Arabic Chicken and Semolina Soup


If you’re looking looking for a quick soup to whip up then this is your recipe. Maybe you don’t feel well or just cold but we all know both circumstances call for chicken soup and fast. This is simple Arabic version is thickened with semolina with a touch of cardamom, both incredibly perfect. I used some leftover chicken I had in the fridge, Tazaj anyone?

4 cups of chicken stock
1/3 cup of fine semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
1 cup of cooked chicken, shredded
1 small onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the chicken stock in a saucepan. Add the onion and let it simmer for a few minutes. Place the semolina in a small bowl and add 1/3 cup of water, stirring the mixture with a spoon until smooth.

2. Add the semolina and cardamom to the soup, stirring for a few minutes till the semolina is soft. Add the chicken pieces, salt and pepper. Serve.

Yields: 2 servings

Adapted from Taste of Beruit

Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss

I tend to think us Americans killed the real dish of pasta loading every dish down with tons of cheese and seeming to think it’s just not pasta without it. In reality many real Italian pasta dishes do not even have cheese and (gasp) are amazing as they are. I have found that real Italian pasta taste so much. Chicken Piccata Pasta is such a savory dish tossed in a simple light sauce that packs a big punch. I love the way freshly diced tomatoes or even arugula garnished on top taste with it.

12 ounce pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1-1/4 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cup chicken stock
1 juice of one lemon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
tomatoes and arugula for garnish

1. On medium heat in a sauté pan add half of olive oil. In a small bowl add chicken and coat with salt and pepper. Add chicken into pan and cook until no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes.

2. When chicken has cooked make a well in the middle of the pan and add shallots and garlic. Cook until tender then add remaining oil, flour and chicken broth. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Add lemon juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Drain pasta and add into the pan, toss with mixture. Allow to completely warm, about 5 minutes. Garnish top with tomatoes and arugula.

Yields: 4 servings

Chicken Pot Pie

Growing up my brothers and I would always rush home after school and our mom would pop a Swanson’s chicken pot pie in the oven for each of us and we loved it. It’s been years since I have had a pot pie and surprisingly I have never made or ate the homemade version but it’s been on my to do list for quite a while now. I had a pack of chicken breast laid out and I was in the mood for Southern food and this recipe crossed my mind.

After searching the net for a while I finally found a recipe that sounded perfect to me. Making everything from scratch including the crust was something I wanted to do so a lot of the recipes were not working for me. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly although I did add corn I mean what is a pot pie without corn after all?

1 (3 1/2 pound) frying chicken
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small onion, halved
2 teaspoons salt
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf

Pie crust ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (best to chill cubes in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Filling ingredients:
 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
3 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Egg wash:
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

1.  Cook the chicken and make the chicken stock. Combine the
chicken, carrot, celery, onion and salt into a large stock pot. Add
cold water until just covered and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken
from the pot and let cool for 15 minutes. While the chicken is
cooling, continue to boil the remaining water and vegetables in the pot.
When the chicken has cooled enough to touch, strip away as much of the
meat as you can. Place the meat on a dish, set aside. Return the
chicken bones to the stockpot and continue to boil, on high heat, until
the stock has reduced to a quart or quart and a half. Set aside 2 1/2
cups of the stock for this recipe. The remaining stock you can
refrigerate and store for another purpose.

2.  Prepare the pie crust dough. Combine the flour and salt in a food
processor. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse 5 times to combine.
And the shortening and pulse a few more times, until the dough resembles
a coarse cornmeal, with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Slowly stream
in ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition,
until the dough sticks together when you press some between your
fingers. Empty the food processor, placing the dough on a clean
surface. Use your hands to mold into a ball, then flatten the ball into
a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour, wrap with plastic wrap, and
refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.

3.  Prepare the filling. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, melt
butter on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook
until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and
cook, stirring, one minute more. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken
stock. Whisk in the milk. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10
minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken meat, thyme, sherry, peas,
parsley, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if
necessary. Divide the warm filling among six 10-ounce ramekins.

4.  Prepare the crust. Roll out dough on a lightly flour surface to a
little less than a quarter-inch thick. Cut into 6 rounds, slightly
larger than the circumference of the ramekins. Lay a dough round on
each pot pie filling. Fold the excess dough under itself and use the
tines of a fork to press the dough against the edge of the ramekins.
Cut a 1-inch vent into each individual pie. Use a pastry brush to apply
an egg wash to each pie. Line a baking sheet with foil, place the pies
on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until the pastry
is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 minutes
before serving.

Yields: 6 servings

adapted from simply recipes with minor changes

Mahogany Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

I love a beautiful golden and crisp chicken and this recipe fits the qualifications perfectly. This chicken is brushed every 15 minutes with a special sauce for flavoring and color. I have used peach juice but you can substitute that for any other light juice such as apple or white grape. Also you can use any vegetables that you are prone to I personally prefer carrots and brussel sprouts alongside poultry.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons peach juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed

1 large chicken (cleaned

4 cups vegetables
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. In a small saucepan on medium heat add butter, soy sauce, juice, pepper and garlic. Mix well and allow cooking for minutes.

2. Place chicken in a roasting pan and brush sauce all over, pouring remaining into the pan. Take chicken out every 15 minutes and brush with sauce. Cook for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes.

3. In a baking pan add vegetables and toss with oil. Place under a broiler and cook until lightly charred and fully cooked, flipping when needed. Sprinkle top with sea salt.

4. Place chicken in a serving platter and arrange vegetables around.

Yields: 4 servings