Grilled Lemon and Herb Marinated Kabobs…..

Often times you’ll see kabobs with meat/chicken, onion, and tomatoes, etc.  I’ve never cooked kabobs this way as none of these items have the same cooking time.  By the time the meat is done, the tomatoes are falling off the skewer and into the fire and the onions are undercooked.  Cook each individual item on it’s own skewer.  I recommend cooking  onions and mushrooms on metal skewers as bamboo even after soaking can char and break apart.  If you are using bamboo skewers be sure to soak them in water for 45-60 minutes.  This will prevent them from burning up too quickly on the grill.

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I’ve actually become very fond of boneless skinless thighs as a less expensive and extremely flavorful alternative.  Marinade the chicken in this simple marinade for about an hour, skewer, and grill.  They cook in 12-15 minutes.  Serve with simple rice pilaf or oven roasted dijon potatoes  and a grilled vegetable salad (recipe below).

Grilled Lemon and Herb Marinated Kabobs

2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
3 large cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano or one tablespoon fresh chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1)  Trim the chicken pieces of any fat and cut into bite size pieces.  Put into a medium size bowl that has a lid.
2)  Mix all marinade ingredients together and whisk to blend.  Pour half of the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.  Refrigerate the remaining marinade as well.  If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak in water until you’re ready to skewer chicken.
3)  Preheat grill.   Remove chicken from the refrigerator and skewer.  Place the kabobs on the grill.  Resist turning them too soon, you want nice grill marks on the chicken before you turn.  Cook for 12-15 minutes or until juices run clear.
4)  Place the kabobs on a platter and cover with foil.  Microwave the remaining refrigerated marinade for 20-30 seconds to take off the chill.  Spoon over the chicken before serving.  Makes 8-10 kabobs.

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken, a Video!

Take a look at this new video on an old favorite of mine!  Oven Fried Chicken.  This is the simplest chicken ever and will soon become one of your family favorites. 

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


Lebanese Menu: Shawarma with Tahini Sauce…..

I owe my love of kitchen experimentation to my Mom.  Growing up she was always trying new and interesting things.  She made things like homemade yogurt, brined pickles in a crock, homemade phyllo dough, and dandelion wine.  (most likely to cope with the five of us hunyocks!)  Still today we talk on the phone for hours pouring over different recipes and new  recipes we should try.  So fun!

Today, 5 hours away,  Mom was making  homemade bread.  I was making Shawarma with Tahini Sauce, Hummus,  and Tabbouleh Salad.  Fresh simple ingredients make for a most delicious and out of the ordinary dinner.  No hum-drum mealtime here!

I’ve had Shawarma with Tahini sauce many times in restaurants and really love the flavor combination.  Serve with fresh tomato and cucumber slices over warm whole wheat flat bread and tahini sauce, Delish!  Round out this meal with a scoop of fresh tabbouleh salad.  Will share that recipe soon:-)

Shawarma with Tahini Sauce

2 lbs. boneless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed of any fat


4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper 

Tahini Sauce

½ cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup water

Whole wheat flat bread (8 pieces)
Fresh cucumber and tomato slices

1)  Whisk all marinade ingredients together.  Leave the chicken breast whole or cut into bite size pieces to skewer.  (If making kabobs, skewer chicken now, it will be much less messy)  Pour marinade over chicken and turn pieces to evenly coat. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.

2)  While the chicken is marinating, make the tahini sauce.  Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl that has a lid.  Thin it out with a little more water if too thick.

3)  Preheat grill.  Allow the excess marinade to drip off of the chicken before you place on the grill.  Discard marinade.  Cook the chicken until the juices run clear.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes covered with foil before slicing.  Thinly slice the chicken on a diagonal.  Serve over warm pita bread with tahini sauce, and fresh sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.  YUMMY!  Serves 8. 

**Weight Watcher’s Point Value=10 (four ounces chicken, 1 whole pita, 1 tablespoon tahini sauce, cucumber and tomatoes)

East African Chicken….Weight Watcher’s Friendly!

I first found a recipe for East African Chicken in a Cooking Light magazine about 10 years ago.  Of course, I’ve long since lost the recipe, but tried to duplicate the recipe from memory.  The combination of the spice from the ginger,  the sweet from the raisins and dates, and the savory flavor from the onions and garlic give this dish fantastic balance and flavor.  Serve over brown or white rice.  Sooooo good!

Here we go:

You’ll need onion, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, pitted dates, golden raisins, chicken broth, dry white wine, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

The original recipe didn’t call for skinless chicken thighs, but I think they make for the most flavorful and most economical meal.  You can often times find them on sale for $.99/lb.  I removed the skin and excess fat.

Season both sides of the thighs with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Brown the thighs in your braising pan with olive oil.  Remove from the pan onto a plate.

Add onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes or until the onions begin to soften.  Add a touch of the chicken broth to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan.  This will evaporate and you’ll still be able to give the onions some color.

Add the fresh garlic…

and the ginger and cook for a few minutes.

Add the dates, raisins, and chicken broth to the pan.

Add the wine and allow this mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the onion and broth mixture.  Top each piece of chicken with the onion mixture.  Cover with a tight fitting lid and braise over low heat for 40 minutes.  (try not to peek)  Serve over steamed white or brown rice.   Serves four.  This dish will only cost you 7 Weight Watcher’s points! (10 points with 1/2 cup of brown rice)

East African Chicken 

4 medium chicken thighs with bone, skin removed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion thinly sliced, about 2 cups
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and finely minced ginger root
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped dates
1 ½ cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine

1) Remove the skin and excess fat from the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper.

2) Heat a heavy skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add olive oil. Brown the chicken on both sides. While the chicken is browning, slice the onion, mince the garlic, and peel and mince the ginger.

3) Remove the browned chicken from the skillet onto a plate, cover loosely with foil.

4) Add the onion to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, the onions should be soft.

5) Add the garlic and ginger, cook another two minutes.

6) Add the raisins, dates, chicken broth, and wine. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Nestle the chicken pieces in the liquid and top with the goodies. Cover with the lid and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Serve over steamed rice. Serves 4.


Chicken Parmesan…..

This is a scrumptious dinner.    Make the marinara sauce ahead(recipe below).  If you’re having company, bread the chicken breasts and layer with wax paper between pieces, refrigerate.  Simply put into the oven about 40 minutes before you want to serve and follow the rest of the cooking directions.  While the chicken is baking, cook the pasta.  I think the the best way to get the most flavor into the pasta is to under cook it by a couple of minutes.  Drain the pasta and put back into the pan.  Add a couple of ladels of sauce to the hot undercooked noodles over medium heat.  Allow to cook for a couple of minutes.  The pasta will cook the rest of the way absorbing the flavors from the sauce.

Here we go….

Non stick foil line a cookie sheet with sides.  Add some olive oil…

Spread the oil evenly over the foil, set aside.  Preheat oven to 40o’.

Start with a whole, raw chicken breasts.  Trim any excess fat.  Most chicken breasts are quite large so I suggest giving it a horizontal slice.  This will make for more even cooking.

Place your hand on the top of the chicken breast and with a very sharp knife slice through the center of the breast.  (hard to demonstrate here with the camera in my right hand!)

Here you see the chicken breast halved.  Season both sides with a little kosher salt.

You will need three large bowls to coat the chicken.  One for flour, one for beaten egg and water, and one for the bread crumb/parmesan cheese mixture.  Dip into flour to coat, shake off excess….

Then into the egg mixure, allow the excess liquid to run off….

Finally, dip into the bread crumb/parmesan cheese mixture to thoroughly coat.

Place on the prepared cookie sheet and give a light drizzle of olive oil.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with cheese.  Back into the oven for 10 minutes.  Serve with marinara sauce and pasta.

Chicken Parmesan

4 chicken breasts, halved into cutlets
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup flour
2 eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil
8 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese

1)  Preheat oven to 400’.  Trim the fat off of the chicken breasts.   Lay the chicken breast on the cutting board.  Hold the top of the breast with one hand and with a very sharp knife, run it horizontally through the chicken breast.  Season each breast half with a couple of pinches of salt.

2)  You will need three containers.  To the first add the flour, the second the eggs and water (beaten), and to the third, add the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, mix to blend.

3)  Dip each breast half first into the flour, shake off excess flour.  Dip into the egg to coat.  Finally, into the bread crumb mixture to coat and right onto the cookie sheet.  Once all are on the sheet, drizzle each piece with a small amount of olive oil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and top each breast with one slice of cheese.  Bake an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.  Serve with spaghetti and marinara sauce. Makes 4 servings.



Yippee! My Chicken Satay Recipe is Featured on The Pioneer Woman Blog!

Well, I’m so incredibly excited to have one of my beloved recipes featured on The Pioneer Woman!  I’ve posted many, many recipes on this site, 48 to be exact.   The recipe featured is my Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.….I’m glad they found it as good as my friends and family!   If you have a second, check out this link with …step by step instruction, very cool!!!!

Thank you missamy from Pioneer Woman!

Have a great day!

Chicken Vesuvio….

Chicken, potatoes, peas, garlic & herbs, and wine.  Dinner.  This is one of my favorite “one dish” suppers.  Use more garlic if you like, the more the merrier!  
Chicken Vesuvio
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 whole chicken, cut up, excess fat removed
8 large cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary coarsely chopped, or 2 tablespoons dried, crush with your fingers
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem or 2 teaspoons dried, crush with your fingers
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups white wine, anything dry would be good
1 lb. frozen petite peas, thawed
1)  Non stick foil line a large cookie sheet with sides.  (you may need two pans depending on the size of your pans)  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375′. 
2)  Peel and cut potatoes into wedges.  Place in a large bowl and cover with water.  Set aside.
3)  Into a small bowl, combine fresh chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
4)  Drain the potatoes and allow them to sit in the drainer for a few minutes.  Blot the drained potatoes with paper towel to remove excess water.  Dump the potatoes on the cookie sheet and add a tablespoon of the garlic/herb mixture and toss to coat.
5)  Gently lift the skin on the chicken pieces and rub the remaining garlic and herbs under the skin.  (Don’t worry about the wings.)  Season each piece with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.  Place on cookie sheet between the potatoes.  Try not to crowd, use another baking sheet if there isn’t enough room.  Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
6)  Roast for 40 minutes, baste with the pan juices occasionally.  After 40 minutes of roasting, add the wine to the pan and roast another 25 minutes. 
7)  Add the peas to the pan and bake another 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven carefully as there is a lot of hot liquid.  Serve with the chicken, potatoes, and peas with the pan juices spooned over.  DE-LISH!  Makes 6 servings.
*Make with all white meat on the bone if you wish.  I do not recommend boneless, skinless chicken.  The chicken will be dry.

Kung Pao Chicken Legs….

These taste as good as they look!  Oh my gosh, sooooo delicious!  It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.  There is so much flavor in the sauce that all you need to serve with is is simple steamed rice and stir fry vegetables.  Spoon extra sauce over the rice and chicken, YUMMY!

Here we go:

Finely chop 1/4 cup fresh ginger….

And 1/2 cup red onion….

Saute in a tablespoon of canola oil in a medium saucepan for about 5 minutes, stir often. 

Add four large cloves of minced garlic and cook for about one more minute.
Now for liquid ingredients.  Add 1/3 cup of honey.  If you spray your measuring cup with cooking spray it will come out of your measure more easily.
Add 3 tablespoons of mirin.  Mirin is a sweet rice wine used for cooking.  This and the following ingredients can be found in the Asian isle of most grocery stores.
Add 1/4 cup rice vinegar.
Next add 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce.  I know it seems like a lot of ingredients.  Trust me, it will be well worth all the measuring.
Add three tablespoons of hoisin sauce.  I love the flavor of this sauce.  It is sweet, salty, and a little spicy.   If you haven’t used this sauce before, it is a Chinese dipping sauce and commonly used in Peking Duck. 
Now for some heat.  Add 2 teaspoons (or more if you like) of chili garlic sauce.  This amount will not be too hot. 
Once all the sauce ingredients are in the pan, simmer for about 3 minutes to slightly reduce.  Set aside.

Prepare the chicken legs.  Season generously with salt and pepper, coat with about a tablespoon of canola oil, toss to coat with the oil and seasoning.  Add 3 tablespoons of flour, toss to coat.  Give prepared chicken legs a drizzle once arranged on a non stick foil lined cookie sheet.  “Oven fry” at 400′ for about an hour.  For even browning, give them a turn half way through.  Once the chicken is crispy, time for he sauce.  Have your serving platter ready to go.  Dip each leg into the sauce to coat…..
Garnish with chopped peanuts….
And sliced green onions.  Drizzle with a small amount of honey.
Kung Pao Chicken Legs

For the Chicken:
16 chicken legs (about 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil + more for drizzling
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup fresh ginger, minced
½ cup finely chopped red onion
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup honey + more for drizzling
3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce

¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced

1) Preheat oven to 400’. Non stick foil line a cookie sheet with sides, set aside. Place chicken legs in a large bowl and drizzle with one tablespoon of canola oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the flour over the legs and toss to coat. Place on prepared cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with canola oil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until nicely brown and crispy.
2) Place a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Once hot add the ginger and red onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
3) Add garlic, cook for about one minute. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer for about 3 minutes to reduce slightly.
4) Chop the peanuts and slice the green onions.
5) Once the chicken is done, with a tongs dip each chicken leg into sauce to coat. Garnish with the chopped peanuts, green onion, and a light drizzle of honey. Makes 8 servings.

*Serve with steamed rice and simple stir fry vegetables. Spoon extra sauce over chicken, rice and veggies, yummy!
*Substitute chicken wings for the legs for an flavorful and beautiful appetizer.

Oven Roasted Turkey Legs…YUM!

The unfortunate part about making a whole turkey is that there are only two legs.  Most people either love the breast or the leg….I think it a good idea when making a whole turkey to make additional turkey legs.  I make turkey legs occasionally for dinner, so easy and so delicious!  You could make them ahead for Turkey day and re-warm in the oven for 30 minutes prior to serving. 

Whip up some mashed potatoes and make a little pan gravy and you have one inexpensive and delicious weeknight dinner.

Oven Roasted Turkey Legs

4 large turkey legs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 cups water

1)  Line a cookie sheet with sides with non stick aluminum foil.  Preheat oven to 325′.
2)  Rub each turkey leg generously with olive oil.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and oregano.
3)  Place in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours.
4)  Remove pan from oven, add 1 1/2 cups water and cover with foil.  Roast another hour.


Pan juices
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon corn starch

1)  Pour the pan juices into a gravy separator.  Drain off the juices you’ll be using into a one cup measuring cup and discard the fat.  Add enough water to measure 1 cup.  Pour into small sauce pan.
2)  Mix the cornstarch with the 1/2 cup of water until incorporated.  Pour immediately into the broth in the pan. 
3)  Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Serve immediately.

To re-warm turkey legs.  Place in a pan with sides and add 1/2 cup of water.  Cover tightly with foil and warm in 325′ oven for 30 minutes.
To re-warm gravy.  Microwave for one minute increments, stir between.  Whisk in a little water if necessary for a smooth gravy.

Basil Chicken Stir Fry…..

Stir frys are quite simple, healthy, and delicious.   I think it best to enjoy the ones you make at home as you can control the amount of oil that is used.  Use whatever vegetables you like.  Just remember that when you begin cooking to cook the vegetables that take the longest to cook first.

This recipe is a delicious combination of sweet and spicy with vegetables that have many different textures, so good!  Adjust the level of spice according to your own taste.  If you’d like it to “blow your head off,” add jalepenos at the end of step #5.

Have everything completely pan ready before you begin to stir fry.  Let’s not forget the rice!  Before you begin cooking, put the rice on the stove.  If using brown rice, count on at least 40 minutes of cooking time.  Begin cooking the stir fry after about 20 minutes.   If using white rice, rinse the rice thorougly through a fine sieve.  (this will prevent the rice from being too gummy or mushy)  Cook according to package instructions.  Once it’s on the stove, you’re ready to start cooking.

 I’ve assembled all my ingredients.  You can see in the very back a measuring cup with sauce ingredients ready to go.

Use a large heavy skillet.  It is important not to crowd ingredients in the pan.  Plenty of space will allow for nice browning on the chicken.  It will also make the stir fry cook very quickly.

Basil Chicken Stir Fry

2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced

For the veggies:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small orange pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
6-8 button mushrooms, quartered
2 cups bok choy, chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas or pea pods
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves
1 small jalepeno thinly sliced (optional, will really spice up the dish, use carefully)

For the sauce:

1 cup chicken broth (Better than Bouillon is great, mix just what you need)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce (you can find in the Asian food section of the grocery store)
Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

White or brown basmati rice cooked according to package directions

1) On a cutting board designated just for meat, cut the chicken breast into small pieces. Season with salt and  pepper and toss well with one teaspoon cornstarch to coat. (this will allow the chicken to brown nicely) Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
2) Prepare all vegetables and put into separate bowls.
3) Prepare sauce. Mix cooled chicken bouillon with cornstarch, whisk until blended. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili sauce, whisk. Set aside.
4) Heat a large heavy non stick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add one tablespoon oil and add chicken breast. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is nicely brown. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Remove from pan into a large bowl, cover with foil.
5) Add remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the bell peppers, cook for about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and bok choy. Stir fry for about 5 minutes stirring often. Add snap peas and green onions. (add jalepenos here if you wish)  Cook for a couple of minutes.
6) Whisk the sauce ingredients until well blended and add to the pan with the veggies. Bring to a bubble. Add chicken back to the pan.  Add basil and mix well. Serve over brown basmati rice and garnish with sesame seeds. Serves 4.