Sherry Chardonnay Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms

Sherry Chardonnay Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms
Makes 6 servings
Dried shiitake mushrooms add an extra boost of flavor that makes a beautiful pairing with a rich white wine like Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay (or even a light red). Says Patty Grantham at Charles Krug Winery: “This is a favorite of Peter Mondavi Jr., and me!”

1 cup (or more) dried shiitake mushroom pieces
1 cup Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 smashed garlic cloves
1 Tbsp minced gingerroot, or 1/4 tsp dried ground ginger (optional, but adds a nice zip)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 whole chicken, or chicken legs and thighs

Place dried shiitakes in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of very hot water; let stand until softened, stirring occasionally.  Lift out the mushrooms and set aside. Refrigerate the mushroom soaking liquid for the sauce.

Combine the remaining ingredients and the soaked mushrooms and pour over the chicken, turning to coat all sides.  Marinate 6-8 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Reserving the chicken marinade to use for basting, lift out the chicken and mushrooms and drain well.  Place the chicken in a baking dish and roast, 1 hour for a whole chicken, 40 minutes for cut-up pieces.  Brush chicken with 1/3 of the marinade every 15 minutes, adding the mushrooms to the pan after the second basting.

When chicken is done, add the reserved shiitake soaking liquid to the pan and stir to loosen browned bits and serve the simple sauce alongside the chicken.

For more info, visit website:



Lemon Chicken with Capers

Lemon Chicken with Capers
Makes 4 servings
This dish comes together in about 10 minutes, so have all your ingredients ready. Peter Mondavi Jr. notes, “The citrusy notes in our Charles Krug Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay match the lemony notes in the sauce.”  A touch of saltiness from the capers keeps everything in balance.

4 chicken breasts (if breasts are thicker than 1/2” thick at the thickest part, cut them in half horizontally with your knife parallel to your cutting board into two thinner “cutlets” so they cook more evenly)
1/4 cup flour
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp capers, drained
4 Tbsp cold butter, sliced into 4 pieces
Fresh lemon slices
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Season the chicken breasts generously on both sides with salt and pepper, and allow to rest while preparing the other ingredients.

When everything is ready, dust the chicken breasts with flour, shaking off the excess. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium to medium high heat.  Add breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, flip the breasts over, cover pan and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a warm plate and cover partially with the pan lid.  Pour off most of the fat and return the pan to the heat.

Add the wine and minced garlic. Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly gone, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Remove from heat and quickly whisk in butter, whisking constantly until melted.  Add lemon slices, pour sauce over chicken and serve.

For more info, visit website:


Book Review: Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals (plus recipes)

The book is simply titled Fresh & Easy, but it is packed with delicious recipes from Soups, Salads, Dips & Sauces, Sides, Brunch & Lunch, Main Dishes, Traditional, and, of course, Desserts in very nicely formatted layout, with uncomplicated directions and tempting…and yes, mouth-watering too…photography.    it is no secret that I only love cooking fast, easy and cheap recipes and this book has lots of them.  I hate to recommend you buying a cookbook that only a handful, less than 10 recipes, is worth trying out.  But my copy of author Leah Schapira’s book has full of bookmarks….

Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash soup/    Chicken Fajitas Salad/     Chunky Hummus
Sweet Potato Fries/   Avocado Wontons/   Perfect Pizza, Pita and Grilled Flatbread
Teriyaki Sesame Chicken/       Asian Burger/     Beer Beef Stew
Challah Rolls/     Square (yes, indeed) Doughnuts/   Rainbow Cupcakes,
Everything but the Kitchen Sink cookies /     Cheese Buns/    and lots more.

I definitely recommend you check out a  copy of Leah Schapira’s Fresh & Easy cookbook if you love making simple and delicious meals to loved ones and strangers alike.   Available in your favorite bookstores or Amazon.  You may also visit Leah’s culinary website,

Recipes from FRESH & EASY KOSHER COOKING: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals
By Leah Schapira/November 2011

3 tbsp butter  1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed    juice of one lemon
1 1/4 cups heavy cream   3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated    1 1/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions   salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over  medium heat.  Add the crushed garlic.  Saute for a few minutes, taking care not to burn it.  Add the lemon juice (add only 2 tablespoons of lemon juice if you don’t like it so lemony) and stir.  Add heavy cream.   Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the parmesan cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Season with basil.  Add the pasta and toss well.  Season with salt and pepper.  If pasta is prepared in advance, reserve 3 tablespoons of sauce to add while reheating.  Serve with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

HONEY-MUSTARD CHICKEN   Yield:  3-4 servings
1 1/2 lb chicken cutlets   1/8 tsp salt    1/8 tsp pepper    3-4 tbsp oil   2 large onions, diced
Vegetables (use any produce that’s in season or sitting in your vegetable drawer – or none at all!)
3 tbsp honey    3 tbsp soy sauce    3 tbsp mustard

Cut chicken cutlets into 2-inch strips.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 10-15 minutes (for that delicious caramelized goodness) or until golden brown.  Add chicken strips and cook for 5 minutes.  Add vegetables, if using.  Add honey, mustard, and soy sauce.  Cook for 10-15 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until sauce reduces.  Serve over orzo or rice.

From Trina Kaye’s Press Release:

A recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious, nor exclusive to certain kitchens. Such is the mantra of Leah Schapira, co-founder of the popular culinary website,, and author of the new book, Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals. Inspiring everyone from traditional kosher cooks to everyday working women and moms, Leah shows how to use simple, fresh ingredients to create time-sensitive, tasty meals for all to enjoy.

Leah extends her recipes to a wide audience of people who don’t have much time to cook. She includes useful tips, minimal ingredients, and easy-to-follow steps. Her seasonal menus encourage home cooks to take advantage of market-fresh, simple ingredients for even easier recipe planning.

Product Review: Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana (with tasty Italian recipes)

Making a simple chicken parmigiana (parmesan) isn’t that really simple.  Ok.  Start the clock.  I need  3 breading plates (flour, eggs and bread crumbs), a cutting board and a mallet, Pyrex dish, a skillet or frying pan, a stockpot to cook spaghetti or linguine, thawed chicken breasts, home-cooked or jarred tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese.  Mmm, this is not looking easy anymore.   Dip pounded (I hate this part!) chicken breasts in flour first, then in seasoned egg mixture and last  coat with bread crumbs.  Brown breaded chicken in hot oil.  Cover bottom of Pyrex dish with tomato sauce, then arrange fried chicken over sauce and sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake until chicken is done, cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.   And cook the pasta al dente is next.  If I do this for dinner on weekdays, I’d surely miss my favorite reality TV shows — sorry, I love Chicken Parmigiana (it’s the only dish I order when dining out in Italian restaurants) from scratch, but TV dinners usually win.

So I was really excited when Steve Riley of Dietz & Watson sent me an email, ” I wanted to see if I could interest you in a sample of our New Chicken Parmigiana, a service deli item by Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson, for review”.   There’s no way I’d ignore Steve, he didn’t even need to give me a pitch, I make Chicken Parmigiana every month.

I received the perishable shipment of Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana in good condition, and in really huge box…and I planned an Italian dinner that night for me and my hubby.

Got to have garlic bread.  Got to have Greek/Italian salad.  And I opted not to have pasta this time (glad I made that decision…it’s making sure the taste of Chicken Parmigiana wasn’t masked with  too much yummy tomato sauce, for my product review.  You’ll find the recipes of the garlic bread and the salad below.

Back to Dietz & Watson latest offering….Chicken Parmigiana.   If you’re in the deli counter, you’d ask for slices…thick slices if making Chicken Parmigiana.   And why I love love this deli-style Chicken Parmigiana…it’s easy to fix and I don’t have to “thaw, mess and wrestle” with chicken breasts and I don’t need to make tomato sauce to go along with it.    I completed the breading and frying in a breeze…the chicken required no seasoning (Momma knows best, it’s cooked to perfection, really!) — plain flour, just beaten whole eggs and bread crumbs (plain, Italian or even panko).   Inasmuch as chicken was already cooked, a little bit of oil was all that was needed to produce a delicate light browning in the breaded Chicken.

Dinner was served….and the verdict:  5 thick slices of breaded, boneless and skinless Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana all consumed.  That hot chunky chicken parmigiana was really yummilicious.  That was so good that I’m not sure I’ll be able to try it as a hoagie or a wrap (but it crossed my mind to cut chicken in chunks and arrange on top of my Hawaiian chicken pizza, I can’t wait!).     My hubby and I were all smiles…bellies smiling with delight too.   You really can’t mess up with this easy to make Chicken Parmigiana, I even enjoy it without tomato sauce, mozzarella and pasta.

I made one final experiment before I’m confident and going ahead with posting this review of Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana.    I brought a large portion of the chicken parmigiana to the studio and showed my producer how fast and simple it was to cook it.   I offered the cooked breaded chicken to very young Maya and Christian (producer’s grandkids, ages 9 and 6, and really picky eaters).  They loved this delicious fried chicken…and they ate them all with plain toasts.

So I say…thanks to Momma Dietz for perfecting this product and making it ready for the deli slicer (to check stores availability, visit

I love this quick Chicken Parmigiana (from the deli), it’s tasty, delicious and so full of flavor…and it’s loved  by both “picky” kids and grown-ups, it’s one good reason for me to visit my favorite deli counter.  And it works everytime…with or without the cooked pasta and tomato sauce.

Here’s the press release (thanks again Steve Riley and I agree with you when you mentioned, ” Sarah, I think you’ll like it a lot!), followed by “few minutes prepping, few minutes cooking” recipes.

Every so often a food company comes up with an item so unique and so delicious that it simply garners attention. Such is the case with the new Chicken Parmigiana, a service deli item by Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson.

Aside from its taste and uniqueness as a service deli item for slicing, the way the product was developed is an interesting story in and of itself. While Dietz & Watson is a national company with sales in excess of $400 million and distributed in every state, it is still run by the 3rd and 4th generations of the family that started the company in 1939, and R&D and new product development still takes place in a sometimes informal fashion.

In the case of Chicken Parmigiana, too much tomato sauce was ordered for an event in 2010, so instead of letting a few gallons go to waste, the family and people in the lab racked their brains for ideas for a deli product using the leftover sauce. The result was Chicken Parmigiana, and after more than a year perfecting it, it is now available in service delis.


Chicken Parmigiana from the Deli Sliced Thick or Thin Spawns Unique Recipe Ideas for this Italian Classic

In a January 2011 CBS “Early Show” cooking segment, contributor Katie Lee called Chicken Parmigiana “one of those perfect comfort foods most people love.”

With that in mind, Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson, one of the nation’s oldest and most well- known purveyors of premium deli meats and artisan cheeses, has developed a unique Chicken Parmigiana item for service delis that is the first of its kind.

It is made from fresh, extra lean chicken breast coated and cooked in corn flour crumbs with aged parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and topped with a tangy marinara sauce.

“My mom always loved making Chicken Parmigiana when we were growing up, and so many people love it that we decided to create a Chicken Parmigiana deli item,” said Louis Eni, Dietz & Watson President & CEO. “We’re still a family company after nearly 75 years, and we still develop new items with that family feel in mind.”

Louis Eni’s mom is Ruth Dietz Eni, company chairman and affectionately known as Momma Dietz. A University of Pennsylvania graduate and a working mom before there really was such a thing, Ruth loved to come home after a busy day and cook special meals for her kids, whose palates are every bit as finicky as hers. Today, her kids are grown, and Louis, Chris and Cindy work side-by-side to help her run the company as CEO, COO and CFO, respectively, along with two of her grandchildren, Lauren Eni and Christopher Yingling.

“When we developed this new item, we wanted it to taste just like the Chicken Parmigiana you make from scratch, and using fresh, whole chicken breasts, natural Italian spices, real aged Parmesan cheese and a wonderful corn flour crumb coating, we couldn’t go wrong,” said Momma Dietz. “After we perfected the product, the next step was coming up with some great, easy to prepare recipes, and we came up with some real winners.”


Founded in 1939 by Gottlieb Dietz, Dietz & Watson remains true to the original old-world recipes and Gottlieb’s commitment to “quality above all”. Creating the freshest and leanest beef, ham, pork, turkey breast, and chicken breast, Dietz & Watson’s products are enhanced with all-natural spices and seasonings for increased flavor.  In addition to the natural seasonings and spices, all of their products are free of artificial flavors, colors, fillers, extenders and MSG. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Dietz & Watson continues their tradition of family and their commitment to expecting the best. Under the lead of Gottlieb Dietz’s daughter, Ruth Dietz Eni (Chairman), Dietz and Watson continues to lead the industry in Premium Deli Meats and Artisan Cheeses. In addition to the guidance from Ruth Dietz Eni, the company is lead by founder Gottlieb Dietz grandchildren, Louis Eni (President and CEO), Chris Eni (COO), Cindy Eni Yingling (CFO) and now the fourth generation, Lauren Eni and Christopher Yingling have joined to company to carry the tradition further.

Product Profile: Momma Dietz Chicken Parmigiana

    Gluten Free    No MSG    Nitrite Free

Momma Dietz’ Chicken Parmigiana, made from succulent, extra lean chicken breast coated & cooked in corn flour crumbs, aged parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and topped with a tangy marinara sauce. Now that’s Italian!


Chicken Breast, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of Sugar, Salt, Parmesan Cheese ([Milk, Salt, Cheese Culture, Enzyme], Whey, Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid), Isolated Soy Protein, Natural Flavors, Sodium Phosphate, Yeast Extract, Whey Butter, Modified Corn Starch, Buttermilk Solids, Cream And Butter Extract, Maltodextrin. Coated With: Corn Flour, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Egg Whites, Leavening (Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Natural Flavors, Paprika, Browned In Canola Oil. Topped With: Tomatoes, Corn Oil, Salt, Natural Flavors, Parmesan Cheese([ Milk, Salt, Cheese Culture, Enzyme)], Whey Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid) Whey Powder, Sugar, Salt, Lactic Acid, Water, Gelatin.

Classic Chicken Parmigiana Dinner

Serves 4

1 ½ pound Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana, sliced into four pieces (6 ounces per serving)

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup flour

2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

1 pound Dietz & Watson mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 tomatoes, sliced

8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions

8 ounces tomato or marina sauce

1 bunch fresh basil

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.    Pour flour into a shallow pan, and pour breadcrumbs into a separate shallow pan.

3.    To bread the chicken cutlets, dredge chicken Parmesan pieces into flour mixture, coating thoroughly on boat sides. Shake off excess flour.

4.    Dip chicken pieces in egg wash, making sure each piece is coated.

5.    Place chicken pieces in shallow pan with breadcrumbs and pat into breadcrumbs on both sides to cover.

6.    Heat oil in a large pan to 350 degrees. Fry chicken pieces until breading turns golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

7.    Remove and let drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

8.    Put chicken pieces on a baking sheet, layer slices of tomato and fresh basil leaves on top, drizzle with a little marina sauce and top with cheese. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.

9.    Serve with pasta and more sauce, if desired. Garnish with basil.

My Easy Greek/Italian Salad

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained well

juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Make the dressing.  In a food processor, combine lemon juice and dried oregano.   Slowly blend in olive oil.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad.   Mix lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber in a large bowl.   Pour dressing over and toss to coat.

Garlic Bread

1 loaf french bread (Sam’s Club, my pref), sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I use Dorot’s cubed frozen parsley)

1/4 teaspoon salt

butter or margarine (tastes like butter) to spread on sliced bread

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Prepare garlic spread:  Use food processor to combine olive oil, garlic, butter, parsley and salt.  Spread butter or margarine evenly over cut surface, then spread the garlic spread on top.  Bake the bread for 10 minutes until bread is nicely browned on the edges.  Cut the bread into serving pieces.

To complete the memorable celebration…a matching glass of Chardonnay, oh yeah!

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Book Review: Freshalicious (Eat Fresh. Eat Local. Eat Healthy) by Stacey Fokas and her American Adobo recipe

These days, it’s not difficult anymore to find a recipe of just about any food combinations you can think of…they’re all over the internet.   So new recipe books just don’t get me excited anymore.   But cookbooks I’d keep an eye on are the ones filled with interesting narratives of food journeys, in addition to exciting “must try” recipes.

One such book that I find “worth owning” is Stacey Fokas’ Freshalicious.  Just reading her introduction to the book, she already inspired me to enjoy frequent visits to nearby roadside fruit and vegetable stands, grocery stores’ produce section and farmers’ markets for my food sourcing.  And I smiled (yes, am guilty!) when she even mentioned that “when you’re at the drive-thru, thinking you’re saving time, you’re actually just cutting your health and well being”.  Stacey’s book is really an eye opener, a shot in the arm, an awakening, a new approach to healthy eating.  Her writing style is endearing…it’s like having a mom beside you in the kitchen who keeps reminding you of making better food choices (and really think twice about processed foods).

The recipes in the book are listed by seasons, so you’d right away could guess that Stacey’s Pulled chicken and apple butternut squash soup (recipe in my next post) would be in Autumn and interestingly enough, Stacey included Adobo (our Adobo, but yes, American Adobo) is listed in the Winter season.  I had a nice brief phone chat with Stacey and she is one genuinely nice and “easy to talk to” person.  She credited a co-worker for sharing the Adobo recipe.  She even sent me a picture of an Empire apple called for in her Butternut squash recipe.  Just so many new recipes she shared in her book using “first time I’m hearing this” ingredients…recipes like:

*Elk liver with onions and fresh veggies
*Hockley blue oyster and shiitake mushroom soup
*Fiddleheads with garlic
*Rosemary roasted quail on brown Canadian wild rice

And don’t even think that “Freshalicious” recipes are plain, simple and not exciting.   In fact, she covered everything, from Dad’s simple fresh garlic bread to fresh whole wheat pizza dough to Cumin pork rib roast with homemade applesauce to Decadent Chocolate lavender cake.  I bookmarked these exciting recipes to include in my food offerings for this year’s special family gatherings:

*Sooo sexy sangria with fresh strawberries and wild strawberry liqueur
*Margeritza! Greek Easter soup
*Strawberry salty stars with cardamom shortbread dough

With exceptional and stunning photos adorning Stacey’s book, it is so easy to love her book.   I told Stacey the photography and food stylings are spot on…Stacey couldn’t thank enough her friends Mike McColl (, Simon Burn and Lisa Clements.

Visit to get your copy of Stacey Fokas’ Freshalicious and let’s enjoy recreating her mouth-watering recipes in our own kitchen.

Now let’s talk ’bout Stacey’s Adobo, her American-style Adobo.   She included the exciting flavor combinations of Philippines’ Adobo (soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar for that “Tamis, Alat, Asim” tastes…sweet, salty, and tangy) but in a much mild proportions, thus the American-style.  Filipinos loved strong and bold flavors of these 3 ingredients.  When I make my adobo, expect 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup of soy sauce seeping through chicken or pork cuts during the cooking process.   Potatoes, fresh ginger and red onion…these you wouldn’t find in most of adobo recipes, but they would be great additions.  I’d include some whole hard boiled eggs in Stacey’s Adobo.

ADOBO (Chicken legs and potatoes in a pan)

8 skin on organic chicken legs
6 large potatoes
1 large red onion
sunflower oil for frying
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 – 3 tablespoons white vinegar
few shakes of soy sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 dry bay leaves   sea salt to taste
1 – 2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water, approx.

Wash the chicken legs and score deeply on all sides to ensure cooking through.  Peel and quarter the potatoes.  Chop the red onion and fry it in sunflower oil until it starts to caramelize.  Add the chopped garlic and ginger and then turn the heat down to medium.

Add the chicken legs and fry for a few minutes to cook the outer skins.  Add the vinegar and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring.  Add the potatoes, soy sauce and brown sugar.

Add the chicken stock and/or enough water to cover the potatoes and chicken.  Toss in the bay leaves and simmer for 35-45 minutes.  Do not taste the sauce until the potatoes and chicken are cooked.  You can re-season at this time.  The sauce should be nice and brown, like the chicken has created its own gravy.  Serves 4 – 6

Another Stacey’s recipe,  Pulled chicken and apple butternut squash soup is in my next post….I get it Stacey….FRESH IS ALWAYS BETTER!

Chicken Asparagus Bake

This was a big hit with my hubby Glenn.   Another chicken dish…with asparagus this time — 2 ingredients that’s present in my freezer all year round.   Extra asparagus always end up being blanched, shocked in icy cold water, placed in freezer bags and then finally stored in the freezer.    A different kind of chicken dish (got this idea from a recipe featured in Taste of Home) that is really a great make ahead chicken dish…one that you can pop in the oven and bake for less than 30 minutes.  Very creamy-rich and truly satisfying…we enjoyed this dish last night while watching the first episode of my favorite reality show Big Brother (omg, look who’s back…Evil Dick, Brendon and crazy Rachel).


1 lb fresh asparagus, washed, woody ends removed and halved
1 pack cut-up chicken pieces
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Castelvetrano buttery olives (or use pimiento-stuffed olives)
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
grated medium cheddar cheese

Partially blanch halved asparagus (you may use microwaveable vegetable steamer) and transfer to a greased rectangular glass dish.   Set aside.

Season chicken pieces (breasts, legs, wings, etc) with salt and pepper.  Brown in hot oil on both sides.  Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for about 25 minutes or until juices run clear.  Arrange these baked chicken pieces over asparagus.   Add olives.  Set aside or you may want to refrigerate first if not baking right away.

In a small mixing bowl, combine together cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise and lemon juice.  Spoon this mixture all over chicken pieces.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake covered at 375 F until heated through, about 20 minutes.   Remove foil, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Yield;  4 servings

“Foil-Wrapped and Baked” Chicken Breasts


A wonderful and pretty way of serving baked chicken in your dinner table.  Enjoy!

1 package (3 lbs) boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets, thawed, rinsed and pat dry (8 or 9 pieces)
salt and pepper to sprinkle on top of chicken
freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

Stuffing mix:
3 cups turkey or chicken flavored Stuffing mix
3 cups regular bread crumbs
2 cans creamed of chicken soup, undiluted
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 can mushroom pieces, drained
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or cashew nuts
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.   Cut 8 or 9 squares of aluminum foil and pam spray or grease with extra melted butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine stuffing mix ingredients, mixing well.  Divide

To assemble: Place one chicken breast fillet in greased aluminum foil square,  sprinkle salt and pepper and top with some of the stuffing mix.  Squeeze lemon juice on top.  Fold the aluminum foil to wrap stuffed chicken breast fillet.  Do same procedure with the remaining chicken breast fillets.

Bake in preheated oven for  40 minutes.   Slit top of foil, open wide and bake chicken further for another 15-20 minutes or until done.   Serve hot.

Again, the assembly:

ok here’s one more series of assembly steps:

Pretty darn good chicken recipe to add to your collection….make some soon!

Sarah’s Chicken Paprika

Sarah’s Chicken Paprika
The classic recipe has some heavy cream added to the sauce but I skipped that and I’m glad I did.  The sauce without the cream is divine.  But for special occasion and if heavy cream is available, mix about 1/3 cup heavy cream to the sauce before serving.

1 package (1 1/2 to 2 lbs) chicken thighs, legs or drumstick, rinsed and pat dry with paper towel
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 package (1.25 oz or 36 g) Spaghetti sauce mix
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 3/4 cups water

Combine 1/2 teaspoon each of paprika, salt and black pepper in a small bowl.   Rub this seasoning mix on prepared chicken.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet on medium high heat.  Brown chicken, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add chopped onion and minced garlic to wok and saute until onions are tender.  Whisk in a large measuring cup the spaghetti sauce mix, tomato paste and water to combine; add to wok.  Bring to boil.  Return the chicken pieces to wok.  Cover and let simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with some chopped fresh parsley.  Great with hot rice.

Make your own Spaghetti Sauce Mix by just combining all these dry ingredients in a small ziploc bag and shake to evenly distribute:

1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon white sugar

A Momma’s Love Affair: Johanna Mirpuri-Cook

I had a fantastic time with a wonderful young MOM in my CelebrEATy Circle February episode.  An awesome Cook, Johanna Mirpuri-Cook just loves to cook for her family.  She is a working mom, has a full time job, a real busy Momma for her 3 cute kids, and fully understands what every Moms go through everyday.  And one of those “got-to-do” daily tasks is making great everyday meals.  She’s been foodblogging for years and you can check her blogs loaded with recipes via

And she recently launched her dream project:  Momma Cuisine/Making Great Everyday Food.  Check her website for full details and also learn about her cooking workshops/tutorials,

Johanna shared this very easy, yet super delicious chicken dish.  And she wants all the Moms to include this recipe in their recipe collection.  Yes, Johanna can cook, but can she bake?  Johanna says she will find time someday to branch into baking, but meantime, pots and pans, knives and cutting boards, ladles and turners, skillets and woks, are her tools of the trade.

Spanish Chicken Bake

4 bone-in chicken breasts (Johanna prefers bone-in)
1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice
1 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 15 oz jar of green olives with pimento
salt & pepper

Heat a large pan with olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika. Brown skin side down first. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Do not cook the chicken all the way, the purpose is just to give it a nice brown color.

In a large casserole dish, place the uncooked white rice in the bottom and place the browned chicken on top. Simply pour the can of roasted tomatoes on top of the chicken and rice. Then, pour the jar of olives, including the olive juice in with the chicken, rice and tomatoes.  (Note: You may need to add about 1/2 cup more water to ensure rice is cooked nicely with a 1: 3 ratio of rice to water).  DO NOT ADD SALT because the olives are already salty there is no need to add more.

You’re a great Mom…Good luck Johanna!


Chicken Curry (Philippine-style)

Philippine-style, mildly-spiced Chicken curry spells good eats to Filipinos.  And with still weeks of winter weather, hot chicken curry is my number 1 choice for comfort foods.  I just love this dish.  One thing I do differently is boiling the chicken pieces in a sweet-salty-tangy-spicy marinade.

To each his own, and that said, neighboring Asian countries like Malaysia make chicken curry taste differently than the party-favorite Philippine-style chicken curry.  Years back I had a taste of Penang-style chicken curry paired with roti canai (flat Indian soft bread).  I had more fun watching the cook playing, stretching and cooking dough balls than really enjoying served chicken curry.  It just tasted different, it was really heavy on curry.  Philippine-style chicken curry is a bit milder and really great served with hot white rice.

I start with boiling one whole chicken (cut into serving pieces) in a stockpot with some minced garlic, 4 teaspoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.  To make the chicken pieces stand-out, I fry them in hot oil until golden.  I also pan-fry about 1/2 lb of peeled and large chunks of potatoes and carrots, until nicely browned.

In a large skillet or wok, saute in 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 whole large onion, chopped.  Strips of red and green bell pepper are then added, along with the reserved sauce from boiled chicken.  Add spices, a can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup water.  Let the mixture boil and then lower heat.  Taste and add more salt or patis (fish sauce), if desired.  Stir in fried chicken and fried potatoes and  carrots and let simmer until chicken and potatoes and carrots are thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.  Yes, don’t forget the white rice.


1 whole chicken (1 kg or 2 lbs), cut into serving pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, cut in strips
1 small red bell pepper, cut in strips
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can coconut milk (Chaokoh brand is preferred)
1/2 cup water
Salt or patis (fish sauce) to taste


1)  Boil chicken in a stock pot with the next 5 ingredients.

2)  Fry boiled chicken pieces in hot oil until golden.  Transfer to a large platter.  Next, fry chunks of potatoes and carrots until nicely browned.  Transfer to platter containing fried chicken pieces.

3)  Saute onion and minced garlic in remaining oil.  Stir in bell pepper strips, spices and reserved sauce from boiled chicken.  Add coconut milk and water; let mixture boil, then lower heat.  Add more salt or patis (fish sauce), if desired.

4)  Add back fried chicken pieces, potatoes and carrots and let simmer, stirring occasionally until done.

5)  Serve hot with white rice.

Note:  Of course, you can add some green peas for nice color contrasts.


Dig in!