Crispy Spicy Lemon Grass Chicken Thighs With Pan Seared Potatoes

chicken thigh

Chicken thighs can always be found in our kitchen. Boneless, skinless or bone-in. We do not discriminate! Thigh meat is so much more forgiving when compared to chicken breast. The meat stays so juicy and tender.

And these potatoes! O. M. G. They have a nice crispy skin with a fluffy center. They are perfect with these chicken thighs.

chicken thigh

Chicken thighs are also incredibly versatile. We make them in so many different marinades. Today I wanted to try something different. I picked up some lemongrass puree over the weekend and I have been dying to use it in a marinade. These thighs have a crisp skin and really tender meat.

Crispy Spicy Lemon Grass Chicken Thighs With Pan Seared Potatoes
Recipe type: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Crispy chicken thighs with a spicy lemon grass marinade.
Ingredients
  • For The Chicken-
  • Bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp pureed lemon grass
  • 3 cloves of vodka chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • For The Potatoes-
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh lemon
Instructions
  1. For The Chicken-
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the chicken and marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 or set up a grill. (I use a charcoal grill)
  4. I grilled on each side for 15 minutes.
  5. Grill the thighs until internal temperature is 165.
  6. For The Potatoes-
  7. Slice the potatoes about ½ inch thick.
  8. Place them in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Microwave for 5 minutes or until tender.
  10. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add olive oil.
  11. Sear the potatoes until golden brown.
  12. Salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Squeeze fresh lemon to finish.

You can swap the potatoes for fresh greens and make it a low carb meal! These chicken thighs are always a hit in our house. So fast and easy. I love the twist with the lemon grass and ginger. The thighs came out so light and fresh while the potatoes were salty and crisp!

chicken thighs

Please please say you will make these! They will be your new summer best friends!

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Smoked Chicken Sausage, Bean, Kale and Parm Stew

kale stew

Sometimes you just need a go to 20 minute meal. I know when I am coming home after a long day all I want is something comforting and hot as fast as possible. It definitely helps if it is something healthy as well.

This creamy stew is milk and cream free. I start out cooking down onions with garlic and kale then add in smokey chicken sausage. The white beans are what give the dish the thick hearty texture. Topped with lots of Parmesan cheese of course!

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4.0 from 1 reviews
Smoked Chicken Sausage, Bean, Kale and Parm Stew
Recipe type: Soup/ Stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Smokey chicken sausage, kale, white beans and Parmesan.
Ingredients
  • 1 can of white beans
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 4 oz smoked chicken sausage
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz shredded parm plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat butter or oil in a saute pan, add garlic and onions.
  2. Add in the kale and start to cook down.
  3. Add in chopped sausage and cook until the edges slightly crisp.
  4. Pour in the beans and stock.
  5. Mix in spices.
  6. Simmer until stew begins to thicken.
  7. Add cheese.
  8. Serve!

This is one of my new favorite meals. The cheese and spicy broth make it such a satisfying dish. I love how quickly this dish can be thrown together. You could even make it vegetarian by skipping the sausage and adding more kale. Sooo good!

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Spicy Fried Chicken

spicy fried chicken

There  comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to decide: breast or thigh? I very rarely had fried chicken growing up. In an Italian home you typically have chicken roasted and incorporated into dishes. In my adult life I became very fond of the grilled chicken thigh, but never did I ever think I would be partial to frying chicken thighs. I always preferred breast. I even prided myself in being able to fry such juicy pieces of chicken while using the leanest part available.

Today I am here to introduce you to the fried chicken thigh. And I have no regrets. My signature spicy coating over a boneless skinless thigh retains so much juice and flavor while still being very easy to pull apart. This is crucial if you are serving as a sandwich. That is the biggest problem with fried breast on a sandwich. Trying to take a bite without pulling the entire piece of chicken with you.

For the seasoning I highly recommend using the Kroger brand pork seasoning. It has low salt and is almost 50% paprika which is the key to getting that super dark rich fried chicken coloring. You are welcome to make your own. It is a blend of paprika, brown sugar, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of salt.

chicken thigh

Spicy Fried Chicken
Recipe type: Chicken, Poultry, Fried
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Spicy fried chicken bursting with juices and flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups of AP flour
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 tbsp pork rub
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps red pepper
  • 2 cups of milk
  • canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken thighs while the oil is heating in the milk with 2 tbsp of the pork rub.
  2. Heat the oil to 350.
  3. You know it is ready if you sprinkle a little flour over the oil and it immediately bubbles.
  4. Mix together the flour, panko, and seasoning.
  5. Add the chicken making sure to pat the mixture heavily on top.
  6. I like to shake off a little then drop the thigh back into the flour.
  7. Fry 2 at a time or as many as you can without crowding.
  8. The batter will be a deep reddish golden brown.
  9. Cool over paper towels to soak extra oil and lightly salt each piece.

chicken

Try this recipe as a sandwich! My favorite way is sriracha, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and chicken on a potato bun. Or with creamy slaw!

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Best Pizza Dough I’ve Ever Had

best pizza dough recipe

Pizza is usually a staple in our household. It is something super easy you can throw together with whatever ingredients you have on hand. We always have a variety of meats, cheeses and veggies. This dough is my all time favorite because it is so easy. It takes hardly any time to make and tastes just as good, if not better, than a more complex dough.

If you have noticed the lack of posts lately, it is because I made a bet at work. 14 days no diet coke, no pasta, no bread, no potatoes, no popcorn, no fruits, no sugar of any kind. 14 days of water, more water, protein, veggies, and even more water. Of course with some exercise thrown in.

I have been making so many excuses of how I am way to busy to go to the gym or I am just so tired I want to eat something comforting. This “diet” bet will hold me accountable and help me cleanse all the garbage I’ve been ingesting this year. So far I am day 6. Went cold turkey on the diet coke and wine. No more chocolates or treats after dinner. Today I finally made it back to my yoga class and we took the kids to the skating rink after.

Long story short- enjoy this pizza for me! It is delicious.

By the way, the pizza shown above is mozzarella, prosciutto, jalapenos, olives, cherry peppers and mushrooms.

Best Pizza Dough I've Ever Had
Recipe type: Pizza, Dough
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pizza
 
Thin fluffy crust made from this easy dough recipe.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a mixture attach the dough hook. Pour in the yeast, sugar and water. Let sit until bubbles form and you can smell the yeast activating. Add 2½ cups of flour, the salt, butter, garlic and herbs. Turn the mixer on medium low speed and allow all the ingredients to mix together. Use a spatula to scrap the sides if needed. If the dough still looks sticky add in more flour. The dough should be tacky to the tough, but not wet. Once the dough starts to form a ball pull from mixture and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead one or two times as you shape the ball of dough. Once you have the shape to your liking place the dough in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1½ hours. Now you are ready to make that pizza!

pizza dough

Seriously, make one of these and eat it for me!

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Pizza Hand Pies

pizza pie

Pizza Hand Pie

What is better than a huge cheesy pizza folded in half to capture all the excess toppings? A hand pie crust filled with pizza toppings! All the goodness without the mess. I’m talking bubbling melted mozzarella, juicy veggies, garlic and marinara in a crispy crust.  Did I mention kid friendly? My boyfriend’s kids were highly skeptical, but once they bit into them and realized it was pizza it was two thumbs up!

Pizza

I have seriously been trying to pack every meal with veggies lately. This hand pie has red peppers, green peppers, yellow onions, olives, mushrooms – so easy to customize. I would have added jalapenos, but the jar I had was so spicy. As in unbelievably spicy. You know how you can go to Subway on a Monday and have their jalapenos and they are perfect, but you go a few days later and they are miniature fire bombs? I think that is what is going on with these. I just happened to buy a jar filled with all the seeds from the other jars.

pizza crust These hand pies are different from calzones because I skipped the ricotta and added marinara. You do not have to put the sauce inside the hand pie. I just prefer the sauce to cook into the veggies. Just make sure you go fairly light so it does not spill out the sides.

Pizza Hand Pies
Recipe type: Dinner, Pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Crispy pizza crust stuffed with meats, cheeses and veggies.
Ingredients
  • Pizza dough
  • Egg wash (1 egg yolk plus water)
  • Assorted veggies
  • Sliced olives
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Pepperonis
  • Mixture of Italian cheese - provolone, mozzarella, Parmesan
  • Italian seasoning
  • Marinara sauce
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425.
  2. Divide the pizza dough into 4 equal balls.
  3. Roll out into 4 equal ovals on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Spoon about 1 tsp of marinara over the center of the dough. Do not get too close to the edge. Leave about an inch.
  5. Add the pepperoni and veggies.
  6. Top with a handful of shredded cheeses.
  7. Pull one side of the dough over the topping to meet the opposite edge.
  8. Use a fork to crimp the dough together.
  9. Roll the crimp one time and use the fork or fingers to pinch down again.
  10. It is important to add the extra roll over the dough edge to keep all those toppings locked up.
  11. Use a knife to cut 3 slits on the top to let steam out.
  12. Brush egg wash over crust.
  13. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  14. Bake for 20 minute until crust is golden brown.
  15. Keep an eye on them because they cook very fast. I cooked mine for 25 minutes. I should have pulled them out a few minutes earlier.

I hope you enjoy! This is one of my favorite meals. It is quick and easy with a fast clean up. I highly recommend heating the rest of the marinara with some crushed red pepper and olive oil for dipping! Yum!

pizza pie

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Crawfish Etoufee

etoufee

etoufee

First off- can we talk about my new logo? My friend Jennifer at sweetsouthernwife.com made it for me. She does amazing work! I gave her just a few guidelines of what I wanted and I think she nailed it! If you want her to work on anything just contact her at Bowen106@gmail (dot) com. She does website layouts, icons, and logos. As I work on my photography and content I wanted to make sure I was branding my website so everything is clean and cohesive.

Now lets talk etoufee. Patrick and I were watching Master Chef Jr. and one of the mini chefs made a classic etoufee. It was one of those dishes that looks so amazing on the tv screen that you find yourself breathing in deeper to see if you can smell it from home. Creamy gravy filled with veggies and crawfish over a scoop of fluffy rice. This classic dish is perfect for the chilly nights we have been having lately.

crawfish etoufee

I researched a lot of different etoufee recipes before trying to tackle this dish. It seems like there are two ways to make it- traditional heavy flour based roux or heavy butter based roux. You know I went the butter route…

Crawfish Etoufee
Recipe type: Stew, Soup, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Classic creamy crawfish etoufee over fluffy rice.
Ingredients
  • ½ pound crawfish tails rinsed and peeled
  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 2 cups of chopped veggies - red pepper, green pepper, onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 cups of hot water or stock
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 2 HEAPING tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of prepared rice ( I used jasmine and tossed it with a little olive oil)
Instructions
  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat melt the butter.
  2. Add in the flour and whisk non stop until the mixture is slightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Add in the veggies and switch to a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir quickly because the flour will start to immediately thicken.
  5. Add in the water/stock slowly constantly stirring.
  6. Let simmer while the veggies cook down.
  7. Once the onion softens slightly add in the crawfish.
  8. Season liberally.
  9. Add in more or less hot sauce depending on how spicy you like it!
  10. Reduce to low.
  11. The mix should be slightly thickened and cooked through.
  12. Squeeze one whole lemon over the mixture and sprinkle the parsley.
  13. Pour over the rice and serve!

Don’t be afraid of the lemon! I love the acid it brings to this dish. I hope you enjoy!

crawfish etoufee

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Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

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     I have been wanting to tackle my front pathway for weeks. Finally the sun peaked out for a minute this morning and I ran outside with my new gardening gloves ready to give my pathway the makeover it deserved. Well, I learned several valuable lessons. Rubber grip gardening gloves do not protect you from thorns, lots of bugs live in bushes and I have 3 very different very stubborn species of vines growing around my porch. I may not have ended up with my dream front yard, but it does look significantly better. More festive.

     Lets talk quesadillas. Cheesy, spicy, creamy quesadillas. After all that yard work I needed something warm and filling. These tortillas are stuffed with chipotle chicken, black beans, cheese and jalapenos. I drizzled some sour cream and topped with some basil that I grew myself this summer!

What You Need:

1 chicken breast

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 can of black beans rinsed

1 large flour tortilla

1/2 cup mixed cheeses ( I used cheddar and monterey jack)

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos ( or fresh chopped)

1 tbsp chipotle Tabasco sauce

Fresh herbs

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Directions: 

Chop the chicken breast set to the side. Spray a saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high. Add chicken and spices. Saute for about 5 minutes. When the chicken starts to stick add in the chicken stock and Tabasco. (Using cooking spray and chicken stock is a healthy alternative to oil.) When the cooking stock reduces down to a glaze turn off the heat and set to the side to cool off.

Heat another cooking spray prepared saute pan over medium low. Place one large tortilla flat in the pan. Add the chicken, beans, jalapenos and cheese. When the cheese begins to melt take a fork or spatula and fold the tortilla. Cook on each side until lightly browned. About 2 minutes each. Let the quesadilla cool for about 5 minutes before cutting. For the sour cream- add a tsp or milk or water for a nice consistency and drizzle over the top. You can use cilantro or basil. Chop and sprinkle on the quesadilla slices.

Enjoy!

Want to know what products I used?

Cusinart Saute Pan

Mainstays White China Plates

Chipotle Tabasco

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Tasty Tuesdays: Was That Pin A Win? Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

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Pinterest is that black hole that sucks you in for hours, but does all that pinning actually result in anything? How many of your pins do you actually put to use? I decided I wanted to start a series on the topped pinned recipes to see if they are worth the hype.

Today I bring you the Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin. There are hundreds of pins featuring this pork duo. The most pinned version uses just a few ingredients- honey, pork, bacon and olive oil. I of course had to complicate the recipe and add a few more ingredients.

What you need:

A pork loin around 1 lb

1 pack of smoked bacon not too thick

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper

garlic powder

1 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Take the pork loin and poke a few holes down the middle. Pour the vinegar and honey onto the tenderloin. Sprinkle on the brown sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Wrap the loin with bacon. I stretched the bacon to wrap around and tuck under each piece. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Final result- Definitely worth the effort! It was sweet and tender. Next time I think I will do a honey mustard glaze!

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Tangy Pepper and Olive Pepperoni Pizza




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 As much as I try I just cannot go a week without pizza. I even considered a cheese-less kale pizza to try and justify my cravings. This pizza has half the fat of a pizza from a local chain and is bursting with flavor. The mild garlic olives infused with the spice from the jalapenos and splash of sweet from the banana peppers. Such a winning combo. I added in a few boarshead pepperonis because they are my all time favorite.

What you need:

For the dough:

1 Cup of AP Flour

1/2 packet of active yeast

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 tsp italian seasoning

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp salt

For the toppings:

banana peppers

jalapenos

garlic marinated olives

boardshead pepperoni

mozzarella

pizza sauce of your choice

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 375.

I used a bread machine and just dumped all the ingredients in the machine on the dough setting. This dough does not need more then 20 minutes of rise time. We are making a fairly thin crust.  If you do not have a bread machine just mix your sugar, water, and yeast together. Let sit for 2 minutes then add the rest of the ingredients.

Roll your dough out as thin as you prefer. I did about 1/2 an inch thick.

Top your pizza with the sauce, cheese, peppers, olives and pepperoni. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust has a deep golden color and cheese is bubbling.

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Just try to only have one piece 😉

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Ricotta Meatballs





Meatballs are a classic dish in Italian homes. My mom always made the best homemade meatballs when I was growing up. The whole house would smell like garlic and sausage. 
Ricotta and I have a love hate relationship. I hate the texture, but when it is mixed into meats and sauces I love the moisture it adds. These meatballs are sure to satisfy any Italian craving.
What you need:
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground sirloin 
1 egg
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes 
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
Olive oil 
A sauté pan with lid.
Directions:
Heat pan over medium heat. Add in oil. Enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Mix all ingredients and shape into equal size balls. You can use a cookie scoop here. Drop all the meatballs carefully in the oil and cook until brown on all sides. About 5 minutes each side. Lower heat to medium low and add tomatoes to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with pasta or alone and enjoy!

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