Grilled Chicken Couscous with Apricots and Pistachio

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This meal has probably been one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time. Really impressed. I had to have a bite of everything together, the couscous, chicken, glaze, and grilled apricots. Bobby Flay really nailed this one and it’s pretty healthy too. The only part I didn’t like was boiling the vinegar. Ben got a really good woof of that when he came back from setting the grill up. Not a pretty smell, but it sure does make a really good glaze for the chicken when it’s all cooked down.

I wish I had had my new camera when I made this. Might have to make it again when I do get it and take a better picture, yes really folks it was that good. I’m taking leftovers tomorrow for lunch.

Recipe from Bobby Flay

Ingredients
Couscous:

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups instant couscous
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly grated lime zest, as needed

Apricot-Balsamic Glaze:

2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Chicken and Apricots:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
6 fresh apricots or 3 nectarines, cut in half and pits removed
Canola oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the couscous: Put 1 1/2 cups water, the salt, cumin and pepper in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, cover and let sit until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the couscous to a bowl, fluff with a fork and add the pistachios, mint, parsley and lime zest to taste. Set aside.

For the apricot-balsamic glaze: Put the vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup. Whisk in the apricot jam and let cool slightly.

For the chicken and apricots: Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high for direct grilling.

Brush the chicken and apricots with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and just cooked through, about 9 minutes total. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Grill the apricots cut-side down until golden brown and slightly charred; turn over and grill until just heated through. Slice into wedges.

Transfer the couscous to a plate and arrange the chicken and apricots on top. Drizzle with the apricot-balsamic glaze

Trisha Yearwood’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

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Sadly, I had to eat this dish all by myself. I wish I could have shared it with somebody because it was so good. My husband wouldn’t eat it because he’s lactose intolerant. Guess he’s missing out! I think it would suck to be allergic to dairy. I just love cheese so much.

I love Food Network dearly and I thought the decision they made with Paula Deen was a little unfair and now Smithfield is doing the same thing. People make mistakes and she apologized. Robert Irvine lied on his resume but they hired him back on later. I hope that is what the Food Network decides to do with Paula Deen. I know some people are going to the extreme of boycotting the Food Network. I can’t put myself to do that, because there are so many shows that I like to watch on that network. Trisha Yearwood is starting to grow on me. Her food is really good and I just loved this casserole she made on her show this weekend. I would definitely make this again but use substitutes like soy milk for the gravy. Sorry this dish didn’t turn out so pretty in the picture, but don’t be fooled by the picture. It was pretty damn good!

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Did anyone catch the super moon this weekend? It was pretty sweet.

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This picture I took on Sunday night. I was getting so frustrated with my camera. Taking pictures of the moon is hard.

Here is one on Saturday night. The moon almost looks like a big gigantic melon in the sky.

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Trisha Yearwood's Chicken Tortilla Casserole
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Chicken Gravy, recipe follows
  • 1 cup canned green chiles, chopped and drained
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Twenty-four 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken to a large stockpot, cover with water and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and set aside. Reserve 3⅓ cups of the broth (1 cup is for the chicken gravy, supplement with boxed stock if you don't have enough.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine 2⅓ cups of the reserved broth, the Chicken Gravy, green chiles, onions, garlic, sour cream, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
  4. Spread 1 cup of the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Arrange a layer of 6 tortillas over the mixture, and then top with 1 cup shredded chicken and ½ cup of the Cheddar. Repeat this layer three more times, ending with cheese. Spread any remaining mixture over the cheese. Make sure all of the tortillas are covered or they will get very hard during baking. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. For Gravy:
  6. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and the flour turns light brown in color. Gradually whisk in the stock and milk and continue to stir while cooking over medium heat. When the mixture thickens, after about 5 minutes, whisk in some salt and pepper.

 

 

If you like Trisha Yearwood recipes try her Country Quiche!

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Beer Can Chicken

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I am so excited about having a smoker. So far we’ve tried salmon, pulled pork (which was the best pulled pork I’ve ever had) and a whole chicken. Seriously, you have not had good pulled pork until you’ve tried it smoked. Pulled pork made in the crock pot just doesn’t do any justice. It was over cooked a tad, but man was it really good. I used the left over smoked salmon to put on bagels with sour cream and chive cream cheese. Having a smoker is well worth it. You can smoke so many different kinds of food like cheese, cookies, macaroni and cheese, you name it. It was a good investment and I can’t wait to try making my own bacon soon.

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Tonight we made beer can chicken. It was pretty easy too. The hardest part is probably trying to get the chicken attached to the beer can without it sliding all over your fingers. Then we just seasoned the chicken with some Lawry’s seasoning salt and it was the juiciest chicken I’ve ever had. I dipped my chicken in some barbeque sauce. If you don’t have a smoker to make beer can chicken, you can cook the chicken in the oven. Just make sure there’s some kind of pan underneath it so the beer doesn’t splatter all over the oven.

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Ingredients

1 whole chicken 3 – 4 pounds
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
1 can of beer (I used Bud Light)

Directions:

Remove any giblets from inside the bird. Pat the bird dry and season with Lawry’s Seasoning salt. Open up a can of beer and poke a few extra holes in it. Set the bottom of the bird where the opening is on top of the can so that it sits on the beer can. Make sure the chicken is secure on the can of beer and place it on a smoker on top of a sheet pan. Smoke for 2 – 3 hours.

Easy Chicken Cordon Blue

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I’ve been messing with different camera lenses lately. I really do like how close up I can get to the food pictures I take using my macro lens, but then I also like my 55 mm lens. You can pretty much do anything with your picture if you have a 55 mm lens. That is if you have the largest file size setting your camera can go pixel wise. The part I like most about using my 55mm lens is being able to zoom in really close to something, almost as if I was taking pictures with my macro lens and just crop the picture how ever I like it.

I made some chicken in the crock pot the other day ago, and the 2 main ingredients were apricot preserves and Catalina dressing. The recipe also called for a package of onion soup mix, which I didn’t have. The recipe was so so, makes me wonder how much of a difference the chicken would have been if I used onion soup mix? I hate it when that happens.

I do like this chicken recipe that I tried today a lot better. Who isn’t a fan of chicken cordon blue? I was nice to my husband and left off the Swiss cheese. Loved the cream sauce that went over this as well. Someone at work made a chicken cordon blue lasagna and it was FANTASTIC. I felt like I was part of a really exclusive supper club at work.

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Recipe from Life as a Lofthouse

Ingredients

3 large boneless skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in half lengthwise, to form 2 thinner cutlets. (In total you will have 6 thin chicken breast cutlets)
12 slices deli Ham
12 slices thinly sliced Swiss Cheese
1 cup fresh Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted

FOR THE PARMESAN-DIJON CREAM SAUCE:
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Chicken Bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS: Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.

Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the baking dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham, overlapping so they cover entire breast. Then over the ham layer two slices of swiss cheese overlapping to cover ham. Repeat over all chicken breasts. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the tops of the chicken.

Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and cheese is bubbling, and bread crumbs are golden brown.

While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Cook for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk, still whisking constantly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules, and salt. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat down to low and stir in the mustard, worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Keep the sauce warm until chicken is finished cooking.

Orange Chicken

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Whenever I stop at Trader Joe’s in Minneapolis, I have to pick up at least 3 bags of their Mandarin Orange Chicken. I haven’t been able to get there for awhile, and I was craving it, so I decided to try making my own. This recipe is just as good as the Mandarin Chicken at Trader Joe’s. What I like most about the Mandarin chicken at Trader Joe’s is, how simple it is to make. You just cook the chicken in the oven, heat the sauce up in the microwave, and they even have those rice packets you can heat up in the microwave. Sometimes, it’s just easier to have everything pre cooked and that is another reason why I like Trader Joe’s. Oh how I wish Fargo would get one of those stores these days. That would be totally awesome.

I was trying to figure out a way to make this lighter but I find it kind of difficult to get chicken crispy when you just bake it in the oven. You could probably not even fry the chicken and just cut the chicken up into cubes and bake them in the oven that way. It would have twice as less calories. OR, I want to try this recipe in the crock pot. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and poor it over the chicken, then let it cook in the crock pot and you can shred it up when it’s done.  I’d make this again whenever I’m out of Mandarin Orange Chicken Trader Joe’s. :)

Now I think it’s time to turn on some Scentsy in order to get this awful deep fry fryer smell out of my house.

Orange Chicken recipe from Key Ingredients

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Mustard Spanked Chiken + a giveaway (contest closed)

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Oh, Chicken, did you just cluck at me?”

Crap.

“No, ” I squawk hoarsely.

“I believe you did. Yes, you did. You remember what I said I’d do to you if you clucked?”

If you make this chicken for your loved one, he will cluck because it is good, but don’t kiss him because the chicken is coated in garlic. The skin was very crispy and flavorful and the chicken turned out so juicy and moist.  You can mess with the different types of mustards and herbs used in the recipe. I used rosemary, sage, and thyme instead of fresh basil. It came in this poultry seasoning packet.  I’ve never roasted a whole entire chicken in the oven before and this cook book inspired me to try something new. I want to make the Chicken with a Lardon next. It’s a whole entire chicken wrapped in bacon. :) The titles are also really funny. My favorite was Chicken under the covers which was a clever title for chicken pot pie.

To win this cook book, leave a comment and tell me what your favorite chicken recipe is. Also, please like my facebook page. Good luck!

Contest ends on March 1st.
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Chicken Baked in Cornflake Crumbs

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What can I say about this recipe? It tasted like corn flakes on top of chicken and that was it. The cornflakes on the bottom of the chicken were soggy and not crispy at all. Ben suggested to cook it on a wire rack. Not really sure if I’d make this again. I really wanted to like this recipe because usually  I’ve liked most of Trisha Yearwood’s recipes of hers that I’ve tried so far. They’re such easy recipes. I like the idea of this though. I want to try it using different flavored potato chips.  If anyone is interested in trying this recipe it can be found here. It’s also supposed to be healthier fried chicken, but the nutrition info on the link is kind of high in points.

There was some pretty frost covering the trees on Friday morning so I took some pictures.

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Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

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I took the two things my husband hates the most: Mac and cheese and Buffalo Chicken, and combined them together to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. The only reason I did that was because he was gone for the weekend. We also had some bad weather so I thought, this would be something warm and comforting to make when there’s a blizzard outside.

This was good. I halved the recipe because if I didn’t, I’d be eating Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese for at least two weeks. Awhile ago, I posted a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Casserole and I think I like that better then this mac and cheese. The cream cheese in the casserole made it more creamy.  I find mac and cheese to be kind of bland depending on what kind of cheese is used most of the time, and this is a good way to spice it up. I just wish I had added more buffalo sauce. What I really want to do is take this mac and cheese, wrap in some bacon, and then dredge it in some bread crumbs and deep fry it. It’s a good thing I joined a gym huh? ;)

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recipe adapated from Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour

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