Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Vietnamese Sandwiches

January 19, 2010

I love leftovers. Because I cook a lot, my fridge and freezer often are filled with a nice assortment of leftovers, which I usually don’t mind. Sometimes, however, leftovers pose a problem. Such was the case last week when I couldn’t stop nibbling the leftovers of a wonderful chicken liver pâté I had made. A couple of tastes are fine, but night after night of buttery pâté is enough to totally blow anyone’s January resolutions. The problem was I just couldn’t throw it away.

You see the reason I developed the pâté was to use everything the chicken has to offer. Not only the meat, but also the parts that are normally tossed aside such as the liver. It’s important to utilize the whole bird.

I wanted to use the rest of the pâté as part of a meal, but the first thing that came to mind, Beef Wellington, was way too rich for after-holiday fare. Then I remembered that liver pâté is part of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich called bahn mi.

As with most things Vietnamese, this sandwich is light, fresh and satisfying. Assembled in a crisp baguette-style roll (the best ones are from the Asian markets or Vietnamese bakeries), layers of roast pork and pâté are topped with crisp cucumbers, carrots and cilantro keeping it light and crunchy.


Almost a full salad within the sandwich.

Flavored with spicy Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce, it offers a taste sensation more complex than any traditional American sandwich.


Sriracha – The Rooster Sauce
(Follow the link for the behind the scenes story of this American Asian-style hot sauce.)

Even if you don’t have liver pâté in your fridge, give this sandwich a try. Its spicy fresh taste may be just the thing to liven the upcoming football weekend frenzies.

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White Bean and Hominy Chicken Chili

January 08, 2009

My large enormously heavy flame-orange enameled cast-iron Le Creuset pot is getting a workout these days. I’ve entered huddle mode. That is, I’m not doing much beyond huddling around steaming pots of soup, stew and chili. January in Minnesota will do that to you.

I’ve made three pots of soup in the last 2½ days with more on the way. Soups and chilies are my way of fighting the cold weather, the bad economic news and the latest world crisis. Tensions fade when you tuck into a warming bowl. Plus, having a stockpile of soup in the freezer may soon end up being worth more than stock certificates, if the latest Wall Street news is any indication.

Last night we sunk our spoons into White Bean and Hominy Chicken Chili. It’s a simple chili, basic but stick-to-the-ribs hearty. Best of all for those of us trying to take off holiday pounds, it’s low in calories—only 190 calories per serving. Perfect!

White Bean and Hominy Chicken Chili

Adding toppings is half the fun of eating chili. So pile on the chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, chopped serrano chiles and diced tomatoes. (For those of you lucky enough not to be counting calories go for the cheese, sour cream, avocados and chips—just don’t let the rest of us see you.)

If you’ve never used hominy before you’re in for a pleasant surprise. You can find it in the canned bean or vegetable section of the grocery store. It’s made from dried corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. The canned version is ready to use. You’ll find the flavor of the chewy tender kernels reminiscent of corn tortillas.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15.6 oz.) can Great Northern or navy beans, undrained
1 (15.5 oz.) can white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz.) can lower-sodium chicken broth
2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1½ cups chopped cooked chicken breast

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and swirl to lightly film the bottom of the pot. Add the onions and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they are just starting to soften. Stir in the shallots and cook for 1 minute then add the garlic and cook for about 15 to 30 seconds or until the garlic just starts to smell great.

At this point, stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low or low and gently simmer, stirring every now and then, for about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook another 15 minutes or until the flavors have blended.

5 (generous 1½ cup) servings
About 190 calories/serving

Copyright Janice Cole 2009

Smoky Grilled Chicken

January 04, 2009

Smoked paprika is the key ingredient in this simple recipe. The Spanish slowly smoke the special peppers used for this paprika, known as pimenton, during the drying process giving this spice its rich flavor. There are mild and hot versions of smoked paprika. I always use the mild version but for those interested in heat look for the picante version. With its popularity smoked paprika is becoming widely available in supermarkets and specialty stores.

Smoky Seasoning Rub:
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon pepper

Chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl to blend.

Brush the chicken breasts with the oil and coat generously with 2 tablespoons of the seasoning rub. (Store the remaining seasoning in an airtight container for another use.) Cover and refrigerate the chicken 1 to 4 hours to marinate.

Heat grill. Grill chicken over medium heat or coals 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is no longer pink in center.

Serves 4; Smoky Seasoning Rub makes ¼ cup

Copyright Janice Cole 2008
Seasoning Rub is from Culinary Adventures by Janice Cole (North American Media Group 2008)