Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken spezzatino ( italian soup-stew)

This is a healthy favorite at our house. It's from Giada Delaurantis's Everyday Italian cookbook.

2 Tbs. olive Oil
2 celery stalks, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 (14 1/2 oz)can chopped tomatoes with their juices
1 (14 oz)can chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 chicken breasts with ribs ( about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15 oz)can kidney beans ( I like to use the little white canelinni beans)

In a heavy 5 quart sauce pan, heat the oil over a meduim flame. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken and press to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer gently, uncovered , turning the breasts over and stirring occasionally, until the chicken isalmost cooked through, about 20 minutes. add the beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a stew consistancy, about 10 minutes. Discard teh bay leaf. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bite size pieces. Return it to the stew and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. I like to top it with parmesean cheese!

* I just use boneless chicken breasts. I also double the batch while I'm at it and freeze the rest

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sausage Stuffing

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, thought I would post my favorite stuffing recipe. I rarely get to make it, unless I go home for Thanksgiving, because my mom-in-law takes care of most everything for Thanksgiving. This one is so yummy, I could eat it alone for dinner. Enjoy!

Sausage Stuffing

1lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2c. Butter
3 cups onion, chopped
2cups celery, chopped
1T fresh sage, chopped
2T fresh parsley, chopped
6 cups plain croutons
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4c. real maple syrup (you don't want mrs. butterworth to be spread on this stuff) ;)
2 cups dried cherries or cranberries
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups chicken stock, plus extra as needed
2 T fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper

Saute sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling sausage with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Discard sausage fat in pan. Add butter, onions, and celery to skillet and saute until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add to sausage, along with herbs and croutons, mix to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine allspice, maple syrup, cherries, and pecans, and chicken stock. Add to crouton mixture. The mixture should be moist, but not soggy. Add more chicken stock, if necessary. Transfer stuffing to a large baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes, or until top is golden