Butter Chicken

IMG_3094IMG_9960Butter Chicken
adapted from The New York Times

Ingredients

  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno (red or green) or serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 ounces ground almonds (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Basmati rice and/or naan, for serving

Method

Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).

Melt the butter in a large deep pan over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.

Add the cinnamon stick, tomato sauce, chile pepper and salt, and cook until the chile pepper is soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in the half and half and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the almonds, if using, and cook for another minute, then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve over basmati rice and/or with naan on the side.

NOTES

HOLY. CRAP. SO. GOOD.

So, butter chicken. For years, I never bothered to make it because I thought it was just like chicken tikka masala – marinate in lemon, yogurt, spices, cook with more spices, chile pepper, tomato, and cream. Same, right? NOPE. NOPENOPENOPE. I could not have been more mistaken.

This is, hands down, now my favorite Indian dish of all time. I cannot properly explain how complex and delicious and wonderful and amazing this is. Make it. You will not be disappointed.

Shredded Chicken Chilaquiles

IMG_0348 (1)Shredded Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from can)
  • 6 small corn tortillas, cut into approximately 1-inch squares
  • 8 oz. shredded chicken
  • 2 cups medium or hot salsa
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
  • Suggested toppings: chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, avocado, hot sauce

Method

Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the corn tortillas and fry for 5-6 minutes, until browned and slightly crisp. Add chipotles and adobo sauce and gently mix in to coat the tortillas. Stir in salsa and shredded chicken.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, until mixture is hot. Remove from heat, top with cheese, and cover for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serve with desired toppings and/or with scrambled eggs on the side.

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NOTES

First couple of times I made this, I used tortilla chips instead of fresh tortillas. Big mistake. The fresh are far, far better here and so easy to do, it’s silly not to make the effort. I also originally made this with fried eggs on top, but we like the scrambled much more – a scoop of egg with avocado, sour cream, and a big bite of cheesy chickeny goodness just WORKS. A spectacular addition to my weekend brunch routine.

Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli

IMG_9659Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli
with thanks to Belly Full and Cooking Classy

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 12 oz dry rice noodles (M or L width)
  • 12 oz broccoli florets
  • 1-1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

In a small mixing bowl whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar, and Sriracha; set aside.

Cook noodles according to directions on package, adding in broccoli during last 3 minutes of boiling (you want to try to time the noodles and broccoli to be done about the same time the chicken is done); drain.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 3 minutes, then rotate and cook 2 minutes longer. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute or until chicken has cooked through.

Lower heat to medium. Add cooked noodles and broccoli, then whisk sauce and pour over top. Cook and toss noodles until about most of the sauce has absorbed into pasta, about a minute. Add scallions and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm.

NOTES

I honestly never expected to be so wowed by this dish. I only added it to my menu to use the last of my rice noodles in my pantry. But we loved this! It’s a perfect combination of the recipe idea from Jaclyn and the sesame noodle sauce from Amy. Could not have come out better.

Creamy Garlic Basil Chicken and Asparagus

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Creamy Garlic Basil Chicken and Asparagus
slightly adapted from Diethood

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil

For the sauce:

  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated or finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends snapped off, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Method

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon dried basil. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Flip the chicken and cook for about 8 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.

Combine evaporated milk, flour, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl; whisk until well combined.

Add the prepared sauce to the hot skillet and bring to a boil. Stir in prepared asparagus, place the chicken back in the pan, and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and chicken is heated through.

Remove from heat. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

NOTES

HOLY MOLY THIS WAS GOOD. Almost unexpectedly so. This is immediately going on the menu again for next week. And every spring/asparagus season forever and ever amen.

Pad Kee Mao Gai

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Pad Kee Mao Gai
(Drunken Noodles with Chicken)

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped Thai bird’s eye chiles
1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into strips or small chunks
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup black soy sauce
1/4 cup Golden Mountain sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 bunch fresh Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
32 ounces fresh wide rice noodles

Method

Heat oil in wok over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add garlic, onion and Thai chiles. Stir fry until golden, no more than a minute.

Add chicken, fish sauce, black soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce and palm sugar (note: it will seem very saucy; don’t worry, the noodles will soak it all up later). Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add red and yellow bell peppers. Continue stir frying for 2 to 3 more minutes until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.

Turn off heat, add basil and stir until just wilted. Add the rice noodles and toss thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately.

NOTES

This recipe. This was one of the top recipes of all time when I was over on Blogger as Alosha’s Kitchen. When I posted it nearly seven years ago, I had this to say:

Oh man, it was awesome. No pretense here, no beating around the bush. This kicked ass. One bite and I was jumping for joy. I just couldn’t believe it: my pad kee mao tasted like pad kee mao!

And as far as I remember, it did. But I also remember I wasn’t very good at working with the rice noodles. So after making this all of once, I never went back to it again. I actually transformed the recipe into a stir fry over rice and let this recipe lie.

Until last night. The bag of fresh rice noodles went in the microwave… and then I spent maybe a mere 15 minutes pulling them apart one by one. Huh. Maybe this wasn’t as bad as I thought. Or maybe my cooking skills have just gotten so much better in the last 7 years, everything feels easier than it used to. I’m going with the latter.

Either way, this recipe is not going back into obscurity. It was SO. Damn. Good. Not only does it taste like restaurant Pad Kee Mao, it tastes like Thai Nakorn‘s Pad Kee Mao. And for me and Steve, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Actually, success with this recipe means that I now have three out of our five favorite Thai Nakorn dishes – Pad Kee Mao Gai, Tom Kha Gai, and Panang Curry with Beef – down pat. Now if I could just nail down Beef Basil and Satay, we’d be all set. (Already working on it!)

Chicken Chow Mein

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img_7175Chicken Chow Mein
courtesy of recipetin eats
serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz chow mein noodles (I HIGHLY recommend these;  you can also buy them at Target or on Amazon)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 cups green cabbage (savoy/green), finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2″ pieces, whites and green separated
  • 4 eggs, scrambled, cooked in a single layer, cut into bite-sized pieces (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Chow Mein Sauce (recipe below)

Chow Mein Sauce

  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (ordinary all purpose soy sauce OR light soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (or sherry)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • White pepper

Method

Combine chicken and baking soda in a small bowl and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate, then rinse chicken well and pat dry.

In the meantime, make the Chow Mein Sauce: mix together cornstarch and soy sauce, then mix in remaining ingredients. Pour 2 tbsp of Chow Mein Sauce over the chicken and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.

Heat oil in wok or large fry pan over high heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds until the garlic is golden brown and you can smell the garlic in the oil. Add chicken and stir fry until the skin is white but the inside is still raw – about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, carrot, and the white pieces of scallions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage is just starting to wilt and the chicken is cooked through.

Add the noodles, Chow Mein Sauce, and water. Stir fry for 1 minute, tossing to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add bean sprouts, remaining scallions, and eggs. Stir through quickly then remove from heat. Serve immediately.

NOTES

Nothing to say except that this was perfect, savory, Chinese noodly goodness. 10/10 will make again. Often.

Note about the eggs: I am terrible awful not good at doing the scrambled eggs in the wok thing. If you would rather do it that way, just add them after the cabbage and chicken are cooked: make a well in the pan, pour in the eggs, scramble, let cook fully, toss with other ingredients, and continue on with the recipe. Or, you can omit them altogether.

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

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Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz short pasta (penne, rotini, ziti)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook and brown for 8 to 10 minutes or until onion is soft and chicken is nearly cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the pasta, wine, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs; set aside.

When the pasta is tender, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then the parmesan and bread crumb mixture.

Broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle parsley on top. Serve.

NOTES

I’ve been wanting to do a dish like this for a long time. I absolutely love my pan-fried-then-oven version of chicken parm with spaghetti, but that’s more of a weekend endeavor. This skillet is perfect for a weeknight when I am craving the flavors, but don’t want to make a ton of effort. Absolutely fantastic.