Tag Archives: easy chicken dish

Tortellini with Tuscan Kale & Chicken (serves 4-6) If You Want Something Fast That’s Not Fast Food; This Is It!

This is the ultimate delicious solution when it comes to getting a dinner on the table in a hurry or if you are too exhausted (or lazy) to actually cook. I am as proud of myself when I magically making a fabulous dinner in about 12 minutes as I am when I spend time laboriously making something like ossabuco or stuffing and rolling a turkey breast and serving it with gravy and roasted vegetables. In fact after making this dish the other night I wonder why I bother at all for this pleased me just as well!


A Very Fast and Delicious Dinner: tortellini with kale and chicken

That said, it took years me years to learn how to plan for nights like the one just past, a night when the window of opportunity to cook, eat and get ready to go onto the next thing was about 50 minutes. I absolutely hate the feeling of being so on the go that I have to literally shove crap into my mouth and into the mouths of my children before rushing out the door. That is not living and I don’t even want to start on about how that’s what our world has come to, where the last thing you think about is your body and putting some good decent food into it!

Tuscan Kale

Tuscan Kale, also called Lacinato Kale (pretentious and not a word used in Italy for Kale at all!) and Dinosaur Kale (this hardy green keeps for a week in the fridge!)

I have never considered myself a heath nut, paranoid about every last calorie or if the thing is organic or hormone-free. In the grand scheme of things I figure if you eat food that looks like what it is; meats, veggies, grains etc then you are generally going to be on the right track and doing a fair job at feeding you and your family. When you get into buying things that come in boxes with instructions I am only a fan in dire emergencies or if I’m in a situation where the only thing available to me is hot water and a microwave or one fuel burner. It amazes me to see the whole meals you can buy in a carton these days and this new wave of products are being sold in Health Food Stores. Basically they are selling you the promise of a home cooked meal when I say you can probably get something together just as quickly if you are super smart like me (yes, I am of course joking – no really)

The Ultimate Cheese!
The Ultimate Cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano (it is expensive but a little packs a ton of flavor)
My idea of fast food is something like this dinner. Here is what I ALWAYS have in my kitchen: olive oil, garlic, frozen or dry pasta, greens that last in the fridge and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. There is a bigger list of course but the other night when I was short on time and didn’t want to order expensive junkie takeout these things came in handy, along with some leftover cooked chicken. The pasta could be cooked from frozen while the kale cooked in a little broth and seasoning and then the chicken tossed in last-minute to reheat. It was divine and was put together so quickly that we all actually had time to sit down and enjoy it!

You will need:

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4 to 5 cups cooked chicken – chopped into big bite-sized pieces (you can take the meat off the bone of a small rotisserie or other kind of cooked chicken, or if you have some 3 or so chicken breasts cooked or any leftover chicken you have)

5 or so cups of chopped Tuscan or other type of kale

2 garlic cloves – finely chopped

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

1 (or more) cups chicken broth (or good quality bouillon cube and water)

2lbs frozen tortellini (any kind you like – plain, with different cheeses, veggie like spinach – I found a great goat cheese stuffed tortellini that worked great with the robusty kale – yes, Robusty!)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups or so of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (you really need to get the good stuff for this)


*prep everything before you start (chop garlic, chicken and kale) and put big pot of water on for the tortellini. The tortellini can be cooked directly from frozen. follow packet instructions OR, when water comes to a boil add the tortellini and cook at a gently boil for about 4 minute. Drain and set aside. Do not rinse.

1 – Put big pan on low/medium heat and add the oil. When it warms add the garlic and chili flakes (if using) and swirl into the oil. Cook for about 30 seconds before adding the kale.

Saute garlic

Saute garlic

2 – Cook for about 2 minutes in the oil and then add the broth (about 1 cup). Turn heat up and let everything come to a boil. Turn heat down, cover and simmer for about 8 minutes. You may need or want to add another 1/3 to 1/2 cup of broth as it cooks.

Add kale and a little broth

Add kale and a little broth

3 – Season with some salt and pepper and taste. Add the cooked chicken and tortellini and stir. Let everything warm up. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (more pepper flakes, black pepper and salt)

Add cooked tortillini and cooked chicken

Add cooked tortellini and cooked chicken

Serve in warmed bowls or plates and top with  good grating of Parmigiano cheese!

Roast Chicken with Parsnips and Black Olives for May Day! (serves 6)

May Day was yesterday and to me it represented the true beginning of Spring. After Christmas, the season of Winter looses it’s appeal and I begin longing for daffodils and cherry blossoms!

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day!

A few days ago I couldn’t wait any longer and took a detour on my way home from school to buy herbs, even though I was warned not to plant until the 2nd of May (I was also told the 12th of May but I’m ignoring that one). I also couldn’t resisted some lovely wild-looking flowers called Sage Hot Trumpets, and another called  Golden Delicious Pineapple Sage, and bought those too! I now have everything either in the ground or a big pot and cannot wait  for them to grow so I can start plucking things right from the back door to throw into my saute pan!


“Pineapple Sage”, “Black & Blue Sage” & “Red Hot Trumpet Sage” ready to delight me every time I come in or out the whole Summer long!

I thought for a few more minutes about the chicken I was going to cook for last night’s dinner (being May Day and all!) and came up with this beauty of a dish. I decided to play with the bittersweet of parsnips with the slightly bitter/salty taste of black olives and it was a fantastic combination. The broth turned to a syrupy sweetness, and the roasted chicken with its crispy skin was juicy beyond belief.

amazingly flavorful Chicken dish

Amazingly flavorful Chicken Dish

Suffice is to say that dinner was heavenly on this beautiful May Day evening.


*This is a great Blood type A Diet Recipe BUT you need to Omit the sausages and substitute green olives for the black olives*

You will need:

sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 small cut-up chicken (cut into 8 pieces)

4 to 6 Spicy or Mild  Italian sausages (optional)

1 large sweet onion

1/2 cup small pitted good quality black olives (strong flavor like Kalamata)

3 parsnips, peeled, medium dice

6 single sprigs fresh thyme

3 cups chicken or veggie broth OR 1 good quality bouillon cube & water


Preheat oven 450*

1 – Season chicken lightly with sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place all ingredients (besides the meat) into the bottom of a big saute or roasting pan and add the broth or crumbled bouillon cube and water.

Place all veggies in pan

Place all veggies in pan

2 – Arrange the chicken and sausages (if using) in an even snug layer on top. drizzle with olive oil and place in preheat oven for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

arrange meat on top

Arrange meat on top

*If you have sausages in the pan, remove pan from oven and turn them half way through the cooking time. Also my chicken cooked in 1 hour but if your chicken pieces are on the large side, you may need a longer cooking time. In any case, remover the breast after 1 hour and cover with foil and cook the dark meat until done*

roast in oven

Roast in oven

3 – Remove dish from oven and let sit for 5 or so minutes before serving.



Serve as is, giving everyone some chicken and sausage and a portion of veggies and broth. You can also serve this with a salad or a little rice or pasta.

Chicken with Capers and Cream (serves 6)

This is one of those dinners that makes itself which is appropriate in an age when people feel no obligation to be in the kitchen and yet overwhelmed with guilt for not making a home cooked meal.

Chicken with Capers and Cream

Chicken with Capers and Cream

There are plenty of times I want to be in the kitchen all night long as this is my idea of relaxing, but I know that is not the case for many people, which is why dinners like this one are so great.

It has an air of luxury about it so is even something that can be made for a last-minute dinner party.

Anyway, here is another dish from the Crappy Kitchen that requires about 10 minutes on your part: so go ahead, be a little crazy and make dinner tonight!


You will need:

3 to 4 tbs olive oil

freshly ground black pepper to season chicken

2 lbs chicken breasts, thinly sliced in cross sections making the breast the same size only thinner. (If you cannot buy them already like this, then just slice each breast into very thick slices)

4 tbs capers, including  juice (do not rinse)

1 tbs caper brine (the liquid from the caper jar)

3 bay leaves

1 sprig of fresh rosemary (use two if they are short sprigs)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

8 to 10 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped


Preheat 400*

1 – Season chicken with a general grind of black pepper. Put big saute pan or casserole pot on high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When it is hot add the chicken in an even layer and sear on both side transferring to a plate as you go. You will have to work in batches and add more oil as needed.

Brown chicken

Brown chicken

2 – Turn heat down to low/medium and add the capers. Cook for 1 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the rosemary and bay leaves. Cook for another minute or two.

Cook capers with seasonings

Cook capers with seasonings

3 – Add the cream and turn heat up to medium and bring the cream to a low boil.

Add cream

Add cream

4 – Return the chicken to the pan and bring back to a low boil. Turn heat off.

Return chicekn to sauce

Return chicken to sauce

5 – Place lid on pan or casserole and put the dish in the oven for about 35 minutes or until chicken is tender.



6 – Remove from oven and add the chopped spinach. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes, allowing the spinach to wilt. Remove from oven and give everything a gentle stir. If your sauce is very thick you may thin it out by adding more cream.

Add spinach

Add spinach

Serve with basmati rice or boiled baby potatoes.

Serve with rice

Serve with rice

Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries (serves 4) & More Fun With My Brother

Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries

Last Friday I paid an overnight visit to my brother’s, and I had so much fun that I decided to do it again! This time however I brought my two kids with me. I set off last week with the relishing thought of being away from everyone, but the honest-to-goodness truth is that I missed them. When I am with my son and my daughter they spur me on to do things I wouldn’t do when alone, like looking for frogs at the pond or going out for ice cream after dinner, and perhaps even turning the car stereo up really loud and singing at the top of my lungs (actually, I will admit to doing that last one solo on many occasions!)

My brother’s back porch

We arrived in the afternoon and after dropping in to my brother’s work place to say “ciao” we headed to the house armed with the ingredients for dinner. I put a bottle of prosecco in the fridge to chill and then off we went to catch frogs.

Anyone for late night badminton?

By the time Pascal arrived home, dinner preparations were in full swing, a movie underway and the bottle of prosecco half drained. I love nothing better than a loud kitchen with lots of happy people milling about amidst the wafting aroma of food. It has the magical effect of making you think everything is alright with the world, and if creating that illusion is a simply matter of preparing dinner I’m all for making the effort every evening that I can.

We ended the day with a riveting game of badminton, and although playing in flip-flops is not recommended, don’t let it stop you for a second!


*This is also a Blood Type A diet Dinner. if you do not want to use the flour (which is neutral), just omit and you will end up with a lovely, but brothier version*

You will need:

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4lb cut-up chicken

1 white onion, large dice (yellow or sweet onion will do also)

3 celery ribs, including leaves, sliced

1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup dried cherries

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 sprigs fresh oregano

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 1/2 tbs madras curry powder (or other aromatic variety)

3 tbs all-purpose flour,

4 cups veggie or chicken broth (or, 1 good quality bouillon cube & 4 cups water)


Prep all veggies before you start cooking

1 – Place big all-purpose pan (with lid) on medium/high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, sear the chicken in batches until surface is golden brown. Transfer to a plate as you go.

Sear Chicken in batches

2 – Turn heat down to medium/low and add the garlic, onion and celery. Saute for about 5 or so minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saute onions, garlic & celery

3 – Add the mushrooms, cherries, and herbs and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Add cherries, mushrooms & herbs

4 – Add the curry powder (and bouillon cube if using), and stir for a minute, then add the flour and mix well.

Add curry powder, then flour

5 – Add 1 cup of broth/water and stir well. Continue to add water/broth and turn heat to high. When mixture comes to a bubble, add the chicken in an even layer. Turn heat down to low (a simmer) and cover. Simmer gently for 1 hour.Turn off heat and let everything rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Add liquid

Serve alone, or with a pasta, rice or crusty bread. I served our dinner with tagliatelle (egg noodles) and it was really tasty.

Simmer on stove-top for 1 hour

Another lovely visit

Roast Chicken with Poblano Peppers & Tons of Fresh Herbs (serves 4)

Roast Chicken with Poblano Peppers & Tons of Fresh Herbs (serves 4)

Yesterday was one of those lazy summer days that I will think about when it is miserably cold outside, and I’m feeling lonely for the company of people I love. I had planned a different kind of day, a day of school with my kids in the morning, and in the afternoon planting my herb garden and maybe stick in a few tomato plants while I was at it.

Flowering Cactus by the railway tracks near my house

My friend called and requested an impromptu visit, and my very weak-self, or the part of my that would prefer to sit and chat with her rather than do any of the things I had planned, was delighted to accommodate her whim. The morning was thus spent drinking coffee while enjoying her immensely interesting thoughts on all manner of things. I have to admit I allowed this happy meeting to take place because I knew L. Fay was not one of those women who talked about the things that bore me to no end, like: other people, how she felt she wasn’t pretty enough, or her next sun vacation: yes, she is a women of substance.

The morning dragged into early afternoon and I figured it was high time for a walk. We set out (with my to lovely kids of course) on a walk around town, via a river path, ending at the university’s impressive fountain. It was hot, and the thought of cooling my feet in the water was strong enough to make us all get in!

cooling our feet in a fountain in town

When we got back to the house I made an elaborate lunch that involved tofu, spinach, turkey and pasta (this satisfied all palates). When L.Fay eventually went on her merry way, it was time for me to contemplate dinner. I decided that dinner would be whatever I had in the fridge or was growing in the garden.

Turned out to be the perfect ending to a perfect day.


You will need: 4lb cut-up chicken,

2 large sweet onions, very large dice or chunked,

3 ribs celery, including leaves, sliced,

4 poblano peppers, left whole(for Blood Type A diet, omit the peppers),

big bunch of fresh oregano & thyme (about 4 sprigs oregano and 6 sprigs thyme, but use more of each if you like),

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil,

3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or, 3 1/2 cups water and good quality vegetarian or chicken bouillon cube. I use Rapunzel brand),

sea-salt (I use Maldon salt),

freshly ground black pepper (omit black pepper for Blood Tye A Diet).

Preheat oven 450*

1 – Scatter veggies (except for peppers) into bottom of roasting pan or everyday stainless pan (I use my All-Clad pan for the oven all the time). top with the herbs. If using a bouillon cube, break it up and add to veggies. Add the liquid.

lay veggies in bottom of pan

2 – Place the chicken in an even layer over vegetables, and squeeze in the poblanos loosely between the chicken pieces. Drizzle with the oil and add about 1 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper. (if you are using a broth or bouillon cube that you know has plenty of salt in it, add salt sparingly until you taste the cooked broth at the end).

Add chicken and peppers

3 – Place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let everything rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with whatever you have on hand

To serve: divide chicken and peppers between plates, topping with lots of brothy onions and celery. You can serve this with rice, a salad, potatoes, green veggies or bread.

A lovely day

Earthy Chicken with Capers and Onions (serves 6)

 In the past week we had settled back into a kind of routine, and part of that routine definitely included a trip out to our friend Tom’s house to see what he had been up to these past few months, (also a nice distraction from unpacking, and weeding the garden). It was a very hot day, and hard to believe that we went from boots and scarves (in Ireland & Italy) to shorts and sandals in 24 hours.

Earthy Chicken with Capers and Onions

He was the same old Tom with a million things going on at once: cleaning out the barn for a possible Art Gallery and Antique Shop, restocking his bee hives, trying to keep up with his blog: Pizza Daily (posting a pizza recipe a day, and using his great pizza paddle invention to get them in and out of the oven), and a million other projects too numerous to mention. His recent retirement had done the opposite of slowing this maniac of a man down!

My daughter at the little formal fountain outside of my friend Tom’s front door

He was invited to dinner that same evening and I was planning on making some variation on a pork spring roll? This kind of meal requires an amount of fiddle-y preparation and so it was important that I get an early start. Usually when Tom comes to dinner he is hungry, and usually when Tom comes to dinner I am invariably late getting the food on the table. I did not want to resort to giving him chips to keep him from passing out, so we kept our visit short and I sped away determined to be efficient.

Eastern Pennsylvania Countryside (taken by sticking my camera out the window of my car coming home from a visit to Tom’s)

Somehow I got distracted (I tend to start reading or doing mindless housework and forget the time) and before I knew it, the idea of making spring rolls was out of the question. I raced into the kitchen and it is no lie to say I had dinner in the oven in about 5 minutes. I felt guilty about not putting in more time, but equally smug, knowing dinner would be pretty darn good either way. When we tasted the dish I was assured that I was correct. Why I wanted to laboriously make spring rolls is beyond me.

The funny part is when Tom showed up and I proudly announced that dinner would be “on time”, he told me he wasn’t hungry yet! Finally, when he did eat, he described the dish as “earthy”, which gave me the name of yet another chicken dish.


* This dinner is good for blood type A: just omit the capers and brine water. I made this with a romaine salad and fresh pineapple, which is also beneficial for type A’s*

Preheat oven 450*

You will need: 1 whole cut-up chicken, 2 large sweet onions, sliced into half moons, 2 cups veggie or chicken stock (or 1 good quality bouillon cube & 2 cups water), 1/4 cup capers, rinsed, 1 tbs brined caper water, (the liquid from the caper jar), 1 tsp course sea salt (I use Maldon salt), several grinds black pepper, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil.

Place onions in bottom of casserole

1 – Place onions in bottom of heavy casserole (with lid) and add the broth (or water and cube). Place the chicken on top in an even (ish) layer and add the salt, pepper and capers. sprinkle chicken skin with oil. place lid on pot and place in oven.

put chicken in pot with rest of ingredients

2 – Cook for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to serve.

1 hour, 15 minutes later; deliciousness

You can serve this with any number of things (or alone). This is good with potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread. Some of us had it with a salad (me) while others choose rice.

Fresh Pineapple and Romaine Salad

Fresh pineapple for dessert was a lovely refreshing end to this meal.

Roasted Chicken & Sausage with Sweet Potatoes & Parsley (serves 6)

 This dish was made solely because I had some lovely white sweet potatoes that needed to be used. I cannot stand when potatoes start growing extra appendages and become soft to the touch. I am loath to throw food away just because I am too lazy to cook.

Roasted Chicken & Sausage with Sweet Potatoes & Parsley

These potatoes were planted, cared for, and grew into beautiful tubers. The least I could do was to honor them by cooking something beautiful, instead of letting them rot, and eventually be thrown away.

I used what I had, and made a dinner that these sweet potatoes were proud to be a part of!


You will need: 5 chicken drumsticks, 4 chicken thighs (with skin and bone-in), 4 Mild Italian sausages, 4 white sweet potatoes, thickly sliced, 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 vegetarian bouillon cube, crumbled, 1 cup white wine or prosecco, 1 1/2 cups water, sea-salt, freshly cracked black pepper, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil.

Preheat oven 450*

1 – Toss potatoes, onion, parsley, thyme, and bouillon cube in bottom of pan or roasting pan. add the wine (or prosecco), along with the water to the pan.

add veggies & herbs to bottom of pan.

2 – Place chicken and sausage on top, season chicken with a little sea-salt and pepper, and drizzle everything with the oil. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

add chicken and sausage

3 – Take out of oven and turn sausages, basting the chicken with pan juices. Return to oven for another 10 minutes, and then remove the sausages to a plate (cover to keep warm). Return chicken to the oven for another 5 or so minutes until the skin is nicely browned and the meat is cooked through. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This is lovely on its own or with some mixed greens

serve with greens; very yum

my son choose to have sausage with rice and a nice helping of sweet potatoes