Great Chicken Recipes

From chefs in the San Antonio area, here are a few delicious takes on chicken.
By Jean Teller
July/August 2009
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Pan-smoked Chicken with Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Glaze
courtesy Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio
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Chickens and Puppies and Kittens, Oh My

Who knew raising 75 chickens would cost close to the national debt?

Attending the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest, I realized being a food editor is a tough job. We were “forced” to eat a lot of great food, and then watch as an articulate and enthusiastic cook from Lexington, Kentucky, won the $50,000 prize.

Yes, I love my job.

A chicken burger won the hearts and taste buds of the judging panel, spotlighting the easy use and yumminess of ground chicken. The contest, sponsored by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, happens every two years. This year’s event, set in San Antonio, Texas, brought nine regional winners to the kitchen.

The winning burger recipe, “Chinese Chicken Burgers with Rainbow Sesame Slaw,” was spotlighted in our July/August Recipe Box, as were a few of the other regional winners. You can find the other recipes that won the regional contests here.

However, those nine recipes represent only a small portion of the goodness that is the National Chicken Cooking Contest. The Food Media Seminar – hosted by the National Chicken Council for members of the media each year – allowed the food writers to taste a number of other great dishes. Here are a few of the chicken creations. Enjoy!

For more on the contest, visit the website, and check out this website for more great chicken recipes.

GREEN CHILE AND LEMON CHICKEN

Recipe by Chef John Brand
Las Canarias at Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel, San Antonio

Hatch chiles from New Mexico are preferred but any green chile will do – a poblano, Anaheim, or banana pepper. Be sure to roast and remove skin and seeds for better flavor.

Chicken:
2 ounces butter
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 hatch, poblano or Anaheim chili, roasted and skinned, portioned in half for two chicken breasts
1 whole chicken

Mix together all ingredients and stuff under skin of chicken breast, which can be loosened with your finger, and massage in mixture. Use all herb stems and lemon cut into quarters and stuff inside chicken.

Skin Rub:
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard juice of half a lemon from above
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Rub skin of chicken generously with rub. Either tie legs together or bind with foil and roast 2 hours at 300°F or until brown and delicious. Baste chicken periodically with pan drippings to help distribute flavor. Allow to cool.

Additional step: roast with vegetables, either standard mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) or with preferred vegetables for meal. This adds flavor and saves time. I always suggest potatoes and onions, but celery root, parsnips and cauliflower work well with chicken.

PAN-SMOKED CHICKEN WITH APRICOT-ANCHO BARBECUE GLAZE

Recipe from the Culinary Institute of America

8 boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Glaze, or as needed (recipe follows)

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Combine oil, vinegar, Worcestershire, sugar, mustard, Tabasco, garlic powder, onion powder and minced garlic to make marinade. Pour marinade over chicken, turning chicken pieces to coat evenly. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Heat grill to medium. If using charcoal grill, build fire and let it burn down until coals glow red with light coating of white ash. Spread coals in even bed. Clean cooking grate.

Place rack over lightly dampened hardwood chips in aluminum pan and place smoker setup on grill. Allow chips to start smoking slightly.

Place chicken on rack and cover tightly. Smoke until chicken is light golden brown, 3 minutes. Remove chicken from smoker and finishing grilling over direct heat until done (165°F), about 8 to 10 minutes more. Brush chicken with barbecue glaze about halfway through cooking time and again before removing from grill.

Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.

APRICOT-ANCHO BARBECUE GLAZE

6 strips bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups small-dice yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup malt vinegar
2 ancho chiles, diced
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

In large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté bacon until almost crisp, about 4 minutes. Add onions and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until apricots are very soft, about 10 minutes. Taste sauce and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Transfer to blender and purée until relatively smooth. The glaze is ready to use, or it can be cooled and stored in covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Yields 4 cups.

SWEET CITRUS GLAZED CHICKEN

Recipe by Chef Steve Bonasia, Sanderson Farms

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup orange juice, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons orange zest, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Cooked jasmine rice

Cut thigh filets into 1/2-inch pieces and place in sealable bag.

In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon orange zest and 1 teaspoon salt. Add orange juice mixture to bag and place in refrigerator to marinate 30 minutes.

In small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup orange juice, soy sauce, honey, sugar, remaining orange zest, remaining salt, black pepper and remaining olive oil. Bring to boil; lower heat to simmer. Cook 10 minutes to make glaze.

Heat 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and marinade, and cook chicken until dark golden brown, about 6-8 minutes or until chicken is to internal temperature of 165°F.

Add glaze to skillet, cook for 2 additional minutes until chicken is evenly coated. Serve with cooked jasmine rice. Yields 6 servings.

CHICKEN CHESAPEAKE

Recipe by Chef Chris Moyer, Perdue Farms

This Chicken Chesapeake recipe was developed by long-time Perdue associate Christine Whaley, and we are proud to share it in her memory. 

4 chicken breast halves, cut in half and pounded
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pound Portobello mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces white wine
12 ounces chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning or to taste
1/2 pound fresh crabmeat (preferably lump)*
2 tablespoons butter
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Parmesan cheese to taste

In 10-inch skillet, over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil and sauté chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken breasts and set aside.

Add mushrooms to pan with remaining oil. Cook mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine and simmer 1 minute.

Dissolve cornstarch in broth. Reduce heat to medium; add chicken broth mixture and seafood seasoning. Stir continuously until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken and crab meat and simmer 5 minutes or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 170°F. Finish sauce by adding butter and chopped parsley.

Place chicken breasts over pasta or rice and sauce with crabmeat mixture. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Yields 4 servings.

* If lump crabmeat is unavailable, cubed shrimp, halibut or sea bass may be used.

SAUTEED SPRING CHICKEN CUTLETS

Recipe by Chef Mark Tadros, Foster Farms

12 baby artichokes (cut in half and steamed until tender)
8 thin sliced chicken breast cutlets
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups spring onions (sliced with dark green parts removed)
3 cups asparagus tips
2 teaspoons paprika
1 cup Chardonnay Velouté Sauce (recipe follows)

Preboil baby artichokes and set aside for later use.

Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat olive oil and cook chicken until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add butter and onions and sauté until onions become soft. Add asparagus, baby artichokes and sprinkle with paprika. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper and sauté for about 1 minute.

Add Chardonnay Velouté Sauce and chicken back to skillet and bring mixture to boil before serving. Yields 4 servings.

CHARDONNAY VELOUTE SAUCE

2 cups chardonnay wine
1 cup chicken stock (low sodium broth can be substituted)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan, reduce white wine until 2 cups reach 1/2 cup. Add chicken stock and bring mixture to a simmer.

In separate saucepan, make roux by melting butter over low heat and adding flour. Raise heat to medium and stir butter and flour together for about 4 minutes until it turns a blonde color.

Slowly whisk roux into simmering stock; continue to heat and whisk thoroughly. When stock begins to simmer, turn heat to low and cook until sauce thickens. Depending on your stovetop, sauce may take 5-10 minutes to reach desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper. Strain with a fine mesh strainer or chinois (a conical sieve). 

CHICKEN OSSO BUCCO WITH CREAMY HERB PARMESAN POLENTA

Recipe by Chef Mario Valdovinos, Tyson Foods

Taste the classic flavors of an Italian neighborhood trattoria with a comforting bowl of rustic, creamy polenta topped with a generous portion of countryside Italian moist seared and braised herbed chicken drumsticks with a smooth tomato-rosemary al fresco sauce, sliced garlic, vine-ripened tomatoes and dollop of basil pesto.

8 whole drumsticks, trimmed, Frenched
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 dry bay leaf
1 whole clove
Cheesecloth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
All purpose flour, for dredging
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup garlic, sliced
1/2 cup leek, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
1/2 cup carrot, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
1/2 cup celery, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups plus extra chicken stock
3 tablespoons basil pesto

To prepare chicken, cut around middle part of drum of each chicken leg with paring knife to loosen meat around bone. While holding base of drum, push meat down gently to expose bone and form a "chicken osso bucco." Remove any flesh left on thin end of the drum with clean towel, leaving bone exposed.

Place rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and clove into cheesecloth and secure with twine. This is your bouquet garni. Set aside.

For chicken drums, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Chicken drums will brown better when they are dry. Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge drums in flour, shaking off excess.

In large skillet, heat vegetable oil until almost smoking. Add drums to hot skillet and brown all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove browned drums and reserve.

In same skillet, add garlic, leeks, carrot and celery. Season with salt at this point to help draw out moisture from vegetables. Sauté until leeks become translucent, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and mix well. Return browned drums to skillet; add white wine and reduce liquid by a quarter, about 5 minutes. Add bouquet garni, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning drums and adding more chicken stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up drums.

Carefully remove cooked drums from pot and place over Creamy Polenta (see following recipe) on decorative serving platter. Remove and discard bouquet garni from pot. Pour all juices and sauce from pot over drums. Garnish with basil pesto. Yields 4 servings.

CREAMY HERB PARMESAN POLENTA

3 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt
1/2 cup sliced scallions

In large, heavy saucepan, combine chicken stock and milk. Over medium heat, heat to gentle boil, being careful not to burn. While whisking constantly, gradually add cornmeal in thin stream. Once cornmeal is incorporated, keep heat low and continue to whisk until mixture is slightly thickened and creamy. Stir in butter and Parmesan and allow cheese to melt. Season with pepper, and salt if needed. Add scallions, and spoon polenta onto serving plate.

FUSION CHICKEN STIR-FRY

Recipe by Chef Chris Moyer, Perdue Farms
Prep/Cook Time: 15 minutes

1 package (6.09 ounces) rice pilaf with orzo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic paste or sauce
4 cups thin fresh asparagus, sliced diagonally
1 red bell pepper, seeded and slivered
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 package Perdue® Short Cuts® Carved Chicken Breast, grilled
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth

Prepare pilaf following package directions.

In wok or large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil with chili-garlic paste. Add asparagus, pepper and scallions and stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and basil and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, until hot.

In small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons chicken broth; whisk in remaining broth. Add broth to wok and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly and all ingredients are well coated.

Serve over rice pilaf. Yields 4 servings. 

CHICKEN SATAYS WITH CILANTRO PESTO DIPPING SAUCE

Recipe by Chef Mark Tadros, Foster Farms

Cilantro Pesto:
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup basil, torn into small pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts

1 package Foster Farms Chicken Tenders (1-2 pounds per pack; 15-20 tenders per pack) Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package bamboo skewers

For cilantro pesto, place all ingredients except pine nuts into blender and blend until almost smooth. Remove mixture to separate container and add pine nuts.

For chicken, heat grill. In small mixing bowl, season chicken with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place chicken tenders on ends of skewers, one tender per skewer. Grill chicken tenders on hot grill and serve on platter with Cilantro Pesto. Yields 4-5 main meal servings or 10 appetizer servings.

Chef Mark's Tips:

● Soak skewers in water before grilling to prevent burning.

● When grilling make sure your grill is very hot and clean. This will help to prevent the tenders from sticking.

● Spray the skewered tenders with a little non-stick spray before grilling. This will also help prevent the tenders from sticking.

GRILLED CHICKEN 'STREET' TACOS WITH RED RADISH PICO DE GALLO

Recipe by Chef Mario Valdovinos, Tyson Foods

Fresh Taqueria fare is all the rage in urban Mexico. Fun flavors and mobility are the keys to pulling off this south-of-the-border-influenced treat. Enjoy Tyson All Natural boneless skinless thighs tossed in a smoky fajita seasoning, grilled and topped with minced sweet onion, chopped cilantro, julienne radish and sweet corn – all surrounded by a corn tortilla. Serve with fire-roasted tomato salsa.

1 pound Tyson All Natural boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 tablespoons Fajita Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground

Pico:
1 red onion, minced
4 radishes, sliced thin, julienne
1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup com, sweet niblits, drained

Combine and season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

12 mini corn tortillas
Prepared salsa

Heat char-grill to 350°F.

In large mixing bowl, toss chicken with oil and seasonings, let marinate 10 minutes.

Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 6 to 8 minutes; slice into thin strips.

To serve tacos, top a pre-warmed tortilla with chicken, top with pico, and serve with your favorite salsa.


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