French Chicken

What a remarkable dish this turned out to be. The French always know how to make a good chicken and vegetable dish so that is what my eyes were on as I was thinking of what to prepare today. In the end I had decided to just take what I loved from a few French classic recipes and make one of my own. And one that was relatively healthier by using the oven. This bright and pleasant dish was one of the best I have had in a long time. I served a side of plain pasta and it was beyond perfect seeing how you could pour the sauce over the pasta. Everything went hand in hand together.

I am sure you all can tell quite a difference in my pictures from the past week. I finally invested in a professional Canon eso 550D. As you all know this is going on my fourth year of having Ya Salam Cooking so it’s really something that I have needed for quite a while. When I first started this blog I had no idea how to blog little on taking pictures. Nothing compares to a quality SLR and I feel just complete with it now. I have always been a photographer at heart just with a crappy camera :P

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 large tomato, finely diced
3/4 cups water
1 chicken bullion cube
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 potatoes, quartered
2 carrots, sliced

1. Pre-heat oven 350F. In a roasting pan add water, butter, chicken bullion and tomato paste, mix. Add tomato, brown sugar, vinegar, chili powder, garlic, salt, onion, parsley, thyme, oregano, potatoes and carrots.

2. Cut each chicken breast in half and place into roasting pan. Combine mixture well. Place lid on pan and place into oven. Cook for 1 hour.

Yields: 2-3 servings

Hungarian Goulash Soup

I made quite a few changes to suit my own taste buds. First, I changed the traditional beef in this recipe to lamb. Overall my family and I prefer the smoother taste of lamb over beef. Secondly, I know caraway seeds are a very popular European spice however I did not have any on hand so I made a substitute and used ground cumin, oregano and Nigella to try to keep the robust flavor or the caraway seeds intact. I also chose to make dumplings for this meal to give it more and really make it a meal. I have never tried dumplings in anything but chicken and dumplings so I was extremely curious to try it. I have to admit I was skeptical at first.

Finally it was time to serve this gorgeous red stew and soon we would know if it was a hit or a miss. You see my husband is not much of a soup or stew person. We both really enjoyed this soup down to the last drop. The flavors were flawless together; the lamb was as soft as butter and the dumplings really brought this meal together.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 large onion, sliced
1 lb boneless lamb, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon Nigella seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
5 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 quart (1 liter) beef stock

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 cups water

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions and garlic and cool until tender. Add lamb, salt, pepper, paprika, Nigella, cumin, oregano and cloves. Mix well and allow meat to brown on all sides. About 5 minutes.

2. Add tomato paste and beef stock, mixing. Add bay leaf. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 2 hours.

3. 20 minutes before stew has finished getting a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Add water a small amount at a time until dough consistency has formed.

4. Form dough into 12 golf ball sizes balls. Carefully place into soup, do not mix. Raise heat to medium-high, cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, carefully mix and allow to cook for another 10 minutes with lid partially on. Serve.

Yields: 6-8 servings


Georgian cuisine refers to the cooking styles and dishes with origins in the nation of Georgia and prepared by the Georgian people around the world. The Georgian cuisine is very specific to the country, but also contains some influences from the Middle East and European culinary traditions. The cuisine offers a variety of dishes, high in various herbs and spices.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 small onion, diced
6 small tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions, garlic and chick. Cook until chicken is brown on all sides.

2. Add tomatoes cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir.

3. On top of mixture add mint, cilantro, parsley, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

This famous Hungarian dish is not typically cooked in the crockpot which is a shame because once you taste a whole chicken made in one there is no going back. The spices and juices marinate beautifully throughout the chicken. Paprika is a well known spice used throughout Europe and is displayed perfectly in this dish. Serve the chicken over noodles with the amazing sauce dolloped on top of it all. If you do not have a crock pot then you cook the chicken in a roasting pan for 1-1/2 hours and basically the rest of the recipe is the same.

1 whole chicken
1/4 butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
Cooked noodles to serve

1. Place butter and onions in bottom of crockpot. Add chicken breast side up. Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper on top of chicken. Cook on high heat for 6 hours. Half way though baste chicken.

2. Place cooked chicken into a serving platter. Add flour and sour cream into crock pot with the juices and whisk continuously. Serve chicken and sauce over noodles.

Yields: 4 servings