ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Foodie Friday! Quick Chicken, Flavorful Chicken...

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
lemon wedges

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
olive oil
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

As Always,

Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Oh how I love Roasted Peppers. YUM!


  2. Both of these recipes sound great but I really want to try your chicken salad. I wish I was eating it right now!

    Hope the reat of Allie's finals go well!

  3. Oh yum! i make chicken salad on a pretty regular basis especially during the warmer months. So, I need to try this one. I like to have a variety of versions.

    Love that white plate and your pretty blue and white linen!

    Guess what kind of salad we are having for dinner tonight? Yup, yesterdays salad recipe! I couldn't resist! It looked too good not to try immediately! And all I needed was some watermelon.

    Ya gotta know by now that I do this on a fairly regular basis when I come over to see what dish you made for us. I do the whole, "Okay, let's that, check, got that, check, got that, check....Troy! would you go to the grocery store for me.....NOW?" LOL

  4. I would love to have either of these for a quick dinner tonight. Of course I am having leftovers, which somehow have lost their lustre:D

  5. These two chicken dishes sound divine! Curry and roasted red peppers. What great additions to traditional recipes. This is over the top yummy. Again, more favorites to make.
    Give a hug to Allie, from Auntie Yvonne

  6. Pattie, these chicken dishes look soul warming and heart lifting. And speaking of dishes, those square white plates are gorgeous. Your photos are GORGEOUS!!
    PS Congratulations to Allie!

  7. Both of the recipes sound so good and if I wasn't always using my recipes for my blog, I would be sure to make one of these....hopefully soon. Yum! Joni

  8. Both dishes sound fabulous, as usual. I love roasted red peppers in anything so when I saw that I just about jumped through the screen! ;-) I'd like to eat at your house every night!

  9. I'm sure that chicken salad is amazing with the roasted red peppers. The soup looks like it was made for that beautiful white bowl and platter. I admire how you're able to prepare such elegant dishes with the schedule you have. Congrats!!

  10. I'd love to come to one of your classes. The soup looks light and perfect for Spring and your salad too. Thanks!

  11. I am always looking for delicious new ways to cook chicken. Those both look fabulous!

  12. I make soup almost everyday... that seems to be my little one's favorite food. So usually it is one or another variation on chicken soup. I will definitly try this one, with a milder curry. And I am with you on the immersion blender. I use mine everyday for making fruit or veggie smoothies for him.

  13. Both of those recipes look delicious. I love both chicken salad and soup in all varieties and forms. The red peppers make that salad Pop!

  14. Both recipes look and sound wonderful, Pattie, however, your soup is calling me by name. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  15. I sure enjoyed catching up over here today!!! That lattice work on the Bavarian Cream Cake below, turned out beautiful!!!
    Allie's Mother's Day Post made me cry. I loved all the family photos posted here since my last visit. All so precious!!!
    The one of little you with your Nonnie, Mom and baby brother was priceless. : )
    I also looooved the one of your mother on her wedding day...just gorgeous.
    So glad you had a wonderful Mother's Day, Pattie.
    Mary Lou

  16. This sound wonderful, Pattie and the photos are great.

    I just caught a glimpse of your previous post. Going to go have a look.

    Happy Weekend!

  17. I love roasted peppers and these recipes sound AWESOME!!!

  18. Hello,

    I am finally starting to catch up on my reading. Allie the setting you made your mom is awesome! I love the colors and designs. Great job! I loved the Mother's Day post, it was very moving. Great pictures. The Bavarian Cream Cake looks and sounds delicious! The blue and white tablescape is gorgeous!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

    ~ Tracy

  19. Great recipes for quick dinners. Thanks for sharing these. Your photos are beautiful. Congratulations to Allie on her awesome project. Sounds like she is one busy girl!

  20. both recipes sound and look very delicious and very doable, thanks for sharing! :)

    It's my first time here, I love the name of your blog. Have a nice day! :)

  21. Both recipes look amazing. I'll definatly be trying the chicken salad. I love that square plate you used~!!
    (((Pattie and Allie))


  22. Both of those recipes sound great. A nice twist on your traditional chicken salad. But I can't help eyeing the beautiful blue, green and white cloth you have it resting on. Is it April Cornell?

    I loved your comment on my pink floral bowl. When I see certain items for sale, it makes me think that the person who donated them or is giving them away is a minimalist and has stark walls and empty tables. Not me! LOL!

    Hope you'll come and join my meme on June 2nd - "Where do you keep it all?". Whether it's pretty or not, I think it will be fun to see everyone bear the depths of their closets.

    - The Tablescaper

  23. Oh both of these look so good. I will have to give them a try. Love the pretty place settings too. Hugs, Marty

  24. The chicken soup and salad sound so yummy!!

    Giveaway by Beth Cosner Design is up on my site....come visit!

    Art by Karena

  25. I am copying post of these recipes. Both sound delicious. Good luck to Allie in her cheerleading tryouts and other end of the year events.

  26. Two great chicken recipes. A girl always needs a good chicken salad and a good soup and both of yours sounds yummy!

  27. Both of these recipes looks wonderful, Pattie. The curried chicken soup is calling out to me. I'll have to try that one first.

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  29. dear allie and pattie,
    we are so excited to have you for our first followers!!!
    i finally got the posting finished and included my and my sister's tablescapes. i hope you will take a look!!
    all the best,

  30. Now how did you know I needed some new chicken inspiration? This looks fantastic -- both recipes go in the file. Always looking for soups ... and chicken salad, yum. Howard's favorite. I usually make it with a mayo-based dressing, with curry and walnuts and sliced grapes. Now can't wait to try yours! Sometimes I just want to FALL into your posts!

  31. Pattie, I hope that the weekend went well. I'm proud of Allie's accomplishments. YEA! :-)

    And I love these two recipes. They sound wonderful. Thank you for always sharing your talents with us. Whether it's cooking, photography, decorating, or mothering... you are always on top of your game!


    Sheila :-)


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