Winnah Winnah Chicken Dinnah

In an effort to save time this week, I purchased a family pack of chicken breasts yesterday with the plan to marinate them in various sauces and grill or broil them before slicing and serving over salad greens (harvested from our garden) for lunches.

Step one: trim the fat. The family pack was not my usual brand of Amish-grown chicken so I spent more time than I liked trimming off all the excess fat. I considered weighing the trims but decided that was being too anal. After I trimmed it all down, I pounded the breasts to a more even thinness. Chris had offered to grill them up after the sun went down so I thought this would speed the process.

Step two: marinate. We had about 1/3 of a bottle of this fajita seasoning marinade left so I put that in with two of the breasts.

For the next group, I used some of a mojo sauce marinade that Chris had found. Its the same brand as the fajita and its really not my favorite brand as they are all made with high fructose corn syrup. Today, he found the brand we normally buy, Goya Mojo Criollo at a new little market on Waverly (just south of Saginaw, behind Walgreens).

For the last group, I mixed Dijon mustard, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika with garlic powder.

Marinated overnight, I decided to have Chris grill it up and I would use some of it for dinner tonight. On a whim, I bought these new Fold-it things from Flat Out during my speedwalk shopping trip through Meijer last week. Basically a flat bread with a built-in hinge to make a sandwich, I picked up the Rosemary & Olive Oil variety and immediately knew I’d be doing something with caramelized onions.

Tonight, I sliced up 1 1/2 Vidalia onions, heated up 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter then added the onions, letting them cook slowly until they were goldeny brown and sweet:

After these were done, I chopped up some cilantro from the jungle. Heat 1 Fold-it in a non-stick skillet. Top with a little shredded cheese and let melt. When the chicken comes off the grill, slice it. Add to the flat bread and top with cilantro and caramelized onions. You could also consider a little pineapple, grilled maybe…

Now the question is, which marinated chicken variety would go best?

Chicken Roulette

Well, that would require that I be able to tell them apart. I am pretty sure we both ended up with Mojo marinated chicken but uh, you can see my dilemma.

It was good, no matter what. Bodes well for future lunches.

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Mushroom Sauce (gravy?) for ravioli

Quick dinner tonight, once I got it going. We bought a 2-pack of a chicken & 4 cheese ravioli at Sam’s Club a week or so ago. The first batch, I just made with a jarred tomato sauce, slightly improved upon with herbs and balsamic vinegar.

Both Chris and I agreed that this was not quite the right topper for this ravioli that is primarily chicken. We also agreed that something more brothy or even gravy like would be better. There was even talk of treating the raviolis like pierogies and topping them with carmelized onions and mushrooms. That takes a long time and Thursday night is homework night so I did this, instead:

Ingredients

1/2 onion, finely diced
8 oz mini bella mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tbsp white wine
1 1/2-2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter (may be optional)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tablespoon flour
thyme
rosemary
1 garlic clove, crushed

Directions

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and herbs, stirring 20-30 seconds until fragrant. Add onion and season with a pinch of salt.

2. After onions have cooked down, stir in mushrooms and another pinch of salt (helps release the water). Cook the mushrooms until the pan is nearly dry. Add wine.

3. Add broth and bring to a boil then reduce to medium temperature. Allow to cook down a bit then add red bell pepper.

4. Stir in butter and flour to thicken slightly. Or thicken more or less by varying the amount of butter and/or flour.

Serve hot and garnish with a little cheese of your choice and fresh parsley (I used a bit of cheese leftover from our weekend trip to Petoskey: it had lavender and espresso beans washed over the rind).

Done! I started the onions then put the raviolis in their boiling water when I reached step 3 above.