Showing posts with label chicken recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken recipes. Show all posts

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Supper in a Second—Apricot Chicken

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb Oh, life has been sooo crazy lately. I know—no one can be too sympathetic because we’re all in the same boat! Most people have something to make life crazy—busy workplace, hectic afterschool schedule, big family.

Sometimes you just need to have something on standby…something that’s tasty, inexpensive, and simple to prepare.

I offer you---Apricot Chicken!

What if you’re not an apricot fan? Make it with whole cranberry sauce.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s made with only a few ingredients. And you could buy them when they’re on sale and they’ll keep for a long while in your pantry—pull them out whenever you need a quick dinner.

006 Apricot Chicken

12 chicken thighs (but I used chicken breasts—about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup apricot preserves (can use whole cranberry sauce instead, if you like)
1 cup French dressing
1 package dry onion soup mix
pineapple chunks (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
the preserves, French dressing, and dry soup mix in a bowl.
Put the chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with apricot mixture.
Cook uncovered for 50 minutes. Add pineapple chunks (if you like) and cook for 10 more minutes.

Really, it doesn’t get too much simpler than this for a weeknight meal, even if you’ve had a stressful day. And it’s healthier and less expensive than takeout! :)

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig

Julie's Contest!

Remember, you’ve got through June 5th to enter Julie’s release contest!

Julie’s first book in The Manor House Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure (starred review in Publishers Weekly!), debuted June 1.

To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure, and you're eligible to win one of two $25 gift certificates from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!)

No receipts required. Just email Julie at with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Put "CONTEST" in the subject header!)

And Julie's provided a few helpful links to get you started:

Independent Bookstore List: here

- Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!)
- Centuries & Sleuths (Julie's local mystery bookstore)

-Barnes & Noble


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicken A La Yummy


Is there any food you can do more with than chicken?

It’s the main component of so many different dishes from so many different countries. You can prepare it in a mind-boggling variety of ways.

And my family all eats it! That right there earns it major appreciation.

This recipe, adapted from a Real Simple dish can be made in just minutes. Give this yummy skillet meal a go if you’re looking for something quick and healthy with a short list of ingredients and easy clean-up.

Skillet Chicken with Spinach and


skillet chicken

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 skinless chicken breasts

Salt & Pepper

1 pound button mushrooms quartered

1 red bell pepper diced into small pieces

3 garlic cloves

½ cup chicken broth

6 cups fresh spinach

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until browned and cooked through (approx 5 minutes per side depending on thickness). Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

Return skillet to medium high heat, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Sautee mushrooms & red pepper 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and chicken broth until mushrooms are tender and broth is nearly evaporated. Toss in spinach, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until spinach wilts. Serve with the chicken.

Enjoy! :)

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig

Here's your chance to enter

Julie Hyzy's May Contest!

Julie’s first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure, debuts June 1st! To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure any time before May 31, 2010, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!) No receipts required. Just email Julie with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Please put "CONTEST" in the subject header. Thanks!)

Here are a few helpful links to get you started:
Independent Bookstore List: here
- Mystery Lovers Bookshop
(free shipping on book orders over $10!)
- Centuries & Sleuths
(Julie's local mystery bookstore)

And while we're here...

Avery is offering FREE BOOKMARKS on her website. Click this FREE BOOKMARK link to send her your information.

She also has a "fan club" contest (separate from Julie's) that is running until this FRIDAY. Click this CONTEST link to see how to enter. Hint: the instructions are in the last paragraph of the newsletter.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wine and Whine: I like 'Em Both by Guest Blogger Jessica Conant-Park

Please give a warm welcome to our very special Iron Chef Wine Week guest, mystery author Jessica Conant-Park, co-author of the Gourmet Girl mysteries.
Jessica is a wonderfully witty and talented writer: She pens books with her amazing mom (mystery author Susan Conant) and is married to a pro chef, which gives her sweet insider knowledge on writing about restaurants, professional kitchens, and all things culinary.
Her newest release in her delectable culinary mystery series, COOK THE BOOKS, is coming to book stores on March 2nd. Here's a little taste...

If you can’t stand the heat…

While in her second year of social work school, Chloe Carter gets herself in a pickle by overindulging her beloved godson. To pay her bills, Chloe needs a part-time job. Still smarting over the break-up with her boyfriend, Josh, who took a job as a personal chef in Hawaii, Chloe knows that assisting a cookbook writer may stir up painful memories. But the Gourmet Girl is desperate!

While compiling a book of recipes from Boston’s top chefs, Chloe must deal with a lot of Josh’s friends, including the loud-mouthed, but lovable, Digger. Still, she stays cool until she arrives at Digger’s apartment only to find the building thoroughly charred—and Digger with it.

Chloe knows that Digger was too expert a chef to let a grease fire kill him. His death was murder. Putting her feelings on the back burner, the Gourmet Girl sifts through suspects. But as an executive chef with thorny love life, Digger had enemies by the dozen on his plate. Finding a killer when everyone has a motive is hard enough. Matters will get even stickier if the tragedy brings Josh back to Boston—and back into Chloe’s life.

You can find out more about Jessica and her Gourmet Girl Mysteries (and see more of her wonderful recipes and food thoughts) by visiting her author website by clicking here. And now here's Jessica! ~Cleo

You know what I’m really good at? Whining. Seriously, I love it. I’m great at complaining and pitching dramatic fits. You may think it’s very uncool of me to admit this, but I‘m a grown up now (supposedly) and you should take my admission as an indicator of my being terribly self-aware and comfortable in my own skin.
What I’m particularly good at whining about is the writing process. Every author has a different approach to writing, and while I picture other authors easily coming up with storylines, characters, and scintillating plot elements in a deep, thoughtful, and polite manner, I’m the complete opposite. My proces involves lots of wailing, storming around the house, complaining that I’m miserable and useless and will never get an idea to translate from my messed up brain into any understandable Word document.
I like to think that this makes me the proverbial tortured writer and is a sign of my being a true artist. Ha! I suppose I’m just a high-maintenance drama queen. Whatever. I’ve convinced myself that while words flow easily for every other author (those evil people who write twenty pages a day without blinking), I am the exception to the rule. I whine and struggle and flop myself onto the bed in desperation. Writing is work. Yes, some days are really fun and I barely get up from the computer to acknowledge the real world. But there are a lot of days that are rough.
I like to write cleanly as I go because the editing process is already enough work without adding to it with sloppy sentences and useless dialogue. So that might slow me down some. But it gives me another excuse to whine. “I can’t do this! This book sucks! I’m a failure and will never amount to anything! I don’t wanna do this! This is boring and I hate this stupid scene!”
Now, you may think whining is unproductive and childish, but it actually serves a purpose! If I’m whining about a scene that I don’t want to write, that tells me something. The best piece of advice my mother ever gave me was that if I didn’t want to write it, nobody would want to read it. She’s right.
Sometimes my resistance to writing a particular scene or chapter can show me that I should just take it out because it’s not adding to the story. Other times, when I know a scene is necessary and important, I use my whining as inspiration to make that scene different, maybe adding a quirky theme or funny twist that I hadn’t planned on. If I can entertain myself, then maybe I can entertain the reader. But let’s face, that’s still work. So I’m going to try another approach. I’ll curl up in bed with my laptop and leisurely sip a nice Pinot Grigio while I pen the most brilliant book ever written. Doesn’t that sound romantic? The kid is in bed, the chef is at work, and I will work on a bestseller. Here I go:

8:45 p.m.: Ah, this Pinot is perfectly crisp and full-bodied. I shall now work on a touching scene filled with raw emotion and powerful dialogue that will engage the reader.

9:15 p.m.: Obviously need to top off this glass in order to properly capture characters. Back in a minute…. Okay, am ready. (I type furiously for ten minutes and finish the glass of wine.)

10:00 p.m.: Huh. It seems Word has gone crazy and put offensive red and green marks all over my screen. It’s not Christmas. Do not need colorful decorations adorning my masterpiece. Strongly suspect silly program does not know anything about spelling OR grammar. Will keep writing nonetheless, as I continue to appreciate fine vintage from California. (I look around the room hoping for sudden gift of creativity to strike.) Oh, look! There’s the Rick Springfield Cruise DVD set someone sent me! A quick watch of a few songs from the concert on the lido deck will totally help with smart writing! And this calls for another glass of wine because cruise would most definitely be providing beverages at concert and I must fit in with others.
11:12 p.m.: OMG, love Rick Springfield! Love his biceps! Want to be his guitar. Okay, back to work. Will leave delightful DVD on in background while I write. In fact, will stare at television as I type and let self be inspired by rock God….

11:24 p.m.: Uh-oh. Have done something odd. Fingers were clearly not properly aligned on keyboard as have inserted full paragraph of Webdings symbols. Also typed entire lyrics to “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Will take this as indication that watching 80s musician takes priority.

8:23 a.m.: Have written three pages of complete garbage and have raging headache. New method of writing assistance has proven ineffective. Also, have sustained hip injury, possibly related to jumping off of bed in joyous “Jessie’s Girl” dance move. Have plenty to whine about today. Oh! Have come full circle!

Oh, well. It seems my whine and wine strategy didn’t pan out very well. But I’m not giving up either one of them. COOK THE BOOKS, the fifth Gourmet Girl mystery, comes out on Tuesday and I plan on celebrating release day with an extravagant parade and a full glass.

MY Recipe: I’m nuts about that hottie chef Jamie Oliver (pictured left) and regularly use recipes from his cookbooks. This is my knockoff of one of his dishes, and it’s a good excuse to open a nice bottle of white wine. Don’t use a three-dollar bottle, please. You’ll wreck the dish and have a vile hangover from drinking the rest.

WHINING CHICKEN (or whatever you choose to call it)

2 tablespoons flour 

Salt and pepper 

1 whole chicken, cut up 

1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 

1 1/2 cups white wine

4-6 anchovy fillets 

1/4 cup pitted calamata olives
¼ cup green olives
5 ripe plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped, or 1 can of whole plum tomatoes with most of the liquid drained from the can.
2 big handfuls of arugula

Combine flour with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken pieces and toss until evenly coated. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over medium-high heat Add chicken pieces, and brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, and add the onions and garlic. Continue to fry until the onions soften and garlic is soft but not brown. Add the wine and when it comes to a boil, add the anchovies, olives, and tomatoes.

Partly cover the pan and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until chicken is cooked and tender, and broth is reduced to a rich sauce, 15 to 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Just before serving, remove the pot from the heat and toss in the arugula, letting it wilt in the sauce. That’s it!

Jessica, thank you again
for joining us today!

On Sale March 2nd!

Jessica's official author website here.


a set of COOKIE CUTTERS from Wilton!

Check back on March 2, when the cookie cutter winner
will be announced -- oh heck, check back every day!
There's always something fun going on!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"My Valentine" Cranberry Chicken from Cleo Coyle

First a little announcement: if you are an apsiring writer or interested in the writing process, hop on over to Elizabeth Spann Craig's blog Mystery Writing is Murder and visit me there today. I'm guest blogging on the subject of "Genre Blending and Your Character's Love Life" (click here to visit). And now back to our regularly scheduled recipe...

Food is love. We’ve heard the saying for years. It’s especially true in our house because my husband and I often take turns cooking for each other, and we’ve both made and enjoyed the recipe I’m sharing with you today.

Valentine’s Day for us will be a cozy, simple affair—a couple of candles, Sinatra on the stereo, a fireplace DVD in the TV, and we’re good for romance. So what’s to eat? Well, dessert is all set. We’re baking a truly amazing Chocolate Kahlua Cake from a recipe you’ll be getting on Sunday from Dead Air author Mary Kennedy, so check back on Valentine’s Day for that fabulous dessert recipe. The main event, however, will be my Valentine Cranberry Chicken.

For obvious reasons, poultry with cranberry sauce is a combination that thrums heartstrings in most Americans, which is also why I’m sharing my Cranberry Chicken in time for Valentine’s Day. The red of the cranberries evokes the bright crimson of the ubiquitous Valentine heart, and the sweet and savory flavors are reminiscent of festive American holiday meals, yet this dish can be ready to eat in under an hour. It’s easy and economical and just as good when warmed up for a meal the next day (or even the day after).

Jeff Smith was my inspiration for this recipe, which is really just an adaptation of his. He used chicken parts, but I find skinless chicken breasts a much easier and better version (you won’t miss the skin, either). I’ve also made some adjustments on ingredients and measurements to suit my taste. This is one of those recipes that you can adjust to your own palate, too, especially with the seasonings. If you really enjoy a sweet-hot combo, for instance, really kick up the cayenne to a higher level. If you don’t, leave it out completely.

"My Valentine" Cranberry Chicken
from Cleo Coyle

Serves: 4 (or 2 with leftovers)


4 to 5 skinless chicken breasts (or 3 to 3-1/2 pounds chicken tenders)
1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with…
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup (approx.) canola oil (for frying)
One 14 or 16 ounce can of whole sweetened cranberry sauce (or make about 2 cups of sweetened sauce from fresh cranberries)
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 of a large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), chopped

1. Cut the chicken breasts into thirds and coat with the flour, which has been seasoned with salt, pepper, and cayenne for a little kick.
2. In a heavy, deep skillet, lightly brown the flour-dusted chicken pieces in about 1 cup of canola oil. NOTE: You are not cooking these through completely. This is a quick, light frying to cook the raw flour and give the chicken some color.
3. In a medium size saucepan, mix the remaining ingredients (cranberry sauce, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, and chopped onion). Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
4. Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for about 40-50 minutes. The dish is done when the chicken is tender. (Chicken tenders will cook a bit faster than cut up chicken breasts.)
We enjoy this served over Basmati rice. If you don’t like rice, try plating it with a side of glazed carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, and/or freshly steamed and buttered green beans, add some crusty rolls, a French baguette, or sliced Italian bread on the side to dip into that sweet, tangy, cranberry infused sauce and you're all ready to...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

And finally...

Thank you to Ingrid of The Conscious Cat. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll want to check out her site! Ingrid awarded this blog...

The Over the Top Blog Award!

The rules state that we must complete the questions with one word answers. Here we go!

Your Hair? – Caramel Latte-ish (with a latte help from Charlotte at the salon up the block!)Your Favorite Food? – Peaberry
Your Hobby? – Writing about coffee
Your Fear? – Decaf
Something You Aren’t? – A tea drinker
Where Did You Grow Up? – outside of Pittsburgh, PA
Your Life? – Caffeinated
Your Mood? – Wired
Your Favorite Color? – Coffee

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quick and easy comfort food.

Deadlines, carpool, more deadlines,
email, laundry, more deadlines,
voice mail, PTO events, oh, and
yeah, DINNER!
After almost eleven years of marriage,
the Hub can spot an incoming wife
meltdown at forty yards.

Luckily, when he says, "Don't worry about dinner,
I've got it," it does not mean something served from
a styrofoam box or carton or paper wrapper.
Hub brings out the comfort food and one of his
specialties is:

Garlic-Paprika Chicken.


Chicken quarters (4-6)
Garlic salt
Black pepper
Olive oil

Wash the chicken quarters and pat dry.
Place the chicken meaty side up in a lightly oiled
13 X 9 X 2 baking dish.
Rub the chicken with more oil, then generously sprinkle
with garlic salt, paprika and black pepper.
Bake at 350 for one hour or until the juices run
clear. Does it get any easier or more delish than

Mom always said, "Marry a
man who can cook." Was she
ever right! Enjoy!!!

Jennifer McKinlay
MARCH 2010
(Available for pre-order now)

aka Lucy Lawrence
Sept 2009 (Available now)

April 2010 (Available for pre-order now)

Congratulations to Helen K. I can't wait to use your secret ingredient!
Readers, there is so much cooking here at Mystery Lover's Kitchen, be
sure to check back often to see what we're stirring up next!