buttermilk-hot sauce brined chicken

I took some liberties with this recipe.

buttermilk-hot sauce chickenI made the marinate pretty much as specified, with buttermilk, hot sauce, brown sugar, and pepper. The recipe said to marinate for twenty-four hours, I marinated for six. The recipe called for skin-on, bone-in breast and leg quarters. I used boneless breasts. The recipe specified cooking on an outdoor grill over indirect heat. I used our stovetop grill pan and because I used boneless breasts cooking took only several minutes, rather than the hour and fifteen minutes as stated in the recipe.

I made the baste more or less as specified with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and butter.

The result turned out quite well.

chicken with romesco sauce

chicken with romesco sauceI was having a hankering for Valerie Bertinelli’s Romesco sauce. It consists of almonds, garlic, smoked paprika, a jar of roasted red pepper, and sherry vinegar.

The original recipe was for grilled shrimp, but we had just had shrimp the previous Saturday, so I made it with chicken instead. I cooked the chicken in the skillet with Penzeys 33rd and Galena seasoning. For the Romesco sauce we had some leftover pine nuts in the pantry which I threw in. Not sure I’d do it again, but it made for an interesting variation.

Overall, a nice Saturday dinner.

my recipe software dilemma

I have been using the Living Cookbook recipe software for some years now. When I was first thinking about computerizing my recipes the most popular recipe software was MasterCook, But at the time it was between owners and not supported, so I went with Living Cookbook. Now the opposite is the case.

I really like Living Cookbook. I like the format the program uses to print out the recipes and I like the way I can search on any number of criteria. However, Living Cookbook hasn’t issued an update since 2014 when it released Living Cookbook 2015. I would periodically check the web site to see if there were any updates, but there were none. Then the web site was gone.

I worry about the accessibility of my data should something happen to the software or should my laptop give it up. Based on suggestions from folks in my kitchen appliances and pressure cooker Yahoo groups, I downloaded trial versions of both Paprika and Cook’n. Both support the import of Living Cookbook data, but I didn’t like the look and feel of either and I didn’t like the format of either for printing recipes. That leaves MasterCook, which does not provide a trial version, but does seem to have a pretty straightforward user interface.

Really, I don’t want to spend the money for a new program when I like Living Cookbook so much. But the question, again is what about the accessibility of my data in the event of a problem? MasterCook allows you to import a Living Cookbook database by using a third-party program called cb2cb (that is CookBook to Cookbook). I can export my Living Cookbook database to an .fdx or .fdxz format and use cb2cb to convert it to the latest MasterCook .mz2 format.

So here’s my plan. I’m going to keep using Living Cookbook, but whenever I add a recipe I will export .fdx and fdxz files from my laptop to my desktop. That way, if something goes south I can buy MasterCook and still have all of my recipes. Not optimal but workable.

But Living Cookbook, did you have to leave without saying goodbye?

lemony Greek chicken soup

Terry and I first discovered Greek lemon soup at a local restaurant in Gilroy shortly after we moved there. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s not a soup you come across every day. So when Terry suggested making the soup for a Sunday dinner I was more than agreeable.

Greek chicken soupI printed out three recipes, each somewhat different from the other. Terry selected a recipe from Cooking Light, lemony Greek chicken soup. I left it to her to do the cooking since she knew what she wanted.

She followed the recipe pretty closely. The recipe included carrots, spinach, orzo, red pepper, and stock. I bought a package of cooked pollo asado from the refrigerator case for the chicken. I thought the result was quite tasty. Terry found it a bit too thick for what she wanted. We’ll try another recipe for a more broth-like consistency, but this one held up quite nicely in its own right.

stuffed chicken breasts

stuffed chicken breastI don’t give enough attention here in my blog to Terry’s cooking. Granted, she was not doing all that much cooking, first while she was working when I was at home trying to make my freelance business work, and then while recovering from knee replacement surgery. But when she cooks she does a superb job.

She recently made her stuffed chicken breasts. She used the thin scaloppine-style chicken breasts which she seasoned with Penzeys Arizona Dreaming seasoning. She rolled them up with spinach and baked them in the oven. She then added spaghetti sauce and on top of that Provolone cheese, putting the chicken back in the oven to melt the cheese.

Quite the delicious Saturday dinner!

pollo asado

pollo asadoIn looking for a Mexican dish for a weeknight meal I found Ree Drummond’s pollo asado recipe in my database.

The recipe specifies a marinade of orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice and olive oil. It specified whole chicken legs, but I used boneless leg meat. The recipe said to grill the chicken, but I cooked it on the broil and then convection settings on my toaster oven. The recipe is supposed to be served with tortillas, but I simply served the chicken.

It was really very tasty. Terry liked it a good deal. But it was not terribly visually appealing, so I’m providing you with a stock photo instead.

Tuscan chicken skillet

I pay a lot of attention to one-skillet recipes. They make life easier. I was looking for a chicken one skillet dinner, as we had eaten a lot of beef in the preceding days. I found this Tuscan chicken skillet in my database, originally from the kitchn.

recipe cardsThe recipe called for cremini mushrooms, white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and broth. I bought regular mushrooms as cremini are rather hard to find in these parts. I had the last portion of a bag of sun-dried tomatoes on hand.

The recipe specified bone-in chicken breasts. I used a boneless chicken breast, which I cut up into pieces, seasoned with Penzeys Arizona Dreaming seasoning, and cooked it in the skillet. This meant I could do everything on the stove top, and not roast bone-in chicken breasts in the oven for 30 minutes as the recipe indicated.

It was the kind of simple one-skillet recipe that I enjoy making.