Friday, February 7, 2014

Sriracha Chicken Legs

I had chicken legs, I don't know why but I did so I needed to use them and I wanted to make them Buffalo Style since neither one of us are a fan of plain, ol', boring chicken. But neither of us are a huge fan of hot Buffalo sauce, but we are huge fans of Sriracha so I thought I could surely replace the Tabasco with Sriracha...and yes it did work.

So basically I pan seared the chicken legs to give them some browning then baked them for 45 minutes at 375 uncovered turning them once throughout the process. I made a typical Buffalo style sauce but swapped out the Tabasco for Sriracha in a skillet (Butter, Worcestershire, spices, etc.) and then coated the baked legs in the Sriracha Sauce. From there I normally would have grilled them for a few minutes and based them with the Sriracha Sauce a few times to really grill on the flavoring however the windchill prevented me from getting out on the deck (actually I'm pretty sure that the grill wouldn't have stayed lit, but regardless). But instead I just simmered them in the skillet for 3-5 minutes then served them up.

They were great for me since I'm not a huge heat person. Hope you can try them out the next time you are looking for a switch from the norm.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day Cooking: Gumbo-laya

Happy Snow Day(s)! Oh wait, I work from home so therefore I don't get snow days, I just get a different perspective when I take the dog out and I can't walk out and water the horses in my slippers. But regardless I digress, I'm truly happy for everyone else who gets to have a Snow Day...was that convincing? :)

Regardless of where you are working today I highly recommend making this Gumbo-laya, it received high remarks from the 'landlord' so much so he even suggested inviting over a Gumbo loving friend for dinner sometime. I did alter the original recipe a little bit which I have noted below, but it took me total of 40 minutes to make (it would have been shorter if I would have prepped my ingredients before I started cooking). I also used a stock pot that wasn't non-stick and it created a really great browning on the bottom that I think flavored the Gumbo-laya very well.

I found the recipe on Pinterest (yes everyone close your mouths I know you are shocked). Here is the link to the Pinterest post I found, the original recipe is linked to the headline below.

Gumbo-laya from the Cozy Apron

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced (I used smoked turkey sausage)
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces (I used meat off chicken legs that I made over the weekend)
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced (we only like our celery with peanut butter, so we omitted this)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large bell pepper, finely diced (I used a red pepper)
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 2 tsp Sriracha instead because we LOVE it over cayenne)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
½ pound okra, sliced into ¼ – ½” thick slices (I used 2 oversized cups of frozen thawed in the microwave for a minute or so)
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice (I obviously didn't use organic)
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (raw)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
• Fragrant Garlic Rice (recipe below) (someone isn't a fan of the jasmine rice, we just used good ol' brown rice)

-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine, and allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over the Fragrant Garlic Rice, with some additional spice/heat options like hot sauce, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, if desired.

Fragrant Garlic Rice ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 cups jasmine rice
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 cups water                  
-Place a medium pot over medium-high heat, and add in the olive oil; once hot, add in the pressed garlic, and stir to combine; once the garlic becomes fragrant, add in the rice, the salt and the pepper and stir, and allow the rice to “toast” in the garlic oil for about 2 minutes; next, add in the water, stir, and simmer the rice, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until tender; turn off the heat, and after 5 minutes, fluff with fork and serve.