Saturday, January 31, 2009

One-Pot Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

I know this recipe somewhat resembles the Braised Paprika Chicken Big Daddy just posted. It also sort of resembles the Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Rice that All-Knowing Jen requested help with and it's rather similar to the Quick and Easy Moroccan Chicken that Syl posted.

Hey, that just means that a lot of you will like it, right? :) I made it earlier this week on Mr. Kluges's request and mentioned I should probably post it. He was all, "You haven't posted this one to Recipeeps yet?!?!" So here it is. It's from The Really, Truly, Honest-to-Goodness One-Pot Cookbook by Jesse Ziff Cool.

***Note: This is NOT a quick and easy recipe. Well, easy = yes; quick = no. Start it 2 hours before you want it. Really. Then you won't feel rushed. ***

1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbl. sweet paprika
2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
One 3- to 3 1/2- lb chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
2 to 3 Tbl. olive oil
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (We like yams a lot, so we do 2 reg or 1 BIG.)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbl. ground cumin
1 Tbl. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
generous pinch of saffron threads [not necessary - it turns a lovely orangey color from the previous spices already]
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
3 c. chicken broth
1 c. couscous
1/4 c. minced fresh mint [I always forget this and it's fine without.]

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, paprika, the 2 tsp. salt, and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the chicken [I remove the skin from the thighs & breasts, but don't bother with the wings/legs.] and toss well to generously season on all sides.

2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chicken in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

3. [Stir the ground spices into the broth so you don't end up with clumps of 'em.] Add the yam, onion, bay leaf, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, saffrom, raisins, dried apricots, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender and the potatoes are very soft. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Uncover, [remove chicken so the couscous doesn't get all stuck up inside the parts and stay dry and weird], add the couscous and mint, and stir. Reduce the heat to low. Cover again and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and, using tongs or a big fork, fluff everything in the pot. [Return chicken to the pot.] Put the lid back on and let sit for another 3 minutes.

5. To serve, scoop the couscous and chicken into a large serving bowl or warmed individual bowls. Serve with forks and big spoons for the couscous.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Braised Paprika Chicken

I gave this a shot last night and it turned out really tasty. I braised it in a dutch oven on the stove, but I imagine it would work just as well oven-braised or in a good-sized crock pot.

1 3-4 pound chicken (or chicken parts)
2 medium onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sweet paprika
Crushed or whole dried chiles, to taste
1 tsp marjoram
1 to 1-1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or water)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp flour

Cut up the chicken, remove the skin, and season with salt and pepper. In large pot or dutch oven, saute the onions over medium-high heat in some butter and oil. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over them to help them caramelize a bit. Cook until golden. Stir in the bell peppers, tomato paste, paprika and chiles and let it cook for a minute or two. Add the chicken and gently stir it a bit. Sprinkle the marjoram in and then add the stock. Cover tightly, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for an hour or so, until chicken is tender.

In a bowl, whisk up the sour cream, flour and a teaspoon (or more, or less, to taste) of salt. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Add the sour cream mixture to the pot and stir it in. Raise the heat a bit and simmer until thickened. Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and cook for another couple of minutes.

It seems a recipe that's ripe for variation. Mushrooms would work well in it. Carrots. Maybe some cauliflower thrown in 15 minutes from the end.

Mashed potatoes seemed the perfect accompaniment to me, but boiled potatoes or rice or orzo or couscous would probably work just as well. :)

Wednesday Fun #68 - Worst Kitchen Chores

One of my resolutions this year was to work on cleaning and tidying up more and better. I'm taking small steps and trying to keep up what I've done. It's going ok - I'm washing the dishes after lunch instead of leaving the whole day's worth for the evening, closing the cupboard doors more, remembering (mostly) to have the girls clear their places when they're done eating, etc.

But you know, kitchen chores just aren't fun. Cooking and baking can be fun, I could see menu planning being potentially enjoyable, eating - well, that rocks... but kitchen chores? Not so much. In fact, there are some, like cleaning the drain out after doing the dishes, that I despise.

So how about you? What kitchen jobs/chores/tasks do you hate?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mexican Slow Cooker Pork

This is my easy slow cooker pork. It really doesn't end up too Mexican tasting, so you could add a barbecue sauce to it for pork sandwiches. The onions are the best part.

1 pork loin roast 2-3 pounds
3 medium onions, medium slices
2-3 T ancho chili powder (pure chili powder without cumin and fillers)
0.5 - 1 t ground cumin
salt to taste
small amount of olive oil.
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Line the bottom of the crock pot with the sliced onions & garlic, creating a bed for the roast.

Rub the outside of the roast with the chili powder, cumin and salt. Place on top of the onions, if there is any fat left on the outside, put that side facing up.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours (4 hours on high). If there is any fat part left on top, remove, and then shred it, mixing with any juices that are left and the now carmelized onions. Adjust salt if needed.

Nana's Meal in One (modified by the bad daughter-in-law)

Ajd asked for this recipe from his mom, and then asked me to make changes.  I also demanded a few of my own to make it a little heathier.  My changes are in green

Brown 1 pound ground beef with 1 chopped up onion.  Salt (I omit) & pepper to taste.
Combine in a large (9x13) baking dish with:

1 can french cut green beans drained (1/2 a package of frozen french cut green beans, thawed if I remember)
1 can crinkle cut carrots drained (1 generous cup frozen carrots, steamed until very tender)

1 can cream of mushroom soup (1 can 25% less sodium cream of mushroom soup)
1 can classic vegetable beef soup (I left this one alone since using frozen veggies and less sodium C0M already reduces the salt significantly)

Top with 6-8 servings worth of instant mashed potatoes and cheese 6-8 ounces. 
(We have reasonably perfected using home made mashed potatoes for this.  I steam the potatoes for mashing [2-3 pounds or so].  Mash with sour cream, salt, lots of pepper and a little cheese to hold them together)

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until cheese is melted and it is bubbly.  Let cool slightly to setup before 

The next attempt is to make the sauce for the base entirely from scratch.  While I appreciate that it has been requested, I do love cream of mushroom soup. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Fun #67 - Hullo?

Hi, all. I was looking back over some of the recent Wednesday Funs and I realized that in the last two months, all we've got posted here are WF and the monthly themes. No recipes. Help!

So if you've got a recipe you've been thinking about posting or are willing to take a gander at your cookbook(s) or recipe box and share one with us, that'd be GREAT! Healthy & low-cal if you want, 'cuz that's January's theme, but not necessary! If you want to look forward towards February's theme, it's going to be chocolate.

Thanks, all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Fun #66 - 'J' is for January...

... and jelly and jam!

Are you a dyed-in-the-wool grape jelly fanatic? Do you enjoy a little orange marmalade on your toast? Homemade apple butter your fav? Tell us...

...what sorts of jam, jelly and other fruit preserves do you have in your cupboard, pantry, or frig?

P.S. January's theme is healthy & low-cal foods, so if you've got a good recipe, please share! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday Fun #65 - Considering Changes

We're into the new year now and I'm wondering if you're trying to make any changes in your food shopping, cooking, or eating habits. Trying to cut back on junk food? Remember breakfast? Use less meat? Eat more local? Try new foods? Find a wonderful local restaurant? Check out cookbooks from the library?

What changes are you considering, if any?

Friday, January 2, 2009

January's Theme - Healthy & Low-Cal

Oh, hey, look at that - it's January. Time for a new theme here at Recipeeps4Us. I don't know about you, but every since the Halloween candy hit the house, it's been a losing battle with the scale, right through the rich food and chocolate-filled holiday season.

Fortunately for me, January's theme is "Healthy & Low-Cal." This one's a little hard to search for in the archives, so it's going to take me a while to list what we've already got posted. How about if I put this up, and add recipes as I have a chance, and you all can tell me in the comments of ones I should add that you know about, 'k? Thanks!!

Edited to add: I think I've got all of the already posted recipes that fit the theme, but do leave me a comment if I've missed one. Thanks!

Main Dishes:

Vegetable Side Dishes:

Starchy Side Dishes: