Thursday, December 27, 2012

Recipe 34: Chicken Breasts Pierre

So after dabbling in fancy dishes with Salmon and Quinoa, I decided to once again go back the the old staple chicken.  I think that this is just about my last chicken dish that I made.... which seems unlikely given that I have made a lot.  I never knew there were so many ways to make chicken, before I attempted this new recipe every week thing.  In general, having a new way to make chicken was kind of a life saver since it was always easy and I could usually whip through it on days when I didn't want to attempt something massive.

For this dish I found something that sounded kind of exotic, but it also had really good reviews, so I figured I would try it.  Here is a picture of the final result.  The recipe doesn't call for it, but I served it on top of a bed of white rice since many reviewers recommended that.  I almost think that the tomato sauce mixed with the rice was my favorite part of this dish.

And here is the recipe that I used: (Link)


  •      6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  •     1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1 pinch ground black pepper
  •     3 tablespoons butter
  •     1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
  •     1/2 cup water
  •     2 tablespoons brown sugar
  •     2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  •     2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     2 teaspoons chili powder
  •     1 teaspoon mustard powder
  •     1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  •     1 clove garlic, minced
  •     1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  1. In a shallow dish or bowl, combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper. Coat chicken breasts with flour mixture. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown chicken on all sides. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels.
  2. In the same skillet, combine the tomatoes, water, brown sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, chili powder, mustard, celery seed, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and return chicken to skillet. Cover, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear.


I made a few minor changes to this.  The first was just in how much I made, I only made four breasts.  The second is how I applied the flour mixture.  Sometime during this year I found that the best way to apply a flour or any coating to meat, especially to chicken, is to mix everything together in a ziploc bag and then drop the breast in and move it around inside the bag.  This is terrific and really easy. (Note: It feels odd to actually have a cooking tip to give out, even if it might be well known)

The final change was that I cooked up some white rice to serve with this.  I thought the rice complimented this dish really well and I would definitely recommend making it if you make this recipe.

The Process

So after coating the chicken in flour, I started to cook them in the skillet.  Since it is going to cook more with the sauce you don't want to cook them all the way through, simply brown it on all sides.

 This was hard for me to accept, but I figured the recipe knew best.  Here is the chicken after finishing on the skillet.

 I next started the sauce, shown below.

Once it was ready I added the chicken to the mixture.

I let it simmer and then moved on to the rice.  Sprinkles observed me from her perch at the top of the cabinets.

Soon the dish was ready, and the final result is below.

I really liked this dish.  It was pretty simple, but also very good.  The sauce on the rice was terrific and the chicken was good too.

Since I know what comes next, I will preview the future.  Things are about to get slightly higher scale.  Up to this point I had mostly been making things from, which was good because for the most part the recipes are straightforward and easy enough for me to make.  But starting with the next recipe, I got the majority of my recipes from, which is sort of a step up from me.  It will be interesting to see how I fare...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recipe 32: Maple Salmon and Recipe 33: Quinoa with Sweet Potato and Mushrooms

So, I am way behind in writing these blogs, I don't remember exactly when I made this, though my camera says I took these pictures on October 29th.  So I guess that is when.  I made these recipes together and this marked the start of a lot of quinoa dishes.  Quinoa is really healthy and I have enjoyed a lot of these dishes.

One reason I am combing these two recipes is because I made them together, but also because I need to just get through my massive backlog (around 20 recipes).  Normally, it would be nice to split these up and highlight each one in its own post.

Here is the final result of these two recipes:

Here is the recipe for the Maple Salmon that I used(Link):


1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon


  1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.


I think that the only change that I made was to used 2 pounds of salmon and double the size of the glaze.

Here is the recipe for the Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes that I used(Link):


1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans


  1. Stir the quinoa in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to take on a toasty aroma, about 5 minutes. Pour in the water, and add pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and cayenne pepper; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the sweet potato is soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour a splash of water into the skillet if needed to keep the vegetables from burning. Spoon the vegetable mixture over a bed of quinoa, and sprinkle with chopped pecans to serve.


I made a few changes to this recipe.  The first was the size, I used 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of veggie broth to cook it in.  I have found that cooking the qunioa in broth make it a lot better, than just cooking it in water.

The second change was that I used 2 sweet potatoes and increased the size of the onion I used to medium.  Finally, I added a little bit of cinnamon and also increased how much cayenne that I added.

The Process

I started by allowing Sprinkles to investigate the salmon, she seemed to enjoy it, at least through the bag.

 So then I prepared the glaze and mixed it up.

 I then brushed the glaze onto the salmon and wrapped it in aluminum foil.

I then prepared the veggies for the quinoa.  I peeled and chopped up the sweet potatoes. 

I then chopped and diced the onions.  These were among the strongest that I have encountered.  In fact they even made Sprinkles cry.  I am not sure that this picture shows it, but trust me, she is tearing up.

I then put the salmon in the oven, and started making the quinoa and veggies.  Here you can see the quinoa toasting and the onions starting.

After a few minutes I added the broth to the quinoa  and added the rest of the veggies to the onions and cooked them.

Soon the salmon was done and removed from the oven. I tested it by using a fork to flake it.  I think that I ended up cooking it slightly longer than the recipe called for.

After a few minutes the quinoa and veggies were all done.  To serve this I just dished out the quinoa and then added the veggies on top of them.

Overall, I thought that the salmon was terrific and the maple glaze really added a lot.  I also enjoyed the quinoa dish.  I thought that the sweet potatoes were really good with it.