MakingBananaPancakes.com - Keith Pricktt's Food Blog

Brown Stew Chicken

January 22nd, 2011

Brown Stew Chicken - stewing

After a very long hiatus I decided to cook again.  Just kidding, I cook all the time!  The only problem is I don’t make time to share it with you.  Well, here I am and I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, including this delicious stew.

I recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Jamaica where (…read more and get the recipe)

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  » By Keith Prickett

Homemade Chicken Broth [Updated]

March 15th, 2009

Salt-Free Homemade Chicken Broth Simmering

I was making chicken noodle soup the other today and needed some broth, so I went back and looked through my postings to find a recipe.  I wasn’t really happy with it so I updated it just a little and am re-posting it here.  I hope you enjoy it!

As you may have noticed I don’t use salt that much. I like to use unsalted butter, and I rarely put salt in anything I bake. I found that it is not necessary to add salt in order to have a delicious flavor. When I went on a salt-free kick way back when, I realized that chicken bouillon and store-bought chicken broths have a LOT of sodium (along with pretty much every thing else you buy at the grocery store). So I decided (…read more and get the recipe)

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Pasta, Soup | Leave/read a comment (1)

  » By Keith Prickett

Chicken Tomatillo Wrap

June 13th, 2008

Mixing bowl

Rachel loves Real Simple Magazine and we have always found their recipes to, truly, be simple.  She picked a couple at random the other day and the wrap was one of them. The wrap is really fresh and seems quite healthy.  It has avacado, broccoli, pine nuts, tomatillo salsa, and tomatoes — all really healthy fresh ingredients.  We made the recipe from the magazine but halved it and ended up eating it for a few days of lunch and dinner in a row.  I sneaked a little sour cream in mine, but don’t tell Rachel!  Whip these up on a hot day to save from turning on the oven or stove.  Here’s what we did: (…read more and get the recipe)

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  » By Keith Prickett

Hot Tamales [Authentic Mexican Chicken Tamales]

January 5th, 2008

Authentic Chicken Mexican Tamales

Now that the business of the Christmas season is winding down I have found more time for the things I enjoy like: running/jogging, baking, spending quality time with my wife, and most importantly to you, writing on my blog! I’ve just finished baking some cupcakes [I’ll post about this later] but first I want to tell you about my tamales I cooked up just before Christmas.

My work has a potluck once a year right before we head off on our Christmas vacation. Last year I brought some cookies (I think?) but I had remembered that there were way too many sweets. I did some thinking and after attending an authentic Mexican Christmas party at my friend’s place and eating Tamales there I decided that would be the thing to do.

So I was off, determined to find the best recipe on the web and make my first-ever batch of home-made hot tamales! WOW were they good!!!! I found the recipe online and followed the advice to spread this out over a few days. Here’s what I did:

Brief Overview:

  1. Day 1: Make the Meat
  2. Day 2: Make the masa, prepare corn husks, and fill with meat
  3. Day 3: Steam the tamales

Now, you can do all of this in one day, but you’ll probably have to start in the morning or early afternoon to finish all the steps. Be advised.
Day 1:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup Corn oil [ I used olive oil for less fat ]
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper
  • Salt to your preference (I used about 1 or 2 teaspoons)

Before we start cooking I’m going to remind you to save the chicken broth when you are done!

Directions:

  1. Insert whole chicken (rinsed in cold water and fat cut off) into a pot large enough to hold the whole chicken and cover with water.
  2. Fill pot with cold water to an inch or two above the chicken [although the original recipe didn’t call for it I added some (no more than 1 tablespoon each) pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder to the water for extra flavor]
  3. Bring water to boil then reduce to simmering for 2 hours.
  4. Prepare an ice bath to cool chicken when done cooking
  5. Cool the chicken in the ice bath when it is done (saving the broth for day 2)
  6. When the chicken is cool, using an immaculately clean work area and hands, remove all meat from the chicken with your hands and discard the bones (or make weapons from them 😉 ).
  7. Heat up a pan and the corn oil with enough room to hold the chicken meat.
  8. Add the seasonings and mix well for about a minute over medium heat
  9. Pull the chicken meat apart with your hands and add it to the pan.
  10. Cook it all together until it combines and gets heated through again.
  11. Taste it and add more seasoning as you see fit.
  12. Put it in a container and save for Day 2.

Chicken cookingFinished Seasoned Chicken The Chicken Broth [ Save it for day 2!!! ]

Day 2:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs “Ma Se Ca” Instant Corn Masa Mix (1/2 of the 4 lb bag)
  • 3 Tablespoons paprika (weird — at least to me –, I know, but it’s good)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of salt (less or more to your taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 cups of corn oil [ again I used olive oil for less fat ]
  • 2 quarts Chicken Broth from Day 1 [ reheated on the stove ]
  • Chicken mix from Day 1 [ reheat on the stove for easier spreading ]
  • About 30 dried corn shucks (I found mine near the masa mix in the grocery store)

Directions:

  1. Place the corn shucks in a large bowl full of scalding hot water to soften.
  2. Mix all the spices and masa together until combined
  3. Add the oil and mix
  4. Slowly mix and add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time working it in with your hands.
  5. Add more masa if too thin or more chicken broth if too thick.
  6. Work the dough to a peanut butter consistency.
  7. After the corn shucks are softened peel them apart one by one
  8. Hold one in your hand and spread a thin layer of masa over the shuck leaving 1/3 masa free on one side and the bottom of the shuck.
  9. Add a little bit (1 tablespoon or so) of spicy chicken to the top of the spread masa
  10. Now roll up from side to side and then fold the bottom up and place in the steaming basket.
  11. Keep doing this until you run out of either the chicken, masa or both. I had to make more masa, but I also used more than I should have and they were really thick.

Wow, now you have a steam pot full of tamales. You can steam them now or wait till the morning like I did. Refrigerate them if you decide to wait until day 3.

Preparing the tamale

Day 3:

Ingredients:

  • Your steam pot full of tamales
  • Oven.

Directions:

  1. Fill the bottom of the steam pot full of water — do not let the water touch the tamales.
  2. Heat the water to boiling, then reduce it to simmer so it steams the tamales.
  3. Cover the tamales and let them steam.
  4. Check the water — OR ELSE your house will seriously burn down, trust me on this one I had smoke detectors going off!
  5. After about 2 hours take one tamale out and unwrap it to see if it’s done. The masa should be cooked thoroughly.

Corn ShucksMasa MixTamales in the steamer

Now, enjoy a tamale FRESH and DELICIOUS! Let me know what you think in the comments!

I hope you enjoy!

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  » By Keith Prickett

Unique Chicken Pot Pie

December 3rd, 2007

Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

It’s been a while since I have written here, but I do have a delicious recipe to share! Besides that, my birthday was the other day and I got some really cool gifts from my wife that relate to my cooking.

First, she got me a book I’ve been raving about on here: “Nightly Specialsnothing to see here I had previously only checked it out from the library. I hope to cook up some more recipes and share from it. The chicken pot pie recipe below comes from this book.

Second, and -I think -a lot cooler (but equally as special), is a trip to the Oregon Culinary Institute for a hands-on cooking lesson! I guess she’s taken notice that I like cooking ;-). This should be a pretty fun time for me. Until then, I’ll just have to keep trying new recipes and posting them here. When I go, I’ll be sure to share some of what I learned with you and, naturally, with my wife! I can’t wait!!!!

Now, back to the pot pie. It’s not a pot pie in the traditional sense, the crust is more like a thin, buttery, very soft biscuit that you place on top of a rich chicken sauce/broth/filling. The filling is like the most delicious creamy chicken soup you’ve ever tasted. My wife wants me to get a “Yum” meter on my blog — and this one gets the highest ranking! Here’s what I did (warning, this recipe takes a long time to prepare if you do it all at once. Consider making chicken broth a day ahead of time.):

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • salt + pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 & 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • One 3 (or s0) pound chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary and thyme
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 5 large carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon (this adds incredible flavor!)

Directions:

Making pie tops 1Making pie tops 2

  1. Make the pot pie tops: combine flour, sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt into mixing bowl and blend
  2. Add buttermilk and 1/4 cup of cream and mix until combined.
  3. Chop the butter into tiny little pieces and add it to the batter leaving it mealy.
  4. Flour a surface and pour the dough onto the surface.
  5. Flatten gently with a rolling pin and cut into six rounds 3-inch diameter x 1 inch thick.
  6. Place them on a cookie sheet and let rest for 20 minutes in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 375.
  7. Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes until they are nicely browned

Bouquet GarniMaking delicious chicken broth

  1. Make the chicken and broth: wash the chicken under cold water. Tie the bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth.
  2. Put the chicken into a pot large enough to hold it.
  3. Cover it with cold water and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the cheesecloth of seasonings (called a “bouquet garni”), pinch of salt, onion, half the carrots, half of the celery.
  6. Bring back to simmer and cook uncooked for 45 minutes.
  7. When the chicken is done, carefully remove it from the pan and place it in a ice-water filled large pan or bowl to rapidly cool.
  8. Strain the broth into another bowl (discard the solids — or save for chicken noodle soup — that’s what I do!)
  9. Back to the chicken, use a very clean surface and — using your hands — remove all the good meat from the bones and set aside. Discard the bones and not-so-good stuff. 😉

Making the sauceserving the dish

  1. Make the sauce: Now, in a pot, add 2 cups of the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the remaining carrots and celery and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. In, alas, one more pan heat some butter up over medium heat.
  4. Add the shallots and saute them — seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. To the pot, add 1 cup of cream then the shallots and butter and simmer again for 5 minutes.
  6. Add 1/2 or more of the chicken meat to your taste/texture and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
  7. Finally, add the tarragon and transfer to serving bowls.
  8. Place hot rounds on top of the bowls and serve to hungry mouths!!

Wow! That’s a lot, even to write. I have to say. This delicious meal takes a long time to cook, but it is well worth the effort. Like I said before, make the chicken broth portion a day ahead of time and it’ll go quick.

I hope you enjoy it!

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  » By Keith Prickett

Toasted Barley and Butternut Squash

October 28th, 2007

Toasted Barley and Butternut Squash

I’ve been reading a cookbook: Nightly Specials: 125 Recipes for Spontaneous, Creative Cooking at Homenothing to see here. I love how they combine simple recipes and ingredients to make delicious foods! I’ve already made a few things out of it including “Toasted Barley and Butternut Squash” and “Coffee Barbecue Sauce” with chicken. There are plenty more delicious-looking recipes in this book (like the Chicken Pot Pie), and since it’s only a loaner from the Library I think I’m going to have to buy it:

Nightly Specials

Well anyway, I promised you a recipe with my homemade chicken broth and I keep my promises. The Toasted Barley and Butternut Squash looked really good in the book’s picture and it was good! It uses homemade chicken stock and maple syrup, but my wife said to use less maple syrup next time — it was a little sweet for dinner.

I didn’t actually use butternut squash, since I didn’t have any. I grew a small garden outside my duplex this year and had an acorn squash plant. From that ONE plant I must have harvested over 25 acorn squash and so I had plenty to spare!

One last note, this dinner goes GREAT with the pumpkin dinner rolls! Try it tonight!

Here’s what I did:

Cutting the SquashStirring the squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • 1 large Acorn Squash (the recipe actually calls for butternut squash, so use that if you have it)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tsp total of Kosher salt and whole pepper kernels ground
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (the recipe calls for 3, I’d reduce it to 1 tablespoon next time)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Fry the onionsSimmer the barley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat
  3. Add the onion and cook until it starts to brown
  4. Add the raw barley and cook it for about 3 minutes
  5. Pour in the hot broth, stir and simmer uncovered until the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender (about 40 minutes)
  6. Take your squash (chopped into cubes) and oil and toss in a bowl. Season it with the salt and pepper, toss again.
  7. Turn it out onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast it in the oven until tender (about 15 minutes).
  8. Add the syrup and other spices and stir.
  9. Roast for another 10 minute
  10. Now, stir the squash into the barley, serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy it!

Posted in Chicken, Dinner | Leave/read a comment (2)

  » By Keith Prickett

Salt-Free Homemade Chicken Broth

October 20th, 2007

Salt-Free Homemade Chicken Broth Finished

As you may have noticed I don’t use salt that much. I like to use unsalted butter, and I rarely put salt in anything I bake. I found that it is not necessary to add salt in order to have a delicious flavor. When I went on a salt-free kick way back when, I realized that chicken bouillon and store-bought chicken broths have a LOT of sodium (along with pretty much every thing else you buy at the grocery store). So I decided (…read more and get the recipe)

Posted in Chicken, Dinner | Leave/read a comment (2)

  » By Keith Prickett