Creamy Chicken & Green Beans on Rice

This easy creamy chicken and green bean on rice is a new family favorite.  The creamy sauce on rice is super comforting, and the stirfried green beans are a tasty way to eat more vegetables.

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While this creamy chicken and green bean on rice wasn’t a one pan meal, I did only use one pan if you don’t count the rice cooker.  Who is counting?  First I stirfried the green beans with some minced garlic.  Then using the same pan, I added more garlic and browned the chicken.  Then using the same pan, with the garlicky chicken juices and all, I added butter and made roux and then cream sauce.  The browned chicken was then returned to the pan of sauce and simmered until done.

Creamy sauces on rice is one of my favorite comfort foods and I usually end up over eating.  So to cut back on calories, I used skinless chicken thighs even though it would be more flavorful and juicy with skin on and bone-in.  All three toddlers finished their plates and two kiddos even got seconds so I say this dish gets to go on the regular dinner rotation ūüôā

Recipe:

serves 4 to 6

  • 3 cups rice

Garlic Green Beans

  • 1 lb trimmed green beans
  • 1 tbls minced garlic
  • 1 tbls oil
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 tbls chicken broth

Creamy Chicken (Sauce adapted from food.com)

  • 2 lbs chicken (cut of your choice)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 tbls butter
  • 4 tbls flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and cook rice and place in bottom of serving dish.  I cooked two cups of rice with one cup of quinoa instead to add a whole grain to the meal.
  2. Stir fry green beans:  heat pan, add oil and minced garlic.  When oil is hot and garlic is fragrant, add green beans and stir to coat beans in oil.  Let pan fry over medium high heat for 2 minutes then add season chicken broth and cover with lid and steam until pan is almost dry, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic green beans on top of rice.
    Garlic Green Beans
  4. Add crushed garlic to pan and brown chicken, approximately 8 minutes per side.Browning chicken in pan
  5. Set aside browned chicken. Lower heat and add butter to pan. After it melts, blend in flour, onion powder, salt and pepper until mixture is smooth and even. Pour in chicken stock, turn up heat and stir until smooth and boiling.
  6. Return chicken to pan, add heavy cream, cover pan and lower heat.  Simmer until chicken is no longer pink inside, approximately 20 minutes for boneless, and longer for bone-in.
    Simmer Chicken in Creamy Sauce
  7. Enjoy!

So what do you think?  Would you give this recipe a try?

Roast Chicken and Potatoes

Remember those 3 whole chickens that I bought on sale a few weeks ago?  I used one to make Vietnamese style chicken curry and the second one to make roast chicken and potatoes.  This roast chicken recipe is so quick and easy to make, with very little prep time.  Just make sure you allot enough time for it to be in the oven.  Other than that, put in the oven and walk away.

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I normally don’t eat chicken skin unless it’s crispy (makes me gag otherwise), but let me tell you, I have no problems eating the skin (or any other parts) on this chicken. ¬†It’s crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. ¬†The potatoes also come out perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. ¬†Yummy!
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I paired the chicken with kale stir-fried with a bit of olive oil, garlic, shallots I had leftover from the curry (you can omit or use onion instead) and salt and pepper.  Easy peasy.

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When the everything is done, just put the whole roasting pan on the dining table and carve the chicken as you eat. ¬†No need to be fancy. ¬†Well, you can be a little fancy and add some flowers to the table. ¬†A girl always needs a bit of flowers in her life…

What should I do with the last chicken?

Roast chicken and potatoes (Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large, preferably unwaxed, lemon
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
  • a handful of fresh thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • olive oil
  • a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  1. Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt (I use about 1 tbsp) and freshly ground black pepper (~30 grindings). Do this in the morning if possible, then cover the chicken and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking it for lunch or dinner.
  2. Preheat your oven to 190¬ļC/375¬ļF/gas 5.
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  4. Cut the potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them into the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves, and cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes), then remove the lemon and garlic.
  6. Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so their outsides get chuffed up and fluffy ‚Äď this will make them crispy when they roast.
  7. While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times.
  8. Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat it with kitchen paper and rub it all over with olive oil.
  9. Push the garlic cloves, the whole lemon and the thyme into the cavity, then put the chicken into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes.
  10. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  11. Some fat should have cooked out of it into the roasting tray, so toss the potatoes into this with the rosemary leaves.  You can add carrots at this point if you want.
  12. Shake the tray around, then make a gap in the center of the potatoes and put the chicken back in.
  13. Cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are golden. (You can tell the chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear.)
  14. Remove the lemon and garlic from inside the chicken, squeeze all the garlic flesh out of the skin, mush it up and smear it all over the chicken, discard the lemon and rosemary and carve the chicken at the table.

Vietnamese style chicken curry (Ca Ri Ga)

The other day, we went grocery shopping to buy ingredients to make Vietnamese style chicken curry.¬† We saw whole chickens on sale – 3 for $20.¬† That’s pretty cheap in our neck of the woods so we bought them.¬† I wasn’t completely sure what I would use all that chicken for (I had a few recipes in mind), but¬†I knew I could just freeze it until I figured it out. We normally buy chicken in parts (thighs, breasts, etc), so having to butcher a whole chicken was a bit of a first for me. I tried to follow Martha’s instructions, but our knives were pretty dull so I had to enlist hubby’s help.¬† It actually wasn’t so difficult to do, just need some muscles or sharper knives.¬† ūüėȬ† We used most of the chicken for the curry, except for the back (we saved for making stock) and¬†2/3 of the¬†breast.¬† That way, everyone is happy since the hubs likes dark meat and I prefer white.¬† You can choose to use any parts of the chicken you like.¬† I prefer skin-on and bone-in for more flavour.

This recipe is relatively easy to make.¬† You can divide the work into 2 days if you want, just marinate the chicken overnight the day before you want to eat it.¬† It’s also a one pot recipe….you know how much I love one pot dinner recipes!¬† Less dishes to clean!

What makes this curry Vietnamese style is the coconut milk and lemongrass, which may be difficult to find depending where you live.¬† If you want to omit the lemongrasss, I am sure the curry will still taste pretty good.¬† You can adjust the spiciness with the amount of curry powder and chili paste.¬† The amounts used here don’t result in an overly spicy curry.¬† Even our baby can eat it!

I love the smell of this curry, especially when garnished with cilantro.¬† Mmmm…can you smell it too?¬† Don’t forget to have it with toasted baguettes.¬† It’s how Vietnamese people eat their curry and the best way to eat it, in my opinion!

Vietnamese style chicken curry

Vietnamese style chicken curry

Oh and one¬†more thing,¬†this curry is better than my mom’s (according to¬†the hubs). Shhh…..don’t tell her! ūüėČ

Stay tuned for more easy chicken recipes.  In the meantime, try some of our other tasty recipes.

Vietnamese Style Chicken Curry Recipe (adapted from Food.com)

2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
2 small shallots
1 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon chili paste ( such as Sriracha)
peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 lbs chicken (thighs, breasts, whatever you prefer)
1 medium yellow onion, divided into 6 pieces and separated
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
2 2/3 cups coconut milk
4 large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
potatoes and/or yams cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup cilantro leaf

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine curry powder, garlic, sugar, shallots, salt, chili paste, 1 tablespoon of the oil and black pepper. Lightly puree and pulse into a rough paste.
  2. Rub the paste all over the chicken. Place in a bowl , cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf and lemongrass and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Add the chicken to the stockpot and sear for about 10-15 minutes, or until browned.  Remove chicken from the pot.
  5. Turn the heat to high. Add the water, coconut milk, carrots and potatoes to the pot.  Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to low.  Add back chicken and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked and carrots and potatoes almost soft.
  6. Test the carrots and potatoes for doneness before adding the peas. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes in a light simmer.
  7. Serve hot over rice or with fresh, warm baguettes. Garnish with cilantro.

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Easy Yummy One Pan Garlicky Ketchup Chicken

Gralicky Ketchup Chicken with vegetables, rice and quinoa

Garlicky Ketchup Chicken

Doesn’t it seem like some days just get away from you?¬†I thought I was ahead of the dinner game when I managed to pull a bag of chicken out of the freezer to defrost, and cooked a pot of rice and quinoa while my daughter was busy helping¬†stir the pumpkin into the egg mixture for the Libby’s Pumpkin muffins we were baking.

Instead, my daughter won’t take her afternoon nap and¬†at¬†6 PM, she was fussy and¬†I still haven’t a clue what was for dinner except that there was rice and quinoa, and¬†the boneless and skinless chicken thighs were defrosted.

I’ve been wanting to use the green beans I got earlier in the week from Costco¬†so¬†I¬†Googled ‘chicken green bean recipes’ and¬†thought a¬†green bean and chicken casserole¬†that came up looked tasty.¬† But it’s getting much too late to be¬†attempting to make¬†cream of chicken soup from scratch since I didn’t have any on hand so I pinned it for another night.

Does Pinterest come with a warning label? It’s a dangerous place for me when it comes to time management.¬† I’m not sure what happened after I pinned the recipe but I ended up looking at shrimp recipes when I had no shrimp in the house, just defrosted chicken and a picture for sweet and sour shrimp looked really delicious.

While the term sweet & sour often conjures up an image of something fried and drenched in a bright red or orange sauce for some, it really can mean any flavor profile with both a strong sweet and a strong sour component.  The sour notes can be from vinegar, or tart fruits such as tomato, kiwi or pineapple, or sauces such as ketchup for example, and the sweet component can be from different types of sugar, sugar substitutes such as artificial sweeteners, honey, agave nectar, fruit preserves, syrup, etc.

Any of those¬†variations are almost always well received¬†by this family.¬†¬†The balance of sweet and sour can be adjusted easily to your preference¬†and works well with other spices on meats, seafood and vegetables.¬† Sweet and sour sauces are probably higher¬†in sugar content so¬†that might be something to consider if it’s important to you or your family.

By now, I think my daughter is hungry enough to eat anything so I just need to get food on the table quick.  I push away my phone and think.  The ketchup shrimp we had a few weeks ago was quick and easy to make and was wildly popular with my kiddo so maybe the sauce would translate well to chicken?

Garlicky (Sweet & Sour) Ketchup Chicken 

Adapted from one of my favorite sites for Cantonese recipes: The Hong Kong Cookery

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken (I used boneless and skinless thighs that were already marinated to taste with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder)
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chicken stock (I used white grape and peach juice since I know the chicken we have on hand was accidentally over salted when it was marinated)
3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Shao Hsing Rice Wine
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
1 tbsp soy sauce

Optional: vegetables of choice

Directions:

  1. Brown chicken on both sides, then add stock, cover, lower heat and cook until juice runs clear and until centers are no longer pink, approximately 20 minutes.  About halfway through, I added approximately three cups of frozen vegetables (organic broccoli, red pepper, mushroom & green bean stir fry mix) and some browned vegetarian sausages as meat substitute for me.
    Browned Chicken, Vegetarian Sausages, and organic vegetables

    Browned Chicken, Vegetarian Sausages, and organic vegetables

    Remove chicken, vegetables and any liquid from pan.

  2. In the same pan, heat oil with crushed garlic at low temperatures until fragrant and garlic is slightly browned but not burnt.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (ketchup, sugar, Shao Hsing Rice Wine, and soy sauce) and liquids from chicken and cook until sauce is thick enough to coat chicken. Ingredients: soy sauce, rice wine, juice and ketchup
  4. Add back chicken, and vegetables if added, to sauce and mix and cook just a few minutes until well mixed

Tips:

To save time, I used frozen vegetables and the chicken was marinated and frozen the day we purchased it a week ago so there was almost no prep time. ¬†I crushed the garlic in one of the serving plates so I won’t have to wash the cutting board.

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Also, I didn’t need to add any oil but depending on your pan, add oil ~2 tbsp. to brown chicken.¬† I am probably super annoying because I rave so much about my Anolon pans, but¬†once I discovered that I did not need to add any oil to¬†brown meats, even skinless chicken, I was in love.¬† LOVE.¬† My sister brought me the set from Macy’s as a gift after she fell in love with her pans and now my mom and brother both have sets in their kitchens too.¬† Look how nicely the skinless chicken browned without any oil added:

Love how nicely the chicken browns with no oil

Love how nicely the skinless chicken browns without adding any oil.  Affiliate link: Anolon Pans

My daughter enjoyed this dish so much that she ate the leftovers for the lunch the next day when normally having the same meal in succession is a big no-no in her books.  Sweet and sour saved dinner (and lunch)!  Maybe give this recipe a try Рand let me know if you liked it.

So, does your family like sweet and sour as much as ours?  What is your favorite sweet and sour recipe?