Tag Archives: chicken

Crockpot to the Rescue! BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich w/Zucchini Slaw

16 Dec

bbq-chicken-sandwich-jewhungry-crockpot 2 (1)

This month’s Kosher Connection round-up was all about comfort food. I feel as though I jumped the gun a bit with my last post, which was dedicated to that siren of temptation and comfort—Macaroni n’ Cheese. So since I already have that box checked, I went for more specific and that’s comfort food, Southern Shabbat-style.

As a full-time working mom, I struggle daily with trying to get all I need to get done. As much as I love blogging and cooking, I’d say the number one thing that keeps me up at night are thoughts like, “When am I going to have time to get this done?!” Grocery shopping and cooking for Shabbat have kept me for roughly a week, if you combined all those hours laying awake trying to concoct a plan for getting it all done. As a side gig (because I have SO much time), I’ve taken on doing some personal cooking for a family of 9 in conjunction with my regular client, whom I still cook 3 Paleo meals a week for. So, by the time I’m done with cooking for all my clients, including my own family, I’m in no mood to cook for Shabbat.

It happens every Thursday evening. I finally sit down after a loooooong day at school where I spend an hour or so trying to convince my daughter to eat dinner then followed by everyone’s favorite pastime, the bedtime routine. By the time it’s all done, I cannot be bothered to spend the next couple hours cooking for Shabbat. There are a few occasions when I can trick myself into actually cooking but that usually involves copious amounts of coffee from earlier in the day and not sitting down AT ALL. That’s usually when all goes to hell—sitting down. The minute I do, it’s all over cause mama is not getting up for no one once I finally allow myself to relax (unless, of course, it’s to get more wine or some chocolate. Mama’s gotta take care of mama, am I right?). So because I wait until the last-minute to cook anything for Shabbat, I am forced to break out that holy grail of suburban living, the crockpot. Sure, I could go cholent, but we live in Miami and when it’s 80 degrees outside, the last thing we want to eat is cholent. Therefore, as long as I have chicken breasts on hand, we will be having BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches with zucchini slaw. It’s delicious, it’s easy and it’s messy but, whether you’re crunched for time or you just love a nice, sloppy sandwich, this recipe never disappoints. Enjoy y’all (and don’t forget your wet-naps).

Set it and forget it.

Set it and forget it.

Oh, before I forget, my latest piece for the Huffington Post was posted last Friday!  You can find it here.  The feedback has been humbling and nicely overwhelming.  I was nervous about putting it all out there but, thank Gd, the crazies kept at bay . . . this time. Thanks y’all and enjoy your sandwiches!

A lone sandwich.

A lone sandwich.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/Zucchini Slaw

Ingredients for Chicken:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 purple onion cut into thin rounds
1 cup barbecue sauce (a flavor you like)
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for Zucchini Slaw:

2 medium zucchinis
Kosher salt
1 small purple onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro plus stems, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise (warning: I like mine slaw SUPER mayonnaise-y so start with 1/4 cup and add if you want more)
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Dash of celery salt
Garlic powder

How to – Chicken:

1. After washing and rinsing your chicken, place it in the slow cooker and top it with your purple onion rounds.  Top your chicken and onions with the ingredients for the BBQ sauce. Set it for 6-8 hours, tasting along the way (after chicken is cooked).  Add spices if need be.

2. Once chicken is ready, remove the chicken to a cutting board.  Using two forks,  shred the chicken into small shreds. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir. Add additional barbecue sauce if more sauce is needed or desired. Cover and continue cooking on low for 45 minutes.

How to – Zucchini Slaw:

1. Using a knife, food processor or julienne peeler, cut the unpeeled zucchini into thin matchstick-sized pieces, though perfection is not necessary here. Place the julienned zucchini into a container, toss with the salt and refrigerate for an hour.

2. Drain off the excess liquid, and then place the julienned zucchini in a medium bowl with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT FOR CELERY SALT AND GARLIC. Stir until they are well-combined. Add a pinch of garlic powder and salt to taste.

The Final Step:

Once all is prepared, scoop some chicken on one side of the bun (we used mini challah rolls) and some slaw on the other.  If you’re feeling extra spicy, add some pickles in there too.  Put them together, put a bib on and enjoy!

Upclose, messy and amazing.

Upclose, messy and amazing.

Deep Breath Chicken

2 Dec
Setting Up Ingredients

Setting Up Ingredients

Something happens when you have a baby. Something bizarre that NO ONE can prepare you for. People seem to lose their filter, especially women. I got a taste of this phenomenon when I was pregnant. People, especially women, loved to tell me their birth stories and more often than not these birth stories were horrifying! I get it. I get that experiencing and living through childbirth is something to be proud of, especially if that labor experience was a rough one. It’s a woman’s red badge of courage and you wanna get it out there–share how proud you are of yourself. However, it never made sense to me that a person, especially another woman, could tell a labor horror story to a visibly pregnant woman but people did and they did it a lot. I was looking forward to no longer hearing these stories once the little baby was here. What I didn’t expect to happen was that these stories would shift to strangers needing to tell you how well their babies sleep at night and how long they nursed their children for and yada yada yada. I’ve had strangers ask me if I breast feed like this is an acceptable question. That particular question is a trigger for me as I really struggled to nurse and eventually, just couldn’t produce enough so we went to straight formula. If you think one Shabbat night I didn’t break down for feeling betrayed by my body you would be mistaken. And so now, whenever anyone inappropriately asks me if I nurse I just throw it out there and watch the awkwardness set it, “Nope. Producing breast milk was nearly impossible for me so we feed her formula. Have a nice day!” You can see it on their faces, the “oh sh*t, did not expect you to be honest with me and now I feel super awkward” face. Maybe I should ease up on folks. I don’t see that happening but maybeI should 🙂

Chopped eggplant and zucchini

Recently, I had a coworker who I respect tell me out and out that what I was doing for my baby’s sleep routine was wrong. I mean she literally said, “You’re doing it all wrong”. Ummmmm, what? Don’t I look rested? Have you asked me if my baby is happy and healthy? Yikes. It was right then and there that I decided that this all had to stop. We, as women, NEED to stop judging one another for their parenting choices and we certainly have to stop scaring pregnant women and new mothers. I mean, for crying out loud, let’s be a little more nurturing here, yes? I’ll admit it, I’ve absolutely silently judged the choices of fellow parents but it is brutal enough out there as a woman, as a parent, etc. Therefore, I’m making the decision right here and now to stop it. It’s exhausting and not worth it. Why make it harder on each other? It boggles the mind. It really does. (Deep Exhale).

So why the rant? I could not stop thinking about this interaction all day on Friday. This, on top of some other stressful work stuff, resulted in me being THIS close to ordering Chinese food for Shabbat and calling it a day. But instead of taking the easy way out I seized the opportunity to cook while also having decent light for pictures and the result was what I am now calling, “Let’s All Take a BIG Deep Breath” Chicken. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for listening.

Take a deep breath---it smells DELICIOUS

Take a deep breath—it smells DELICIOUS

What?

1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken leg quarters
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (I substituted for Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons freshly-minced parsley
2 tablespoons freshly-minced cilantro

How’s That Now?

1. In large skillet over medium high-heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season leg quarters with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add leg quarters to pan, skin-side down. Brown chicken, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Remove chicken to plate and drain off all but 2 tablespoons oil.
2. Add eggplant to hot pan and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, along with zucchini, onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Raise heat to high and add white wine to pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add all other ingredients, except parsley and cilantro, and place chicken legs in mixture. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through or until an instant read thermometer reads 170F.
4. Do yourself a favor and serve this with Israeli Couscous. You’ll have a lot of leftover vegetable topping and it’ll go nicely on top of the couscous. Sprinkle with parsley and cilantro and enjoy!

Rub-a-Dub Chicken

6 Mar

While we’re on the subject of delicious recipes from our mothers, I have to share the love brought to us by Rub Dub Chicken.  Now, technically it is actually courtesy of the New York Times, but, my mother-in-law is the glorious woman who put it together so lovingly so I attribute it to her.  I experienced my first bite of Rub Dub Chicken at my in-laws house during our week of sheva brachot in New Jersey.  I took a bite and was in heaven.  It’s the kind of chicken whose juice you slop up with your challah and everything else you got on your plate.  The sides are just decoration compared to this delectable chicken.  And the best part? It’s the easiest recipe for roast chicken I have ever come across.  It requires nothing but the mixing of spices and well, the rubbing of it into the chicken.  My father-in-law told me that the secret to its juiciness lies in the 2-3 hours it needs to marinate and the brown sugar mixture, which brings out its natural juices.  Whatever it is, its good and is officially a shabbat dinner staple in our household.

Spices ready for rubbin'

Now, because the juice and flavor is so strong and delicious, I highly recommend sides like Israeli couscous and/or roasted new potatoes with some roasted veggies or something like that. Seriously, let this baby be the star of your dinner.  I mean, you wouldn’t put Patti on the same stage as Barbra, would you?  Wait . . . would you!?!?!

Rub Dub Chicken

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Method

Combine all ingredients together. Rub chicken thickly and well all over, under skin too, using the entire rub. Let the chicken sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place seasoned chicken on rack. Roast for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue cooking, about another 30 minutes, basting with any drippings frequently, until meat registers about 180 degrees? Let sit for 10 minutes before carving.

Sweet, delicious rub dub chicken.

No Buttermilk Here

26 Feb

Well, we finally got cable, which means the various channels that play cooking shows of all kinds have been having their fair share of viewing time in our house.  We recently discovered Man vs. Food and every time I watch it, my old treif taste buds come roaring back.  Sure, I’d like to sink my teeth into a Philly cheese steak, but I ain’t gonna do it–ever.  Luckily, there are some very tasty meat alternatives out there that allow us to indulge a little.  The most recent episode we saw featured some delicious fried chicken.  Yum.  I mean, YUM.  The secret to some good, Southern fried chicken is a solid 24 hour marinate in buttermilk.  But alas, that’s not happening in our kosher home.  But just because we’re not bathing our chicken in buttermilk doesn’t mean we can enjoy some ‘fried’ chicken.  So, this shabbat dinner I tried out some oven-fried chicken.  Now, Ina (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) has an oven-fried chicken recipe but alas it calls for buttermilk so that wasn’t happening.  I scoured the internet for oven-fried recipes that didn’t include dairy and really didn’t find much.  I needed it to be dairy-free but also needed it to be juicy.  As a Southern woman, I find it difficult to think of making any kind of fried or oven-fried chicken without buttermilk but as a kosher woman, well, it’s out of the question.  Still, it needed to be juicy.  I can’t be the only person out there who has sunk there teeth into what looked like a nice, juicy oven-fried drumstick, only to find it so dried up you’re faking your yummy noises while asking for the water (“Mmmmm, soooo good.  Wow. Yum. Can anyone pass the water?”) . Finally, I settled on a recipe from the blog, The Hillbilly Housewife.  I mean hell, I gotta think that an oven-fried chicken recipe from a woman flat-out admitting to being a Hillbilly is gonna a) be delicious and b)gonna involve mounds of butter.  However, there was only a little and it was easily substituted for margarine and the result was very juicy.   I used some fresh bread crumbs made from some left over challah and cooked it for exactly an hour.  There was some thyme, there was some olive oil, there was some kosher salt.  It was all very delicious, if I do say so myself.

Ingredients

(I’m actually not going to put measurements as it really depends on how much chicken you’re making.  Just make sure your chicken is more than fully covered by the bread crumbs/seasonings.  All measurements will be based on your liking)

Cut-up chicken
Fresh bread crumbs
Thyme
Kosher salt
Pepper
Paprika
Garlic Powder
Olive oil – Enough to coat your roasting an
Margarine

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

In an empty freezer bag, or in a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and seasonings.  Put one portion of cut-up chicken in the bag and shake  or coat it in the bowl. Lay the coated chicken in a well oiled 9 by 13-inch rectangular baking pan.

After all your chicken is nicely coated and laid out in the pan, gently place any left over bread crumb/seasoning mixture on top of the chicken to get yourself a nice and extra crispy taste.  Next, put a dollop of margarine on top of each piece of chicken (more for the breast, less for a wing).  This will get it that nice and juicy taste you want.

Bake the chicken for about 45 minutes to an hour. Some people recommend turning the chicken over after it is half done baking. This is probably good advice, but I didn’t turn it over because I like the under sides to be a little more moist and a little less crispy.  I will leave the choice for turning the chicken up to you. You know it’s done when the chicken is a nice, golden brown color and the juice runs clear when you stick a fork in it.

Chicken - happy and coated in their roasting pan.

 

Post-oven and ready to be devoured.

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