BAKED FIRECRACKER CHICKEN

I LOVE Firecracker Chicken, but I also LOVE lowering the caloric intake and was so excited to run across a baked recipe that lowered the oil content and used no breading. The original recipe was a bit vague in actual amounts so I improvised and made it my own 😀  While this is good, there are times that there is NO substitution for a good breading and I love my original recipe for SPARKLER CHICKEN.

BAKED FIRECRACKER CHICKEN
1 cup packed brown sugar
8 ounces Frank’s original hot sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Prepared white rice

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. This makes for a quick and easy clean up!
  • In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, celery salt, hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Rub chicken pieces with avocado oil and lay smooth side down in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken pieces smooth side up.
  • GENEROUSLY brush the chicken pieces with about 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Bake another 5 minutes.
  • Brush again with another 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through and beginning to char around the edges.
  • Serve over prepared rice with remaining sauce.

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 boneless chicken things
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic powder. onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add chicken pieces to skillet, turning to coat.
  • Sear one side, 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn to other side, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to plate.
  • Skim off fat and return chicken to skillet.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and honey.
  • Drizzle over chicken and cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve over rice.

CHICKEN & CORN STEW 2 ways – WEEKNIGHT & SLOW COOKER

This recipe is SOOOOOO versatile!  It was originally written as a slow cooker recipe that I adapted to NOT ONLY our likes and tastes, but also to a quick week night meal. 

WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds rotisserie chicken pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced small
1 large shallot, chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet.
  • Add carrots and shallots, stirring to saute until softened.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth.
  • Add broth to skillet and stir to combine.
  • Add corn, thyme, potatoes pieces, chicken pieces, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until heated through and croutons are toasted.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or tenders, cut into bite sized 1 inch pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced large
1 large shallot, large chop
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs

  • LIGHTLY spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth and pour into slow cooker.
  • Add chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, shallots, corn, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Cook another 10-15 minutes until heated through and thickened.

NOTES: Crushed potato chips works to replace the croutons in a pinch!

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS
3-4 pounds chicken wings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • Toss flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and garlic powder in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Place chicken pieces in the bag, tossing to coat.
  • Shake off excess and place on baking pan in a single layer.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Dip each wing in the sauce and return to pan on its opposite side.
  • Bake another 25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Dip in sauce a second time as you plate them.

GLAZE
2/3 cup PURE maple syrup
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced (optional) for garnish

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over a medium heat,
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  • Garnish if desired and serve.

GOCHUJANG CARAMEL CHICKEN

GOCHUJANG CARAMEL CHICKEN

CHICKEN
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar

  • In a large bowl dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts of cold water.
  • Submerge chicken in brine, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

1/2 cup cornstarch

BATTER
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

PREPARATION

1 cup coconut oil

  • Remove chicken from brine and dry thoroughly.
  • Dredge one piece of chicken at a time in the cornstarch, shaking to remove excess and place on a plate.
  • Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Dip chicken in batter one piece at a time, allowing excess to drip off, and add to hot oil, frying 5-7 minutes per side until crispy and cooked through.
  • Drain on paper toweling.
  • Dip chicken pieces one at time in the caramel glaze and place on rack to drain.
  • Serve immediately.

GOCHUJANG CARAMEL
1 large green onion, minced (whites only – save greens for garnish)
2 tablespoon Coarsely chopped ginger*
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Gochujang
1/2 cup Sugar
Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons Sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 1/2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  • Whisk the sugars with the orange juice in a medium sauce pan.
  • Bring to a simmer and reduce for 3-5 min or until large bubbles form and the caramel has some
  • color
  • Add the scallions, garlic and ginger to the pot and stir constantly to slow down the cooking of the
  • caramel. This will be very fragrant.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame seeds. Keep the sauce warm until ready to use or store in airtight container in refrigerator for
  • up to 2 weeks.

NOTES:

  • Gourmet Garden Squeeze herbs are a great substitution to fresh if you don’t have it on hand.
  • You can use bone in chicken, but you need to adjust the cooking time!  We prefer the boneless because the glaze is so sticky that using a knife and fork is preferable to us!

HONEY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS

HONEY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS
2 cups buttermilk
3 pounds chicken wings
3/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1/3 cup QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon celery flakes
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Place chicken wings in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour buttermilk over chicken pieces, turning to coat. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • Drain chicken and discard buttermilk.
  • Place chicken pieces back in the bag.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the hot sauce, melted butter, tomato paste, garlic powder, celery flakes and sea salt.
  • Add 1/3 of sauce to the bag, tossing to coat chicken.
  • Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking tray.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes, basting with remaining sauce and turning every 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through .
  • Serve with Bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Home made “BLEU” CHEESE DRESSING
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup large curd cottage cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces Bleu cheese crumbles (sometimes I use Gorgonzola for a bit of change or when I accidentally pick up the wrong container at the grocery store and we like it just as well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until it’s well mixed.
  • Chill for 24-48 hours before serving.

GRANNY’S CHICKEN

This is a classic, old fashioned chicken recipe full of flavor and comfort vegetables and makes for a one pan dish.

GRANNY’S CHICKEN serves 4
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 shallot, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounce can small navy beans (or black beans), drained WELL
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cans ROTEL original tomatoes with chiles
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
grated cheese, for garnish
minced green onions, for garnish

  • In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  • GENEROUSLY season chicken thighs with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Sear chicken 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Add onions and garlic, stirring and cooking 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Add tomato paste, thyme, red pepper flakes, beans, potatoes and tomatoes, stirring to mix well.
  • Bring to a quick boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or so until potatoes are fork tender and chicken is cooked through.

TROPICAL SLOW COOKER CHICKEN

This recipe is perfect for your busy holidays. You literally dump the ingredients in and magically have a dinner 5 hours later. The tropical flavor is perfect over rice, just add a salad.

TROPICAL SLOW COOKER CHICKEN
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3/4 cup apricot pineapple jam OR orange marmalade
Juice from 2 limes
3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
20 ounce can crushed pineapple, DRAINED & RESERVED
15 ounce can Mandarin oranges, DRAINED & RESERVED
Prepared white rice

  • Coat 6 quart slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add chicken breasts to insert.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the cornstarch, brown sugar, liquid aminos, jam, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken.
  • Add pineapple and Mandarin oranges to top of chicken.
  • Cover and cook 4-5 hours on low, stirring occasionally to coat chicken and blend flavors.
  • Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  • Add chicken back into sauce.
  • Serve over rice with FRESH orange slices.

NOTES:

  • Also works well over mashed potatoes.
  • Use the reserved juices for a cocktail 😀

WHITE CHICKEN RAGU

WHITE CHICKEN RAGU serves 4
1 tablespoons avocado oil
4 slices pancetta, finely chopped (plain old bacon works too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
WONDRA flour for dredging
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups Sofrito (recipe below)
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 green onions, minced
2 sprigs FRESH thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 small can Le Seur peas, drained well
6 ounces fettuccine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
chopped Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

  • Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add pancetta, stirring often until fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper toweling to drain.
  • Add garlic and increase heat to medium high.
  • GENEROUSLY season chicken thighs with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Dredge in WONDRA flour and add to pan.
  • Sear chicken until golden on both sides.
  • Transfer chicken to plate and keep warm.
  • Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil and garlic.
  • Add sofrito and wine, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  • Add green onions and thyme. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Return chicken to pan, turning to coat well.
  • Simmer 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from sauce to plate and keep warm. Let both stand 10 minutes.
  • Prepare fettuccine per package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.
  • Skim fat from sauce.
  • Stir in cream and heat through, 5-10 minutes, until sauce thickens and reduces slightly.
  • Stir reserved bacon into sauce.
  • Shred chicken and add to sauce.
  • Fold peas into sauce.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add butter, Parmesan, lemon zest and pasta to sauce. Add as much pasta water as necessary to make sauce creamy.
  • Garnish with parsley.

SOFRITO – The Italian version of mire poix
1 large stalk celery, chopped small
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
1 small carrot, chopped small
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped small
1/8 cup avocado oil

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add everything and cook, stirring regularly, until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent.

BRAISED BALSAMIC CHICKEN for 2

This recipe was originally written to serve 6 over at ALLRECIPES.com. It uses dried herbs and a can of diced tomatoes. Unfortunately, diced canned tomatoes don’t come in small enough sizes for 2 so I adapted the recipe to make my own using cherry tomatoes AND use FRESH(er) herbs.  I also don’t particularly care for olive oil so I substitute avocado oil and instead of onion I substitute shallot for a little extra flavor.

BRAISED BALSAMIC CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground black pepper
garlic salt, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large shallot, sliced
1 ¼ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
¼ cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden “squeeze” Italian herbs
1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden “squeeze” Basil

  • In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, basil and Italian herbs.
  • Fold in tomatoes, cover and refrigerate until dinner.

  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground pepper and garlic salt.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add shallot, cooking until browned. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add chicken to skillet and sear each side, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Top chicken with shallots and tomato mixture.
  • Bring to a QUICK boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Turn chicken to coat well in glaze.
  • Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with FRESH herbs.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN & STUFFING

Those of you that know me, know that I SCRATCH cook. Every now and then hubby begs, yep actually begs, for something like Stove top stuffing or Kraft Mac and cheese or an occasional canned good. This recipe is the PERFECT comfort food for an easy weekend meal that’s full of flavor and checks all his boxes!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN & STUFFING

1 1/2-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 can Campbell’s cream of celery soup
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup
2/3 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
2 boxes Stove Top savory herb stuffing
3/4 cup butter, melted
Parsley, for garnish

  • Coat slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • GENEROUSLY season the chicken with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and poultry seasoning.
  • Place chicken in the bottom of slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Whisk together the soups, sour cream and half and half.
  • Pour over cheese.
  • Sprinkle stuffing mixes evenly over the soup.
  • Pour the melted butter over the stuffing mixes.
  • Cover and set on Low for 4 hours.

NOTES:

  • This recipe works best in the rectangular flat slow cooker by crock pot.
  • If using chicken tenders decrease time to 3 hours.

MUSHROOM CREAM CHICKEN

This recipe originally called for bone-in chicken and was for a slow cooker, but we MUCH prefer not to deal with bones and I wanted it to be a week night easy recipe, so we I have adjusted it to a boneless version. Plus hubby doesn’t care for mushrooms so it makes it easy to serve this way and I get ALL the mushrooms. 😀

MUSHROOM CREAM CHICKEN serves 4
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8-10 tenders
1 ½ teaspoons herbs de Provence
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
¼ cup WONDRA flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 leek, halved lengthwise and chopped
½ cup heavy cream

  • Generously salt and pepper each chicken breast.
  • Combine flour and herbs de Provence.
  • Dredge chicken in Wondra flour mixture.
  • Heat butter and avocado oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear chicken pieces 4-5 minutes on each side until golden.
  • Remove chicken pieces and keep warm.
  • Add leek pieces and mushrooms to skillet and sauté’ until golden.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove onions and mushrooms to the platter with the chicken.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth, white wine and 2 tablespoon of flour.
  • Add to skillet and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add heavy cream and whisk until well blended and you reach desired consistency.
  • Return chicken, leeks and mushrooms to pan and turn to coat with sauce.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta.