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Homegrown Tomato and Stir Fry Chicken Salad

Homegrown Tomato and Stir Fry Chicken Salad

A few fall-like days that had me making chili and then the temps went through the roof and now I’m on a hot weather food kick, and really getting back into my salads. I was able to make this salad thanks to a friend who gave us a bunch of homegrown tomatoes.
I’ll have to post my stir fry recipe later. It was a real hit this summer.
  • Stir fry chicken
  • Spinach
  • Medium tomato
  • Mini bell peppers
  • Goat cheese
  • Red onion (optional)
  • Dressing (only a small amount needed)



It’s a salad, so cut the ingredients to your preferred size and toss. The stir fry sauce makes up most of the dressing, but I highly recommend adding a little Ranch dressing or at least some olive oil to bring out the nutrients in the vegetables and add a little coating so the sauce can stick better. Red onions are recommended for flavor if you have to use store-bought tomatoes.

Rachel vs. “The Kitchen”: Simple Split Chicken Breasts

Rachel vs. “The Kitchen”: Simple Split Chicken Breasts

Rachel vs. “The Kitchen”: Simple Split Chicken Breasts

This is so easy, but it always comes out juicy and wonderful. I make it frequently. I save up the bones in the freezer until I have enough to make Homemade Chicken Stock.

I am planning to adapt this to a whole roasted chicken recipe soon, using some of the basics from my previous post Easy, Delicious Roast Chicken and Gravy.


Found Recipe: Guac & Chicken Pinwheels

Found Recipe: Guac & Chicken Pinwheels

I came across a recipe for Guac & Chicken Pinwheels with Tyson Grilled & Ready on Twitter (retweeted by @therebelchick here).

Guac & Chicken Pinwheels

This is so quick, easy, and good. It looks like a great way to use up some of the ingredients you have hanging around the fridge, too. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for inviting ways to use up the rest of the fresh spinach before it goes bad.

So what we have here is some chicken, cheese, spinach and guacamole, rolled up in a tortilla and cut into bite-sized peices. It would make a great snack, appetizer, or main dish. You could even serve it up with some homemade ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Personally, I would use sliced cheddar or pepper jack in place of American cheese, and substitute some of my cook-ahead chicken for the store-bought chicken in the original recipe, but I love the idea here!

One thing that’s pictured, but not named,in the original blog post is Wholly Guacamole, store-bought guac. While nothing beats homemade guacamole, I have found that this brand is quite good, and makes for a very acceptable substitute for the real thing. Normally I won’t touch store-bought guac, so that’s a pretty big deal.

Thanks to @therebelchick and @Momhatescooking for the headsup on this one!

Steak and Chicken for Burritos, Bowls, and Snacks

Steak and Chicken for Burritos, Bowls, and Snacks

This stuff works great for burritos, bowls, and just snacking cold, straight out of the fridge (I eat it by the handful that way for breakfast). It would probably be good in sandwiches, too.

For the chicken, I use boneless, skinless chicken breast. For steak, you can go from very easy to more work but cheaper. The easiest is to buy stew meat or fajita meat because it is already cut up, but you can cut up steaks or a roast for this yourself.

This recipe works best if you brine the meat first. You can read all about that in my previous post.

If you brine the meat, rinse well and pat dry.

Place the meat in a bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat. Then sprinkle in the seasonings you like. I use garlic powder, onion powder, and sometimes other stuff like paprika, cayenne, and even a little chili powder. Toss again to coat.

Heat your skillet on medium-high to high heat. After the skillet gets hot, add some olive oil. Toss in the meat and stir frequently to prevent burning. It will create some liquid as it cooks and then that will cook down again. The meat will be browned on the outside when it is done.

I usually make this in two batches, and I clean out the burned stuff from the skillet in between.
Brining for Juicy, Yummy Meat

Brining for Juicy, Yummy Meat

I have discovered brining. I had no idea what I was missing. Brining uses salt water to suck moisture and flavors into the meat. The key is to use enough salt. If you use too little it sucks the moisture out instead. At least, that’s what they say.

Making the brine:

Use 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt for every cup of liquid.

Heat your water and mix in the salt until liquefied.
Add other seasonings, such as garlic powder, onion powder, and whatever you like.
Cool the brine by setting the pan in cold water, or set it aside until it cools.

Brining the meat:

For indoor cooking, we cut the meat into strips or bite-sized pieces before brining. Obviously that s not a good idea for grilling, unless you’re making shish kabobs.

Place the meat in a sealable container.
Pour in the brine, completely covering the meat.

Timing your brining:

This depends on the type of meat, but I have found that overnight, or even two nights, works fine for beef and chicken. They say chicken only takes a few hours and that beef can take twelve.

Cooking brined meat:

You must rinse the meat or it will be unbearably salty. Rinse it in cold water, and rinse it thoroughly. Some say to rinse for a full 30 seconds and do it twice. Then dry it well with paper towels. After that, I usually coat mine in olive oil or butter before grilling or cooking in the skillet.
Clean Out the Refrigerator, Left-Over-Chicken Noodle Soup

Clean Out the Refrigerator, Left-Over-Chicken Noodle Soup

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use just about anything in your refrigerator that needs to be used now or thrown out tomorrow to make a delicious and healthy meal!

What you have to have:
Onions (any kind will work)
Broth, stock, or bullion
Cooked chicken (any kind of meat can be substituted)
Cooked pasta (if you use long pasta like spaghetti cut into bite
size pieces, you can also substitute with rice)
vegetables (if you have them)

What I used last night:

2 medium-large onions
2 carrots
1 stick celery
Minced garlic to taste (3 heaping tablespoons)
¾ stick butter
3-4 cups left over cooked chicken (lemon chicken and broaster
2-3 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken broth (bullion)
1-2 cups left over cooked penne

Put onions, carrots, and celery in food processor until chopped up fine (can be done by hand). Melt butter and add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally over med-med high heat for about 20 minutes, or until everything get soft and onions start to turn translucent. Add chicken and stir, add flour and stir, cook for 5 more minutes. Add chicken broth (this is when you would add raw vegetables) and cook at simmer – low boil uncovered for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta (this is when you would add cooked vegetables), cover and cook for 10 minutes more. It is now ready to eat, but will improve if you leave covered, turn down to low heat and cook for another 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sandi’s Bourbon Chicken

Sandi’s Bourbon Chicken

Boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 pounds, can be frozen)
½ cup bourbon
3 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cranberry juice cocktail
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
¾ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 fresh sliced jalapeno

Place all ingredients, except chicken, in a gallon size freezer bag. Seal and shake to mix. Add chicken. Seal and shake to coat chicken. Place in refrigerator to marinate overnight. Turn over occasionally to thoroughly coat chicken. Pour chicken and marinade into a glass pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until barely done. Cut chicken into large bite-sized pieces. Cook in hot iron skillet to brown the outside, reduce to medium heat and add marinade to skillet. Cook stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Serve immediately. This dish does not taste as good when reheated.

Katie’s Chicken Fingers

Katie’s Chicken Fingers

I have subscribed to Katie’s newsletter for years and I love it! It’s called the Red Lotus Letter and it’s all about feng shui. Her article about feng shui in the kitchen will apear here next month. In the meantime, she has offered a couple of her favorite recipes.

From Katie:

Sandi – great blog! Love the concept of “real.” I am a foodie and put dinner on the table every night at 6:00. Dinner is a precious time in our family. I make a lot of different kinds of foods – Indian, Persian, Greek, you name it. But the recipes everyone enjoys the most are the “plain cooking” type. This will bring every kid within five miles to the table. Hope you enjoy them. Thanks again, Sandi!

Katie’s Chicken Fingers

by Katheryn Weber

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups (or much as needed) Kellogg’s Cornflake Crumbs*
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour flour and seasoned salt into a plastic bag. Add chicken pieces a few at a time and shake to coat. Set two shallow pie plates aside with the egg in one and cornflake crumbs in the other.

Shake off flour from chicken and dredge in egg and then into cornflake crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken. Do this with each piece. Pour vegetable oil into a large jellyroll baking pan and place in the oven for five minutes. Place the chicken into the heated oil. Bake for 10 minutes and turn the pieces over and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Place tenders onto a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with ketchup or favorite sauce. Enjoy!

*If you can’t find Kellogg’s Cornflake Crumbs at your grocery store, simply add cornflakes to your food processor and process until they are turned into crumbs. Store in the freezer in a zippered plastic bag.

Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in authentic Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE E-book “Easy Money – 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui” visit and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!

Homemade Teriyaki Chicken

Homemade Teriyaki Chicken

When I was a teenager my dad and I used to go to breakfast together on Sundays at a little French café. Their breakfasts were very good, but they also had two dishes that I loved that were not breakfast foods – potato soup and teriyaki chicken. You could say it has been one of my minor life’s quests to replicate those dishes. I have made potato soup and teriyaki chicken that were very good, but not the same. Until now!

When I decided to make teriyaki chicken I didn’t have any teriyaki sauce. I could have bought some, but I decided to try making my own. I had no idea that this was going to turn out so much like my favorite teriyaki chicken in the whole world. I had given up on trying to replicate it!

Chicken breast – 2.5 pounds, frozen, boneless, skinless
Pineapple juice
Tamari sauce (or regular soy sauce)
Garlic powder
Ginger powder
Cayenne powder

Heat oven to 350. Place chicken in glass baking dish. Sprinkle powdered spices on chicken. Pour in pineapple juice. Add tamari. Cover and bake until chicken is done, flipping chicken over once or twice.

A note on proportions. I used about 2 or 3 cups of pineapple juice and about ¼ to ½ cup of tamari sauce. I went unusually light on the spices, just lightly sprinkling them over all the chicken, not coating it!