Keeping things simple in a not so simple world

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seville arroz

This is one of my favorite recipes…a simple one pot. The original recipe calls for chicken and spicy sausage, but I find the spicy sausage enough. I recently made it for my birthday party and it was a hit. A bit of sweet and spicy…

Seville Arroz

1 to 1.5 lbs spicy sausage, preferably andouille or chorizo (Trader Joe’s makes a decent andouille); half length-wise and then cut into bite-sized 1/2 moons
1 vidalia onion, chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 cups brown rice
1 8 ounce can tomato puree
1 quart chicken broth
1 zest of 1/2 orange
1 orange cut into segments and the segments halved
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. When hot, add the sausage and cook until just starting to brown. Remove sausage, add onions, garlic and peppers and cook until glistening and onions are transparent. Add the rice and stir until coated with the oils. Add sausage, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until rice is almost cooked through and liquid almost absorbed. Add the orange zest, orange segments and almonds, mix thoroughly. Serve when broth is absorbed completely.

Sprinkle with cilantro if desired.
Serve as a main course or like a risotto appetizer.


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Chinese Chicken Salad

It is humid here and hot.  Full-on summer, especially now that it is July.   Cooking is not my favorite thing to do in the heat.

Enter:  Chinese Chicken Salad

1 large head of cabbage, shredded
a large bunch of snow peas, cut in half
4-5 plums
Shredded chicken, about 2 cups (hint: buy a rotisserie chicken at the store or used TJ’s organic canned chicken.)
Alternatively, you could use some flavored tofu.

Mix together.

In a jar, mix together 1/4 cup grapefruit juice, 1 tablespoons sesame seed oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and a pinch of salt. Pour over salad, mix and serve.

I like the plums and grapefruit option instead of oranges and juice. They are less sweet and make the perfect pairing to the snow peas and chicken.

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preserved lemon chicken soup

Yesterday’s post on making preserved lemons had a purpose. This lovely soup I share with you is quite amazing. I actually have to make triple batches of this soup – one for dinner, enough to eat for breakfast and lunch the next day and some for another meal another day.
To say it is a favorite, well, I think it is all too clear.

But even better? It is easy!!

Preserved Lemon Chicken Soup
Note: You can make this soup without the preserved lemons by just adding the lemon juice. However, you will miss the lovely bites of preserved lemon.

1 onion
2 preserved lemon halves, rinsed and chopped finely
1 cooked chicken, meat pulled and cut into fine pieces (I usually buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the store to save time. And don’t forget to make broth from the carcass!)
2 quarts chicken broth, preferably low sodium
3/4 to 1 cup lemon juice
1 cup rice (any variety will do)
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: fresh basil, cilantro, shaved brussel sprouts for topping.

In a large stock pot, sauté onion until soft.
Add preserved lemons, stirring until just warm.
Add chicken, rice, lemon juice and broth.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until rice is cooked.
Top with fresh basil or cilantro and/or shaved brussel sprouts.








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using the whole thing

In this house, roast chicken is a favorite.  Whether I make it from scratch or buy a rotisserie chicken at the store.  Many people know that chicken stock is made with the leftover chicken carcass.  Did you know, however, that it is really easy to make?!?

Basic Chicken broth 
No salt or add seasoning

Remove skin, meat and fat from chicken carcass.
Place a chopped onion in a large stock pot and cook until soft.  (You may also add additional vegetables here if you wish – carrots, celery, etc.  But it is also fine to add nothing, even onion.)
Add chicken carcass.
Cover with water.
Bring to boil.
Simmer for 4 hours occasionally skimming foam and fat off top.
Let cool and use, refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.

Thai flavored Chicken broth
I often make a Thai roast chicken in which a lime gets roasted with the Thai seasoned chicken. But you can do this with a basic roast chicken carcass.

Follow directions above.
When you add the water, add a cinnamon stick, a lime that has been cut in half and juiced, cumin seeds, 1 whole star anise and some curry powder.
Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Herbed Chicken broth

Follow directions above.
Once water is added, also add two bay leaves and a bouquet garni – thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, tarragon, etc.