Tag Archives: chicken

Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub

Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

You’ve heard of beer can chicken, right? You know, the recipe when you shove a can of beer up a chicken’s backside and grill it? Well, if you have a smoker, a few tools and World Harbors premade marinades, it’s even easier.

First, you need a smoker. I use a Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker. (You can read my smoker review here.) While you can simply use a beer can and perch your chicken on top, it’s so much easier to do some with a rack. I have two - Steven Raichlen Stainless-Steel Beer-Can Chicken Rack with Drip Pan and a KitchenAid BBQ Vertical Chicken Roaster. Both will hold the beer can in place so you don’t have to worry about the chicken getting knocked over.

Here’s what the chicken looks like on the racks (the two in the back). The one in the front is placed on top of the beer can, sans rack, and was propped up by one of the other chickens in our smoker.

Preparing Beer Can Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comThe method I use is based on a recipe from the Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook. I have a lot of barbecue cookbooks, but this one’s my favorite especially since it was recommended by an English friend who learned how to smoke meat when he went to school in Austin.

Tip: Save the chicken carcass and skin to make stock. There’s nothing better than smoky chicken stock in soups and turkey stuffing!

Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub


  • 1 (3 1/2 pound) whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup dry rub of your choice
  • 1 can beer
  • 3 cups World Harbors marinade


  1. Remove the giblets and rinse the chicken cavity.
  2. Season the chicken inside and out with the rub. Press the rub on to the skin, too. Allow to sit for at least an hour on the counter top.
  3. Open the beer and empty half of it into the smoker’s drip pan.
  4. Refill the can with your favorite World Harbors marinade. I like Italian Grill, but Maine's Own Lemon Pepper & Garlic is also a good choice.
  5. Shove the can into the chicken cavity, and place on your beer can roaster if you’re using one.
  6. Set up your smoker for indirect heat. Use wood chips, chunks or logs to set up a good level of smoke. (Electric smokers use pellets. I chose Jack Daniels Wood Pellets, but you can use hickory, apple, mesquite or other woods that go well with chicken.)
  7. Maintain a smoker temperature of between 225 and 275 degrees F. (I set my smoker for 250 degrees.)
  8. Set the chicken on the grill on the beer can base, and cook for three hours. If you don’t use a dripping pan full of beer and water to “steam” the chicken, baste with more World Harbors marinade every hour.
  9. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (about three to four hours), test for doneness by inserting a knife tip into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done to medium. Note: the FDA recommends cooking to 185 degrees F. Many people find this overcooks and dries out the chicken, so use your best judgment.
  10. Remove the chicken and let sit for 20 minutes to let the juices “set.” Slice and serve.
Prep Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/2 pound per person

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

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POMegranate Grilled Chicken Mohammara

Pomegranate Grilled ChickenAs promised, here’s another pomegranate recipe from the folks at POM Wonderful. This one’s a little involved, so save it for a special occasion or weekend meal. Overall, this is a very healthy dish. You can make it even healthier by substituting stevia for sugar. If you have a nut allergy, use pine nuts (which are seeds) instead of walnuts.

Finally, head over to the POM website to get a $1 off coupon on your next POM Wonderful purchase and for more pomegranate recipe.

POMegranate Grilled Chicken Mohammara by Chef Jose Andres

Time to Table: 20 Minutes Prep, 4 Hours Marinating, 1 Hours 45 Minutes Cooking

Servings: 2 to 4


Pom Molasses

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons POM Molasses (directions below)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-oz. pieces

Mohammara Sauce

  • 1/3 cup arils from 1 large POM Wonderful Pomegranate or POM POMS fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons POM Molasses (directions below)
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup minced shallots
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground long pepper (also known as Java pepper) or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


POM Molasses

  1. Prepare fresh pomegranate juice.*
  2. Combine the pomegranate juice, sugar and lime juice in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup, about an hour. It should be dark in color, and the consistency of thick syrup that coats the spoon. Set aside to cool. Store pomegranate molasses in refrigerator in a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Chicken Marinade

  1. Combine the bell pepper, 2 tablespoons POM Molasses, paprika, bay leaf, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor; puree into a paste. Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight for best results).

Mohammara Sauce

  1. Score 1 fresh pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate under water to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside. (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.)
  2. Place the bell peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush peppers all over with olive oil and roast in the oven under the broiler for about 10 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning, until the skins are blistered and blackened on all sides. Remove peppers from the oven and lay a clean kitchen towel over them until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. This will make the skins easier to remove.
  3. Peel off the skins, and then remove the stems and seeds, and slice into strips.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and cook the garlic and shallots, stirring often, until light golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add half of the walnuts, all of the cardamom, long pepper, cinnamon, 1/3 cup POM Molasses and vinegar. Stir until well combined and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and cook for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and set aside to cool.
  5. Transfer mixture to a food processor and blend until well combined.

Grilling instructions:

  1. Remove chicken from marinade and slide pieces onto four long metal skewers. Discard remaining marinade.
  2. Grill chicken pieces over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest slightly.
  3. To serve, spoon some Mohammara sauce onto each plate, and carefully slide chicken pieces off skewer onto the plate, keeping the pieces together in a row. Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils, the remaining toasted walnuts and parsley.

* For 4 cups of juice, cut 8–12 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus reamer or juicer. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside.
**0.5 fl oz of concentrate = 1 tablespoon To make pomegranate juice, mix 1 part concentrate with 4 parts water.
***José’s tip: Serve any remaining Mohammara sauce with toasted pitas.

Recipe and photo courtesy of POM Wonderful and used with permission.

Healthing up Grandma’s Chicken and Rice Casserole from Everyday Health’s Recipe Rehab


This is one Recipe Rehab episode where I’m totally in disagreement with the Holden family. Chef Jet uses too many processed foods like canned soup, prepared rice and canned fried onions for my comfort in his Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe. On the other hand, Chef Daniel prepares an elegant, one pot dish that takes about 30 minutes to cook from wholesome ingredients – chicken, rice, lemons, chicken broth, and rosemary. I also like that he says his 10-year-old daughter loves his version of Chicken & Rice – a big endorsement if you’re cooking for kids.

Watch Low-Fat Chicken and Rice Recipe here or below. You can also watch Chef Daniel here or Chef Jet here prepare their versions of Grandma’s Chicken and Rice Casserole.

Recipe Rehab episodes air every Friday at 1 ET on the Everyday Health YouTube .

Nutritional breakdowns



Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 617

Total Fat: 19.90g

Cholesterol: 184mg

Sodium: 705mg

Total Carbs: 44.76g

Dietary Fiber: 1.87g

Sugars: 3.45g

Protein: 54.14g



Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 586

Total Fat: 9.45g

Cholesterol: 72mg

Sodium: 220mg

Total Carbs: 87.27g

Dietary Fiber: 5.74g

Sugars: 7.56g

Protein: 37.83g



Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 373

Total Fat: 9.79g

Cholesterol: 64mg

Sodium: 898mg

Total Carbs: 39.87g

Dietary Fiber: 3.98g

Sugars: 6.94g

Protein: 29.45g

Original Chicken and Rice Recipe 

  • Used 1 cup white rice
  • Uses ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • Used 1 cup whole milk
  • Uses full fat canned soups: cream of chicken, cream of celery, & onion soup
  • Uses 2 pounds chicken breast
  • The casserole bakes for 2 ½ hours!!!

Chef Daniel’s recipe

  • Replaced white rice with long grain brown for fiber
  • Eliminated butter
  • Used only 1 tablespoon butter
  • Eliminated milk
  • Only used low-sodium chicken broth and not canned soup
  • Cut amount of chicken breasts down to 1 pound
  • Added fragrant lemon, garlic, and rosemary (all without fat or calories)
  • Cooked in a pot on the stove for only 30 minutes

Chef Jet’s recipe

  • Used rice pilaf for added fiber
  • Eliminated butter
  • Used nonstick cooking spray and only 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Replaced whole milk with low fat and reduced to ¾ cup
  • Used only 1 can of fat free cream of mushroom soup
  • Reduced the chicken breast down to only 2 cups
  • Added vegetables: green beans, mushrooms, onion, and pepper
  • Topped with fried onions for a little crunch
  • The casserole bakes for only 20 minutes

Which version of the Chicken and Rice Casserole did you like – Chef Jet’s or Chef Daniel’s?

Picture, video and nutritional information courtesy of Everyday Health.

Summer grilling: Chicken Mango Skewers with Lime Poppy Seed Drizzle

Chicken Mango SkewersI love this time of the year when you can use your grill to prepare a delicious and healthy meal with a minimum of fuss or planning. One way to do that is by grilling with healthy oils such as olive oil. Did you know that consuming just two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease? Olive oil has been shown to positively affect blood flow, reduce inflammation. and lower oxidative stress, all of which lead to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

That’s why I’ll be sharing a few recipes from International Olive Council this week. You can find these better-for-you recipes and many more, as well as a full report on the health benefits of olives and olive oil, at addsomelife.org.

This recipe has you make the skewers under the broiler, but why not use your grill instead?

Chicken Mango Skewers with Lime Poppy Seed Drizzle

Makes 6 appetizers

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes, plus marinade time


  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 3 tablespoons soy or teriyaki sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves or 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 18 chunks
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 2 (12 to 14-inch) wooden or metal skewers
  • 12 (1 to 1 1/2-inch) chunks fresh or bottled mango, room temperature
  • 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into 6 pieces (optional)
  • 6 (8 to 10- inch) appetizer skewers


  1. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons honey, soy sauce, cayenne and garlic in medium bowl or large plastic food storage bag; mix well and set aside. Cut chicken into 18 pieces; add to olive oil mixture; mix to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, stirring or turning once or twice.
  2. Combine lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon honey, poppy seeds, dry mustard and lime peel in food processor or mini chopper; pulse to blend. With machine running, add remaining 1/3 cup olive oil in steady stream. Blend until smooth. Pour into serving bowl or pitcher; cover and refrigerate until using.
  3. Remove chicken and poppy seed drizzle from refrigerator; set aside. Heat broiler to high with rack 4 to 6 inches from heat. Lightly oil 2 metal skewers and a 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Meanwhile, thread chicken pieces on metal skewers, leaving 1/2 inch between pieces. Place skewers on oiled pan; broil 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked, turning once. Cool slightly; remove from skewers. Whisk poppy seed drizzle if needed. Thread chicken, mango and pepper chunks evenly on appetizer skewers. Serve with poppy seed drizzle.

Tip: To oil metal skewers, insert clean skewer into olive oil bottle; remove and rub oil over length of skewer. If desired, sturdy herb stems (such as rosemary) can be used in place of skewers.

You can also make this on a backyard grill.

Picture and recipe courtesy of the International Olive Council and used with permission.

Memorial Day grilling: Grilled Orange Chicken #glutenfree

Grilled Orange ChickenWhat better way to end National Barbecue Month by grilling up some chicken skewers on the grill this Memorial Day. By using San-J’s Orange Sauce, you add some unique flavor without a lot of work. Plus, if you’re cooking for gluten free guests or relatives, you can be assured that you’ll be serving up a dish that’s safe for them to eat since San-J Orange Sauce is certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

Grilled Orange Chicken

By Carol Kicinski of Simply Gluten Free

Makes 4 servings


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup San-J Orange Sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds


  1. Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Combine the San-J Orange Sauce and honey and put half in a medium mixing bowl, reserve the rest for later. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to combine. Let chicken marinate for
  2. 20 minutes at room temperature or for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. (If marinating in the refrigerator, let come to room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling.) If using wooden skewers, soak 4 in water for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill to moderately high heat (450°F on a gas grill).
  5. Divide chicken pieces onto 4 skewers allowing the chicken to touch but do not cram the pieces together. Brush grates of grill with oil.
  6. Grill for 4 minutes with the lid to barbecue closed. Turn skewers over and grill another 4 minutes covered. Brush the reserved sauce onto the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes, turning several times, or until the chicken is cooked through but still juicy. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe and photo used with permission. © 2012 San-J International. All rights reserved.

Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread {Ziploc giveaway} #Ziploc #FreshOver

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread
Recipe prepared by: Anne-Marie Nichols, Photo taken by: Anne-Marie Nichols

Have you had a chance to check out Rachael Ray’s FreshOver Recipe Guide on the Ziploc Facebook page? You can “like” the Ziploc Brand’s page and download Rachael’s exclusive FreshOver Recipe Guide. With every download, up to a maximum of 50,000 downloads, between 1/1/12 and 12/31/13, Ziploc® Brand will make a $1 donation to the organization on the fans behalf, for up to a maximum $50,000 donation. To further support Yum-O!, Rachael Ray and Ziploc will donate an additional $200,000 during the same time period, no matter how many guides are downloaded.

I’ve been enjoying Ziploc and Rachael’s “freshed over” recipes for several reasons – they’re healthy and nutritious, easy to prepare, and delicious. I was especially excited to try the Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad on my family. We all love Greek flavors like olives and feta. Plus, I knew the kids would love it because the chicken and salad is served in pita bread. It’s a really fun way to get your kids to eat healthy salad and vegetables. Plus, if you can find whole wheat pitas and reduced fat feta, even better!

Ziploc Brand Containers make recipe prep easy

With school and afterschool activities, sometimes we don’t get home until dinner time. While this recipe doesn’t take much time to put together once your prep is done, the prep itself is a bit extensive – lots of chopping and measuring. So I got everything ready the day before by making the dressing and chopping the vegetables and herbs, and storing them in Ziploc Brand Twist ’n Loc Containers. These containers also came in handy to bring leftovers to school and work.

You can save additional time by buying already chopped lettuce and crumbled feta cheese, instead of block feta cheese.

Greek Grill Chicken & Vegetable Salad

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread Recipe prepared by: Anne-Marie Nichols, Photo taken by: Anne-Marie Nichols

Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Warm Pita Bread for Wrapping

Yield 4 servings - Level Easy

Prep 15 minutes - Cook 10 minutes

Total 25 minutes


  • 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 pita breads
  • 1 ripe lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano, 4 stems, stripped of leaves and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 hearts Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 seedless or English cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Preheat grill pan over high heat. Place chicken in shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap pita breads in foil. Place in warm oven and heat until dinner is served.
  3. Combine lemon zest, juice and vinegar in a bowl and whisk in oil. Add oregano, garlic and whisk again to combine into dressing. Pour half the dressing over chicken tenders. Turn tenders in dressing to coat.
  4. Combine remaining salad ingredients in a bowl. Pour remaining dressing over salad and toss well. The salad should be very lightly dressed. Season salad with salt and pepper and transfer to a large serving platter.
  5. Grill tenders 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer hot tenders to the salad lined serving platter. Remove pitas from oven and unwrap. Cut pitas in half and arrange around the edge of platter.
  6. To serve, each person can pile grilled chicken and veggies into pita halves, wrap up on either side and enjoy!

imageWin a Ziploc Brand Prize Pack!

This prize pack includes kitchen gadgets, accessories for trips to a farmer’s market or an eating fresh gift pack with Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook cookbook, worth about $120.

Giveaway closed. Congrats to Julie H.!

How to enter to win:

  1. In the comments below, tell me which recipe you want to try out from Rachael and Ziploc’s Recipe Guide.
  2. Sign up for This Mama Cooks! Review’s RSS feed for ONE additional entry.
  3. Sign up for my e-newsletter for ONE additional entry.
  4. Spread the word about this giveaway by submitting a link to this post on Twitter for ONE additional entry. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment so I can check.
  5. Follow @amnichols on Twitter for ONE additional entry.

If you have done any of these additional activities you MUST come back here and leave a comment telling me what you did. I will be checking!

The giveaway begins on February 3, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. PST and ends on February 8, 2012 at 5 p.m. PST.

Click here for the Ziploc Giveaway Official Rules

Disclosure: I have partnered with Ziploc® and am being compensated for my posts. However, my opinions on the product are my own.

Featured at Jennifer Cooks Fusion Friday

Holly Clegg’s Chicken Chili Soup

Holly Clegg's Chicken Chili Soup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com Colorado is in the grip of Tebow fever, so I’m sure everyone’s having a football watching party on Saturday. So what kind of party food recipes will you be serving?

This Speedy Chicken Chili from today’s guest poster, Holly Clegg, is sure to be a healthy party food hit no matter who you're rooting for. Check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Soup-er Bowl Easy Suppers

What kind of party food is better to feed and please a hungry crowd for a football watching party than a Soup-er easy supper?! Entertaining should be fun and easy – making sure the hosts are able to enjoy the party. A hearty, healthy and satisfying meal on the table is simple with this belly-filling and heart warming soup.

One-pot meals are great because they leave easy cleanup, without the hassle of tons of dirty dishes, they feed a crowd and can easily be frozen in batches for making ahead or dinner another day. I cannot wait to share with you my must-try “soup-er” supper!

Tips for an easy Soup-er Bowl party

  • A soup buffet is the perfect solution to feed a “come and go crowd.”
  • Serve soup simmering on the stove or use crock-pots to keep your soup warm.
  • Have mugs by the soup so guests can eat at their leisure.
  • Freeze soups ahead of time.
  • Double the recipe and place half in the freezer to pull out when we have the urge.
Holly Clegg's Chicken Chili Soup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Speedy Chicken Chili Soup

From Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC® Too Hot in the Kitchen Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age

Serve with reduced-fat cheese, avocado, and onions. Look for fresh salsa or your favorite flavored salsa to pump up flavor. For a short-cut, use pre- cooked, grilled whole chicken breast fillets (great grilled flavor) or rotisserie chicken.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded reduced-fat cheese, avocado, and red onions, optional


  1. In large pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, season chicken and cook until lightly browned, 5 minutes.
  2. Add salsa, tomatoes, broth, green chilies, oregano, and cumin. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook 15 minutes. Add corn and beans, cooking another 5-10 minutes until well heated and bubbly. Serve with condiments.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Servings: Makes 10 servings
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 257
  • Calories from Fat: 18
  • Total Fat: 2g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 740mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Cholesterol: 53mg

Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 4 very lean meat

Parchment paper packet cooking: Easy Greek Chicken

Greek chicken in parchment paperToday’s guest post is by Brette Sember, author of The Parchment Paper Cookbook. She blogs about parchment paper cooking at No Pot Cooking and writes the popular food blog, Martha and Me.

I’ve cooked fish in foil, but never tried parchment paper cooking. It’s a great time to try it since this week only (until 11/19/2011) Brette's The Parchment Paper Thanksgiving eBook is available for ONLY $0.99 on Amazon and ITunes. Wonderful timing with Thanksgiving just around the corner.

The ebook features parchment paper packet cooking recipes that offer a twist on tradition dishes like:

  • Spinach Artichoke Pie Hors d ‘Oeuvres
  • Turkey with Tarragon, Rosemary, and Cranberry
  • Roasted Carrots, Parsnip, and Rutabaga with Maple Syrup
  • Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Pecans
  • Sweet Potatoes Gone Light
  • Rustic Apple Tart
  • Easy Indian Corn Pudding

Download your copy today!

Parchment paper means no clean up!

I love cooking, but sometimes the clean up gets to me. I set out to find a way to make dinner without having to do a sink full of dishes - and I found it in parchment paper! Parchment paper packet cooking is a wonderful, revolutionary method that decreases the amount of fat needed for cooking and locks in flavor and nutrients. Best of all, with parchment paper cooking, there is no mess to clean up – no pots and pans to scrub. The food cooks in a parchment paper packet in the oven, making this perfect for busy moms, people with small kitchens, and anyone tired of doing a sink full of dishes after dinner.

Parchment paper is recyclable and compostable. Cooking with parchment also means you can cook your entire meal in one oven without turning any burners or using lots of hot water to scrub pots and pans.

You can buy parchment paper in your grocery store next to the foil and plastic wrap, or online from sellers like Amazon. Wilton and Reynolds both make parchment. The secret of parchment paper is that it’s coated with silicone, which keeps moisture and flavors in, and keeps food from sticking. You layer your food onto the paper (no pots, pans, or big mixing bowls needed), fold it and bake. It’s that simple!

Parchment paper packets are a snap to cook with. Cut off an 18-20 inch piece of parchment and place your food in the center. Leave at least 4 inches on the sides. Now, grab the long ends of the paper and have them meet in the air in the middle, then just fold them down until you get to the food. You’ll end up with a long package. Now all you have to do is simply twist each end. (You can see parchment paper cooking illustrations here.) Place the packets on a baking sheet or toaster oven tray for ease in moving them around.

Easy Greek Chicken

Parchment Paper CookbookEach packet serves 1


  • 1/2 cup cooked couscous
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 slices tomato
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Greek seasoning (substitute oregano if you don’t have this mix)
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and prepare parchment paper.
  2. Place the couscous on the paper in roughly the shape of the chicken breast. Place the breast on top and place the spinach over that, then the tomatoes.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, Greek seasoning and onion powder and crumble the feta cheese over it.
  4. Fold the parchment and bake for about 35 minutes.

Tip: You can also add 1/8 cup sliced black olives to this or substitute one canned whole tomato, chopped, for the tomato slices.

More about Brett Sember

Brette Sember is the author of The Parchment Paper Cookbook, published by Adams Media. She blogs about parchment paper cooking at No Pot Cooking and writes the popular food blog Martha and Me. She’s also the author of the upcoming titles The Organized Kitchen and The Muffin Tin Cook Book from Adams Media.

Brette’s a former attorney and author of more than 35 other books, including How to Parent with Your Ex, The Complete Credit Repair Kit, The Divorce Organizer & Planner, and The Complete Divorce. She’s also a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, two children, and two golden retrievers. Her web site is www.BretteSember.com and you can follow her on Twitter @brettesember.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember.

Hosting the Hunt’s Dinner Sauces Supper Club {Chicken Cacciatore for Pasta recipe} #huntsdinnersauces

The Hunt's Dinner Sauces Supper Club

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting the Hunt’s Dinner Sauces Supper Club event at Mise En Place in Denver for a group of local food and mom bloggers. I demoed two recipes for the group, Southwest Stuffed Peppers and Chicken Cacciatore for Pasta (recipe below), to show how easy it is to use Hunt’s Dinner Sauces to create yummy and healthy dishes in 20 to 40 minutes.

Making Chicken Cacciatore for Pasta Demonstrating Hunt's Dinner Sauces

Making Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Then we dined on the fabulous dishes that the Mise En Place staff created for us.Inspired by the Hunt’s new versatile and delicious sauces, they created some amazing dishes like a spicy gazpacho, a quinoa and vegetable dish, and turkey meatloaf. Even professional chefs like the versatility of Hunt’s Dinner Sauces!

Spicy Demonstrating Hunt's Dinner Sauces gazpacho Quinoa, veggies and Demonstrating Hunt's Dinner Sauces

Turkey Meatloaf with Demonstrating Hunt's Dinner Sauces

What I love about using Hunt’s Cacciatore Dinner Sauce to make Chicken Cacciatore for Pasta is how quickly you can cook it up from ingredients you probably have on hand like frozen chicken breasts and dried pasta. You can make this recipe even easier by using presliced mushrooms and prediced onions from the grocery store. Chicken Cacciatore for Pasta

Chicken Cacciatore for Pasta


  • PAM Cooking Spray
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Hunt’s Dinner Sauce Cacciatore
  • Hot cooked pasta – whole wheat or gluten free (brown rice also works well)


  1. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken, mushrooms and onion and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add Cacciatore Sauce and cover and simmer 5 minutes or until hot.
  4. Serve chicken mixture over pasta.

More about Hunt’s Dinner Sauces

Hunt’s Dinner Sauces combine the high quality and backyard garden fresh taste of Hunt’s Tomatoes with other premium ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, spices and olive oil. They come in four flavors:

  • Tuscan: a taste of Tuscany with rich olive oil, basil and garlic.
  • Southwest: hearty black beans and red bell peppers.
  • Greek: a blend of savory artichokes and oregano is inspired by the tastes of Greece.
  • Cacciatore: the flavors of Italy with sweet bell peppers and aromatic herbs.

Each 16-ounce jar sells for around $2.49. Right now they’re only available in Colorado in the Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs areas. They should be coming to a grocery store near you in 2012.

You can learn more about Hunt’s Dinner Sauces at www.hunts.com or HuntsDinnerSauces.com. You can also connect with them on Twitter @HuntsChef and Facebook.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hunt’s, but my opinions and experiences are my own.

Fall grilling: Smoked Marinated Chicken

Fall grilling: Smoked Marinated Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com I just got an email reminder for my kids to place their online football picks for week 8. Week 8? Boy has football season gone quickly! Even so, it’s never too late (or too cold) to do some weekend grilling and barbecuing for the big game or a tailgate party.

Recently, I took advantage of our unseasonably-warm-for-Colorado weekend weather to cook up some chicken in our Masterbuilt electric smoker. It’s so easy to smoke a chicken that I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. (It probably has something to do with all that fish and venison in our freezer! Chicken’s a rare treat at my house.)

World Harbors marinades make smoking chicken easy

Using a premade marinade like those from World Harbors® makes the process even easier. This time around I used World Harbors Maui Mountain Teriyaki and World Harbors Maui Mountain Sweet 'N Sour to marinate a couple of chickens. (You can use any variety you like!) Combined with the smoke from the sugar maple wood I used, both birds turned out moist and delicious. If you have a smoker or know how to smoke chicken using a grill, the process is easy.

This Mama’s tips

  • Since most smokers are large enough do two or more birds at once, take advantage of the situation and smoke extra chicken(s). Eat one immediately while you’re watching football. The extra chicken is great the next day in salads, sandwiches, stir fry or soups or reheated in the oven or microwave.
  • I like smoking fish (lake trout is wonderful) while I’m smoking the chicken. I place the fish under the chicken so the chicken fat drips on to the fish. Decadent!
  • If you want your chicken to cook even faster, try spatchcocking it!
Fall grilling: Smoked Marinated Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Smoked Marinated Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pound fryer)
  • 1 bottle of World Harbors marinade of your choice
  • 1 sealable plastic baggie


  1. Remove giblets, liver and neck from chicken. (Set aside to make stock.)
  2. Place whole chicken in plastic bag.
  3. Pour in entire bottle of World Harbors marinade.
  4. Add some water if necessary so marinade completely covers the chicken.
  5. Seal bag and set in refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours. Turn bag once to evenly marinate chicken about half way through the process.
  6. Heat your smoker to 235 degrees F and add your favorite bird-friendly wood (apple, sugar maple, etc.)
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place the chicken in the smoker, breast side down to start. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turn it over to finish.
  8. Cook the chicken until it reaches 160 degrees F. Make sure to check the temperature of chicken at the meatiest part of the breast between the bones.
  9. Remove the chicken from the smoker and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Prep Time: 24 Hours
Cook Time: 2 Minutes
Total Time: 26 Hours
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/2 pounds of meat per person

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

The Chew and Mario Batali’s Chicken Thighs with Pole Beans and Agliata

The Chew

Have you had a chance to catch ABC’s new daytime cooking and foodie lifestyle show, The Chew? Here in Colorado, it comes on at noon, so it’s become my lunch time date with Mario Batali and his co-hosts, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Daphne Oz.

At times it’s a bit light and silly, but I do come away learning things I can use. Earlier this week, Michael made a Pantry Raid Recipe using couscous, pickled veggies and canned tuna. He used the vinegar from the veggies and the oil from the tuna as the vinaigrette. That was an aha moment for me as I’d drain both, then make a vinaigrette and add it back in. Duh on my part, smart on theirs!

Check out episodes and video clips on The Chew website.

Chew on some great tips and tricks

I also like their tips and tricks from making homemade bread crumbs to what the cost per serving is for each dish they make.

Plus, I was very appreciative that they discussed the recent listeria outbreak in cantaloupe and what you need to do to protect yourself. (If you have any cantaloupe in the house that you’re not sure where it’s from, throw it out! I’m currently recovering from listeria I got from contaminated Jensen Farms cantaloupe. After a week, I’m finally feeling better. It was not pleasant being sick, believe me!)

Mario Batalit

The best thing about The Chew is watching Mario cook. Here’s a recipe from his Italian Grill that I’m sure you’ll love. You can find more recipes from The Chew on their website.

Chicken Thighs with Pole Beans and Agliata

Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali Italian Grill

Serves 6

These chicken thighs are coated with a garlicky bread crumb mixture and cooked slowly over the cooler part of the grill so you end up with juicy meat and toasted herbed crust (be sure to scoop up all of the delightful little clumps of flavorful crumbs from the grill and scatter them over the chicken). Start the thighs boned side down so that by the time you flip them over, the “presentation side” will have dried a bit and won’t stick to the grill. The beans are good with almost anything—in this particular pairing, the subtle flavor of the anchovy paste in the beans echoes the anchovies in the bread crumb coating.


  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 salt-packed anchovies, filleted, rinsed, and patted dry, or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 shallots, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 pound snap peas, blanched in boiling water just until bright green, chilled in an ice bath, and drained
  • Olio Piccante for drizzling (see below for recipe)


  1. Combine the garlic, ½ cup of the oil, the anchovies, parsley, and bread crumbs in a food processor and zap until smoothish.
    Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat well. Arrange in a single layer on a platter and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ¼ cup oil in a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and anchovy paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring regularly, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the beans to a platter and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken thighs skinned side up on the cooler part of the grill, cover the grill, and grill, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes per side.
  5. Arrange the thighs on top of the beans and serve with a drizzle of olio piccante.

Mario Batali

Olio Piccante

Recipe from Molto Italiano


  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 jalapenos, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the oil, jalapenos, red pepper flakes, and pimenton and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 175° F. Remove from the heat, and allow to stand overnight.
  2. Strain out the solids from the oil. The oil will keep for 3 weeks in a cool, dark place.

Wordless Wednesday: food photography class #wordlesswednesday

SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSCMy first time using artificial lighting. With a little help from Chris Caldes, Denver food stylist and Jennifer Olson, professional food photographer.

Diabetes friendly recipes: Pistachio-Orange Crusted Chicken

pistachio orange crusted chicken According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States — 8.3% of the population — have diabetes. Out of these 7.0 million people are undiagnosed. Also, 79 million people are prediabetic, meaning their blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

To encourage people to eat healthier, the Diabetes Care Club, a social network for people with diabetes, is offering free online diabetes friendly cookbooks for download.

Diabetes Care Club is a great source of delicious recipes for diabetics, their families, and anyone who wants to eat healthy. Check it out!

pistachio orange crusted chicken

Pistachio-Orange Crusted Chicken

Recipe courtesy of the Diabetes Care Club


  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half (8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 2 tablespoons plain panko crumbs or 1 tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • Orange wedges (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a wire cooling rack or other type of cooking rack on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Place the chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound the chicken to ¼-inch thickness. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Cut the chicken crosswise in half.
  3. Place the nuts and panko in a food processor container. Cover and process with on/off turns just until the nuts are finely chopped. Transfer the nuts to a shallow dish or pie plate. Stir in the orange peel and thyme.
  4. Place the beaten egg white in another shallow dish or pie plate. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg white, then into the nut mixture. Coat both sides of the chicken with the nuts. Place the chicken on the rack on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 14 to 18 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center reads 165°F.
Prep Time: 15 - 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 14 - 18 Minutes
Total Time: 29 - 38 Minutes
Servings: 2 servings
  • Serving size: 1
  • Calories: 351
  • Total Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated fat: 14g
  • Sodium: 196mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 11g (1 carb choice)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 41g
  • Cholesterol: 81mg

Photo courtesy of Diabetes Care Club.

Easy Six Ingredient Flatbread Pizza and Blue Cash Dinner @6 winner’s Chicken Marsala

Six Ingredient Flatbread Pizza

For my final post in my American Express Blue Cash® Preferred and Everyday cards Blue Cash Dinner@6 $600 giveaway series, I chose a “so easy the kids can make it” dish – a healthy flatbread pizza. Like my Fish Veracruz and  Chicken with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes, it uses tomatoes and cheese. Using premade pizza crust makes it super quick and easy to make. Plus, you can tweak the ingredients to your personal preferences and dietary needs.

This pizza dish makes a great afterschool or movie night snack. Or serve it with a side salad and a glass of wine for dinner.

Easy Six Ingredient Flatbread Pizza


  • Any kind of premade pizza crust, like Rudi’s Bakery Gluten Free Pizza Crust or you can make pizza crust from scratch using my Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe
  • Your favorite Italian salad dressing
  • Tomatoes, sliced  – I used plum tomatoes from my garden
  • Mozzarella – slices of fresh or shredded
  • Your favorite pizza meat (precooked) – I used Italian chicken sausage, but you can use spicy Italian pork sausage, slices of ham, pepperoni or soy crumbles
  • Fresh basil leaves (also from my garden)


  1. Place pizza crust on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.
  2. Lightly drizzle Italian salad dressing on crust and spread evenly with a pastry brush.
  3. Add all your toppings but basil.
  4. Cook according to pizza crust directions or until cheese is melted and starts to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and garnish with basil leaves.
  6. Cut pizza into slices and serve.

Six Ingredient Flatbread Pizza

Blue Cash Dinner@6 giveaway winner

I’m happy to announce that Scarlet of MomsWearYourTees.com and the Family Focus Blog is my Blue Cash Dinner giveaway winner for her Easy Six Ingredient Chicken Marsala recipe. Like my Easy Six Ingredient Flatbread Pizza, you can modify it depending on your dietary needs and preferences. If you’re gluten free, you can use brown rice flour instead of regular flour. If you’re watching your saturated fat, use a buttery spread or olive oil instead of butter.

Scarlet says this is her daughter’s favorite dish. But if I was cooking it for my daughter, Lucie, I’d have to leave out the capers as she doesn’t care for them at all. When I cook this up next week for myself and my husband, I’ll probably use lots of capers and Marsala since we love both.

Easy Six Ingredient Chicken Marsala


  • chicken breast, sliced thin
  • flour
  • Italian seasoning
  • butter
  • capers
  • Marsala wine


  1. Coat the breast in the flour and seasoning.
  2. Saute the chicken breast in butter.
  3. Add the capers and Marsala and cook about 3 minutes more.
  4. Serve.

Why six ingredients?

american-express-blue-cash-300x209It’s to celebrate the launch of the new American Express Blue Cash Preferred and Everyday cards. With the cost of everything going up, the new Blue Cash Cards provide a simple way for you to get cash back – as high as 6% – when you shop for every day necessities.

Both Blue Cash cards immediately offer cash back in categories in which prices are rising like gas, supermarket purchases and clothing bought at department stores. You can use it online, too.

With the new Blue Cash Cards, there are no spending minimums, cash back caps, ongoing enrollments, or rotating categories of cash back benefits. The benefits don’t change either, as they do with some other cards.

For Blue Cash Preferred, it’s as simple as 6%-3%-1% (6% cash back at supermarkets, up to 3% at department stores and gas stations, and 1% on all other eligible purchases). At 6% cash back, Blue Cash Preferred offers consumers the most cash back at the supermarket available in the market today. (Blue Cash Preferred carries a $75 annual fee, but may be worth having if you put a lot of purchases on your card.)

For Blue Cash Everyday, it’s a simple as 3%-2%-1% (3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% cash back at department stores and gas stations, and 1% on all other eligible purchases) with no annual fee.

To learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday cards, visit www.americanexpress.com/bluecashcards.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my time by American Express to create these series of posts and run the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Rudi’s Bakery provided me with a complimentary package of their Gluten Free Pizza Crust.