Tag Archives: chicken

weekend ease: maple miso mustard grilled chicken

maple miso mustard grilled chicken

We’re going out of town (again!) for a quick snap starting tomorrow morning, with an overnight stop in LA-la land and then continuing on for a few nights spent under the great big Western sky with my in-laws* in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I’m packing my Chacos (yes, I own them, and don’t even think of judging me, remember – I did live in Boulder) and a pair of my favorite tall boots (nights in Jackson this time of year should nestle somewhere comfortably in the mid 40s), and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t pumped to browse around for a cozy blanket to toss around my shoulders at the Pendleton shop that’s in town.

*I hate calling them this! It has such a negative connotation, like I’m forced to be bound to them or hang out with them only by law. What can we start calling “in-laws” that we love?! I’m formally accepting your suggestions.

maple miso mustard grilled chicken seasoning

I’m not generally a fan of dumping lots of canned this and that together and – look mom! I made a recipe! – but this here grilled chicken “recipe” does pretty much exactly that.  This maple mustard miso chicken (say that three times fast) comes together exactly as it sounds: stir together sweet white miso paste, dijon mustard, and maple syrup as your marinade and ‘glaze,’ season chicken thighs with a little S&P, and grill them up till they’re crisped and charred on the edges and juicy and tender in the middle. That’s it!

maple miso mustard chicken the tru=ifecta

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curried sweet potato and chicken soup with peas, pepitas, and yogurt

curred sweet potato and chicken soup with peas, pepitas, and yogurt

Earlier this week James and I came down with something fierce; a quick and dirty bug, most likely of the I-ate-something or 24-hour persuasion, that snuck in quickly and silently on Monday afternoon and had us sidelined feeling badly for ourselves for the better part of two days.

curred sweet potato and chicken soup - sweet taters

I’ll (of course) spare you the details, but as I am sure you well know, thinking about cooking or eating (or talking, walking, thinking, sitting, laying…simply existing….) is completely unbearable when one is in said sad state.

curred sweet potato and chicken soup - frozen peas!

And the remedy for nursing oneself back to health is something the experts call a BRAT diet; that is, a very slow and steady intake of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast to appease angry stomachs and hopefully encourage what goes down to stay down.

curred sweet potato and chicken soup - curry powder

I happen to have a husband who is a complete and utter bananaphobic, and – I don’t know about you – but the thought of bland plain rice and dry toast isn’t really appealing to me, ever. I won’t even try and pretend that in my misery I hopped up spryly and rushed to the kitchen to make this soup for us (no…I was wimpering like a five year old while pouring myself a bowl of peanut butter Puffins after 36 hours of eating zilch), but I will tell you I wish I had someone around who would have made it for me.

And apparently Pugs cannot be trained to do so?

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not like grandma used to make: chicken noodle soup with baby bok choy, snow peas, and rice noodles in a ginger, garlic, and lemon broth

chicken noodle soup with snow peas, baby bok choy, and rice noodles

In the past three weekends I’ve had the immense pleasure of:

1) hosting 2 of our favorite Los-Angelenos for a weekend of concerts & friends
2) hosting one of my bridesmaids and her fabulous boyfriend from Austin, and
3) flying SFO-NYC, driving five hours north to Lake Placid, and witnessing two of the most good natured and hilarous people I know get hitched.

chicken noodle soup with baby bok choy, snow peas, rice noodles, ginger & garlic - chopping the carrots

It’s been a pretty special few weeks, and with the tally of free weekends we’ve had since we’ve moved here still hovering at a whopping three (….since March!….), I can’t deny the fact that though this upcoming weekend will hold no knockout dinners (Outerlands, you killed it once again), no afternoons spent drinking white sangria whilst in the grips of a fierce game of bocce (because I can’t not take a visitor to our favorite Sausalito haunt), and no tear stained napkins after one amazingly talented groom-to-be took out his guitar and sang his own flawless rendition of the most touching Avett Brother’s song while we swayed to the last of the daylight amongst the tall Adirondack pines….

It’s a weekend I am fervently anticipating.

chicken noodle soup with baby bok choy, snow peas, rice noodles, ginger & garlic - snow peas cut and ready

(Major brownies points for that last one folks. Maje.)

chicken noodle soup with baby bok choy, snow peas, rice noodles, ginger & garlic - washing the bok choy

By now I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say how busy we’ve been (whine, whine, whiiiine!!), and trust…. I’m tired of saying it myself.  But we are finally facing down the second half of a week that will be capped off with *just* a weekend – just one of the plain old vanilla kind, spent here in the city, in and around the neighborhood we now call home, and hopefully punctuated and permeated with all of those fantastic things that make a muted weekend so sweet.

chicken noodle soup with baby bok choy, snow peas, rice noodles, ginger & garlic - fresh rice noodles

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in the blink of an eye: almond meal crusted chicken breast with an early summer salsa of cherry tomatoes, pea shoots, avocado, and sweet corn

almond chicken with summer salsa

On the list of Things that Have Happened since I last showed my sorry mug around these parts (three weeks ago?):

almond chicken with summer salsa - pea shoots!

1. We took an awesomely fun four day trip to Playa del Carmen with five of our best friends and drank lots of tropical drinks and and ate obscene amounts of huevos rancheros. Besides the fact that it did rain so hard the streets actually turned into rivers (!), we managed to laugh our tails off (and get a tan!) and had the best long weekend ever.

almond chicken with summer salsa  - avocados, pea shoots, baby heirlooms

2. We welcomed two of our other best friends to the city, Scott and Jenny, who made an epic cross-country drive from New York City to call San Francisco their new digs (FISTPUMP!!). Jenny moved here to help open up the newest locations of the SoulCycle empire, and Scott was more than ready to take the plunge and become a West Coaster (there may or may not have been some enthusiastic rally cries from us, too). Sidenote: Do I even need to tell you what it feels like to transition from aforementioned weekend of salty-rimmed margaritas straight into back-to-back spin classes with the ruthless Jenny holding court as instructor?! #sweatisfatALL.THE.TACOS.crying

almond chicken with summer salsa - colorful tomatoes

3. We had a really fun couple of days hosting two of our friends from LA, and spent an evening catching up at our neighborhood izakaya while enthusing over and over that we now share a state – California, FTW!  Lots of high-fives and raw oysters happened with these two.

almond chicken with summer salsa - chicken breasts pan fried

4.  Mumford and Sons at The Greek.  Yes, I know they are so very overplayed on everysingle radio station, but man – they are seriously entertaning live.  We had such a fun evening, with a crew of sixty (!) of us boarding a bus and taking a trip over to Berkeley for the show, and it was glorious – light breezes washed over the impressive outdoor amphitheater and it was warm enough to wear one of my favorite dresses.

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boring, says who?: vinegar glossed chicken with pearl onions and parmesan polenta

vinegar glossed chicken with creamy polenta and pearl onions

I’ve been blessed with a husband who eats nearly everything I make enthusiastically (save for a few early disasters in our more formative years, where he smiled politely and made a few gentle suggestions for “next time”), and who has even latched onto and embraced the idea of eating vegetarian more nights than not.

fresh chopped rosemary

Though the vegetarian revelation is quite the surprise from just a few short years ago, there is one thing that surprises me even more still: the man loves chicken.

chicken legs & thighs

Whereas in years past neither of us were “chicken order-ers” at a restaurant – because really, why would you bore yourself with chicken when there are saucy short ribs, tender braised lamb, or a perfectly cooked piece of hailbut on the menu? – the tides have turned.

polenta

Chicken somehow used to seem wussy, like you were the picky eater of the bunch, and it was the only safe way out. And typically, in all fairness to our stuck-up-noses, I genuinely feel it was.  Chicken was boring, a token sauteed breast here and there, always the cheapest thing on the list, and always also the most uninspired.

“I’ll have the chicken.”

Meh.

rosemary & red wine vinegar

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touchdown!: creole jambalaya with pulled chicken, sausage, and diced ham

creole jambalaya with pulled chicken, sausage, and ham

I’ll admit that in the days and weeks leading up to The Biggest Sunday of The Year, I was scheming and planning what Cajun-style fare to make as the Ravens unexpectedly (and somewhat unbelievably) notched their way up the Superbowl totem pole.

creole jambalaya peppers cut

I’ve alluded before to the fact that I am generally more enraptured with the food indulgences that come along with the big game (because really, when else is it morally sound to scarf buttered hot wings and beer at 11am on a Sunday?), but this year my excitement for the actual clash and crash of helmets was genuine.

creole jambalaya celery cut up

If it wasn’t for that pesky power-outage (seriously Beyonce?!) and the nail-biter of a second half that ensued, it would have almost been too easy — but thankfully, for my sanity and the sanity of every single person wearing black and purple, we managed to seal the deal. Superbowl 2013: nailed it!

creole jambalaya sausages whole and ready to cook

I woke up early on Sunday morning to start on a dish that I thought was worthy of being consumed on such a momentous occasion – inspired first because the game was being played in The Big Easy, and secondly because Fat Tuesday (and Mardi Gras!) are suddenly rightthere around the corner.

creole jambalaya cooked sausages

One of my favorite places to visit in the States is New Orleans, and though I believe it is to be fervently avoided during the two-week Mardi Gras celebration (have you ever smelled Bourbon Street even when it isn’t stuffed with thousands of tourists guzzling technicolor hand grenades?), the cuisine alone is enough to keep me coming back.

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dish free + happy: chicken and apricot skewers with coconut, peanut, lime, + cilantro

When I invite friends over for an outdoor barbecue, my intentions are of course to enjoy witty banter and good company, but also more selfishly to avoid that dreaded mountain of mucked up and crusted over pans that inevitably accumulate at breakneck speed when having a conventional ‘dinner party.’

A stranger to that dish mountain I am not; though when cooking for just the boy and she-who-must-avenge-every-toilet-paper-roll-ever I usually manage very well to keep my kitchen tracks clean and tidy, a strange phenomenon occurs when other people come into the equation, and a quick glance over from the dinner table frighteningly reveals a scene much less calm and serene Ina Garten, much more the set of that awfully annoying 80’s comedian Gallagher who has some sort of unexplained vendetta towards fruit.

If you’re anything like me, after a long night of prepping, cooking, laughing, and relaxing, the last thing you want to do is break out the Bar Keepers’s Friend, and there is no better way to ruin the next day than throwing cleaning-caution to the wind, and deciding that “honey, let’s just clean it up tomorrow.”

However when the party moves from inside to outside and dinner is charred up and cooked on a grill instead of spattering and sputtering all over the impossible to clean gas stovetop, suddenly that last cocktail is a lot less stressful. Sure there is the sensation of that lovely warm late-August breeze rounding your shoulder-tops, the gentle flicker of the hummingbirds wings as they flutter past the table, and the dusky orange sky that has taken to settling in right around eight o’clock….but the best part of late Summer barbecues?

No. Dishes.

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