Tag Archives: Chicken

Week 32, Meal 2: Sweet and sour chicken

Chef Brian’s pretty awesome at “magic tricks,” or at least that’s what I call them. Every once in a while, he’ll introduce a new technique to me that blows my mind. Some of my favorite tricks of his include corn pudding and salsa verde broth; Week 32, Meal 2: Italian Sweet and Sour chicken over sauteed kale with balsamic raisins and toasted pine nuts adds a new one to the repertorie: reconstituted raisins, plumped up fat and juicy with acidic balsamic vinegar.

Paired with a sticky glaze on skinless chicken thighs, the tart raisins provide perfect contrast in this sweet, sour and nutty dish.

Continue reading Week 32, Meal 2: Sweet and sour chicken

Week 32, Meal 1: Fall harvest

One of the most rewarding parts of writing this blog is getting to turn Chef Brian’s recipes–which I never get to actually see before I cook them–into a very tasty reality.

The first dish of the “Killer Kale” menu is a shining example of that.

Week 32, Meal 1: Honey-sherry marinated chicken over roasted butternut squash, kale and cipollini onion features sweet butternut squash, salty pepitas and a multi-dimensional marinade do wonders for this simple meal. Vibrant oranges, deep greens and so many caramelized shades of golden brown bring to mind the fall season.  The veggie mix on its own would be a highlight at any Thanksgiving table.

… It’s never too early to plan, right?

Continue reading Week 32, Meal 1: Fall harvest

Week 32: Killer kale

Off the top of my head, I can come up with a shortlist of foods we should all have regularly: blueberries, almonds, green tea, dark chocolate, salmon and … kale. I hardly ever ate it before, but the leafy green has been used a few times here on Fat Dude.

Full of vitamins and minerals, kale is a neutral green that goes well in a variety of dishes. That’s why Chef Brian decided to spotlight kale with our Week 32 menu:

Week 32, Meal 1: Honey-sherry marinated chicken over roasted butternut squash, kale and ciopolini onion

Week 32, Meal 2: Italian Sweet and Sour chicken over sauteed kale with balsamic raisins and toasted pine nuts

Week 32, Meal 3: Citrus and Adobo Marinated Tuna over roasted fingerlings, kale, and tomatoes with garlic-chile oil and adobo citrus sour cream

Each recipe makes two portions. Keep reading for the full shopping list.

Continue reading Week 32: Killer kale

Week 31, Meal 3: The fiesta bowl

When I first started this blog, cooking was one of the worst ‘chores’ I had to do. I always felt like it was such a pain in the ass to cook my own meals everyday, so instead, I would hit the drive-thru.

It’s hard sometimes not to get bored or tired of cooking at home–I definitely do that in cycles– but Week 31, Meal 3: Salsa verde soup reminded me why I love to cook.

Toasting the coriander, tearing the husks from the tomatillos and that “a-ha” moment when the salsa verde broth came together revived my senses. Leave in the seeds when you chop up the chiles for a spicier broth.

And about that  bowl of soup? Better and fresher than I could have found in South Orange County at 9 p.m., that’s for sure. Keep reading for the recipe and how-to. Continue reading Week 31, Meal 3: The fiesta bowl

Week 29, Meal 3: Salsa verde grilled chicken, roasted beet and goat cheese salad

Week 29, Meal 3: Grilled chicken tossed in pistachio and herb salsa verde over arugula salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette

(Yield: 2 servings)

Chicken
12 oz. chicken breast, butterflied
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 T tarragon, chopped
1/2 T parsley, chopped
1/2 T chives, thinly sliced
1/4 c pistachios, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 lemon, juiced

Salad
5 oz. wild arugula
6 baby beets, different colors if possible
salt and pepper, as needed
1 t olive oil
1 oz. chevre goat cheese Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1 T vegetable or grapeseed oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss beets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a small roasting pan, with enough water in the pan to cover the bottom of it. Cover the pan with foil and roast the beets for 30-40 minutes, until easily pierced with a pairing knife.

Remove from the oven and, using paper towels, rub the outer  skin and stem off. Cut beet pieces into wedges.

2. In a Magic Bullet or blender, mix the lemon juice and oil to make the vinaigrette. Reserve.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, shallot, tarragon, parsley, chives, pistachios and olive oil. Reserve.

4. Preheat your grill to high. When ready to grill, cook chicken until cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. When chicken is cooked through, slice  into strips and toss with the salsa verde. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Mix the arugula and beets  in a bowl and dress with vinaigrette.

To plate: Lay the greens out thin over the whole plate, as  opposed to a mound  in the middle. Disperse the beets evenly. Top with half of the chicken and sprinkle each salad with 1/2 oz. of goat cheese.

Week 29, Meal 2: Chicken “milanese” salad

Week 29, Meal 2: Smoked paprika dusted chicken “milanese” with mixed greens, manchego, dried cherries, pine nuts and orange-sherry vinaigrette

(Yield: 2 servings)

Chicken
12 oz. chicken breast, butterflied, pounded thin
1–1/2 t smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
cooking spray, as needed

Salad
5 oz. mixed greens
2 oz. manchego cheese, shaved
1/3 c dried cherries
2 T pine nuts, toasted

Dressing
1 T orange juice concentrate
1 T sherry vinegar
1 T vegetable or grapeseed oil

1. Season the pounded chicken breast with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Saute the chicken breast on each side for 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Reserve.

3. In a large bowl, mix greens, cherries, pine nuts and half of the manchego cheese.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, sherry vinegar and oil.

To plate: Lay the chicken cutlet on the bottom of the plate and top with the salad. Finish by topping with the remaining cheese.

Spatchcocking: My new favorite hobby

It’s been difficult to keep eating healthy this holiday season. I’ve now made a habit of cooking at home, but I’ve been eating more sweets than usual at holiday outings and at home. I’ll finally get back to the salad menu this weekend, now that I can restock for the menu. Hopefully those dishes will rejuvenate the full-on healthy vibes.

In the meantime, as I said, I have been trying to cook at home. And one of my new favorite things to do is soak a chicken in one of the many marinades on this blog, then spatchcock the bird. Removing the backbone and roasting it flat allows for quick and even cooking. (How to spatchcock a chicken.)

I’m going with organic chicken from Sprouts; each one is $10-$12. If you’re closer to Anaheim, I’d recommend OC Poultry & Rotisseree. The chicken has the head and the feet on it–and for some reason, everyone I tell this to freaks out over it–but sack up, cut off the strange bits and move on with it all. OCP&R has organic chicken for like $2 a pound and it’s local.

I cook it using Thomas Keller’s method in Bouchon: 25 min. on 475, then (approx.) 30 min. on 400. You get crunchy skin and moist skin. (Side note: Check the chicken between 25 and 30 minutes. The smaller the chicken, the more the higher heat cooks through before the bird roasts on the lower heat).

What I like about using whole chicken is that you have the opportunity to do so many things: Legs and thighs with rice and roasted veggies; cubed breast in salad, pasta, pretty much anything; sliced breast in sandwiches and paninis; and of course, you can make a stock with the bones and some vegetables, add back some of that chicken and whatever else you’d like, and have a pretty awesome soup.

I recently used the chermoula marinade from our Moroccan menu and served it family style on a bed of the stewed garbanzo side. There’s so much to do with a roast chicken, and I think I’ve only just begun.

Let’s talk sandwiches …

Excuse my absence on the blog as of late, it’s been a busy couple of weeks at home between helping my family with a couple of things, enjoying time with my vacationing Wifey Nadia and celebrating the last birthday of my 20’s on Catalina Island.

I’ve cooked one of the meals for our upcoming “Southern Comfort” week, but then I put on the brakes because, well, I have been eating meals out lately. I know I said I wouldn’t, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, especially with late nights, birthday meals, incoming visitors–life in general.

But I will be hunkering down, and as I explained with that lasagna cupcakes recipe, I’m looking for ways to make quick meals that fit into, well, life in general. On a positive note, my weight has stayed relatively the same, and I’m not falling victim to processed fast foods, so at least some of my old habits have permanently changed for the better … though not all of them, obviously, lol.

When I need a quick meal, chances are I turn to my panini press. I love sandwiches because you can do pretty much anything with them–I recently made a Southern Chicken Sandwich with chicken breast, havarti cheese, fresh tomatoes, kale and Red Rooster mayonnaise.

Thinking up that crazy combo reminded me of Chef Brian’s Christmas Cookbook, which had quite a few yummy sandwiches in it. If you’re into sandwiches or paninis, try some of these:

-Roast beef with sliced tomato, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and horseradish mayonnaise

-Smoked turkey with avocado, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard and olive oil mayonnaise

-Sliced tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella and basil pesto (recipe)

-Roasted chicken with bacon, tomato, avocado and chipotle mayonnaise (two chopped chipotle peppers  in adobo mixed with olive oil mayonnaise)

-Hot turkey pastrami, cole slaw, Swiss cheese, homemade Russian dressing (Olive oil mayonnaise, ketchup, small diced pickle, easy black pepper)

-Turkey Italian sausage, arugula, ricotta cheese, roasted red bell pepper and basil pesto (recipe)

-Media Noche (recipe after the jump) with citrus-marinated pork, Swiss and pickles

-Roast pork (Media noche recipe below, minus all the Cuban marinade ingredients–so, just salt and pepper), goat cheese, bacon, arugula and fig jam (recipe)

I know that’s a lot to take in, but they’re mostly simple to put together and you’ll have a solid meal in no time. Follow the jump for Chef Brian’s Media Noche recipe.

As a final tip, if you’re in Orange County, check out Cafe Chiarini in Santa Ana for your bread. They’re only open on weekdays, and each (massive) loaf is $10, but split one with a friend and you’ll still have enough to make sandwiches all week (one slice in half is enough for one sandwich, the loaf is that large). It’s my favorite sandwich bread in OC, and totally worth trying if you haven’t yet.

Anyways, on to that Media Noche … Continue reading Let’s talk sandwiches …

Week 25: Mad Fresh Mex

We’re almost halfway through one year of recipes — this being Week 25 and all — but by the look of this menu, my midterm exam has arrived a week early.

Chef Brian’s “Fresh Mex” menu has a long list of ingredients and I’m a bit intimidated by a lot of prep and a lot of cooking going on at once, but after an easy week of making sandwiches I’m ready to jump into the mix in a big way. Here’s what’s cooking, amigos.

Week 25, Meal 1: Marinated pork loin over jalapeno corn pudding, sauteed peppers, smoky ancho sauce

Week 25, Meal 2: Coriander and garlic marinated tuna over corn and black bean salsa, avocado puree, and lime sour cream

Week 25, Meal 3: Chicken tacos with avocado puree, lime sour cream, and grilled corn-jicama salsa

Each recipe makes two servings. Continue reading for the shopping list.

Continue reading Week 25: Mad Fresh Mex

Week 22, Meal 3: Caper-olive-anchovy surprise

Wifey Nadia is always giving me grief for writing essentially the same intro for Fat Dude posts.

I usually say something like “OMG, blah blah blah … I’ve never tried this food and liked it before, but Chef Brian’s amazing … whatever, whatever … make this dish.”

She’s right about the setup — though I mostly write that way because Chef Brian is amazing and tends to make delicious things from foods I’ve stayed away from or never had — but Week 22, Meal 3: Open-faced grilled chicken sandwich with fresh mozzarella and a tomato and olive relish was one dish where the tables were turned.

“Olives and anchovies, yucky,” she repeated over and over. Then she had a bite of this fancy half-sandwich and in an instant she was converted.

Surprise! Continue reading Week 22, Meal 3: Caper-olive-anchovy surprise

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