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What’s for Dinner: Spicy Chicken Tenders

It was a snowy and cold day today, so for dinner today: I made spicy chicken tenders.  Easy, delicious, warm and comforting! They are kid friendly, but let’s be honest — who doesn’t like chicken tenders when they look and taste something like this??

What I used:

  • Boneless Chicken breasts
  • My standard seasoning mix: salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
  • [Whole] Milk
  • [Pete’s] hot sauce
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Oil, for frying

How I made it:

  1. I had several large pieces of thinned boneless chicken breast, so what I did was I cut them all to a chicken tender size. Long and thin pieces of meat.
  2. To your chicken, add your seasonings – salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Add in milk and eggs before adding in about one cup of hot sauce. I used this amount and you could taste the heat, but it was very tamed — so adjust based on your liking.
  4. In a ziploc bag [for easy clean up], add your flour. To your flour, add in the same seasonings as above – salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Shake well to combine.
  5. In batches, transfer your chicken batter into the ziploc bag with the seasoned flour. Shake well to combine.
  6. Fry your tenders, in batches, until they are golden brown.

Tip: I get asked a lot how I get the crispy and crunchy on the end product so perfectly, and my guess would be ziploc should get the credit for it… that technique coats really well — whether it be chicken, seafood, or whatever you are working with.

I have a few variations on french fries, that would work perfect with these chicken tenders, that you can find my clicking here and scrolling down close to the bottom under Side Dishes!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:


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What’s for Dinner? The Book Edition

Getting a copy of my published recipe cook “What’s for Dinner? was an amazing feeling.

Ayaz and Faraz had been telling me for several years to publish it, and I actually had most of the work done and saved from a few years ago. So when I decided to go for it, the process was relatively quick and easy for me.

If you follow me on pretty much any social media, you will see that first and foremost I always describe myself as Arham’s Mama. It is who I am and it is what makes me most proud and happiest. This book is no different. It’s for him. I want Arham to know I’ll always be his number one fan in anything he wants to do [as long as it’s in good faith].

Have you picked up your copy of ‘What’s for Dinner?. I’d love to hear feedback. 

Have you tried any of the recipesLet me know what you think!

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“What’s for Dinner” is Published

Published!

I’m happy to say that my [first] book of a series of recipes is published and can be found by clicking here.

It is also available directly from Amazon (click here for Amazon link).

The above links I mentioned all are physical copies of the book (paperback), but if you prefer digital books, it is also available as a digital book on the Kindle if you click here.

It is also available as a paperback Amazon Europe too (click here for the Amazon Europe link).

And click here for the Kindle version for Europe.

Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement and support thus far.

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What’s for Dinner: Chicken Burrito Bowl

On Tuesday, for my dad’s birthday, I made homemade Chicken Burrito Bowls for dinner. It was flavorful and delicious. One of the best part of this meal was that it was all cooked in one pot!

I used:

  • Diced/bite size pieces of boneless chicken breastsIMG_2733.JPG
  • Seasonings: black pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of uncooked [extra-long grain] rice
  • 1 [14.5 ounce] can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 [15 ounce] can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups of [low-sodium] chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 cups of monterey jack cheese
  • freshly diced tomatoes
  • diced green onions

What I did was:

  1. I took my bite size boneless chicken meat and seasoned it with black pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne powder.
  2. In a pot, add in about two tablespoons of olive oil (approximately) and add in your diced onion. Saute your onions until they are softened.
  3. When your onions are softened, add in your chicken [over medium heat]. Let it cook until it starts to brown. When that happens, move it to the side of the pan.
  4. Next, add in about another tablespoon of olive oil and add in your [uncooked] rice. Saute your rice until it starts to brown [only a few minutes].
  5. At the point, add in your can of [drained] diced tomatoes, your can of [drained and rinsed] black beans, and your chicken broth. Let it come up to a simmer before you lower the heat to low.
  6. Cover the pan and let it cook over low heat for about 20 minutes [until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender].
  7. At this point, remove your pot from the heat. Add in the amount of cheese you want and recover your pan. This will help you melt the cheese. Remove the lid and mix everything.
  8. Serve warm, with garnishes of diced green onion and tomatoes.

Notes: for mine, I didn’t add cheese because I don’t like it– but I know my parents and brother add cheese when they get something similar from Chipotle.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

 

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What’s for Dinner: Chicken Patties

To ground chicken [you could of course use ground meat instead if you want], add: salt, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and paprika.
Cook your chicken without adding any water or oil.20140710-214835-78515714.jpg

When it’s cooked through and any excess liquid dries up, then: add in fried onion, lemon juice, and mint.

Next, take [thawed] puff pastry sheets. Cut into squares [depending on the size you want], add some chicken filling to one half before folding over the other half of the sheet  to close it. Primp with  a fork to get nice edges if you want!

Finally, brush on egg wash on top.

We make these in batches and freeze them, so they are easy to just bake in the oven when needed.

In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake for about 25-30 minutes… or until the top is golden brown!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:


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What’s for Dinner: [Baked] Chicken Fajita

Last night, for dinner/iftari, I made chicken fajitas.  I baked it, instead of grilling it or cooking on the stove. It was juicy enough that no other sauce was needed and neither was any condiment necessary… but that’s your personal preference.

How I made it last night:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

I cut my boneless chicken into thin strips before marinating it with: black pepper, paprika, chili powder, cay20140702-192922-70162846.jpgenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ginger powder and cumin. Next, I added in some cornstarch. No added salt and definitely no oil.

Then, I cut my onion and [red and orange] bell peppers into thin strips. Toss it really well with the marinated chicken so it gets seasoned too.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 35 minutes. I tossed it, I think, twice in between the baking time to make sure it was cooking evenly.

As soon as it came out of the oven, I squeezed half a lime over it, leaving the other half of the lime to be squeezed on top after you assemble your fajitas on top of your [warmed] tortilla(s).

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

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What’s for Dinner: Mini Tacos

Monday night, I made some mini chicken “tacos” using wonton wrappers. This is how I made it:20140609-171540-62140852.jpg

  1. I took ground chicken and seasoned it with black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and paprika. You could, of course, do the same thing with ground meat as well.
  2. Over low to medium heat, I cooked the ground chicken in a non-stick skillet.
  3. Once the chicken was cooked through, I added [low sodium] taco seasoning. Mix well, and let it cook for a few more minutes before you remove it from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Take a [24-count] mini muffin pan and line each one with a wonton wrapper, pressing it down in the middle. Fill it with your cooked taco meat.
  6. Bake, in your preheated oven, for about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Once it is baked, add salsa [along with whatever other topping you like on your tacos].

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

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What’s for Dinner: Biryani

So apparently when you are about to marry a [born and raised] Pakistani guy, you start to think that maybe, just maybe, you should also brush up on your Pakistani cooking skills and know how to make the more common Pakistani dishes. As a result, last night’s dinner was chicken biryani.

Biryani is probably a staple in every Pakistani house an20140608-112701-41221622.jpgd pretty much everyone loves it. Not me, but that’s besides the point. But I do like the potatoes in biryani…

Counting last night, I have now made biryani a grand total of only three times in my life. Once, way back in high school [to the best of my recollection] at least ten years ago, once last year on Ayaz’s birthday upon his request and then one more time last night. 

If you know me, then you are well aware that while I cook often, and enjoy doing so, I tend to cook non-Pakistani dishes most of the time. Mainly because I’m not a fan of eating it either. I suppose it has somewhat to do with the fact that I would prefer to eat other [lighter to eat, easier on the stomach] cuisines. Oddly enough though, two of my favorite things to eat are Pakistani dishes: haleem and bihari kabab.

More than anything else, this post is a write up mainly for me– because we all know I am going to need it for future reference 🙂 .

Here’s how I made it yesterday [basedIMG_0226IMG_0226 on what Ami told me]. I list the amounts for two different versions: a smaller serving and a hefty family size serving.

  1. To chicken, add: fried onions, yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, black pepper, garlic, ginger, salt, a pinch of garam masala (if using 1/2 a chicken or add half a teaspoon for 2 chickens), combination of Bombay biryani and Sindhi biryani mix (if you are using two chickens: use a little less than 1 box combined; for half a chicken, add just 1/4 box combined).
  2. Spray your pot with non-stick cooking spray. Add the marinated chicken on high heat. When the chicken starts to cook, reduce the heat to very low heat and let the chicken cook completely. You know the chicken is done when you test the leg piece and it’s cooked through.
  3. When chicken is about half way done, add cut potatoes to it.
  4. For the rice portion: use 6 cups of rice if you are using 2 chickens; if you are using just 1/2 a chicken, take only 2 cups of rice.
  5. When boiling rice [on high heat], add 1 long [clove] if are using half a chicken (ot 3-4 if using 2 chickens), eliachi [cardamom] (same amount as long), a pinch of kala zeera), some oil [1 tablespoon for 1/2 chicken, 2-3 tablespoon for 2 chicken] and the same amount of apple cider vinegar (which helps the rice not break). Also add 2-8 black peppercorns [depending on the amount of rice/chicken], salt, and a whole cinnamon stick.
  6. As soon as rice starts to boil take it off the heat and drain– you only want to have the water start to boil until the rice is almost done– it will still be a little hard, but won’t break when you press it. Should/could take about 20+ minutes.
  7. Next, to your big pot [over very low heat]: add the chicken to the bottom before adding the rice on top [don’t mix yet]. Add a sprinkle of fried onion, some lemon juice [1-4 teaspoon depending on the amount of rice/chicken], some garam masala powder, and some poudina [mint]. If you are adding fresh poudina, also add a few fresh small green peppers and cut up tomatoes. Lastly, sprinkle in some food coloring if you want [orange or yellow]. Leave your pot covered, and on extremely low heat, for about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat, keep the pot covered, and leave it alone for another hour before you mix the biryani [and serve].

Tip: two types of raita will work great with this biryani. Click here to see the one I have already posted about in the past. The other one is this: to yogurt, add garlic powder, salt, diced up tomatoes, poudina (mint), and diced up cucumbers.

If you are using red meat [baby goat works well], the meat will just take longer to cook [and you will need more ginger].

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. 

 

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What’s for Dinner: “Fiery” Five Pepper Chicken

Tonight for dinner, I made a “fiery” five 20140522-151210-54730873.jpgpepper baked [whole] chicken.

I took two whole chickens and [using a fork] poked holes in each of them in order to let the marinade seep through to the inside.

Next, I marinated the chicken with: black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, ground mustard, a good amount of the Fiery five pepper seasoning and yogurt. .

Including the cavity area.

After letting the chicken marinate for a few hours, in a preheated 375 degree oven, I baked the two whole chickens [in separate foil trays] for about an hour. I served it alongside garlic bread today.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

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What’s for Dinner: Chicken Gryos

Tonight, for dinner, I made Chicken Gyros. Healthy, flavorful and delicious! 

I took boneless chicken cubes, and marinated it with: black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, yogurt and lemon juice. I cooked it over low heat for about an hour. In the last few minutes, I turn the heat up to high [while closely watching it] in order to let the chicken soak up any of the liquid left [that’s added flavor right there!]. After letting the chicken cool for a bit, either slice or dice the chicken20140506-202209.jpg

For the  [tzatziki] sauce: to yogurt, I added diced cucumbers, a little black pepper and garlic powder, lemon juice, and parsley. Tzatziki sauce is what you typically find in gyros.

Finally, to put it together: I took my [homemade] naan and to it I added a layer of chopped Romaine lettuce,  the chicken, the sauce, and diced tomatoes on top. Wrap it like a gryo, and you are good to go!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

 

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