Tag Archives: chicken

Exotic Moroccan-Style Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine
Chicken Tagine
Chicken Tagine marinade
I am so fascinated with global cuisines that I jump from Italian pasta dishes, to Greek deliciousness, Middle Eastern delights, Caribbean flavorful dishes to other exotic cultures. Today, I am taking you on a journey (via my blog) to Morocco for a taste of My Chicken Tagine. A tagine is an earthenware pot in which this dish is traditionally cooked in.  Using preserved lemon is also part of the tradition, however in this recipe,  I used fresh lemon instead. No, I have not been to Morocco but I love the way they use aromatic spices in their dishes. Put on your apron and follow me in the kitchen for this delightful meal.

Serves: 6-8 Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Allow up to 2.5  hours from start to finish

Ingredients for chicken marinade:

  • 5-6 lbs. chicken thighs and legs, skinless
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + slices of lemon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for marinade

  • Remaining ingredients: 
  • 6 -8 tbsp. of olive oil for searing the chicken
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed olives
  • 8 oz chickpeas
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

    Preparation:

    1) Marinate the chicken for at least one hour,  with onions, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, cinnamon, lemon juice, olive oil.  Keep refrigerated for 45 minutes and keep at room temperature for 15 minutes prior to cooking it. Please keep your house cool.
    2) In a large tagine or Dutch-oven, over med-high heat, heat olive oil, and sear the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. You will do this in batches and use more oil as needed. Remove and set aside.
    3) In the same pan, add the onions from the marinade, sauté for couple minutes, add garlic, sauté for 1 minute, tomato paste, 1-2 minutes till it’s rust in color. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Deglaze with the wine for 1-2 minutes.
    4) Add the chicken, broth, olives, chickpeas, carrots, raisins and lemon slices as seen in picture. Bring to a boil.
    5) Cover and simmer on low flame for 30 minutes. Remove cover, simmer for an additional 45 minutes. Serve with Moroccan couscous. Bon Appetit!

    Gina Martino Zarcadoolas – Foodiewinelover
    My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
    WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur
    Global Cuisines & Cultures Aficionado

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Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken

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As mentioned in the “About” section of my blog, I am of Middle Eastern descent on my mother’s side. I enjoy the richness and the intense flavors of their cuisine. I love experimenting with food in my kitchen. Recently, I created this dish, made with Middle Eastern couscous, chicken thighs and some aromatic spices indigenous to the region. It is so delectable, it makes me want to do the belly dancing. Put on your apron, grab a glass of wine (if you drink) and follow me in Gina’s kitchen.

Serves: 6-8 as a main meal – Level of difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
12 chicken thighs skinless, bone-in
Olive oil – Follow recipe
2 tbsp. sumac + more
2 tsp. 7 spices *
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1 small red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups Middle Eastern couscous
32 oz. lower sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chickpeas, drained
1/2 red bell pepper cut in julienne
Flat leave parsley for garnish
16 oz. Greek 2% yogurt, sumac, olive oil to taste

Preparation:

1) Season the chicken with 3 tbsp. olive oil, sumac, 7 spices, salt and black pepper.  Let it marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

2) In a large Dutch pan, on medium-high to high heat,  cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil.  Sear the chicken,3 minutes on each side.  Be careful, as there will be some splattering.  Set aside. Do a second batch, and repeat. Set aside.
3) In the same pan, saute’ the onions for 2 minutes, garlic, 1 minute, add the tomato paste and stir until it caramelizes, another 2 minutes or so. Stir well.
4) Add the couscous, continue stirring for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth.  Layer all the chicken thighs on top, add chickpeas, bell peppers.
5) Bring to a boil. Lower the flame to med-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. It should come out nice and moist.  Garnish with parsley.
6) in a serving bowl, place the yogurt, sprinkle with sumac and olive oil to taste. Serve with the meal.

Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken
Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken

 

7 Spices
7 Spices
Couscous
Couscous

 

Greek yogurt, Sumac, olive oil
Greek yogurt, Sumac, olive oil

Cook’s notes:
1) The 7Spices contain, coriander, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and other spices as indicated on label.
2) The sumac and 7Spices can be found at Middle-Eastern/Arabic specialty stores.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe, and will attempt to make this delightful dish.

Recipe developed and created by: Foodiewinelover
Photos taken by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover

Gina Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Certified Wine Connoisseur
Culinary Aficionado & Lover of Global Cuisines

My Chicken Piccata

imageIf you are pressed for time,  all you need is about 20 minutes to make Chicken Piccata.  Piccata is a method of cooking. A thin sliced of chicken or veal is coated in flour, pan-fried and served with a sauce.  Veal Piccata originated in Italy but the chicken version is more popular in the United States. Chicken breast is commonly used to make this great dish. This recipe is perfect to add flavors to plain boring chicken breast. Today, I am sharing with you a very simple weeknight meal that is quick and delicious. Follow me in the kitchen.

Serves: 4 –  Degree of difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb. chicken cutlets (not paper thin)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3/4 cup of white wine, Chardonnay
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Lemon slices for garnish

    Preparation:1) Season chicken with salt and pepper. Drench in flour, and shake off the excess. Set aside.
    2) In a large skillet,  over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and butter. Pan fry the chicken for 3 minutes on one side. Flip the chicken, add capers, lemon, wine. Cover, and simmer for about 7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
    3) Serve over pasta. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

    Wine pairing suggestions: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Vernachia, Verdicchio, Vermentino.

    Happy Cooking!

    Gina/Foodiewinelover
    My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles

Chicken Cacciatore

I have been making this chicken dish for years, and my family always devours it. Cacciatore, means hunter-style in Italian.  You will need to allow a couple of hours from start to finish, as the sauce will have to simmer to obtain rich and deep flavors. Follow me in the kitchen, and let’s cook along, a hearty and satisfying meal.

Serves: 6-8 Level of difficulty: Medium

Ingredients: 

  • 5 lbs. whole chicken, cut up in eight pieces *
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1.1/2  red bell pepper, cut in julienne
  • 26 oz. chopped canned tomatoes
  • 32 oz. prepared tomato sauce, of your choice (no meat)
  • 1/4 cup water, if necessary
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 6 oz. portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. butter, to pan fry mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil to pan fry mushrooms
  • Parsley to garnish
  • 1.1/2  lbs. spaghetti or pasta of your choice

    Preparation:

    1) Season chicken with salt,  pepper, and oregano. In a large Dutch Oven,  on medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, and brown the chicken 4 minutes on one side, and 2 minutes on other side. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TASTE, THE CHICKEN IS STILL RAW ON THE INSIDE. Set aside. Add 2 tbsp. oil, and repeat another batch.

    2) Remove chicken and set aside.  Keep the flame on, saute’ onions, garlic, deglaze with wine, and scrape the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken back, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, if needed, sugar, salt and pepper, garlic powder.  Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

    3) Uncover, add the bell peppers, stir, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

    4) In the meanwhile, in a small frying pan, over medium high heat, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, and butter,  saute’ the mushrooms until they are nice and brown. Add mushrooms to the chicken. Simmer another 30 minutes, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.

    5) While the chicken is simmering, boil the water for your pasta, according to package directions. Drain, and plate the dish as seen on my photo. Garnish with the parsley.

    Sauteed mushrooms

    Chicken Cacciatore
    Tips: * if breasts are too big, cut them up in 2 each. Warning, sometimes, there may be small bones in the sauce. Please let your guests or loved ones know ahead of time.

    Wine pairing: Any italian red table wine, such as a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Chianti, or Rosso.  Keep it simple and inexpensive to complement the hunter’s style theme.

    Happy Simmering!

    From My Kitchen to Yours,

     Gina

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

With today’s busy lives, people are pressed for time, and need quick and easy recipes for weeknight meals. These Chicken Lettuce Wraps take no time, and are delightful. This is my creation, and I am happy to share my passion in the kitchen with all of you.

Serves: 4   Degree of difficulty: Easy

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  •  3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned water chestnut, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1.5 – 2 tbsp. Soy sauce, low sodium
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated, + more for garnish
  • Salt, optional
  • 1 head of bib, or butter lettuce leavesPreparation:  
  1. In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, heat oil, add onions, peppers, water chestnut, garlic, ginger. Saute’ for 5 -6 minutes, stir occasionally.
  2. Add chicken, stir fry for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, carrots, fry  while stirring for another 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (Do not attempt to taste unless you are certain chicken is cooked, and has an opaque color)
  3. Fill the lettuce with the chicken and serve with a peanut, soy or any sauce of your choice. Serve with brown or white rice on the side for a complete meal. Try this easy and delicious meal, and your family will appreciate your love for them, through your cooking.
    Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Happy Stir Frying from My Kitchen to Yours!

    Gina 
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Chicken & Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant

Chicken cutlets
Chicken Cutlets

San Marzano Tomatoes San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Eggplant & Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken & Eggplant Parmigiana
I know what you’re thinking!  Is she out of her mind to do all that work. Ok, I got some “splainin” to do. When I don’t cook during the weeknight, I feel like I let my family down, because they enjoy my cooking for the most part. I had class one day, and by the time I got home, I looked at the chicken cutlets, and said to myself, what am I going to do with them? I decided, I wasn’t going to cook, and order in. That’s what we did. The next day, I still had to come up with an idea for the chicken. I wanted to dress it up, and make up for not cooking the night before. I found an eggplant in my veggie bin, had plenty of eggs, olive oil, and seasoned breadcrumbs. The lightbulb went on in my head, how about making a Chicken & Eggplant Parmigiana combo. It was crazy but I had my mind-set on it. I normally make eggplant parm or chicken parm separately, but this time, I decided to combine them. This dish was a big hit, and when I saw the smile on my family’s face, I knew I had redeemed myself. I must admit, I was happy with the result. Of course, my kitchen was a mess, but it was worth all the work. I suggest you make this on the weekend when you have some time to spare, and I promise you, your family will adore you for it.

This is a recipe that I created in My Kitchen, and I’m excited to share it with all of you.

Serves: 4-6
Level of difficulty: Medium-difficult
Total time from start to finish: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ingredients: (1st set)

  • 1.25 – 1.5 lb. chicken cutlets (thinly sliced)
  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Lots of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Lots of extra virgin olive oil, or regular olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1) Season eggplant with salt and pepper, let it sit for at least 10-minutes. Dip the eggplant in eggs, then hold it for a second to remove any excess, drench in seasoned breadcrumbs. (always shake of excess) . Do it one at a time, (eggs, +breadcrumbs) Place them on a dish.  Time to pan-fry them.

2) On medium-high heat, cover the bottom of a large pan with olive oil, pan fry the eggplants in a single layer, 3 minutes on one side, and 3 minutes on the other side. Remove, and repeat the same method over.  It’s ok, if oil is a little dirty, add more oil, if necessary. Set the eggplant aside. If you feel like the burner is too hot, just lower the heat a little.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 large can of whole tomatoes, (San Marzano)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large basil leaf, torn
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup or so of extra virgin olive oil

    Preparation:

    1) In a medium-sized saucepan, on medium-high heat, heat up the oil, sauté the garlic for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, and crush them using a potato masher.  You can also use your hands to crush them before putting them in the pot. Drop the basil, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 15 minutes. While the sauce is simmering on low, you will be preparing the chicken.

    2) Season chicken with salt and pepper, dip in eggs, and seasoned breadcrumbs, set aside. In the meanwhile, clean up the pan you fried the eggplant in, (just drain old oil, and wipe clean with a paper towel. Start with some fresh olive oil. You will be using the same method as the eggplant. Pan fry for 2 minutes on one side, and 1 minute on other side. Do not taste the chicken at this point, as it may not be fully cooked. It will finish cooking in the oven. Work in batches, then repeat the same process over.

    3) By this time, the eggplant, the sauce and the chicken are ready to be assembled in a large casserole baking dish.  Spread some sauce on the bottom of dish,  arrange the chicken, (as much as you can fit) add some sauce, grated cheese, Mozzarella, layer with eggplant, and repeat. You may end up with an extra piece or two of chicken, just fit  them somewhere, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You are not building a house, LOL!  Finish with Mozzarella on top.

    4) Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for 15 minutes and broil for 5 minutes.

    Tip: Always make sure oil is hot before frying, otherwise, the eggplant will come out soggy and drenched in oil.

    I hope you will try this delicious dish. If you are on a budget, you do not have to use expensive brands. Any canned tomatoes will do the job, and some regular parmesan cheese. If fresh mozzarella is too expensive, just use the packaged ones.

    Pairing suggestions: A lovely Chianti, Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile, or a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. You can find the last one reasonably priced.  They are all Italian wines, as I like to pair the cuisine and the wines from the same country together. Sometimes, it can even be broken down by region, especially in Italian cooking,  where many dishes are very regional.  Ideally, you would pair the dish with a wine from the same region.

    Buon Appetito!

    Gina, from Foodiewinelover

Grilled Chicken With Q-It Up Seasoning

Grilled Chicken with Q-It Up Seasoning

Grilled Chicken with QitUpSeasoning

 

BBQ Chicken with Q-It Up Seasoning

Recently, I purchased a variety of spices because I like experimenting in my kitchen.  I love to support small businesses like Kouzounas Kitchen, I know how much the owner, Krystina pours her heart and soul into her products. Her spices are very fragrant with intense flavors, and the best part about them, they are organic.  I used the Q-It Up Seasoning on chicken thighs, and they came out finger licking good on the grill.

Serves 4-6 Level of Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients: 

  • 2 packages of chicken thighs, skinless, bone-in (about 4 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Q-It Up Seasoning Rub
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation:

    1) Season the chicken with salt & pepper on both sides. Place in a large bowl,  add the Q-It Up Seasoning, olive oil, and lemon juice. Rub it all over the chicken, and let it marinate for at least two to three hours in the fridge. Take it out 30 minutes prior to grilling to bring it to room temperature. This way, the chicken will cook evenly.

    2) Pre-heat the BBQ grill on medium high, arrange the chicken in a single layer and cover. Cook on one side for 10-12 minutes, turn them, lower the heat, cover and cook other side for another 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  It is recommended to fully cook poultry until it reaches 165 degree F. temperature for safe consumption.

Q-it up Seasoning is made of a splendid combination of spices including Cinnamon, and smoke flavoring.  Please visit KouzounasKitchen to check out her lovely assortment of  spices. I also recommend the Herbes de Provence, and the Mediterranean Seafood Rub.

These opinions are mine, and based on my own experiences. I would never do a review on a product that I did not believe in.  I hope you will give them a try.

Happy Grilling From Gina’s Backyard to Yours!