Friday, August 31, 2012

Turkey Scallopine w/ Capers & Lemon

How's everyone doing?! 

I'm on cloud 9 right now!  The quarter is pretty much over and we received our grades for our Garde Manger final practical.  We did a 6-course meal (salad, consomme, fish course, intermezzo sorbet, beef entree, and dessert).  We were in teams of 3 and we found out we got an A!  Which is a major big deal, because it's EXTREMELY hard to get an A from the chef we have - and we've done it twice - with our midterm and now with our final!  How awesome is that?!

Anyway, scallopine is usually done with veal, but I saw some turkey breast fillets on sale at the grocery this week and knew I could pull together something quick and tasty with them.  Lemon and capers are such a classic combo and this comes together in such a quick amount of time!  Fancy without the fuss!


2 turkey breasts, pounded flat and cut in half
salt and pepper, to taste
flour, for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon capers

Season the turkey breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge in the flour, dusting off excess.

Heat the butter in a large saute pan under medium high heat.  Add the turkey and saute until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from pan and keep covered and warm.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add lemon juice and capers.  Return the turkey to the pan and coat with sauce.

Serve turkey over rice and vegetables and any excess sauce.  Dig on in!

I told you it was easy!  And it's ready in no time - what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

How is everyone doing today?!

We've had a crazy busy weekend!  I was off of work, but we had tons of fun activities to do.  Saturday, we participated in the March of Dimes Mud Volleyball Tournament.  We didn't win the tournament, but we got plenty dirty and had so much fun!  Hey... it's for a good cause, so really, everybody wins!

Anyway, Sunday we ended up going to the KY State Fair.  I had free tickets for admission from a friend, so we figured why not stop by and get some lunch and walk around.  In all my years living in the Kentucky area, I've never been to the fair!  It was actually pretty fun - nothing too crazy, but we ended up getting a deep-fried Twinkie (don't hate! it was delicious!) and a Greek gyro (I love those things!). 

After the fair we did some errands and then cleaned up the house.  We felt like being lazy, so I knew I wasn't going to cook anything too crazy - chicken pot pie it was!

There's always the big debate of whether to put a pie crust over your pie, or use biscuits.  Personally, I love the ease of the biscuit topping for a pot pie.  Just mix, drop, and go.  My kind of simple!  I also like the biscuits because they help to soak up the liquid/gravy of the pie!  Mmmm.

And of course, it's got to be LOADED with veggies!  Doesn't really matter what kind, just whatever is in season!  So we ended up with a colorful assortment of corn, carrots, onions, and peas.  Throw in some fresh herbs, a nice gravy (I chose a veloute - which is basically roux-thickened chicken stock - E.A.S.Y.) - and you've got yourself a dang good chicken pot pie.

How do you like your chicken pot pie?


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup pearl onions
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup sweet corn
2 cups chicken veloute (roux + chicken stock)
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, diced and cooked
your favorite biscuit dough (enough to top a 9x9 pan)
egg wash, as needed

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a small saute pan, melt the butter under medium high heat.  Add garlic and mushrooms and saute for about 2-3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring a medium pot of water to a steady boil.  Blanch the potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and corn separately until tender.  Place in shock water (ice + water) to stop the cooking process.  Drain.

Bring your chicken veloute to a simmer.  Add cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Grease a 9x9 baking dish.  Add the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and corn to the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour mixture into greased baking dish.

Drop biscuit dough on top of mixture to cover.  Egg wash the top of the dough.  Bake until the biscuits are cooked through and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

This meal was absolutely delicious!  Tons of vegetables, creamy sauce, hearty biscuit.  What more do you need in a comfort meal? 

Hope you all have a great start to your week!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sauteed Chicken Breasts w/ Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

How is everyone's week going? 

I think it's gone by so fast - can't believe it's already Thursday!  We've got the weekend off and Andy and I are in a charity mud volleyball tournament on Saturday so that should be interesting!  Will definitely try to remember to post pictures because I'm sure it'll be messy out there!  You guys doing anything exciting this weekend?

I made a stop at our Whole Foods Farmer's Market the other day and picked up some beautiful heirloom tomatoes and red bell peppers.  I knew I wanted to make a savory sauce with them both!  So I picked up some chicken breasts and the rest is history!  The sauce comes together fairly quickly, so this is definitely a great choice for a weeknight meal!


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
salt and pepper, to taste
flour, for dredging
1/2 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup tomato concasse (this is a great video on how to do this)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, seeded, and diced
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 green onion, sliced
shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish

Preheat oven to 200 F.

In a large saute pan under medium high heat, add olive oil.  Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.  Add chicken to the hot oil and brown both sides, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate in the oven to keep warm.

Add onion and garlic to the saute pan and saute for about 2 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with white wine and then add chicken stock, tomatoes, and bell peppers.  Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce by half.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a separate small saute pan, melt the butter and add mushrooms.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Warm the heavy cream in the microwave slightly (about 15-20 seconds) and add to tomato and red pepper mixture.  Simmer until mixture begins to thicken.  Return the chicken breasts to the pan (as well as any drippings from the plate) and simmer until chicken is white throughout, about 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve chicken over top rice and garnish with the mushrooms, sauce, green onions, and parmesan cheese.

It's colorful, it's delicious - it should be your next meal!  It's definitely a tasty addition to the weekly rotation!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders w/ Chipotle Honey BBQ Sauce

It's Friday people!  The weekend has finally arrived.... and I have to work.  Well, today and tomorrow, anyway.  And then Sunday is a free day!  We're planning on going to Holiday World with a couple friends so it should be a fun day!  I'm most looking forward to the water park, of course!

Anyway, I think fried food gets a bad rap.  In moderation, I don't find any problem with it.  It's when it become a DAILY thing that people start running in to trouble.  And in honor of the Kentucky State Fair starting up yesterday (aren't state fairs ALL about fried food?!), I decided to whip up some fried goodness of my own.

The best thing about this?  You can buy a bulk pack of chicken tenders, eat the ones you want, and any leftovers can be sealed up and placed in the freezer.  Just pop 'em in the oven when you want to have them again (just like those expensive bags of chicken tenders you buy in the frozen section!)

Feel free to play with the seasoned flour as you see fit - make it more or less spicy, leave out a few spices - whatever you feel like doing!


about 20 chicken tenders/tenderloins
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons hot paprika
2 tablespoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought is fine)
1 tablespoon chipotle peppers, with adobo sauce, mashed
2 tablespoons honey
 vegetable oil, for frying

You can choose to flatten the chicken tenders for a more even cook, or you can keep them as is.  I didn't want to go through all the fuss - they were all pretty much the same size anyway (and they look more natural minus the flattening).

Heat a large heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven under high heat.  Add enough vegetable oil to come up about 2 inches (or at least enough to have your tenderloins submerged - another reason to flatten the tenderloins if you need to).  If you have a deep fryer - more power to ya! - just turn the sucker on and get that oil heating up (to at least 325F).

Set up a standard breading station - one pan/bowl for the flour mixture, one for the eggwash, and one for the breadcrumbs. 

In one pan, combine the flour, chili powder, paprika, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, oregano, and kosher salt.  This is obviously your flour mixture bowl. 

In another pan, make your egg wash with the eggs and milk.  Whisk until combined.

And lastly, place your breadcrumbs in the last pan.

In batches (depending on how big your pans are), dip your tenderloins first in the flour mixture, then in the egg wash, and then coat with breadcrumbs.  Place finished breaded tenderloins on a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Continue until all tenderloins are breaded.

When your oil is ready,working in batches (I did 5 at a time), deep fry the tenderloins until golden brown and cooked throughout, about 3-4 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

While your tenderloins are cooking, you can mix up your barbecue sauce.  In a small saucepan, combine the prepared or store-bought barbecue sauce, chipotle pepper, and honey.  Place under medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to develop the flavor.  You can either choose to puree the whole mixture (so the random bits of chipotle pepper are dispersed throughout, or if you don't want too much heat, you can choose to strain the mixture to remove the chipotle pepper).

Serve with dipping sauce and go at it!

This makes plenty for a small get-together, or enough to save for lunches/quick dinners throughout the busy week!  I'm all about planning ahead!

What's your favorite sauce to serve with chicken tenders?

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sauteed Chicken w/ Garlic Jus & Rice

Happy Thursday, guys!

 How is everyone's week going so far?  Ours has been pretty chill - literally.  We're doing ice sculptures this week at school (our group chose a swordfish), so hopefully I'll get some pics up of our finished product by the end of the week!

Sauteed chicken is one of the easiest ways (and my personal favorite) way to prepare chicken.  It's so easy to whip up a sauce with the little pan bits and some herbs afterward that this makes the perfect weeknight (or weekend!) meal!


2 chicken leg quarters, skin on (you could also use breasts, too)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup jasmine rice
1 cup small diced vegetables (I had zucchini and orange bell peppers)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat your oven to 425 F.

Place rice, vegetables, and 2 cups of cold water in a medium saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let cook until rice is light and fluffy, about 10-15 minutes (Jasmine rice cooks relatively fast - if you use a different rice, keep the cooking time in mind).  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet under medium high to high heat.

Season both sides of the chicken legs sear in pan until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes each side.  Transfer pan to the oven to finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes.  Let rest on a separate plate for 2-3 minutes.

Using the same saute pan, add garlic.  Cook for about a minute, or until fragrant.  Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and white wine.  Reduce until you have about 1/4 cup left.  Mount the sauce with butter and season, to taste.

Place mound of rice on the center of a clean plate.  Place chicken on top and drizzle with the jus.  A perfect meal in minutes!

Hope you guys have a great rest of your day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

How to Truss a Chicken (or any poultry, for that matter)

Happy Monday, guys!

How was everyone's weekend?!  Ours was crazy busy!  Not only did I have to work both Saturday and Sunday, but on Saturday morning we had a massive yard sale to clear all the clutter out of our house!  We ended up making over $700 (which well surpassed our goal!)  We managed to sell more than half of our junk and make a little cash in the process! Score!

So chickens.  I love cooking whole chickens.  Number one, it's a lot cheaper than buying broken down pieces.  And two, anything I have left over always gets used up for something else - i.e. bones = stock, meat = chicken salad.  We've been loving some chicken salad here lately.

To make sure your whole chicken cooks evenly and that it retains as much moisture as possible, you definitely want to truss your chicken.  That's basically the process of tying the bird into a compact shape.  Don't know how to do it?  Well, it's your lucky day because that's what we'll be doing!  So get your chicken and get your twine and let's do it!

Square up your bird using your hands to press it firmly on both sides.  You can either choose to tuck the wing behind the back or trim off the first and second joints of the wing.  Personally, I like keeping the wing in tact - it's just a better presentation, in my opinion.

Cut a piece of butcher's twine about 3 times the length of the bird.  Keeping the breast side up and the neck towards you, slide the twine under the bird, about 1 inch in front of the tail.

Bring the twine up around the legs and cross the ends, making an "X" in between the legs.  Bring the ends of the twine below the legs.

Pull the ends of the twine tightly under the thigh joint and over the wing. 

Pull the string tight and tie just above the neck.

Voila!  You're ready to oil this baby up, season her with salt and pepper (and any herbs you see fit) and roast her to a nice juicy, golden brown!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Prepare an Airline Chicken Breast

Not the BEST example in the world - but delicious, nonetheless

Sometimes you just want to impress your dinner guests.  Sometimes you're on a tight budget.  What cut of meat would you choose?  Obviously a chicken!  There's about a million+ ways to prepare a chicken and make it look presentable, but have you ever tried to airline your chicken breast?

What does it mean to airline a chicken, you ask?  It's basically a boneless chicken breast with the first wing bone still attached.  Why on earth would you ever want to do something like that?  Well, personally, I think it makes the chicken breast look a bit neater and more attractive.  It also make it look a little bigger, portion-wise.  And it shows you have a little skill with breaking down your chicken.

It's extremely easy, so there's no reason why you wouldn't want to do it!

Start with a whole chicken.  Remove the leg by pulling the leg and thigh away from the breast and cutting through the skin and flesh toward the thigh joint.

Cut through the thigh joint, releasing the thigh and leg from the carcass.  Repeat with other leg.

Turn the chicken over, back-side down.  Locate the wishbone and trim around it to remove it.

Cut along one side of the breast bone, carefully separating the meat from the bone.

Continue along the rib cage until the breast is removed from the bone.

When you reach the wing joint, cut through the joint, leaving the wing attached to the breast.  Finish cutting the breast from the carcass.

Make a cut on the back of the joint between the first and second wing bones.

Break the joint and pull the meat and skin back to expose a clean bone.  Trim the wing bone, if necessary.

You now have an airline chicken breast!  You can choose to leave the skin on or off - but we all know crispy skin is delicious, so I usually choose to leave it on!

Prepare your chicken any which way you like - I chose to make some crispy deep fried chicken breasts with orange sauce (recipe over at Rock Recipes).  It was DELICIOUS! 

Hope you guys have a great week!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Serious Salsa

It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  I always love this time of the month because we finally get to share our secret blogger that we were assigned!

This month, I was assigned Vanderbilt Wife.  Jessie is a sweet girl, housewife, and mom of two little cuties!  She's an all-around blogger, posting recipes, book reviews, and general thoughts on life.  She's definitely my kind of blogger!

Jessie's got a collection of great recipes, including Breakfast Casserole and Old Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream - she's really got you covered from breakfast to dessert!

This is our third year having a garden.  We've never really been able to grow anything up until this year.  We've always tried to grow tomatoes, but they've always fizzled out - until this year!  I actually managed to snag 6 from our plants so far - and they're some beauties!  So I knew when I saw Jessie's recipe for Serious Salsa, my tomatoes would be put to good use!

I didn't really change much except that I used all 6 of my tomatoes (they were in the small to medium range), 4 jalapenos, and red onions instead of plain onions.  I also omitted the green bell pepper out of pure laziness - just didn't feel like going to the store!  I actually liked the fact that this wasn't a normal salsa consisting of loads of cilantro and lime juice.  The honey was a pleasant sweetness and I definitely enjoyed the chili powder and cayenne too!  This is definitely a salsa we'll be keeping in rotation!

Adapted from Vanderbilt Wife's recipe

6 small/medium tomatoes, diced
4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 & 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, jalapenos, red onion, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, chili, and cayenne pepper.

Cover and let refrigerate for about 1-2 hours to develop the flavors.

Enjoy with tortilla chips or topped on protein of your choice!  We used this for dip, topped some grilled chicken, and even on leftover tacos!  It was definitely a favorite for us!  Thanks for letting me stalk your blog Jessie!

Want to join the Secret Recipe Club?  Click here to find out more!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pork au Poivre w/ Spaghetti Noodles

Okay, I promise this will be the last of the pork posts!  I know it seems like we've been eating a lot of it, but we've been trying to eat frugally and with what we have.  Which means pork is cheap and we've been trying to use up what's been in our pantry because it's way too cluttered!

This one is fairly simple, and quick - think less than 30 minutes!  Which is always good for a weeknight, right?  The only thing I maybe would have done differently is to use different peppercorns.  I used black and they just seemed to overpower the pork a little.  Maybe next time I'll use a younger peppercorn (green) or a pink peppercorn (which really isn't a peppercorn, but a dried berry).  Either way, the sauce was delicious and the noodles gave the dish some depth!  Feel free to add in some fresh vegetables and toss together for an awesome pasta dish!


1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into thin medallions
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup peppercorns (black, pink, green, or combination), crushed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoon champagne vinegar (I had an orange infused one lying around, so I used that)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked

In a small bowl, combine the 2 teaspoons of salt and crushed peppercorns.  Lightly press both sides of each pork medallion into the mixture.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan under medium high heat.  Add the pork medallions and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Remove the medallions from the pan and keep warm.  Deglaze the saute pan with the wine and vinegar.  Reduce until about 2 tablespoons remain.

Add the cream and reduce mixture to desired consistency, about 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pork over top the noodles and top with cream sauce.  Enjoy!

Hope you guys have a great weekend =)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Beer-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

How's everybody doing?  I can't believe it's already Friday!  This week just flew by! 

I've been grilling more than ever, and pork seems to be the protein we've been working with the most lately.  I haven't marinated anything in forever, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do so.  My fridge was pretty bare, but I managed to scrounge some essentials: beer, soy sauce, and ginger.  I also picked some jalapenos from my garden and threw those in there for a nice little kick.  Add some sugar for sweetness, and we're well on our way to flavor town!


1 lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce
12 oz. bottle of beer (I used a Falls City Pale Ale - one of our new favorite beers!)
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon molasses
1 & 1/2 T fresh ginger, grated
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

Clean the tenderloin of any silverskin or excess fat. 

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, beer, sugar, molasses, ginger, and jalapeno.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Place the tenderloin in a shallow pan (taller than the tenderloin) and cover with marinade.  Cover and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat a grill to medium high heat.  Grill the tenderloin to desired doneness, about 2-3 minutes per side (assuming you turn it on all 4 sides and not just 2).

Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve with fresh vegetables or side of your choice!  We were both too tired to go to the store, so we settled on a can of green bean we had in the pantry - so NOT the same as fresh vegetables!

This was definitely a tasty little meal!  Definitely something you could leave to marinate in the morning and just quickly grill off once you get home from work/school! 

Hope you all have a great week =)