Balsamic, Honey, Soy Sauce & Garlic Marinated Chicken Thighs

Balsamic, Honey, Soy Sauce and Garlic Chicken - myyellowfarmhouse.com
Balsamic, Honey, Soy Sauce and Garlic Marinated Chicken can be served at room temperature – –  perfect for a picnic or buffet !

You know, I’d never really cooked with balsamic vinegar until today – so this recipe is my very first time preparing anything with balsamic vinegar… and I’m seriously wondering What Took Me So Long?  (My son M. prepares a delicious pasta dish featuring a balsamic vinegar reduction and fresh asparagus.  I’m gonna have to ask him to do a Guest Post for me so I can share his excellent recipe.)

As with many things, the higher the price –  the better the product.  And so it is with balsamic vinegar.   I suggest buying a good quality vinegar, even if you have to pay more.  It will be worth it !  Here’s a link to Andrew Wheeler’s blog Serious Eats which provides some valuable information regarding balsamic vinegar.    http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/everything-you-need-to-know-guide-to-balsamic-vinegar.html

I used skinless chicken thighs today because, to me, the meat much more flavorful than chicken breast.  And don’t be put off by thinking you’ll be eating dark meat – chicken thigh is, pretty much, white meat.  It’s just not breast meat.

If you prefer chicken breast, I’m sure you could use boneless chicken breast.  However, you may not have to cook the breasts for the full 30 minutes required to thoroughly cook the chicken thighs.  ++  I suggest placing a meat thermometer in one of the biggest boneless chicken breasts just to be sure!

Oven at 400F        Cook chicken approximately 30 minutes, turning chicken pieces one time.

Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley   ++  I chop it and then freeze it in a ziploc bag.
  • 2 – 3 Tbs. minced garlic     ++   I use 3 Tbs. – but I LOVE garlic!
  • 4 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • a bit of freshly ground pepper
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs – with skin removed   ++  Boneless chicken breast can be used
  • some toasted sesame seeds – perhaps 2 tsp. & some minced fresh parsley, to sprinkle over finished dish

Place 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar, 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley, 2 – 3 Tbs. minced garlic, 4 Tbs. soy sauce, 4 Tbs. olive oil and a bit of freshly ground pepper into a gallon-sized ziploc bag.

Zip bag and shake bag to mix ingredients.  Add the chicken thighs/boneless chicken breasts.  Turn bag over several times – or whatever else you can think of doing – to make sure each piece of chicken is covered with the marinade.

++  If possible, lie the bag down so all the pieces are sitting in the marinade.

 Balsamic, Honey, Soy Sauce and Garlic Chiicken - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Allow chicken to marinate for at least four hours – overnight is even better.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a baking sheet (cookie sheet with sides) with aluminum foil. .  Place chicken pieces evenly on baking sheet and pour over ALL the marinade.  ++  You do NOT have to turn chicken during cooking, but I prefer turning it once so both sides get cooked in the marinade.

Balsamic, Honey, Soy Sauce and Garlic Chicken  myyellowfarmhouse.com

Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, place it on a warmed platter.  Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and simmer until marinade is reduced.  ++  It’s up to you how much you want to reduce it.  In fact, you can chose to not reduce it at all.

Pour marinade over chicken pieces.  Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds and minced fresh parsley.  Enjoy !!

++ Recipe inspired by ‘Beyond Kimchee’ – – – http://www.beyondkimchee.com/soy-balsamic-chicken-thighs-asparagus/ 

Balsamic, Honey, Soy Sauce and Garlic Chicken

To quote Roseanne Roseanadana, “It’s always something. If it isn’t one thing – it’s another!”

Roseanne Rosannadana

I could’ve titled this post ‘The Pie that Didn’t Make It’….  or “The Terrible, No-Good, Very Bad Pie Day”… but you get the idea.

I had planned to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ when I chose to make a Toffee Ice Cream Pie for a party I was attending, but, as often happens, my day did NOT go as planned.  And the final result of my Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Pie Day necessitated a visit to the ER the next morning.l

Like many of you, I’m constantly saving recipes on Pinterest, so I decided to find a super yummy dessert recipe.  And I did, namely Toffee Ice Cream Pie, which features a ‘Nilla Wafer’ crust, ice cream (I used Butter Pecan simply because I love it), crushed toffee candy bars and a delicious homemade caramel sauce.

The cookie crumb and butter crust came together easily. Then I prepared the caramel sauce while the cookie crumb pie crust cooled for a bit in the freezer.

Once the sauce has cooled a bit, a good amount of that fabulous caramel sauce is poured over the crust, then slightly-softened ice cream is added.

Toffee Ice Cream Pie - myyellowfarmhouse.comToffee Ice Cream Pie - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

+

My overly-softened ice cream began to melt as I was taking a few photos, so I hurriedly sprinkled on the crushed toffee candy and put the pie into the freezer for a few minutes before I drizzled on the rest of the caramel sauce.

Toffee Ice Cream Pie - myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

Here comes the bad/sad part – I wiped out the top of the pie as I put it in the freezer. Half of all that  buttery caramel, toffee candy, ice creamy goodness was left dripping from the bottom of my ice cube maker, where it immediately began to freeze.

I tried repairing the damage and photographing the pie while at the party but, although absolutely delicious, it looked like a disaster.

And now I come to the part of my day where I did a serious, no-holds-barred face-plant into my hosts’ front door – which resulted in me sleeping in pain that night and going to the emergency room the next morning.  As I trotted up the front steps, my boot failed to clear the top, I stumbled forward a few feet, hit the front door with my face and fell backwards like a turtle. I ended up with an instant bump on my head, which is still there. Of course, both my hands were injured in my futile attempt to save myself. Luckily nothing was broken but my right hand is now in a removable splint and looks like a small, fat balloon.   ++ I should never be put in anything removable ‘cause I end up doing a lot of removing.

I’m going to make another ‘Toffee Ice Cream Pie’ within a day or two. And I will post both the recipe and a photo of the finished ice cream pie. Of course, those things will require removing my splint.     ; o )

Slightly-Spicy Three Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup

Slighty-Spicy Three Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup - myyellowfarmhouse.com
This soup has the richness of a minestrone and the benefit of being Good forYou!
For some extra ‘zing’ – right before serving – sprinkle soup with a bit of Italian Three-Cheese Blend  (Parmesan, Asiago & Romano).

Every time I develop a new recipe, I’m always hoping the end result equals the flavors I’d envisioned.  And I must say I’m very pleased with this Slightly-Spicy Three Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup.  It’s super easy to prepare and makes quite a bit, which is always a plus. Simmering this soup for an hour allows the peppery flavor of the kale to stand out, and the broth becomes slightly creamy due to starches in the kidney, black and garbanzo beans. ++  I decided not to add any meat to this soup, but, of course, you could add some chopped chicken or beef if you choose.  But this soup is so hearty, I think you really won’t miss the meat at all !

INGREDIENTS
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped red pepper
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups kale, roughly chopped      ++ Cut out the thick stems running down the center of the leaf.
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5. oz.) garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 (48 oz.) container chicken broth – PLUS – another 2 cups   ++ The extra 2 cups can be replaced by 2 cups water and 2 bouillon cubes. ++  If using ‘Knorr’ chicken bouillon cubes, you’ll only need 1.
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs   ++  I like ‘Contadina’
  • 3/4 tsp. salt – or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings  ++ Or a mixture of oregano, basil, thyme, sage & rosemary
  • ++  Italian Three-Cheese Blend – OR – any type of Italian grated cheese to sprinkle on top
METHOD

In a large Dutch Oven (or large cooking pot such as you would use to boil pasta) cook 3/4 cup roughly chopped red pepper and 3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion in 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes… or until veggies begin to look translucent.  ++ There’s no need to worry about under-cooking or over-cooking the red pepper or onion, they’ll finish cooking in the broth. Add 2 large cloves garlic, minced – continue cooking for about another minute.

Slightly-Spicy Three Bean and Kale Soup  - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Add 1 can (15.5 oz.) kidney beans – drained and rinsed, 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans – drained and rinsed and 1 can (15.5. oz.) garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed

Slightly-Spicy Three Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup - myyellowfarmhouse.com Removing ribs from kale - photo courtesy food52.com

Now add 3 cups roughly chopped kale, stems removed. Pour in one container (48 oz.) of purchased chicken broth plus 2 cups.  ++ As mentioned above, the extra 2 cups can be 2 cups of water and a chicken bouillon cube.  (Or, if you have it, 8 cups homemade chicken broth).  

Add the contents of 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs – and you’re almost there!!

Add spices;  3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste), 1/8 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings. Bring soup to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.    ++ No need to cover pot.

Slightyly Spicy Three Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Waiting for soup to come to a simmer….

After about an hour…. that is, if you’ve been able to wait for the full hour ….. you’ll have a big pot of yummy soup to share with your neighbors.  Which is what I love to do.    PS  I also shared some of my Honey Walnut Bread, which I just L.O.V.E.  – recipe for that coming soon.   ENJOY !!

1 - Slightly-Spicey Three Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup - myyellowfarmhouse.com

++ Photo credit for ‘prepping kale’ goes to http://food52.com/blog/8211-how-to-prep-kale. I highly recommend food52.com – it’s full of terrific ideas and advice !!

‘A Little Help from My Friends’ Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

++ If you wish, this casserole can be prepared using just chicken or ham.  It could also be prepared with a few cans of drained tuna !!

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake’ comes together quickly thanks to the use of frozen hash brown potatoes. (I like Potatoes O’Brien hash browns because they already include red pepper and onion.)  Thaw the potatoes in your microwave, allow to drain – and they’re ready to go.  No cooking and no peeling!

After scattering the potatoes on the bottom of a 9′ x 13′ casserole dish, chunks of cooked chicken and ham are added, along with sweet red pepper, mushrooms and a touch of garlic.  A quickly-prepared sauce is poured over all, followed by a sprinkling of three-cheese mix (Parmesan, Romano and Asiago) and some sliced almonds.  Bake the casserole at 350F for about for 50 – 60 minutes and get ready for some Good Eaten’ !!

INGREDIENTS         Bake in 350F oven for 50 – 60 minutes

  • 1 pkg (28 oz) frozen Potatoes O’Brien – thawed  — OR —  1 pkg. (32 oz.) frozen cubed hash browns – thawed
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces  ++ If you don’t happen to have cooked chicken, in a small covered skillet simmer 1 boneless chicken breast in 1/4 water or broth until fully cooked. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 cups ham, cut into bite-sized pieces = (10 oz) ham steak      ++  Most hams are now water-injected…. If the ham seems ‘drippy’ place between paper towels and squeeze out some of the moisture.
  • 1 small pkg. (10 oz.) cremini  (or button) mushrooms, sliced       ++ If there are any specs of dirt on the mushrooms, wipe with a paper towel.  Do NOT wash under running water.  Mushrooms are like little sponges!
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken or mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley     ++  Fresh parsley can be chopped, then frozen in a small storage bag.  Simply break off what you need !!
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • a bit of parsley – to sprinkle on top
  • paprika – to sprinkle on top for color

METHOD

Spread thawed Potatoes O’Brien evenly on the bottom of a 9′ x 13′ casserole.

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

Add cooked chicken and ham pieces.

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place 1 Tbs. butter in a large skillet and cook sliced mushrooms, stirring, until mushrooms wilt.  Remove mushrooms and set aside while you cook the 1/4 chopped onion and 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper.  Cook onion and pepper until softened.  Add 1 clove minced garlic.  Continue to cook a minute more, until garlic softens.

Spread cooked mushrooms, onion, red pepper and garlic over ham and chicken.

Sauce – –  In a medium-sized bowl mix 1 cup sour cream, 1 can condensed cream of chicken (or mushroom soup), 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled, 3/4 to 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley and  1 1/2 cups chicken broth until well blended.  Pour over ingredients already in casserole.

Sprinkle with 2/3 cup three-cheese-blend   ++ Or any mixture of Parmesan and other cheeses.  Add 1/2 cup sliced almonds and a bit more chopped fresh parsley.  Sprinkle with some paprika.

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Bake at 350F for 50 – 60 minutes – until sauce bubbles around edges of casserole.  Allow casserole to sit for 5 – 10 minutes and serve.  Enjoy!!

 Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

‘A Little Help from My Friends’ Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Topping - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com
I prepared these cupcakes with a bit of ‘Chambord’ liqueur – YUMMY !!

Little G. - The Happy Chocolate Cupcake Eater

Sweet Little ‘G’… who happens to be a big fan of Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.  (Notice she ate the whole cupcake…. but left the blueberries!)

- – – – – -

 I like to use the title ‘A Little Help from My Friends’ when a recipe utilizes prepared mixes etc.  With ‘A Little Help from My Friends’ you can whip up something delicious in very little time – yet the result tastes as if you’d ‘slaved away’ !!

My recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting includes a chocolate cake mix prepared with raspberry jam. (And the addition of Chambord liqueur if you prefer a more ‘adult tasting’ cupcake.  Actually, I made a special trip to purchase some Chambord so these cupcakes would be extra special !)

Your friends and family will be surprised the delicious chocolate frosting is simply whipped topping mixed with cocoa powder and vanilla.

chambord black raspberry liqueur - liquor.comI did some reading about Chambord - here’s a bit of what I found; According to legend, Chambord was inspired by King Louis XIV’s ‘beverage of choice’.

Chambord is created from raspberries, blackberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey, cognac and herbs and spices.  (What’s not to like!?)

Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m going to share some of my Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting with friends as a special Valentine’s treat.   Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

INGREDIENTS  FOR CUPCAKES         Yield = 18 large cupcakes     For 24 cupcakes, fill  sections with less cake mix 
  • one Dark Chocolate cake mix… prepared according to directions ….  EXCEPT …. remove 2 Tbs. water from the amount of water given in the recipe.
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • +++  If adding Chambord  – substitute 1/4 cup Chambord for 1/4 cup of the water.

Prepare Dark Chocolate cake mix according to directions – but remove 2 Tbs. water from the amount of water called for in the recipe.  Add 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam.

Mix cupcake batter on low to blend ingredients – then beat 2 minutes until batter is smooth. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners OR lightly grease each section.  Fill each section 3/4s full.  ++ I find it really helps to use a small measuring cup to scoop out the batter and fill the sections.

++  The cupcakes liners I used are called ‘Parchment Lotus Cups’.  They’re sold by ‘PaperChef’.

Bake cupcakes according to package directions.  ++  To test if cupcakes are done, insert a sharp knife or toothpick into the center. If knife or toothpick comes out clean – the cupcakes are ready.

Remove cupcakes from baking pan and allow to cool on a rack for 20 – 25 minutes – or until cupcakes no longer feel warm.

INGREDIENTS FOR WHIPPED CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 2 (8 oz.) containers of ‘Cool Whip’ whipped topping
  • 6 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place 2 (8 oz.) containers of ‘Cool Whip’ whipped topping into a medium-sized bowl, along with 5 – 6 Tbs. cocoa powder and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with a large spoon until well-combined.     ++  A bit of confectionery/powdered/ icing sugar can be added if you wish. 

Spread whipped frosting on cupcakes and that’s it.    Talk about ‘Quick, Easy and Good’ – Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Has Anyone Heard Anything from ‘ChgoJohn’ of ‘The Bartolini Kitchens’?

ChgoJohn

This is a highly unusual post…  John (ChgoJohn) of ‘The Bartolini Kitchens’ hasn’t posted anything since December 24th.  I’ve sent him a few emails, yet I haven’t heard from him.  And he unfailingly returns my emails within a day or two.  And – if he plans to ‘close the kitchens’ because he’s traveling – he always let us, his readers, know.   Which makes me wonder if John’ beloved Zia might be ill…

I know so many people, including myself, have come to love John and consider him a friend.  He always has the best ‘tales to tell’ and posts (as many of you know) the most fantastic recipes which have been handed down to him by his mother and his Zia – John’s mother’s sister.

For those of you who aren’t followers of John’s blog – here’s a wonderful post from November 29th, 2014.  The post shows both John’s sense of humor and his warmth – and his love for Zia… because November 29th was Zia’s birthday.

http://fromthebartolinikitchens.com/category/3-non-recipe-posts/personal/

Please post a comment if you’ve heard from John – thanks!

“Khobz’ – Moroccan Bread ++ Quick & Easy ++ Dough only needs to rise once!

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

The beautifully hand-painted blue and white dish used in this post was purchased by me in Casablanca.  It’s one of my favorites!

I truly enjoy making different kinds of bread!  It amazes me how something so comforting and delicious comes out of playing around with some flour, salt and sugar etc.  It also amazes me how many different types of bread there are in the world. Naan - courtesy of agk.wikia.comOne of my favorite memories took place in India on New Year’s Eve years ago, where we saw men (fearless men!) slapping Naan onto the sides of a tandoor oven with their bare hands. Tandori Oven for Cooking Naan - courtesy of Visual Photos.com

And, on a visit to Cairo, we saw women sitting on the ground cooking bread on large, flat stones.  That bread was, like Naan, a flat-bread but with a whole different – and wonderful – taste.

Egyptian Flat Bread - courtesy of Egyptian Food Recipes.com

++  Curious about ‘Breads of the World’ – here’s a great site!    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breads

Interestingly enough, bread in Malta is called ‘Hobz’ (Ħobż Malti).  Ħobż Malti is dense, heavy bread which makes wonderful sandwiches.  Malta was ruled by Arabs for quite a long time, and the Maltese language contains many words derived from (or exactly the same as) Arabic.  So, it’s not too surprising that the Arabic word for bread is ‘Khobz’ and the Maltese word is ‘Ħobż“! 

When we lived in Malta I wrote a small book about the country’s long and varied history.  And let me tell you, Malta’s history, including rule by the Knights of St. John (better known today as The Knights of Malta) is fascinating!

Maltese Hobz -  courtesy of 'honeyandmustard.wordpress.com

One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten is called Hobz Biz-zejt.  There are times when The Whole Equals More Than the Sum of It’s Parts and this is sure one of those times!!   Hobz Biz-zejt can be recreated with another type of crusty bread, but it just won’t be quite the same…   Here’s a link if you’d like to make these sandwiches at home.  (I just started following this blog!)  https://honeyandmustard.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/maltese-traditional-hobz-biz-zejt/

I know you’re going to enjoy Khobz.  It’s easy to make.  The recipe makes two loaves.  And – best of all – Khobz only needs one rising.

- – – -

INGREDIENTS      Oven at 435F      Bake for 20 minutes     ++ Switch position of baking sheets after first 10 minutes

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2  tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water   ++  Water should feel warmer than your skin.  Try pouring a bit on your wrist to check.  If the water’s too cold – or too hot – the yeast won’t work properly and the bread won’t rise. 
  • olive oil  – – to spread on baking sheets – and – to drizzle on bread both before and after baking

METHOD

Prepare 2 baking sheets by pouring 1/2 tsp. olive oil in the center of each baking sheet.  Spread oil, using fingers, to make a 5″ – 6″ circle .     ++ You can skip the olive oil and use cornmeal…. but, to me, cornmeal doesn’t seem very authentic. Place 4 cups flour, 2  tsp. salt and 2 tsp. sugar in a large bowl.  Stir to combine. Make a well in the center.   Place 1 Tbs. yeast in the center.  Gently pour 2 Tbs. olive oil and 1 1/4 cups warm water into the well and mix together to dissolve yeast.  Then mix entire contents of bowl until flour mixture has been incorporated.      ++  It may seem, at first, like you’ll never be able to get all the flour incorporated – just work at it a bit and it’ll all come together!    Khobz - Moroccan White Bread - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com Khobz - Moroccan White Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes, adding a bit more flour if necessary.  After kneading for 10 minutes dough should be soft and pliable. ++  Here’s an excellent link to learn how to knead bread –   http://bread.wonderhowto.com/how-to/knead-bread-dough-by-hand-355638/ After dough is kneaded, form dough into a ball.

              Divide dough into halves.         Shape each portion into a smooth, circular mound.

khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com (4)

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Cover with towels.

  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com

After 10 minutes, flatten dough using the palm your hand to form two 7″ circles.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

Once again, cover dough with towels. Allow dough to rise for an hour – or until dough springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com

After dough has risen, poke here and there with a fork.  Drizzle on a bit of olive oil and spread with your fingers (which is what I do) or use a spoon.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (4)

++ Raise bottom oven rack up one level     Bake bread at 435F for 20 minutes – – rotating baking sheets halfway through cooking time (at the 10 minute mark). Loaves should be browned and sound hollow when tapped.    ++  Don’t be afraid to take bread out a minute or two early  – oven temperatures can vary widely. Remove loaves from baking sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.  At this point I like to drizzle on more olive oil and spread it over the crust – because I think it makes most-any bread look better.   Enjoy !!

Khobz - Moroccan White Bread -- www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 2- - myyellowfarmhouse.com+ Here’s the link for ‘Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes’.    http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/moroccan-chicken-tangine-with-sweet-potatoes/

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous - My Yellow Farmhouse.com + To complete your Moroccan meal, here’s the link for ‘Couscous with Raisins and Pine Nuts’ as well as another recipe for Moroccan Chicken.

  http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/03/10/moroccan-chicken-couscous-with-raisins-and-slivered-almonds/ 

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes (Does NOT have to be cooked in a tagine!)

Moroccan Chicken - - myyellowfarmhous.com

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf - - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Moroccan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes -- myyellowfarmhouse.com

Today it snowed almost all day long, so it was a perfect day to prepare a dish which simmers away in the oven, filling your kitchen with the scent of cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger!

I’m not proud to say I actually received my beautiful tagine as a gift LAST Christmas.  (I’ve told you I’m a procrastinator..)  There’s no excuse for waiting so long to ‘try it out’. It’s not as if I don’t see the tangine every day, sitting and waiting patiently on the lower shelf of the buffet in my kitchen…

tangine - kitchen buffet - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Moroccan Chicken Tagine can be be cooked several different ways; 1. In a tangine – cooked in the oven.  2.  In a tangine, cooked on very low heat on top of the stove.  3.  In a covered casserole – cooked in the oven.  4.  In a large saucepan or Dutch Oven – either in the oven (if pan has heatproof handles) or on top of the stove.

Whichever way you chose to cook Moroccan Chicken Tagine, you’re in for a treat.  And, except for frying up the onions and garlic in a skillet, you have a one pot meal with no mess in the kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have a tangine, you can proudly present your Moroccan meal served right from your tangine.

++  Tagines, according to my research, range in size from 8″ to 16″.  Actually, mine is only 7″ across at the base but it’s deep, so I was able to able to put in 8 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, plus 2 large cut-up sweet potatoes.

++ Be sure to learn how to use your tagine if you’ve never cooked with one before!  (The terracotta ones need special care.)   ++ Here’s a link to a great website which we could call “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Tangines” !  http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/moroccanfood101/f/How-to-Use-Tagine.htm

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 3- - myyellowfarmhouse.com   ++ Follow this link for my recipe ‘Never-Fail, Always Moist’ Armenian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pine Nuts’    – –  http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/never-fail-always-delicious-armenian-rice-pilaf/

 +

Dates – One of New ‘Favorite Foods’ !!

Moroccan Chicken Tangine -- www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

++ Start tagine in a cold oven

++ Place oven rack at 2nd lowest level. 

INGREDIENTS       Oven at 325 (F)      Cook for 2 hours.   If cooking on top of stove in a saucepan or Dutch Oven, be sure to just ‘simmer’ the tangine.

  • 6 – 8 boneless/skinless chicken THIGHS
  • 2 – 3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into eighths.   ++  My tangine is small, so I only used 2 medium sweet potatoes.  They turned out soo yummy cooked this way that I plan to try to cram more in next time!! 
  •  2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced      ++  About 2 cups
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped   ++  Warm garlic cloves in microwave for 10 – 15 seconds, which helps remove papery covering on garlic cloves.
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp.ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander      ++  I used 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro, which are the leaves of the same plant.  In fact, coriander comes from the seeds.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates    (You can purchase chopped dates.)
  • 1 cup HOT chicken broth    ++  Can also use 1 CUP HOT water and one bouillon cube.

METHOD

Arrange boneless/skinless chicken thighs in one layer on bottom of tagine.   ++  I folded the loose bits under, which looks a bit nicer and helps the chicken cook evenly.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Put the following spices in a small dish or glass and set aside; 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 ground turmeric, 1 tsp. ground coriander (or 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.

Pour 2 Tbs. olive oil into a large skillet.  Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until onions begin to brown a bit – between 5 to 6 minutes.

Add minced garlic.  Cook two to three minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Add the spices you’d set aside.  Stir to combine with the onions and garlic.  Cook one more minute, stirring.

Spread contents of skillet over chicken.

Moroccan Chicken Tangine - -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

Make one layer of the peeled and cut-up sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle 1/4 chopped dates over potatoes.  Pour 1 cup HOT broth over all.

Moroccan Chicken  Tangine - -www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Cover on tagine.  Lower oven rack to second lowest level.  Place covered tagine in COLD oven.  Set temperature to 325F.

Cook for two hours.  ++  Chicken and sweet potatoes will be cooked after 1 1/2 hours but the extra 1/2 hour of cooking time REALLY makes the chicken thighs tender.  Enjoy !!

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 2- - myyellowfarmhouse.com

‘Never-Fail, Always Delicious’ Armenian Rice Pilaf

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 3- - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Update – – Yes – rice IS gluten free !!    As are pine nuts (pinola nuts) !!

I found this delicious recipe for Armenian Rice Pilaf many, many years ago in the Providence Journal when we lived in Rhode Island – and it’s been a BIG favorite with my family and guests ever since.

As the title suggests, this Rice Pilaf comes out perfectly every single time.  I think there’s two secrets as to why – hot broth is added to browned-in-butter rice, pine nuts and a bit of angel hair pasta .  The other ‘secret’ is, after the rice pilaf is fully cooked, the pan is taken off the heat, and paper towel is placed over the uncovered pan for 10 minutes, resulting in fluffy, buttery rice pilaf ‘to die for’ !!

Moroccan Chicken - - myyellowfarmhous.com

Follow this to Moroccan Chicken Tangine.     http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/moroccan-chicken-tangine-with-sweet-potatoes/

INGREDIENTS & METHOD       Serves 4 – 6     Can be prepared ahead.

  • 1/2 stick butter  (4 Tbs.)
  • 1/2 cup crushed angel hair pasta     ++  Regular spaghetti is fine
  • 1/3 cup pine (pignoli) nuts
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth –  OR  –  2 1/2 cups boiling water and 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Recipe does not call for salt – there’s already salt in the chicken broth.  If you wish, you may add some salt and pepper. 

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup crushed angel hair pasta and 1/3 cup pine (pignoli) nuts.  Slowly stir until golden.    ++  The butter may foam up – that’s totally fine!

++ Watch carefully, you don’t want to burn the pasta and pine nuts!

Armenian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pine Nuts - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Armenian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pne Nuts - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

+

Add 1 cup rice – stir until thoroughly coated with butter.

Add 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth  – OR  – 2 1/2 boiling water and 1 bouillon cube.  Stir quickly with a fork – cover pan and lower heat.

Armenian Rice Pilaf - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until all broth is absorbed and rice is fully cooked.  ++  If, by chance, rice is still a bit hard after 20 minutes  –  add a bit more hot water to pan and continue cooking a few more minutes.

Once rice is fully cooked, remove pan from heat.  Gently fluff rice with a fork.  Cover with paper towel for 10 minutes, which absorbs any extra moisture so the rice pilaf is extra fluffy.  ++  Be sure paper towel isn’t near a heat source!

After 10 minutes, fluff rice again with fork and serve.  Enjoy !!

++  Recipe can easily be doubled.
++ I often prepare a double batch of Armenian Rice Pilaf early the day of a party and store it (covered) in the fridge.  When I’m ready to serve, I add just a tiny bit of warm water and rewarm the rice, covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap, in the microwave.

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf - - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping ++ Can Be Prepared Gluten Free !

Oven Baked Salmon with rispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com

As you may know, I’m seriously ‘on a mission’ lately to eat more healthy and I’ve discovered eating healthy does NOT mean dining on meals that taste like cardboard!!

Just because I’m trying to eat better doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in the occasional treat, as I did yesterday when I lost my car key (it just dropped off the key chain….).  After searching the parking lot etc. I finally found it at my doctor’s office…. but that was AFTER I called AAA to open my car in the hopes the key had dropped off inside.  I ended up rewarding myself, after all that frustration, with a (not too big…) piece of carrot cake – and I enjoyed every single bite !!

- – – – 

++  If you prefer to prepare this “gluten-free” – just use gluten free corn flakes, such as Nature’s Path Organic. 

++  Corn itself is gluten free but many products containing corn, such as corn flakes, may have flour (wheat) in the ingredients.

++  Recipe makes enough for 4 people, depending upon the size of your piece of salmon.    ++  I prepared 1 piece of salmon and stored the extra topping in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS                Oven at 375 F           ++ Bake salmon for approximately 20 minutes

  • a bit of olive oil, to grease skillet….. about 2 tsp.
  • 4 pieces of salmon about 5″ long and 1/2″ in center    ++  Can be either with – or without – skin.
  • TOPPING
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • some freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups corn flakes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts      ++ I used 1/4 cup – – pine nuts are expensive!!
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a bit of fresh parsley         ++  optional

Preheat oven 375F

Put all the ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse into ground.

++  If you don’t have a food processor, put all topping ingredients in a ziplock bag and crush.

Oven Baked Crispy Salmon  with Crispy Topping  -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping  -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

+

Sprinkle between 1/4 to 1/3 cup of crumb mixture on each piece of salmon, pressing the crumbs into the fish a bit.     ++  Leftovers of crumb mixture can be stored in fridge !

Oven Baked Salmon with Srispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place salmon pieces on a broiler broiler  OR  on a rack, as shown above.

Bake in 375 F oven for 20 minutes, depending upon thickness of salmon.    ++  Salmon should be firm in the middle and look opaque. 

It does NOT get much easier than this. And – believe me, this Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping is delicious.   Enjoy!!

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com