Category Archives: Recipes

Pulled-chicken "barbecue" — crock pot cooking

juicy pulled chicken

juicy pulled chicken

Joanne from Eats Well With Others commented on my pork stew the other day and mentioned doing pulled pork in a crock pot. I immediately thought I would be doing that soon. I ended up with three large chicken quarters in my fridge and figured I’d do pulled chicken instead. I prefer pulled pork, but wanted to do something different with the chicken and I have my new toy, the crock pot.

So Joanne did recipes that included more sweetness. I live in the land of pulled pork (the south) and here they make both sweet and vinegary versions. I like the vinegary versions better. I’ve never been one to like sweet barbecue sauce.

Occasionally I make my own bbq sauce for chicken and I use a vinegar based hot sauce, tamari and garlic. Simple and yummy. I did a variation on that theme for this chicken.

  • 3 oz Flamin’ hot pepper sauce (little more than 1/2 the bottle)
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (I would leave this out next time–I never use ketchup, it’s in the house for my husband, I used this for him thinking if would be more bbq-ey, and it was but I like the sharper flavors of it without the ketchup. This ketchup happens to be organic but it’s still got sugar in it though it’s cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup)
  • 3 tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 12 cloves of garlic (whole)
  • 1/2 onion sliced in half circles

I didn’t feel well at all last night so I made this by literally tossing all the above ingredients in the bottom of the crock pot and then topping it with the chicken which I stirred once. It took about 3 minutes. I turned the crock pot on low and went to bed. I let it cook ten hours. There was a lot of juice and perhaps there is not supposed to be, but it’s tasty and went well over rice which is how we ate it.


This is the hot sauce I used which is by no means a requirement. Any vinegar based hot sauce will do. This is very spicey.

Modified chicken piccata

This dish appears to generally be made with boneless chicken breasts or occasionally boneless thighs. I’ve made it with whole legs which I cut into thighs and drumsticks. I get these whole legs for $1.59 a pound and they’re organic. Can’t beat that.


3 large whole chicken legs, skinned and cut into parts

1 tbls butter

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice – save one squeezed lemon cut in half to cook with the chicken

1/2 cup of white wine

3/4 cup of chopped parsley

3 tbls capers

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup of flour (I used whole rye flour as I’m allergic to wheat. It does not have a strong flavor as one might assume, it works fine in place of whole wheat flour in everything I’ve used it in)

Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and brown them on both sides in the butter. Once brown add the lemon juice and the lemon rinds, the white wine and the capers and parsley. Bring all to a boil and cook for 1/2 an hour.

After browning but before cooking for 1/2 an hour

After browning but before cooking for 1/2 an hour

After a half an hour thicken sauce with a bit of flour. I used about a tablespoonful mixed with a bit of wine, then I slowly dribbled it into the juices while it was still boiling until the sauce was thickened.

After cooking

After cooking

And the final plate looked like this:


Ground beef stir-fry


I’m thinking I should do a 101 ways to prepare ground beef as I have an outrageously inexpensive source of very lean, grass fed, organic meat and I have a ton of it in my freezer. I virtually never ate any beef before I got this source.

I was once again inspired by Wandering Coyote, though I have to say my dish is a very toned down and simpler version.

I got to cooking and didn’t have most of the ingredients I would have liked to have. This is  the recipe WC recommended.

In any case, I certainly cannot call this Mongolian Beef, which is what WC made. But it was tasty even if extremely simplified from it’s inspiration.

This was the dumbed down version–which was completely acceptable in the end:

3 cloves garlic

1 small purple cabbage (grated in food processor–it should have been sliced though, that’s why you can’t really see it)

1 bunch green onions

2 large carrots (grated in food processor)

1 lb ground beef

4 tbls tamari (tamari is essentially soy sauce, I’m allergic to wheat and tamari has no wheat in it as soy sauce does)

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

1 tbls dried ginger (I was dismayed to find we were even out of fresh ginger)

Saute diced garlic. Brown the meat in the garlic. Toss everything else in as you like and cook as you like.  I served it over steamed brown rice. It was simple but yummy.

Baked chicken slathered in pesto and lemon zest

Wandering Coyote gave me the idea of basil and lemon for flavoring chicken yesterday.

I had some chicken breasts in the freezer which I took out yesterday and I decided to modify the recipe WC had because I needed to make another huge batch of pesto today, just like I did here.

So today once the pesto was complete I took out a couple two or 3 tablespoons before freezing the rest and added the zest of one large lemon and some lemon juice. Probably about 1 tbls of lemon. I mixed it up into a paste and smeared it all over the chicken. I added some fresh black ground pepper.

Stuck them in the oven and this is what emerged later:


I’m don’t think this picture can begin to suggest how delighted I was with the flavor of this chicken. The lemon zest in concert with the basil and garlic (and cheese and pine nuts!) was to die for. I have never used this flavor combination with chicken. And the pesto made a very good paste that stuck to the chicken so that the flavor was very rich. YUM! Thanks Wandering Coyote you just grew my chicken world!

Chicken with white wine, shitake mushrooms and goat cheese sauce


The first part of this dish I diced lots of garlic (about a whole head of it) and sauteed it in olive oil. I then browned the chicken in the oil and garlic and topped it off with fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden. Salt and fresh ground black pepper, as well.

Once it was browned I poured in one cup of white wine and let it boil and then lowered the flame and covered the dish as it looks above.


I had dried shitake mushrooms which I brought to a boil in water. Above is what they look like before and after. I allowed the mushrooms to stay in the hot juices until they cooled and then I poured the left over juice into the cooking chicken and cut up the mushrooms in bits which also went into the pan with the cooking chicken.


When the chicken was completely cooked I took out the meat and added 1/3 of a pound of goat cheese into the juices. It looks like the above picture.

I then boiled some pasta and made the final dish. The picture unfortunately came out awful, but the food was delicious.


Two incarnations of the same salmon

Paul brought home some wild salmon yesterday. I made a goopy paste to go on top of it before baking it. It contained:

Mustard (the condiment–the one that is heavy on the seeds and spicy)
Garlic powder
Dried Dill Weed

It turned out looking awful! Keep on moving through this post, the second life of this fish was attractive and yummy.


It didn’t actually taste all that good either. We ate only about 1/3 of it last night.

So today I made a salad with the leftover. It turned out much more delicious in it’s second life.

The salad contained:

Remainder of the baked salmon in shreds
Brown rice
Lots of fresh parsley from the garden
a heaping tbls of Capers
a quarter red onion sliced in halves
Balsamic Vinegar to taste
Tamari to taste
Olive oil to taste

Yummy and not bad to look at this time around:


Carrot and zucchini cream soup


7 med to large carrots
3 med to large zucchini (I used traditional green zucchini because we have them in our garden right now, a yellow squash might keep the color of the soup brighter and taste essentially the same)
32 oz vegetable stock
4 cloves of garlic
2 medium onions
2 tsp cayenne
4 tbls pesto (or a bunch of fresh basil)
8 oz heavy cream
Salt to taste

This was very easy. I simply cut up the carrots, zucchini, onion and garlic and threw it all into the vegetable stock. At this point I also added the pesto. I brought it to a boil and then lowered the temp and cooked it until it was very soft.

I let it cool and then I took out all the chunks of veggies and blended them until smooth in a the blender. Poured it all back into the pot and added the 8 oz of cream and the cayenne. Do not heat the soup to boiling once the cream has been added.

It was very scrumptious!!

Asian cole slaw

I did this on the fly as I do most of my cooking. I set out to simply make a cole slaw, but as I was tasting it I wasn’t liking it and ginger, tamari and sesame oil found their way into this otherwise quite traditionally American dish.


1/4 large green cabbage

1 large carrot

6 green onions

3 tbls mayonnaise

2 tbls olive oil

2 tbls mustard with seeds

2 tbls packed grated ginger

1 tbls sesame oil

3 tbls tamari

I put all the veggies through the shredder in a food processor and then mixed up the rest of the ingredients with the veggies. It’s quite nice. This is actually quite a large amount of salad. The bowl is rather large. When you shred a cabbage it turns into a much larger quantity than you might imagine.

The flavor is distinctly Asian.

Pistachio chicken


This is a dish I make from time to time. The original recipe called only for chicken covered in ground salted pistachios and baked.

I’ve added herbs and spices that make it tastier in my opinion.

All one need do is first grind up about a cup of pistachios in a blender.

Once it’s as finely ground as you can get it, place it in a bowl and put pieces of boneless chicken breast in the bowl and thoroughly cover the chicken with the pistachios. If you want to stop where the original recipe stopped, stick them in the oven now and bake like any other chicken breast.

You can save the leftover pistachios in a small freezer bag in the freezer. Because they’re tainted with chicken make sure you use them in something you cook thoroughly.

I’ve added in today’s bake:

Fresh rosemary — whole leaves

Fresh sage — diced finely

Garlic — diced finely

Fresh ground pepper

Sprinkle all the above ingredient all about the top of the chicken pieces.

Then to make sure it all browns nicely and sticks together I spray the top of the end product with olive oil spray before popping it into the oven.

I bake them at 350 degrees and time all depends on the size of breast. These particular pieces were very small and took only 25 minutes.

In one of Van’s post we talked about not being big fans of white meat. I like this recipe for white meat because the thorough covering with nuts tends to hold the juices in the meat and so it turns out more tender than it might otherwise. I’m very careful not to overcook as well.

“Fusion” marinated steak and lemon asparagus

Ages ago I visited a restaurant here in Chicago that had a unique, well what I thought was unique, marinade for their steak.  I couldn’t remember ever aspect of it, so I thought I’d simply give it a go. For this I used filet strip steak that I ended up cubing for before marinating.  

Please note you will need skewers and a deep oven pan for this recipe.


  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • Soy Sauce (enough to cover the steak in my container of choice)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 stalk of crushed lemon grass

Mix your marinade together, place the steak into an air tight container with the marinade and the meat set in the fridge for roughly 24 hours. Make sure you shake the marinade roughly ever 4 hours (if possible).  

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 275.  Take your skewers and place roughly four pieces of steak per skewer, and place over your deep oven pan.  


Cook in the over for roughly 30 to 40 minutes at 275, basting the meat with the left over marinade ever 10 minutes.  This will bring the steak to a very nice medium rare.  Obviously, cook to your desire and check the meat often.

Lemon Asparagus

I wanted to keep with the lemon flavored theme, even if the taste was ever so faint.  Here is what you’ll need for the Asparagus:

  • 1 bunch Fresh Asparagus
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • lemon juice
  • 1 pad of butter
  • freshly crushed black pepper

Cut the asparagus to the length of your choosing and place into a deep frying pan.  Add enough lemon juice to cover the bottom of the pan, include your pad of butter, and boil the juice for roughly 5 mins.  Your asparagus will turn a nice bright green when it’s ready.  

Once bright green, take off the flame and drain off remaining lemon juice.  Add the garlic powder and black pepper and you are set!

For this dish, I used Trader Joe’s Jasmine Rice for the base and placed the meat over the rice and asparagus:


And for a close up..

Come on, admit it... you want some!

Come on, admit it... you want some!

This didn’t match the exact flavor of the restaurant, but it was close.  I may play with using lemon paste instead of lemon grass to add a bit more of the lemon zest aspect.  The curry and tumeric leave a nice taste after the initial blast of Soy Sauce.  Also, the medium rare preparation is perfect for this dish – especially with the cut of meat.  I could also see how this dish could easily turn into a BBQ meal.  

Bon Appetite!