Friday, November 30, 2012

Too Hot For You

Like it spicy?

Are you a Tabasco fan or are you faithful to the lovely Cholula?

Just how much heat can you take?

Well, my Sriracha Chicken Tenders may not be as hot as the sun, but that's entirely up to you.  Want to burn your taste buds off?  Go for it.  I made a basic tender recipe that allows you to bring the heat up to forest fire status if you so desire, or keep it warm and cozy.

What is sriracha, you ask?  It's a Korean chili paste with garlic, to put it mildly, and that is putting it mildly.  It's darn hot, and it takes courage to eat it like my dear sister does. Straight out of the bottle and onto pretzel sticks.  You go, girl.

You can keep the recipe as is for a little heat, or, make a sriracha glaze by melting a little butter and adding the sriracha to it, then gently drizzling or brushing it onto the tenders halfway through cooking.  I added some extra sriracha on the side for dipping.  Yumm...  If you do add more sriracha to your marinade, taste it in segments, as too much sassy stuff will not only make it hot and destroy the flavor, but it will also turn bitter while baking.

Please note - I only used two chicken breasts and it made many tender pieces.  You could easily feed four people the normal serving size of protein with the pieces I had, as they equaled about a pound.  Double the marinade if you use more chicken, and feel free to use it on white or dark meat.  They're baked, not fried, and I added no salt.  Consider these a great alternative to greasy hot wings.

Sriracha Chicken Tenders


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 6 oz. container fat-free Greek yogurt
2 tsp. Sriracha (add more if desired, taste in segments)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. red curry powder
1/8 tsp. garam masala
1 clove garlic, pressed
Pinch of grated lime zest
2 cups Japanese panko crumbs
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper


Pound chicken breasts until very flat, then cut into strips.  Mix yogurt, sriracha, ginger, masala, garlic, and lime zest into bowl.

Spread over chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least one hour, two hours being optimal.  

Press coated chicken pieces into panko crumbs, then place on foil-lined cookie sheet (I use non-stick foil).  Drizzle olive oil over chicken pieces, then crack pepper over chicken.  Preheat oven to 425 and allow the chicken to sit while oven heats.  This keeps the breading from falling off and it is on the delicate side.

Cook for 12 minutes on one side, then 12 on the other.  Flip one last time to make sure all is done, for about 5 minutes.  (If you use the basting sauce idea listed above, go easy on the sauce or your crumbs will turn to mush).

Serve with veggies to cool the tongue and more sriracha to start things up again!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lowcountry Suppertime

I know, it's been a while.

Sorry for the lack of posting, things have been a tad hectic here in our household.  That being said, it's time to get back to cooking.  I may change this blog to, "Duncan's Dinners", or make an additional blog, one that caters to feeding two people on a budget. Your input is appreciated!

In the meantime, let's get going on tonight's dinner.

I'm whipping up a lowcountry soup.  Roasted chicken breast, chicken andouille sausage, okra, corn, and file powder (pronounced "fee-lay" and should have an accent on the 'e').  This recipe is a variation on chicken and sausage gumbo.  I am not a huge fan of rice, so I've left that out and am serving this with a whole grain baguette.

The inspiration for this dish came from my upbringing in the great state of Georgia.  I miss it every day!

Since I cannot be there in person with my Georgia pals, I can be there in spirit and this meal has loads of sassy spirit!!  I used pre-cooked sausages, browning them to lend flavor to my soup pot.  The Cajun seasonings added were used sparingly, as to cut down on sodium. If you want to further cut down on sodium, find a salt-free Cajun mix (I was unable to) and use chicken broth instead of stock.

To stay thankful to my Carolina living, I'm serving Highland Brewing Company's St. Terese's Pale Ale to go along with the soup and French bread.  

So stay dry, warm, and nourished today!

April's Lowcountry Sizzle Soup

Serves:  A Bunch o' Folks


1 pound chicken breast meat, roasted and shredded
(using the whole package will make it greasy and too spicy)
3 cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 carton chicken stock (like Swanson's Chicken STOCK, not broth)
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 cup frozen okra
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 tsp. file powder


Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in large stock pot.  Add sausages and brown on all sides.  Remove sausages and drain on paper towels, and once cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces.  Add celery/onion/pepper mixture and cover, sauteing for about 5 minutes or until soft.

Add canned tomatoes, stock, and 1/2 tsp. seasoning.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then if desired, lightly blend with an immersion blender.  

Add frozen okra and corn, as well as the sausage and shredded chicken.  Simmer for 15-30 minutes.  

Add 1/4 tsp. file powder.  Serve with your favorite sides, including a beer or sweet tea!  Enjoy!