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Chicken Kababs and My Vitamix…a Love Story

7 Feb

A desire for grilling and something with veggies had me on a quest to make some chicken kababs (kebabs? kabobs?) . I love Persian style chicken kababs (joojeh kabab) and found a recipe from blogger Tumeric and Saffron and another from Chow.com. I took elements of both and created my own recipe to my tastes. It’s actually pretty simple to prepare and cook and you’re left with really juicy chicken. If you have a Vitamix like I do, then it’s even less time consuming (thanks to my Dude for the awesome Christmas present!).

Marinade recipe:

3 pounds of boneless chicken

1 teaspoon of saffron powder or saffron threads

2 tablespoons of hot water

1 cup of plain yogurt

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 large onion cut coarsely

2 cloves of garlic peeled

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

2 teaspoons of peppercorns or 1 teaspoon of ground pepper

kosher salt to taste (I used about 3 tablespoons)

Directions:

Cut chicken to kabab sized cubes and set aside. Put saffron threads in hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes or longer. Using the Vitamix, blend the saffron water, saffron, yogurt, olive oil, onion, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, peppercorns, and kosher salt for about 30 seconds or until everything is smoothly blended. I used my Vitamix (thanks, Dude!) which saved me a ton of time not having to chop and grate. The Vitamix even ground all the peppercorns! I blended everything for about 30 seconds, poked around the mixture with my wooden spoon, then blended for another 30 seconds. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days. If you don’t have a blender or food processor to do this, you’ll need to grate the onion and garlic and use ground pepper.

Chicken cubes marinating in a ziploc bag.

Baste recipe:

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup of butter, melted

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Skewer the chicken and prepare the baste by mixing the lime juice, melted butter, salt, and pepper. Grill the chicken for 8 to 15 minutes and make sure to baste in between. I decided to include bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms on my skewers. Make sure you space everything well on the skewer so it all cooks evenly. Serve with grilled tomatoes and saffron rice.

The marinade is really gloopy and cold. I swear this is worth it.

The Dude basting the kababs. Much love to him for freezing his butt off on our porch in 40-some degree weather to tend the grill. 🙂

Here are the first batch of grilled kababs. We couldn’t help ourselves and promptly started digging in.

This is probably the 3rd or 4th batch of grilled kababs. Good char and color on this one. Major props to The Dude.

Review of recipe:

I’d have to say this came out pretty darn well. I doubled my recipe (I really just bought waaaaay too much chicken) and this came out to over 30 skewers. In all honesty, the marinade recipe produced a LOT of marinade. I would say that you could increase the amount of chicken to 4 pounds with the same amount of marinade. This produced really, really, ridiculously juicy chicken with great flavor. I would add some cayenne pepper powder to the marinade to give it a spicy kick and maybe an extra tablespoon of kosher salt. Another word of advice is to ABSOLUTELY baste the skewers. The baste makes the veggies taste soooo good and brings a sense of cohesiveness to all the elements of the kabab.

Speaking of the veggies, I would definitely splurge and get criminis or baby portabellas. They seem to hold up well on the grill while the regular white mushrooms liked to fall off. I’d also use red onions next time instead of the white just because I think the flavor of the red onion might compliment the rest of the kabab more. For the recipe I posted above 3 bell peppers, 1 very large onion, and 1 pound of mushrooms would suffice. For funsies, I added some broccoli to the skewers and the grilled broccoli with the baste is super yummy! Watch out since the florets like to char.

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Chicken Pot Pie

20 Nov

I have this recipe of chicken pot pie that I keep tweaking each time I make it. It started off as a recipe from Ina Garten and morphed into something that consists of only things that I like. My big issue is how little time and energy I have to cook after a long week of work. This recipe takes advantage of awesome Costco rotisserie chicken, Pillsbury pie dough, and a mix of frozen and fresh vegetables that I happen to have on hand. Ina’s recipe calls for heavy cream (which I don’t use) and it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Essentially, you just make the pie filling and if you’re lazy you can bake up some biscuits from a can. If you’re lazy and still want to have a nice presentation, you can use refrigerated pie dough and make an awesome looking pie. Whatever you choose to do, this recipe makes enough to fill 2 pies and then some. Share your bounty and you’ll make friends.

Ingredients (makes a ton of filling for 2 pies and then some)

  • Meat from 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of dried or 1 tbsp of fresh parsley leaves
  • Pinch of thyme
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • ¼ cup of milk or heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots,
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Fresh or frozen chopped broccoli florets
  • ½ lb mushrooms
  • 3 large russet potatoes, diced
  • ½ to 1 cup Corn kernels (frozen, fresh, or canned)
  • 2 pie crusts (store bought or make it yourself)

Directions

Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add celery, bay leaves and other herbs and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and milk or heavy cream. Remove the bay leaves and add the cubed chicken and veggies. Mix well and let simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay first pie crust in pie pan. Ladle pot pie filling onto crust. Do not overfill. Place second pie crust on top of filling and fold under edges. Brush top of crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut slits on the top of the crust. Bake pie for 20 min at 400°F and then lower temp to 375°F and bake for another 25 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling hot.

My masterpiece

The insides of my masterpiece

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Chili: Low in Fat not in Flavor

6 Sep

A low fat and low carb chili for everyone enjoy even if you are on a restricted diet. This is great just on its own, or topped on a potato, slathered all over some french fries, or over some corn chips. Most chili recipes call for some type of ground meat, beans, and tomato as the base ingredients. Here I have cut out most of the meat, leaving only a quarter pound of lean ground chicken. If you are a vegetarian, the meat can be completely omitted. The out come was a thick hearty chili that is spoon after spoon of comfort. I was good eating this in the 90+ degree LA weather, I just can’t wait to make this in the winter again.

I like mine topped with a bit of greek yogurt and scallions

I called this Everything But the Kitchen Sink because of the many different types of ingredient that go into making this. Here is the list Continue reading

Burger Alternative: So Rock Star minus the drugs and groupies

28 Aug

Burgers are amazing, especially the ones with that thick juicy patty stacked so high you barely bite into it. The only draw back from eating a burger like that is the feeling afterwards. You know that feeling like your heart stopped and you can feel the fats turning your blood into a fatty sludge. Now if only I can eat that satisfying burger without feeling like I just shortened my life span by 5 years. Well here is my solution, ground chicken burgers! No, it is not dry at all. I was watching the food network the other day and came across a chicken patty recipe from Guy Fieri. The idea was great so I decided to give it a try. I added some things and took out some others according to my own preference, but the results were still Delicious. This is what the finished products looks like Continue reading

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