Tag Archives: chicken

Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli

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Paco and I love Vietnamese food, but we had taken a little break from fish sauce since our rather epic trip to Vietnam.

As the heat wave continued yesterday, a cool bowl of vermicelli sounded like the perfect meal.  Other than boiling the noodles, it does not require using the stove or oven if you grill the chicken outside.  If you don’t have a grill, cut the chicken into smaller strips so that they cook more quickly, minimizing the time the stove has to be turned on.

Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, where it was adapted from David Tanis via The New York Times)
Serves 4

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
1 T sesame oil
2 T soy sauce

For the sauce:
4 T brown sugar
1/2 c warm water
4 T fish sauce
8 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 serrano chili (I used a whole one and it was very spicy)

For the noodle bowls:
1 lb. of dried rice noodles
1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, thinly sliced
mint leaves
cilantro leaves

To make the chicken:
Marinate the chicken breasts in sesame oil and soy sauce for 15-30 minutes. Heat the grill or a grill pan to medium high, then grill on each side for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Cool, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

To make the sauce:
Dissolve the brown sugar in warm water, then stir in other ingredients.

To make the noodle bowls:
Prepare the noodles according to package directions, then rinse under cool water. Assemble the bowls with some vegetables on the bottom, followed by noodles, chicken, then herbs. Serve with fish sauce on the side. (And garlic chili sauce, if you didn’t put way too much chili into the fish sauce, the way I did.) Toss everything together with fish sauce and enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken with Caprese Topping

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We have been having a bit of a heat wave in L.A., so I have been avoiding turning on the stove or oven. This caprese chicken from Baked Bree is the perfect light summer meal.

Grilled Chicken with Caprese Topping
Adapted from Baked Bree

2 chicken breasts, cut into halves or thirds if they are large
grill seasoning
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
10 leaves basil, chopped
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

To make the salad, put the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red onion in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with vinegar and oil to taste. Add the basil and toss. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Season the chicken on both sides with grill seasoning. Grill on medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve the chicken with the caprese salad on top.

Chicken tortilla soup

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In high school, I worked at a Mexican restaurant, where I learned about enchiladas, pozole, and carnitas. Tortilla soup was one of the staff’s favorite meal items. Here’s a quick, healthy version.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 T vegetable oil
3 c water and/or chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 T tomato paste
14 oz can tomatoes with green chilis
2 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 c frozen corn

For the garnish:
shredded cheddar cheese
green onion, finely chopped
tortilla chips
lime wedges
avocado, diced

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and grill or pan fry until they are browned and cooked through. Allow to cook, then cut them into bite-sized pieces.

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, poblano pepper, and saute until the onions are softened. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then add the corn. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chopped chicken to the soup, and serve with cheese, green onion, chips, lime, and avocado on the side.

Barbeque chicken salad with homemade blue cheese dressing

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In high school, I used to love the barbeque chicken salad from California Pizza Kitchen. We were craving grilled chicken on Saturday, but wanted to mix it up a bit from our usual slaw. The creamy, salty blue cheese dressing was a lovely complement to the charred, sweet chicken. I even ate the tomatoes, which I usually pick out of salads.

Barbeque Chicken Salad
(Serves 2)

2/3 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
barbeque sauce
lettuce or spring mix
1 ear of corn, kernels removed
1 c cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 c cucumber slices
1/2 c black beans, rinsed and drained
blue cheese dressing (see below)

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Grill for several minutes on each side, until almost cooked through. Brush with your favorite barbeque sauce, and cook for another minute on each side.

Combine all salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss together, then serve with chicken and blue cheese dressing.

Blue Cheese Dressing

1/3 c mayo
1/3 c sour cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp worcestershire
5 oz. blue cheese (I used stilton)
kosher salt
black pepper

Combine the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Crumble in the blue cheese, and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Chicken salad melts

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Desperation chicken became chicken salad melts for lunch! Although I love chicken salad, I haven’t had it in melt-form for years.

Chicken Salad Melts
(Makes 2 sandwiches)

1 c chicken breast, diced
2 ribs celery, diced into small pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
kosher salt
black pepper
lemon pepper
2 T mayonnaise
4 slices of bread
2-4 strips of bacon, cooked
cheese of your choice
butter, room temperature

To make the chicken salad, combine the chicken, celery, bell pepper, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, and lemon pepper in a medium-sized bowl, then taste it to make sure that the seasoning is correct. I cut my ingredients into smaller pieces than I usually would, so that they wouldn’t fall out as I grilled the sandwich.

To assemble the sandwiches, butter one side of each slice of bread. Place two pieces buttered-side-down, then add chicken salad, cheese, and bacon. Place the other piece of bread on top, buttered-side-up.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches to the skillet, allowing the first side to brown. Flip carefully, and brown the second side. When the sandwich is ready, the cheese should be melted. (You can cover the skillet with a lid for a few seconds to help melt the cheese if it doesn’t melt on its own.)

Serve with pickles slices on the side!  I am obsessed with pickles lately.