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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

  1. Poulet en Croûte

    February 4, 2015 by Daniora


    Today’s recipe is another one from my childhood. My mom used to make this for us. It was one of those meals that always felt really special. I’ve put a couple of little twists on it myself, but at it’s heart, it’s the same.

    So, ‘poulet en croûte’ translates to ‘chicken in crust’. Loses some of the mystique in English, doesn’t it?

    The name is simple and the execution is even simpler. The beauty of this recipe is how impressive it looks, especially for the amount of effort.

    The ingredient list is short and sweet:

    Just four ingredients...

    Just four ingredients…

    • Chicken breast, one per serving. For this particular application, I used Perdue marinated chicken breasts. They were the perfect size for wrapping in the pie crust and were incredibly flavorful.
    • Sliced ham, one or two slices per serving. Mine was rather thinly sliced, so I opted for two.
    • Brie, sliced about 1/4″ thick. I usually use plain, but this time I accidentally grabbed herbed brie. I noticed my mistake and went to put it back, but decided that more flavor couldn’t be a bad thing.
    • Pie crust. I use the refrigerated kind that comes rolled. Each crust will be enough for two servings.

    That’s it. Now to put them together.

    Browning the chicken.

    Browning the chicken.

    The first step is to brown both sides of the chicken breast. This will add flavor and help sear the juices into the chicken. I had my pan a little hot, so some of the herbs from the marinate got a bit scorched, but there was no real harm done.

    Next, unroll your pie crust. Letting it come to room temperature first makes this a far easier task. Slice the crust in half. If you’re extra concerned about presentation, you can reroll each half to make it a more square shape. This will help later when it’s time to wrap the chicken, but isn’t strictly necessary.



    ... and cheese.

    … and cheese.








    In the center of the crust, place your ham. On top of that, place your brie. I was feeling saucy, so I put two slices. There is the possibility (well, probability, really) that no matter how well you wrap your chicken, some of the melted brie is going to ooze out. So, starting with more will increase the amount we’re left with, right? Yup, logic sounds good to me.













    On top of the brie, place your browned chicken breast. Gently wrap up the edges of the pie crust. This is the part where you’ll realize that rerolling the crust to be the right shape might have made things easier. Never fear, however, it doesn’t matter how ugly this seam is because it will be on the bottom. Seal it as well as you can to keep the brie from escaping.

    Ready to go!

    Ready to go!

    Place the packets seam side down on a baking sheet lined with foil (because escaping brie). If you’re feeling fancy, and I frequently am, you can use a paring knife to cut a diamond shape in the crust, exposing the ham underneath. Brush a quick egg wash on the crust to help give it a golden finish.

    I warned you about the escaping brie.

    I warned you about the escaping brie.

    Bake them in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°. Plate and serve. Simple. Elegant. Delicious.

  2. Grilled chicken wings

    September 14, 2011 by Daniora

    In honor of the first weekend of the regular football season, we’re going to talk about one of the quintessential football snacks: chicken wings.

    Grilled chicken wings

    Cooking chicken wings without using a deep fryer is a time consuming and intensive process.  There’s a lot you have to do to make sure that the skin winds up crispy. Until recently, I followed Alton Brown’s method of first steaming the wings and chilling them uncovered in the refrigerator before roasting them in the oven. It’s a process that takes hours and hours, but ultimately you wind up with good results.

    This summer, I decided that we should try grilling the wings. Our local market, Butcher Boy, has marinated wings for sale, as well as big bags of plain wings. I picked up a package of teriyaki marinated wings for our first experiment. Those first results were a little hit and miss.

    The biggest problem we encountered was that there were a lot of flare ups on the grill from the chicken skin, and we didn’t have a spray bottle of water handy.  A rookie mistake, I know, but most of our other grilling hasn’t really required this sort of preparation. The second problem was that the wings stuck to the grill, especially with the marinade on it.  The flavor of the finished wings was good, but the teriyaki flavor really got lost.

    Grill Flare Up

    A spray bottle is a necessity to keep flare ups under control.

    Our second attempt yielded much better results. We started with plain wings, got some Pam for grilling and liberally sprayed down the grill before cooking, and coated the wings in sauce after cooking. Something about the char from the chicken mixing with the sauces really added a new level of flavor to the wings. I made two types of sauces, Alton Brown’s orange glazed wings and a basic buffalo (see below). Both were outstanding on the crispy skin (even though the char did turn the buffalo sauce a sort of muddy brown color).

    Grilling wings is still a fair amount of work.  It takes constant vigilance to combat flare ups and make sure that all the little wings get crispy and don’t stick to the grill.  It is, however, much faster than the steam-and-roast method and has much better results. Depending on the size of your grill, it can be a great way to cook up food for a large crowd.

    Basic Buffalo Sauce

    I’m not a huge fan of  very spicy buffalo wings. I avoid anything with the words “volcano” or “atomic”. I like them to have a bit of heat, but still retain a depth of flavor. You can substitute any hot sauce of your choice and increase the amount to your desired heat level.

    • 3 ounces unsalted butter
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I prefer Frank’s)
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


    1.  Melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic.
    2. Pour melted butter and garlic, along with hot sauce and salt, into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.
    3. Remove the wings from the grill and toss with the sauce. Serve warm with a side of blue cheese dressing if desired.


    As the season progresses, stay tuned for lots more football snacks and party ideas.

  3. Chicken Barley Corn Soup

    April 21, 2011 by Daniora

    We here at the Nerdly Home have been hit by one heck of a cold. As a result, posts have been delayed, and a large pot of chicken barley corn soup has been made. One of the fantastic things about this soup is that it can be easily adjusted to your personal tastes.  Want more vegetables? Add them.  Want to use left over chicken? Go ahead.  As a result, I won’t really put amounts on things unless they matter.

    Chicken Barley Corn Soup

    • 1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (can be leftovers)
    • garlic, minced
    • onion, finely diced
    • celery, finely diced
    • carrots, finely diced
    • 64oz (2 boxes) chicken or vegetable broth
    • 1/2c pearled barley
    • 1 can creamed corn
    • 1 bag frozen sweet corn
    • 1/2tsp-ish cumin
    • 1/2tsp-ish coriander


    1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat a glug of olive oil.  Add garlic.  If using leftover chicken, skip this step. Add raw chicken until thoroughly cooked. I like to add some of the cumin and coriander at this point to help give the chicken some extra flavor, along with a bit of salt and pepper. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and set aside.

    2. Add a bit more olive oil if necessary and add the onion, celery, and carrots.  Add a small pinch of salt to help sweat the onions. Cook until softened, about 5 – 10 minutes.

    3. Add the cooked chicken and the rest of the ingredients back to the pot and bring just to the boil.

    4. Lower the heat and simmer until the barley is cooked, about 30-45 minutes.

    I find this soup is really fantastic with a nice warm piece of buttered Italian bread.  The soup can be made in large batches and is great for keeping in the freezer.