole!! Of course! This is the one casserole I grew up eating. It’s a Texas creation and favorite, and I’ve always loved it. Problem solved!

King Ranch Casserole

I told Matt what I was making, and then had to break the news to him gently that no, King Ranch Casserole does not involve ranch dressing or flavorings. KRC was invented in rural Texas a very long time ago; most of those men were cattle ranchers, and one day someone’s wife threw together this dish of chicken, tortillas and cheese laced with a creamy white sauce. It became popular, then iconic, and lives on to this day as one of the defining dishes of the state of Texas. Thus, the name of the dish is referring to the men’s profession, not the ingredients therein.

King Ranch Casserole

It’s always typically been made using condensed cream of mushroom soup, but I’m thrilled to have found a from-scratch version, which I think is even more tasty than the original (if I can say that without committing blasphemy). And the ultimate good news? Matt absolutely loved it! He said he is not revising his overall stand on casseroles in general, but that I can make this one any time. And he’s right, it is incredibly comforting and delicious! Enjoy!

King Ranch Casserole

Don’t forget to see what other casseroles my Sunday Supper crew brought to the table today!

{One Year Ago: Broccoli Cheddar Quiche}

Source: The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp ancho chile powder, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 tsp lime juice, divided
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs unsalted butter
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
½ cup sour cream
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
10 corn tortillas, warmed
8 oz. queso blanco or white cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded

Directions:
Pat the chicken breasts very dry with paper towels, then sprinkle them on both sides with 2 tsp of ancho chile powder, plus salt and pepper to taste. Douse them with 2 tsp lime juice. Place a large skillet or large soup pot over medium-high heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Cook the chicken breasts, being sure not to crowd the pan, until just cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Flip them back and forth occasionally to prevent either side from burning. When done, transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and let cool a bit (until you can handle them).
If you want to use the same pot to make the sauce, I’d recommend shutting off the heat and then pouring in a little water to get the browned chicken bits up. Pour the water off, then let the residual heat from the pan evaporate any remaining drops of water. Alternately, you can simply use a different stockpot.
Preheat a medium-to-large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butter and once it has melted, add the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, remaining 2 tsp ancho chile powder, and flour. Cook about 1 minute. Now stir in the chicken stock and stir until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Once the stock has thickened, stir in the half-and-half and tomatoes. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, the chicken has probably cooled enough that you can handle it, so shred it into large shards at this point.
Uncover the pot and stir in the sour cream, remaining 2 tsp lime juice, and ¼ cup of the cilantro. Adjust seasonings if needed and add salt and black pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish.
Now we will assemble our casserole. Ladle ½ cup of sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer half of the corn tortillas on top of the sauce, breaking them to fit as necessary. Make sure the entire surface is covered. Add half the chicken on top of the tortillas, then half of the remaining sauce on top of the chicken. Now add the remaining cilantro, then ¾ cup of the shredded cheddar, then ¾ cup of the shredded pepper jack cheese. Repeat the layering once more, using up the rest of the ingredients and topping the whole thing with a cheese layer.
Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbling. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve.

Captivating Breakfast Casseroles

Appetizing Casserole Sides

Main Event Casseroles

Decadent Dessert and Sweet Casseroles

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I think I’ve been on something of a buffalo chicken kick lately, as is evidenced by the fact that this is the second buffalo chicken dish I’ve posted this week, but this pizza is so delicious that I just can’t help myself. Y’all know I adore buffalo chicken anything, so of course the idea of buffalo chicken pizza always fascinated me.

buffalo chicken pizza

And yet… every version I tried fell flat and turned out to be a huge bummer. I mean, I’m aware that I never should have trusted the big chain pizza fast food places to do it right, but I’ve tried homemade versions that were hideously uninspiring and local, non-chain, reputable pizza joints have underwhelmed me too.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

The concept of a delicious, cohesive buffalo chicken pizza still eluded me; and yet I have never truly lost hope. A small part of me always believed that flavorful buffalo chicken with good ingredients was out there somewhere.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Turns out, I was right! One of my lovely Christmas presents was Jessica Merchant’s recently published debut cookbook, Seriously Delish, and upon flipping through it and discovering that she’d included a recipe for buffalo chicken pizza, I knew that was getting made immediately.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Upon tasting my first bite, it seemed that my prayers to the buffalo chicken pizza gods had finally been answered. This version is so unbelievably delicious! It’s everything I thought and believed buffalo chicken pizza could be. I am beyond thrilled right now. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

{One Year Ago: Roasted Broccoli Stem Dip with Parmesan-Black Pepper Pita Chips}
{Two Years Ago: Easy Cranberry Apple Cake, Adobo Salmon Salad Tartines}

Source: slightly adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
¾ cup buffalo sauce, divided
3 tbs sour cream
A splash of whole milk
2 oz. plus 1 generous tbs blue cheese crumbles, divided
1 uncooked pizza dough
12 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded
8 oz. white cheddar, shredded
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Torn fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease and flour a standard pizza pan and set aside.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, add the chicken and cook until it’s golden brown on all sides. Add ¼ cup buffalo sauce and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set the chicken aside.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, and the 1 tbs blue cheese crumbles to make a blue cheese sauce. Shape the pizza dough onto your pizza pan, stretching it all the way out to the edges. Spread the blue cheese sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving about a 1-inch border all the way around. Add the remaining ½ cup buffalo sauce and spread it onto the pizza dough, again leaving a 1-inch border all around. It’s fine if the buffalo sauce and blue cheese sauce swirl together.
Now cover the sauce with half the Fontina cheese. Add the chicken mixture all over the top of the Fontina. Cover the chicken with the remaining Fontina, the cheddar, and half of the remaining blue cheese. Bake the pizza until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the crust is just starting to brown on the edges, about 15-18 minutes.
Once the pizza is done baking, remove it from the oven and cover it with the remaining blue cheese crumbles. Garnish with chives and cilantro. Let it rest a few minutes to set up, then cut into wedges and serve hot.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Alright, I’m predicting this now: when I evaluate my blog stats in December 2015, this post will be in the top ten most popular for page views. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s my current prediction. And I predict such a thing because this meal is just SUCH a crowd-pleaser.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

I mean, it’s chili. Everybody loves chili. And on top of that, it’s buffalo chicken chili!! Meaning it’s some kind of a buffalo chicken meal; and buffalo chicken anything is still insanely popular, with very good reason. This meal combines two of everyone’s faves; and as an added bonus, since we’re using chicken, it’s much leaner than regular chili. Oh, and it’s pretty spicy (though you absolutely can control the amount of heat!), and we all know capsicum in chiles speeds your metabolism, so this meal is pretty figure-friendly while still being rich and comforting.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

I’ve been making it for years, and I couldn’t believe that I’d never photographed and shared it before now. This is one of the perennial favorites in my house, I make it once a year or so.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

A few recipe notes: I use my own buffalo sauce, which is very hot and spicy! Feel free to sub in a store-bought or homemade buffalo sauce with less heat if you want. I highly recommend making sure that your ground chicken is at least partly dark meat. I know we’re all watching calories, but I’ve found that using all white meat just makes dry chili, which no one likes. And lastly, like any other chili, this one too will be more flavorful if it sits overnight before you serve it; though it’s still really tasty served the day of. I think that’s it! I hope y’all will enjoy this delicious bowl of comfort! And stay tuned for December 2015, when we find out if my prediction comes true!

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Source: adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, February/March 2006

{One Year Ago: Broccoli Basil Soup, Tacos de Lengua}

Ingredients:
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 lbs. ground chicken, preferably with some dark meat included
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 bottle beer
½ cup buffalo sauce
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
Snipped chives or scallions, for garnish
Blue cheese crumbles, for garnish

Directions:
Heat a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, melt them together, then add the ground chicken. Cook, breaking up the meat, until no traces of pink remain. Now add the onion, celery, carrots, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Now add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Season with salt and black pepper, then add the cumin and coriander. Stir to combine, then add the beer to deglaze. Use your spoon to scrape up all the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Let the beer reduce 2 to 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the buffalo sauce and tomato sauce. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat and simmer the chili for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot.
Taste for seasoning, then cool and store in the refrigerator overnight, or serve immediately. When you serve, garnish as much or as little as you want with the scallions and blue cheese crumbles. Serve with beer – it’s spicy, you’re gonna need it!

Chicken Pozole Verde

Chicken Pozole Verde 5176

Today finds me rather upset with myself, seeing as it’s another Sunday Supper, but one I’m unable to officially participate in. Last weekend I made and photographed this lovely recipe, specifically for today’s Sunday Supper, and then thanks to a high-octane work trip for my other job, completely forgot to sign up in time. Go me…

dried hominy 5187

But, since I have the purty pictures and all, I thought I would still share today’s Slow Cooker menu. (That’s the #SS theme today – Slow Cookers. And one of my favorite things in my kitchen, which ensures some extra bummed-out-ness for me that I’m not technically participating. Oh well, life happens, doesn’t it?)

So let’s talk about the ingredient that makes pozole a pozole: hominy. I couldn’t stand, and this cannot possibly be overstated, could not stand hominy as a child. Now, one of the running themes on this blog is my triumph over childhood picky eating, and my triumph is probably at least in part due to the fact that my parents simply didn’t tolerate the behavior. I had to eat what was on my plate, and if I dug in my heels and refused, I went to bed hungry.

dried hominy and limes 5208

Picky eater that I was, the first time I was served hominy, of course I was highly skeptical. It was a peculiar looking veggie with (to me at least) a highly repulsive smell. Of course I voiced my objections and of course they were met with a nonchalant, “eat it anyway.” So I took a bite, and literally chucked my up, right at the dinner table. It tasted that gross to me. From that point on, hominy was placed in a special category all its own – my parents never again told me to “eat it anyway.”

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So then I grew up, and became a grown-up who still vividly recalled that fateful hominy incident, but also a grown-up who learned about pozole. A Mexican soup/stew that always looks delicious, but isn’t pozole without the addition of hominy. What to do?

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Solution: dried hominy. I gave it a try and found it to have blessedly little in common with its canned cousin. It doesn’t smell bad and tastes wonderful. Of course it is more time consuming, but unsurprisingly well worth it to me personally. I’m giving directions for using dried, but if canned doesn’t bother you, then of course feel free. I hope y’all enjoy it!

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{One Year Ago: Date and Prosciutto Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Jalapeno Poppers}

Source: adapted from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

Ingredients:
SOUP:
12 oz. dried hominy
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 medium onion, peeled and halved, with root end intact
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
5 cups water
4 sprigs cilantro
SALSA VERDE:
½ cup raw pepitas, roasted
6-8 tomatillos, husked and washed
1 cup diced white onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 serrano chiles, stemmed
1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving
Chopped Hass avocado, for serving

Directions:
Place the hominy in a large bowl and cover with water by about 4 inches. Set aside at room temperature at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, garlic, onion, salt, cumin, chicken stock, and water. Drain the hominy well and add it to the slow cooker. Let it cook on LOW for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through but not falling apart. Remove the chicken and let cool. Add the cilantro sprigs to the slow cooker. Discard the chicken bones and skin and shred the meat into pieces. Store in a food storage container in the refrigerator.
After you have removed the chicken and added the cilantro, let the soup cook for another 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the Salsa Verde. Place the tomatillos in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and place in a blender, along with the pepitas, onion, garlic clove, serranos, and cilantro. Add ½ cup broth from the slow cooker and puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth. Pour the salsa into the empty pot you used for the tomatillos and cook over medium to medium-low heat until the sauce is thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir the salsa into the soup and let it go at least another 3 hours, or until the hominy is done. You know the hominy is done when it bursts and is very tender with a soft chew to it. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Add the shredded chicken into the slow cooker for about 30 minutes to warm back through, then ladle into bowls. Serve with lime wedges and avocado.

Chipotle Chicken and Chorizo One Pot

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So let’s talk about one-pot meals today. Since I love cooking – it’s a passion and a therapy for me – I don’t mind elaborate meals that dirty up several pots and pans simultaneously, or even those meals that make it look like a tornado ripped through my kitchen and dining area. No, I don’t even remotely enjoy doing dishes, but it’s always worth it to me, even as I eyeball the stack of dirty dishes piling up in the sink with a hint of dread. Okay, fine, a lot of dread. I really do despise washing dishes…

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But every once in a while, I too want a one-pot meal to avoid the mountains of dirty pots and pans to wash. Let’s face it – no matter what your schedule or your cooking level, one-pots are just nice. They are necessary for everyone’s culinary repertoire.

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But for me, they cannot skimp on flavor. I can’t compromise on using good ingredients and producing a dish that I’ll truly enjoy eating. And today’s recipe completely fits that bill. The flavors are seriously bold, a touch spicy, and very hearty and comforting. Very, very perfect fall food here. I hope y’all will enjoy it too!

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{One Year Ago: Guest Post – Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
Kosher salt and black pepper
Olive oil
4-5 oz. chorizo, cured or raw; diced if cured, and casings removed if raw
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbs smoked Spanish paprika
1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 tbs adobo sauce
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted variety
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Guacamole or chopped fresh avocado, for serving

Directions:
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a Dutch oven or other large, deep skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but about a tablespoon of chicken fat. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook. If using cured, cook until it is crispy and the fat has rendered. If using raw, cook until crumbled and no traces of pink remain. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and add it to the plate with the chicken.
Now add the carrot and onion. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika. Cook 1 minute more.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a bubble, then return the chorizo and chicken to the pot. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Double check with a meat thermometer – it should read 165 F.
When the chicken is done, garnish with cilantro, spoon it into shallow bowls and serve immediately with lots of sauce.

Three Peppercorn Grilled Chicken Wings

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Sometimes the best meals we have come not from careful planning, or thinking long and hard, or thoroughly perusing our cookbook collection. Sometimes they are the result of off-the-cuff spontaneity that involved a very small percentage of our brain power. It’s frequently said that the average human only uses ten percent of their brain (no clue if that’s true, by the way) – I think I used maybe one percent to come up with this casual dinner.

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Seriously thrown together, and yet the results were one of the most amazing and delicious meals we’ve eaten all summer. The wings were grilled perfectly, to ensure crackly crispy skin with moist, tender meat, and the peppercorn rub gave a lovely bite that really awakens your palate with every taste. They tasted rather sophisticated, almost Parisian – a nice twist for the ubiquitous chicken wing.

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I really cannot recommend these highly enough. As much as Matt loooooves my buffalo wings, he declared these in the top five chicken wing meals he’s ever eaten. And that, my dear reader, is very high praise. If Matt doesn’t like something, he will tell me.

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Oh, and I just love the vindication of meals like this – where you acted on barely an impulse, put so little thought into cooking something, and it turns out to be one of the best meals you can remember in a long time. It’s nice. So much nicer than when you put tons of thought and planning into a meal that turns out so-so. But that’s a different conversation for another time.

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I hope you love these as much as we did! Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Chipotle Bacon Macaroni and Cheese}

Source: spice rub adapted from Burgers, Fries and Shakes by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 tbs green peppercorns
2 tbs pink peppercorns
1 tbs black peppercorns
1 tbs granulated sugar
½ tbs kosher salt
1 family size package chicken wings, split and tips saved or discarded

Directions:
First make the peppercorn rub. Using a mortar and pestle, grind all the peppercorns by hand. Work in batches if need be. You want them to be cracked, not powdery. Alternately, you can fill a clean pepper grinder and crank them all out on the coarse setting. Or, place the peppercorns in a clean coffee or spice grinder and grind until coarse, but not down to a powder.
Place the peppercorns in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Set aside.
Preheat your outdoor grill to very high heat. Oil the grates. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and add the peppercorn rub. Toss to coat thoroughly.
Place the wings on the grill, not touching each other, skin side up. Cook about 6 minutes, then flip the wings so they are skin side down. Cook at least another 6 minutes, possibly longer. Double check with a meat thermometer. It should read 165 F when done.
Remove the wings to a plate and let them rest about 5 minutes. Then, dig in with lots of napkins!