Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs with Prunes and Onions

Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs with Prunes and Onions in Marsala Orange Sauce at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

On a busy winter’s night, we’re all looking for easy to cook up dishes that are also delicious and healthy. This chicken recipe from the National Chicken Council fits the bill. Not only is their Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs with Prunes and Onions recipe a one pot meal and a breeze to clean up, it’s made even easier by needing the minimal amount of prep work. No need to chop up onions when you can use frozen pearl onions. And no need to slice up chicken when you can use thighs and drumsticks from the grocery store. Really the only thing you’re cutting up here is the orange!

Here are a few tips to make preparing Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs with Prunes and Onions a snap:

  • You can substitute Marsala cooking wine for Marsala wine if you already have a bottle in your pantry. Since cooking wine has added salt, cut the salt in the recipe below to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • To health this up a bit, you can substitute chicken breasts (bone in with skin on) for the thighs and/or drumsticks. Remove the skin before serving.
  • Serve this dish over brown rice, couscous, or quinoa.

For more recipes from the National Chicken Council, go to eatchicken.com.

Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs with Prunes and Onions in Marsala Orange Sauce at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs with Prunes and Onions in Marsala Orange Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 orange, peeled and juiced
  • 3/4 cup pitted prunes
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt butter with the olive oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle all sides of chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add to pan, skin side down, and sauté until well browned, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove chicken pieces and set aside.
  2. Return pan and heat over medium heat. Add onions and sauté, tossing occasionally, until well browned, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add Marsala wine, stock, and orange juice to pan, bring to a boil and reduce liquid by half. Add prunes, bay leaves, and orange peel to pan. Return chicken and any accumulated juices. Cover and reduce heat.
  4. Cook chicken for about 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 170 degrees F.
  5. Remove bay and orange peel before serving. Serve chicken pieces with pan juices, prunes and onions spooned over.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
  • Serving size: 1 drumstick and 1 thigh per person
  • Calories: 490
  • Total Fat: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 7g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Sugar: 21g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 31g

Picture and recipe used with permission.

Healthy Gluten Free Leftover Enchiladas

Leftover Enchiladas from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Got leftovers? This recipe works great with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, leftover pork from my Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos, leftover chicken or even some shredded beef – whatever you have on hand including a combination of two or more meats if you’re adventurous.

Believe it or not, I never made enchiladas before! Not a problem, as this leftover enchilada recipe was easy to make. I even made my own enchilada sauce from scratch using Emeril Lagasse’s Easy Enchilada Sauce recipe. (I substituted all purpose gluten free flour mix for the flour.) If you're using store bought, check the ingredients to make sure it's gluten free. To keep my leftover enchiladas on the healthy side, I kept the cheese to a minimum, too - just 1 cup total. I also used corn tortillas to make sure it was gluten free as well.

And the verdict from the family? Two thumbs up and no complaints about the lack of cheese! I liked it so much I even ate it for breakfast with a fried egg on top!

Leftover Enchiladas with an egg on top from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

My Leftover Enchiladas recipe is for a double batch – one to eat now and one to freeze for later. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you wish and use the half the can of corn and tomatoes in chili or soup.

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Leftover Enchiladas from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Healthy Gluten Free Leftover Enchiladas

Inspired by Grandma Kim’s Best Ever Healthy Chicken Enchiladas at Pretty Providence

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded turkey, pork, chicken, or beef
  • 3 cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 26-30 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Directions

  1. Place shredded meat, 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, corn, and diced tomatoes in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Spray two 9 × 13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. Fill tortillas with about 2 generous tablespoons of filling , roll up, and place in pan. (You’ll need to have two enchiladas per horizontal row.) When you’ve used up half the tortillas, start on the second pan. If tortillas break, patch with an extra tortilla if you wish, but don’t worry about it.
  4. If you have leftover filling, add remaining 1 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to it. Then pour half the sauce over one pan, then the remaining enchilada sauce over the other dish.
  5. Lightly sprinkle each dish with half the grated cheese and half the queso fresco.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes until edges are crispy.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Servings: Double batch - serves 16
  • Serving size: 1/16 of recipe

Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken

Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken at This Mama Cooks! ON a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Healthy Chicken Thai Pizza

Healthy Chicken Thai Pizza from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Here’s another recipe from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC™ Eating Well To Fight Arthritis: 200 Easy Recipes and Practical Tips to Help Reduce Inflammation and Ease Symptoms [affiliate link]. Holly shares this Terrific Tip:

Buy pre-shredded carrots in bag. Purchase chopped green onions in produce department for extra ease.

If Peanut Sauce is too spicy or if desired, substitute barbecue sauce. You can also top with red pepper slices for vitamin C.

If you’re gluten free, use Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts.

Healthy Chicken Thai Pizza from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Healthy Chicken Thai Pizza

Chicken, onion and carrots with peanut sauce make a spunky and robust phenomenal pizza.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-inch) thin pizza crust or premade gluten free pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup peanut sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup red onion slices
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 450°F.
  2. Spread pizza crust with peanut sauce. Top with chicken, red onion, carrots, green onion and cheese.
  3. Place on oven rack and bake 8-10 minutes or until pizza is lightly browned. Top with cilantro, if desired.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Total Time: 28 Minutes
Servings: Makes 8 (1 slice) servings
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 221
  • Calories from Fat: 69 (31%)
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 356mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg

Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

Holly Clegg’s Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza

Holly Clegg’s Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comLiving in a post-graduation world can be stressful for many. You’re looking for work or may have just landed your first real job. You’re living on your own and you may be missing the ease of college life. Well, my friend, Holly Clegg, has a wonderful cookbook for those just starting to cook for themselves, roommates and friends - Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence: Cooking Basics Plus 150 Easy Healthy Recipes [affiliate link] – which features delicious and easy-to-make recipes like this one for BBQ Chicken Pizza. (Holly’s Terrific Tip: Great option to use leftover or rotisserie chicken for a quick meal. )

Find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. Don’t forget to check out Holly’s new cookbook, Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis: 200 easy recipes and practical tips to help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms (affiliate link).

Graduation – don’t let the kitchen be stressful in a time of change

So you just graduated, now what? Graduation and moving out of the nest and into your first apartment can be a very exciting yet overwhelming time. Don’t let the kitchen be a reason to stress. Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence is your answer to all things food, helping you stock your pantry, and cook your favorite meals healthy and easy!

This will be your go-to book for simple dishes that feed and please – no need for unhealthy dining out! Forget dialing the delivery guy when you can whip up this fast food BBQ Chicken Pizza in no time! With just a few simple savory ingredients you can keep on hand you can easily impress – and this pizza happens to be good for you! With everything you need to know about tackling the kitchen, from healthy delicious recipes to all you need to whip them up – this cookbook, KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence is a must have for the proud graduate this season!

Holly Clegg’s Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza

Nothing beats this all-time easy favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1 (10-13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust, Boboli crust or premade gluten freee pizza crusts
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (or combination)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 425°F.
  2. In large nonstick skillet, season chicken to taste and stir-fry over medium heat until done. Remove to bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce.
  3. Coat nonstick pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll crust and place in pan; starting at center, press out with hands. Spread pizza crust with remaining 3/4 cup sauce. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, red onion slices, chicken and green onions.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes 8 servings
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 271
  • Calories from Fat: 62 (23%)
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 569mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Cholesterol: 50mg

Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 2 1/2 lean meat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

We’re in the midst of college basketball finals, and one thing my family loves to do is eat junk food while watching the games on TV. It drives me crazy to see them noshing on chips, dips and greasy foods like chicken wings. Inspired by Hidden Valley® Original Ranch®, I decided to create a healthy remix of a classic game watching recipe – buffalo chicken wings with ranch dipping sauce – using Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning Mix.

To health up my Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders, I’ve used a combination of thigh and white chicken meat instead of wings, homemade buffalo sauce, stevia instead of sugar, and whole wheat slider buns.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

This is a super easy party dish to make since it takes about 20 minutes to put together and is cooked in the slow cooker. You can put it together after breakfast and by the time the games start (at noon on the weekends for us on the East Coast) the Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders are ready to go.

The score? Chicken Wings 0. Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders 4. (One point per family member.) Winner!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Ranch Sliders

Inspired by recipes at Harpers Happenings and Sunny Side Up

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning Mix
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast meat
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thigh meat
  • 2 tablespoons corn or rice starch
  • 2 packages whole wheat slider buns (24 buns)

Directions

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of chicken broth, onions and garlic in a sauté pan. Cook over medium high heat until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently and until liquid is gone.
  2. Add spices and oil to sauté pan. Cook until spices blend, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add broth and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
  4. Place contents of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning Mix packet into slow cooker.
  5. Add chicken meat and buffalo sauce. Stir thoroughly so chicken is covered.
  6. Place lid on slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Shred chicken with two forks and stir so chicken is covered in sauce.
  8. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sauce from the slow cooker with the corn starch. Mix until combined.
  9. Add the corn starch mixture to the chicken in the slow cooker. Stir occasionally until sauce has thickened.
  10. Serve shredded chicken on slider buns. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes 24 sliders
  • Serving size: 2 sliders

Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken

Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comAfter taking a break for the holidays, I’m once again participating in the Secret Recipe Club. This month’s assigned blog was Secrets of the Cookie Princess. While Colleen, the Cookie Princess, is obsessed with cookie baking, she also likes to cook up other dishes like Chicken Enchilada Soup and Crispy Quinoa Bites, which are two recipes to I’ve placed on my “To Cook” list.

I decided to make her Crockpot Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken as an excuse to use the whole organic chicken that had been sitting in my freezer for the past few months. I also chose this recipe since it uses items I always have on hand like fresh rosemary from the garden and garlic. Plus it’s based on this recipe from my friend, Stephanie O’Dea. I urge you to read Stephanie’s recipe as it’s quite funny. Her tale about “scaring the cats bald” had me cracking up.

Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Good, not great

My Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken was a disappointment. Even though the chicken was sitting in its own juices, the breast meat tasted dry. The lemon and rosemary were overpowering and gave the chicken an almost astringent taste. Also, I could barely taste the garlic, which was unbelievable considering how much I used. However, the baby potatoes were delicious and perfectly cooked!

Ideas for improvement: Next time I attempt to make this dish, I would only use one lemon and one sprig of fresh rosemary. I’d also add something sweet, like maybe slices from one orange and 1/4 cup of maple syrup, sorghum, honey, or agave nectar poured over the top before cooking. Also, I’d keep the skin on to add moisture to the breast meat. Finally, I’d check the chicken after three hours. I cooked the chicken for five hours and it was falling off the bone, which made for a lousy presentation. (This explains why I had to photograph it in the crock rather than on a pretty platter.)

Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken ingredients at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken

Based on this recipe from Secrets of the Cookie Princess, which is based on this recipe from Stephanie O’Dea

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 to 4) pound whole chicken, thawed and skinned
  • 1 head of garlic – cloves separated and peeled
  • 2 lemons, washed and sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary or 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 pound baby potatoes
  • Sea salt and pepper as desired

Directions

  1. Rinse chicken, then remove skin and pat dry.
  2. Rub salt and pepper in and outside of chicken.
  3. Place chicken in a 4-5 quart slow cooker.
  4. Place half of the peeled cloves into the cavity of the chicken.
  5. Place half the lemon slices inside the chicken.
  6. Place the remaining garlic and lemon slices on top of the chicken.
  7. Place baby potatoes around the sides of the chicken.
  8. Place rosemary over top of chicken and potatoes.
  9. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
  10. When finished cooking, remove lemon slices and rosemary, and discard.
  11. Cut up chicken and serve.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe

More from the Secret Recipe Club!

Want to join the Secret Recipe Club? You can sign up here.

Made with Love: The Meals on Wheels Family Cookbook and Green Chile Posole

Grant’s Green Chile Posole

Usually I’m very disappointed with celebrity cookbooks as the recipes are just the same old stuff and the quality of the recipe and book are usually so-so.  Well, that’s not the case with Made With Love: The Meals On Wheels Family Cookbook! The recipes are unique, modern and interesting, and the photographs are beautiful. Even better, the profits from each sale help the Meals On Wheels Association of America.

Recipes in Made With Love come from celebrity chefs like Mario Batalli, TV food personalities Paula Deen and Martha Stewart, and movie stars galore like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. The cookbook even features recipes from politicians like Senator Al Franken, whose Wild Rice & Turkey Hot Dish is something he makes for his family every Thanksgiving. Another politician whose recipe I admired was Alabama Governor Steven L. Beshear’s Spoon Cornbread. It’s a family recipe that’s been made for generations and is served at family functions at the Governor’s Mansion.

Other recipes to check out include Adam West’s Sawtooth Mountain Pot Roast, which is shown on the cover, and Maya Angelou’s Jollof Rice. (Yeah, Batman and poets can sure cook!) Both are on my “To Make” list! For more information on Made With Love be sure to check out the book trailer, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Made with Love: The Meals on Wheels Family Cookbook

Robert Egger’s recipe for Posole

Made With Love also features recipes from Meals on Wheels volunteers and others who help feed the needy, like Robert Egger. Robert is the president of DC Central Kitchen, which provides meals for thousands of at-risk individuals. DC Central Kitchen also helps train once-homeless adults in the culinary field. This recipe was created in honor of his wife’s stepdad, Grant, who was from New Mexico.

Grant’s Green Chile Posole

Grant’s Green Chile Posole

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, or boneless, skinless breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans hominy, drained
  • 3 (32-ounce) containers chicken broth
  • 4 (2-ounce) cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Flour tortillas, warmed and buttered, to serve

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add chicken and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and continue cooking until onions soften, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add hominy, broth, chilies, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle into bowls, and serve with tortillas.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: Serves 6
  • Serving size: 1/6 of recipe

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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Made With Love to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own. Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Chicken and Sausage Paella from Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking

Chicken and Sausage Paella from Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com
As a community leader for Udi’s Gluten Free, I’m always on the lookout for new cookbooks written for people who are gluten free. That’s why I’m excited to share with you Cybele Pascal’s new cookbook, Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame. As you can tell by the title, it’s also for people with food allergies and food sensitivities, and is a follow up to her book The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook.

I met Cybele at a blogger event in Los Angeles over a year ago. She knows all about dealing with food allergies having cooked that way since 2001 after her son, Lennon, was as diagnosed with severe dairy and soy allergies. She obviously knows her stuff, which is why she’s an Ambassador Who Cares for Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. You can find more about her on her website cybelepascal.com.

Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame

Cybele also has great taste and style, which is why I fell in love with her new cookbook and love dipping into it to find ideas for what to make for dinner. I’ve already made her Garam Masala Lamb Chops with Cumin Quinoa, which was fantastic and a huge hit with my family. To quote my daughter, Lucie, “I really don’t like quinoa, Mom. But this is so good!” She even got her brother to eat it!

The recipes in Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking are similar to the way I like to cook – healthy, delicious and can quickly be put together on a weekday night. Cybele’s recipes aren’t complicated and fussy, and don’t contain a zillion hard-to-find ingredients. Like me, she loves ethnic foods, such as Sopa de Lima, as well as classic family favorites like Chicken Noodle Casserole. In addition, she has a lot of great tips for those new to allergy-free cooking, like how to stock your pantry and what kitchen equipment you’ll need. It’s a great book for beginners as well as seasoned cooks who need to eliminate allergens in their kitchens.

Chicken and Sausage Paella from Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Chicken and Sausage Paella

Reprinted with permission from Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame by Cybele Pascal, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/8 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 8 ounces chorizo, andouille, linguica, or kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine the rice with 1 1/4 cups of the chicken broth in a microwave-safe container. Cover and microwave for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken tenders with the paprika and some salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until starting to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and sausage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the bell pepper, garlic, saffron, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth, bring to a boil, and deglaze the pan by scraping up any browned bits along the bottom, 1 minute or so. Stir in the tomatoes, partly cooked rice, and chicken, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, loosely covered, for 8 minutes more or until the liquid is absorbed. Add the peas and heat through for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss with the parsley, and serve hot, sprinkled with a little more parsley
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Serves 6
  • Serving size: 1/6 of recipe

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Disclosure: I was provided with a sample copy of Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own.

As an Udi's Gluten Free Community Leader I'm compensated for my time and efforts on their behalf.  Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Apple Ginger Marinade for Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Apple Ginger Marinade for Smoked Beer Can Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comWhile I love how easy it is to use premade World Harbors marinades for Smoked Beer Can Chicken, there’s something to be said for making your own marinade. First, you can control what goes into it, so if you have a food sensitivity you don’t need to worry about anything making you ill. Second, making your own marinade is very inexpensive, especially if you have most of the ingredients on hand.

Apple Ginger Marinade uses several items I always have in my pantry like NAKANO rice vinegar, soy sauce (gluten free tamari sauce, actually) and olive oil. The only ingredients I had to go to the grocery store for were for the fresh ginger and apple juice concentrate – and it was worth the effort. This is the best marinade I’ve ever made and the chicken was delicious and moist! I bet it would work for grilled or roast chicken as well as pork or fish.

I served it for guests along with Wine & Rosemary Couscous and Roasted Marinated Vegetables.

Apple Ginger Marinade for Smoked Beer Can Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Apple Ginger Marinade for Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Based on this recipe from Mizkan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar - Roasted Garlic
  • 1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 3 tablespoon gluten free tamari sauce
  • 3 tablespoons natural ketchup with no high fructose corn syrup
  • 1 piece (1x1-1/2 inches) fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon (grate the zest and juice the lemon)
  • 1 (2-3 pound) chicken

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Marinate chicken covered in refrigerator at least two hours and up to 24 hours. (I like marinating chicken in a Ziploc bag overnight.)
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and discard. You can boil marinade for several minutes, to use it as a basting sauce.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours
Total Time: 2 Hours
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/2 pound per person

Save money with NAKANO

You can download a coupon for 50 cents off your next purchase of NAKANO rice vinegar here. Also, for more recipes using NAKANO rice vinegars, sign up for Mizkan’s Splash for Cash e-newsletter for a chance to win up to $600. (Mizkan is NAKANO’s parent company.)

You can connect with NAKANO online on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Making sorghum at Dollywood and Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew at home

Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew (before cooking) at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comI’m not much for roller coasters after getting sick many years ago at both Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. (Never again!) So while the Brandcation gals were riding the Wild Eagle (and being filmed by the Discovery Channel), I was busy nerding out over the food at Dollywood as well as the folk art and crafts.

There’s a section of Dollywood called Craftsman's Valley that’s perfect for anyone who isn’t into the rides, has time between music shows to take a stroll, and has already visited the Chasing Rainbows Museum, or the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame. (I did all the above and had a great time.)

My foodie favorite was the Grist Mill where they grind meal and flour for sale. I also enjoyed watching the woodcarvers, blacksmiths, glass blowers and more practice their trade before the Brandcation group met for lunch at Granny Ogle’s Ham N Beans. There we dined on Southern favorites like greens, corn bread and shredded pork. Yum!

Corn bread at Dollywood from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

However, the cool discovery I made – even the PR person hadn’t seen it yet – was the sorghum making demonstration in The Village. Sorghum syrup is a sweetener made from pressing sorghum cane. The old fashion way is to feed the cane into a mill that is powered by a horse. The day I was there, they had a four-month-old colt tied up to the mama horse. This way mama could teach her baby how to run the mill. It was fascinating and the baby was darling.

Pressing the sorghum cane at Dollywood from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

The sorghum cane juice is then boiled into a thick syrup that tastes like a cross between honey and molasses. I bought a small container of it at one of the Dollywood stores and wish I bought more because it’s delicious! I hope I can find some here in Georgia, but if not, I may just have to drive back up to Pigeon Forge and buy a gallon or two!

Cooking with sorghum – Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew

You can use sorghum in any recipe that calls for agave, honey, molasses or maple syrup. It’s very thick, so you may have to make adjustments by adding a little water or juice to your recipe. I used it in a slow cooker recipe I used to make all the time. I’ve since lost the clipping from the Denver Post, but found a recipe that’s close but without the potatoes. I healthed it up by using chicken apple sausage and using half veggie broth and half apple juice. I also tried to use organic ingredients since I didn’t peel the apples and potatoes.

How to make sorghum syrup at Dollywood from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

This was a big hit with my son Nathan who adores sauerkraut and thinks chicken sausage – unlike other forms of chicken – is yummy. My daughter Lucie just ate the sausage, which is odd because she loves pickles. Darn kids!

Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew (before cooking) at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew

Based on Corbin Lee’s recipe at Recipe.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (32 ounce) jar sauerkraut (Claussen is our favorite brand)
  • 24 ounces (2 packages) sweet apple chicken sausage, sliced into 1’’ pieces
  • 4 small organic granny smith apples, cored and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 pound baby potatoes (leave whole)
  • 1/4 cup sorghum syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Directions

  1. Pour sauerkraut – juice and all – into your 6 quart or larger slow cooker or Crock-Pot.
  2. Add the cut up sausage, apples and whole baby potatoes to the crock.
  3. Add the sorghum, salt, pepper, juice and broth.
  4. Cover and cook on high 4 hours, or low 6-7 hours.
  5. Stir before serving.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 7 Hours
Total Time: 7 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6 with lots of leftovers
  • Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe

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Disclosure: The Brandcation bloggers received special discounts and passes to many of the attractions we visited. All experiences and opinions expressed here are my own.

Brined Chicken Quarters from “Dadgum, That’s Good, Too!”

Brined-Chicken-QuartersI love using my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, which is why I’m always on the lookout for smoking and grilling cookbooks like John McLemore latest book, “DADGUM That’s Good, Too!” John’s mission is to make it fun to cook up traditional Southern recipes like brisket, baby back ribs, Boston butt and more using Masterbuilt smokers, grills and indoor fryers. But his cookbook isn’t all about meat. He shares recipes for Southern classics like blackberry cobbler, shrimp and grits and gumbo, too.

John’s recipes are simple, straightforward and perfect for those new to smoking, grilling and frying. With the holidays here before you know it, this would be a great cookbook to help walk you through making turkey. “DADGUM That’s Good, Too!” contains recipes for Brined Whole Turkey, Dadgum Good Smoked Turkey, Garlic and Herb Deep-Fried Turkey, and Smokin’ Fried Turkey. Whatever way you prepare it, the turkey will be dadgum good, I guarantee! However, if you’re nervous about cooking a big turkey, practice on chicken first with this recipe for Brined Chicken Quarters.

This recipe benefits from two processes for the ultimate taste and texture. First, brining the chicken hydrates the meat and ensures a juicy result. Second, the smoking process infuses smoky flavor into the meat. Combining the seasonings and moisture from the brine with the low-and-slow smoking process makes for a perfect piece of chicken. Brushing the chicken quarters with olive oil helps the skin turn a nice golden brown, too.

Brined Chicken Quarters

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated peeled ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 gallons ice water
  • 4 chicken quarters
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Suggested wood: Apple

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine 2 cups water, molasses and salt. Bring to a boil until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger and garlic powder. Set aside and let cool.
  2. When mixture is cooled, stir in 2 gallons ice water, mixing well. Place each chicken quarter in a brining bag or oversized plastic bag. Pour brining mixture over each chicken quarter and place in a bowl. Refrigerate, turning once, for 6 to 8 hours. A plastic bucket that is deep enough to have the meat completely covered will also work.
  3. Preheat smoker to 225°F.
  4. Remove chicken from brine after at least 6 hours, and rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining salt. Pat dry and brush with olive oil. Place on middle rack of smoker and smoke for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove meat from smoker and enjoy!

Pictures and recipe courtesy of John McLemore and Masterbuilt.

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website. I received a complimentary review book to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs

Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comEven though school has started for many of us, that doesn’t mean that grilling season is over – especially with Labor Day just around the corner! That’s why you should check out Cooking Light Way To Cook: Grilling.

This  cookbook features more than 400 full-color how-to images illustrating a variety of healthy grilling techniques and over 125 recipes. I’m sure you’ll find some that are perfect for parties, weekend or even school night grilling.

Start the grilling over direct heat to get good grill marks and charred bits, and then move to indirect heat to gently finish the cooking. Serve with lime wedges.

Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs

From Cooking Light Way To Cook: Grilling

Ingredients

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
  • 3⁄4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1⁄3 cup tequila
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat using the burners on both sides of your grill. After preheating, turn the left burners off and leave the right burners on.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub evenly over chicken.
  3. Combine pineapple juice, tequila, and honey in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3⁄4 cup (about 10 minutes). Combine cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl, and stir well. Add cornstarch mixture to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in lime rind, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and red pepper.
  4. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray over right burners (direct heat). Cover and grill 5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with juice mixture. Move chicken to grill rack over left burners (indirect heat). Cover and grill an additional 5 minutes on each side or until done, basting occasionally.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Servings: Serves 6
  • Serving size: 1 thigh
  • Calories: 241
  • Calories from Fat: 7.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2.1g
  • Sodium: 374mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 17.2g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg

Recipe and picture used with permission.

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout

Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout

This time of year is hectic for many families – it certainly is at my house! Many of us are in back-to-school mode, trying to figure out new schedules and homework. On top of that, if we’re gardeners, we’re inundated with all that zucchini from our garden. Or for the non-gardeners, all the wonderful eggplant and zucchini we find at the grocery store or farmer’s market!

This one-pot meal for Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout is an answer to both problems. It’ll use up some of those garden goodies, and it’s a simple dish to make on a school night. While it cooks, you can help the kids with homework, organize backpacks, and unload the dishwasher.

This recipe is courtesy of the National Chicken Council. Check out their website at eatchicken.com for more chicken recipes and chicken resources. You can also connect with them on Facebook at For the Love of Chicken.

Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken leg quarters
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 cup white wine or water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. In large skillet over medium high-heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season leg quarters with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add leg quarters to pan, skin-side down. Brown chicken, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Remove chicken to plate and drain off all but 2 tablespoons oil.
  2. Add eggplant to hot pan and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, along with zucchini, onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Raise heat to high and add white wine to pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add all other ingredients, except parsley, and place chicken legs in mixture. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through or until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees F.
  4. To serve, place some of the eggplant ragout onto plates, top with a leg quarter and sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional information

  • 370 calories
  • 20 g fat
  • 4 g saturated fat
  • 900 mg sodium
  • 17 g carbohydrate
  • 6 g fiber
  • 8 g sugars
  • 28 g protein

Recipe and picture used with permission from the National Chicken Council.