Hot & Spicy Three Pepper Chicken Wings

Ohhh spicy! These are crispy and full of peppery goodness. These aren’t the type of wing which you instantly get hit with heat (although I like those too), these are more of a subtle….you’re enjoying the crispy breaded chicken wing and then it hits you, out of no where. The hotness hits your tongue and you get a little bit of the sweats, then a quick cool-down…and you’re ready for more…Happy Superbowl weekend! Enjoy!

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  • 2 pounds chicken wings, about 6
  • heaping 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2-3 chili peppers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • olive oil
  • olive oil cooking spray

Combine the bread crumbs, crushed chili peppers, paprika, ground black pepper and salt and set aside. In a separete shallow bowl, combine the egg, milk and Sriracha sauce. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a 13×9 baking pan and you are all set to begin breading. Dip each wing in the egg mixture followed by the bread crumb mixture. Place in the baking dish, giving each wing room to crisp up properly. Once all are in the pan, place in a 350 degree preheated oven for about an hour, about 5 minutes before baking is done, spray the wings with a little olive oil spray and return to the oven for the remaining 5 minutes. Serve with blue cheese dressing and don’t forget the token vegetable, those celery sticks! Makes 6 chicken wings.

Juniper Berry Rub Chicken Roast with Potatoes

A little while ago, my cousin sent me this juniper berry rub. (I’m so lucky to have a cousin that lives in California, although I will feel luckier when she moves back to the east coast.) But it’s nice to get a little bit of California flavor out here on the east coast. This is such a nice spice combination, a little salty, a touch sweet from the juniper and allspice and a hint of citrus. I started using this back in autumn and it made everything extra special but now that the holidays are over and I’m not quite ready, (I’m never ready for the holidays to be over) this juniper berry rub is just the perfect fix for getting a little missed holiday flavor in on a Tuesday night.Enjoy!

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  • 2 chicken breasts, skin on, bone-in
  • 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut-up
  • 1 head of garlic, broken up into cloves
  • 1 cup of water
  • a little olive oil
  • the amazing juniper spice rub

Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a baking pan. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the spice rub and place in the pan. Spread the potatoes and garlic cloves around the chicken breasts and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Drizzle the pan with a little olive oil and pour the cup of water over the potatoes and garlic cloves. Bake uncovered for about an hour and fifteen minutes at 350 degrees, until the chicken breast are tender and the juices run clear. Check the pan after about an hour for doneness and adjust the baking time as needed. Serves 2-3 with possibly some leftovers to toss into salad the next day.

DSC05173 The amazing spice rub…Be sure to check out their other spice rubs…They look like they will add alot of excitement to any mid-January meal.

Chicken, Scallion & Mushroom Soup

Also known as a change-of-weather soup…I always have a hard time accepting the seasons changing and I ended up getting a change-of-weather cold and for this, I need a remedy and a steaming bowl of soup always soothes the soul…Enjoy!

  • 2 drumsticks
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken wings with breast meat
  • 1 pound beef neck bones
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms
  • 7 garlic cloves, halved or quartered
  • 2 beef bouillion cubes
  • water
  • black pepper
  • sea salt

In a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven, add in the chicken parts and beef, top with water leaving about an inch from the top of the pot. Season with a little salt, cover and bring to a boil, on high heat. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat to the lowest setting, add in the mushrooms and 1 of the beef bouillion cubes. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. removing any scum that rises to the top. Add in the scallions, garlic and the last bouillion cube, simmer on low for an additional 30 minutes. Season with black pepper and any salt if needed. Serves 4-6.

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Spanish Style Chicken & Beans

Ah…a nice soupy-stew with warm flavors of saffron, garlic and lots of Manzilla olives, nice and salty, lets summer linger on a little longer. This is a flavorful pot of beans to have on the stove to enjoy throughout the weekend. It’s great served piping hot for those cool summer evenings and nice at room temperature for those hot afternoons, especially when thickened a bit. Serve with a full bodied Spanish olive oil to drizzle over your chicken and beans and a bowl of chopped olives and capers, so everyone can top their bowls as they like. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 pound Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 whole chicken breast, bone in, skin on, cut into pieces
  • 1 medium size Russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • a few dashes of piri piri hot sauce
  • 4 cups of water
  • generous pinch saffron
  • generous pinch epazote
  • generous pinch ground annatto
  • handful of Manzanilla olives, sliced or halved
  • a few capers
  • sea salt

Heat up the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, until sizzling hot. Season the chicken with sea salt and add to the pot, being careful, as the oil can splatter. Turn the chicken pieces so they lightly brown. Add in the garlic and shallot, giving it a good stir so they turn translucent. It should only take a few minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the olives, capers and sea salt and cover. On high heat, bring up to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to a low setting and allow to simmer for about an hour and a half, until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. If you would like your soup a little thicker, remove the lid and increase the heat, until it thickens. Add in the olives and capers until warmed through. Adjust the seasoning, depending on the saltiness of the olives and capers. Serves 4. Double the recipe if using a pound of beans.

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Basic Chicken Salad

Last week, I didn’t have time to make dinner one evening and it was quickly declared a “rotisserie chicken day!” And I made a bee line for the rotisserie chickens coming right out of the oven, piping hot. As my day started getting better, (I had the most perfect cup of iced coffee) I got a little silly and asked the nice guy behind the counter to pick out the “nicest, most juiciest, fattiest looking chicken” and I laughed. Good thing for me, he shared my sense of humor and said, “This is the nicest, chicken I’ve ever seen.” I laughed and it was one of the tastiest, juiciest rotisserie chickens, I’ve ever had. (I’m serious.) As a young girl, I would cringe and want to hide under my moms skirt, as she would point out with her finger which chicken she wanted or which kielbasa or even stuffed cabbages she wanted to take home but here I was, doing the same, lol. And as always, with a rotisserie chicken dinner, come the leftover chicken breast, sometimes nice over a green salad the next day or in a salad itself, like here. Enjoy!

  • leftover chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup minced celery, reserve some leaves for garnish
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced red onion
  • pear infused white balsamic vinegar or any fruit infused white balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise, a little more as needed
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Let the onion sit in the vinegar while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Pull apart the chicken breast and roughly chop. (Makes about 2 cups.) Give your red onion a quick rinse with cold water and add to the chicken along with the other ingredients. Adjust the seasoning as needed. I like to serve the salad with Belgian endive leaves, just perfect to hold a spoonful of creamy salad. Serves about 4.

Chicken & Tripe Stew

I was lucky enough to live next door to my best friend when I was younger, that had a mom with a golden touch when she cooked. Everything she made was finger-licking good! She even made liver taste good, something that I cringed at. (They told me it was liver afterwards. They called it “steak” and looked at each other suspiciously, lol, I should have known. But they knew me better. I wouldn’t have tried it, had I known.) After eating dinner at home, I would go next door to hang out and her mom insisted that I eat dinner with them. I would half-heartedly explain that I wasn’t hungry, I already ate at home. But the truth was I was always hungry for her cooking. She would talk me into it by telling me she would only give me  ”poquito,” meaning a little bit in Spanish. And was I so happy for that little bit. My sin of gluttony felt heavenly, every-single-bite. One of my favorite dishes she made was “Mondongo”, a stew of tripe, chicken, yucca, plantain and corn. She served it with a creamy wedge of ripe cool avocado and perfectly made white rice, where the rice didn’t stick to each other, every grain retaining its’ shape and a gentle flavor of garlic permeating the grains. What she did, I tried to recreate but it will never be like hers. I’m sure I will be perfecting this over time and sharing round two one day but for now, this is a nice first try. Enjoy! Serves about 4-6 generous portions.

  • 1 pound of honey comb tripe, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 10 cups water
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and cut diagonally
  • 1 yucca (about a pound in weight) peeled, cut into 1 inch rings, those rings, quartered
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cubanelle peppers
  • 1 bag of frozen pre-cut corn on the cob, about 4 pieces
  • 1 8oz. can Spanish style tomato sauce
  • 1 packet Sazon (with coriander and annatto)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • generous pinch of Vegeta
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • nice handful cilantro

First cook your tripe. (A smelly daunting long process. It really is worth making more at once. And freezing it. Once I cooked down the pound of tripe, it amounted to a small heap and after I snuck a few bites, there was even less of it. So, if you are a tripe lover, you can easily cook more of it to add to your stew.) Cover you tripe with enough cold water (enough to cover by 2 inches, so the tripe pieces float), a little sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat, covered. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours, covered, occasionally stirring the pot, so the tripe doesn’t stick. Drain your tripe and set aside. In a heavy Dutch oven,  heat your olive oil, onion and garlic on low heat until transparent, add the Sazon packet and stir well. Add in the tripe, water, plantain, yucca, tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer covered, for 1 hour. During that time, you want to blister your peppers. To blister you peppers, put them directly on an open flame, on the stove, until the skins blacken. It doesn’t take long. Turn them, so they blacken evenly. Please be careful, use grill tongs, and wear gloves in a well ventillated area. Or you can do this on the grill. Place them in a paper bag to cool. Once cool, peel the skins, remove the seeds and the white membrane. Roughly chop them and blend them in a blender or use a hand immersion blender, until pureed. Once your hour is up, add in your chicken drumsticks, (you can remove the skin if you like) pepper puree, black pepper, sea salt and Vegeta. Simmer this for another hour, on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through. Add in the corn and cilantro for about 10 minutes until the corn is cooked through and the stew is equally hot. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with  rice, a wedge of avocado and fresh cilantro or parsley in this case. Serves about 4-6.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Hard Pumpkin Cider Sauce

Time is just flying by, I can’t believe it’s election day, once again! So I predict like many election nights of the past, it’s going to be a long one. So take some time, relax and make a nice dinner, before the counting takes place. I’ve been really enjoying hard apple cider lately. There is a local winery/distillery that makes great hard cider, I can’t get enough of the stuff and feel like I need to take note from the squirrel in the yard, stock-piling those acorns, lol. Check them out at wvwinery.com/cider. And I thought while I sipped away the other night, why not add it to roasted chicken? And it came out so flavorful and juicy! You can go as heavy or light with the pumpkin pie spice. I think it’s a great addition to savory dishes, why let pumpkin pie have all the fun? ;) So, if you haven’t voted yet, get out and VOTE and may the best man win! Happy Election Day!

  • 2 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1/2 cup Hard Pumpkin Apple Cider or any flavor Hard Apple Cider
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • pinch pumpkin pie spice, or more
  • 1 Swedish-style gingersnap cookie, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons light cream
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken and rub pumpkin pie spice into the chicken. Place in a heavy bottomed baking pan. Pour the hard pumpkin apple cider over the chicken. Dot with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, broken up into small pieces. Place into a 375 degree pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Take your chicken out of the oven and add the gingersnap cookie to the pan and baste the chicken with the cider, in the pan. Place back into the oven and roast for another 20 minutes, longer if you would like your chicken darker. Carefully remove your chicken from the pan and pour the liquid into a small saucepan. Place the chicken back into the pan and cover the chicken and let it rest, while you make the sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil on high heat, add in 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter and light cream, whisking it into the sauce. Let it boil for a minute or so, until you have a light sauce. Serve with your chicken and steamed green beans on the side. Serves 2. Enjoy!



Chicken back in the pan, resting, while the sauce is bubbling away…



Witches’ Roasted Chicken

I love this time of year, where street fairs fill the weekends and there is a touch of mystery of the season, in the air. The leaves were cascading down from their branches and the overcast sky completed the scene as small crowds stopped at booths, that had decorative wooden witches and black cats embroidered on puffy woolen pillows. It was a little quiet this year but it must have been the chill in the air that kept everyone home. I have to admit, it was chilly and used that excuse for a hot cup of snicker doodle flavored coffee. (It was delicious.) And although we enjoyed ourselves, I couldn’t wait to get home and make a nice roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and earthy shiitake mushrooms. The Halloween spirit got me in the mood to make a chicken that a true witch would approve of! lol The chicken is very juicy as it sits in the buttery porchini broth and gets basted with it and knobby-finger-looking-fingerling potatoes complete the meal! Serve with a red leaf lettuce salad tossed with an olive oil and pear balsamic vinaigrette. I added a touch of truffle oil to make it more special and it was delicious! This serves 4. Enjoy all!

  • 1 5 pound chicken
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, halved if too big
  • 4 tablespoons, unsalted butter
  • 1 porchini mushroom bouillon cube
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 6 small garlic cloves, left in skin
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 whole purple basil leaves plus more for garnish, green basil is fine too!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife, carefully cut down the back of the chicken, so you are able to open the chicken so it lays flat in the pan. You can cut down the other side and remove the entire back and reserve it for stock, if you like. (I ended up doing that and added cabbage, carrots, beans and scallions and it’s a nice way to start the meal, especially on a chilly autumn day.) If you feel uncomfortable cutting up the chicken, you can always ask the butcher to do it for you. After this last time, I think I’m going to invest in a nice pair of kitchen shears, to make this task easier. Lay your chicken down, skin side up, in a turkey roaster, or any pan big enough to hold the chicken, potatoes and mushrooms in one layer. Surround the chicken with the potatoes and garlic cloves. Dissolve the mushroom bouillon in the hot water and pour over the potatoes and garlic.

Divide 1 tablespoon of the butter into four pieces. Take your 4 basil leaves and stuff one under each of the legs and each of the breasts along with a piece of butter. Take 1 tablespoon and cut into small pieces. Top the chicken with the butter. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter to the potatoes. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, remove the pan and add the mushrooms. Baste the chicken, potatoes and mushrooms with the liquid from the bottom of the pan. Roast for another 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes is up, baste your chicken and vegetables again. Place back in the oven and roast for another 40 minutes. Remove your chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes, covered, before you carve it. (If you want more of a crispy skin, you can place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes, watching it through the oven window, so it doesn’t burn.) Garnish with some strips of basil. The roasted garlic cloves taste delicious when spread on the potatoes or chicken!

Oven-Fried Rosemary & Garlic Chicken Wings

Rosemary is a powerful herb. And if there is too much of it, it can be overwhelming. But when used in the right amount, it’s absolutely delicious and makes the dish even better. There was a deli in my hometown, that made the best rosemary chicken wings, using whole rosemary leaves. There were so many rosemary leaves among the coating of the chicken, I don’t even know how they weren’t overwhelming but it was a perfect union of juicy chicken and earthy rosemary, that made the taste buds happy! That deli has been unfortunately closed for many many years. And I wish I could say this is the recipe, but in their own right, these are so good! And if you are a rosemary and garlic lover, you won’t be disappointed. Serve with the garlic aioli on the side, to compliment the chicken. Serve 4 for dinner or more as an appetizer. Enjoy!

For the chicken wings, you will need:

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • flour for dredging
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • heaping 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus for garnishing
  • 3/4 teaspoon Vegeta or any all-purpose seasoning you like
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 sweet paprika
  • fresh ground pepper
  • cooking spray

For the garlic aioli, you will need:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • sea salt
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light cream

Combine the bread crumbs, rosemary, Vegeta, garlic powder, paprika and fresh ground pepper. Adjust the seasoning, as needed. Set up your breading station, having a plate for each of the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Dredge your wings in the flour, then the eggs and lastly the bread crumbs. Generously spray the bottom of a heavy bottomed 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and place your wings into the pan, in a single layer. Bake your wings in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and again, generously spray the top of the wings with cooking spray. Flip the wings over, so they brown on the other side. Bake for 20 more minutes. While the wings bake, you can make your aioli. Smash and mince your clove of garlic with a little sea salt until it forms a paste and set aside. In a small bowl, slowly whisk your olive oil into the egg yolk until well emulsified. Add the garlic paste in, until well blended, followed by the mayonnaise and cream. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Garnish the wings and aioli with extra rosemary sprinkled over them, if you like.

Apple Mint Roasted Chicken

This roasted chicken is so juicy. The meat is so tender and succulent, more so when you cut up the chicken and let it sit in the pan juices before serving it. I almost hesitate calling it a roasted chicken because the skin is so soft but if you want more of a crispy skin, just don’t baste it as much. This is a nice meal to share among four people, pair the chicken with a good multi-grain bread, to dunk in the buttery sweet pan juices. A wild rice dish served on the side, along with a Waldorf salad to start and an apple pie for dessert would complete this meal. Enjoy!

  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 1 small apple, like a Gala, cut in half
  • about 10 mint leaves, 2 left whole, the rest roughly chopped
  • 6 oz. apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto *optional
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,cut into small pieces
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut your chicken down the breast side, along the back. Please be careful when doing this and using a sharp knife makes it easier, along with slightly pressing down on the knife. You can cut down the other side and remove the back bone and save it for stock or just include it in the baking pan. I’m sure you can always ask the butcher to do it for you, if you’re hesitant. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and place 2 mint leaves inside the chicken cavity, around the breast area works best. Take your apple halves and place them cut side down in the roasting pan, eyeing where they will fit easily inside the chicken once you place the chicken over them. Or as I did, I fit the apples, round side in, and cut side out, in the chicken and then placed it in the pan. It sounds more complicated than it really is. You basically want the apple halves to roast inside the open chicken. One of my favorite ways to roast chicken is to put an apple inside but at the same time, I  enjoy roasting the chicken with it cut open because all of the skin gets to caramelize and brown. In a small bowl whisk the apple juice, honey and amaretto. Pour over the chicken. Into the apple juice mixture sprinkle half the mint leaves. Season your chicken with sea salt and ground pepper and top with the unsalted butter. Roast your chicken for an hour and fifteen minutes and up to an hour and a half. After about 30 minutes, baste your chicken with the juices about every 15 minutes. Try not to let any mint leaves on the skin when done basting because they will just burn. Once your chicken is done, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. If you are using the pan juices, remove the apple and serve along side the chicken, it’s really good. Strain the juices with a fine mesh sieve and pour them back into the pan and put your chicken back in or serve the juices on the side. Sprinkle with mint leaves and serve.