chicken

Marinades

The sun is finally making more than a cameo appearance and for those living in the Pacific Northwest – that means it’s time to start grilling! Nothing kicks up the flavor on grilled meat, seafood and veggies like a fantastic marinade.

Marinades are super-simple to make and give an easy flavor boost to your dinner dishes with just a few ingredients.

Take inspiration for your marinade from different cultures. Chipotle, lime, and agave add instant cha-cha-cha to your chicken. Or try ginger, thai basil, sesame oil, and hot chili paste for a bit of zen for your dish.

My biggest marinade tip is: make it strong! The bolder the flavor; the bigger the taste. If you make your marinade and it tastes good – then it’s not bold enough. Pump up the flavor even more with spices, garlic, herbs, etc. Get creative!

Citrus juices are common in marinades and add a big hit of brightness to smoky grilled flavors. Keep in mind that marinating with citrus juices for too long can begin to “cook” your protein, particularly fish, before it even hits the heat. I like to use orange juice concentrate to really get a citrus punch in my marinade.

Another quick tip: If your marinade contains sugar or honey, be sure to grill on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Honey or sugar can scorch on high heat.

So this spring and summer, jazz up your cooking with some mouth-watering marinades. –Kathy

Basic Marinade for Grilling

Marinates 4 to 6 portions of protein

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil, depending upon which herbs you are using

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

4 to 6 portions of protein, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork loin chops, salmon, or large shrimp, or large portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option

In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Lay out protein in a shallow, non-aluminum baking pan. Spoon half the marinade on the top side of each portion and rub it around, then flip the protein and spoon on the remaining marinade, being sure that all surfaces are covered.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat, then brush grill lightly with oil. Be sure grill is hot before placing protein on it. Sprinkle both sides of protein with kosher salt, and grill on the first side, being sure not to move it until there is a good charred grill mark. (The biggest mistake that home cooks make is to “touch” what they are grilling too much and move it around before it is ready; this causes sticking.)

Grill to desired doneness. No specific time can be given as it will depend upon your heat and what you are grilling. Typically, if there are nice grill marks on each side, the food is probably close to done. You can refer to internal cooking temperatures on the Internet, but I think that most government-determined temperatures are too high. So, until you are a seasoned griller, get a small paring knife and cut a tiny “peek “into the center of what you are cooking. For poultry you will want to see no pink; fish should be just cooked and not dry; shrimp should be just pink on the outside and barely opaque inside; and steaks should be the way you like them!

This marinade is a basic one, so get creative here, too, when you feel ready. Practice makes perfect. And grilling is “rustic,” so if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world—just jump back in and try it again soon.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Lemon and Caper Marinade for Seafood or Chicken

Makes about 1/3 cup

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh lemon zest

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives

2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together well.

Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Marinate fish, shrimp, scallops or chicken breasts for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 19th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Marinades |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, citrus, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons – a culinary favorite of mine with its deep yellow hue and fragrant flavor. Rumored to be a cross between a lemon and an orange, this zesty citrus is typically available December through April.

So what makes these cuties different from a standard lemon? Meyer’s have pretty “thin skin”, are highly aromatic, and have a sweeter taste than standard lemons. Their delicate flavor works great in cocktails, desserts, and savory dishes too!

I like to thinly slice them and roast alongside chicken or pork. The slices are so tasty when eaten with the dish – like in my recipe for Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port.

The zest of their peel is fragrant and delicious too – especially when added to shortbread cookies or an Herbed Orzo Salad.

So wake up your taste buds with this citrusy delight – and hurry before they’re gone!
-Kathy

Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.

Makes 6 servings

3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled Meyer lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.

Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios ®

Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo
Makes 6 servings

12 ounces dry orzo pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced Meyer lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 7 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well, then place orzo in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in butter, olive oil, shallots and herbs to coat well. Then stir in lemon juice, zest, seasonings and cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 22nd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Meyer Lemons |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, herbs, meats, salads, seafood, sides, Snacks

Slow Cooker Comfort

After a busy winter day there is nothing better than coming home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal. Yes! It’s time to dust off the crock pot!

When gloomy weather has you feeling a little down, a warm and hearty meal can be so comforting. You can do all the prep in the morning, and dinner can be ready right when you walk in the door! Simply “Set It and Forget It”!

Slow Cookers are wonderful way to utilize tougher cuts of big-flavored meat. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili, spicy pork, or a delicious lamb curry. My recipe for Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt is a household favorite – it’s bursting with flavor!

And crock pots aren’t just for entrees either – I also love to slow cook up a batch of overnight oats with brown sugar, orange zest and dried fruits. Top it with some Greek yogurt, or coconut milk – it’s the perfect way to start off a lazy Sunday morning!

And the best part about these cozy meals? They make incredible leftovers! So turn on your crock pot and let d’liciousness simmer away!
-Kathy

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

1. In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.
2. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.
3. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on January 4th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Slow Cooker Comfort |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey, meats, onion, paprika, pepper, peppers, pork, poultry, poultry, Recent Posts, roasted, seafood, seafood, seasonings, soups, spices, vegetables
Untitled