Category Archives: Chicken

Offal with Grandma: Chicken Hearts & Gizzards.

This is a recipe I have always wanted to try. I remember having it at Grandma’s house growing up and watching all of my uncles fight over the hearts! I have watched my Grandma make this, but I do not have a recipe for it. So this is my best guess at her ingredient list and cooking process from what I can remember. I was really happy with the flavor and texture of the meat and think I did an ok job replicating what I remember from my childhood.

Chicken Hearts & Gizzards. 


4 oz unsalted butter

2 lbs chicken hearts and gizzards

1 medium onion

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper

1.5 C water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Clean gizzards, making sure to remove any tough yellow membrane that still might be on them. Chop onion into larger pieces.

Melt butter in a large stock pot or roaster over medium heat. Add meat and onions, season with salt and pepper and brown for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add water, you may need more or less that the cup and a half. You just want to barely cover the meat. Put stock pot in oven for 2 – 2.5 hours, or until soft. Serve hot with your favorite sides.



Filed under Chicken, Midwest Inspired, Poultry

Meatballs with Wings {Turkey & Chicken Meatballs}.

Ok, the meatballs don’t really have wings, but the meat that contributed sure did. The hubs wanted some meatballs and we thought it would be fun to make them out of something other than beef or pork. I think these turned out great. They are light and fresh and great for a spring dish.

Turkey & Chicken Meatballs. Makes 22 quarter sized meatballs (about 3/4 ounce each).


1/2 lb ground turkey (fresh from the meat counter if possible)

1/2 lb ground chicken (fresh from the meat counter if possible)

1T fresh chive

1 medium carrot, shred

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 t smoked paprika

1/2 t kosher salt

1/2 fresh cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into balls the size of a quarter. You may find that putting a little olive oil on your hands makes rolling these fairly sticky balls easier.

Bake on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove and serve with your pasta of choice. I tossed mine into this Pasta with Meyer Lemon & Basil from Serious Eats.


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Filed under Appetizer, Chicken, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Poultry, Snacks, Vegetables

Super Bowl 46 – Some Appetizers!

I just love the Super Bowl because it is all about football food! It is a great “holiday” to make lots of fun little bites for. Especially out here on the West Coast, where festivities begin at noon, there are many hours of eating that happen. Growing up we always had snacks, but being that in the East the game doesn’t start until dinner time, we focused mostly on a big pot of chili and cornbread muffins. So, I really enjoy this new world of an appetizer “holiday’! In honor of the big game, I came up with these appetizers for this year’s party at a friend’s house. I know I am posting this past the big day, but these are versatile enough for any party.

Buffalo Chicken Cups. Makes 32 mini cups. (Recently I have seen similar recipes around, however, I thought this up on my very own before seeing any others.)


8 large egg roll wrappers

1 12.5 oz can of chicken breast meat, drained

1/4 C Frank Red Hot Sauce, or your favorite wing sauce

4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

2 oz blue cheese crumbles

3 green onions

blue cheese dressing

celery sticks


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese and blue cheese crumbles in a bowl. Cut egg roll wrappers into quarters. Using a mini cupcake tray, grease cups (I use coconut oil, but you can use cooking spray) and line each one with one of the wrapper quarters. Fill each cup with a scoop of chicken mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. sprinkle with green onions. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip. (Recipe inspired by Healthy Food for Living)


8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 C Greek yogurt

4 T turbinado sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 C mini chocolate chips


With a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips. Put mixture in a serving dish and serve with dippers of choice, I like to use apple slices and graham crackers.

Go team!

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Filed under Appetizer, Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Chicken, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Holiday, Vegetarian

Favorite Dishes of 2011.


Spent Grain Bread.


Fall Chopped Salad.


Smoked Celery Soup.


Veggie Yakisoba.

Veggie Yakisoba!


Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips.


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Filed under Bread, Chicken, Grains/Rice, Pasta, Salad, Smoker Fare, Soup/Stew

Weeknight Green Chicken Taco Meat.

The key to making this dish quickly is to have precooked chicken on hand. I like to cook a whole chicken on Sunday and make stock out of the bones, skin and what-nots. This means that when the chicken is done poaching, smoking or roasting I break it down completely and end up with a container of breast, leg, and thigh meat. To make these quick tacos I used a precooked chicken breast and this green tomatillo salsa.

Weeknight Green Chicken Taco Meat.


1 T olive oil

1 small red onion, sliced

1 small green pepper, sliced

1 breast of chicken, cooked and cubed

1 t cumin

1/2 t paprika (smoked if you have it)

2-3 oz green tomatillo salsa

Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 3-5 minutes or until they are starting soften. Add peppers, chicken, cumin and paprika and cook for 5 minutes. Add salsa and heat through. Serve in tortillas with rice, beans and all of your favorite fixins’.


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Filed under Chicken, Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Fast & Easy, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Mexican Inspired

Chicken Pot Pie Soup.

Three words: chicken.pot.pie. Does that not entice wonderful thoughts of dark evenings, warm fires, and quiety falling snow outside? It does for me. It is the blanket of all foods, warm and cozy, it wraps your insides in in the equivalent of a down parka. Chicken pot pie reminds me of being a child, it carries a warm sense of nostalgia with it.

Well, this did not actually turn out as chicken pot pie. I have execution issues with this dish, I always have and this rendition was no different. I thought I had it in the bag. I was going to use my homemade cream of chicken soup as the creamy base for the gravy. Only one problem…the base of my cream of chicken soup is broth…not congealing chemicals and corn by-products…so the result was brothy! I ended up with a fantastic chicken soup that was topped with a gorgeous puff pastry. It was absolutely delicious. Have no fear, I will be back with chicken pot pie at some point, but today I give it to you in soup form. Just another warm, comfort food for fall!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup.


1 1/2 C homemade cream of chicken soup

1 chicken breast, cooked and small diced

1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 large potato, finely diced

4 crimini mushrooms, finely chopped

1 stalk of celery, finely chopped

1 small onion, small diced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 t dried thyme

1 piece of puff pastry, thawed if frozen

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine all ingredients except puff pastry and butter in a large mixing bowl. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and fill with mixture. Cover with puff pastry.

Place in preheated oven and cover with a foil tent. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 25-35 minutes longer, until the puff pastry is puffed and golden brown.


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Filed under Casseroles/Bakes, Chicken, Midwest Inspired, Outside of the Box, Vegetables

Crock Pot Chicken Soup.

I know it is still hot around most of the country, it’s hot as heck here, finally getting well over 90 for the first time. But I can already feel fall in the air, it is coming (or at least that is what I am telling myself). Fall is my FAVORITE. For me, fall is a great time for soup because there are still plenty of fresh garden veggies but the air is beginning to cool and comfort foods are starting to sound good again.

I got the original recipe for this soup from family friend Sue. She is the one that motivated me to make homemade cream of chicken soup, while making her lasagna. The recipe was originally made as a gluten-free dish and was posted on WebMD, here. I thought this would be better called crock pot chicken soup on my blog, because I am not sure if any of my variations made it less gluten-free and since I am not buffed up in the topic, I did not want to mislead anyone.

Crock Pot Chicken Soup.


2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

1-2 t olive oil

1 t sea salt

1 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 14 oz fresh or canned chicken broth (low sodium)

1 C dried spelt, kamut, or wheat berries

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 1/2 C green cabbage, shredded

1 medium zucchini, diced

2 C potatoes, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 C sweet corn (I used fresh off the cob, but you can sub 1 cup of frozen)

1 lb tomatoes (skinned, seeded and diced) or one 14 oz can

1 T each of three of your fresh favorite herbs, minced (1 t each of dried)

1 T sea salt

1 t fresh cracked black pepper

2 T olive oil

Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the bottom of a six quart slow cooker. Top with broth. Continue to prepare remaining ingredients and layer them into the slow cooker in order as listed above.

Add water if the liquid level does not just cover the ingredients. Place lid and turn on high. Stir top vegetable ingredients after about two hours (not required, I just like stirring things I am cooking in the crock pot!). Cook for 6 hours, or until chicken shreds when stirring.


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Filed under Chicken, Crock Pot Cooking, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Grains/Rice, Midwest Inspired, Soup/Stew, Vegetables

Sort of Sue’s Chicken Lasagna.

I was recently challenged by a family friend. I was in town for my Whirlwind Trip that I told you about when my parent’s best friend Sue asked if I had made her chicken lasagna recipe that she sent me. I had not. Much to my chagrin, I replied, “no”, and she said “I was hoping you would try it because I wanted to see how you would change it. You always change everything.” She is right, I do. So I got to thinking about it, why hadn’t I made that recipe. It was intriguing enough, but something had held me back. So I dug out the email where she had sent it to me….last June and the email where I responded that I would give it a try. Shoot! I really screwed this one up. So I printed the recipe again and took a look at it. Then I remembered, I had not made the recipe because it has cream of chicken soup in it, the canned kind. I know sometimes I will use these ingredients when covering someone elses recipe, but I really don’t like the flavor of cream of chicken soup.

This time though, I read the recipe and heard Sue’s voice ringing in my ears…”I wanted to see how you would change it.” So I thought about my challenge and how to best proceed next and out of sheer happenstance, I stumbled upon the most intriguing blog that I shared with you yesterday. It was a post where someone has adapted James Beard’s cream of chicken soup. An adaptation that I just had to try!

This is my version of this recipe with Sue’s ingredients listed in parentheses where I have subbed them. Make whichever version you are most comfortable with or mix them together!

Sort of Sue’s Chicken Lasagna.


about 6 lasagna noodles

16 oz sour cream

2 C cream of chicken soup (or 2 cans if you must)

1 6 oz can of black olives, sliced

2 C chicken breast (or two cans), cooked

2 C cheddar cheese, shredded

1 C grated parmesan cheese

3 cloves of garlic, minced (Sue subs granulated garlic, I would say 2 T would be enough)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

I also have to add some veggies to this one, so:

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

Boil water in a large stock pot. Add noodles and cook to package instructions. Or you can use the no boil noodles. Again prepare as directed on the package.

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients reserving 1/2 of the cheese to use as a topping. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1/3 of the filling on the bottom of the dish and cover with half of the noodles. Spread the next 1/3 of filling over the noodles and top with remaining noodles. Finish with the rest of the filling mixture and spread remaining cheese over that.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, making sure the foil is raised off the cheese so it does not bake together. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more. Remove lasagna from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting.


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Filed under Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Chicken, Midwest Inspired, Pasta

Cream of Chicken Soup.

What did people do before the Campbell’s Soup Company? Well I suppose that they cooked. Cooked from scratch, with whole ingredients. I was inspired to make this scratch version of this soup when I was challenged to make my family friend Sue’s chicken lasagna “my way”.  I will post the lasagna tomorrow.

I have never liked condensed cream of chicken soup. It just tastes off to me. So I began to wonder, what does homemade cream of chicken soup actually taste like? Did it exist before the red and white can made it a kitchen staple? It must have, though a quick internet search has revealed no history on invention the dish.

While its origins remain a mystery, it is a mystery no more that the humble cream of chicken soup does not have to taste terrible, like the inside of an aluminum can! This creamy and nutrient rich soup turned out great. I used what I needed for the lasagna and froze the rest in pint and quart jars for easy use when needed (much like the convenience that the can offers). If you are feeling ambitious you should give this one a try. You could even add some orzo or rice and made a nice, well rounded, creamy soup to be eaten as a stand alone dish.

I adapted this from Nourished Kitchen, who adapted it from the great James Beard. You could make this same soup with store-bought stock, it just might not have the depth you will achieve by making it yourself. Also, if you want to make a stock from chicken bones and used pre-cooked chicken to make the soup, you could do that.

Cream of Chicken Soup.


4-5 lb whole fryer chicken

1 leek

1 T sea salt

1 t black peppercorn

2 bay leaves

4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 cloves of garlic, crushed with side of knife

4 stalks of celery, including leaves

4 large carrots, including tops

2 small/medium yellow onions

2 T butter

6 egg yolks (you can freeze the egg whites or use them the next day for egg white omelets!)

2 C heavy cream

Remove chicken from package and pat dry. Remove giblet package and discard or freeze for later use. I used the neck in this dish by adding it to the pot to make the broth. Place the chicken in an 8 quart stock pot. Cut leek into large sections and rinse well. Add to the stock pot. Add peppercorns, salt, thyme, garlic, bay, carrot tops, celery leaves, and one onion (cut in half) to stock pot. Cover everything with cold water. Heat pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for two hours, or until the chicken is nearly falling apart tender.

Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool. Remove solids from pot. Strain broth through a sieve and put it back in the stock pot. Simmer broth uncovered, over medium heat as you prepare the vegetables.

Finely chop carrots, celery and onions. Sauté in butter over medium heat until vegetables are tender, 5-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. When chicken is cool enough to handle, break it down and chop it. Reserve bones for another batch of stock (I went ahead and just made this at the same time since everything was already out). Place chicken and vegetables in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Beat egg yolks in a bowl and slowly add a few spoonfuls of stock to temper the eggs. Add egg mixture to the stock. At this time you can also add the chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Slowly add the cream.


**Just a note about my observations of this recipe, it is not as thick as you would think if you are used to condensed soup, it is much thinner as it is broth based, still wonderfully tasty, but if you want to thicken it up as a replacer, I would suggest adding a big roux and refrigerating the soup to solidify, then try it out. I have not tried this so if you do and it does not work please let me know.


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Filed under Chicken, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Outside of the Box, Soup/Stew

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips.

So there are a lot of great pairs out there. Cheese sticks and marinara, pickles and dill, bread and butter. One great pair, in my opinion, is beer and pretzels. Beer and pretzels are precisely what inspired this beer marinated, pretzel crusted, fried chicken strip! A traditional bar favorite, wrapped up into one yummy snack!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips.



1 C hefeweizen beer (I used Occidental Brewing Co)

1 T sweet hot mustard

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 t fresh rosemary, minced

2 chicken breasts with tenderloins

Combine marinade ingredients in a quart sized resealable plastic bag or small tupperware. Cut tenderloin from each breast. Cut each breast into three equal pieces (if they are really big you might want to do four). Add chicken and seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.

Chicken Strips

1/2 C flour

1 T kosher salt

1/2 T fresh cracked black pepper

2 T honey mustard, heaping

1/4 C hefeweizen beer

2 t hot sauce (optional)

2 C unsalted pretzels (measure before they are crushed)

3 C neutral oil (I used canola)

flake salt

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Combine mustard, beer, and hot sauce in a second dish. Place pretzels in a plastic bag and crush with a mallet, or use a food processor to crush, taking care not to over pulverize the pretzels. Place in a third shallow dish.

Heat oil in A 10 inch wide, deep skillet over medium-high heat until a temperature of 350 is reached. While the oil is heating, prepare your strips.

Remove chicken strips from marinade and shake off excess moisture. Dredge strips in flour, making sure to coat the chicken entirely. Next dredge strips through mustard mixture. Finally, roll each strip in the pretzel mixture allowing the moisture from the strip to soak into the pretzels to ensure they really stick to the chicken.

Add strips to the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes. Using thongs flip chicken and cook for 3 minutes longer. Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with flake salt, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.


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Filed under Beer, Chicken, Dairy Free