Archive for Chicken

Judy’s Empanadas

Chamorro empanadas are high up on the list of my favorite snacks, but they can easily be a meal in and of themselves.  In fact, when I was on Guam recently, I would visit the village store and buy empanadas, fresh out of the fryer, for breakfast.

My mom taught my sisters and me how to make empanadas years and years ago.  It’s quite the labor of love, although you can make the filling ahead of time, thereby cutting back on the actual preparation of the empanada.

A tortilla press, while not essential, is a great tool to have when making empanada.  While you’re at it, a bunch of kitchen helpers is good too. 😉  I remember when I was younger, we only had one tortilla press to share among my three sisters and mom; someone usually got stuck with using the much slower rolling pin.  We did it assembly-line style, with a couple of us flattening the dough, another couple of us filling it, and then someone sealing it tightly.

I’ve had a lot of requests for my empanada recipe, but my good friend, Judy Fernandez Dillinger, has an amazing recipe and she was gracious enough to allow me to feature it here.

As a side note, this is the packet of achote powder used in Judy’s recipe below.  Each packet contains 1/3 ounce of powdered achote, which is roughly 2 teaspoons.  Use this as a guide.  Some people like more or less achote to make the crust lighter or darker.  I also know someone who doesn’t use achote at all.

So, without further ado, here is Judy’s empanada recipe.  Give it a try.  I KNOW you’ll love it. 🙂

Judy's Empanadas
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Chamorro
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
Filling:
  • ½ cup cream of rice mixed with ½ packet of achote powder*
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (you can use water but will have to season with salt)
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped chicken or imitation crab meat
  • black pepper to taste
  • hot pepper (optional)
Crust:
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 packet achote powder*
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons oil
  • 1½ - 1¾ cups chicken broth or water (if using water, increase salt to 2 teaspoons) - warm
*If you don't use achote powder, just make sure you soak achote seeds in the broth or water for color.
Instructions
For the filling:
  1. Saute onions and garlic in a large pot. Cook till onion becomes transparent. Add chicken and saute for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth or water. Remember, if you use water you'll have to season it with salt (to taste). Bring to a boil.
  3. Using a whisk, gradually add the cream of rice. Keep stirring so that there are no lumps. Bring heat to medium and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add hot pepper (as hot as you want it) and then remove from heat.
  5. Completely cool before filling the shells.
For the crust:
  1. Mix masa harina, corn starch, salt and achote powder in a bowl. Add oil and broth or water to the flour mixture. Kneed with hands until dough is pliable.
  2. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Use a tortilla press to flatten to form a circle. Be sure that you press the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper.
  3. Fill the bottom half of the circle with the cooled filling. Fold over the top of the dough to meet the bottom and press to seal the edges.
  4. Deep fry until nice and crispy. The trick is to fry at a very low heat. I like to set my dial at the 4th interval, right below the middle. If you fry it at high heat it will burn and the crust will not be crunchy but stale.
Enjoy!

 

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Chicken Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad one of my family’s favorite side dishes.  There are many, many macaroni salad variations, but we’re simple…we like two specific kinds.  The first is a Hawaiian style macaroni salad and the other is Filipino style Macaroni salad.

My recipe below is for a very basic Filipino macaroni salad.  It has chicken, cheese, pineapple, and sweet relish, but you can also add other ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, ham, and raisins.  Some of my Filipino friends also add a spoonful or more of sweetened condensed milk, but I don’t like mine too sweet (to me, the relish and pineapples add just the right amount of sweetness) so I don’t add it.

This dish is best made the night before you intend to serve it.  An overnight stay in the ‘fridge allows all the pasta to absorb all the delicious flavors.

I like to add lots of chicken (more than what I have in my recipe below) whenever I want to serve this as my main dish.  It’s great for packed lunches, and it’s also a quick and easy pot-luck dish.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Chicken Macaroni Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast
  • Salt, black pepper, and garlic powder (for the chicken)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cups cooked macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (for the macaroni salad)
  • 1 10-ounce jar sweet pickle relish, with as much juice squeezed out as possible
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with as much juice squeezed out as possible
  • 7 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced

Directions:

NOTE:  The photos below of the chicken show around 9 or 10 chicken breasts.  We like to cook several chicken breasts at a time so that we can use it throughout the week in various dishes.  We used one breast to make this salad; about 6 breasts were used in my daughter’s Chicken Marsala, and a couple more went into my daughter’s other dish, Mac-n-cheese with Chicken.  Cooking in bulk is a great way to save time during the week, especially if you’re pressed for time each morning.  It saves time at night too, when you’re trying to prepare dinner after a long day at work or school.

Prepare the chicken.

Place the chicken breast into a ziplock bag.  Use a kitchen mallet to flatten the chicken into about 1/4-inch thickness.

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Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

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Dredge the seasoned chicken breast in the flour, covering both sides.

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 Place a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the vegetable oil to the pan.

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 Place the chicken in the pan when the pan and oil are hot.  Reduce the heat to medium.

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 Cook the chicken for about 4-6 minutes on each side.

Turn occasionally to evenly brown both sides.

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 Shred or thinly slice the cooked chicken and set it aside.

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Prepare the macaroni salad.

Place the shredded chicken breast, cooked macaroni, black pepper, relish, crushed pineapple, cheese and mayo in a large mixing bowl.  Add in any other optional ingredients.

Gently fold all of the ingredients together.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve and ENJOY!

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Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Chicken pot pie is a favorite in my family.  There’s something about the tender chicken, delicious vegetables and cream sauce that makes us happy-happy-happy.  My favorite part of chicken pot pies, however, is the crust.  Sometimes I go the extra mile and make a homemade crust, but lately I’ve taken to using frozen puff pastry.  You can also substitute the puff pastry with biscuits (find my homemade biscuit recipe here).  Just top the filling with cut out biscuit dough and bake as directed below.

Rather than bake up individual pies, I make it casserole-style, baked in a 9×13″ pan and topped with the puff pastry.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small bag baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons powdered chicken seasoning (or you can use 3 bouillon cubes)
  • 1 small bag frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 2 egg whites

Directions:

1. Place a large pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and chicken to the pot. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the pot; set aside.

2. In the same pot used to cook the chicken, add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent.

3. Add the mushrooms to the pot; cook until the mushrooms begin to soften.

4. Add the chicken back into the pot.

5. Stir in the flour.

6. Mix the water with the chicken seasoning then pour into the pot (or you can just add the seasoning or bouillon to the pot and pour in the water). Stir the chicken mixture as you pour the water into the pot to prevent clumping.

7. Add the half-and-half. Stir to combine the ingredients.

8. Cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture slightly thickens.

9. Add the peas to the pot.

NOTE: We forgot to add the peas when we made this last night (oops!), but this is the step where you’d do so. 🙂

Add the black pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  If you like it more salty, add more chicken seasoning.

10. Pour the chicken mixture into a 9X13 pan.

11. Top the chicken mixture with the puff pastry sheets. Cut off any excess puff pastry.

12. Lightly beat the egg whites. Brush the top of the puff pastry with the beaten egg whites.

13. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown (I baked this for a few more minutes so that the puff pastry was a deeper golden brown than what’s shown in the photo below.)

14. Let the pot pie cool for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Serve and ENJOY!

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is comfort food at it’s best.  This soup is quick and easy to make.  Cook up a batch when you’re feeling under the weather, or when you need something to warm you up on cold days.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Chicken Noodle Soup 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I use garlic-infused olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small bag baby carrots, sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida (or you can use 2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 bag (8.8 ounces) dry egg noodles (see the photo below)

Directions:

Place a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil to the pot.  Heat the oil for about a minute.

Add the chicken pieces to the pot.

Cook the chicken until they are no longer pink.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot.  Stir to combine the ingredients.

Cook over medium high heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the chicken stock, water, and Dashida (or bouillon) to the pot.

Add the bay leaves.

Add the black pepper.

Add the parsley.

Bring the soup to a boil then add the egg noodles.

This is the brand of egg noodles that I like to use.  You can use any brand you like.

After about 5 minutes (or until the noodles are done), remove the bay leaves from the soup.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Serve while hot and ENJOY! 😀

 

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Baked “Fried” Chicken

Healthy Fried Chicken — is there even such a thing? 🙂

My recipe below is healthy, or at least it’s a less unhealthy version, and it does not skimp on flavor. Despite being baked, you still get that crispness we equate to delicious fried chicken. How, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Use chicken WITH the skin on. The fat from the skin will crisp the chicken as it bakes.

I also marinate the chicken for several hours — up to a day. My marinade is very similar to what you’d use to make Karaage Chicken. Don’t skip the marinade — it takes it to a whole other level, let me tell you!

This is also a gluten-free recipe since I dredge the chicken in corn starch instead of flour. Be sure to look on the corn starch label to ensure it’s gluten-free (not all brands are). I use Argo brand cornstarch, one of the few that is gluten-free.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Baked “Fried” Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds chicken wings (or your favorite chicken pieces, skin on)
  • 3 cups cornstarch, for dredging the chicken pieces in
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2-inch piece of ginger
  • 3 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

1. Prepare the marinade.

In a small bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients together.

Grate the ginger into the bowl.  Add the sherry cooking wine, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.

 
 
 

Add the garlic and sugar.

 

Stir to combine. Set the marinade aside for now.

2. Marinate the chicken.

Rinse and clean the chicken pieces. Place into a large ziplock bag.

Pour the marinade into the bag.

Make sure to get all the garlic and ginger out!

Squeeze any excess air out of the bag before sealing. Marinate the chicken for a few hours or up to a day. Keep the bag refrigerated while the chicken marinates.

3. Bake the chicken.

Pour the chicken out into a colander to drain out the marinade.

Prepare the cornstarch mixture. Mix together the cornstarch, garlic powder and black pepper.

Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch mixture.

 

Place the chicken (skin side up) onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Note: In the photo below, the pan is not lined with parchment paper (I forgot to do it). DO NOT forget like I did or the chicken skin will stick to the pan as it bakes…especially metal pans. I also baked half of the chicken on a stoneware pan; the chicken baked up better on the stoneware pan without being lined with parchment paper (most of the wings didn’t stick but some still did).

Bake the chicken at 400 degrees for a total of 45 minutes.

After baking for 15 minutes, turn the chicken over. Bake for another 15 minutes, skin side down.

After 30 minutes of baking, turn the chicken over, making it skin side up again. Bake for the final 15 minutes.

Serve immediately and ENJOY! 🙂

This goes great with red rice. Click here for my recipes for Red Rice and Red Rice using Brown Rice.

 

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