chicken enchilada bake

Chicken Enchilada Bake

i’m currently at the beach
that’s all i’ve got.
i have this chicken enchilada bake.
but that’s it.
have a great week!

Chicken Enchilada Bake

chicken enchilada bake
adapted from tasting table

note: cilantro would be better in this, but i didn’t have any so i used green scallions. i needed the pop of color

2 cups worth of shredded rotisserie chicken
1 onion, quartered
1 large garlic clove
1 dried ancho chile pepper, reconstituted in hot water
2 16 oz jar of salsa: salsa roja and salsa verde (you can use regular canned enchilada sauce if you want)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, i used cabot’s extra sharp cheddar
1/2 cup chopped green scallions
corn tortilla
garnish: diced avocado and sliced radishes

pre-heat oven to 400F

in a pan, or in my case, in a pie dish, add the quartered onion and garlic clove. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. roast for 15 – 20 minutes. remove from oven.

lower heat to 350F

in a vitamix, blitz together the roasted onions and garlic with the salsa and ancho chile pepper. set aside.

in a bowl with the shredded chicken, add about a cup of the salsa, a sprinkle of the green onions and mix thoroughly.


in a round casserole dish, layer the ingredients:
shredded chicken
shredded cheese
green onions
end with the salsa and cheese

bake in oven for 30 minutes, until melted and all bubbly and pretty.

top with avocado, radishes and more green onions.


Chicken Enchilada Bake

3 years ago: chocolate wonderfuls
2 years ago: blueberry clafoutis
1 year ago: strawberries + kefir popsicles

Guinea Hen Liver Pâté

Guinea Hen Liver Pâté

last thursday marked the 2 year anniversary
of my beloved gpa’s passing.
something he and i had an affinity for was
weird right?
as a kid, i loved the stuff.
i wonder now though
if i liked liver because he did,
or cus i really did like it.
my memories of gma’s pâté
are murky at best.
i know that she would make it as a treat.
i know that gpa and i,
during our bonding time on a sunday morning,
would share french bread chunks,
me with the soft insides
and he with the crusty outsides,
sneaking pieces of cheese
and sipping milky coffee
and generous slathers of pâté.
it was always an adventure
eating with gpa.
i credit him for introducing me to good eats,
and this was made with him on my mind.

Guinea Hen Liver Pâté

guinea hen liver pâté
i sorta followed this ingredient list, but did this method
makes 16oz

*note: there was no way gma was going to give me her recipe. she’s forgotten it and besides, she is adamant about eating BORING. bad cholesterol runs in the family, though *i* am in the clear despite genes, she would be furious if she knew i made pâté. i turned to two resources, one for the method that most looks like how gma made it and the other for the use of duck fat, instead of butter & cream.
**note: our local butcher had guinea hen liver (i saw GUINEA on the package and nearly tackled dw, i seriously thought he purchased guinea pig liver) and we hunted around the city for duck fat. thank you twitter for hooking a sister up.

8 TBL (1/2 cup) melted chicken or duck fat (we used epic)
1/4 of large red onion, peeled and diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 lbs guinea hen livers (though any poultry liver is fine)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 TBL reisling (i think any alcohol like brandy, whisky or port would be fine, or NONE at all)
dash of cayenne pepper

preheat oven to 300F and bring a pot of water to boil.

in a sauce pan, saute together the diced onions and minced garlic in 1 TBL of duck fat over medium heat. leela was not going for caramelization while lebovitz totally was, i was aiming to not burn the house down. season the onions and garlic with salt and add the remaining 7 TBL of duck fat to the pan, allowing mixture to simmer away happily for a few minutes. turn off heat and set aside to cool slightly.

in a strong blender or vitamix, add in the raw livers, hard-boiled eggs, sherry vinegar, reisling, salt/pepper, cayenne pepper and onion/garlic saute mixture. blitz until smooth, and then blitz some more.

pour liver mixture into ramekin(s) (i used 2 4oz and 1 8 oz ramekin). tap bottom of ramekins to let the air bubbles out. place the ramekins into a larger casserole dish, and place into the preheated oven. very carefully pour the boiling water into the larger dish, until the water reaches about half way up the ramekins.

bake time: 15 – 25 minutes, depending on how big the ramekins used are.
because the liver mixture was divided among 3 dishes i timed it to bake for about 12-15 minutes. you’re looking for set sides but slightly wiggly middles. (so scientific, i know)

remove the ramekins from the casserole dish and allow to cool to room temp.

meanwhile, you can make a jelly to cover over top the pâté. both leela and lebovitz made completely different versions. i deferred to leela only because it’s so pretty, and i had a bunch of parsley to use up. either are fine, but i definitely think it should be done. pâté is not pretty and cover up makes it more appetizing looking.

cover and fridge overnight. when ready to consume, take it out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes prior. slather on warmed crusty bread.


Guinea Hen Liver Pâté

previous odes to gpa:
citrus curd mille feuille
salt&pepper shrimp

1 year ago: tangerine ice cream
2 years ago: vegan japchae
3 years ago: asparagus + scrambled egg salad

african chicken stew

African Chicken Stew - outtake
African Chicken Stew

we’ve been working,
like it’s a regular work week.
which isn’t out of the ordinary.
i mean,
there are no holidays this week.
but you see,
there was supposed to be a blizzard
of epic proportions.
we were misinformed.

the one thing the meteorologists
got correct though:
freezing temps.
on sunday, after making our
weekly soup,
experimenting with egg tarts,
and other chinese new year prep work
i had it in my head to make
another pot of soup
i figured a snow day week
warranted comfort in a bowl.
we didn’t get the former,
but the latter was just fine.

African Chicken Stew

african chicken stew
loosely adapted from simply recipes
makes 6 servings

4 drumsticks, about 1.25 lbs.
olive oil
1/2 large onion, sliced or diced, either way
3″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
4 carrots, rough chopped into chunks
2 parsnips, rough chopped into chunks
1 15-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, we use muir glen
4 cups chicken stock (i used the last of my bullion cubes + water to equal 4 cups)
2-3 generous TBL peanut butter, honestly, i don’t remember but that seems about right
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 TBL coriander seeds, roasted and then ground
1 tsp cayenne, or to taste
Salt and black pepper

season chicken drumsticks. brown in a bit of olive oil in a large pot. set aside.

in same pot, add more olive oil if you need to, add in the onions and saute for a few minutes. your goal is to brown the onions and pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. season with salt & pepper. add in the garlic and ginger, as well as the ground coriander and cayenne, mix through.

add in the broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter and peanuts. stir until the peanut butter is thoroughly incorporated. last, return the chicken drumsticks to the pot, nestle them in. cover & simmer on low for about an hour.

after an hour, remove the drumsticks. add in the carrots and parsnips. cover and simmer. when the drumsticks are cool enough to handle, remove all the meat off the bones, shred and return back to the pot. stir and simmer till the vegs are tender, but not mushy. adjust seasoning if needed.

serve with rice, or as is, which is how we ate it.


African Chicken Stew

other soups & stews:
autumn harvest soup
3 bean chili
vietnamese beef stew
caribbean oxtail stew
miso ramen bowl
chicken pho
portuguese chicken + chorizo curry
chickpea & sausage stew
beef, squash & white bean chili

how to make bouillon cubes

Chicken Bouillon Cube

how does one celebrate the
End of Summer?
how does one encapsulate the very essence
of pre-dawn july light
capture the juicy moment
of the first berries picked
in the unfurling, but delicious heat of august?
personally, i don’t know
it’s an impossible
exercise to bottle it all up,
like sand slipping from a loose hand

and so, like the ant
in the fable i set to task
the job of making tomato paste
and the most concentrated soup stock
for the coming cooler months
for meals that call for hearty stews
and soups
beyond just the benefits of gelatin
and how incredibly inexpensive it is,
this particular exercise
isn’t futile,
instead it’s one that
perfectly secures for the
times during darkness
when grace is elusive
and you’re clutching for something comforting
these bouillon cubes could save your life
or at the very least,
nourish your spirit,
coddle your soul

Chicken Bouillon Cube

homemade bouillon cubes
as inspired by the musician, who cooks

like most things that i do, i don’t have exact measurements. and so, my notes:

this past summer we participated in a poultry csa. whether we roasted, grilled, stewed, whatever the chicken we kept the bones and skin. what ended up going into the pot was about 2 months worth of bones and whatever wasn’t consumed: neck bones etc. i also freeze carrot ends and celery fronds, they went in, along with a few new scrubbed carrots, with skin on.

veggie scraps are optional. i just didn’t want to waste the scraps, and i needed to clear up the freezer space.

i also threw in a handful of peppercorns, a very generous sprinkle of salt, and 2 bay leaves.

fill up the pot with cold water. bring to a brisk boil, lower temp and forget about the thing for about 10 hours, or until the stock has reduced significantly, at your discretion. it really came down to what time of night it was, how much energy i had to strain it etc.

fish out the bones and vegs. discard. strain liquid through cheesecloth (we used a dw’s old, but very clean cotton tshirt) in fine mesh sieve into a smaller pot. at this point, you can continue to reduce the liquid down some more. i did. in the original recipe post i read the liquid was reduced down to about 1 1/2 cups. that would’ve been nice but i was getting dang tired of the thing.

when it reached, i would say about, 10 cups of stock left in the pot, i brought it to fast boil. i added in about 3oz of agaragar to the pot, stirring to ensure it’s all thoroughly incorporated into the liquid. (it’s important that the liquid is hot in order to activate the agaragar. trust me) in lieu of agaragar, flavorless gelatin can be used, 1:1 ratio. i also want to add, next time around i’d probably add in 4oz instead. while the end result still firmed up just fine, 4oz would’ve made for easier handling.

pour liquid into a big casserole dish, in our case, the biggest one we had. allow to cool to room temp and then fridge it. due to the natural collagen imparted from the chicken bones in the stock, along with the agaragar, the liquid will gel-ify. when it’s thoroughly cold cut into cubes, lay out on wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and freeze. when fully frozen, put into freezer bags. keep in freezer and use as needed.

i’d say about 1 cube for 1/2 – 1 cup of water, it’s at your discretion. it’s your kitchen. i realize that this isn’t much of a recipe, it’s more of a guideline of what i did, the amount of time and energy i had and the results may vary from kitchen to kitchen. but the moral of the story is: homemade stock is good, having it on hand is great, but if you have just a normal sized freezer, the real estate space is limited and reducing it down into cubes into ONE gallon sized freezer bag instead of 5 16oz containers is a win in my book.

other buoillon cube makers:
nourished kitchen – homemade bouillon: portable soup
just cook it – stock cube
101 cookbooks – homemade vegetable bouillon paste
al’s kitchen – homemade vegetable cubes

chicken masala

Chicken Masala

it’s not yet autumn
but i suppose it’s unofficially fall,
what with school already started,
the daily commute with the added 10 minutes
due to kids ambling with textbook laden backpacks
and yellow school buses dotting the neighborhoods
the ac has been turned off at night
as the temperatures dip into the delicious 60s,
our windows flung open to cool the abode
only to be shut the moment i open my eyes from slumber
as i haul ass to shower in the morning,
shivering and silently lamenting the passing of summer
already the trees are shedding their leaves
the morning is darker still when i rise

these are dw’s months
autumn is his favorite season
you can tell a lot about a person
by what their favorite season is
i like the summer months
hot and heady and sweaty and messy
golden days with humidity to exhaust even the staunchest
and healthiest of beasts
(i’ll leave it to you to figure out what kind of person
i am with that description!)
but man, when september hits,
leading into october
the air has a crunch of apples
and cinnamon breezes,
cool to the skin but warming to the core
fall makes me feel drowsy
but frantic all the same
i am holding out for an indian summer
desperate for july & august
whilst trying to bask in what the coming days could bring

and what is coming in these days
are stews and soups
and hearty one pot dishes
that require ingredients thrown into a pot
set on low
and simmered all the long day

if you can’t tell
i’ve been on an indian kick lately
(truth be told, i’d make afghani food if i could
find a reputable cookbook or blogger,
that cuisine is so underrated)

for this dish,
amrita says you must have this recipe in your life
i completely and wholeheartedly agree
i started the process saturday night
cooked it on sunday
and as i’m typing this, wednesday,
i have one portion left for lunch

Chicken Masala

chicken masala
adapted from the subjectivist

*note: we (i mean, dw) chopped an entire bird. we get our poultry from a local farm every two weeks and i will tell you, this past summer with this csa has been an exercise in coming up with interesting chicken recipes. i wanted to make use of every part of the chicken, with bones. i can’t imagine not having bone-in. i’m just saying.
**note: i completely and utterly forgot to add chili. i know. so there was no heat but it was still incredibly good. also, i like my chicken to fall off the bone tender so i cooked it on low for longer than amrita’s version.

1 whole, organic grass fed chicken, about 3-4lbs, chopped with bone in

for the marinade:
1 black cardamom pod
half cinnamon stick
1 tsp nutmeg (i don’t have whole pieces of the stuff)
2 tsp of fennel seeds
3-4 cloves
3 TBL of white vinegar
1 tsp of ground turmeric

2 large tomatoes
2 TBL vegetable oil
2 large cloves of garlic
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup of coconut creamer (i use So Delicious)

in a frying pan, dry toast the black cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, fennel seeds, and cloves. don’t get crazy and burn it. add mixture to a spice grinder, again don’t get crazy, you’re not going for a powder, just a slighlty coarse-fine mix is good (i know, it’s confusing, go for in btwn the two textures.) add to big bowl with vinegar and turmeric. then add in the chicken pieces, you want to coat the pieces well. cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight.

next day: take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before starting the whole cooking thing. you want the chill to be off the meat/bones prior to adding it to the hot pan.

on the stove bring a pot of water to boiling. criss cross cut the butt ends of the two tomatoes, add to the water and cook for about 5 minutes. you want the tomatoes to be just submerged in the water. remove the tomatoes and put into blender/vitamix. reserve 1/2 cup of the water, discarding the rest. blitz the tomatoes, skin included, into a puree.

meanwhile, in the same pot, add a bit of oil and saute the garlic and onion slices. season with salt & pepper, and cook until nice & brown. remove from heat and grab the mixture of onions & garlic to add to the blender/vitamix. blitz with the tomato puree.

using the same pot, that will have residual oil (add more if you need) brown the chicken pieces. you may have to do it in batches. don’t crowd the pot. when done, lower the heat, throw all the browned chicken pieces back into the pot, add the tomato/onion/garlic puree, along with the reserved 1/2 cup of water. simmer on low heat. add in the coconut creamer, mix, ignore for anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. season to taste. per the original recipe, this is a slightly dryer dish. i will admit to missing the gravy.

serve with naan.
it’s great the day of, but even better the ensuing days.

serves 6 – calories: 62 | total fat: 5g | saturdate fat: 0.5g | sodium: 90.1mg | total carbs” 3.9g | dietary fiber: 1.1g | sugars: 1.7g | protein: 0.7g

Chicken Masala

other indian inspired dishes:
morestomach blog – coconut egg curry
morestomach blog – vegan indian feast
bon appetit hon – butter chicken
manger – butter chicken + peshawari naan