Chicken for the Win!

Ok, ok this is definitely my all-time favorite chicken dish! All the components complement each other from the sweet to the sour and spicy flavors! Chicken scarpariello carries all of these wonderful notes. I add potatoes to round out the dish and if there’s a piece of bread around, I’m mopping sauce up at the end. This is definitely dinner tonight! Let’s get cooking…..

Serving: 4-5 Total time:

·1½ pounds fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

·6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

·Salt and pepper to taste

·3 links sweet Italian sausage – casing removed

·6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

·2 large onions, chopped

·½ large red bell pepper, chopped

·6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

·1 cup dry white wine

·1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

·½ cup chopped hot, sweet pickled Peppadew peppers in brine

·¼ cup white wine vinegar

·3 sprigs rosemary

·Chopped parsley for garnish

Let’s make the potatoes first. Adjust 2 oven racks to the upper and lower thirds position and preheat it to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cut potatoes with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil then generously season them with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven, on the lower rack, until browned and tender, about 20-30 minutes. While that’s in oven let’s make the chicken. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the chicken, skin side down and cook without moving until well browned about 3-5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and brown on the other side, adjusting the heat as needed, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. Leave the oil in the skillet. Add sausage to skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking it up into 1/2 inch pieces, until its browned, about 3 minutes. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Remove skillet from heat and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions, red bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables are soft, 10-12 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the wine has evaporated about 8 minutes. Add broth, Peppadews, vinegar, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and vigorously simmer until slightly reduced about 5 minutes.

Add chicken back to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices, and nestle pieces into onion mixture. Once potatoes are done I like to nestle them in as well, they slightly soak up some of the juices and become tastier! Leave uncovered in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Add sausage to pan, pushing them down into onion mixture and continue to roast until chicken is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. You can certainly leave out the sausage if you couldn’t find or don’t eat. If you cannot find peppadews cherry peppers work well too! Serve nice and hot! Enjoy!

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One Pot Wonder

There is nothing better than one pot wonders. You can take it in any direction, any flavor. My favorite is Spanish style chicken and rice known as arroz con pollo. This dish is native to Puerto Rican kitchens everywhere. Packed with flavor this dish is one for the books! Let’s get cooking….

Serves: 4 Total cook time: 45 min

  • 2 pounds chicken pieces legs or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 13-oz can chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of tomato paste
  • ½ cup onions small dice
  • ½ cup red pepper small dice
  • ½ cup green pepper small dice
  • ¼ cup of green Spanish olives
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly Ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces frozen peas
  • 1 cup Long-Grain rice

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, on medium high heat, brown chicken pieces about 6 minutes per side. Turn heat to medium, add in onions, garlic, salt and pepper, turmeric, red and green peppers, and bay leaf, cilantro, tomato paste. Sauté for 3-4 minutes then add broth - if no broth, water is fine too. Let this come to a full boil, once at a boil add in rice, peas and olives. Let this cook until liquid is evaporated. Once liquid is gone reduce heat to low and cook about 15 more minutes. With a large spoon give a toss to the rice. If you don’t want chicken in this dish you can easily leave out the protein. This dish is typically served with a side of avocado or simple salad of any greens and tomatoes simply tossed in vinegar and oil.

We can't go to Puerto Rico but we can certainly enjoy its wonderful foods at home! Serve hot and enjoy!

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Burgers aren't just for beef!

Want a kick to your burger without using beef? Try my salmon burger for a fun twist to the traditional burgers. These are so tasty and great to personalize with your own flavor combinations and toppings! Perfect for indoor and outdoor grilling, you’ll be the hit at the dinner table any night of the week with these delicious bites! Let’s get cooking….

Serves: 3- 4 Total time: 25 minutes

·1 ½ lbs of boneless, skinless fresh salmon

·1 large egg, lightly beaten

·1/2 cup bread crumbs plain or seasoned

·1 clove garlic, minced

·1 lemon zested and juiced

·1 tbsp. freshly chopped dill – parsley, basil, cilantro work well too

·1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

·1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

·1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

·Salt and pepper to taste

·1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

·Hamburger buns, for serving

·Mayonnaise, for serving

·Romaine, for garnish – optional, any leafy green works

·Tomato, for garnish – optional

·Red onion, for garnish – optional

Cut the salmon into large chunks, and put about a quarter of it into the container of a food processor, along with the mustard. Turn the machine on, and let it run — stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary until the mixture becomes pasty. Add the remaining salmon, and pulse the machine on and off until the fish is chopped and well combined with the puree. No piece should be larger than a 1/4 inch or so; be careful not make the mixture too fine. Leave some body to the mixture.( If you can not find fresh salmon, canned works really well too. Open strain and rinse salmon in colander, strain really well again and add to processer.) In a large bowl, combine salmon with egg, bread crumbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice, dill, dijon, Worcestershire and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and stir until fully combined, then form into 3 to 4 patties. You can fire up your indoor or outdoor grill, just make sure to brush a little oil on either to prevent sticking. You can also cook these on a hot skillet too!

Place burger on hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Make sure to have your buns and garnishes ready. What I love to do is slice a few avocados mix it with my mayonnaise and a touch of hot sauce – siracha is my preference. Mix and use as a spread. It is delicious. If eating buns isn’t your thing, don’t worry these are so tasty you wont miss the bun! Serve nice and hot. Enjoy!

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