Chicken Breast in Marinade with Cheese, A Dream Come True

You probably figured it out already…For the past several weeks, I’ve been craving chicken and everything there is to do with chicken. Yesterday, I’ve browsed the depths of the Internet in order to find the best marinade there is. I am absolutely positive about the existence of such a recipe. And of course, I’ve achieved the best result possible – I have found, the tastiest one yet! After you marinade, you have several options – either to make it on a grill or in the oven. My choice fell upon the latter. But, knowing myself pretty well, I could not leave it just sitting in the oven without any perks added to it. I wanted for this recipe to evolve, to take in some new colors, to look different and become even more delightful. What is the fastest way to improve a recipe? If you ask me, my advice is to cover your dish in cheese. I am a cheese nut! Actually, this whole past week I have been eating nothing but macaroni and cheese! And I cannot get enough of it. Oh, and of course my favorite, avocado with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt. What I admire about avocado is that after finishing the meal, your stomach does not feel  overwhelmed, even when you absolutely have to eat past 6 pm…. You see, I am so devoured by avocado, I even forgot I am writing about something totally different….So, enough about avocado. Cheese. The best thing about cheese is you can take any kind and melt it, your supper will be good anyway. So, lets dive together in this never ending world of cheese, chicken and the time saving marinade. Gratitude to the one who came up with the idea to marinade chicken using these specific ingredients!

Ingredients:

2 kg chicken breast, 5 table spoons of honey, 2.5 tea spoons of paprika, a handful of fresh basil cut nicely, 4 table spoons of olive oil, juice from one lemon, 7 cloves of garlic, black pepper.

The Works:

A 4 step cooking process, and yes, I am telling the truth here….

1. Slice the chicken into medium cubes.

2. Chop the basil and the garlic, mix all the ingredients together with the chicken which you should have put into a bowl or a saucepan by now.

3. Mix everything together well. My advice is to use your hands, that way you’ll get to a better result.

4. Close your bowl with a lid. Put into the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Before covering it with cheese and sending it off into the oven (25-30 minutes), make sure you put in salt.

Quick and easy steps, no time wasted! I personally called this recipe: NO TIME TO WASTE FOR A GREAT TASTE!

Enjoy!

And, the mighty process….

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Something New: Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts Recipe…

Today I went bananza…The urge was for something new, a dish I have never tried before in my life. I think it comes from my desire for creativity…but, who knows…

I remembered that there was a book given to me on this New Years by my boyfriend’s mom. I found it pretty quickly and began wondering what to prepare for dinner. Everything looked so delicious and quite easy to make. One particular recipe caught my eye, Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts. Must be honest with you, I am not such a fan of Chicken Hearts, but there is always a first time for everything. I even thought to design my own variation of this recipe, I searched over the almighty Internet in order to stumble upon a better course of action to withstand. On the other hand, there was no need.

I began reading. Simplicity has always been one of my best friends. I glanced over the recipe once more and made a decision. Today will be  Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts Day. No hesitation, no uncertainty! Plus, since my boyfriend seems to somewhat complain a little about me escaping to cook  meals from all those culinary books sitting on my shelf, I have decided to surrender this time.

Although this recipe is supposed to be assembled and prepared in a pot and thrown gracefully into the oven, I have thought of a new manner for its preparation. I have used a saucepan instead. The decision has materialized from quite simple of a reality: I don’t have a pot. (*This one will be on my Santa list next year) It just may be that making this meal in a pot would spin its taste, turn it into a juicy and refreshing delight, but it just means I would have room for improvement next time.

So, without any further adieu, I am proudly presenting BuckWheat and Chicken Hearts to you.

Ingredients:

Buckwheat 2 cups, chicken hearts – 500 gr, red and yellow peppers 3.5, onion – 1.5, garlic – 3 medium cloves, mushrooms -about 150 gr, chicken stock – 1 cup, butter 50 gr, celery – 2 sticks, salt, pepper.

The Works:

Chicken Hearts in Buckwheat

Chicken Hearts in Buckwheat

My advice: prepare chicken stock before you actually start cooking the dish. I just poured small amount of water into a smaller saucepan, boiled it and added chicken broth cubes to make it faster. Let it sit for a bit, then start chopping and slicing the vegetables. Chop the onion into cubes, slice peppers and garlic. Don’t forget about mushrooms, these guys also require some attention from your side! While chopping, get your buckwheat out. Prepare it separately from all other components. You can use THE SAUCEPAN you will use for your further cooking. Since you have a lot of matters happening in your kitchen, why not start working on chicken hearts as well? Fry them separately also in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Done with that? Perfect! Throw celery and onion together into the oil you have left from the chicken hearts. Fry. After come the peppers and the mushrooms, fry them as well. * By the way, buckwheat should be all done by that time, chilling somewhere in your kitchen in a saucepan, which makes you free to throw all the cooked vegetables into it, once they are done. From my own experience, buckwheat should not take a lot of time cooking, about 16 minutes. I always time myself.

Mix all the vegetables and the chicken hearts with the buckwheat. After comes the interesting part, pour in a cup of chicken broth and add some butter. Mix and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The last step afterwards would be to put it on your stove, very small fire, for another 5-7 minutes. Ready to serve!

The Book that Made It All Possible

The Book that Made It All Possible

Congrats!!! You are the Champion!

Feedback: The reality is, it comes straight with garnish, so you don’t have to spend more time thinking about a good partner for what you have already prepared!

Fast, Simple Chicken in the oven

Just when it seems you have trouble figuring out what to prepare for dinner so that your loved ones would smile and their stomachs say big thanks to THE COOK of the house, think about chicken. It might be the simplest idea for you. I counted the time it took for me to get it all done – about 15 minutes for sauce and about 30 minutes in the oven. The latter does not really count because when it is already in the oven, you still have your freedom to do anything you desire.

Actually, this recipe not only frees you in terms of time, it makes your eyes wonder. I am emphasizing on the colors of this recipe. You got it all: Red, purple, even black…It really does surprise you. So we’ve established with the shades intensity, but just wait for this recipe’s ingredients. Since my first encounter with this recipe I have formed a very firm conclusion that the founder of this spellbinding cooking chemistry must possess a gift of high passion for creativity. And, if you are like me, you will discover it on the same level, if not more.

What I am talking about here is apricot jam as an ingredient. Of course, this is an element of surprise! Just think, how can you mix salty, spicy, and sweet components all together?! For me, it was an eye-opener. The thing is, it does not interfere with the taste. Quite on the contrary, it enhances it, transforms and revolutionizes it, reinforcing your appetite,  turning it into something you just are so eager and for and crave to try. Just wait and see, I am assured, it will be the same for you!

Ingredients:

1.5 kg of chicken, 5 cloves of garlic, 4 table spoons of ketchup, some Tabasco sauce, 1 cup of soy sauce, 4 table spoons of sweet chili sauce and 1 cup of apricot jam

The Works:

My Dear readers, to make it easier for you to follow my recipes, I have come to a conclusion to make some twists and innovations and put numbers prior to any action done in the recipe. Enjoy!

1. Get a baking form and put all of your chicken into it.

2. Preheat the oven up to 200 degrees C.

3. For the sauce: Take a small saucepan, mix in it all the components including diced garlic, ketchup, Tabasco, soy, sweet chili sauce, and the jam.

4. Put the mixture on the stove and stir for several minutes until the jam melts.

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Just like that!

Just like that!

5. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Chicken covered in sauce

Chicken covered in sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Put the dish in the oven for 30 minutes.

Look you have prepared it all yourself, ENJOY!

PS: Any garnish will do.

 

The meaning of BreakFAST or Sandwiches + Toasts + Avocado = Perfection

BreakFAST! Even its own name hints on the most important meal of the day to be simple and fast. Simplicity lots of times leads to perfection. Unfortunatelly, nowadays, the word “fast” is often associated with Fastfood. It does not have to be this way. I declare that even meals that do not require a lot of time from you, have to become healthy masterpieces. So what if here we are talking about piecies of bread? It is still healthier than eating some pie from some fastfood place in the morning. I hope many of you here wll nod in agreement.

On that note, I am proudly presenting to you these small, not at all time consuming sandwiches and toasts that I made today to spoil myself and my beloved!  It was worth every minute spent!

For toasts: Take an egg, pour in some milk (pretend that you are making an omlet), add some salt. Mix together. Take 3 pieces of sliced bread, baithe them in the mixture. Preheat your fruing pan (Yay, I actually used a grill), put your little breads on the frying pan, fry from both sides. And, they are done! Congrats you nailed them! Simple, huh?

Hello, we are grilled toasts

Hello, we are grilled toasts

At this point you can go crazy and add anything that you like to them, I used some ham and cheese…simplicity again! 

20131204_104318 (1)For sandwiches:  Take some bread, get anything you want on it! Yes, I used humus (I fell in love with it here, they actually add some tasty stuff to come with it – spices, for example). After comes the ham, again, any ham your stomach will celebrate from! And you don’t have to stop there…I covered the ham in a special eggplant and mayo cream (not a lot, though)…Yummmmmmm!

Oh, and avocado! How could I forget?! Just slice it into small pieces. Cover it with a good quality olive oil and salt.

Come, your breakfast is ready!

To let your stomachs celebrate even further:

Turns out, you can have a rainbow in your own home – Braised Vegetables.

I knew we are going to have barbecue this weekend. I will let you know how it all turned out afterwards. I also knew that I did not want any heavy garnish to go with the barbecue. Besides, we have already had a full load of macaroni, potatoes (fried ones, boiled ones…any kind), hence my strong desire for changes. And yes, after looking at those mind-blowing kitchen pictures yesterday, I honorably declared: “I want diversity!”  It appears that those photos did their work, they did inspire me to get more colors into my life.

Plus, with all that meat lying on a plate, you would want something light as a garnish, no? Not one of us would fancy a phrase: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!” A balance is required in everything. And, the amazing thing is, if you don’t want to eat it with anything else, just enjoy it as it is! So, I wish to say “Gratitude” to those who came up with such a simple recipe –  Braised Veggies. My own version of a French creation – Ratatouille! The thing is, you can just open your fridge and start visualizing how your garnish becomes a reality. It is really of no relevance what you throw in, virtually everything combines together when you talk about vegetables.

Here’s how its done: As I said before, I just went up to my fridge, looked closely and, oh Heavens, I found all the colors I needed. Those bright large peppers (red, yellow, green), onions, tomatoes, parsley, cabbage, garlic, carrots, squash, eggplants…and even broccoli – take pairs, this way you will certainly know you have enough for everyone in your dearest family! Well, maybe cut down a little on the eggplant (totally depends on its size)

I grabbed all, and began dicing, slicing and yes, frying. (Some of them, like eggplants and squash) *But remember that guys like squash and eggplant need to be added last, as they have a tendency to become soft real fast. So, you don’t even have to fry them for a long time. Everything I took, I sliced in large pieces, let the rainbow of colors show in full power! *Every time you put something in a saucepan, or if you want to go all fancy – a wok, remember to add gradually, letting each of the vegetables to take in the juice for several minutes and stir before you add another one. The order is this: Cabbage, onions, carrots, our favorites of all time – colorful large peppers, broccoli (I had frozen, so it needed more time to cook), tomatoes, and…after I waited for about half hour – 40 minutes with all that stirring and mixing, I finally added the eggplants (or an eggplant), and squashes. I took all the strength I got left and mixed those guys together!

Here’s a little secret, for I did not want it to become dry like when walking in a desert, I actually made a sauce for them.

Sauce:  Sour cream (or flour in water), water, pressed garlic (about 5 large cloves or the way you like it) mixed together well. Pour the sauce into the pan, cover with a lid and wait for some magic to happen for about 5 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper, decorate!

The Lesson: Mood elevated, light food prepared (despite the sour cream, as I didn’t add a lot of it), diversity achieved!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Want even more diversity in your food:

Welcome to my childhood – Chicken today!

Do you remember when your mommy would give you a bowl of hot chicken soup everytime you were cold, or worse, got sick? I do. For me, this bowl of soup was a symbol of her warmth, her care, her love. One of the many…So, cooking this soup today brought all the memories back. And though, I am not a mommy myself (for now), I am sure I will teach my kids how to prepare it someday (one of my colorfull dreams)

I recall the smile on my face everytime I put a spoon of this soup in my mouth. Priceless…I always liked the green stuff (parsley, green onions) swimming inside it. Made me the hapiest kid in the world…

* I gotta say that I let myself distort the original recipe a little bit, I added mushrooms. Let you know how it tastes. According to my loving boyfriend, pretty darn good!

You know you want it!

You know you want it!

 

 

To share it with you in practice and not just in words, here it is, one of my family traditions, right from the heart:

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Chicken – 500 g (preferably chiken breast), carrots – 2-3, onion-1 – 1.5, mushrooms – 6-7 small ones, chicken stock cubes or powder (3-4 table spoons), macaroni (those very thin, small ones you usually would use for soups) – a handful, parsley, pepper, salt, garlic – 4 cloves.

The Works:

Dice the onions, carrots, and slice the mushrooms. Prepare a frying pan. First fry the onions, see when they change color, then add the carrots. Mix together and wait about 3 minutes. Prepare for the next step. Fry the mushrooms separately, also for about 3 minutes. *Needless to say that while you are working hard on frying all these, it is important to also see that your chicken is enjoying boiling water in a saucepan. Take out the chicken.  Now see, you got the chicken stock from all that chicken in the water…Yes. you can cheat a little and add stock cubes as well, it will only bring out the flavor.

Throw in the macaroni, and all the veggies . Wait for about 10 minutes. Now, so you won’t waste any of your precious time, get to slicing the chicken (it does not have to be a work of art. don’t worry!)  So, when the slicing is done, you can immediately thow it into the soup. Again, be patient, you have to wait a little. While waiting, prepare your parsley for throw in. And, of course, the garlic. Add them in last, wait while garlic shares its flavor with the others (just for about 2 minutes), and turn the whole thing off.

Congratulations! You have prepared the soup of my childhood! Welcome to my Childhood!

I really want you to dive in!

Thanks for reading!

Want to experiment with chicken soup further, these look good to me too:

Guacamole – A great way to start a day.

Guacamole

Simply Unforgettable

Morning again…I come to the fridge, and, as some of you can understand, suddenly I see that I am missing butter for my toast. What to do, I ask myself? You always say you are a creative person, so IT IS TIME TO BE CREATIVE! Show your creativity in the real world!

I turn around, and I notice an avocado. It’s just there…It wants to be found…I have a feeling that it is even looking back at me. There it is! I found a solution to the problem! Make a nice Guacamole, I say to myself. It would be a great way to start a day. And no, I am not turning all Mexican on you, just trying to spice it up a little. I am sure there is nothing wrong with that!

So, my  hands grab the avocado, and get to work incredibly fast…I have to say, there is nothing that is easier, than making a Guacamole! And the amount that is left afterwards is enormous, so you can use it for the whole week…Freeze it if you want and save it for later! Guests, for example…Surprise them, by saying: “He hecho Guacamole sólo para ti…” Ok, ok, maybe my Spanish is not so good, but what can’t you do today in the age of technology=)))) So, blame the tech, if needed, but not me=)))

Ingredients:

half an onion, 2 avocados, coriander leaves – a handful, ground chili- 1/2 teaspoon, salt – 1 teaspoon,  red tomatoes – 250 gr, lemon juice 5 ml.

The Works:

Dice the onion into small cubes, put what you got into a bowl and mix together with coriander leaves and salt. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes as well. Turn to avocados, cut them in half, get the nucleus out, work only with thee green soft stuff – the pulp, if you will.

Work with a fork, smash the pulp together in a bowl and add lemon juice later on. Invite in your tomatoes and onion mixture. Then, add ground chili and mix.

And now, it is time to be even more creative. Remember I told you to cut avocado in half? Yes, well, don’t throw away the halves. You can actually put Guacamole inside those and decorate it all with a piece of lemon on top. Serve up!

Of course, there are variations of this particular dish, but it is the one that I find easiest to make. Not only that, it is also very delicious! Agree?

Whether you put it on regular bread, or make a delightful tortilla’s dinner, it does not matter…Part of you will always feel Mexican afterwards=)