Chicken Rosemary

Chicken Rosemary

     I’ve kinda been on a slump with my cooking lately (I know you can’t tell by all the recent posts). I just haven’t had much of an appetite lately and nothing sounds good. So when I asked Mrs. G what she wanted for dinner, she suggested chicken rosemary, a dish that has always been a favorite of mine (and hers ever since I introduced it to her).

Hand copied recipe from my Mom’s files. Don’t I have bad handwriting?

      When I was younger, my Mom used to make this for us. It reminds me of cold fronts blowing in, coming home from soccer practice or playing with my friends, my fingers freezing cold and nose red from the blustery winds. Suddenly being assaulted by the warmth of the house, the inside windows of the kitchen fogged up and the enticing aroma of this dish as it simmered in my Mom’s electric skillet. Comfort food for me for sure.

The cookbook this recipe comes from.

     I remember coming home from college one year (must have been sophomore year since I lived in a dorm my freshman year and couldn’t cook) either at Thanksgiving or Christmas and copying down some of  my favorite recipes from my Mom. For nights when I was feeling homesick, or had a rough day or just wanted some comfort food from my childhood. This was one of them and it came from a cookbook called Delicioso! Cooking South Texas Style. Now, I don’t know how popular this book is across the country, or Texas, or even in my home town of Corpus Christi, but many years later I would discover that my wife has a copy of this cookbook, my Mother In Law has two copies (one at the ranch) and I believe Mrs. G’s best friend has a copy as well. Maybe it’s required if you live in Corpus, or maybe its just one big coincidence.

Ingredients

(serves 6)

  • 1 3lb chicken, cut up, or chicken breasts, or thighs (we prefer thighs)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • oil
  • 1 16 oz can tomatoes (I prefer to use the kind flavored with basil, garlic and oregano)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp crushed dried rosemary or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
  •  garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Season flour with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat chicken with flour mixture.

    Lightly flour the chicken
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium, medium high.

    Brown the chicken on all sides
  4. Add butter and a tbsp or two of oil to skillet. When melted, brown chicken on all sides.

    Deglaze the skillet with wine
  5. Remove chicken from the skillet and deglaze with wine.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

    Add remaining ingredients
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow cook for 30 minutes.
Dinner is served

     When the chicken is done, we like to serve it up on a bed of rice. That’s how my Mom used to do it. Other times, we’ll take a sleeve of the ready to eat polenta, slice it up and briefly pan fry it and serve the chicken on that. The crispy outer layer of the polenta and the warm, creamy interior pair up well with this dish. If you want, add a sprig or two of rosemary for presentation. Comfort on a plate as far as I’m concerned.

     Now why this is called chicken rosemary, I’ll never know. Sure it has chicken. And it has rosemary. But nothing in the name would even suggest to you that there would be tomatoes in it. Or that it might resemble an Italian dish a little bit. Admit it….this isn’t what you pictured when you checked out this post, was it? Well, for whatever reason it’s called what it is, we’ll just keep calling it that since it’s a dish from my childhood and one we’ll continue making for years to come. We hope it becomes a favorite in your household, too.

A few notes before I leave you:

  1. If your dish does not look exactly like mine, don’t panic. We used 8 chicken thighs. While putting it all together, we realized this was way too many and there would not be enough sauce, so we quickly added another can of tomatoes, doubled the wine and all other ingredients. So actually, what is pictured is a double recipe.
  2. Feel free to add other herbs and spices to this dish after you have tried it once. I will sometimes include fresh thyme, oregano, Italian seasonings and/or some red pepper flakes.
  3. After finishing this post, Mrs. G brought it to my attention that the mentioned cookbook was from the Junior League of Corpus Christi. That answers why I know so many people who have it and will probably be the reason you won’t be able to get your hands on it.

Simple Dinner Rolls

Simple Dinner Rolls

     I’m not much of a baker, never really have been. Before starting this blog, I think my baking was limited to cornbread or maybe dropping some ingredients into a bread machine. Occasionally, I’ll make my Mom’s banana nut bread. But cookies? Not so much. Cakes? Never. Pies? Not on your life. But this blog has pushed me to try new things, expand my horizons, and let me tell you…..it’s kind of fun. These dinner rolls aren’t difficult to make. They are super simple. In fact, you don’t even need a stand mixer or electric mixer. You can do it all by hand. And they are super cheap. I bet you have everything in your house right now to make these….well, maybe not the yeast. Depends on how much you bake.

OK….so I’m not great at rolling perfectly round rolls, sue me. 😉

Ingredients

(makes 1 dozen rolls)

  • 1 package of yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups flour
You know you want to try these.

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Allow mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes, giving the yeast time to do its thing. It should get all bubbly.
  2. Dissolve sugar in remaining 3/4 cup warm water.
  3. To the yeast mixture, add salt and oil.
  4. Slowly sift in flour and then add the sugar/water mixture.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour to your surface if dough begins to stick.
  6. Cover and let rise until double in size, should take about 20 -30 minutes. (I like to turn the light on in my oven and place the dough as close to it as possible during the rise)
  7. Flour hands, pinch off pieces of dough and roll in flour.
  8. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes. If desired, brush rolls with melted butter after 10 minutes.
Slather with butter and enjoy

     When rolls are done, slather with butter and serve with dinner…..if you can wait that long. I had to try one right away to see how it came out. Couldn’t wait one second longer.

Dinner is served!

    We served up the Simple Dinner Rolls with some Hanging Chicken Legs, a link of sausage, some home made pasta that Mrs. G whipped up (would you like the recipe for that?) and some green beans. Mrs. G isn’t a big fan of bread or rolls, but she took one bite and quickly put two on her plate, mumbling about how good they were. That in itself says something to me and made me smile. If you are hesitant to make your own rolls, I encourage you to try these. Super simple, super cheap, but the results are so worth it (and much better than store bought ones). Try them, your family will thank you for them.

 

***I was going to try to make these on the Big Green Egg, but I got a late start on dinner, so for ease they got tossed in the oven while the chicken was cooking on the Egg. I still think they would work on the Egg and I’m determined to try and make them on it next time. I’ll let ya know how that works out.***

 

 

Cornbread with Green Chiles and Cheese

Cornbread with green chiles and cheese served up with Mrs. G’s White Chicken Chili

     I decided while Mrs. G’s chicken chili was cooking away that I wanted some cornbread to go along with it. I’m not particularly fond of cornbread that has a sweet flavor. No, I like mine to have just a bit of heat…..and maybe some cheese (don’t worry, this does not have a bunch of heat, but if you want more, sub in jalapenos for the green chiles). While we were sitting on the back patio, listening to the rain come down, I was pondering if I really wanted to make cornbread when I spotted my Egg. Making cornbread on the Egg has been something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile…why not attempt it now while Mrs. G already has dinner covered?

Dry Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil/shortening
  • 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • small can of cream corn
Add in wet ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven (or BGE or Grill) to 450F. (If using an Egg, you are going to want to use the placesetter legs down and when you cook the cornbread, you are going to want to set the skillet on the 3 green feet that came with you egg. If using a grill, set it up for indirect cooking)
  2. Add a tbsp or two of oil to an 8″ cast iron skillet and pre-heat in oven while mixing the ingredients for the cornbread
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Whisk together 1 egg, milk and vegetable oil/shortening in a separate bowl. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients.

    Add cheese and green chiles
  5. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and diced green chiles and stir until well mixed.

    Pour the mixture into the pre-heated cast iron skillet
  6. Carefully pour the cornbread mixture into the hot cast iron skillet. You should hear it begin to sizzle. This means you are going to have a nice crust on the bottom of your cornbread.

    Onto the Egg at 450F
  7. Cook the cornbread for 20 -25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Almost done!! Is your mouth watering yet?
  8. Slice the cornbread, slather with butter and enjoy.
    Serve it up with some of Mrs. G’s white chicken chili or whatever else sounds good to you.

         Mmmmm….love me some cornbread and cooking it on the Egg, while not necessary, sure was fun (I’ve been doing this in the oven for years). Will I do it again on the Egg? Possibly, especially if it’s the middle of the summer and I don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the house. Go ahead and take this recipe and make it your own. Switch up the cheese if you want to or have a favorite. Sub in jalapenos or other peppers if you want to play around with the heat level. Just be sure to come on back, let me know what ya tried and how it worked out for ya.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

     I want to start off by introducing myself.  I am Mrs. G!  I know many of you have heard of me but not from me.  And no, Jason was not making me up…I’m real.  I am Mr. G’s silent partner in the food blogging world.  So how did he get me to do a post?  I don’t know, I haven’t figured that out yet but I am glad to do it.  I have never done this before and I literally have no idea what I’m going to say but I will give it a shot.  I am sitting here at my desk eating some leftover White Chicken Chili for some inspiration…it is just as good as leftover so that’s a plus!

     I’d first like to say that yes, I am very lucky to have married such a wonderful cook, but so is he!  I too am a pretty darn good cook, I just don’t publish it for the world to see.  I commend Mr. G for having done such an awesome job with Griffin’s Grub because to me it seems like a job (and it would probably interfere with the Real Housewives… of everywhere).  To him, it is truly his passion and he enjoys every minute of it.  I am very proud of my hubby!

     Now on to the recipe.  It was a rainy weekend and we sat on the back porch contemplating what to make for dinner when I decided to dust off the old crockpot.  Literally, I had to wash it because it was so dusty.  It’s not something we use often but we do enjoy the convenience of a crockpot meal at least once a year.  Not to mention the aroma that fills the house for 8 hours!  White Chicken Chili popped into my head and I thought I’d give it another try.  It is a recipe I have tried before with boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this time I used bone in thighs).  It must not have been that memorable the first time because Mr. G didn’t remember me ever having made it.  In his defense, it was about a year ago.  Like I said, we enjoy using the crockpot at least once a year.  As you all know,  the Egg is in use the rest of the year.

White Chicken Chili

1-1/2 lbs of chicken (boneless or bone in)

Beans (I don’t do beans in any chili)

1 zuchini

1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn

1 red bell pepper

1 can green chilis (or fresh roasted chilis)

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup of sour cream (I would use ¾ to 1 cup next time)

Monterey Jack cheese

Green onion or cilantro

Tortillas or tortilla chips on the side

Ingredients for the White Chicken Chili

     I first saw the recipe on Racheal Ray but I made a few minor adjustments.  For instance, I don’t do beans in chili…even chicken chili.  Hello, I’m from Texas!  This time I used bone in chicken thighs.  I removed the skin and browned them in butter for about a minute on each side.  It really wasn’t necessary but I thought I would get some rendering from the bone before placing it in the crockpot.  Next time I would probably bypass browning them…the whole point to an easy crockpot meal is throwing all the ingredients in and forget about it.

Browning the chicken thighs.

     Another thing I did a little differently was instead of using frozen corn, I used fresh corn that Mr. G kindly grilled up for me the night before.  On the Egg, of course.  I would have liked to have grilled up some fresh green chilis as well but unfortunatley I didn’t find what I needed on that shopping trip to the store.

     So back to the recipe…it’s so simple.

     Combine the cream of chicken soup, green chilis, taco seasoning and chicken broth in a bowl.  Set it aside until everything is in the crockpot.  This will be poured over the chicken and veggies.  I used low sodium taco seasoning as well as the soup and broth.  Guess what, it needed salt.  So if you do use the low sodium, salt and pepper to taste.

The wet ingredients

     Place your chicken of choice in the crockpot.  I did enjoy using the chicken thighs.  It gave a great flavor from being on the bone.  Remove the bones before serving.

Chicken going into the crockpot

     If you really want to use beans, I guess this would be the time to add them.

     Dice the zuchini and red bell pepper.  I like it a little more chunky because it cooks down so much.  If you use fresh corn grilled corn, cut it off the husk.  I only had one ear of corn on hand but I would use 2 next time.  Then add the zuchini, red bell pepper and corn to the crockpot.

Diced veggies

     When everything is in the crockpot, pour the soup mixture on top and it’s ready to go!  I cooked it for 8 hours on low or you can do 4 hours on high.

Adding the liquid to the crockpot

     After a long 8 hours or a short 4 hours, the chili is done.  Mix in ½ cup of sour cream.  I would use more like 1 cup of sour cream.  Maybe because I used bone in chicken, it was a little more liquidity and the sour cream helps to thicken it up.

Add the sour cream

     Top with cheese and green onions or cilantro and viola!  I served my White Chicken Chili with white rice because I was too lazy to make Mama Reyna’s Spanish Rice (my friend Terry’s rice is the best!) but I promise to make it next time!  Serve with your fave tortilla chips on the side.  I think I will pick up some fresh tortillas on the way home, so we can have chicken tacos tonight!  It would also be great for chicken nachos…yum, with a white cheese queso.

White Chicken Chili

     Note: if you want to kick it up a notch, I suggest adding a little fresh jalepeno.  That is one thing it needed…heat.  There are definitely some Mexican spices that could be added to really give it more flavor.  This is one of those recipes that you can easily play around with.  It definitely needs more spice though.

If you are interested in the cornbread (that was cooked on the Big Green Egg), check back tomorrow for that post.

     Well, that’s all I got!  Thank you, honey, for letting me post on your blog.  Sorry to all Griffin’s Grub followers if I wasn’t as interesting as my husband.  Those are some big shoes to fill.  Please keep coming back to read his blog!  Maybe I will come back again and post something that’s more me…unless I’m watching the Real Housewives of somewhere.

Cheers,

Mrs. Stacie Griffin

Recipe seen on this episode of Rachael Ray http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/ginnys-rock-crock-white-chicken-chili/

Grilled Potato Packets

Potato Packets

     Looking for a simple and easy side dish to grill up? Look no further than potato packets. Slice, chop, wrap and grill. How easy is that? If you were ever a Boy Scout, then these probably look similar to the Hobo Packs, but these are a side dish and don’t have any protein in them. I kept these ones simple, but think about the variations you can come up with….anything you can possible think up would work here. Ok, ok….quit trying to be a smart alec and think up random elements like this was “Chopped” or something. Be reasonable.

Building your packet

     There are no hard rules about how to build these. Mrs. G and I were just making them for ourselves, so we kept them small. Tear off a sheet of Heavy Duty aluminum foil about a foot and half. Roughly slice half an onion and place it in the center of the foil. Smash 3 or four good size cloves of garlic and toss on top of the onions. Next, slice one russet potato (or whatever potatoes you have on hand) about 1 to 1.5 cm thick. We left the skins on for simplicity. Add these on top of the onions and garlic. Add a few pats of butter, some salt and pepper, and some fresh rosemary and thyme from your garden. You do have rosemary and thyme in your garden, right? No? Well then just add whatever dried herbs and spice from your pantry that tickle your fancy. Maybe some Italian seasoning?

Add some fresh herbs for more flavor

     Now toss the ingredients together until well mixed. Bring the edges of the aluminum foil together and seal, making sure to leave some room in your pouch for steam. Tear off another foot and a half of foil andwrap this around your pouch making sure the seam of the first layer is opposite of the seam of the second layer.

Grilling the potato packets (and some wings)

     Now its time to take them to the grill. Once again, there are no hard and fast rules here. Obviously the lower the temp, the longer they will take to grill. I was doing these at 450F with a raised grate. They went on about 10 minutes before the wings and cooked for a total of 35 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes of so being careful not to pierce the packet. How hot and how long, you might have to experiment on your own depending on how you like your potatoes done. Whether you like them just cooked through or until they brown up and get crispy.

Ready to eat

     Once they are done, be careful opening the packet. They will be full of steam and it would be easy to burn yourself. Like I said, we kept these pretty simple this go around, but your imagination is your only limit. I’m thinking next time doing one like a loaded baked potato or potato skins with some cheddar cheese, bacon bits and green onions or chives (possible some sliced jalapenos if you like some heat). Maybe a dollop of sour cream on top when they are done. Mmmm…my mouth is watering just thinking about it.