pan-fried chicken salad with honey mustard dressing

Pan-Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing 1

I know, I know. You guys are probably like, but you just DID salad, Carter.

Yeah, well… welcome to my house. I’m not really all that creative.

(It’s why I picked food instead of fashion. Also, I can’t sew.)

Seriously, even Lindsay asked me what’s up lately:

Well, I’m in charge of cupcakes for the St. Patrick’s Day party this weekend. So there’s probably going to be booze AND dessert here on the blog soon. Possibly in the same dish, no less.

But for the meantime – back to salads. (You need to eat lots of salad to counteract all the green beer this weekend, right?)

Pan-Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing 2mPan-Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing 5

Last night, I emailed B asking him if he was going to make it home for dinner (if he doesn’t come home, I tend to default to a bachelorette-style bowl of noodles. Don’t judge me.) What are you going to make? he asked. Was thinking crispy chicken over salad greens… nothing fancy, I typed, hoping he wouldn’t remember we had eaten the same thing for dinner just last week, and probably the week before. One of my favorites, came his answer. Honey mustard dressing?

Well… crap. I’ve never made honey mustard dressing before.

But I HAVE made honey mustard dipping sauce before… meh, I’ll just wing it.

Pan-Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing 4mPan-Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing 6

And although it might sound self-righteous, I have to say… this might be the best honey mustard dressing I’ve ever had. Tangy and not too sweet, and not so thick that it’s like trying to mix concrete into your salad greens. (I hate that.) With the crispy chicken, it’s like a grown up version of chicken nuggets. Minus the uncomfortable driver’s seat and soggy fries, of course.

We loved this dressing so much, it’s probably going to be the new default dressing ’round here for the next few weeks. But, should honey mustard not be your thing (not everyone likes mustard – I don’t know who you are or what’s wrong with you, but I know you’re out there) this goes perfectly with the balsamic vinaigrette or champagne vinaigrette I featured the other day.

.

Pan-Fried Chicken

Serves 2

1/4 pound chicken tenderloins (or chicken breast, trimmed of fat and sliced laterally into 1/4-inch-thick pieces)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
a pinch cayenne, optional
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk or water
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon safflower oil or other high-heat oil
chopped mixed greens and honey mustard dressing, to serve

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a wide, shallow bowl, and stir to mix. Whisk together egg, milk or water, and mustard in a second bowl. In a third bowl, mix panko and grated parmesan together. Dip each piece of chicken into flour mixture, coating lightly. Shake off excess flour and dip each piece into the egg mixture. Shake off excess and finally dip each piece into panko mixture. Press panko mixture onto chicken with your fingers. Put coated pieces of chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate. Ideally, place your baking sheet or plate in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes – it will help the crumbs adhere to the chicken during cooking – although if you don’t have time, skip the refrigerator.

Heat safflower oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When you think the oil is hot, drop a few stray panko crumbs into the pan – if they start to sizzle and brown immediately, your oil is hot enough. Carefully place chicken in pan in a single layer, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn chicken to other side using tongs or a fork, and cook another 2 minutes, or until browned. Remove to a plate covered in a paper towel, and let drain.

Cut into slices and serve over mixed greens, if desired.

.

Honey Mustard Dressing

Serves 2

one heaping tablespoon of yellow mustard
two teaspoons honey
one tablespoon olive oil
one teaspoon mayonnaise
one to two teaspoons water

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. (Note: if you have access to a microwave, heat the honey up for 15 seconds – it will mix in much more readily with the other ingredients.) Adjust seasoning to your preferences.

Butternut Squash and Poblano Enchiladas

x

So, I had a little issue with Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers – I forgot to do it… for like 6 months. That’s what happens when you don’t have a reminder set up in Google Calendars (I have one now)… and can we talk about how awesome Google Calendars is? It’s like porn for those who love to organize. I have at LEAST eight different calendars (and this is not one of those instances where I exaggerate a number for the purposes of sarcasm.) Here is an ode to Google Calendars that I wrote to express my undying devotion:

x

Such pretty colors

Woot. You help me organize

What I don’t need to.

x

Yes, I know I ended that with a preposition. That’s how I roll. (Hardcore, if you’re new around here.)

Anyways… onward!

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.

When I saw this challenge earlier this month, I have to admit, I was really REALLY excited. I love Latin American food. MexicanTex-Mex, New Mexican, Venezuelan, El Salvadoran… bring it. Bring it ALL. I think I might have been Mexican in a former life (I hope I looked like Catherine Zeta Jones circa her “Zorro” days). And I want to learn Spanish so that I can apprentice myself to an aging Mexican grandmother in order to learn her secrets to soft tortillas and perfectly-cooked tamales. Why are you looking at me funny? It’s normal… I think.

x

x

But I saw the stated recipe required the use of both tomatillos AND chiles… both of which are soooo not in season right now (damn that Colorado winter). But you know what IS in season?

Anything that was grown last fall… and hasn’t rotted yet.

SWEET. Oh, the choices, they abound.

I have no idea where this idea came from (other than I had one butternut squash sitting out on my counter; totally unrelated, obviously). Then, miracle of all miracles, Abbondanza Farm had some frozen poblano chiles from the 2009 chile harvest at the Boulder Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago. One can mix squash and chiles… right? … I’m sure it will taste fine. No, really… I’m 100% 70% positive it will taste great be edible.

x

x

Other issues to address…

Filling: I used some shredded chicken leftover from making chicken stock a la the Barefoot Contessa. (I reduce the recipe by a third, because, um, my pot only fits ONE whole chicken, Ina. Not like your super stock pot, apparently.)

Cheese: I used my trusty copy of the Flavor Bible to check out which cheeses would compliment butternut squash. Fontina, Gruyere, goat cheese… they are all suggestions. I went with Fontina, because I knew it would melt well over the top. I would also suggest trying a goat cheese feta… I think the tanginess would go really well with the squash.

x

I ended up pretty happen with the ending results of this recipe. It was the first try on this one… so it’s not perfect. It’s definitely not a massive fail, and something I want to try again… but, I can’t for the life of me figure out what we’re missing. Give it a try if you want, and let me know what you think!

x

x

Butternut Squash and Poblano Enchiladas

From The Kitchenette

Serves 6

x

Gather:
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 roasted poblano peppers, seeds and skin removed
12 flour tortillas
4 cups shredded chicken (white and/or dark meat)
4 oz chorizo, minced
8 oz fontina cheese, shredded or sliced thinly

Prepare:
To prepare enchilada sauce: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half and place cut-side down onto a baking sheet. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, and place in a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil onto the garlic, and then gently crush the foil around the garlic (you don’t want to “seal” the foil around the garlic, but instead ensure air can escape a little bit.) Place foil packet of garlic on baking sheet. Add quartered onions to pan. Brush onions and squash with remaining tablespoon of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until squash is soft. Remove seeds from squash and discard. Scrape softened squash into a food processor. Add roasted onions, half of the roasted garlic, and the 2 poblanos to food processor, and pulse until the sauce is a smooth consistency (add water if necessary). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To assemble enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add approximately 1/3 cup of shredded chicken and 1 tablespoon of minced chorizo to the middle of each tortilla, then roll into a cigar-shape. Place seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spread butternut squash sauce on top of tortillas, and sprinkle fontina on top of sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

x

x

Now Playing: Led Zeppelin / I Can’t Quit You Baby

x

x

Pioneer Woman Monday: Ranch-Style Chicken and Fluffy New Potatoes

Ranch-Style Chicken and Fluffy New Potatoes

<space>

Ew. It’s Monday. Mondays are so fail.

But…

I’m meeting the Pioneer Woman today!!!!!!!!!!! I’m SO EXCITED!!!!

Ahem. I apologize. I get a little more fangirl every hour closer I am to meeting Ree. Rachelle, my friend and macaron conspirator, is going with me to Ree’s cookbook signing tonight. Rachelle and I love the Pioneer Woman. We instant message during the day, and Rachelle will be like “Did you see PW is giving away a red Kitchenaid mixer today???” Or I’ll be all, “Did you see PW is giving away a Le Creuset set today???” You know, we like to keep each other informed of free cookware. Because that’s what friends do.

Anyhoodle, because today is such a momentous and holy day, I made two (count ‘em, TWO) P-Widdy recipes for dinner last night. I made her Ranch-Style Chicken, which is a chicken breast marinated in lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard, paprika, and crushed red pepper, topped with bacon and melted cheddar. Mr. Kitchenette devoured this one; P-Widdy is right when she says this is “Cowboy Food.” I liked the chicken best by itself without the bacon, but I think maybe the bacon I used was just too strong in flavor. Regardless, this chicken will now be part of my Poultry Rotation (the few recipes I make over and over again) along with the Balsamic-Roasted Chicken I love.

I also made PW’s Fluffy New Potatoes, which were kind of DE.LI.CIOUS. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my love for potatoes before, but they are my Kryptonite. For serious. I would eat potatoes with every meal, if my thighs wouldn’t balloon to the size of tree trunks. In light of my desire to fit my thighs into my favorite jeans, I relegate my potato consumption to Thanksgiving, and the occasional Holy Day. Today is a Holy Day. So I ate potatoes to celebrate. And I’m so glad I did, because these potatoes were WORTH IT. Basically, you halve the potatoes, bake them, scoop out the middle of each half, and mix the potato with cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, chives, and monterey jack. (Yes, I know. These potatoes are the Devil’s creation.) Then you fill the potato halves back up with the mix and bake until the middle is all warm and gooey.

I tried to restrain myself, and I still ate 4 halves of these potatoes. I totes have a muffin top consisting entirely of sour-cream-and-potato this morning. That’s how good they are.

<space>

<space>

Ranch-Style Chicken

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

<space>

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices bacon
canola oil
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

<space>

Directions:
Mix the mustard, honey, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes in a Ziploc bag. Pound the chicken with a mallet or heavy saute pan until 3/4 inch thick. Add the chicken to the bag and close; toss to cover the chicken with the marinade and refridgerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Saute the bacon in a saute pan over medium-high heat, until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towels to drain. Add canola oil to bacon fat (you want about equal parts bacon fat and oil). Add chicken to pan, and sear until browned and crispy on one side. Repeat sear on other side of chicken. Remove chicken and lay on sheet pan; cook chicken on sheet pan in oven for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Lay bacon on top of chicken, and garnish chicken with grated cheese. Return chicken to oven for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

<space>

<space>

Fluffy New Potatoes

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

<space>

Ingredients:
1 pound red potatoes or Russet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Rinse and dry the potatoes; cut in half. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes (or until you can hold a potato without withstanding 1st degree burns). Scoop out the insides of the potatoes into a bowl and mash, or use a potato ricer, such that the potatoes are a fluffy consistency. Mix mashed potato with sour cream, cream cheese, cheese, chives, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill the potato halves with the filling, and bake for another 10 minutes or until the filling is melted. Hoover, and don’t let anyone steal the last piece.

<space>

<space>

Now Playing in the Kitchenette: Bon Iver and St. Vincent / Roslyn – This is from the New Moon soundtrack. Yes, I’m excited for the New Moon movie to come out. Yes, I’m 25 years old. Are we done now?

<space>

<space>

A note for some of my less-tech-savvy readers: click on the title of this post, and scroll to the bottom of the new page, to leave a sweet comment telling me what you think of this recipe. Or to tell me to stop posting Gossip girl clips. Or to tell me to post MORE Gossip Girl clips. Or whatever you want, really.

 

Ricotta-and-Herb-Stuffed Chicken

Ricotta-and-Herb-Stuffed Chicken

<space>

What to do if you have approximately 3 cups of delicious ricotta to use? Why, stuff it into something, of course… I chose chicken.

This is a great recipe for super-moist juicy chicken. (Note: I need a replacement word for moist. I hate that word. Shudder) I had the leftovers for lunch today, actually, and it was still tender and not at all dried-out. The ricotta definitely takes a back seat to the chicken in this recipe, which, if you ask me, is a good thing. I hate when one ingredient overwhelms the entire dish. Instead it just deepens the flavor of the dish without making the chicken feel heavy. It’s like chicken with the volume turned up… to a nice smooth beat, like the music I’ve posted below.

This recipe calls for removing the backbone of the chicken so that you can lay it flat. If you’ve never done this, this fella gives a great overview of how to remove the back bone, and then goes on to show you how to remove the keel bone as well (I didn’t remove the keel bone, because I didn’t know how – you learn something new everyday). If you don’t want to have to deal with the whole bird, I recommend just buying a selection of chicken breasts and thighs with the skin still attached – you can still stuff the meat under the skin that way. Or if you want to make this using regular chicken breasts (I always have some frozen in my freezer), you can just cut a slit in the middle of the breast piece and stuff the filling in there. Buying the whole bird is just cheaper, and let’s face it – a little more exciting!

This is the ultimate put it in the oven recipe – I literally didn’t touch the chicken until the hour was up. You may use that hour however you like. Browse the Internets. Play with your kids. Or watch a Chuck-Bass-filled episode of Gossip Girl (I think you know which one I chose).

<space>

Ricotta and Herb-Stuffed Chicken

Based on this recipe from Gourmet, July 2007

<space>

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cups whole-milk ricotta (use homemade if you can)
  • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

<space>

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F with racks in middle and lower third.

Stir together garlic, ricotta, eggs, parmesan, herbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

<space>

Ricotta-and-Herb-Stuffed Chicken - Making the Filling

<space>

Stuff and roast chicken:
Cut out the backbone from chicken with kitchen shears (freeze bones for making stock if desired). Pat chicken dry, then spread flat, skin sides up, on a cutting board.

Sprinkle chicken with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and spread chicken flat, skin sides up, in an oiled large (17- by 12-inch) shallow baking pan. Gently slide your finger between skin and flesh of breast and legs of chicken to loosen skin (be careful not to tear skin).

<space>

Ricotta-and-Herb-Stuffed Chicken - Stretching the Skin

You really want to get under the skin. You’re pretty much violating the chicken in this step. But it’s to your benefit… your ricotta-and-herb-stuffed benefit.

<space>

Using a small spoon (or your fingers, Paula-Deen-style), slide ricotta mixture under skin. It helps to get a good helping under the skin with one hand, and then use your other hand on the outside of the chicken skin to spread the filling around under the skin. Brush skin of chicken all over with oil and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. (I totally forgot to oil the outside of the chicken, so the skin is looking a little dry – oh well, it was still really good.)

Bake chicken in at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or until the skin is crispy and golden. Let chicken stand 10 minutes, then cut each into quarters.

<space>

Playing in the Kitchenette: Starfucker / Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second – Nice relaxing music for making chicken!

<space>

<space>

Balsamic Roasted Chicken

BalsamicChicken1

Yesterday I got off of work a little early, so I went clubbing. You know, Sam’s Club-bing. The suburban version of clubbing.

I was making this balsamic chicken, which I tend to make in large quantities, because I will eat it on anything and everything. So I went out to Sam’s and bought 10 pounds of chicken. For $22 dollars. Who doesn’t love Sam’s Club? It’s like recession-proof grocery shopping.

Anyhoodle, this chicken is the best. Like I said, I will eat it on anything and everything. It freezes well, so I tend to have some on hand at all times. It’s just that good, so much so that I don’t seem to get tired of it.

Continue reading