Marsala Chicken

Marsala Chicken

September: National Chicken Month

Islander was gifted with an apron that stated: “I like to cook with wine! (Sometimes I even add it to the food.)” Ironically, she does not like to drink wine but she sure likes to cook with it! So when she was gifted with a sweet Italian wine, Marsala, she tried it in a tiramisu recipe and loved it! When she ran out of Marsala, Highlander went to buy another bottle for her. On the back of the Gran Chef brand was the recipe for Marsala chicken. It is surprisingly simple to cook and features the full flavor of the wine. Anyone who likes to cook with wine (and sometimes add it to their food) really ought to try and make Marsala chicken for National Chicken Month.

Marsala Chicken

Recipe

(Adapted from Gran Chef)

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts/cutlets, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ – 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup Marsala wine
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • cooked fettucine, spaghetti or other pasta

Directions

Brown both sides of the chicken breasts in olive oil until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms for about a minute. Stir in the Marsala wine and let it simmer for another minute.

Marsala Chicken

Add the cream and cook for 2-3 minutes. Place the chicken on top of the cooked pasta. Spoon the mushroom sauce over the chicken. Garnish with Italian parsley (optional).

Marsala Chicken

Notes

  • Some versions of this Marsala chicken recipe call for dredging the cutlets in seasoned flour. After they are fried in olive oil, the cutlets are set aside and the other ingredients are added to the same pan to make a gravy.
  • For something similar, check out our Champagne chicken recipe that we posted on National Champagne Day (December 31) to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
  • More Marsala may be used in tiramisu! See our blog recipe for tiramisu in October, which is National Dessert Month.
  • Thanks to Olga W. for the apron that inspired this post. And thanks to Lisa L. for our first bottle of Marsala wine that she sent from Sicily, Italy.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

September: National Chicken Month

Highlander frequently orders kung pao chicken whenever we eat at a Chinese restaurant. But he finds that some are chintzy on the chicken and the nuts are almost non-existent. He prefers this classic Szechuan dish to be meaty, nutty, spicy and saucy instead of  the “very veggie-fied” versions serve at some of the Chinese restaurants. Highlander also likes the cashew chicken stir-fry from Islander’s Daddy, so based on his recipe she now cooks kung pao chicken for her hubby with his request for more substantial ingredients in mind. Below is our basic home-style kung pao chicken recipe in observance of National Chicken Month.

Recipe

(Inspired by Daddy)

For the chicken marinade

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sherry or Shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • vegetable or hot chili oil

Directions

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Mix in the corn starch until smooth. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a wok or skillet. Brown the chicken and cook ¾ way through. Set aside and keep warm. Prepare the sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken

For the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

For the stir-fry

  • 6-8 dried chili peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks green onions, diced to ¼ inch
  • ½ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
  • vegetable or hot chili oil

Directions

In the same wok or skillet, add a little vegetable oil, if necessary, and stir-fry the dried chili peppers, minced garlic and ¾ of the green onions for a minute.

Kung Pao Chicken

Add the chicken and heat until fully cooked. Pour in the sauce and stir until thickened. Mix in the nuts. Sprinkle the remaining green onions on top. Transfer to a platter and serve hot with rice.

Kung Pao Chicken

Notes

  • Traditionally, Szechuan peppercorns are stir-fried into the dish to add a distinctive aroma and authentic spicy flavor to the kung pao chicken. This may be hard to find in American markets because of a nearly 40-year import ban on the peppers. To add more heat to this recipe, use hot chili oil instead of the peppercorns to saute the chicken and other ingredients.
  • If you like nuts in Chinese stir-fry dishes, try our cashew chicken recipe posted on November 22 (National Cashew Day).

Shoyu Chicken

Shoyu Chicken

September: National Chicken Month

Shoyu (soy sauce) chicken is considered a comfort food in Hawaii, whether served as a plate lunch or as one of the main dishes at a luau or banquet buffet. This slightly sweet Japanese-inspired recipe was adapted from Islander’s intermediate school’s home economics class. It is so easy to cook—even an eighth grader can do it (Islander’s family and friends often refer to this dish as “the eighth grade chicken”)! Make shoyu chicken for a simple celebration of National Chicken Month.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken thighs
  • ¾ cup soy sauce (we used Aloha Shoyu brand)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (we used C&H brand golden brown)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 1 stalk green onions

Directions

Peel and crush one clove of garlic. Cut about a large thumb-size piece of ginger. Half it lengthwise, then crush the ginger pieces to release the juices. Pour the soy sauce, brown sugar and water in a large pot. Add the crushed garlic and ginger. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for five minutes. Add the chicken thighs, bring to a boil, cover the pot and simmer at medium heat for 30-40 minutes.

Shoyu Chicken

During cooking time, turn the chicken over several times until evenly browned. Thinly slice the tops of the green onion. Reserve it as a garnish. Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving bowl. Skim off the grease from the sauce in the pot and discard the garlic and ginger. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with green onions. Serve hot with scoops of steamed white rice.

Shoyu Chicken

Baked Sesame Chicken Wings

Sesame Chicken Wings

September: National Chicken Month

The young kids of a Korean friend from church had requested chicken wings when we went to a potluck dinner at their apartment.  We were going to bring Korean chicken wings (see our other blog recipe post) but our deep fryer was out of service at the time. Not wanting to disappoint her sons, we found a suitable substitute—baked sesame chicken wings. Korean cuisine uses sesame seeds and oil to add a distinctively delicious flavor and aroma to a lot of their foods. Heeyoung K.’s family liked this Asian-American style dish, and we liked how easy it was to cook! Bake some simple sesame chicken wings for a potluck pleaser and for National Chicken Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 green onion stalks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 ½ pounds chicken wings

Directions

Slice the green onions (tops and white parts only; discard the bottom root), chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Add these to the marinade by mixing together with the sesame oil, soy sauce, water and sugar. Sprinkle the marinade with black pepper and sesame seeds. Soak the chicken wings in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate preferably overnight or at least 2-3 hours, turning the chicken wings occasionally.

Sesame Chicken Wings

Transfer the chicken wings to a baking pan without the marinade. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for half an hour. Turn the chicken wings and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Sesame Chicken Wings

Notes

  • We halved the baked sesame chicken wings recipe above. We also marinated them for two days for a stronger taste.