Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens

Cornish game hens are the perfect dish to “Wow!” your guests. I particularly recommend them as an entree for a romantic dinner for two.  Cornish game hens are economical, easy to prepare and full of flavor, yet exotic enough to make any guest feel special. The orange glaze and lemon pepper add just the right amount of zing without becoming overpowering.

GM

ORANGE GLAZED CORNISH GAME HENS

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens (defrosted)
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • lemon pepper blend

Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash hens thoroughly, shake off excess water and place in a baking dish. Mix orange marmalade and orange juice in a small mixing bowl. Once the marmalade is blended smooth brush 1/2 of the mixture on each hen with a pastry brush. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper blend. Bake for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice, wild rice or potatoes.If desired, garnish with fresh orange slices.

Note:  If you are preparing more than two hens simply increase orange mixture by adding 1 tablespoon of orange juice and marmalade for each hen. If using fresh oranges, the zest adds a nice touch.

My Favorite Barbeque Chicken

Living in southern Arizona means the four seasons are a little different here. It’s well over 100 degrees here during the summer months, so summertime grilling is out of the question. Now that fall is in the air I can start grilling again, and my all time favorite dish is barbecue chicken.

One of my college art professors taught me how to make barbecue chicken, and I’ve been using his technique ever since. His secret was to parboil the chicken for about 20 minutes before grilling. (And while the water may not be a true chicken stock, your dog may love it poured over his dog food.)

Some people have gas grills, and they’re fine, but I prefer charcoal over gas. Charcoal gives the food a more smokey flavor, and there’s nothing more relaxing and stress relieving than sipping a glass of fine wine while watching the coals light.

Once the chicken has been properly boiled, and the coals have turned white, it’s time to put it on the grill. Put the lid down and let it cook a few minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush on the barbecue sauce, let it cook some more, and repeat, brushing a fresh coat of sauce each time the chicken is turned. By the way, there are a number of different barbecue sauces on the market. My personal favorites are KC Masterpiece, Bull’s Eye and Sweet Baby Ray’s. Once the sauce is glazed and the chicken is seared it’s time to take it off the grill. Now it’s time to gig in, but make sure you have plenty of extra napkins, because barbecue chicken is as messy as it is tasty.

Got charcoal?

GM

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

My mother gave me this recipe many years ago. She acquired it after my father retired and they joined an Airstream Club. Potluck dinners were common practice at their Airstream rallies, and, living in Arizona, it soon became a family favorite. Over the years I too have taken it to many a potluck, where it’s always gone over well, and sometimes I’ll fix it at home just because I like it. It’s quick, easy to prepare and delicious.

 

CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

  • 4 to 6 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped*
  • 1 bag restaurant style tortilla chips
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 1  cup corn
  • I can black beans
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • breadcrumbs (optional)

Generously coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Fill bottom of the pan with broken tortilla chips — about 1/4 inch thick. Add chopped chicken breasts, green chilies, corn and black beans. Blend soups together with chicken broth in a medium sized mixing bowl and pour over top. (If a thinner sauce is desired add more liquid.) Cover top layer with cheese and add bread crumbs, if desired. Bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Variations: For those who like it hot — use jalapeno or chipotle peppers instead of green chili peppers.

*2 cans chicken – 9.75 oz size may be used instead of fresh chicken

Chicken Scaloppine in White Wine Sauce

My favorite supermarket carries fresh, thinly sliced chicken breasts which always seem to be on sale. This is my favorite recipe once I get them home. It’s one I’ve tweaked and played with for so long it now truly is my own.

Enjoy.

GM

 

CHICKEN SCALOPPINE IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

  • 4 to 6 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar (approximately)
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked rice, wild rice, or noodles

Wash chicken breasts thoroughly, pat dry with paper towel. Melt butter in skillet and add olive oil. While oil is heating roll chicken breasts in flour until lightly coated. Place in hot oil and cook each side until it is a light, golden brown. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar over each chicken breast and add chicken broth, white cooking wine and salt, if desired. Heat until sauce mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Variation:  Use veal instead of chicken, and balsamic vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.

Chicken Divan

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

I’m not a big fan of frozen dinners, but I do recall, back when I was in high school, my mother used to buy Stouffer’s Chicken Divan, and it was really good. In fact, it was awesome. I don’t know if they still make it or not, but I’ve tweaked a couple of Campbell’s Soup recipes to come up with my own version, and I think I’ve come pretty close. It’s easy to prepare, and tasty. And, best of all, it uses ingredients most of us probably already have. Enjoy.

GM

CHICKEN DIVAN

(inspired by Campbell’s Soup recipes)

  • 2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli (thawed)
  • 2 cups cooked noodles
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese blend
  • 1 small can fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bread crumbs

Chop broccoli, (if using fresh), and prepare noodles according to package directions. Clean chicken breasts thoroughly and cut into small cubes. Saute in a skillet until they are cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.

In a 2-quart casserole dish stir milk, melted butter, and cream of mushroom soup. Add pepper and canned mushrooms, if desired. Add broccoli, cooked noodles and cooked chicken, mix well. Top with generous layer of grated cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in 350°oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top layer is brown and sauce is bubbling.

Bathing Tom Turkey

255One of the more “interesting” activities of preparing the traditional Thanksgiving feast is making sure the turkey is thoroughly washed and properly prepared for roasting. Turkey, like any poultry, is prone to salmonella. Salmonella is an airborne pathogen that can find its way to your turkey via improper handling at the packing house or by improper handling at your house.

Most of us buy frozen turkeys, and the best way to defrost is to put them in the refrigerator several days before the Thanksgiving meal, but sometimes unexpected things happen. If you have to do a quick defrost the best way to proceed is by filling the sink with scalding hot water and soaking the bird. You’ll probably have to repeat these steps several times over the course of a few hours, but it sure beats trying to defrost the bird in the microwave. Whichever defrosting technique you use, be sure to keep the bird covered, and the original wrapper works best. Again, salmonella can be airborne, so an uncovered turkey, or any meat for that matter, left uncovered on a countertop to defrost, is an open invitation to trouble.

Once the turkey has been completely defrosted it needs a bath. With any poultry I go on the assumption that salmonella is there, so I put it in the kitchen sink, (which by the way, needs to be cleaned and sanitized first), and I run the water over all over it. Salmonella can hide in the nooks and crannies, so be sure to wash under the wings and thighs, in the joints, and make sure to flush out the body cavity while you’re at it. Yes, this process can get a little messy, particularly if you’re washing a big turkey, so if your faucet has a spray attachment use it as it will help make the job a little easier.

Once the turkey has been completely washed it’s ready for the roaster or the fryer, or even the smoker. Be sure to wipe up any water that may have splashed on the counter tops and around the sink with a disinfectant wipe. This helps prevent cross-contamination so you don’t end up with a rather nasty, uninvited guest.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

GM

Chicken Schnitzel with White Wine Sauce

Chicken SchnitzelMy neighborhood Albertsons sells thinly cut chicken breasts, so what better reason to experiment with some new recipes? The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy,

GM

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

  • 3 or 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon pan drippings
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 8 ounce package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of parsley

Wash chicken thoroughly and pound with a mallet until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Wash mushrooms and set aside to drain. Place flour and bread crumbs in pie plates or shallow dishes. Beat eggs in a third shallow dish, adding water to create an egg wash. Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan. Roll chicken in flour, dunk in egg wash, and roll in bread crumbs until completely covered. Place in hot oil and cook on both sides until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

Place butter in a saute pan and melt over medium heat. Add  pan drippings from the chicken and Worcestershire sauce. Once butter has melted add mushrooms and saute. Add cooking wine, chicken broth and seasonings. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Place chicken on plates and serve with mushroom sauce over the top. Goes well with cooked noodles.