Spicy Thai Basil Chicken — DEEELICIOUS

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced Thai chilies, Serrano, or other hot pepper
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

Directions

Whisk chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a bowl until well blended.

Heat large skillet over high heat. Drizzle in oil. Add chicken and stir fry until it loses its raw color, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in shallots, garlic, and sliced chilies. Continue cooking on high heat until some of the juices start to caramelize in the bottom of the pan, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Add about a tablespoon of the sauce mixture to the skillet; cook and stir until sauce begins to caramelize, about 1 minute.

Pour in the rest of the sauce. Cook and stir until sauce has deglazed the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until sauce glazes onto the meat, 1 or 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in basil. Cook and stir until basil is wilted, about 20 seconds. Serve with rice.

Jen’s Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Saute onion, beef and garlic until beef is cooked. Add tomatoes, red wine, marinara sauce and herbs. Serve with pasta.

 

Kirk’s Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes – do not trim the fat
  • Corn taco tortillas

Directions

Place the marjoram, garlic, coriander seeds and bay leaf in a small piece of cheese cloth and tie it tightly with butchers twine. Place the bundle in a dutch oven along with the onion and salt. Arrange the onion in a single layer and add just enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Skim and discard any foam that floats to the surface using a large spoon. Simmer, skimming the surface and turning the pork pieces occasionally until the meat is tender and just beginning to shred apart, about 2 1/2 hours.

Remove and discard the herb packet and onions. Increase the heat to medium high until the remaining fat evaporates and the rendered fat coats the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let the meat fry in the fat , turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. (Next time, try browning a bit less). Remove and discard any large pieces of rendered fat and serve the carnitas in warmed taco shells with toppings.

Chicken With Mixed Mushrooms and Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups mushrooms (any mix, such as cremini, chanterelle, blue foot and shiitake), sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  •  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs, preferably organic
  • 4 chicken drumsticks, preferably organic
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  •  cup riesling
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Directions

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When melted and bubbling, add mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned on edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Heat remaining oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add it skin-side down to the hot pan. Brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven until very tender, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a plate, and pour pan juices into a bowl. Return pan to medium heat, and add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When it foams, add onion and sauté until translucent. Add riesling and bring to a boil, reducing by half. Add 1/2 cup of cooking juices, and reduce by half.

Add cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Return chicken to pan, and add mushrooms. Simmer, basting, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Shrimp, Snow Pea and Ginger Stir Fry

Ingredients

  •  1/2 cup low-sodium organic chicken broth (vegetable broth will also work)
  •  2 tablespoons soy sauce
  •  1 – 2 teaspoons Asian chile-garlic sauce (depending on heat preference)
  •  1 teaspoon cornstarch
  •  2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  •  2-inch hunk of fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly julienned
  •  2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  5 scallions
  •  1/2 lb snow peas
  •  1 lb peeled and deveined wild shrimp (16-20 per lb), tails-on
  •  1 – 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  sushi rice, brown rice, or soba noodles, for serving (optional)

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce (if you enjoy spicy food, I recommend using closer to two teaspoons), and cornstarch. Set aside. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions. Thinly slice the white bottoms, and slice the green tops into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a large (12-inch) non-stick skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the julienned ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until it has softened considerably. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions, and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the snow peas and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until they are just beginning to soften and ginger is beginning to lightly caramelize.

Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are lightly pink, but still mostly opaque in center.

Add the soy-broth mixture and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, and the shrimp have cooked all the way through. Add the green tops of the scallions and the lime juice to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. This dish is great served on its own, but tastes great served on top of rice (sushi or any brown rice would be great!) or soba noodles.

Wine-Braised Chicken With Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Four (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (see headnote)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, or more or less as needed depending on the size of the pan
  • 8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced

Directions

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Generously coat both sides of the thighs with mustard and then dip in the bread crumbs (a large, shallow plate or pie dish is great for this), one at a time, turning the meat over to ensure it’s evenly covered. Transfer the breaded chicken to a baking sheet or large platter and let it rest for at least 10 minutes to allow the coating to set.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the breaded chicken skinned side down, all at once or in batches of two depending on the size of your pan. Cook until the breading is dark golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Resist the urge to move the chicken too soon to ensure the breading stays put. Flip the pieces over, ideally with a fork, as tongs can dislodge more of the breading. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes, adding more oil as necessary to keep the pan from drying out and the chicken from burning or sticking. Don’t worry if a little of the breading comes off — you can press it back on or leave to help thicken and flavor the braising liquid. Transfer the chicken back to the baking sheet or platter.

If the pan is looking dry, add another glug of oil. Stir in the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add a splash of the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the sliced mushrooms, season with a generous pinch of salt and stir. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just to jump-start the cooking process. Nestle the chicken pieces, skinned side up, on top of the mushrooms and pour in the rest of the wine around the chicken. The amount you’ll need will vary based on the width of your pan, but make sure it’s enough to cover the mushrooms and just reach the bottom of the chicken.

Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes and then remove the lid. Cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, away from a bone, reads 165 degrees. Dark meat is very forgiving, and will be fine up to as high as 195 degrees, so don’t fret if you overshoot it a bit. Serve the chicken warm, with the mushrooms and plenty of juices for dipping.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine or broth
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  •  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  •  Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¾ pounds large or extra-large shrimp, shelled
  •  cup chopped parsley
  •  Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
  •  Cooked pasta or crusty bread

Directions

In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.

Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve over pasta or accompanied by crusty bread.

Coq Au Vin

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/4- by 1 1/2-inch (6- by 36-mm) strips
  • 2 or more tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, thoroughly dried
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or pinot noir
  • About 2 cups homemade chicken or beef stock
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
  • About 1 tablespoon homemade tomato paste
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, rinsed, and quartered

Directions

Toss the bacon in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot along with 2 tablespoons oil over medium or medium-high until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.

Heat the drippings or oil remaining in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. (You may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. (If working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot.) Carefully pour the Cognac into the pot and wait until it becomes bubbling hot. If desired—and if you’re brave—ignite the sauce with a match. Let it flame for a minute, gently tilting the pot by its handle and swirling the sauce to burn off the alcohol. To extinguish the flames, simply cover the pan with its lid.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pan. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently, turning the pieces once, for about 10 minutes.

Uncover the pot, sprinkle the flour over everything, and turn the chicken so the flour is absorbed by the sauce. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, for 3 to 4 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pot, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness (there should be no trace of pink and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife). Add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be just thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables. (If the sauce seems too thin, bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.) Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning accordingly. Serve the coq au vin immediately or let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, skim any fat that has congealed on the surface of the stew and place the pot of coq au vin over medium-low heat.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Stir Fry

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Directions

Combine the stir fry sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned and mostly cooked.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and broccoli to the chicken pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the sauce and cook for an additional 1 minute until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil until combined.

Ginger Beef, Mushroom & Kale Stir Fry

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth or water)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Stir Fry

  • 1 pound thinly sliced flank steak
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Pour into ziploc bag with steak. Refrigerate  at least 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in saute pan over medium high heat. Remove steak from marinade with slotted spoon, reserving marinade, and add to saute pan with garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove steak with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. Then add in mushrooms, kale, and reserved marinade. Stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the kale is wilted, the sauce has thickened and come to a boil, and the mushrooms are cooked. Add in the steak and toss to combine.