Real Simple’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry

I love a good curry, but I’ve been a bit hesitant about cooking curries at home since they often require oodles of spices and even more time. The other week I was looking for a recipe that uses rotisserie chicken (a great shortcut for when you don’t feel like cooking!) and I came across this delicious recipe from Real Simple. It was super easy to make and was really tasty. Does it stand up to the authentic curry you’d find in a restaurant? Not really. But it’s certainly a great stand in when you’re craving a little spice. I substituted in coconut milk for the cream and used pre-cooked rice, and served it alongside garlic naan that we warmed in the oven.

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Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

Saw this post on a recent NPR blog and I thought I’d share: Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks : The Salt : NPR. If you’ve ever wondered, “Should I wash raw chicken?,” you now have a definitive answer!

“There’s no reason, from a scientific point of view, to think you’re making it any safer,” she says, “and in fact, you’re making it less safe.”

That’s because washing increases the chances that you’ll spread the foodborne pathogens that are almost certainly on your bird all over the rest of your kitchen too, food safety experts say. We’re talking nasty stuff like salmonella and Campylobacter, which together are estimated to cause nearly 1.9 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year.

Some studies suggest bacteria can fly up to 3 feet away from where your meat is rinsed — though you can’t necessarily see it.

Read more on the original post on NPR’s The Salt.

Quick and Healthy Tortilla Chip Casserole

I’m not really a huge casserole person – it’s not something I regularly make – but after seeing this one in a recent Cooking Light magazine, I figured it was worth a shot. And it was delicious. This is a really easy dish to make, and it’s great as leftovers, which is always a bonus. If you’re in a time crunch, you can pick one of those rotisserie chickens up at the store and use that for the chicken (It’ll also leave a good bit over for sandwiches or another recipe the next day). Those little rotisserie chickens can be a lifesaver on some days! If you like it spicy, you can add some jalapenos, but I’m not quite that brave!

Serves 6 and takes a little over an hour (30 minutes of that time is in the oven, so if you’re quick you can have the dishes done by the time it pops out of the oven!)

Tortilla chip casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 4 ounces baked tortilla chips, crushed (works with regular or blue corn chips)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces lower-sodium green chile enchilada sauce (such as Frontera)
  • 2.5 ounces shredded cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend (about 2/3 cup) (I used shredded cheddar since it’s what we had)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 6 minutes. Add garlic and flour; cook 2 minutes. ­Gradually add milk and stock, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and cream cheese.
  3. Spread 1/2 cup milk mixture over bottom of a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Layer beans, 1 1/2 cups chicken, and 2 ounces chips. Top with 1/2 cup milk mixture. Layer 1 1/2 cups chicken, bell pepper, and 2 ounces chips; top with 1 cup milk mixture and enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

I recently found myself with an overflowing bowl of lemons, and nothing to do with them. Lemon bars? (already made those) Lemonade? Meh. Ooh Roasted Chicken with Lemon? Bingo. I found this recipe in one of the latest Bon Appetit mags, and it looked pretty doable, so I figured I’d give it a try. And I’m glad I did, as it was delicious! The recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs with skin, but I ended up using skinless, boneless chicken breasts..following directions is not always my strongest trait. But it worked well with the chicken breasts, and I think it would be even more delicious with the chicken thighs. (And if you don’t like the skin, you could always pick it off before you eat it – I think it would impart some wonderful flavor.) 4 servings, About 40 minutes.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

Want super-crisp chicken without having to add much fat? Start with a room-temperature pan: As the skillet becomes hot, the chicken skin will gradually render its fat, becoming browned and crackling.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano
Image via Bon Appetit

Abbachio alla Romana…or Roman Spring Lamb

A few weeks ago I picked up a new cookbook: The Silver Spoon. It was on sale ($9) and I had it on my “to buy” list, so I figured now is as good a time as any. It’s a hefty book, clocking in at just over 1200 pages, but it’s full of pretty much everything and anything Italian. What I like about it is that it picks a topic…say, Polenta…shows you how to make the basic recipe, and then includes a bunch of enhanced recipes using that same basic starting point. I have gnocchi bookmarked as my next project, but I started with a lamb recipe..and then used chicken because I forgot to buy lamb. Oh well. It actually turned out really well, so I figured I’d share it. It makes a ton of food, so make sure you use a big pot!
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