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Keeping On With Chicken – Soy-Glazed Chicken with Asparagus and Scallions

In keeping up with the trend of a number of the chicken recipes that I have tried lately, this one was one of my personal favorites. I had seen this recipe in the last issue of Bon Appetit magazine and it sounded so delicious and made use of some great ingredients that I absolutely had to give it a try. While the original recipe calls for just using chicken thighs, I had a mix of thighs and drumsticks available to use so I made a little bit of both for us to have for dinner that night. This recipe for sot-glazed chicken with asparagus and scallions is easy enough to make for a weeknight meal and elegant enough for whenever you might be entertaining or want a meal that looks as great as it tastes.

Soy-Glazed Chicken with Asparagus and Scallions

2 teaspoons aniseed

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

8 chicken thighs (about 4 pounds)

1 bunch asparagus (about 3/4 pound), trimmed

2 bunches scallions, trimmed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

Toast the aniseed in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently and watching to make sure it does not burn, until the aniseed is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let the aniseed cool and then finely chop it.

Whisk the garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey and the chopped aniseed together in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss the mixture to coat the chicken well. Allow the chicken to sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Transfer the chicken and the marinade to a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, making sure to place the chicken skin side down on the foil. Roast the chicken until the fat begins to render, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up and continue to roast it, basting the chicken occasionally with the pan drippings, until the chicken is cooked through and deeply browned, about 15 to 20 minutes longer.

After turning the chicken, toss the asparagus and the scallions with the vegetable oil on another rimmed baking sheet. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables, shaking the pan about halfway through the cooking process, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you have thinner stalks of asparagus or scallions, they will cook more quickly and will be done faster.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour any pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let the juices sit for a few minutes and then spoon the fat from the surface of the juices. Spoon the pan juices over the chicken and serve the chicken with the asparagus, scallions, cilantro and lime wedges.

You can always begin marinating the chicken a day ahead and simply cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator until the next day if you want even deeper flavors. I did not have aniseed on hand but substituted fennel seed instead and got that licorice flavor that you get from either herb, so I think it worked well.The marinade is wonderful and imparts incredible flavor to the chicken thanks to the combination of the soy sauce, honey, aniseed and lime juice. I love roasted asparagus as well and with the scallions together they just seem to go really well with the chicken. It’s a great dinner that you can do in just over an hour and you get this deep brown chicken with amazing flavor and the house smells great while it is cooking.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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Asparagus and Chicken Stir Fry

Since it is spring and asparagus has been in abundance lately, I have been buying a lot of it. It is a vegetable we all like in my family and in a variety of ways. I have had a lot of it around the house this week and decided last night to make some use of it with this chicken and asparagus stir fry recipe I found at Food Network. It’s light and easy, only taking me about fifteen minutes to prepare, just enough time to cook up some rice to go along with it.

Asparagus and Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus one teaspoon

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon dry sherry

3/4 cup chicken broth or water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 bunches medium asparagus (about 2 pounds), woody stems trimmed, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

Freeze the chicken breasts for 20 to 30 minutes and then thinly slice the chicken against the grain into strips. Toss the strips with 1 clove of the garlic and about half the ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the sherry in a bowl. Marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Mix the remaining corn starch with the chicken broth or water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the asparagus, scallions, remaining garlic, remaining ginger, 1/4 cup of water and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir-fry until the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat the same skillet until very hot and then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Return the asparagus to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a full boil to thicken. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter and serve with white or brown rice.

The great thing about any stir fry is that you can add whatever you like to it. There are many other spring vegetables you could add to the mix right now, like fresh peas, or you can go with any of your favorites, like mushrooms, onions, carrots, green beans, sprouts, broccoli… the list can go on and on. You could also substitute for the chicken and use shrimp, pork, beef or no meat at all and just go with the vegetables if that is what you are looking for. I think any of the options are good, but I really liked this recipe as it is. The asparagus was nice and crispy and the chicken tasted great from the marinade. I think the fresh ginger really made the dish and the cornstarch mixture put  a nice glaze on the chicken.

Nice and simple for today. Today being Wednesday and usually a busy day around here, I don’t often cook anything new. We either have leftovers or something equally as simple, like burgers. I do have another chicken recipe I will be using later this week as well as the recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie, so check back for those towards the end of the week. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Cooking, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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It’s a Baked Fish Friday!

It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for our seafood meal for the week. it doesn’t get much easier than this one. i am making a very simple Baked Tilapia, with Brown Rice and a nice veggie dish of Sautéed Snap Peas, Asparagus and Peas with Herbs. First, the fish dish. There’s very little to do with this one, so it can be done quickly.

Baked Tilapia

7 tablespoons butter

4 (6 to 8 ounce) tilapia filets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lime, finely grated zest and juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large cast iron pan, Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Rinse the fish and pat it dry; season the fish with salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice. Add the fish to the cast iron pan and place 1 tablespoon of butter on each filet. Cook the fish in the oven until tender, about 8 to 12 minutes.

For the side dishes, they are both pretty easy to make. The first is Brown Rice. You can substitute brown rice for white rice in just about any recipe, just keep in mind that brown rice takes longer to cook the white rice. To me, tastewise, it isn’t any better or worse than white rice, just a little different, and it has much more nutrition than white rice, so I am trying to introduce it more into our diet. This is just a simple recipe on the stove top for the brown rice.

Brown Rice

1 1/2 cups brown rice

Large pinch of salt

Put the rice in a small saucepan with water to cover by about 1 inch. Add the salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then adjust the heat so the mixture simmers gently. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, checking occasionally to make the sure the water is not evaporating too quickly. When the liquid has been absorbed, taste and see if the rice is tender or nearly so. If not, add about 1/2 cup more of liquid and continue to cook covered.

When the rice is tender, you can serve it or turn the heat off, or keep it at an absolute minimum, and let it sit for 15-30 minutes, during which time it will become a bit drier. There are a lot of things you can add to the rice at this point, like a little butter or extra virgin olive oil, some fresh herbs, grated cheese, some shrimp, or instead of cooking in water, cook in some kind of stock. Once the brown rice is cooked, you can use it as a substitute for white rice in recipes like pilaf.

Now on to the vegetables. This is a recipe that I literally picked up at Willams Sonoma. They had a recipe card on the counter for it and it looked really good, so I thought I would try it. It is Sautéed Snap Peas, Asparagus, and Peas with Spring Herbs and Salt. It’s a great showcase for some spring vegetables.

Sautéed Snap Peas, Asparagus and Peas with Spring Herbs and Salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 small leek, white and light green portions, thinly sliced

3/4 pound sugar snap peas, cut in half

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, spears thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas (you can use frozen if you can’t find fresh)

1/4 cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley, or a combination

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus and shelled peas and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Add the water and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until the water has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon zest and herbs and stir until evenly distributed. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Yummy, yummy! It’s a pretty easy meal to put together. If you’re looking to save some time, you can always use white rice instead of the brown, but I think it goes nicely with the fish.

I have no plans for dinner tomorrow since we have plans for the evening, but I do hope to have our menu plan for next week set for tomorrow, so I will be posting that. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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A Nice Sunday Dinner

It’s another nice day here in New York. So far I am loving this mild winter with warmer temperatures and no snow. I don’t get around too well in the snow and cold anymore, so this makes things a lot better for me as far as doing things outside and getting to go places. Since today is Sunday, we are relaxing at home, reading and listening to music, and it’s a great day to cook a nice family meal. While this meal is probably better in the summertime when you can grill outside, it’s still a good one and one of my favorites. Today we are making Pan Seared Steaks with a Red Wine Pan Sauce, Sautéed Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Shrimp Scampi and Asparagus. It seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. You’ll probably spend more time peeling potatoes and shrimp than you will actually cooking, so if you can do some prep work ahead of time, your evening will go smoothly.

Pan-Seared Steaks with Red Wine Pan Sauce

Steaks

4 boneless beef steaks, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick, trimmed (I am using boneless ribeyes, but you could easily use any type of boneless steak for this one, Check and see what’s on sale)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Red Wine Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 shallot, minced

3/4 cup chicken broth (use your own or store-bought)

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 teaspoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled (it does make a difference if it’s chilled)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

For the steaks: pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the steaks on the first side, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks over and continue to cook until the desired doneness (I prefer medium), another 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a clean plate, tent with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes.

For the sauce, add oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine and brown sugar,  scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in any accumulated meat juice. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Off the heat, stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the steaks before serving.

It’s a very easy recipe to use. A couple of notes about cooking the steak. If you’re using larger steak and have more than one, cook only one at a time. Crowding them into the pan won’t sear them, it will only boil them and you won’t get a nice crust on them. Make sure you get your pan REALLY hot before putting the steaks in. If the oil smokes when it’s in the pan, it’s hot enough. Also, make sure you pat the steaks dry before you put them in the pan. If the steaks have been sitting in their own liquid before they are cooked, their exterior won’t brown nicely; they are just going to steam. Finally, use a conventional surface skillet for this one to make sure you get the nice browned bits for the sauce.

Now that the steaks are done, let’s move on to the shrimp. I love shrimp, made just about any way, and scampi is one of my favorites. This is great as a meal on its own served over white rice, but today we are using it as an accompaniment to the steaks.

Shrimp Scampi

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley

1/2 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the sugar. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the shrimp to the pan in a single layer. Cook until the shrimp are curled and pink on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds (garlic burns fast, you need to watch it!) Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice parsley, wine and cayenne. Whisk in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the shrimp with any accumulated juice to the skillet. Toss the shrimp until they are well coated with the sauce.

The shrimp takes next to no time to cook, so you could do this while your steaks are resting. Don’t cook the shrimp too long, they will be rubbery and you’ll regret it. Also, I often buy shrimp in the shell and save the shells when you are peeling; they can be used to make some fish stock for future recipes.

Okay we have our steak and our shrimp. We have made mashed potatoes before, but if you missed them, here’s my technique for making them from a past blog. Now we can move on to our other sides for the day. The first is sautéed mushrooms. They aren’t hard to cook, but take a little longer than the steak or the shrimp, so you may want to start them earlier.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallot and Thyme

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the shallot and cook until the shallot is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Leave the mushrooms in chunks instead of slicing them thin, They give you a more meaty, substantial texture this way and don’t dry out like the thinner slices can.

They are lots of ways to cook asparagus (steamed, sautéed, boiled) but I am going to broil them today. I like the way they taste, and frankly I don’t have room on the stove top today with all the other dishes going on, so it works out well. You can serve the asparagus fresh from the oven, room temperature, or even chilled if you prefer.

Broiled Asparagus

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Adjust an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler. Toss the asparagus with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the spears in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the asparagus, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice (if using) before serving.

You could dress these up if you want with some Balsamic Vinaigrette like we made in an earlier recipe or sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese or fresh herbs instead of the lemon juice. Even just tossing with some sesame seeds and a little soy sauce would be good.

Wow, we made a lot of food today and none of the recipes were difficult. I don’t normally make dessert, and it is Sunday, when we usually have dessert, but Julie is bringing dessert over today and she is a much better baker than I am, so whatever she brings would be better than what I could put together. At some point I’ll post dessert recipes on here if anyone asks for one, but I know a lot of family members who are much better at baking, so maybe they would like to provide us with some good dessert recipes (subtle hint). Enjoy your Sunday dinner and relax before the rest of the week begins. Have a glass of wine or a martini and kick back, listen to some music and start thinking about all the snacks we’ll make for Super Bowl next week (I have some good recipes I will post on Thursday!) Have a great day!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Produce, Sauce, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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