Tuesday, February 22, 2011

and my husband says, "Chicken...again!"

Some people say they eat seasonally, and to some extent we do that.  We eat fruits and vegetables in season for the most part, but since we are such a global marketplace any more, we do eat fruit out of season as long as it is cheap. 
Actually, the cost of things is my great motivator.  I love to try to get by on the smallest food budget I can.  I am very competitive by nature, and am always thinking how to do it cheaper and better than I did it before. 
When there is a sale on items like meats and fish, I buy in bulk, repackage and freeze, or turbo cook many meals at once to use it up. 
I got a great sale on boneless, skinless chicken on my last shopping trip.  A huge package of ten oversized breasts.  Normally, I would have repackaged most of them for the freezer, but we just butchered, so freezer space for meat is limited.

Chicken Tenders
I took all the breasts and removed the tenderloin strips from the backside of the breasts.  These will get dipped in buttermilk, an egg and Frank's hot sauce; rolled in breadcrumbs and baked in the oven for another day's lunch of chicken tenders.

Chicken breast is not my husband's favorite, but he really liked this dish.  It is my version of Tortilla Soup, and afforded me an opportunity to use up my homemade chips!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
3 chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 chipotle pepper diced finely
2 quarts/boxes chicken stock
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 C uncooked rice
fresh cilantro
2 avocados diced
lime wedges
In a large stock pot, brown onion in 2 T olive oil.  Add chicken, carrots, and the chipotle pepper, and brown.  Deglaze pan with stock, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and add cumin, salt and pepper.  When the soup comes to a boil, add rice, and bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for thirty minutes.(At this point, I could freeze this, or cool it and save in the refrigerator for later in the week.)  When rice is done, ladle into bowls and top with cilantro, avocado and lime juice.  Serve with tortilla chips on top.

 I love the peppery sharp taste of lemongrass and fresh ginger.  I often can't find fresh lemongrass, but I can always get a tube of prepared lemongrass in the produce section of my grocery store.  It saves a lot of pounding and chopping, too! 

Asian Chicken and Lemongrass Soup with Udon 
3 Chicken Breasts diced in 1 inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion
1 C diced celery
2 quarts/boxes chicken stock
1 C Napa Cabbage
1 carrot peeled and sliced thinly
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
2 heaping T lemongrass in a tube
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp thyme
2 T Nam Pla or fish sauce
1 pkg Udon Noodles, or you can substitute with pasta
Cilantro for garnish
Brown onion and celery in oil until translucent.  Add chicken and carrot and brown.  Deglaze with stock, and add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for one hour.  (I could freeze the soup at this point.) Bring back to a boil, and add three portions of Udon Noodles.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Chicken Enchiladas
4 chicken breasts poached:
In 1 quart of water, place chicken with a handful of peppercorns and two bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, and cover and simmer.  Discard bay leaves and pepper, and save broth for another use.  Shred chicken with two forks for this recipe. You could also use roasted chicken shredded.
1 pkg cream cheese softened
1 can store bought cream of chicken soup  (the exception to the rule that homemade soup is better.  The canned works best in this recipe)
1 small can of diced green chiles
1 pkg corn or flour tortillas
4 C red enchilada sauce
4 scallions chopped
Queso Blanco crumbled 
Add softened cream cheese, condensed soup and green chiles and their juice to the shredded chicken.  Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Fill tortillas with mixture, and place seam side down in a greased jelly roll pan.  Top with enchilada sauce, green onions and queso.  Cover with foil, and bake at 375 F for forty five minutes, or until filling is hot, and cheese is melty.  Serve over rice.   


No comments:

Post a Comment