Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Theo

4 Feb

Chicken TheoI offer this recipe in memory of my father-in-law, Theo Lewis, for whom this recipe is named. His yahrtzeit (death anniversary) is this week — maybe. I say maybe because it’s a leap year in the Jewish calendar, and so there are two months of Adar. There’s some question about whether the yahrtzeit should be observed in the first or the second. At our synagogue they read his name in the list of memorials this week, but my husband says he’ll light his yahrtzeit candle in the second Adar.

Theo and his wife Betty were vegetarians, but Theo — who did all the cooking in the household — cooked many a meat meal for his omnivore children. He usually fixed chicken this way. The ingredients may sound weird, but trust me, this is an easy and delicious way to make chicken!


1 chicken, cut in 8 pieces
A sprinkle of garlic powder
2 tbs. brown sugar
1½ tsp. grated orange zest
¼ cup lemon juice


Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 if using “convection roast” setting)

Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Spray a roasting or baking pan with cooking spray and place the chicken in the pan, skin side up. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder. Rub brown sugar into the chicken pieces. Sprinkle the orange zest over the chicken, and then pour the lemon juice over.

Bake for about an hour, basting frequently, until the chicken is nicely browned.

Serves 4 to 6

Chicken Marbella

25 Nov

Chicken MarbellaI figured by now everyone has their Thanksgiving dinners planned so I would not burden you with yet another holiday recipe. Here’s a good one for any company dinner. The recipe makes enough to serve quite a crowd but you can easily halve it and use two chickens  if you’re serving only eight or 10 people. It’s probably not worth the patchke to make it with just one chicken, so save this recipe for a special occasion.

I got this recipe many years ago from my dear friend Ann Wanetik, who served it at a buffet. I didn’t eat it at the time because I was busy chowing down on the rib roast she also served – I love rare beef, and my hubby doesn’t, so I hardly ever make it but I eat it whenever I can.

Even though other guests raved about the chicken, I didn’t make it for a long time because the ingredients are very weird – I mean really, green olives and prunes and capers and brown sugar? But it’s absolutely delicious, and every time I’ve served it I’ve gotten the same rave reviews Ann got.

Be aware that you need to start the preparation the night before, or at least early in the morning, so the chicken has time to marinate in the seasonings before you cook it.

I didn’t have an easy way to puree the garlic so I chopped it very fine, which seemed to work.

This dish goes very well with plain rice or couscous or a pilaf.


4 chickens, 2½ pounds each, quartered
1 head garlic, pureed
¼ cup dried oregano
½ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
½ cup pitted Spanish green olives
½ cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley


Place the chicken quarters in a deep pan or large freezer bag. Mix all the other ingredients except the brown sugar, white wine and parsley. Pour over the chicken, cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour the white wine over it all.

Bake for at least 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Test for doneness by pricking a thigh at its thickest part; juice will run clear, not pink. The chicken should be nicely browned.

Transfer the chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter and pour over a few spoonsful of the pan juices. Sprinkle with parsley. You may want to serve the remaining pan juices as a gravy.

Serves 16

Old Place’s Lemon Chicken

11 Oct

Old Place's Lemon ChickenI have no idea what The Old Place is or was. It sounds like the name of  a restaurant, but if it was in Detroit, it disappeared long before I had a chance to eat there. This very easy recipe was published in the Detroit News or the Detroit Free Press.


1 chicken, cut in serving pieces
1 garlic clove, cut in half
Juice of 2 large lemons (about ½ cup)
½ cup vegetable oil
Salt (optional), pepper, oregano and paprika to taste


Several hours or the day before cooking, rub the chicken with garlic. Combine the lemon juice and vegetable oil in a dish. Sprinkle the chicken with salt if you use it, pepper, oregano and paprika. Lay the chicken in the oil-lemon mixture, turning to coat each piece. Cover and refrigerate.

When ready to cook, arrange on broiler rack and baste with marinade. Sprinkle with paprika for color. Broil 3 or 4 inches from heat, turning occasionally, for 15 to 35 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. (You can probably cook it on the grill equally effectively.)

Alternatively, you can bake the chicken, uncovered, skin side up, in a 300-degree oven for about an hour.

Serves 4 to 6

Chicken with Apples and Caramelized Onions

18 Jun Chicken with Apples and Caramelized Onions

Chicken with Apples and Caramelized OnionsHere’s another one of those many recipes I promised you for skinless, boneless chicken breasts! The chicken is simply grilled or broiled, but then it’s topped with a nice sauce made with apple and onion flavored with balsamic vinegar and ginger. It’s easy and tasty. This is adapted from a recipe in the Detroit Free Press, which says it was “from and tested by the Chicago Tribune.”


1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
1 medium tart apple, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. minced ginger
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the broiler or a grill pan. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the apple, balsamic vinegar, honey and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apple slices soften and the onions caramelize, about 10 minutes. While the onions and apples are cooking, season the chicken and broil, turning halfway through cooking, until cooked through, about 12 minutes total. Cut the chicken lengthwise into slices and transfer to plates. Top with the onion-apple mixture.

Serves 2

Chicken Piccante with Artichokes

4 Jun

Chicken Piccante With ArtichokesYou’ll be seeing a lot of recipes from me using boneless, skinless chicken breast this summer. There are three reasons for this. First of all, chicken breasts are the basis for many quick, easy summer meals. Many of them call for grilling or broiling the chicken breasts, which is a nice way to cook when it’s hot. (Today’s recipe uses poached chicken which is finished in the oven — but for only 15 minutes.)

Secondly, those who have been following my blog since the beginning know that a big reason I started it was to get my humongous collection of recipe clippings in order, and I’m discovering a lot of chicken breast recipes that I clipped but never made. I’ll be trying them out over the summer and sharing the results.

Finally, and I blush to admit this, every time I go to Costco I seem unable to leave without a package of Empire frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Consequently, I have three such packages in my freezer — and need to use them up!

This recipe came from a newspaper, and I’m guessing it was the Detroit Free Press because there’s a little heart next to the title and they used to print recipes from Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart Smart program. It has only 236 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving, so it’s a great  recipe for weight watchers as well as cholesterol watchers – yet it’s tasty and elegant enough to serve for company.


2 cups chicken broth
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts (approx. 4 oz. each), washed and patted dry
1 whole lemon,  cut into 8 wedges and seeded
¼ cup scallions, chopped
30 baby mushroom caps, cleaned (if you have larger mushrooms, halve or quarter them)
6 canned artichoke hearts in water, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch white pepper
3 Tbs. cornstarch
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups rice or noodles, cooked


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large skillet. Add the chicken breasts, reduce heat to a simmer and cover; poach the chicken breasts for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Squeeze the lemon juice into the broth and place the wedges in the broth. Add the scallions, mushrooms, artichokes, garlic and white pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch and the wine in a small bowl, stirring until it is smooth. Add to the broth a little at a time, stirring until thick and smooth. Remove lemon and discard. Pour the sauce and vegetable mixture over the chicken breasts and heat in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Serves 6

Chicken Stir Fry

21 May Chicken Stir-Fry

Chicken Stir-FryWe had a lot of chicken left over after I made roast chicken Friday for just the two of us. Even after making chicken salad for lunch, I still had leftover cooked chicken. A stir fry for supper was the ideal way to use it up.

I don’t usually follow a recipe when I make a stir fry. I wing it, following a few basic principles. I use a lot of veggies, but the exact mixture depends on what I have on hand or what’s available inexpensively at the store. I like to use garlic and ginger for flavor. For a sauce, I concoct something from soy sauce, honey or sherry, and chicken or vegetable stock, thickened with a little cornstarch. If I want a little heat, I mix in some chili paste (available in the Asian section of the grocery store or Asian food stores.) Sometimes I just use a bottled sauce like Soy Vay or Trader Joe’s Soyaki.

If you want to make a vegetarian stir fry, use cubed firm tofu instead of chicken — or just use an additional 2 cups of vegetables.

Sometimes I use a little sesame oil in place of some of the vegetable oil. (Sometimes I don’t, because I forget I have sesame oil available before Iput the vegetable oil in the wok!) You don’t want to use all sesame oil because it’s very strongly flavored and also very expensive, compared to plain old cooking oil.

The essence of stir frying is to use just a little bit of oil. Make it very hot before you add the other ingredients, and cook them quickly over high heat, constantly stirring as the ingredients cook. Vegetables should retain their crunch.

I know this is all very vague, so I wrote down what I did last night, because it was yummy. You can easily substitute other vegetables, including broccoli (cut it into small flowerets and blanch in boiling water for about a minute before stir frying), sliced bok choy, julienned carrots, julienned zucchini, asparagus broken into 1-inch pieces, sliced or diced water chestnuts, or bean sprouts. Use about 3 cups vegetables total for two servings, and about 2 cups of cooked chicken (or thinly sliced rare beef).


3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. bottled ginger (or use fresh grated)
1 tsp. honey
½ tsp. chili paste with garlic
½ cup vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tbs. vegetable or peanut oil
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
½ cup thickly sliced mushrooms
¼ cup diced red pepper
1 cup snow peas, strings removed
½ cup bamboo shoots
2 scallions, sliced
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed


Mix the soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Add the ginger, honey, chili paste and vegetable or chicken stock and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or a large, heavy skillet. Fry the garlic for a few seconds, then add the mushrooms and red pepper and stir fry. When they start to soften, after a minute or two, add the snow peas and bamboo shoots and stir fry for a another minute or two until the peas are tender. Add the scallions and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Add the sauce, and stir constantly until all the vegetables are coated and the sauce thickens a bit. Finally, add the chicken and stir to coat it with the sauce and mix it with the vegetables. Cook just another minute or so until the chicken is hot. Serve over rice.

Serves 2

Coconut Chicken and Couscous

12 Apr
Coconut Chicken with Couscous

Coconut Chicken with Couscous

Serendipity! Not only did I discover a recipe I really wanted to try but I had all the ingredients on hand, including some unusual ones that I was wondering how to use.

Those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning may remember that I started it as part of the process of getting my recipes in order. I had a 4 x 6 index card file, started soon after Joe and I married. When that filled up, I started putting clippings and copied recipes in an accordion file divided into salads, soups, pastas and grains, poultry, etc. Then there was a manila folder with all the clippings I hadn’t had time to sort into categories for the accordion file. There were hundreds — maybe thousands! — of recipes, some of them more than 30 years old. Some were old favorites and some I had never made.

So I started going through them, putting the ones I knew I liked into a computer Word file, putting the ones I had never made but that looked really worth trying into yet another manila folder, and throwing away the rest — either duplicates or “no way am I ever going to make this.”

So far I’ve made it through the card file and about two-thirds of the accordion file. I have input more than 230 tried-and-true recipes into my online collection. The bulging manila folder still awaits.

This one was new!

Today’s recipe is one of those I had never made before but that looked worthwhile.

It came from some magazine or other; the only identifying information is “1997” at the bottom and a note that says the recipes (there must have been others in the article) were from Michele Peters and Cynthia DePersio.

The recipe is a bit complex but not difficult. Measure out all the ingredients at the beginning and the actual cooking will be a snap.

A couple of notes:

  • The recipe calls for “chicken cutlets” and I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead, so it took longer to cook than the recipe says — about 8 minutes on each side. When I make it again, I’ll cut the breasts in half horizontally and pound them thin so they’re more like cutlets.
  • The recipe also calls for cooking in a grill pan, which I don’t have — and it’s still too cold in Michigan to grill outdoors. I probably could have broiled the chicken breasts but I decided to cook them in a regular (not cast iron) skillet on the stovetop, and so I used a couple of teaspoons of oil at the beginning to get them going without sticking. I think grilling would give them a browner color that would provide more contrast with the white sauce.
  • We didn’t have a box of couscous, we had a 2-pound jar. I measured out 10 ounces, which the recipe calls for. This makes an enormous amount of couscous — more than we could eat in four servings. If you’re starting with bulk couscous, you may want to use 8 ounces instead of 10. (It would probably absorb the same amount of liquid — or you could cut back a little  on the chicken broth. Of course the couscous is good left over too, even if there’s no more chicken to go with it!
  • I think this dish would be equally good using rice instead of the couscous. Cook it as a pilaf with the same spices, using the coconut milk in place of some of the water you would normally use to cook it.


Coconut Couscous:

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. grated ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced jalapeno chili
1 cup regular or light coconut milk (take it from a 14-oz. can and save the rest for the sauce, below)
1¼ cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
½ tsp. salt
1 box (10 oz.) couscous
1 Tbs. lime juice

Coconut Sauce:

6 oz. coconut milk
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. minced jalapeno chili
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt

4 chicken cutlets (about 1 lb. total)
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley


Prepare ingredients for the couscous – but the cooking will take only 5 minutes, so you might want to hold off on the final step until you start cooking the chicken.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and 1 tsp. minced jalapeno and cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup coconut milk, chicken broth, peas and salt; bring to a boil.

Stir in the couscous and 1 Tbs. lime juice, remove from the heat, and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Heat a grill or a cast iron skillet for the chicken.

Combine the remaining coconut milk, 2 Tbs. lime juice, 1 tsp. minced jalpeno, cumin and salt. Pour ⅓ cup of the mixture into a shallow dish and add the chicken, turning to coat. Reserve remaining sauce.

Cook the chicken on the hot grill. If you use a non-cast iron skillet instead, heat it with 2 tsp. of oil at this point. Cook the chicken, turning once halfway and brushing with the reserved sauce. If you need to do this in two batches, keep the first batch warm on a covered plate.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and spoon onto dinner plates. Slice each chicken cutlet and arrange in the center.

If you have any sauce left over, bring it to the boil and pour it over the chicken. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Serves 4

Apricot Chicken

3 Apr

apricot chickenThis has become one of my trademark recipes, though I can hardly claim to have invented it. I think the first time we ever ate it was at the home of Paul and Sharon Levine — either before their kids were born or when the eldest was a baby, so we know it’s many moons ago! Then I found a recipe in Real Good Cookin’ Y’All, a cookbook put together by the Houston chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, where my mother was a member. I have adapted this recipe from that one.

My kids love it, and so I usually make it when they are visiting, often for a holiday or special occasion. I made it last week for the first Passover seder. The recipe calls for Wishbone Russian dressing, which is not the mayonnaise-based Russian dressing, but is oil-and-vinegar based and dark red. If you can’t find it, or prefer to use a low-fat dressing, you can use any red French dressing. This recipe works fine with low-fat dressing and reduced-sugar apricot jam. If you have a big container of onion soup base, rather than packets, use enough of the dry mix to make 4 cups of soup.

If you want to make only one chicken, make all the sauce and use half of it; save the rest in the refrigerator for another time.


2 frying/broiling chickens, cut in 8 pieces
1 package dry onion soup mix
12 oz. apricot jam (¾ of a 1-lb. jar)
1 bottle (8 oz.) Wishbone Russian dressing
⅔ cup water
½ tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, or 300 degrees for a convection oven.


Combine all the ingredients except the chicken pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a baking dish, skin side down. Pour the sauce over; use a spoon to make sure all the pieces are totally coated with the sauce. Bake for 40 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces over and baste with the sauce. Continue baking another 45 minutes to an hour, basting every 20 minutes, until the skin is nicely browned.

Serves 8 to 10

Jo-Ann’s Chinese Chicken Salad

1 Mar

Jo-Ann's Chinese Chicken SALAD We recently ate for half a week from one Empire kosher Cornish roasting chicken! We roasted the chicken for Shabbat dinner, eating the wings, a bit of the breast, and the meat that clung to the carcass after we carved the pieces off.  (Of course we froze the carcass so we could make Cheater’s Chicken Soup later!) We used the leftover dark meat for Chicken Pilaf (recipe to come), which made enough for a dinner and a lunch. Then we used the leftover breast for this lovely chicken salad. We used half the amounts given in this recipe, and it made two huge portions.

This recipe comes from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet, an excellent cookbook. Brody, in turn, says she got it from her friend, and founder of the Jane Brody Fan Club, Jo-Ann Friedman. The only change I made is to increase the dressing amounts a bit because I found that using the stated amount of dressing left the salad a little dry (and I don’t like a lot of dressing; if I change the amount given in a recipe it’s usually to decrease it!)

You can substitute some of the vegetables if you like; I have made this using bean sprouts instead of zucchini. You can use leftover chicken  breast or cook chicken breasts just for this salad.

Here is Jane Brody’s method for cooking the chicken breasts if you start with raw chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a medium-sized saucepan and add 1½ cups of water, 1 Tbs. vinegar, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes. Bring the liquid to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan and let the chicken stand for 10 minutes. Remove from the liquid and cool before making the salad (and save the liquid to use for making chicken soup!)


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips about 1½ x ¼ inches
½ lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas, trimmed and steamed for 2 minutes
½ lb. broccoli flowerets, steamed for 5 minutes
1 small zucchini, unpeeled, julienned
½ sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
½ sweet yellow pepper or the rest of the rest pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
2 scallions, slivered diagonally
⅓ cup rice vinegar
1½ Tbs. Oriental sesame oil
1½ Tbs. soy sauce
1½ tsp. grated gingerroot
Cayenne pepper – several dashes to taste
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
Lettuce or salad greens (optional)


In a serving bowl, combine the chicken and vegetables.

In a small jar or bowl, shake or whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, gingerroot and cayenne pepper.

Just before serving, stir the dressing and pour it over the salad. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the salad and toss gently. Serve on a bed of lettuce or salad greens if you like.

Serves 4

Cheater’s Chicken Soup

10 Jan

Chicken Soup

(I’m posting this so soon after my last post by popular demand!)

Making chicken soup from scratch can be expensive (especially with kosher chicken). Making it from powdered soup mix is disgusting. Here’s a cheap and easy way to get home-made flavor!

Start by making roast chicken (see my post from January 9, 2013). After you remove the chicken from the roasting pan, pour the “juice” into a glass or plastic tub with a lid. Add a half-inch of water to the roasting pan and swish it around to deglaze the pan, then add that liquid to the tub. Cool a bit, cover and refrigerate. The fat will rise to the top and harden and you can scrape it off. (You can throw it out, or save it to use in place of margarine in cooking.)

Use the “juice” within a week or freeze it. It makes a great base for soup — enough for two. Add some cut-up carrot and/or celery, fresh or dried dill, salt and pepper and cook till the carrots are soft, then add cooked noodles and you’ve got a great chicken soup! Or use it as a base for another soup that calls for chicken or vegetable stock.

Want more soup? After you’ve carved up the roast chicken, freeze the carcass. When you’ve accumulated three or four carcasses, thaw them and place them in a large pot with a cut-up onion, a peeled, cut-up carrot, a stalk of celery and some fresh or dried dill. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for a few hours. Cool slightly, then strain in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add any chicken “juice” (see above) that you’ve saved from roasting a chicken.

With three chicken carcasses, you can make more than a half-gallon of soup. If it tastes a little weak after you first strain it, cook it down a bit to concentrate the flavor. Or you can add a bit of powdered chicken stock to strengthen it — it won’t spoil the flavor.

Note: you can cook this soup a long time. Once I put it on the simmer burner at 6 p.m., planning to finish it at 9 when I returned from a meeting. Well, we both totally forgot about it until the next morning, so it had simmered more than 12 hours. No harm done – the soup was very flavorful.