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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.

 

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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!

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Lemon Beef Thing

Lemon Beef Thing

Lemmon Beef Thing

This is one of my favorite dishes. It is a nice change from the usual flavors we have around here. My recipe is adapted from a dish my mom used to make which was adapted from a veal scaloppini recipe. Don’t worry, there is no veal involved. In fact, there is no form of scaloppini in this recipe.

Ingredients

Stew meat, or any cut of beef cut into large bite-sized pieces

Flour
Salt
Onion powder
Lemon juice
Olive oil

On a plate on in a large baggie, mix together flour, salt, and onion powder. Coat the meat with the flour mixture, and shake off excess flour. I put mine on a plate or in a bowl after I shake off the flour, just to make things easier.
 
Heat an iron skillet on medium-high. When it’s hot add olive oil, covering the bottom of the pan. Brown the meat, placing just one layer of meat in the skillet. You are not trying to cook the meat through, just brow the outside. You may have to work in batches. I drizzle some olive oil on top of the meat while it’s in the skillet and before I flip it. If the pan goes fry of oil, add more oil.

Set the browned meat aside, and clean the skillet. This is easy, just run cold water in the very hot skillet and scrub with a nylon brush. The goal is to get the browned flour out. Put the skillet back on the stove to reheat and dry. It only takes a minute. When the skillet is hot again, add a just little oil and return the meat to the skillet. Pour in lemon juice, drizzling over meat, cover, and reduce heat to med-low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The amount of lemon juice will vary according to how much liquid you want. It will cook down and form a thick sauce with the flour from the coated meat. You can add more lemon juice as you go if it’s drying out too much.

You can keep this warm on the stove or in the oven for quite a while before serving. Serve with on top of white rice. It goes well with steamed and buttered Brussels sprouts.

 
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Beef Chili (no beans)

Beef Chili (no beans)

Snow, something of a rare occurrence the last few years, calls for chili. My last batch just wasn’t hot enough. It came out more like beef stew. So, this time I was hoping to step up the heat, while keeping it in range for those who can’t handle the really hot stuff. I think it came out pretty hot, meaning too hot for some, but not too hot for me. If you add some of the serving goodies below it will cool it down.

Meat Ingredients

 

2.5 lbs bottom round beef, cubed

Olive oil
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Salt
Black pepper

Other ingredients
1 bulb garlic, roasted

5 green chilies, roasted, peeled, and diced
1 large red onion, diced
3 jalapenos, diced with seeds
3 dried red chilies, whole with stems cut off
1½ tsp chili powder
1½ tsp caribe
½ tsp oregano
1 large can diced tomatoes
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Serving goodies (optional)

Fritos

Crackers
Shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
Homemade sour cream
Fresh tomatoes
Onion
Avocado

I roasted, peeled, and froze my green chilies a couple of months ago, so those just had to be thawed out and cut up. The dried red chilies are a PITA to cut up, so this time I just cut off the stem and threw them in whole to leach out their yummy goodness.

 

Preparing the Meat

 

Cut the meat in bite-sized cubes (or buy it that way). Put it in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the rest of the meat ingredients and toss to coat.

 

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on med-high. Add a little olive oil. Toss in the meat and brown. You’ll want to stir it some as it browns, and you’ll see that it produces a fair amount of juices.

 

 

Making the Chili

 

Add the onions, jalapeno, roasted garlic, and green chilies, and stir well. Let this cook a bit. The onions should wilt, but don’t have to be translucent.
Toss in the dried red chilies, and pour in the diced tomatoes. Add some water to the tomato can, swirl it around in the can, and pour that in. Add the dried spices, and stir.
The dried red chilies will poke down without breaking after they absorb some moisture. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

 

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Garlic and Onion Soup

Garlic and Onion Soup

This is so easy, and so, so good. The only drawback is that it takes a long time, but it’s not hands-on time, just lots of waiting. It is kind of like French onion soup. I eat it as a soup on its own. My husband uses it for French dip sandwiches. It starts with homemade beef bone broth. I have been making it in a pressure cooker lately.

Ingredients:

Beef bones (5 or 6)

Onions (about 4)
Garlic (2 bulbs)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Coarse sea salt

Roasting

The key to this recipe is roasting the bones, onion, and garlic first. I do this in the oven at 400, for 45 minute to 1 ½ hours. You can use a glass baking dish or oven-proof bowl. A bowl seems to work best for the bones. Put all the bones in a glass, oven-safe bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top (just to keep them from sticking). Slice the onions into thirds. I don’t bother peeling them. Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs. Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Put the onion and garlic in the baking dish. Roast the bones, onion and garlic. The onion and garlic will be done before the bones.

Making the Broth

Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Toss in one bulb of garlic and half of your onions. Save the rest of the onions and garlic, and the oil they roasted in, for later. Toss in the bones and the oil and fat from the bones. Add some lemon juice (maybe ¼ cup), sea salt (about a handful or so), and cold water. My pressure cooker has a line that shows you how much water you can add.

Let this sit and soak for 30 minutes before starting the pressure cooker. Bring the pressure cooker up to temperature, then turn it down, or do it however your model works. Cook in pressure cooker for 90 minutes. Strain the liquid into another container, put the bones, onion and garlic back into the pressure cooker, add some more lemon juice, and cook it all again for another hour and a half. Strain the second batch and press all the juices you can out of the bones, onion, and garlic.

Discard the bones, onion and garlic (not the onion and garlic you saved for later).

If you don’t want all of the fat from the broth, put it in the fridge overnight. The fat will rise and congeal on top and you can just pull it off and toss it.

Finishing the Soup

If your broth is chilled, it will be a jiggly lump. That’s good; it means it came out right. Place about 6 cups of broth in a pot on the stove. Store the rest in the fridge or freeze it for other recipes or just to sip on. Peel the onions and toss them in the broth. Squeeze the garlic out of its shell, into the broth. Simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. It will reduce.

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Double Meat, Pasta-Free Lasagna

Double Meat, Pasta-Free Lasagna

Looking for a completely different way to use up turkey leftovers, and craving lasagna but currently staying away from pasta, I came up with this dish which turned out better than I expected. I had leftover spaghetti sauce, too.

I make this in single servings, but you could make up a whole batch of lasagna this way. The key is simply replacing the pasta with turkey. You could try it with any lasagna recipe you like. Here’s what I used.

Turkey, pulled apart pretty thin (no need to try to get it as thin as lasagna noodles!)

Meat sauce
Cottage cheese
Mozzarella

It’s a pretty pared down lasagna recipe, and I didn’t even include the mozzarella every time I made it. Build it like you would regular lasagna, with the turkey making up the noodle layers. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes for single serving size made from cold ingredients out of the fridge.

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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.
Refrigerate.

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.
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Easy Salisbury Steak

Easy Salisbury Steak

Patty ingredients:

1 ½ pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1 to 2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
1 to 2 table spoons onion powder
2 teaspoon steak sauce (optional)

Sauce:

Strong beef broth (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all patty ingredients and knead together until well blended. Form into very thin oval shaped patties. Brown the patties in a skillet and remove with a slotted spoon or spatula. Place patties in a glass baking dish. Pour sauce over patties. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

You can add green onions to the patties, or just in the pan with them before baking. Also, top the patties with sliced mushrooms before baking, if you enjoy mushrooms.
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Quick and Easy Deep Fried Chicken Livers

Quick and Easy Deep Fried Chicken Livers

These make a great main dish or snack. Very easy!

Flour
Onion powder
Salt
Brown sugar (about a handful)

Preheat deep fryer to 375. Place all the ingredients in a large ziplock baggie and mix up. Toss in chicken livers a few at a time, shaking to coat. Place in a single layer in deep fryer. Fry for five minutes. Toss in a paper towel-lined bowl. May require more than one batch.

Please read more about the Health Benefits of Chicken Liver and Myths about Cholesterol.

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Green Chili Enchiladas

Green Chili Enchiladas

1 lb Pork sausage
Onion
Garlic
1 small can Green chilies
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Salt
Flour
Crushed Tomatoes

Corn tortillas
Cheddar
Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese

Brown pork sausage and remove from pan into slow-cooker. Drain most of the grease from pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Add garlic and onion to grease and cook until onions are translucent. Add green chilies, stir, add flour, stir cook for 2 or three minutes. Place in slow-cooker. Add onion and garlic powder, and tomatoes. Fill tomato can with water – add 2 cans of water. Cook for several hours in slow cooker. Warm corn tortillas in iron skillet with butter, fill with grated cheddar, place in glass pan, cover with green chili, top with grated muenster or Monterey jack, bake in over on 325 for 30 minutes or until all cheese is thoroughly melted.

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