Throw-together Grilled BBQ Chicken

Now that we have a grill, I have been using it multiple times a week each week. It’s less about not heating up the house and more about just enjoying the way the food tastes. Most weeks I grill chicken thighs with some seasoning and either yogurt/sour cream/mayo/olive oil rubbed on top. The second part helps keep the chicken moist as it grills. K really likes the outside of the chicken to get a little dry and this technique has allowed me to do that, making almost a bit of a crust, while allowing the inside to be moist and tender.

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Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

We love Chick-Fil-A nuggets, but ever since I realized they have MSG in their non-grilled ones, I have stopped getting them. This recipe was perfect to find because it is easy, fairly fast (outside of waiting for the marinade time, which I don’t count), and doesn’t require much fanciness. I had to buy pickles simply for the purpose of using their juice, but that was fine. These might not be a dead ringer for the famous nuggets, but I would say they were still good and maybe better because they don’t have any weird ingredients in them.

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Curry in a Hurry

What do you consider “a hurry”? I made the spice mixture for this ahead of time, and just left it in my mini food processor in case it needed to be re-processed. It meant that dinner came together in less than the time it took to cook the rice. I added spinach because I like what curry does for spinach, and I like having everything all together. Everyone ate this, and I cut out the serrano peppers to appease our sensitive tongues. You can certainly add them back in and up the spice. You could leave out the spinach, but you can also add more or less. It’s not a picky recipe, which also helps with a time crunch. For a large portion, you are just stirring occasionally while discussing cars with your toddler. Or whatever you do in your spare cooking time.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock

I’ve made recipes in the slow cooker before that yield broth, like this one. But, I had not seen one where you could take already cooked chicken and turn it into an easy broth. For awhile, I was buying rotisserie chickens from the store and eating them throughout the week for lunch. It was easy and cheap. Well, now I was able to take those carcasses I saved (just in case) and use them for a stock. The original recipe says you need 3-4 chicken carcasses, but I found 2 was plenty. Maybe my chickens run large? Basically, once I filled one of my gallon-sized freezer bags with the bones, I was ready to go.

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Katsudon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

One of the reasons I really wanted to make the Chicken Katsu recipe was to make this recipe. I like the idea of leftovers redone. What’s also awesome is this recipe comes together in about 10-15 minutes, including the time to pull everything out and chop the onions. Very simple and fast, but still something “new” for your leftovers.

 

This is something you normally serve with rice, but on the day I took these pictures, we had leftover tater tots from earlier that I served it with for K. Even with cooking the chicken in broth, the egg makes it less soupy and more omelette-like.

 

Directions for Katsudon

Adapted from Serious Eats 

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 leftover Japanese fried chicken cutlet (they say to cut into strips, but I forgot)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Steamed rice for serving

In a small-medium saucepan, large enough to fit your cutlet, add the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and mirin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and green onions (not the green parts) in a small bowl. Add the chicken cutlet to the saucepan and let it simmer for 1 minute. Pour the egg mixture around the chicken, into the broth.

It is okay if some of the mixture gets onto the chicken as well. Cover and cook until the eggs are as set as you would like (1-3 minutes). Pour carefully onto a bowl of rice, sprinkle with the green parts of the chopped green onion and serve.

Directions for Katsudon (without pictures)

Adapted from Serious Eats 

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 leftover Japanese fried chicken cutlet (they say to cut into strips, but I forgot)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Steamed rice for serving

In a small-medium saucepan, large enough to fit your cutlet, add the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and mirin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and green onions (not the green parts) in a small bowl. Add the chicken cutlet to the saucepan and let it simmer for 1 minute. Pour the egg mixture around the chicken, into the broth. It is okay if some of the mixture gets onto the chicken as well. Cover and cook until the eggs are as set as you would like (1-3 minutes). Pour carefully onto a bowl of rice, sprinkle with the green parts of the chopped green onion and serve.

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Chicken Katsu (Japanese Breaded Chicken)

Here is a first! I have never made fried chicken before. It has always made me nervous. Worries about greasy meat, dried out insides, the coating not staying as I fry it, not cooking the chicken all the way through and yet burning the coating…it just seemed too difficult. Then I came across a recipe which takes fried chicken leftovers and remakes it, embracing the way the coating gets a bit soggy in leftover form, and it keeps the leftover chicken from being dry. Since K doesn’t always enjoy leftovers, I figured this was a way of making one thing, and then being able to enjoy it a different way that was still fairly simple. Plus, he loves fried chicken and rice.

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I’ve made jambalaya, and I guess I assumed I had made gumbo…but nope. This was a first. I don’t even know if I’ve eaten it before. So, this is not the place to come for confirming authenticity. In fact, I’m pretty sure this should be spicy. I omitted the cayenne pepper because we are weaklings here. I also added more vegetables because I wanted it to be more of a one-pot meal (1 bell pepper and 2 ribs of celery to serve 6?). I also could barely find kielbasa at my local grocery store, so andouille was out of the question. We enjoyed this, and I liked the mix of chicken with sausage.

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