Spicy Honey – Brushed Chicken Thighs

Start to finish 20 minutes. Can you believe that? Well, believe it. This delicious recipe from Cooking Light by way of Confections of a Foodie Bride is perfect for a weeknight meal. This simple preparation results in a spicy – sweet and juicy chicken with a slight crust that pairs perfectly with some right and steamed veggies.


Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Chile Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 8 Chicken Thighs, boneless – skinless
  • Cooking Spray
  • 6 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle on both sides of chicken thighs, coating well.
  3. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, microwave for 15 seconds, and stir well.
  5. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/2 the honey-cider mixture onto the chicken.
  6. Broil 2 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and turn over.
  7. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 2 additional minutes or until chicken is done.

Creole Crab Cakes – Served Two Ways

I’m so glad that I found this recipe from the Project Foodie blog when planning my recent Mardi Gras Feast. The resulting crab cakes were slightly spicy, but without too much filler and kept the crab meat as the star of the show. The recipe below makes about 6 large cakes. I recommend serving it with my Red Pepper Remoulade.

Oh, and those “two ways” I mentioned in the title?


As appetizer or light lunch …


Or on a fresh roll as a sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound best-quality lump crab meat (not pasteurized)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pure chile powder (like ancho, New Mexico, or chipotle)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Creole (or whole-grain) mustard
  • Several dashes of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 scallion (white and green parts), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed

Directions:

  1. Place the crab meat in a large mixing bowl and carefully pick through for shells, then set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, garlic, salt, chile powder, black pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the crab, the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, scallion, parsley, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the bread crumbs to the vegetable mixture. Using your hands, gently combine the ingredients.
  4. Using a 1-cup measuring cup, form the mixture into cakes, packing gently; they should look like hockey pucks, about 2 inches thick with straight sides. Cover the cakes and chill for 20 to 30 minutes, or overnight.
  5. When you are ready to cook the crab cakes, place the remaining ½ cup bread crumbs in a pie tin. Dredge both sides of each cake in the crumbs, shaking off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the crab cakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan-fry in batches if necessary, adding more oil if needed. Serve immediately, with Jalapeño Remoulade.

Kung Pao Chicken

Who doesn’t love Chinese take-out? If you don’t, you should try it again, because it’s good, real good. Here’s the problem though: It’s not always that healthy. I mean, what I love about it, is what makes my pants tighter than I would like. So, I love when I can find Chinese recipes that are so tasty that I don’t wish I would have just caved and called Emperor’s Kitchen, our favorite local place.

This recipe from Elizabeth’s Edibles, is a great adaptation of a Cooking Light recipe that I’m very glad I found. It combines lean, juicy chicken pieces, with crunchy veggies, and a slightly spicy savory sauce. I would suggest serving over rice, as it soaks up a ton of flavor, but pasta would be good if that’s what you have.


Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Dark Sesame oil
  • 1 cup Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3 Tbsp Lower-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Ginger, fresh, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup Snow Peas, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted, Dry-Roasted Peanuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Being careful not to let it burn. Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.
  2. Combine ¾ cup water and the next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper) in a liquid measuring cup, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. Sprinkle with nuts.
  3. Serve over brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Spicy Asian Chicken Ramen

People seem to have a misconception that I require every meal I make to have 10,000 ingredients and steps and be super fancified all of the time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m like any other working mom who gets overwhelmed and stressed out, and needs more than a few quick and tasty recipes in their repertoire. This recipe from What’s Cookin, Chicago?, is one of those recipes and I can guarantee it will make a repeat performance.

First off, you’ll usually have all of the ingredients in your pantry, and, if you have to go out and buy one of the ingredients, like the mirin, it will last and last until you make the next batch, and the next, and the next. Next, could ramen noodles be any cheaper? What are they up to now, like $0.38 a pack? Yeah, I think, even in a recession, we can all afford that. Finally, you can adjust the ingredients to your dietary needs, and it will be just as delicious. Worried about the spice? Cut down the Sriracha, or even leave it out. Don’t eat meat? Use vegetable stock and omit the chicken. Heck, maybe even throw in some thinly sliced mushrooms. The point is, this recipe is a great go-to for a quick weeknight meal, maybe with a side of edamame and sushi, or a super jumping off point to create your own deliciousness in a bowl.


Ingredients:

  • 8 cups Chicken Broth, low sodium
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha, Asian chili garlic sauce (or to taste depending on your preferred spice/heat level)
  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced thinly and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2, 3 oz., Packages of Ramen Noodles
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper, julienned and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 Scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves, minced
  • 4 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes for Garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring broth, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and chili garlic sauce (if using) to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the cut up chicken breasts to the pot and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  2. Open the packages of ramen noodles and discard the seasoning packet included. Place the dried ramen noodles into the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re just about cooked, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the scallions and cilantro and serve in bowls. Garnish each bowl additional fresh cilantro leaves and a drizzle of 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. If you like things on the spicy side, sprinkle a few red pepper flakes for garnish too!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Horseradish Sauce

I heard numerous raves on this recipe from Ina Garten, and after trying it a few nights ago, I can understand why. The shrimp have a delicious flavor, and aren’t rubbery or water logged like traditional shrimp cocktails. The sauce starts from a bottle, but is given extra zip and flavor with a few simple additions.


Ingredients:

Roasted Shrimp:

  • 2 pounds (12 to 15-count) Shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground

Horseradish Sauce:

  • ½ cup Chili Sauce (recommended: Heinz)
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp Prepared Horseradish
  • Juice of ½ a Lemon
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco

Directions:

Roasted Shrimp:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Horseradish Sauce:

  1. For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.

Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas

I’m down to 2 magazines, Bon Appétit and Food Network. This is big. I was recently subscribing to 5, but I cancelled InStyle, Clean Eating and Real Simple. There wasn’t anything wrong with those magazines; I just looked around one day and realized I was drowning in stacks and stacks of issues from previous months. It was more business than pleasure.

This recipe is from the latest issue of Food Network Magazine. We loved it. It was savory, spicy, sweet (hey, that reminds me of a blog I know …) Anyways, we really enjoyed it, and I particularly enjoyed that the chicken had a ton of flavor without a lot of extra fat or calories from breading and frying before tossing the chicken with the sauce.

Oh, by the way, in the spirit of full disclosure, I get Martha Stewart Living too, but I don’t pay for it, so it doesn’t count. Not that I steal it from the neighbor or anything, it was a promotional subscription.

Ingredients:

  • 5 Tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 4 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 ¼ pounds skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 6 tsp Canola Oil
  • 2 Scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 4 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Chile Paste
  • 4 cups Snow Peas, trimmed
  • 2 cups Cooked Brown Rice, for serving (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp toasted Sesame Seeds

Directions:

  1. Whisk 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and the honey in a bowl. Toss in the chicken and marinate 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade using a slotted spoon. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in 2 batches; turning once or twice, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes (add 2 more teaspoons canola oil between batches). Transfer the chicken to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil in the skillet. Add the scallions, reserving some of the green parts for topping. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk the broth, sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, chili paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl; add to the skillet and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the snow peas in a steamer basket set over a few inches of boiling water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken to the skillet with the sauce and heat through. Serve the chicken and snow peas over brown rice, if desired. Top with the sesame seeds and reserved scallion greens.

 

Servings – 4

WW Points – 9 pts per serving

Italian Spiced Chicken Bites

These were based off of the Spiced Chicken Bites we enjoyed last weekend. Since we were having these with pizza, I wanted to give them an Italian spin. I think they were a total success, with a nice spicy kick from the crushed red pepper. Serve them with your favorite ranch dressing for a great appetizer (Hello, football season is just around the corner), or over a tossed green salad for lunch or dinner.


Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into roughly 1″ cubes
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Panko Italian Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cup Plain Bread Crumbs

Directions:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken wings.
  2. In a bowl combine garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and olive oil in a bowl. Sprinkle over the chicken wings and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. After the wings have marinated, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Mix panko and plain dry bread crumbs in a bowl. Press marinated wings into the bread crumbs to coat completely.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and bread crumbs are golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

 

Servings – 6

WW Points – 5 pts per serving