05 May


Port Wine Chicken

Port Wine Chicken

May 25: National Wine Day

We previously posted recipes for Marsala Chicken and Champagne Chicken. Something similar is Port Wine Chicken. These recipes involve common cooking techniques, such as browning the chicken in butter or oil, sautéing onions and mushrooms, adding seasonings and/or herbs and pouring in some sweet wine to make a sauce or gravy.

Whereas Marsala wine is from Italy and Champagne is from France, Port is from Portugal. The fortified, sweet red wine enhances the flavor of the food in which it is cooked yet does not make the meat taste too alcoholic or acidic at all.

Instead of Marsala or Champagne, try putting Port in a braised chicken with mushrooms dish in observance of National Wine Day. Saúde!

Recipe

(Adapted from Chef Ponzio)

  • 4 large chicken thighs (with bone, with or without skin)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 container (8 ounces) button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 ½ cups port wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

Salt and pepper the chicken thighs. In a large pan, brown them in the olive oil. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Drain off any oil.

Port Wine Chicken

Chop the onions and parsley and quarter the mushrooms. In the same pan, sauté the onions with the parsley.

Port Wine Chicken

Add the mushrooms and cook until brown. Put the chicken back in the skillet. Pour in the port wine. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Watch that the wine is not reduced too much and that there is still a little liquid left for some sauce. Remove the chicken to a platter and keep warm. Melt the butter into the sauce and stir until smooth. Ladle the sauce and mushrooms over the chicken. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve with rice or pasta.

Port Wine Chicken

Notes

  • If you like a lot of mushrooms in this dish like we do, double the amount and add half a cup more of Port.
  • Check out more chicken recipes by searching our blog.

Pretzel Lightsabers

Pretzel Lightsabers

May 4: National “Star Wars” Day

Celebrate “Star Wars” Day with some geeky goodies, such as Pretzel Lightsabers. They are quick and easy to make and are popular playthings at parties with a “Star Wars” theme. Simply dip pretzel sticks/rods into colored candy melts, let set and wrap in our lightsaber labels (PDF provided in this post!). May the Force be with you on May the 4th!!!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Candy melts (red, blue and green)
  • Pretzel sticks/rods

Directions

In a tall container, such as Wilton’s dipping box, microwave candy melts according to the package directions. Or microwave candy melts and pour into tall glasses for easier dipping. Dip the pretzel sticks/rods ¾ deep into the candy melts, coating well.

Pretzel Lightsabers

Set onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate to set. Remove from the baking sheet. Print out our lightsaber labels HERE (set color printer options and resize as necessary). Cut and wrap around the non-coated end of the pretzel sticks/rods. Use transparent tape to secure the edges. Set the pretzel lightsabers on a decorative tray and serve.

Pretzel Lightsabers

Notes

  • Add a little vegetable shortening to the candy melts to give it a thinner dipping consistency.
  • Sprinkle  matching colored sugar on the coated pretzels after dipping to give them a little “Star Wars” sparkle (optional).
  • Search our blog for other “Star Wars” themed foods, such as Yoda Soda, Princess Leia’s Danish ‘Do’s, Wookieee Cookies, etc.

Bacon Cheddar Scallion Scones

Bacon Cheddar Scones

May 30: National Scone Day

Our typical tea time tray includes sweet treats. But we decided to try something savory and substantial, such as bacon cheddar scallion scones, instead. Similar to bread-biscuits, they add balance to the sweet scones we normally have with our tea. For a fuller and formal tea time, add finger sandwiches, desserts and scones—sweet and savory—and make this meal a big deal! Or for a simple snack, bake bacon cheddar scallion scones on National Scone Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped (green part only)
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or milk

Directions

Grate the cheese, cook and crumble the bacon and chop the scallions. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.

Bacon Cheddar Scones

Add the sugar to the flour mixture. Cut in the butter pieces and mix until they resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in the grated cheese, bacon and scallions. Gradually add the cream or milk (more or less may be needed, depending on your kitchen temperature and humidity). The scone dough should be able to stick together. If it is too dry, add a little more milk. If it is too wet, add a little more flour.

Bacon Cheddar Scones

Form the dough into a ball. Transfer to a clean surface dusted with flour. Pat the dough ball into a disc. Gently flatten to ¾ inch thick. Place the disc on a lightly greased baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut into eight wedges. Spread them apart from each other so they do not stick together when they rise slightly while baking. Brush the tops with a little cream or milk. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F at 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool on the pan. Separate the wedges. Arrange on a tea tray. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bacon Cheddar Scones

Notes

  • National Scone Day is observed in Australia on May 30 but we join the mates Down Under by posting this recipe in the blogosphere and World Wide Web!
  • Bacon may be fried to a crisp, then chopped finely. We used fully-cooked bacon from the package and chopped it up. Real bacon bits (found in the salad section of the grocery store) may also be used.
  • Scallions/green onions may be substituted for snipped fresh chives.
  • Wedge-shaped scones are traditional but the dough may be cut in rounds as well.
  • Search our blog for other scone and tea time recipes.

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