Dijon Chicken Salad Spread

I had never eaten a chicken salad that was heavy on Dijon mustard until I ate it in a restaurant for lunch one day.  It was a shock since I had been expecting the standard fat laden chicken salad you usually find.  I had asked about fruits or nuts in the salad, as I am a puritan in that arena.

The salad was different and interesting, not in a bad way though.  I found myself thinking about this chicken salad sandwich a few days later.  I had some boneless chicken breasts in the freezer and thought I might give it a try.

It has taken a few tries to get the Dijon mustard to mayonnaise ratio right for the way I like it.  Because Dijon can be overpowering, even when you like Dijon, there needs to be a bit of mayonnaise to cut through the mustard and finish moistening the spread.

Dijon Chicken Salad Spread is a tasty way to eat chicken salad that has a lower fat and calorie count than my basic chicken salad recipe that has mayonnaise and sour cream.

Continue reading “Dijon Chicken Salad Spread”

Asian Inspired Noodles

Asian inspired noodles are simply my take on Pancit and Japchae. Yes, I know they are from different countries. Yes I know this recipe is nowhere near authentic. Yes I know they are separate dishes, but I can hardly tell the difference. Since I cannot determine which one this is more like, I just call them Asian Inspired Noodles. Makes my life easier, and everyone knows I am all about simple.

Like my other Asian inspired dishes, this is another way I like to get extra veggies into our diets.  I know, salads are good for that, but if you know me, you already know salad generally miss my plate somehow.

I also have a non-authentic recipe for Lo Mein that I will feature at a later date. When you see that one, you will think it is just combination of chow mein and Asian noodles.

I prefer this recipe with cellophane noodles or glass noodles. But my store doesn’t always have them available. There are several Asian markets in my area, but they are clean across town and I do not want to fight the traffic between here and there only to learn they are like all the other stores in town – out of stock or don’t carry them.

Continue reading “Asian Inspired Noodles”

Witch’s Stew

Witch’s Stew is just a Halloween party variation of Frog Eye Soup.

Frog Eye Soup is just a variation of chicken and pasta that had been started as a soup recipe and turned into more of a pasta dish.  But the name has stuck in our family for about 20 years.

Frog Eye Soup got its name from the pasta shape that I had on hand for a Frog Eye Salad.  For those of you who have never heard of Frog Eye Salad, it is kind of a sweet dish in which ambrosia and pasta salad got mixed up in the same bowl.  It was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s.

I’ll try to make some in time for the spring holidays.  Right now, my house is in full fall and winter holiday prep.  For the blog anyway, you won’t find any carved pumpkins, graveyard scenes, or Christmas trees in the house just yet.  But give it another month and you might.

Continue reading “Witch’s Stew”

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

This is a recipe that Sam and I have been doctoring and tweaking for years. It’s a cheese spicy soup that’s prefect for those nights you want something warm and spicy.

Believe it or not, it actually gets cold in Mississippi. Once temperatures dip below 60°, people start pulling out their super thick winter coats and women pull out their ugly ugg boots. You would swear everyone around here is preparing to climb Mt. Everest. Even though I don’t share the low tolerance of Mississippian’s cold weather, I do love a nice bowl of hot soup on a cool or chilly day. Especially while watching college football.

chicken-corn-chowder-body-2

This recipe is super easy and super tasty. It features chicken, corn, and cheese. How can it get any better than that. We have experimented with a variety of cheeses, but our favorite cheeses are what we have listed in the recipe. Also, feel free to omit the cayenne if you don’t want it spicy. Add more if you want it hotter. I typically make the recipe as is and then sprinkle in my cayenne in my own bowl. My wife doesn’t like a super spicy recipe. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the recipe and be sure to give it a go this fall.

Continue reading “Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder”

Sautéed General’s Chicken

General’s  chicken is a Chinese favorite, but we don’t always want heavy deep-fried food when we want Asian flavors for dinner. I also do NOT enjoy the task of cleaning up after deep-frying. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do it, some things like fried mushrooms, fried chicken, and egg rolls are worth a mess.

We don’t call this General Tso’s chicken at my house. Number 1, we are not exactly sure how to say it and number 2 we can.

This chicken dish is kind of sweet and savory with a bit if heat at the end.  You can increase the heat in this dish by allowing the dried peppers to spend more time simmering in the sauce.  But be careful with the heat level you are looking for, I let this simmer for too long once and thought I had eaten lava.

Continue reading “Sautéed General’s Chicken”

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

My Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce recipe doesn’t have a whole lot of family history. However, I love BBQ and this is one of my default sauces that I make for just about every party and gathering we host where we have something BBQ. My wife and I have experimented with this recipe for the last few years and its one we have settled on.

Even though we love this recipe and we consider it our standard, it’s something we still like to experiment with every now and then.This recipe is easily tweak-able and super friendly to experiment with. Want it less sweet? Back off the sugar. Want it more tart? add more vinegar. Want more heat? Add more cayenne. I tend to tweak this recipe based on what I’m cooking it with. For grilled foods like chicken and pork chops, I tend like to leave this recipe a little on the sweeter side. I like to use more vinegar when cooking fattier cuts of meat like brisket and pork shoulder. I think the vinegar helps balance and cut through the fat a bit better.

Continue reading “Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce”

Chicken and Dumplings

My grandmother was famous for her chicken and dumplings, at least I always believed she was. Then I grew up and realized that everyone’s grandma, mom, aunt, sister, and/or cousin had one.

Unfortunately, there was no recipe for these. My grandmother would just toss things into a bowl and whip them up. These are not the soft fluffy biscuit type dumplings. I have heard them called chicken and sliders and also chicken and noodles when made by others.

Pre-internet days before I knew “everyone” had a version and I could simply search for a recipe, I spent years trying to make them like my grandma. My mom’s best friend’s mother  spent an afternoon with me once and showed me how she made hers. They were just like my grandma’s! You would think I would have written down quantities, but nope. I was certain I could manage. The first time I made them her way, they were moon rocks. They were a little flavorless too and the broth base needed help.

Continue reading “Chicken and Dumplings”

Basic Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is my go-to for using up any leftover chicken I have.  Sometimes when I am making chicken soup or chicken and dumpling, I go ahead and thrown in some extra chicken breasts just for chicken salad.  Rotisserie chicken meat is also really good in this recipe.

When I make this style of chicken salad, I prefer it pretty plain.  Celery is the only addition you will find here.  Feel free to add any number of ingredients you like in your chicken salad.  I prefer to eat mine on toast with some onions slices, stuffed inside of a tomato, or with crackers so fruit and nut addition just aren’t my thing.  I know a lot of people who it is their thing, so if that’s you, just add what you like, even feel free to leave out the celery.  I won’t hurt my feelings.  What will hurt my feelings is if you are a beginner cook and you don’t get into the kitchen and at least try. Continue reading “Basic Chicken Salad”

Chicken Chow Mein/Chop Suey

This recipe for chow mein is simple enough to make during the week. Some folks call this chop suey.  I make this dish at least once a month. I love it with jasmine rice, but white rice works too. I like everything about jasmine rice. The smell while it is cooking reminds me of popcorn. The taste is a little nuttier to me than white rice.

I generally have both kinds of rice in the pantry, but to me jasmine just pairs better with Asian cuisine. Unless of course, it’s Cheater Fried Rice, then it’s whatever kind of rice the manufacturer sticks in the bag.

Chow Mein is fairly versatile too. You can substitute or add just about any vegetable or protein. This is just a base recipe and I would encourage you to add your own spin to this. Any recipe of mine is usually just a good starting point. They tend to be a representation of how I like whatever recipe I have featured. Like a famous chef once said, “There are no food police.” It’s your kitchen, it’s your choice.

Continue reading “Chicken Chow Mein/Chop Suey”

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is probably my favorite food.  Chicken and dumplings run a close second.  My mom told me once that when I was barely old enough to hold a spoon she left me home alone with my dad and told him to feed me a can of chicken noodle soup for dinner.  He opened the can, plopped a spoon in it and gave it to me.  I guess that moment is when my love affair with chicken noodle soup started.

I can still eat it from a can (water added now and heated – not actually out of the can), at a restaurant, but homemade is preferred with chicken pieces, swimming in a golden broth, surrounded by carrots slices and noodles.  When I make it, I usually start it in the late morning so I eat some for a late lunch, again for dinner, then put some in the refrigerator for lunch for a few days, and some in the freezer for later.  Later is usually a day or two after my refrigerator stash has been consumed.

Continue reading “Chicken Noodle Soup”