March 28th, 2012 § § permalink
After seeing some Facebook friends and their failed attempts at baked chicken I decided to share my method. What I do is no secret nor is it that extraordinary – it just works. This method allows you to add your own sauces and seasonings and makes it easy to avoid overcooking. Check it out.
1 lb Chicken breast
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Desired sauce or 4 tbsp Desired seasoning
-Preheat the oven to 400°
-Trim the fat from your (thawed) chicken breast and brush on olive oil
-Sprinkle on salt and pepper
-Place on baking dish and cook for 20 minutes
-When time is up, remove from oven and turn. Cover in desired sauce.
-Place back in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until 155°
-Remove from oven and cover with foil for 5 minutes before serving
This seems basic and stupid but I assure you it is stupid-proof. When I am unsure about an oven’s integrity I take the temperature of the meat during flipping and 5 minutes through the final cooking stage. This gives me a good idea of when the bird will be done. Of course, every oven is different and cooking times could vary but I stand by the 20 minute initial cooking time. Also, I always use Extra Virgin Olive Oil because I am too cheap to keep Olive Oil and Extra Virgin.
Like I said, this is simple and extremely versatile. The photos included show the chicken with teryaki rice and cook vegatables – a ridiculously easy meal. I also like to almost butterfly the chicken breasts and stuff them with good stuff and then toothpick them closed. Minimal effort for maximum return.
August 29th, 2011 § § permalink
The chicken enchilada – one of my favorite Mexican dishes. I look forward to taco night all day but enchilada night could become a frequent dinner plan soon. Before making this recipe I had never made enchiladas or shredded chicken. Surprisingly enough (or rather not), shredding chicken is a lot like shredding pork. This recipe is a conglomeration, like most of my recipes, of a few recipes that I found. That’s the best part about Google, I can find 10 recipes and put them together to make something that fits our tastes (like adding more cheese!). Alright, the recipe:
1 lb Boneless chicken breasts
1 can (28oz) Enchilada sauce
8 Flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Asadero cheese
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup Green bell pepper
1/2 cup Red bell pepper
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Optional: 1/2 cup Diced onion
-Preheat oven to 400°F and pour the enchilada sauce into a high-sided sauce pot on medium heat, covered.
-Once that’s bubbling up real nice, put your chicken breasts in with a good amount of room on all sides of them for proper cooking, cover!
-Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken breasts’ internal temperature is right at 160 (if you over-cook them then shredding will be a pain)
-Grab two forks and tear into the breasts until all is shredded up.
-In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat and add in the peppers and a pinch of salt.
-Cook until softened or however you would like the peppers to be.
-Now, assemble the enchiladas. Place about a tablespoon of the vegetables on a flour tortilla followed by about 2-3 tablespoons of chicken and 2-3 tablespoons of the Asadero cheese. Roll up to close.
-Place the enchiladas in a 13×9 baking dish side-by-side. Pour about half of the remaining enchilada sauce from the pan over the enchiladas and then cover with the 2 cups of Monterrey Jack cheese.
-Bake for about 15 minutes until heated through, cheese is melted, and the enchilada sauce is bubbly.
-Like most baked dishes, let this one sit for 5 minutes after cooking before serving.
The first time around I used taco sauce rather than enchilada sauce and it tasted alright. The second time around I used real enchilada sauce but the brand I got was a little strong on the chipotle pepper side of life. You should probably try a few different types of sauce to find one you like. One other thing to note is the Asadero cheese. This is usually marketed as quesadilla cheese or Mexican melting cheese. It’s just a white cheese that melts real nice and makes Mexican food taste amazing – it goes great on tacos, too.
July 19th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
I saw a photo the other day of some grilled pork loin wrapped in bacon and thought to myself “I’d really like to try that.” I realized that I didn’t have any of the necessary proteins to complete a dish like that so I started looking for alternatives. What I found was chicken breast and turkey bacon. I’m not a huge fan of turkey bacon but I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. Needless to say, the results were very light and full of flavor. Here’s the process:
1 lb Chicken breast
12 Strips of Turkey Bacon
1 Green bell pepper
1 cup Italian dressing (of your choice)
1/4 cup Honey
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Onion powder
1 tbsp Celery salt
1/8 cup Olive oil
Black pepper to taste
-Cut your chicken into 12 like-sized cubes/strips (1″ x 1/2″ x 2″)
-Marinade the chicken in the italian dressing, honey, and garlic powder for a solid 8 hours
-Cut the green bell pepper and onion into 1/2″ x 2″ strips.
-Place 1 chicken piece, 1 green pepper piece, and one onion piece on a strip of bacon and roll up. Use a toothpick to hold it together
-Brush on some olive oil (this will help keep the roll moist during cooking)
-Sprinkle the cumin, onion powder, and celery salt on the roll
-Place on grill over indirect heat. Cook for (about) 8 minutes and then turn over and cook for additional 5-8 minutes until done
-OPTIONAL: add your favorite barbecue sauce after turning rolls.
-Remove from grill and sprinkle some fresh black pepper
July 7th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
We are knee-deep in cookout season so I thought I would throw a couple of my cooking tips up for you. Not everyone like grilling out and I don’t likes everyone so we’re even. Here in the midwest, where the grilling season is shorter than the south, we try to get as much of it in as possible. Try some of these on for size:
Clean those Grill Grates
Get the grill nice and hot even if you plan on cooking at a low temperature. Grab some tin foil, make a solid log, pick it up with your tongs, and rub down your hot grill grates. It doesn’t take much and the high heat will kill any bacteria taking a nap in the vicinity.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Soak your ears for a solid hour (longer if you have the time). After soaking, carefully peel back the husk as much as you can (without detaching it) and lather on some olive oil. Replace the husk as best as possible and grill them to perfection. When pulling the husk off for eating, do it under warm water. That way, any ash that might get in your mouth is washed away and the tassels are easier to remove completely. The extra effort is completely worth it.
Tin foil; use it. Make a tray of tin foil, complete with edges bent up to old in the fat, and cook your burgers on that instead of just the grill grates. It makes for a much juicier burger. Note: If using this method, you should probably use extra lean meat (no worse than 85/15). Also, never squish the burgers down with the spatula; that’s no bueno.
Hot Dogs, not Burnt Dogs
Hot dogs should be cooked on indirect heat only or for a very short time on direct heat. Everyone has a their own way to cook a hot dog but I think we can agree that burned hot dogs just plain stink. The solution is a longer cook time on the cool part of the grill or a very short time on the hottest part of the grill. If your whole grill is medium heat, switch a burner off or move some charcoal; don’t make the dogs suffer.
Put that sauce on last! Too many times do I see people put already-sauced pieces of chicken on a grill. Sugar burns at 265 degrees and if you’re cooking on a grill, I guarantee that it’s hotter than 265 in there. Save us all from those tasteless chunks of tar and put your sauce on last.
Have your own tips or tricks for grilling? I’d like to hear them as would everyone else, I’m sure. Post a comment or send me an email.. better yet, just post a comment and don’t email me.