Sweet Tea and Chicken…yes!

Y’all.  This chicken.  And tea.  As a brine??? Oh yeah.   y’all. Man.

I have seen, I have read, and I have even bought “Smokin Sweet Tea” by McCormick’s as a marinade and knew I should be able to replicate a marinade from all that I have read.  (I read a lot…especially in the recipe category!)

So I set out to do exactly that.  I got some chicken tenders.  I took some sweet tea (homemade, of course, cause that’s always the best kind), added some salt (about a tablespoon – I actually used a bit more and figure it might have been a bit too much)  and threw in the tenders.

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See, there they are marinating.   The longer they can marinate the better.  I marinated mine for about 5 hours. (maybe 4 1/2 to be exact).  Then I took a bowl and put about a half cup of tea, and a cup of buttermilk and mixed that together with about two to 3 tsp. hot sauce (more if you want a kick).   Then in another bowl I took about a cup and a half of flour, about a half teaspoon pepper, threw in some garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of salt, and about a half to 3/4 cup of corn meal for extra crunch and mixed that all up real good.

Then I dipped each chicken tender in the buttermilk/tea mix and then in the flour mix and fried them up in a cast iron skillet that I had let get good and hot with some canola oil.

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See how crispy and good they look?   Well, they were.   Next time I use this recipe I am using a whole chicken, cut up, bone in, and I will fry the chicken until crisp, lay the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake in the oven until done through and through.   That chicken will be crispy, moist and good and done.

Try it.  What a great flavor!   And come back and tell us how you liked it.

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Mexican Chicken

I know, I know – I said the Mexican dishes were through.  But I made this today and wanted to share.  Easy, easy and so delicious and so versatile?  Eat straight out of the dish with a side of the yellow rice and black beans.  Serve on nachos.  Put in a taco.  Or make a quesadilla out of this. What about on a baked potato? The possibilities are endless!

Here’s how I made ours.

I took three skinless boneless chicken breasts cause that was the number that was in the package (rinsed off first, cause that’s how I am), threw them in a bowl.  Took about two to three tablespoons of oil to coat them (this will depend on how big yours are) and then sprinkled on a whole packet of taco seasoning mix (mild or hot-you choose) and rub seasoning in.  Lay these on a pan lined with foil (you will thank me later) and sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees.   You can grill these if you want.   Adds another level of flavor.

chicken one

Here’s mine after baking – a good looking crust on these and man were they juicy.   Cut into chunks and throw the chunks in a casserole dish – I think mine is a 9 inch or close to it. Here are mine all cut up in the dish.

chicken two

Then I added about 2/3 of the 8-oz. jar of Taco Bell Taco Sauce – medium heat – not sure if hubby could eat much of the “hot” level!.  You can use enchilada sauce in place of the taco sauce if you prefer. Then add a sprinkle, about 4 ounces, again depends on how much chicken you use, over the top and bake about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted hot.  Top with chopped green onions.  I used one green onion, chopped.

chicken three

Doesn’t this look good?   And I have to tell you, it was!  Make this and see how you serve yours up!  Have a great week!

Coming down the pike…Steak and Egg Breakfast Casserole.  You won’t want to miss this one.

Nacho Chicken…easy peazy!

What a great week night dish to accompany the black beans and yellow rice side dish.  And so easy and quick and one the kiddos can help with.  This nacho chicken dish goes together quickly and you can change the flavor with the type of nacho chips you choose to use.

Try and see how your family likes this!

Nacho Chicken (the below amount serves 2 – for more just double or triple the quantity)

2 Tbsp mayonnaise (can use sour cream if you don’t like mayo)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning

2 skinned and boned chicken breast halves

3/4 cup crushed nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips (about 30)

1 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine the mayo, salt and Italian seasoning and spread on both sides of the chicken.  Dredge the chicken in the crushed chips.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.

See how easy?  Try and let us know how you liked it!   Have fun cooking!

Ranch Chicken Tenders

We eat a lot of chicken in these here neck of the woods while we try and eat healthy and low carb. I tried to make a new version of one recipe we tried while at a meeting in Destin and finding these Ranch Wings (of all places) at Winn Dixie Wing Bar (man do they have some good wings!).

These were great! We both liked these and with the leftovers we are slicing and putting on our salad for supper tonight. And they couldn’t be easier. So bake these up tonight and see how your family (especially the kiddos) like these. After all, with Ranch Dressing Mix who wouldn’t like them??

**Note: I poured out about 3/4 of my coating into a bowl and saved the rest to use on some wings I will be making for supper for another meal. I will keep the remainder in the refrigerator since I used the finely grated parmesan cheese you get in the package in the deli section where all the other grated cheeses are)

Ranch Chicken Tenders
1 pkg chicken tenders (my pack had 8 tenders in it) (you could use chicken breasts if you want but personally I think you get more of the flavor with the tenders
1 stick butter, melted
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 cup plain bread crumbs (you could also use crushed cracker crumbs, or crushed corn flakes, or panko bread crumbs-crushed ranch flavored doritos may be just the ticket if you have kiddos!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used the finely grated parmesan cheese in the package)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I lined a pan with foil and sprayed it with pam spray but you could skip the lining the pan thing and just spray the pan.
Combine the Ranch dressing mix, bread crumbs (or whatever you choose to use to coat) and parmesan cheese in a plastic bag. I then put about 3/4 of the mix in a bowl and coated this way in case it didn’t take all of it, which for the tenders, it didn’t.
Put the melted butter in a shallow bowl. Dip the tenders in the butter, then in the coating, and place on the prepared pan. When all tenders are coated, if you have a bit of the coating left in your bowl, sprinkle it on top of the tenders for a little extra crust.
bake for about 35-30 minutes or until they are done- this will determine on how thick your tenders are and your oven. Mine were done in about 25 minutes. You want the crust crispy also. Let cool on pan for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
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I bet these would be good with some homemade ranch dressing for dipping. Give them a try and see how you like these. Have a fun weekend!

Jambalaya without rice?

We watch the amount of carbs we eat.  We love jambalaya.  So how do we make that wonderful concoction and serve it without a mound of rice in the middle?   Easy!   Make it with less broth!  I made a big ole recipe of Jambalaya this weekend and it was so good!   We served it with a big ole side of fresh Turnip Greens and we had a feast.

Yes, while we would have loved a big scoop of rice in the middle, hubby is really trying to keep his A1C down.  His doctor will be so proud of him!   And you know what?  With so much flavor in the dish, we really didn’t miss it.  I just didn’t put as much of the chicken stock in so there was not as much “liquid broth” – but still the rich flavor.  So give it a try sometime if you are counting carbs!
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Jambalaya – my way (original stuff will be put out to the side in case you want to add the rice)

1 Tbsp olive oil (can use butter if you prefer or half and half)

1/2 of a large onion, diced

1 pound andouille smoked sausage, sliced

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed (optional but I used it cause I don’t eat the sausage)

3 whole carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced (feel free to use 4 cloves if you like more garlic flavor)

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning (optional)

1 whole bell pepper, diced

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with juce

1 tbsp tomato paste (or 1 1/2 tbsp if you are serving with rice)

1 cup chicken stock or fat free broth (2 cups chicken stock if you are adding rice)

1 tsp hot sauce or to taste

(1 1/3 cups basmati or long grain brown rice if you plan on using the 2 cups stock and adding rice to the dish)

1 pound medium shrimp

1.  In a large pan with a lid, put in olive oil (or butter) over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes.   Add sausage and brown sausage.  If using the chicken, remove the sausage/onion and add the chicken breast and brown until almost done.  Then add back the sausage/onion.

2.  Add the carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, creole seasoning and stir until well combined.

3.  Add bell bell pepper, diced tomatoes with juce, tomato paste, hot sauce (and rice if using it) and chicken stock and  mix well.  Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cover and  cook for 45 minutes if using brown rice and 20 minutes if using white rice, or until rice is tender. If not using rice, no need to cover.  Just stir and cook until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.

4.  Add shrimp and stir well. Cook an additional 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.

This dish was so good.   And the greens along side, man!  We feasted!   Try it.   One tip:  Have everything diced/sliced prior to starting.  The recipe goes really quick by doing this.

Leftover tomato paste from that little can?   Scoop out tablespoon sized portions on a small plate of aluminum foil.  Plop into the freezer for about an hour or two and then place in zip lock bag and freeze.   Portions already there to thicken soups!  And no waste!

Have a great week everyone!

Drums……for eatin and keepin the beat

It’s football weekend and what a gorgeous weekend for it!   Nothing like beautiful weather, cooler temperatures, bands beating out the tunes to get you fired up, and food.  Man, that tailgating, munching, food.

This recipe is one you can change however your tastebuds (actually how hot or not) you like them.

I like mine hot and hubby not so hot.  So I may divide mine and alter the heat for us.

Baking these at home makes for an easy recipe for even a weeknight.

Taco Chicken Drummettes

1 1/2 lbs chicken drummettes (04 16 pieces)

1 (8-ounce) jar hot taco sauce (medium for you non-hotheads)

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (I shall be using my homemade taco seasoning mix)

Combine drummettes and taco sauce in a shallow dish; cover and chill 2 hours.   Combine breadcrumbs and seasoning mix in a shallow bowl.  Dredge drummettes in breadcrumb mixture, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Have a great weekend, get outside and enjoy this great weather, and I hope your team wins!

Grilled Taco Chicken

I haven’t made this in a while but will be making this again….and again….have you noticed I eat a lot of chicken?   Mainly cause it’s about the only meat i will eat.

This is a great marinade and basting sauce to use along with a leftover chicken that is good on salads.   Place in your marinade the night before, put in cooler and take to your next tailgate – grill and have at it.   Also, cut your chicken in cubes, marinade, put on skewers, and you have a great kabob!

Grilled Taco Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Marinade:

2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix (and yes I will be using my homemade taco season mix – no store bought in my house!)

1 tsp dried oregano (can eliminate this if you use my homemade because it has it in there!)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 tsp ground cumin (eliminate if you use my homemade taco season mix as mine has it in there)

Basting Sauce:

1/4 cup BBQ sauce (your favorite brand (but I will be using my homemade recipe – of course!)

2 Tbsp chili sauce

Mix the marinade together in a gallon zip lock bag and place the chicken breasts in with the marinade.  Mix well so that all the breasts are coated well.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to grill chicken, mix the basting sauce together.   Grill chicken, until just about done.   Baste with sauce on both sides, and finish grilling for a couple of minutes more.

Shaved chicken breast? You don’t say!

I found this at the grocery store (well, commissary)….

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And I knew we could make SOMETHING out of it.  I also found shaved beef there.   And I knew we could make SOMETHING out of it, too.  And boy, did we!

This stuff is great!  It is uncooked chicken breast shaved thin and piled high for your imagination to run wild.  I told hubby to take some onions, bell peppers, and sautee with a bit of salt and pepper and about a Tsp of olive oil.  Remove them from the skillet.  Throw in the shaved chicken and some taco seasoning mix with a bit more olive oil and get that going.  It only takes a short minute or two to cook as it is shaved!   We served this over our salad for a taco salad with some salsa.  Man, was it good.  Hubby did his the same way but wants to make his as a philly cheese steak next time.

I had leftovers.  That means taco soup!   Throw the leftover chicken in a pot.  Throw some crushed tomatoes in the pot (or diced tomatoes if you want).  Throw some more taco seasoning mix in the pot.  (I like heat!).  Throw whatever vegetable in the pot – either some black beans, corn, whatever.  I threw some frozen okra in mine.  Man, was it good.  Let it simmer for a few minutes and have at it.

I hope I can find some more because we really enjoyed this.   If your supermarket doesn’t carry this, make them order it.   And go to the website for some great recipes.  But you can make your own up.  A great item for hoagies.

ALERT:   A give-a-way in relation to cooler weather is coming Thursday…….get your soup recipes ready!

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Salad

Heaven help me!  I can eat the whole bowl…..in one sitting!   And then some!  It is that good.   Do you remember the jalapeno Lime Slaw I posted?  No?  Well just get on over to the “salad” section and get that recipe – cause it is good by itself served with your burgers, bbq, fresh veggies, on top of your burgers, dogs, etc (I’ll stop now).  This was derived from that recipe without the slaw stuff.

Some people (and I won’t mention your name, Jeff) just don’t like mayonnaise – I can’t even imagine – and some are watching their calories/what they eat, so I thought that the “dressing” from the slaw recipe would make a great “chicken salad” dressing -and boys howdy did it.

To shorten the process, I purchased a roasted chicken, de-boned it, and chopped it up pretty fine.   Threw it in a bowl with everything else needed, and mixed.   This is all about your own taste as to how much of stuff.   You can purchase just the skinless boneless chicken breasts, roast/boil/grill (wouldn’t a seasoned grilled breast be good in this??), whichever you want.  Very versatile recipe.  Just make it if you want a different take on your chicken salad!

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Salad

You will need:

salad

one whole roasted chicken, de-boned or 4-6 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped fine

1/2 purple onion, chopped (more or less depending on your taste of purple onion)

3-4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seed or don’t, that’s your call as to how much heat you want – you know me – I’m leaving seeds in)

1/2 of a bunch (or more – that’s your call, too) of cilantro, rough chopped

zest of 2-3 limes (depends on how much salad you are making)

juice of 2-3 limes (again-depends on how much salad you make – I used juice of 3 limes for 1 whole chicken shredded and it probably could have used the juice of a 4th lime for my taste)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

Olive Oil – (I drizzle and mix as I go – you want enough to moisten but you don’t want it swimming in oil so this is depending on how moist your chicken is as to how much olive oil you will need)

Mix all together and enjoy!   We serve ours on a bed of shredded lettuce or you could stuff a tomato with it – slice you up some avocado and serve with it -if you are an avocado fan –  man, oh man – you could even add some cumin to the recipe if you want a more Mexican flavor to it but I like mine just like it is!   That lime flavor is a fresh flavor to this recipe along with the cilantro.Hope you like this version!

Football Friday is almost here –  and a new give-a-way is coming soon so get ready.  Its Fall, y’all, and soup time is just around the corner!

Mardi Gras Wings from Publix

Ask Publix for their secret rub mix contents to their Mardi Gras Wings and you won’t get it.   It is apparently a rub made especially for them, by them, or by a company for them.   But if you have ever had their Mardi Gras wings, you know they are unique, and good, and savory, and different.   

I have thought and thought on these wings, and knew several ingredients that they contained.   I was missing two that I didn’t think about when I found this recipe that another blogger (Lemonythyme.com) had played around with and this combination almost hits it dead on.   I still feel there is a little something we are not hitting on, but this rub is so close, I may not worry about it or it just may “click” one day and then, there you go.  Perfect!

We made some wings with this rub on it and they were so good, and moist, and flavorful.  I can’t wait to roast a whole chicken with this rub on it.  (If you roast a whole chicken, don’t forget to rub the inside of the cavity, and under the skin with the rub also).  

Give it a try and see just how close you think this comes to the original “Publix Marti Gras Wings” – and if you have never had those, you have missed out on some good Football Food!  Or anytime food, for that matter!

Mardi Gras Wings Seasoning Mix

2 Tbls. dried rosemary

2 Tbls. chili powder

1 Tbls. kosher salt

1 Tbls. garlic powder

1 Tbls. dried ground oregano (I think it may need 1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano and will add this amount next time as a tester)

1 Tbsp Tony’s Creole seasoning

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp. dry ground mustard

1 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients above and store in an air tight container.

To use, Place wingettes on sheet pan; coat with canola oil and stir to coat; liberally sprinkle seasoning on wings and stir with hands to mix coating on wings.  Bake at 375 degrees until desired doneness (we like ours crispy done).  Stir several times during cooking.   

These could also be grilled on your grill once you have coated them in the canola oil and then mixed with the seasoning.

Some of the comments said it had a tad too much rosemary and may need just a pinch of fennel seeds.  I experimented by backing off a 1/2 tbsp of rosemary and adding a pinch of fennel seed but next time I will not do that.   When you eat the wings from Publix there is no fennel flavor and there is a rosemary flavor.   I will keep the amount of rosemary above in the mix and nix the idea of adding any fennel at all.  

Like I said, play around with it.  It would also work well on a pork tenderloin, or now that deer season is almost here, on a back strap or tenderloin. This seasoning is great just as it is.  Hope you like it!