Category Archives: Chicken

What a week + new recipe

I haven’t been this glad it’s Friday in a long time! It has been such a crazy week for both me and my honey. We have both had something every evening after work, and it is just exhausting.

Lucky for me, I’m taking today off! Unfortunately, my honey can’t do the same and he is the one who really needs a break.

He will get a break soon enough though because Christmas vacation starts next Wednesday! We will both have 13 whole days away from work!!!! We are definitely counting down the days 🙂

Tomorrow we are traveling down to Radford to see my brother-in-law graduate from college. It’ll be fun to go back there because my honey and I met there! We’ve only been back once since I graduated with my Master’s in 2008 and that was for our one-year wedding anniversary in June 2010.

As for today, I have a ton of things planned, but I highly doubt I will get to all of them. The main few things I need to work on are:

  • decorating our Christmas tree (we have lights on it, but no ornaments!)
  • making our Christmas card (this is our third Christmas since we got married and we still haven’t done a card!)
  • clean off the kitchen table
  • do some laundry
  • pack for our trip tomorrow
  • possibly bake some sugar cookies with homemade frosting…still developing the recipes, but I’m so excited and will definitely share!
  • work out (I plan to do a little more wood splitting in addition to my run!)

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I’m excited to share this recipe today because I used to think it was impossible to make this at home. After my chiropractor suggested it to me last winter when my honey was sick, I tried it and have never gone back to the canned stuff!!

There’s a reason people eat chicken soup when they are sick: it is incredibly good for you! This is mainly from the broth, and like most things, homemade is best! For a really in-depth look at why homemade broth is so good for you, check out this article by Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (I HIGHLY recommend this book! I refer to it, and healthy fats, in this post).

Homemade Chicken Soup with Rice (Makes 10-12 servings)

  • one 3-5 lb whole chicken (organic if possible)
  • 3 or 4 quarts of water (enough to just barely cover the chicken)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried parsley
  • dried thyme
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

1. Fill large stockpot (I use an 8-qt) with water. Turn heat on high.

2. Rinse off chicken and remove any innards. Place chicken (with skin still on) in the water and let come to a boil. Let it boil for 20 minutes.

3. While chicken is boiling, dice up the carrots, celery and onion. Add veggies to pot and stir around.

4. Add seasonings to your liking. Go heavy on the salt and parsley and taste before adding any more. Go light on the thyme because it is pretty strong.

5. Let everything simmer for about 20 more minutes or until everything is tender.

6. Turn off the heat and remove chicken from pot onto a large cutting board. Remove as much meat as you can with a knife and a fork. Shred the chicken to desired size pieces. Return the meat to the pot.

7. Add the cooked rice to the pot and stir around.

8. Serve hot with your favorite gluten-free crackers.

This recipe makes a lot of soup! After you put the leftovers in containers, put the chicken carcass back into the stockpot to make some broth. Following Sally Fallon’s recipe, add some more carrots, celery and onions, plus a little vinegar. Then pour in enough water to cover everything and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few hours.

You can freeze this broth and use it in other recipes and soups. It’s much cheaper than buying broth from the store because you get one chicken soup recipe, plus lots of broth for under $10! I’ll sometimes not make the soup from the chicken, but instead use this method to cook my chicken to shred for other recipes. Then I will use the carcass to make the broth. It’s a win-win all around!

Have you ever made your own broth?

My favorite throw-together meal

When I am short on time in the evenings, this is my favorite recipe for a complete meal. You can make some of the ingredients ahead of time, or you can make everything all at once.

Rice, chicken and veggies (Makes 4 servings)

A warm, filling and comforting meal for the cold weather.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups liquid, I used chicken stock and water
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups diced, cooked chicken
  • veggies of choice, but I recommend broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • prepared sauce of your choice, I used a thai peanut sauce

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.

2. Add the diced onion and the rice. Stir to coat with butter and let ‘fry’ for a minute, stirring constantly.

3. Add the liquid and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-45 minutes or until rice is done.

4. Once rice is finished cooking, steam your veggies.

5. In a small saute pan, melt a little coconut oil.

6. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes, then add the veggies and chicken. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

7. Drizzle with desired amount of sauce and stir to coat. Cook until everything is warmed through.

8. Serve to your hungry honey 🙂

Last night, I cooked some extra chicken so I would have it ready for tonight. If I had been thinking (and not cooking a totally different meal!) I would have made the rice last night too. You could also make a big batch of rice on the weekend to save you lots of time with this recipe. This recipe could be done so many different ways with lots of different sauce/seasoning variations. I actually like garlic salt and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on mine. Find what works for you and enjoy!
Off to snuggle on the couch with my honey and a warm mug of hot chocolate with kahlua 🙂

Family Reunion- part 2

First off, I haven’t quite started my detox yet…we had a cookout at work and I couldn’t resist! For dinner though, we had some leftovers from Saturday night, so I had more chicken, tater salad and pasta salad (recipes to come tomorrow!!).

Onto the weekend! In case you didn’t know, cooking for 25 people requires just a little bit of work! Although the recipes I made were pretty easy, it still took awhile to do it all. Luckily on Friday, my mom brought two of my dad’s cousins to our house and they helped chop veggies which cut my work in half! I also prepped the cheesy rice and broccoli bake on Friday evening and just had to bake it on Saturday. I was able to whip up the two salads in just a few hours (peeling hard-boiled eggs takes longer than you think!), so I headed to the pool once I was in a good place. I left the kitchen a mess though, so I knew I couldn’t stay too long.

Living out in the country, there aren’t any pools around so I take advantage when I can. It was so awesome to hang out with my mom, sister-in-law and niece, plus a few other family members.

Who wouldn’t enjoy time at the pool with this adorable little girl?!?! 🙂

Okay, enough baby pictures. Okay, not really, there will be more 🙂

After pool time, I headed home to help my honey get the house ready for the family. Luckily he’s so wonderful and he had already picked up the extra tables and chairs we needed. I quickly showered, did a massive amount of dishes, then got all of the food out and ready.

The guy who barbecued the chicken had arrived around 3:30pm to set up and get started. He makes the chicken on site and uses his own sauce and spices to season it. If I hadn’t been so rushed to get everything else set up, I definitely would have taken some pictures!

Because I like to be sustainable, I decided against using paper plates and silverware; therefore, I needed some dishes. As I might have mentioned before, my in-laws live a mile away. They are out of town right now, so I knew they wouldn’t need their copious amount of dishes. Since I only have a 6-place setting of my own, I ran up there and grabbed their pretty red and black plates to set our tables with. (Thanks, Nancy!!)

After getting all of that set up, people started arriving!

Blue-eyed blonde haired babes 🙂

A proud great-grandad!

I was playing hostess, so I didn’t get to snap pictures of people milling about and eating, but I did manage to capture some after we were done eating. One of our family members is a preacher, so he led a little service for us as he does every year.

This one was extra special because he said a few words about Ally. He had all four generations of my family get up there to say a prayer over her. How awesome that we had four generations there?!

Grandad and Grandmother (my dad's parents), my dad, Nick, Jessi and Ally, and my momma!

After that, we had a little entertainment courtesy of my brothers. My little brother played “Carnac the Magnificent” and my older brother played his assistant (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re not alone! This was definitely better understood by the older crowd!).

So basically ‘Carnac’ would take an envelope and guess what was in it. They were silly sayings and most of them got a good laugh!

My mom wrote most of the ‘jokes’ and it was all pretty funny! We had a great time laughing together!

We all hung out for a little longer after the ‘show’ was over. We were able to give a tour of our house and answer lots of questions about it. Finally people made their way out around 10:30pm. My honey and I were pooped, but I felt good because all of the plates, cups and silverware were in the dishwasher! The rest of the kitchen was a mess, but at least I didn’t have to worry about all that!

All in all it was quite the success! All 25 people had enough food and we even ended up with a little bit of leftovers 🙂 Off to enjoy them now!!

Part 3 of the reunion to come on Wednesday! Beautiful pictures of our hike will be shared.

What fun games do you play with your family? 

Two recipe Tuesday

Before I get to the recipes for today, I have to show you the loot I picked up at the farmer’s market today 😀

For $21, I picked up the following:

  • two ears of corn
  • a yellow zucchini- it looks white though…
  • a green zucchini
  • a patty pan squash- which I’ve never tried but am excited to grill it up tonight like the guy suggested!
  • 1/4 peck peaches- I see a lot of peach smoothies in my future- my honey’s personal fave!
  • bag of potatoes
  • one head of garlic
  • a beautiful head of deep dark green romaine
  • a dozen eggs
  • and lard. YES, I said LARD!!! Apparently it is the best stuff to season an iron skillet with. Plus, it’s not as bad for you as society has made it out to be. I have a fabulous book to review for you all that talks about it specifically. I promise to try to get to that post this weekend!

Onto the eats! The two recipes today are great dinner dishes. Both are fairly quick and don’t require crazy ingredients.

Call me crazy for making chili in the middle of the summer, but it is such a quick and easy bulk meal for me to make so I can have a good nutritious lunch all week! This batch made me five 2-cup servings and one 1-cup serving. Perfect for the work week!

Kristin’s World-Famous Chili (okay, not really, but wouldn’t that be cool?!)

Stellar picture, right? Sorry! I haven't really served it up in a nice way to take a photo of it.

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb ground beef (or chicken, see note below)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 28oz can tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup corn

1. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat.

2. Saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes or until onions are translucent.

3. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

4. Drain and rinse both cans of beans.

5. Add beans to meat mixture, followed by the undrained tomatoes.

6. Then add the corn. Add spices and mix well.

7. Let simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. You could eat it right away if you wanted to though! Serve with tortilla chips and cheese on top!

Note: to make this with chicken instead, simply skip the ground beef step and mix everything else together. Add cooked chicken once everything else has been mixed together. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes so the chicken absorbs the seasoning.

Creamy quinoa with veggies

Again with the stellar photography today...!

I bought some ricotta cheese to make a ravioli recipe recently (which was pretty fab by the way!), but I had a lot left over. What’s a girl to do? Make up recipes with it! I found a blueberry banana bread made with greek yogurt over at Daily Garnish and decided to replace the greek yogurt with ricotta cheese. It only sort of turned out…that’s why I’m not sharing my recipe here today! It was good, but I need to work on my ratio of wet to dry ingredients before I share it.

Anyways, I still had extra left over. My honey doesn’t mind eating quinoa, but always wants some sort of sauce for it. I decided to whip this up for dinner the other night and it turned out fabulous!

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 large squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (more or less to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan.

2. Saute garlic and onions until onions are translucent.

3. Add the chicken stock and quinoa.

4. Cover and bring to a boil.

5. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the quinoa cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

6. Add the spinach, zucchini and squash and cover again to allow the veggies to steam a little.

7. Once everything is cooked, add the ricotta and Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper.

Have you ever cooked with lard? What’s your ‘world-famous’ recipe??

Two recipe Tuesday

Before I get to the two recipes for today, I want to share a few pictures from picking blueberries this afternoon! It was a gorgeous time of the day to do it and I got one heck of a deal! A gallon of fresh, organic blueberries for only $18!!! It would have cost me $40 at the Farmer’s Market this morning to get a gallon of them!.

Look for lots of recipes with blueberries in the coming weeks!!!

Okay, onto the recipes!

If you’re looking for a way to sneak in some extra veggies, try this casserole! Inspired by this recipe, I made a Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Casserole as a side on Friday night. It lasted through the weekend and I was able to take the leftovers for lunch yesterday! Honestly, I’m planning on making it again tomorrow night, it was that good!

Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Casserole

  • 1 1/2 cups rice (and liquid of choice to cook it in)
  • 1 butternut squash
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 medium crowns of broccoli
  • 1 block (8oz) cheddar cheese

1. Make your rice according to the package directions. I used half water and half chicken stock for my liquid.

2. While the rice is cooking, cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place skin side down on baking sheet. Spread a little butter over the flesh and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool.

3. Saute your onion in a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. After they become translucent, add your cream. Heat the cream on low heat. Once it is steaming, turn off the heat and grate in your cheese a little at a time, stirring in between to make sure it is melting. Once all of the cheese is melted, add your chopped broccoli and cover with a lid.

4. Go back to your cooled butternut squash and cut one  half in half. Peel the skin off of it and chop it into large chunks. Place chunks into a food processor and pulse a few times. You could puree it completely, but I like the small chunks in each bite. Add the squash to the cheese sauce and stir to incorporate. Once your rice is done cooking, pour it into a large baking dish. Pour the broccoli, squash and cheese mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Grate more cheese on top and pop in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted the way you like it. I like mine a little brown on top and crispy on the edges!

In a future post, I will go on and on about my favorite magazine, but for now, I’ll just share a BBQ sauce that was recently featured in it which I adapted to my liking. I have used this sauce on chicken, as a dip for my potato wedges, and as an extra addition into my chili. It is phenomenal and super simple to make!

Baked Chicken with Mango BBQ Sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2 mango, chopped
  • 1 28oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chipotle pepper sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onions, garlic and mango. Saute until soft.

2. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

3. Break up the whole tomatoes a little.

4. Bring to a boil on medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring often.

5. Remove from heat and allow to cool uncovered for 30 minutes.

6. Transfer 2 cups at a time to a blender and puree until smooth. Store in glass pint jars.

Now for the chicken.

1. Wash off your chicken and place on a broiler-safe baking sheet.

2. Brush with coconut oil and put into 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

3. Then, crank up the broiler and leave in for another 5 minutes or until the chicken gets a nice brown color.

4. Remove the pan and set the oven to 350 degrees.

5. Brush the cooked chicken with the mango barbecue sauce. Load it on there!

6. After all the chicken is coated, place back into the oven for 5 minutes. This will set the sauce on the chicken.

7. Remove from the oven and serve with the Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Casserole.