Poultry

Escarole and Orzo Soup

Escarole and Orzo Soup

Adapted from Bon Apetit, February 2003

Author Note:

I read the reviews on this soup and many people said to double the turkey meatballs, which I totally agree.  I didn’t have escarole so I used kale.  I think spinach and chard would work great in this soup.  If you don’t have orzo pasta, you can substitute any small shaped pasta.

1 large egg

2 Tbsp water

1/4 cup dried plain breadcrumbs

12 oz lean ground turkey

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese+ additional cheese for serving

2 Tbsp chopped italian parsley

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

8 cups (or more) low salt chicken broth

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup orzo (rice shaped pasta)

4 cups escarole, coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk egg and water.  Mix breadcrumbs and let it stand for  minutes.  Add turkey, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, black pepper; mix until it’s blended.  Using wet hands, shape the turkey mixture into  1 1/4 inch diameter balls.  Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate (chill) for 30 minutes.

Boil  cups chicken broth in a large pot.  Add the chopped carrots and orzo; reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 8 minutes.  Add the turkey meatballs and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the chopped escarole and simmer until meatballs, orzo, and escarole; about 5 minutes.  Season soup to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle more cheese on top (if using).   (Can be made 2 hours ahead.  Rewarm over medium heat, thinning with more broth if desired.)

Best Meatballs

I love Giada and I love meatballs.  Typically Italian meatballs are made with beef, pork, and veal, but Giada’s twist on meatballs is  healthier.  This recipe is great way to introduce your family to turkey meat and is a perfect weeknight night dinner.

Turkey Meatballs

Adapted from Giada De Laurnetiis, Everyday Italian

1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs

1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp whole milk

3/4 cup romano cheese, grated

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1 Ib ground turkey (preferably dark meat)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

5 cups marinara sauce

In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs, parsley,eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of romano cheese, salt and pepper  Add the turkey and gently mix the ingredients to together.  Do not over mix.  Form the meat mixture into bite size balls.

In large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the meatballs and cook without moving the meatballs until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes each side.  continue to cook all the meatballs, then add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the meatballs into serving bowls and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Place cooked pasta into the pan with the remaining sauce and toss together.  Transfer the pasta into separate large bowls, and serve with the , meatballs.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken + Broccoli Slaw

I normally don’t post on Sunday’s, but for some reason I have the need  to.  I  think im addicted WordPress.  Some people are addicted to Facebook, but I on the other hand is addicted to my blog.  You can’t blame me though.  My blog is my baby.  I love writing and cooking; it’s therapeutic for me.  Blogging never feels like work for me, even if I struggle writing a post….it’s still fun.

Also, I normally don’t write two recipes in one post.  I suppose I’m feeling excited about this recipe that it couldn’t wait till next week.  You can’t have barbecue pulled chicken without broccoli slaw and vice versa.  So, it’s only right to do a 2 in 1 post (2 recipes in 1 post).

About a week ago, my mother brought over bag of broccoli slaw.  I guess when she saw the broccoli slaw at the store, she thought I could come up with something….which is true.  Immediately I started scheming on the possible ways of using this slaw.  I thought sautéing it with garlic and pepper flakes.  Instead I decided turn the broccoli into a classic well know dish, cole slaw.

I wasn’t sure how the broccoli would taste with the dressing, but it was a chance I was willing to take.  Surprisingly, the broccoli slaw tasted amazing.  The great thing about this slaw is that it doesn’t get soggy.  I had left overs stored overnight and the next day it tasted great.  This is another great side dish to get your picky eaters to eat broccoli.  Trust me, they won’t know what hit them.

Along with the broccoli slaw, I made barbecue pulled chicken.  My family didn’t do anything special on Memorial’s Day, so this was a great excuse to make barbecue pulled chicken.  The past couple years we haven’t barbecue for some reason.  Usually the big holidays or hot summers we would barbecue by the pool.  But honestly, I don’t feel like standing next to a grill and smell like smoke.  It’s too much work.  Ever since I bought an indoor grilled, I probably haven’t felt the need to grill outside.  Though you can’t beat the taste of smoked wood chips.

Author Note:

I took a short cut for the barbecue pulled chicken.  Instead of browning and slow cooking the chicken, I roasted my boned-in chicken thighs in the oven.  Then I shredded the chicken and added to the barbecue sauce in large pan to simmer.  Whatever method you use, it should turn out great.

For the broccoli slaw, you can substitute the broccoli for shredded cabbage.  I’ve made cabbage slaw before using the same recipe and it came out great.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Adapted from EatLiveRun

1 and 1/2 Ib’s skinned and deboned chicken thighs

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup ketchup

1/4 dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 Tbsp yellow mustard

1 tsp red ground pepper

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in large pan and brown chicken thighs 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat and place in a slow cooker.

Combine ketchup and the remaining ingredients.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.  Reduce heat to low, and cook five to six hours.

Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred in to a large bowl.  Add the shredded chicken into the barbecue sauce and stir.

Serve the barbecue chicken over buns, salad, or cole slaw.

Broccoli Slaw

Adapted from Aaron McCargo Jr.

1 (16 oz) package shredded broccoli slaw mix (or shredded cabbage mix)

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 green onion, thinnly sliced

1 red jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp sour cream

2 Tbsp white vinegar

2 Tbsp sugar

several dashes hot sauce

1/2 tsp black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp celery salt

pinch kosher salt

In a large bowl, mix all the slaw ingredients.  Allow to sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving (I served mines immediately).

Chicken Tikka Masala

I remember the first time I had indian food.  My friend took me to the mall and there I had my first plate of indian curry. My friend ordered for me because the menu looked foreign to me.  I had no clue what I was eating, but I dove in and I was in love.  Chicken tikka masala tasted unlike anything I ever tasted before.  It’s spicy, rich, and full of complex flavors.  I think that was the first time I fell in love with spicy food.

Since there aren’t any good Indian restaurant in my area, I thought I try to recreate chicken tikka masala.  I’ve made this a couple of times but I think I finally nailed this recipe.  This may not be the authentic way of making chicken tikka masala, but it does satisfy my Indian food craving.  To be honest, I prefer this recipe over any other Indian restaurant.  It’s comforting and defiantly hits the spot.

Author Note:

The key ingredient in this dish is the garam masala, which is an indian spice blend.  Garam masala is sometimes difficult to find in some stores, so you can try ordering it online or make your own spice blend.  I bought mines at an Indian food market.

In chicken tikka masala, the chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices before being cooked.  I’ve marinated the chicken before, but I left that step out because I never have enough time or never plan ahead when I make this.  So instead, I skip the marinating process.

Chicken Tikka Masala

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

half of jalapeño chopped (about 1-2 tablespoon)

1 inch ginger root, peeled and chopped

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

2-4 tsp garam masala

2 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1/2-1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup half and half

3-4 chicken breast or 6-7 chicken thighs

fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

The chicken:

Line a baking dish with foil.  Season chicken with salt and black pepper.  Place the chicken under the broiler and cook until the chicken is cooked through.  Once the chicken is cook, rest for 10 minutes before chopping.

The masala:

In a large pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter on medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño pepper.  Cook until they are soft.  Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, garm masala.  Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.  You want the spices to toast a bit, but not burn.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the curry mixture into a blender and carefully blend until smooth.  Pour the blended mixture back into the pan and add 4 Tbsp of butter and salt.  Cook on low heat for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.  Stir in the half and half and chopped chicken.

Serve the chicken tikka masala over basmati rice and top with cilantro.