Pharm Fresh

The foodie alter-ego of a pharmacy student

Marinated Drumsticks November 5, 2009

Filed under: chicken,main dish — pharmfresh @ 9:38 pm
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I’m back!  I know, I was doing so good with posting and then I disappeared for a whole MONTH!  And trust me, it’s been a ridiculously busy month! I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never be able to update this on a regular basis.  It’s unfortunate, I know, but my schedule is just way too variable depending on how many exams and other activities I have each week.  But don’t worry, I’ll definitely still keep posting recipes!  And now that we’re getting into the holiday season, I will for sure be cooking (and hopefully posting) more often.

It’s starting to get cold here, and I finally broke down about a week ago and turned my heater on.  For some reason, I hate doing that.  Not because I’m worried about increasing my utility bills or anything, but because that it means we’re in the inevitable downward slope towards snow.  Ugh, I hate snow.  I’m hoping it’ll hold off until at least after Thanksgiving.  A girl can dream, right?

As I’m sure is true with just about everyone, the cold weather makes me want to cook more often.  A lot of times during the summer I’ll just throw together a salad or a quick pasta salad for dinner, but now I’m craving warm, comforting food.  I decided to experiment a little bit with a cut of meat I don’t usually eat very often – the drumstick!  I’m really more of a boneless chicken breast girl, but I’m really glad I tried this recipe.  It’s super easy to make – just throw together the marinade in a plastic zip-top bag, toss the chicken in and let it sit for a few hours or up to a day, and then cook!  I really like the combination of garlic and honey in the marinade – the sweetness of the honey curbs the bite of the raw garlic and the extra bit of sugar helps the chicken caramelize really nicely in the oven.

Feel free to play around with the marinade and make it the way you like it.  I think next time I’m going to try leaving out the soy sauce entirely and adding in a few tablespoons of chopped chives.

chicken

Marinated Drumsticks

Adapted from: SimplyRecipes

Makes: 6-8 drumsticks

8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 c. olive or canola oil

1 tsp. salt (more or less, to taste)

1 tsp. pepper

6-8 chicken drumsticks

1) Combine all ingredients except drumsticks in a large zip-top plastic bag.  Seal the bag and squeeze it until all the ingredients are mixed well together.

2) Open the bag and add the drumsticks, squeezing the bag again until they are all well coated.  Place bag in a large mixing bowl (just in case it leaks!) and put in the refrigerator.  Let the chicken marinate for at least an hour, or up to one full day.

3) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

4) Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Remove the drumsticks from the bag of marinade and place on the baking sheet.  Discard remaining marinade.

5) Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the outside is golden brown.

 

Chicken Marsala June 2, 2009

Filed under: chicken,main dish — pharmfresh @ 8:30 pm
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This is the last of the recipes from the cooking extravaganza that my friend Jen and I had a few weeks ago.  I’ve always wanted to try chicken marsala, so I was really excited when I saw that this was on the menu.   I love cooking with boneless skinless chicken breasts because they’re so easy to cook with and I always have them on hand.  However, sometimes it’s hard to find new and exciting ways to cook them and I get bored really easily with the same old chicken dishes.

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Jen was in charge of pounding the chicken breasts.

I really liked that this recipe was super simple.  You could definitely pull off this dish from start to finish in 30 minutes, easy, which makes it perfect for a weekday meal.  And even though you use very few ingredients, you still get a really nice, rich flavor in the end.

There are a few different ways to pound out the chicken breasts for this recipe, but my favorite is to use plastic wrap.  Place a piece of plastic wrap (about a foot long) on the counter, and then place one chicken breast in the middle.  Cover the piece of chicken with another piece of plastic wrap.  Using a meat mallet or a heavy-bottomed cup, whack the chicken until it’s about 1/2 inch thick.  This way it keeps the counter and your hands relatively clean, and it makes for a really easy clean up — just fold the plastic wrap over so the part the chicken touched is on the inside, and throw away!

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Chicken Marsala

Adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Makes: 4 servings (1 chicken breasts each)

1/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch thickness

8 tbsp. olive oil, divided

8 tbsp. butter, divided

1 c. sliced mushrooms

1 c. Marsala wine

1/2 c. cooking sherry

1) In a shallow bowl or plate mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, making sure it’s well coated.  Shake slightly to remove some of the excess flour.

2) In a large skillet, heat 4 tbsp. butter and 4 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.  Once hot, place two of the chicken breasts in the pan and cook until lightly browned.  Turn the chicken over and add the mushrooms.

3) Pour in the wine and cooking sherry.  Cover the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.  Repeat with the remaining two chicken breasts.

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Jen and her husband Frankie with their respective bowls of chicken (Jen likes mushrooms, Frankie doesn’t)

Aren’t they adorable?

 

Crispy Onion Chicken April 17, 2009

Filed under: chicken,main dish — pharmfresh @ 11:55 am
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I am so glad that it’s Friday.  Three weeks and counting until I’m done with my first year of pharmacy school.  I can’t even begin to wrap my head around all of the things I need to do before the end of the semester.  So, if my posts are a little sparse for the next three weeks or so, you know why!

I made this chicken last night and was really surprised at how good it was.  I’ve had this recipe forever, but never got around to making it…I always found something that seemed more interesting.   This has very few ingredients, but those few ingredients really pack a punch.  The flavor is fabulous.  It’s salty and crunchy and a little bit tangy.   Even better, this uses mostly basic ingredients so you’re likely to already have everything in the house to make it.  It comes together really quickly, and would be perfect for dinner on a weeknight.

Like usual, I’ve written the recipe for 1 serving, but this can be easily increased to however many servings you want.

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Crispy Onion Chicken

Makes: 1 serving

1 tbsp. butter, melted

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 c. french fried onions, crushed

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1) In a medium sized bowl, combine the melted butter, Worcestershire, garlic powder, pepper and Dijon mustard.

2) Place the french fried onions in a shallow dish or a plate.

3) Dredge the chicken breast in the butter mixture, covering well.  Then dip the chicken breast into the onions, making sure it’s well-covered.

4) Place the chicken breast on a greased baking sheet.  Top with remaining sauce and onions.

5) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and onions are crisp and browned.



 

Panko Crusted Chicken with Sour Cream Chive Sauce March 16, 2009

Filed under: chicken,main dish,sauces etc. — pharmfresh @ 1:16 pm
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I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since I last posted!  I have a good excuse though — this past week was spring break.  My boyfriend and I went on a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee.  It was a ton of fun!  We stayed at the Opryland Hotel, which if you’ve never heard of it, is this absolutely HUGE hotel that’s made to look like a rainforest.  There are real, living tropical flowers and trees all over, and the entire place is kept at relatively warm and humid to emulate the rainforest.  There were about 7 different restaurants and 3 or 4 bars in the hotel alone, a ton of interesting shops and even a nightclub!

It was a pretty long drive from here to Nashville (about 8 hours), but we managed it quite well!  On the way back we stopped in Kentucky to visit my aunt and uncle, who have a gorgeous house out in the country, complete with two of the most adorable dogs ever.

But now I’m back to the real world of school and studying.  I love traveling, but it is kind of nice to be home.

This is a dish that I adapted from a Cooking Light recipe in their October 2008 issue.  It was originally for pork chops, but I’m not a huge fan of pork…in the chop form, at least.  I’ve tried it both with pork chops and chicken, and I definitely prefer it with chicken.  I thought the combination of seasonings in the flour coating sounded a little strange at first, but it really works.  And the sauce is fantastic.  I could put it on just about everything.  It’s creamy, it’s tangy and it has just the right of onion flavor. I’ve used both chives and green onions in the sauce, and I didn’t really notice any change in taste.

Panko bread crumbs are from Japan and they’re a lot chunkier than regular bread crumbs.  They make a fantastic coating on meat because they’re very crispy.  I usually find panko in the Japanese section of the international aisle of my grocery store, but they might also be near the regular bread crumbs.

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Panko Crusted Chicken with Sour Cream Chive Sauce

Adapted from: Cooking Light

Makes: 2 chicken breasts, and about 1/2 c. sauce

1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

dash cayenne pepper (to taste)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 egg white

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 c. panko bread crumbs

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Sauce:

4 tbsp. sour cream

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

2-3 tbsp. chives, finely chopped

1-3 tbsp. milk

salt and pepper to taste

1) In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.

2) In another medium sized bowl, beat the egg white and soy sauce.

3) Place the panko in a third medium sized bowl (I used cereal bowls for this, but you can also use plates if that’s what you’ve got laying around)

4) Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.

5) Dredge the chicken breasts first in the flour mixture, then the egg white mixture, then cover with panko.  Press the panko into the chicken to make sure it’s nicely coated.

6) Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook about 2 minutes on each side, until well browned.  If the chicken is not cooked through, transfer to a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked.

7) For the sauce, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar and chives.  Add enough milk to reach the desired consistency (I liked mine kind of thick, so I only added 1 tbsp.  If you want it to be more saucy, add more milk.)  Add salt and pepper to taste.



 

Chicken Parmesan January 15, 2009

Filed under: chicken,main dish — pharmfresh @ 7:50 pm
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Sometimes I really just crave pasta.  Which is weird, because not too many years ago, I didn’t like pasta at all.  I can remember whining up a storm every time my parents wanted to go out to an Italian restaurant because I “didn’t like anything there!”  But now, what can I say?  I’m still not a huge fan of cream-based sauces, but give me a good marinara and I’m sold.

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes.  The chicken is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, with the right amount of salty cheesiness.  It’s fantastic, especially paired with some angel hair and marinara.  And even better, this is super easy and fast to make.  I made this from start to finish in about 25 minutes!  I’m going to give the recipe in amounts for two people, but this can easily be halved for one (like I did), or increased to as many servings as you want.  There’s nothing in this recipe that needs exact measurements, so feel free to add or take away as you see fit.

Chicken Parmesan

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2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c. Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/4 c. flour

1 egg, beaten

3-4 tbsp. olive oil

pasta, whatever kind and in whatever amount you like (I used about 2 oz. of capellini)

1-2 c. marinara sauce (I’m a huge fan of Prego)

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Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl (I used a cereal bowl).

Place the flour in another medium sized bowl.

Place the beaten egg in a third medium sized bowl.

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Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta.

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Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, until the oil is very hot and smoking slightly.

While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken breast in flour so that it’s lightly covered, then soak in egg mixture.  Dredge the chicken breast in the Parmesan and breadcrumb mixture, making sure that it’s thoroughly coated.

Place the chicken breast into the pan.  Let it sit for 30 seconds to one minute, until nicely browned, then flip and cook the other side until nicely browned as well.  Repeat with the other chicken breast, or do them both at the same time if you have a frying pan big enough to fit them.

Note: I always use relatively thin chicken breasts, so mine are always cooked through by the time both sides have browned.  For thicker chicken breasts, once both sides have browned, transfer them to a greased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until the breasts are cooked through.

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Once the pasta is done, strain it, then place it back into the pot and add the marinara sauce.  The residual heat from the pan and pasta should be enough to warm the sauce, but you can also put the pan back on the heat for a few seconds.

Place the pasta onto a plate, and top with the sliced chicken breast.



 

Chicken Stock October 5, 2008

Filed under: sauces etc. — pharmfresh @ 10:20 pm
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I am a champion procrastinator.  I can always find something that is more “important” to do than studying.  It’s not necessarily something that I’m proud of, but it does come in handy sometimes, especially those times where I would basically rather do anything else.  Take, for example, my junior year of college: I convinced myself that I needed to take a break from studying for my organic chemistry final exam by driving a half an hour away to Horrock’s.  (Horrock’s is a local Michigan farm market — for the longest time I thought that there was only one of them in my hometown, but discovered that there was another closer to Grand Valley, where I went to school.  Hence, the trip.)

Last year, my roommate and I would regularly procrastinate by going to dinner, movies, the bar (a definite favorite), or just randomly exploring Grand Rapids.  Now that I don’t have a roommate anymore, I have to get a little more crafty with my excuses. This coming week I have an exam in pharmaceutics, which is guaranteed to be ridiculous.  So, I convinced myself that I really needed to try my hand at making homemade chicken stock.  The reason?  My boyfriend is coming to visit next weekend (yay!), and what I’m making him for dinner calls for chicken stock.

Nonetheless, I’ve been meaning to try this out for quite a while.  And I had a 6 hour long study group session earlier today, so I think my chicken stock making break was quite well deserved.

I’m very happy with how this turned out.  First of all, it took minimal preparation — you basically roughly chop everything, throw it in a big pan, and leave it alone to boil.  It also tastes absolutely fantastic.  I could have eaten it right out of the pan (after it was strained, of course).  Canned chicken stock can’t even begin to compare to this stuff.  I adapted my recipe from this one from Alton Brown.  I scaled it down quite a bit (there is no way I need 5 quarts of chicken stock!), and changed the amounts of some ingredients.  I bought a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from Meijer, took all the meat off the bones and used the leftover parts for the stock.  The recipe I’m going to list on here is what I used, but this recipe is very open to changes, so feel free to make it the way you like it.  I would stay away from adding salt until it’s completely done — you will need to keep adding water as the stock boils and it will eventually reduce down, so the taste of it will change.

I took a lot of pictures during the process, so I think I’ll post this in a step-by-step fashion.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Source: Alton Brown

Makes: about 3 cups

1 rotisserie chicken, all meat removed

1 large carrot, cut into large chunks

1 small onion, cut into quarters

1 stalk celery, cut into large chunks

10-15 whole peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh thyme

10 sprigs fresh parsley

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1) Place all ingredients into a large stock pot.

2) Add enough water to cover the ingredients.

3) Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6-8 hours (I simmered mine for 5 because I got tired and wanted to go to bed.  It turned out just fine though.)  If any scum floats to the top during boiling, strain it off with a slotted spoon or sieve.  Add hot water as needed to keep the bones and vegetables submerged.

Hour 1

Hour 2

(notice that after only two hours this stuff is already darker and richer in color than canned chicken broth…)

Hour 5

4) Strain out all of the cooked pieces with a fine meshed sieve, then discard.

5) Season the stock to taste with salt.  Immediately freeze or refrigerate stock, or grab a spoon and eat it right out of the container!