Happy Foodie Friday!!
Special thanks to our most wonderful hostess, Michael Lee, for inviting us all over for food, fun and friendship every Friday!
Today's post may be a bit of a quickie- tonight the Honors Geometry classes at Allie's high school are presenting a major project they've been working on- a Golf-O-Rama! The kids have constructed miniature golf courses (Allie's group made a complete replica of our downtown Chapel Hill area on the UNC campus!) and all funds raised will benefit our local Ronald McDonald House. It's also AP exam week (apparently Art History wasn't as bad as she expected-yay!), finals, 2 birthday parties, and cheerleading tryouts week, so chaos reigns in Chapel Hill!
I taught a class this week where I was asked to focus on fairly quick, flavorful chicken dishes. These 2 recipes were particularly well received, as they always are.
Creamy Chicken Curry Soup is very light, but amazingly full of flavor. I really recommend using Madras curry in this which provides a bit more heat than "regular" curry. This is NOT a flamingly spicy dish- the layers of flavor are completely distinguishable and it was the first thing to disappear off the table at this class!
Creamy Chicken Curry Soup
(adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe a couple of years ago)
1 fairly large skinless, boneless chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 carrots, sliced diagonally in chunks
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, but boxed will do
2 TBLSP unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 large onion, very thinly sliced1 1/2 tsp. Madras curry powder
rounded 1/3 cup jasmine rice
3 TBLSP fresh mint and 3 TBLSP fresh dill, coarsely chopped together
Combine chicken, bay leaf, carrots, and 3 cups chicken stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes till just firm and cooked about 20 minutes. Set aside
In another saucepan, melt butter and add onions, sugar, and salt; cook about 5 minutes till onion is soft. Add curry saute for about another minute. Add rice and remainder of stock. Simmer 20-25 minutes till rice is very soft and seems to be breaking apart. Using an immersion blender (** see note), puree rice mixture leaving just a bit of "texture". Blend in the chicken soup mixture and stir together. Stir in herbs and serve with lemon wedges.
**NOTE- you can use a regular blender or processor, but honestly, if you don't have an immersion blender you're missing out. I used to think it was another of those "gadgets" but I can't believe how often I use it
Chicken salad is one of those dishes that in recent years has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. It's also seen in many different incarnations from your classic mayo-based salad like Mom used to make to versions laced with pesto, tossed with roasted veggies, molded with gelatin and everything in between. This version is particularly good (in my humble opinion) served warm, but is also fantastic as a light lunch at room temperature or cold from the fridge. I just feel that the flavors are more intense if it's not refrigerator cold.
Roasted Pepper and Chicken Salad
3 bell peppers, halved, stems and seeds removed
salt and pepper
1 small roasted chicken from the market or 2 large chicken breasts, cooked (preferably grilled)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
zest of 1 lemon, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
6 TBLSP olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup lemon preserves OR good orange marmalade
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a broiler pan with foil and spray with Pam. Lay peppers on foil and drizzle with a good 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40-45 minutes till soft and starting to char. Drain and set aside.
Put the garlic and pine nuts in a processor and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in oil and then lemon juice. Stop machine, season with salt and pepper, and add preserves. Pulse till just combined
Slice peppers and shred chicken. Combine chicken, peppers, chickpeas, and lemon zest. Pour dressing over and gently combine. Add parley, stir and serve
Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie