Vietnamese Chicken Ragu

vietnamese chicken ragu
Although nothing about Vietnamese Chicken Ragu screams Vietnamese, it remains one of our most beloved dishes. Clearly, it is a culinary delight left behind by the French from the old colonial days. Perfect on a cold winter’s day, or any day for that matter, this stew-like dish is traditionally eaten with freshly baked, crusty French bread. I simply love dipping the bread into the savory broth!

After years of watching my mother and grandmother make this dish, I have perfected the recipe by combining their techniques with a few of my own :-). I prefer to use a combination of chicken drumsticks and thighs because they are my favorite; however, you could use any combination of chicken parts you prefer. I hope you give this recipe a try soon!

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Honey Soy Drumsticks

soy honey chicken


Baked chicken is an easy and healthy choice for dinner, but can often get boring and dull. I started playing around with this recipe when I decided to cut back on carbs for our weeknight dinners. It has become one of my favorite dishes because I love how crispy the chicken gets from baking at a high temperature on a wire rack. Chicken drumsticks are also inexpensive so you don’t end up blowing through your food budget. Most of the dish’s flavor comes from the honey soy sauce so you can use chicken breasts or thighs if you aren’t a fan of drumsticks.

Serve these apple honey drumsticks with sauteed kale or pumpkin mac and cheese for your next dinner and you will be set!  Continue reading

Chicken Enchiladas

I love Mexican food; unfortunately, my waistline doesn’t! I don’t think traditional Mexican food is necessarily high in calories or fat, but rather the way restaurants prepare it nowadays. They load the dishes up with tons of cheese and sour cream, and who knows how much oil was used in the kitchen. Hence, I tend to make a lot of Mexican inspired dishes at home so I can control the quality and quantity of ingredients.

I got the idea for this easy chicken enchilada recipe from Rachael Ray. I love how she always manages to keep her ingredients list to a minimum while making sure the dish doesn’t take you hours to prepare. I made a few tweaks to her recipe, however, to cut down on the calorie and carb level. I also added time to let the meat marinate so that it’s juicier and more flavorful. I made my chicken enchiladas with a red tomato sauce, but you could also use my recipe for a green tomatillo sauce! Continue reading

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

I have fallen in love with this recipe. If you are tired of eating dry and bland baked chicken, you will fall in love with this recipe too! You would never think that making such moist, succulent, and flavorful chicken could be this easy. Anyone who knows me will tell you I greatly dislike chicken breasts; however, with this amazing recipe, I will throw down chicken breasts in a heartbeat!

The original recipe is from one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten. Although I loved the original recipe, I made a few tweaks to reflect my own preferences. I opted to use fresh herbs instead of dried since I have them readily available from my mini-garden. I also added red pepper flakes because Michael and I love our food on the spicy side. Most importantly, though, I used bone-in chicken breasts because the meat comes out much more moist. The bone adds so much more flavor to the chicken while roasting as well. I also used chicken drumsticks in my recipe because I personally like them. You can feel free to use more chicken breasts, or chicken thighs instead.

So the next time you’re planning on making chicken breasts again for dinner, give this recipe a try! I promise they’ll stop responding with, “chicken again?” 😉 Continue reading

Quick and Easy Chicken Ratatouille

My friend, Peggy, is part of a CSA (community-shared-agriculture) at her workplace. Since she went on vacation this week, she arranged for me to pick up her share of vegetables and fruit. I’ve never gotten so many different types of vegetables at once before! There must’ve been at least four pounds each of squash, eggplant, and tomatoes. As I was thinking of what to make that would require using most of the vegetables, one dish came to mind – ratatouille! (You know you want to say it in a French accent. Go ahead, no one’s listening. ;))

There are many debates over the proper way to make a traditional ratatouille, ranging from layering and baking the vegetables in a casserole dish to simply sauteing the vegetables. My version is definitely not a “traditional” ratatouille, but rather a quick and easy way to achieve most of the flavors in a traditional ratatouille. It’s also a great way to use up the vegetables in your refrigerator, such as squash, eggplant, zucchini, onions, carrots, peppers, etc. Obviously, traditional ratatouille doesn’t include meat, but I added chicken for the extra protein to keep me full longer. I chose to use chicken thighs because I like the taste better and it’s extremely inexpensive; however, you could also use chicken breasts instead.

You could serve this dish by itself (which I do on my low-carb nights), or with rice, quinoa, couscous or slices of fresh baguette to soak up all the nice juices! I hope you give my chicken ratatouille a try sometime. It’s such a nice homey meal to make for yourself and those you love most :). Continue reading

Asian Chicken Salad

Looking for a healthy option for dinner but still want loads of flavor? Well, I’ve got a dressing that will have you begging for more salad! This dressing has the perfect balance between sweet, savory, and tart flavors. Such bright and citrusy notes combined with the richness of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce will awaken your taste buds! This salad is perfect for any light, yet satisfying summer dinner.

I was inspired to make this dish after a trip to California last year for my cousin’s wedding. It was held at the Hyatt Huntington Beach Hotel Resort, which is where I first came across this salad and AMAZING dressing. The hotel restaurant made the salad using grilled steak; however, I alternate between steak and chicken, depending on my mood. (Don’t worry, both are equally fantastic with the dressing!) The hotel also used Napa cabbage in their salad, which I love and prefer. Nonetheless, my grocery store doesn’t always have Napa cabbage so I sometimes use Romaine lettuce as a substitute. You can use whichever is available or to your liking. The great thing about this salad is you can personalize it by adding your favorite veggies. Snow peas, bean sprouts, bell peppers, and green beans are just a few examples that would be wonderful with the dressing. Continue reading

Ginger Chicken Salad

For all my foodies out there that love Hainanese Chicken, THIS is the salad for you! And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you definitely need to keep reading ;). I’ve taken the the two things we love most about this dish (the ginger sauce and moist chicken) and put them into a healthier version. You’re probably thinking, “Salad, for dinner??” But I promise this salad will leave you feeling satisfied. It has just the right balance between bright and intense flavors, and the protein from the chicken will keep you full longer. Best of all, it is SO easy and simple to make. The traditional version of this dish requires boiling a whole chicken, while this recipe only uses chicken breasts. The fresh ginger, lime juice, and chili sauce make this refreshing salad perfect for any summer meal! Continue reading