Tag Archives: chicken

Recipe: Baked Buffalo Wings

1 Apr

I LOVE chicken wings. Good ones at least.

There’s a lot of bad chicken wings out there. Ones that are all bones. Ones that are so overdone that the meat is chewy. Ones with no flavour. Ones drowning in sauce. Ones that will literally sear your face off with their hotness but have zero flavour.

These are a dry style buffalo wing that are baked, not fried but are still lovely and crispy with excellent flavour and just enough fire.

Baked Buffalo Wings

Baked Buffalo Wings | baconavecbacon.com

1 pound chicken wings, split and tips removed
1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1/4 cup butter, melted
salt & pepper

Set your oven to broil and allow it to preheat.

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminium foil and place a cooling rack on top of the foil.

Season the wings well with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large microwaveable bowl. Add the hot sauce and stir. Add the wings and coat well.

Place the wings on the cooling rack. Broil for 15 minutes on one side, flip the wings over, baste with additional hot sauce and broil for another 15 minutes.

Remove, flip and baste again and place the wings in for another 5 minutes. Repeat process one more time for another 5 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Garlic Baked Chicken & Potatoes

9 Feb

This dish is so cheap, so easy and so full of flavour that it’s hard for it not to become a favourite. It’s based on traditional Lebanese flavourings called ‘toum, zait w haamid’. Translated from Arabic that’s garlic (toum), zait (oil), haamid (lemon). Here, this tangy combo covers potatoes and cheap bone-in chicken (legs & thighs work best) for a hearty winter meal. It’s probably not a good pick for Valentine’s Day, but we really like it.

Garlic Baked Chicken & Potatoes

Garlic Baked Chicken & Potatoes | baconavecbacon.com

6-10 pieces of bone-in chicken
3-5 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch thick discs
20 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon shawarma style spices (available at your friendly neighbourhood Arabic grocery store)

This recipe is easily scaled to fit your family. Depending on how much chicken you’re using, use either a 9×9 or a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange the chicken in the bottom and make cuts in the flesh with a sharp knife. (This will help the sauce to soak in later.) Rub the chicken with a couple of tablespoons of oil, salt and the shawarma style spices.

Take the sliced and peeled potatoes and zap them in the microwave for 4 minutes. This helps to soften them so they’ll be done at the same time as the chicken. Then toss them on top of the chicken and salt lightly.

Throw the dish into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.

In the meantime, break out your blender or food processor. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and blitz the garlic until smooth (4-5 minutes). Add the lemon juice and blitz for another 4-5 minutes.

When the chicken is done (use a meat thermometer to be sure) pour the sauce overtop of the potatoes and chicken and stir to cover all of the pieces. Switch the oven to broil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown nicely.

Serve with a nice fresh salad.

Recipe: Tortilla Soup

16 Sep

School’s back in. The weather is cooling off. Trees are starting to turn. It’s feeling fall-ish and therefore time to make some soup.

Sadly soup is one of the things that Mr. Bacon finds offensive. Something about it being ‘not real food’. I can appreciate why he feels commercial soups that are 90% flavourless broth are not ‘real food’ but when I make soup, it’s usually so thick and chock full of tasty things that it definitely (to steal a slogan from Chunky Soup) eats like a meal.

This recipe is no exception. Given to me by a friend, the first time I tried it, I knew I would love it before the recipe was even finished. The rich, warm spicy smell that comes out of the pot automatically gets my tastebuds dancing. Like a lot of things I make, this recipe freezes really well and is a great option for a brown bag lunch.

Tortilla Soup

3 tbsp cooking oil
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (you can substitute chili powder, but the chipotle adds a hint of smoky flavour)
small pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth (6 cups)
3 cups crushed tomatoes (1 28 oz can)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 3/4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 can corn niblets (Mexicorn if you can find it)
1 can black or kidney beans, rinsed
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 pound cheddar, grated
Lime wedges, cilantro leaves and tortillas for garnish

Cook the chicken – either roast it in the oven with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper (about 15-20 minutes at 400F), or in a pan. Or take a lesson in laziness from me, and use the meat from a pre-cooked grocery store BBQ chicken.

In a large heavy pot heat the oil, add the onion, garlic and spices – cook while stirring for 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves and about 2-3 good handfuls of tortilla chips. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.

Break out your immersion blender and whizz the soup base until it’s smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the soup in batches in your blender. Don’t fill it too full!) Then add the chicken, corn and beans then bring to a simmer and cook until done – about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the avocado (or leave it out all together if you’re not an avocado fan like me).

Serve the soup by placing a small handful of slightly crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl. Top with the soup, shredded cheese, and cilantro. Add a generous squeeze of lime to the top – the lime really makes the dish!

Recipe: Shawarma Salad

7 Jul

It’s been crazy hot here this week. So much so, that Mr. Bacon installed our air conditioner today. We don’t put it in every summer, but the last few have required artificial cooling in order to sleep in our bedroom. And when it’s this hot, you certainly don’t want to make anything that’s going to heat the kitchen up which is why tonight we had shawarma salad.

Sandwich and garlic potatoes from my favourite shawarma purveyor, Ali at Shawarma House on March Road. Ali is an artist.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the shawarma, it’s one of the most popular street foods in the middle east and is incredibly prevalent in Ottawa and Montreal due to the high population of middle eastern immigrants. Shawarma usually consists of meat (either beef or chicken) with vegetables (lettuce, tomato, onion, cabbage) and pickles (turnip and Lebanese cucumber) slathered in sauce (garlic, hummus, tahini) and wrapped in a pita.

What I call shawarma salad though is a traditional Lebanese salad called fattoush with grilled chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon and middle eastern spices. It’s intensely fresh and flavourful and makes a great light summer meal.

Shawarma Salad

For the salad:
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 radishes
pita bread
pickled turnips

For the dressing:
juice of 2 fresh lemons or 1 fresh and 3 tbsp of bottled lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried mint
1 1/2 tbsp sumac

For the chicken:
2 boneless skinless breasts, or 1 pound of chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup plain or greek yogurt
3-6 tbsp of lemon juice (use more if you’re using greek yogurt to thin it)
2 tsp shawarma spice (comes in a packet labelled as such, but there are also recipes on the internet for the spice blend)
1 tsp salt

Marinate the chicken for at least an hour. It’s best if you prep it in the morning. When you’re ready for dinner, start the BBQ and grill the chicken over medium heat.

While it’s cooking, dice the vegetables for the salad and mix the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl. Don’t fudge on the fresh parsley and the fresh lemon – it makes a difference.

Take the pita and rip it into bite sized pieces. Place them on a disposable cookie sheet and spray lightly with Pam. Sprinkle with a little sumac and place the cookie sheet on the BBQ with the chicken until they’re crispy.

When the chicken is done let it rest for 5 minutes. Take this time to pour the dressing on to the salad (leaving the pita ‘croutons’ aside) and toss well. You can choose to dice the chicken and include it in the salad, or place it on top. Garnish with  the pita croutons and the pickled turnip pieces. Yes, the turnips are bright pink and look crazy, but they taste awesome really add a great dimension to the dish.

You should be able to find the pickled turnip, shawarma spice and sumac at your local middle eastern grocery store. Although I see that Bulk Barn (at least the location nearest me) is now carrying sumac as well.

Recipe: Mexican Chicken Skillet

24 Jun

For those of you who have not jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, you’d better get there soon before the wagon fills up. It’s a great place for recipes, home decor, craft, organizational and other ideas. It’s also a great place to waste a lot of time so beware 🙂

Most ‘pins’ come from blogs, magazines, or other kinds of websites, but more often now people are just uploading photos of their dinners directly to the site with a bit of rough explanation for a ‘how to’. That’s where I found this rough recipe (pin). I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I’ll just have to send a random ‘thank you’ to the interwebs cause this was a winner. It was quick, easy and had a nice spicy flavour. Low fat too!

Mexican Chicken Skillet
2 large chicken breasts, cubed into 1″ cubes
1 can of Rotel
1 packet taco spice
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups instant rice
2 cups grated cheddar, Mexican blend, or marble cheese

Over medium high heat, place the cubed chicken in a deep 12″ frying pan sprayed with Pam. Fry until just brown and then add 1 can of Rotel, 1 1/2 cups of water, taco spice and salt. Stir to combine and let it come to a good boil. Throw the rice in and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Add the 2 cups of cheese to the top and cover again until it melts. Serve with taco chips.

Notes, tips & tricks:

  • Use heavy duty kitchen shears to cut through meat. It’s fast and easy and you don’t have to dirty a cutting board!
  • If you don’t have Rotel, you can substitute 1/2 can of diced tomatoes and some diced jalapeno.
  • Other substitutions: swap the white rice for brown, add a can of black beans and a can of corn to feed a larger crowd for less (or just add those and omit the chicken for a vegetarian option).
  • Tired of Lean Cuisine for lunch? Make a double batch and package the leftovers in microwaveable/freezable containers. You’ll never be scrambling for a lunch in the morning again.