Indian Chicken and Cabbage

It’s not quite chicken tikka masala, but it’s very similar, and it is a great way to incorporate cabbage into dinner.

Pour olive oil into a skillet until it completely covers the bottom and has a bit of depth. Whisk in 1 tsp each of garlic powder, dried ginger powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, Himalasalt, and ground black pepper. Turn the heat to medium and let the skillet heat up a bit.

Cut one pound of chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and set all the pieces into the skillet. Simmer them gently (lower the heat if you need to — it shouldn’t be hot enough to bubble or splash) for several minutes, then flip each one with a fork and simmer them until they are cooked through.

Stir in 1/3 cup of yogurt (I prefer whole milk plain yogurt from Stonyfield), 1/3 cup of ketchup (freshly chopped tomatoes are more authentic, but Organicville ketchup is usually what I have in the refrigerator), and a “punch” (like Donnie Brasco) of white sugar. Shred one head of green cabbage and add it to the skillet. Stir it all together and let it simmer until the cabbage is crisp-tender. Serve on small plates with a dollop of yogurt.

Note: The cayenne pepper can be pretty spicy, especially for small fry. Eating a piece of bread or drinking a glass of milk will take the spice out, as will topping each bite with a bit of yogurt. (I think beer works as well, for the over-21 crowd, but I haven’t tried it — I’ve read that both gluten and casein take the bite out of spicy foods.) Enjoy!

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Sweet-and-sour chicken

This is very different from the sweet-and-sour chicken dish often served at Chinese restaurants. It’s light and nutritious!

Pour a few tablespoons of sesame oil (olive oil is a good substitute if you have a sesame allergy) into a large skillet and turn the stovetop heat to medium. Cut 1.5 pounds of chicken breast meat into small pieces, each about twice the size of a bite. Add the chicken to the skillet and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

As the chicken is cooking, slice one small cabbage head very finely. After you have verified that the chicken pieces are cooked through, add the cabbage to the skillet and stir it all together. Add more sesame oil if it is getting too dry, and turn the heat to medium-low.

As the cabbage-chicken mixture cooks, use a wire whisk to mix together (in a large bowl) a good shake of sesame oil, a good shake of balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and one tablespoon of honey. When this sauce is well combined, turn off the stove heat and scrape the cabbage-chicken mixture into the large bowl. Toss the cabbage and chicken with the sauce until the sauce completely coats the chicken and cabbage. Then pour the contents of the bowl into a large Pyrex dish.

Place the Pyrex dish in the oven remove it when the contents have been heated through. Serve while hot. This dish reheats nicely.

Quick Chicken Skillet Meal

The forecast calls for a high of around 93 degrees Fahrenheit today in our area, so I definitely didn’t want to be standing over a hot stove for a long time to make lunch. Here’s what I did instead:

Melt six or seven tablespoons of Simply Ghee in a skillet over medium heat. Slice up three large pearl onions — I get mine from a Lancaster County organic farmer via Pure Sprouts — and separate them into rings. Place the rings in the skillet, give them a quick stir, lower the heat to medium-low, and cover the skillet.

While the onions are cooking, cut one pound of chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the skillet and re-cover it, raising the heat just a bit. Simmer the chicken until it’s cooked all the way through, which you can check with a meat thermometer or by slicing the biggest piece in half.

While the chicken is simmering, wash and slice one package of shiitake mushrooms (3.5 ounces, about eight mushrooms). When the chicken is completely cooked, add the mushrooms to the skillet, leave the cover off, and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook the whole mixture together while stirring it. When the mushrooms have cooked nicely, remove everything (except the melted ghee) with a slotted spoon to a serving dish, mix in 1/2 cup of cashews, and cover the dish to keep it warm.

Add two tablespoons of cornstarch to the melted ghee and whisk it in over low heat. Add 3/4 cup of water and continue to whisk as you raise the heat to medium. Whisk until the sauce thickens, then add salt and pepper to taste, pour it over the chicken mixture, and serve the dish immediately.

Chicky-pum-pum Dumplings

My not-quite-six-year-old daughter made up the name. I can’t explain it. You will like this dish, though!

To make the chicky-pum-pum:

Cut one pound of chicken breasts into tiny pieces (smaller than bite-sized — you’re going to use these to stuff the dumplings, so make them about one centimeter by one centimeter by one centimeter) and toss them into a skillet with sesame oil over medium heat. As you add the chicken, keep scraping / stirring with a fork. When the chicken is completely cooked, add a nice shake of tamari. Then shred some carrots into the skillet with a vegetable peeler. Shake ginger, minced onion, salt, and pepper over the whole thing, and stir it all together until it’s well mixed. Turn off the heat and cover the skillet to keep it all warm while you make the wrappers.

To make the dumplings: In a large bowl, mix one cup of gluten-free baking mix, one cup of tapioca starch, and two teaspoons of xanthan gum with a fork. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and 3/4 cup of water, and stir some more. Knead the dough with your hands until it coheres into a ball. It should not be too squishy or too wet — if it is, add a bit more flour. Pull off small handfuls of the dough, one at a time, and flatten them into pancakes. You’ll want to make them as flat as possible without tearing them. Spoon a bit of chicky-pum-pum onto each pancake, pull up the sides, and pinch the sides closed along the top and down to each end. You should be able to make 12 to 14 dumplings from your dough. Now it’s time to fry them; feel free to use the skillet in which you cooked the chicky-pum-pum. Pour enough sesame oil into the skillet to cover the bottom. Set the dumplings into the skillet — you may need to do this in two batches — and cook them over medium heat until the bottoms brown. Then add 1/2 cup of water EXTREMELY CAREFULLY (because pouring water into hot oil can cause nasty splatters, which can burn) and cover the skillet. Cook the dumplings for another five to ten minutes, at which point they will be cooked all the way through, but not burned. Use a spatula to remove them from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate. Enjoy!

My daughter made this recipe up yesterday — well, I had to do a bit of dumpling-making research on my own — and I tried it this evening with a side of steamed broccoli. All three of us were pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out. I think I’ll let her develop the recipes from now on! 🙂

One note: when you’re cutting the chicken, it really helps to have this awesome knife (or one like it).

Warm Chicken Salad

Tomorrow, I’ll be eating next to nothing, but tonight, my daughter made up a great Holy Thursday dinner recipe, which worked out very well. Here goes:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Put half a stick of butter (4 oz) into a skillet and turn the burner on low. Cut 1.5 pounds of chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and add them to the skillet. Cook them until they’re done. (I like to slice a few in half to be sure no pink is left, but you can also scoop one out of the pan and use a meat thermometer.) Add one package of frozen corn and 1 to 2 cups of water. Stir it all together, cover the skillet, and cook until the corn is done (roughly 5 minutes more). Then add 1 cup of fresh peas, cleaned and rinsed. Stir again and cook for 5 more minutes. With a slotted spoon, scoop the contents of the skillet into an oven-proof bowl and put the bowl in the oven to keep warm.

Pour 1 cup of sauvignon blanc into the skillet, stir it all together, and increase the burner to bring the liquid to a boil. Let it boil for several minutes, whisking steadily until it thickens. Pour the thickened sauce into a gravy boat and serve it alongside your bowl of warm chicken salad. Enjoy!

Asian Chicken

This recipe is an extremely modified version of Peking Duck. It’s simple to make and quite tasty.

In a six-cup Pyrex dish, mix 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup tamari, and 1/3 cup honey with a whisk (or a “whisky,” as my daughter says) until completely blended.

Cut two pounds of chicken breast into strips; place the strips into the Pyrex dish. Stir with a spoon to ensure that each piece of chicken is coated with the sauce. Put the lid on the Pyrex dish and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for two hours.

When the chicken has been marinated for two hours, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a large splash of sesame oil and heat for about a minute, then add the chicken strips to the skillet and fry them (in batches, if necessary). Discard the marinade.

When the chicken is cooked, serve it with rice, noodles, or any side dish that suits your fancy.

Asian-Style Stir-Fry

I can’t claim any authenticity for this one–I have no Asian heritage–but it does contain some Asian seasonings. It’s pretty quick and easy to make, and it involves the stove, not the oven, so it’s a good spring and summer recipe. Why make the house hotter, right?

Cut 1.5 pounds of chicken breast into strips. Heat 3 tablespoons of sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. One at a time, add 2 tablespoons each of the following seasonings: ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, and ground cumin; stir between additions. Add chicken strips and stir-fry until completely cooked. (You can cut a strip in half while it’s still in the skillet to check for done-ness.) Optional: add a small splash of tamari, raise heat for 20 seconds, then serve.

What’s This?

My husband frequently (although not as frequently as he used to, because I’ve complained about it) asks me when he sits down to eat, “What’s this?” I know he doesn’t mean it in a bad way, but I never know how to respond. I think he’s expecting me to say something like “Neapolitan Morning” or “Tuscan Benedict,” but that’s not how I cook.

This is how I cook: I take a whole food (a vegetable, fruit, meat, or fish) or some combination of whole foods, and I saute/fry/bake/roast it with a combination of seasonings and/or acid and/or fat. Therefore, when I’m asked, “What’s this?” the only response I can give is: “It’s chicken, sautéed and then roasted with a gravy of cream, all-purpose seasoning, and cayenne pepper.” It just feels weird to say that, though, so maybe I’ll start coming up with Sette Luna-style names for my cooking. Behold Chicken à la Creme!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut up 1.5 pounds of chicken into bite-sized chunks and sauté them in olive oil. Don’t cook them all the way; just brown them. Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and put them in a greased 9×9 Pyrex dish. (I LOVE my Pyrex dishes! No aluminum food reactivity, and they’re dishwasher-safe in the top rack.)

In the same skillet in which you cooked the chicken, heat 8 oz of heavy cream. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Continue to heat the mixture as you whisk in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose seasoning, 1 teaspoon of cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon of kelp. (If you’re concerned about exceeding your recommended iodine intake, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of Himalasalt for the kelp.) Cook until this gravy is thickened, then turn off the stove and pour the gravy over the chicken in the Pyrex dish.

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 60 additional minutes. Serve with steamed broccoli. If you’re the kind of person who needs to add a carb, feel free to serve the chicken and gravy over egg noodles or rice.

Easy Baked, Breaded Cutlets

I used pork cutlets, but you can do these with chicken if you prefer.

Dip cutlets first in melted butter (or olive oil, if you’re going for a dairy-free meal), then in a bowl of the following ingredients (combined): 1 cup Orgran rice crumbs, 2 tablespoons Himalasalt, 2 tablespoons Simply Organic all-purpose seasoning. Make sure to coat the cutlets completely with the breading mixture, then place them in a greased (I use Spectrum organic olive oil spray) 9 x 9 Pyrex dish and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven until the meat is done (roughly 90 minutes for a very thin cutlet–slice the cutlets in half to verify done-ness). Enjoy!