Sunday, September 1st, 2019


Baked Garlic Parmesan

Chicken Wings

September: National Chicken Month

It’s almost fall, y’all, and it’s time for some football! Our former neighbors, Glenn and Anna Maria B., would sometimes come from across the street to our house to watch the big game on our big screen TV. They often brought over game day goodies to share, like chicken wings from Wing Stop. We especially love the fried garlic parmesan chicken wings but we tried an oven-baked version at home, which is still just as juicy and flavorful.

We miss spending time with Glenn and Anna Maria since we moved away but this recipe will always remind us of the good times and good food we shared together. Bake garlic parmesan chicken wings for fall football game day gatherings and during National Chicken Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Big Oven)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

In a large bowl, place the chicken wings and sprinkle with the dried oregano, rosemary and cumin.

Salt and pepper to taste. Lay the coated wings on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, pour the olive oil in a bowl.

Add the chopped basil, minced garlic and parmesan cheese to the olive oil bowl. Remove the chicken from the oven and toss in the bowl until well coated. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Islander and Anna Maria’s favorite part of the chicken wing is the flap (also called wingette). They usually gave the guys the drumettes to eat.
  • Search our blog for other seasonal football food. Search our blog for other chicken recipes.

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

September-November: National Apple Months

All-American apple pie gets an Asian accent when made into egg rolls! We first tried these at a neighborhood social. Fortunately, we live in a culturally diverse county where fusion foods give everyone an opportunity to try a mixed plate of everything ethnic. They are easy to make and can be frozen until ready to fry up for a fast and fabulous fall dessert for family and friends. Crisp like the autumn weather, apple pie egg rolls are delicious during the National Apple Months of September, October and November—and also all year long!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • oil for frying
  • cinnamon sugar

Directions

Open a can of apple pie pilling and chop coarsely into smaller pieces. Set aside. Separate the egg roll wrappers. Beat the egg. Moisten the four sides of one egg roll wrapper with the beaten egg.

Scoop about two tablespoonsful of apple pie filling and spread lengthwise onto the bottom third part of the egg roll wrapper. Fold both left and right sides in. Then fold up to cover the apple pie filling.

Roll and press to seal. Place seam side down on waxed paper. Fry immediately or freeze until ready to fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Drain each apple pie egg roll on paper towels. While still hot, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of caramel sauce (optional).

Notes

  • Try substituting apple pie filling with other flavors: cherry, blueberry, peach, etc. Chunkier fruit fillings work best for egg roll style pies.
  • Search our blog for other apple recipes.

Biryani Chicken

September: National Rice Month

Our Indian and Pakistani friends at university introduced us to biryani, a hearty rice dish made with fragrant basmati rice, spices, vegetables and sometimes meat and eggs. We ate biryani as guests at their student association gatherings and during special occasions (Diwali and Eid). It was also a favorite dish of the Mughals that biryani is often described as a “feast fit for royalty”.

A few years following graduation from university, as newlyweds setting up our own kitchen, we bought our very first cookbook that focused on classic Indian recipes, including biryani. For more than two decades, we have cooked this dish whenever we wanted a main Mughlai-style meal with rich flavors. The ingredients are ironically affordable for such a royal dish, and we get a lot of delicious leftovers, making it worth our while to prepare it to last us for a few days during a busy workweek—and for National Rice Month!

Recipe

(Adapted from “Classic Indian: Easy, Delicious and Authentic Recipes”)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons biryani masala paste
  • 2/3 cup yogurt, plain
  • 3 ½ pounds chicken, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bag (3.5 ounces) crispy onions (salad toppers)
  • 1-2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounces cilantro, fresh chopped (plus additional for optional garnish)
  • 6-8 mint leaves, fresh chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 ½ cups basmati rice, washed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • boiling water (enough to cover the rice)
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1-2 cups frozen steak fries, defrosted and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2+ tablespoons ghee or butter, divided use
  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • salt to taste

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together the biryani paste with yogurt. Mix in the chicken.

Add the crispy onions, chopped chilies, ginger and garlic to the mix.

Stir in the cilantro and mint leaves. Cover, refrigerate and marinate for at least two hours. In a measuring cup, infuse the saffron with the milk until it changes color slightly. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the washed rice with cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Pour boiling water to cover the rice. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and discard the cinnamon and cardamom. In a large skillet, heat a little vegetable oil. Fry up the chicken and marinade mixture until the meat is no longer pink.

Stir in the potatoes and mix with the marinade. In a deep casserole dish, layer the chicken-potato mixture on the bottom. Add the basmati rice on top.

Poke a few holes in the rice. Pour in the saffron-milk mixture. Dot with a few knobs of ghee/butter. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F and bake for an hour, checking to see if the rice is softened and done at 45 minutes. Continue baking until cooked.

While the biryani is baking, heat a little ghee/butter in a skillet. Saute the cashews and raisins to toast the nuts and plump up the fruit. Set aside. Remove the biryani from the oven when done. Carefully remove the foil. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Stir in the cashews and raisins and gently mix until the rice is fully blended with all the ingredients. Serve hot.

Notes

  • The original recipe is made in a heavy pot over a stovetop (such as a Dutch oven, which we did not have at this time). We used a glass casserole dish and baked it in the oven, after several years’ experience of burning the bottom of our pot!
  • Search our blog for other rice recipes.

Chicken Marbella

September:National Chicken Month

Life is always busy and, we admit, that it seems like we rely on take-out foods too much. But after discovering how easy it is to prepare Chicken Marbella, we can plan ahead for a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner.

This recipe is an iconic and original one for the Silver Palate restaurant (established in 1977 and closed in 1993) in Manhattan, New York. Long before the popular eatery opened, chefs Julee Russo and Sheila Lukins wanted to cook comfort foods for their guests and Chicken Marbella was created with ingredients, including chicken and pitted Spanish green olives, they already had in their own kitchen. It was a simple but delicious dish for their dinner party that they put it on their menu and named it after one of their favorite places, Club Marbella (pronounced mar-BAY-yah), in Spain. Chicken Marbella continues to be the most popular recipe in their Silver Palate Cookbook, published in 1982.

This famous chicken dish is one of the popular and favorite dishes at our home, too, because of its simple preparation and symphony of flavors. Try it and make Marbella Chicken during National Chicken Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Silver Palate)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup pitted prunes
  • ¼ cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • ¼ cup capers plus juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 chicken thighs (or other favorite pieces)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1-22 tablespoons fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or cilantro, chopped plus extra for garnish

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes and olives.

Stir in the capers with juice. Add bay leaves, minced garlic and oregano.

Salt and pepper to taste. In the bowl or zipper top plastic bag, marinate the chicken in this mixture for at least three hours or overnight.

Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet, arranging the chicken in a single layer with the marinade and prunes, olives and capers around it. Pour white wine around the pan. Sprinkle the tops of the chicken skin with brown sugar. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (adjust the timing for chicken pieces other than thighs). Baste the chicken in the juices 2-3 times while baking.

Remove from the oven and put the chicken, prunes, olives and capers on a separate platter or serving dish. Baste with some of the pan juices. Optional steps: Place remaining pan juices into a small skillet. Boil until reduced to half. Strain the sauce over the chicken. Serve hot over rice, couscous or curly egg noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.

Notes

  • We halved the original recipe to feed just to two of us.
  • Chicken Marbella may be served cold/at room temperature.
  • This is a popular recipe during the Jewish Passover Seder.
  • Search our blog for more chicken recipes for National Chicken Month.