Palate Pleasers

Archive for the ‘Chicken Dishes’ Category

This is gotta be Mike’s favorite salad of all time.  When we were first dating, Mike impressed me with his culinary skills and made this for me.  It’s become one of our favorite salads, so I try to make it whenever possible.  I have to say that the first couple of times I made it, I attempted to change the ingredients by adding more or less of something, but ultimately, the way the recipe is is just about perfect.   I really just changed 2 things which I do think made it better and I’ll tell you what those things are at the end of the recipe in my notes.  I hope you enjoy it.


In a large bowl, mix the following together:

3 bags of pre-shredded red cabbage (you can also mix in some green cabbage)

3 green onions, slides (optional)

2 breasts of chicken, boiled and shredded (or use a rotisserie chicken)

5 TBSP Sesame Seeds (use Roasted if you can find them)

4 oz sliced or slivered almonds

3 packages ramen noodles, crumbled


In a measuring cup or small bowl mix the following together:

1 Cup Canola oil (less 2 TBSP)

2 TBSP sesame oil

6 TBSP white vinegar

6 TBSP sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.

Mix dressing into Cabbage Salad mixture.  Make sure to crumble the ramen noodles into small pieces.  I typically do this by smashing them in the bag and then mixing into the salad.  I also only use 2 bags of Ramen noodles (Using 2 bags of Ramen means that the dressing isn’t absorbed completely into the ramen noodles) and I use 6 TBSP (or to taste) of Sesame oil.   I like the taste of the Sesame oil and it’s a good balance against the white vinegar.

Once mixed, cover with foil and refridgerater for 4 hours or more before serving.  I like to make the night before so that all the flavors meld together before I serve for dinner the next night.

If you make this, please let me know – we tend to munch on this throughout the week since it lasts for several days.



It’s good to be back and blogging about my favorite things.  Food and wine – what’s not to love?  Over the past several months, I’ve come across many recipes that I’ve made, but didn’t quite feel they were worthy of putting pen to paper (so to speak).  However, over the past several months I’ve been looking at this recipe thinking I really need to make this – it’s perfect for a nice winter day or anyday for that matter.  Afterall, I first printed the recipe in February 2007 and here we are nearly 4 years later and I’m finally making it.  It’s from “Every Day with Rachael Ray” and it’s a 30 minute meal.  I have to tell you that if my husband had been home on time and not stuck in traffic, I would have been able to make and serve this dish in 30 minutes.  Even now it’s in the pot waiting to be eaten and the nice thing about it is the favors are melding together and when we do eat it (hopefully soon), it’ll be just right!  **Here it is April and I am just posting this blog from January – I think you’ll still enjoy it regardless**


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

4 ribs celery – chopped

2 onions – chopped

2 carrots – shredded (1-1/2 cups)

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

6 cups chicken broth

1 pound ground chicken*

1 egg

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (a couple of generous handfuls)

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

One – 1 pound package gnocchi

1 cup frozen peas (optional)

Flat leaf parsley

Crusty bread for dunking


In a soup pot, heat the EVOO over medium high heat.  Add the celery, onions, carrots and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the broth, cover the pot and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Stir in the egg, bread crumbs, cheese and garlic.  Roll the mixture into walnut-sized meatballs (you’ll have about 40) and add to the stoup.  Simmer for about 10 minutes while you wash up.  Add the gnocchi to the stoup and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the peas and parsley and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove the stoup from the heat, discard the bay leaf and let cool for 5 minutes.  Serve with bread.

COOK’s NOTE: Since I didn’t have ground chicken, I used a mix of ground pork and ground sirloin that I had sitting in the freezer and already mixed up from another meal.  Once it thawed I did add extra bread crumbs and parmesan cheese to them.  They came out really great in the Stoup.   I did not use any garlic – so that would be up to you if you wanted to.  I also used one-half a can of peas instead of frozen since I didn’t have a package handy but I would never do that again (Leave out the peas!).  In addition, I used dried Parsely which worked just as well as the fresh.  And to top it off, I made biscuits – but crusty bread or ciabatta rolls  would have been a nice addition.    It’s definitely a great meal and if you have a chance to make it – I’d encourage you to do so.

Bon Appetit!


This is one of those family recipes that I’ve been collecting and I decided that it looked good and would make it.  It was quick and easy to make and I’m really surprised that I’ve never made this before.   I decided to add chicken which gave it more substance. 


1/4 cup butter

1 cup chopped onion

4 cups *freshly cooked rice (* 1-1/3 cups uncooked rice)

2 cups sour cream

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 large bay leaf

1 cup cottage cheese

3 – 4 ounce cans chiles

chopped parsely

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Melt butter in skillet.  Saute onions until golden brown.  Remove from heat and stir in hot rice, sour cream, cottage cheese, bay leaf, salt, pepper and green chiles.  Toss lightly.   In a 9 x 13 x 2 dish,  layer half of rice mixture in baking dish, sprinkle with half the cheddar cheese.  Repeat layers, bake uncovered.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley. 

**COOKS NOTE:  I baked the chicken tenders/strips in the oven for 20 minutes at 350.  First I salt/peppered them and then 0nce the chicken was baked, I left it cool and then diced the chicken and added it to the onion mixture and continued to cook for a few more minutes.   At this point I added all the other ingredients as noted above.  I chose not to add chopped parsley to the top and just left the top layer with the cheddar cheese.   It was great for leftovers a few days later.

Bon Appetit!

This recipe is so simple and has become another favorite of ours.  It’s a meal that can be prepared in as much as 30 minutes.   I sometimes enjoy this with marinara sauce, as it’s breaded, like Chicken Parmesan.  I will typically make the marinara sauce on the side as Mike is not a big “sauce” fan.   I know that you will enjoy this as much as we do!


2-6 chicken breasts (determine # of chicken breasts that are needed)

1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese – grated

1/3 Cup dry bread crumbs (I use Italian)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp melted butter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter in microwave and place in rimmed dish.  Mix cheese, bread crumbs and seasonings in shallow dish.  (I use glass pie pans for the butter and dry mix)

Put chicken in butter and coat both sides.  Then, put chicken in the cheese mixture coating again on both sides.  Place in greased baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender.

**COOKS NOTES:  This is so easy to make.  I typically use 2-3 breasts for 2 of us.  I also use a bit more than the amounts listed depending on how much cheese/bread crumbs and paprika you like.  When there is about 3-5 minutes left, I take the chicken out and put fresh grated parmesan cheese over the chicken to make cheese crisps.  I typically serve with a salad, or green beans – but any veggie combination will work.   It’s really moist and delicious**

Bon Appetit!

I love chicken & dumplings.  Mike’s mom has been talking about how she makes them for her great-grandchildren when they come to visit and while I don’t have her recipe just yet, I found one that suited me perfectly and used many of my favorite ingredients to cook with and in.  Plus, it’s really savory and loaded with great flavor – it uses more of my favorite ingredients like Cornmeal and fresh herbs.  One of my favorite cookbooks is the “Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook.”  I love it so much that I actually bought a cast iron skillet and this exact cookbook for one of my sisters…she’s loving it too!  There are so many great recipes in this book and I’m sure  I will probably cook my way through it and blog about each one that I make.   Cast iron is so easy to cook with – I ended up getting myself an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven and use it often too.   I would urge you to prepare everything before you start cooking it.  It will help to keep the prep time down.


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 chicken breasts)

Salt & Pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided

3 Tbsp butter

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced

4 ounces small white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed and halved.

1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 Cup all-purpose flour

3 Cups chicken stock

3/4 cup heavy cream (Trader Joes carries this)

1/4 cup dry sherry

2-3 Medium carrots – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 celery stocks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

3/4 cup frozen peas


1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cornmeal

2-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

7 Tbsp chilled butter

3 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 Cup whole milk

1/2 tsp kosher salt or fleur de sel


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees
  • To prepare the chicken, rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry and cut them into 1-inch strips.  Season with salt and pepper and divide into 3 batches.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the first batch of chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides – about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining batches, adding another tablespoon of olive oil for each batch.  Once all the chicken is cooked, set chicken aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened (almost carmelized) – about 5 minutes.  Stir in flour.  Slowly add the chicken broth, cream and sherry, whisking often and bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat and add carrots, celery, bay leaf, nutmeg, oregano and thyme.  Generously season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for an extra 5 minutes.  Return the chicken strips to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Mix in the peas.

To prepare the dumplings:

  • whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the chilled butter into tablespoon sized slices.  Using a pastry blender and working quickly so the butter remains cold, cut in the butter until the pieces are pea-sized.  (You can also transfer the flour mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times)  Gently mix in the rosemary, using your hands or a spatula.  Add the milk and mix gently just until the ingredients are wet and slightly sticky.
  • Using a large spoon, scoop up some of the dumpling mixture and drop it on top of the chicken mixture.  Repeat until all the dumpling mixture is used (you should have about 10 dumplings).  Sprinkle the tops with kosher salt and put the skillet in the oven.  Bake until the dumplings are golden brown – 20 to 25 minutes.  If you want to brown the tops of the dumplings more, brush the tops with melted butter and turn on the broiler for the last few minutes, keeping a close eye on the dumplings at this point.  Serve from the skillet.

 COOK’s NOTE:  Where do I begin…I loved the savory-ness of the dumplings with the cornmeal and the rosemary.    It’s great being able to walk outside and pick the rosemary, thyme and oregano from the fresh herbs growing in my back yard.   The underside of the dumpling will be moist, while the top is hard.  I also made the dumplings in my food processor – it was so much easier than trying to blend with a pastry blender.    Also, I didn’t have fresh mushrooms, but did have a 4 ounce jar of mushrooms and used those.  They worked just as well.  I’m not a big fan of cooked carrots, so I only used 1 carrot and added a bit more celery.   I did add the nutmeg and it blended really well with the cream, sherry and chicken broth.  When this came out of the oven it was more dense than stew like.  There wasn’t any extra broth.  The consistency reminded Mike and me of a chicken pot pie.  So, the next time for me and this time for you – add more broth/water to make it more stew like.  (Maybe an additional 2 cups of broth/water).  Next time I will make it in my dutch oven too.  Mike kept saying that it really had good flavors between the chicken and the dumplings – which it does.  It’s so savory!  We loved it and fortunately there are left overs!  Can’t wait to eat it again.**

Bon Appetit!

My cousin Jackie made this recipe last week and posted it on her blog, “Jackie Writes” which can also be found on my web page (  When she posted  this recipe, I knew I had to try it right away – it sounded amazing.  I know that many of you are thinking “Beer? I’ve heard of cooking with wine – but Beer?”  Actually, you can cook with Beer in the same way that you would cook with wine and it adds so much flavor to the end result.  The addition of Beef Broth and cream in the end made the flavors even richer . We have a friend who loves beer in the same way that I love wine.  We called him up to find out what Belgian Beer would go best with this dish and he suggested “Chimay Ale Premier” with the reddish-brown label.  (Can be found at Trader Joes).  I loved making this dish and didn’t change a thing.  I would suggest doing the prep work ahead of time and have everything ready to put in the pan.  I used my All Clad Stainless steel Saute pan which had deep sides and was perfect for this recipe.  

If you go to the right side of Jackie’s link above she has beautiful photos of the end result.  I know that you will enjoy this dish.  I also served this dish with a nice green salad and baked Rosemary-garlic potatoes. 


1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skinned (I used 3 large chicken breasts and cut them in half)

1 bottle (12 oz.) of Belgian beer

15 pearl onions (whole), or 7 shallots (I used shallots and cut them in large chunks)

12 large white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and quartered

3 carrots, peeled and cut into carrot pennies

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp butter (preferably unsalted)

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp finely minced fresh parsley

a hearty pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


 Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and half of the butter over medium heat in a large, deep pan (ideally, an enameled dutch oven). Add the chicken pieces and sauté until brown on both sides (about 10 minutes). Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.

Add the remaining butter to the pan, and then add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, stirring frequently until they brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sprinkle with sugar, and cook for 1 – 2 more minutes.

 Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir well to make sure the flour blends well with the butter and coats the vegetables.

 Deglaze the pan by adding the beer and broth and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom. Add the chicken pieces, thyme, bay leaf, and half of the parsley. Cover the pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf, and remove the chicken and set aside. Add cream and nutmeg to the sauce and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until nicely thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce, sprinkle with remaining parsley, and serve.

 (Serves 4.)

**COOK’s NOTE:  I loved all the vegetables and flavors that went into making this.  I’m not a big cooked carrot lover – comes from the days my parents made me eat mixed vegetables, so I only put 1 carrot in the dish.  Also, I didn’t have dried thyme, so I put 2 thyme sprigs in the sauce.  I also inadvertently left out the nutmeg and it tasted really great without – next time I’ll have to remember to put it in”.  Go ahead and buy that bottle of Belgian Beer and make this great recipe!  You’ll love it!**


Move over Julia Childs!  I took a cooking class from a local gourmet grocer in Long Beach and this is one of the recipes that we made.  It has become one of my favorite dishes to make.  I love the sauce – butter, cream, capers, lemon – what’s not to love?  For this recipe I needed a Stainless steel pan which I didn’t have.  I had non-stick and cast iron, but nothing like what was needed for this recipe.  So, I found an All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute’ Pan to add to my collection of pots & pans.  If you know anything about Stainless Steel, All-Clad or Williams Sonoma, you know that it was a small fortune to purchase the pan, but since we were moving into a new home, I considered it a house-warming gift to myself.  There are so many things that I can make with this pan – it was easily justifiable and Mike and I have continued to enjoy the delicious meals I have created with it.  It was worth every penny! 


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, halved vertically and pounded to 1/4 inch thick.

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 shallot, sliced thinly

1 Tbsp flour

3/4 cup dry white wine**

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp chopped capers

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

3 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)

3 tbsp cold butter, diced.

Slice breast in half horizontally (thin out by cutting in half) Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Season both sides of each cutlet with salt & pepper.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch sauté pan or skillet over medium heat.  When oil is very hot, place 4 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until they are browned, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn cutlets and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to an over safe plate or platter, cover loosely and repeat procedure with remaining cutlets (if any).  Cover all cutlets to keep warm and make sauce.

SAUCE: If there is no oil in the pan after cooking the cutlets, add a drizzle up to 1 Tbsp.  In the same pan on medium heat, add shallots (or onion) and cook until softened, about 2-4 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring about 1 minute – do not burn.  Deglaze with wine, broth and add garlic.  Reduce by about half on high heat scrapping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any of the brown bits into the liquid.  Remove from heat and pour any extra juices that accumulated under the chicken.  Whisk in remaining ingredients, check seasonings of sauce with a spoon and serve chicken with sauce poured over the top.

**COOKs NOTE:  So, the reason for the Stainless Steel pan or something similar is for the scrapping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the brown bits into the liquid.  You can’t do this with a non-stick skillet.  In addition, I also prepare & pre-cut everything ahead of time and have it all ready to put into the sauce.  The process goes fairly quickly once you start it.   I also use fresh Italian Parsley and a fresh lemon and I definitely use the heavy cream.  It was suggested that Sauvignon Blanc is the best cooking wine since it has “neutral” flavors – I used a dry chardonnay and it was just as good.  Once it was ready, I put the chicken on a platter and then poured the sauce over it and added some parsley for the presentation.  It was amazing!**


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April 2018
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