Goat Cheese And Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts….Step By Step Instruction….

I love stuffed chicken breasts but sometimes they can dry out.  I decided to stuff bone in breasts with skin.  The end result is moist and juicy.  I’ll take you though how to prepare the chicken breasts for stuffing.  Serve with rice pilaf and a simple vegetable or salad.  They can be stuffed ahead of time and ready to go in the refrigerator.   Bake while dinner guests are enjoying appetizers and cocktails.  So easy!

As with any recipe, you can make your own yummy variation.  I think sundried tomato pesto and goat cheese would be fantastic as well!  Don’t care for goat cheese?  Use blue cheese instead.  The possibilities are endless!

Here we go…

Start by gently pulling the skin back without tearing it.  Try to keep the skin intact a little on the rib side as well.

Using a very sharp knife, make a slit in the flesh, try not to cut completely through the breast.  The slit should be large enough for about 3 tablespoons of the cheese filling.

Stuff the breast with about 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese filling.

Gently bring the chicken breast back together, pulling the skin over to cover.  Season generously with kosher salt and pepper.  Now you’re ready for the oven!  If you are making them ahead to bake later, cover and refrigerate immediately.  Take them out 30 minutes before baking.  Give the chicken a light drizzle of olive oil just before going into the oven.

Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts

For the filling:

4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces of softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs (or use 3 tablespoons of regular)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 large cloves crushed garlic
2 dashes of Worcestershire or hot sauce
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch black pepper

4 large chicken breasts with skin and bone (or 6-8 chicken thighs)

1)  Foil line a roasting pan large enough to easily fit the chicken breasts.  Preheat the oven to 375′.
2)  In a medium size bowl with a hand mixer, beat the goat cheese, cream cheese and milk until smooth.  Gently stir in the rest of the ingredients until well blended.
3)  Rinse and dry the chicken breasts.  Gently pull the skin back from the center of the rib, keeping it intact on both sides of the breast.  Using a sharp knife, cut a large horizontal slit in the chicken breast, being careful not to cut completely through to the other side.
4)  Stuff each breast with 1/4 of the cheese mixture.  Gently pull the flesh and skin back over the stuffing.  Season generously with kosher salt and pepper.  Place into baking pan and lightly drizzle the chicken with olive oil.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes tented with foil before serving.  Makes four generous servings.



Lebanese Chicken…..

This chicken couldn’t be more simple.  Start out by putting some color on the skin by grilling or broiling, then finish cooking in the oven.

The marinade has few ingredients that most of us have on hand.  Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken in a large zip bag.  Marinate the chicken 30-60 minutes.

Place the marinating chicken into a plastic container so avoid any leaking in the refrigerator.   When you marinade this way you can mush and squish (official cooking terms) it around to distribute the lovely marinating liquid.

Lebanese Chicken

1 whole frying chicken, either cut in half or into individual pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1)  Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
2)  Place chicken into a large zip bag.  Pour marinade over chicken.  Place in a bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.  Half way through marinating, shake up the bag and move the chicken around.
3) Preheat the grill and the oven to 350′.    Foil line a baking sheet.
4)  Grill the chicken just until there is good coloring on the skin, 10-15 minutes.  Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.  Makes 5-6 servings.  Serve with hummus and warm pita bread, and salad.



Turkey Pot Pie With A Twist…..

Who doesn’t like pot pie?  The perfect combination of creamy savory filling topped with a buttery crust.  I decided to use as many Thanksgiving leftovers as possible for my pot pie.  Turkey, of course, turkey stock from the carcass, and stuffing.  Stuffing?

I decided to press a thin layer of stuffing into the bottom of each individual pot pie.  It was DELICIOUS!  Turkey, stuffing, vegetables, gravy and a killer crust.  YUMMY!

Of course, you can make this pot pie without stuffing.  You can also easily substitute chicken and chicken broth for a chicken pot pie.  Add whatever frozen vegetables you like.  I would normally add a one pound bag of frozen mixed vegetables but all I had on hand were frozen petite peas.  Gosh, you could substitute all vegetables and vegetable stock if you wanted a completely vegetarian pie.  It’s your choice.

This recipe is large, it makes 8 individual pies.  You can very easily cut the recipe directly in half if you like.

I use a food processor for the crust.  It goes quickly and perfectly blends the cold butter into the flour.

Here we go:

Add 4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 stick of unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ cubes to the food processor . Pulse 15 times, should be perfect.
It should look like this.  No uneven lumps.  Should resemble cornmeal.   Alternatively, you could use a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour.   Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Next you’ll need to add ice water.  With this recipe you can go ahead and add 1 cup of ice water and mix with a fork.
Add additional water a tablespoon at a time so that it looks like this.  You do not want lots of dry ingredient left in the bottom of the bowl.  Most of the ingredient should come together and be pretty moist but not too wet.
Dump the dough onto your board or counter.
Form a ball of dough with your hands, kneading only 2-3 times.
Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Do this by first cutting it in half, then half the halves, you know what I mean.
Place the chunks of dough into a bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.  Warm 6 cups of turkey (or chicken or vegetable) stock in the microwave until just warm (like the temperature you’d give to a baby).  When you add this to the flour mixture below this will prevent lumps.
Have a large spoon and a whisk handy.  Melt one stick of butter in a large pot.  Once it’s completely melted, add 1 cup of flour.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes.   With your whisk in hand, add all 6 cups of the warm stock to the flour mixture.  Whisk the mixture to prevent any lumps.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Cook another couple of minutes.  Remove from heat.
Add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half.  Optional.  This is the perfect time to taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.
Add 5 cups of shredded cold turkey.
And 1 pound of frozen vegetables, you can see that I used peas.  Don’t worry that it will cool the sauce.  It’ll be in the oven soon and will make it easier to place the crust on the top.
You will need eight 2 cup oven proof dishes.  Coat with cooking spray.  Layer 1/2 cup or so of prepared stuffing. (optional)  Evenly distribute the filling into the prepared dishes.
Time for the crust.  Form each chunk of dough into a ball and roll out on a floured board until large enough to for 1″ of dough to go over the side of the bowl.  Cut a slit in the top for the steam to escape.
It should look like this.
Lastly, using a pastry brush, coat the crust with milk.  This will make for a nicely browned top.  Bake at 350′ for 45-55 minutes or until bubbly and nicely browned.    Serve with a salad with a vinaigrette.  Serves 8.



Dijon Chicken with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes….

This chicken is tender and luscious.  I served it with sour cream mashed potatoes which was great with the pan sauce.  Throw in a salad and you have a spectacular dinner!  The best part about it is that it’s so simple. I used legs and thighs as they end up being incredibly moist and succulent.   Prep time takes about 20 minutes then finish in the oven.  I would definitely serve this at a dinner party.

If you’re serving mashed potatoes with this chicken, prep the potatoes into the boiling pot before you start the chicken.

Dijon Chicken

3 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, about 2-3 tablespoons
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons coriander
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried tarragon

1)  Preheat the oven to 325′.
2)  Season the legs and thighs with kosher salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy skillet that has a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat.   Brown each seasoned piece of chicken.  Remove from the pan onto a plate.
3)  Add the onion to the pan.  If you have a lot of goodies sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of the broth to deglaze.  Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the coriander and broth to the pan and add the browned chicken pieces.  Cover with the lid and into the oven for 45 minutes.
4)  Remove the pan from the oven.  Remove the lid (carefully!) and remove the cooked chicken onto a serving platter, cover with foil to keep warm.
5)  Put the pot over medium heat.  Whisk the dijon mustard, sour cream, and tarragon in a small bowl until all ingredients are incorporated.  Whisk into the pan juices.  Cook about a minute.  Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken…Serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings.

Sour Cream Mashed potatoes

2 lbs. russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 1/4″ inch
2 teaspoons salt
Water to cover
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup (or more) milk, zap in the microwave for a minute so that it’s warm

1)  Peel and slice the potatoes and put them into a large pot.  Cover with water and add salt.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes.  Poke a potato with a fork while in the pot to be sure they’re tender.  Drain well and put the potatoes right back into the pot.  Add the butter, sour cream and warm milk.  Cover with the lid and allow to stand for about 5 minutes.
2)  Beat with a hand mixer for about a minute so that it doesn’t have large lumps.  Add additional milk if too thick.  Taste.  Add additional seasoning if necessary.   Cover with the lid until ready to serve with the chicken.  Makes about 6 servings.


Have a great day!


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)

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.

Buffalo Wings….

I absolutely love spicy chicken wings.  Try making these, they’re baked!  Believe me, they come out very crispy, you would never know that they were not fried.  The sauce is outstanding.  Be sure to serve with my Light Bleu Cheese Dressing, and crunchy carrot and celery sticks, fantastic!  Enjoy!
Oven Fried Buffalo Chicken Wings

For the chicken:
2-3 lbs. chicken wings
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the sauce:

½ cup Open Pit Original BBQ Sauce or your favorite sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
¼ cup Red Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons butter

1) Preheat oven to 400’. Non stick foil line a cookie sheet with sides. Set aside.
2) Cut wings into pieces at joints (discard the little flapper portion) and place on prepared cookie sheet. Generously season wings with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over wings and toss to coat. Arrange on cookie sheet so they’re not touching. Drizzle the vegetable oil over the prepared wings.  Bake for about 50 minutes or until wings are very crispy.
3) While wings are baking, add all sauce ingredients to a large sauce pan. When the wings are almost finished baking, warm sauce over medium heat and mix well.  Remove from heat.
4) Remove wings from oven right onto a paper towel lined plate. Add the hot wings to the sauce pot. Toss to coat. Serve immediately with bleu cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks. 

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.