Archive for the ‘Eat More Chicken!’ Category


Even in George Washington’s time, Southerners enjoyed the tradition of the barbecue as a form of social gathering. Historians believe 16th century Native Americans may have initially introduced barbecuing to British colonists. Barbecuing is practically a year-round sport now. Some cooks focus on grilling; others say it’s all about the barbecue pits and smoke. Everyone has a preference for a barbecue style and plenty of strong opinions on how to go about it. Few foods inspire loyalties and rivalries like barbecue.

Southern barbecue has long been a venue for South Carolina political entertaining and rallies. According to Charleston author Robert Moss, (Barbecue: the History of an American Institution), Columbia played an important role in the launch of this country’s commercial barbecue in the 1920’s. He says S. E. Perry began selling “Bucket Barbecue” during Fourth of July and Labor Day Parades at 60 cents a pound and 30 cents for hash. Prior to that, Columbians would bring a bucket from home and fill it with meat at the barbecue stands. Lamb and mutton were almost as popular as pork.

Chicken has become a top-choice of protein for the grill! If you enjoy spicy, lively flavor combinations, look to the East for inspiration. The chicken dish in this post is based on a balanced blend of addictive Asian seasonings that are easily found in your supermarket.

Versatile chicken thigh meat stays moist on the grill, is economical and a good source of zinc, selenium and B vitamins. The thighs are marinated in yogurt and South Asian spices, then grilled and brushed with an addictive glaze of flavorful sweet-heat. The chili garlic condiment is sold in 8-ounce plastic bottles decorated with a rooster and green lid. The chicken in the photo is paired with Golden Rice, Cucumber Raita and grilled naan (leavened flatbread). Available at local markets, naan can be warmed over a hot grill and brushed with melted butter or olive oil.

Green cardamom pods add a warm spicy-sweet flavor and aroma to the rice dish. Purchase them at gourmet shops or Indian markets. Skewered, grilled whole okra is called for in this recipe, but it can also be cooked in a foil package over the fire for 15 minutes. Sometime, I like to scatter crispy fried okra pieces over the top of the rice for a special flavor and texture contrast.



1/2 rounded cup plain Greek yogurt

1 rounded teaspoon lime zest

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

2 large garlic, finely minced almost to a paste

1 tablespoon finely minced gingerroot

1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground dried red chilies

1 teaspoon sea salt

8 to 10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4-1/2 pounds), rinsed, patted dry

1/3 cup Huy Fong Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce

4 tablespoons honey, or to taste

fresh mined cilantro leaves

Combine yogurt, zest, 3 tablespoons lime juice, garlic, gingerroot, cumin, turmeric, ground chilies and salt in a large plastic food storage bag. Add chicken thighs; coat well with the mixture. Seal bag and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. In a small bowl, combine chili garlic sauce, honey and remaining tablespoon lime juice. Divide between 2 small bowls; set aside. Set up your outdoor grill. Wipe excess marinade from chicken; coat lightly with cooking spray. Place chicken, skin side down, over direct heat. Cook about 10 minutes then turn chicken. Brush with the chili glaze in one of the bowls. Cook 10 to 15 minutes more or until skin is crispy and slightly caramelized, the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Remove to a platter; garnish with cilantro. Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Note: Chicken quarters (thighs and drumsticks) are also tasty prepared this way.



1 tablespoon each olive oil and unsalted butter

1 small chopped onion

1/2 red bell pepper, cut in small dice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or big pinch of crushed saffron threads, if available)

3 green cardamom pods, gently crushed

1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and white pepper

1-1/4 cups long grain rice

2 cups chicken broth or water

grilled okra on soaked short wooden skewers

2 minced green onion

Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook until nearly tender. Stir in turmeric, cardamom, salt and pepper. Add rice, stir mixture 30 seconds. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes. If tender yet still moist, remove cover and cook a couple of minutes until mixture is dry. Grill the okra, as directed. Cut in thin diagonal slices and toss with the rice. (You can make the rice one day ahead then grill the okra along with the chicken thighs the following day.)   Makes 4 servings.



2 cups Greek yogurt

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut in small dice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

pinch white pepper

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve as a side dish or as a dip. Makes about 3 cups.

TOP PHOTO: From Columbia Metropolitan Magazine; photo: Jeff Amberg

BOTTOM PHOTO: Golden Rice with Okra,  Copyright Susan Fuller Slack


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Spicy chicken wings will be flying off the platters during Super Bowl weekend as sports fans root for their favorite team.  Super Bowl without chicken wings would be a little bit like Thanksgiving without the turkey!  Even with rising costs, the popularity of chicken wings has been soaring over chicken breast meat recently.  Chicken wings are more popular during the Super Bowl than at any other weekend of the year.   The National Chicken Council currently estimates that more than 13.5 billion wing pieces will be sold this year – 4 billion in retail grocery stores. More than 1 billion pieces will be sold for consumption during the super bowl.


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  Chicken with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Capers over Grits  

Along with cooler fall weather comes a bounty of harvest foods and flavors.  This is the time of year when heartier and richer dishes begin to appeal. Think of chicken as a starting point for just about all of your fall favorites.  This new, delicious recipe was developed by The National Chicken Council and highlights the season’s herbs, spices and vegetables. Pre-sliced chicken cutlets cook quickly on top of the stove, along with a delicious sauce of  wild mushrooms, diced tomatoes, shallots and white wine.  The creamy, light-tasting grits, a Carolina favorite, is the perfect counterpoint.  Complete the menu with a crisp green salad.



Chicken with Wild Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Capers over Creamy Garlic Grits



6 chicken cutlets (breasts sliced thin)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces mixed mushrooms (chanterelle, baby bella, shiitake), about 6 cups chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 cup dry white wine

1 can (14-ounces) diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon capers

4 tablespoons chopped basil, divided

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary


Creamy Garlic Grits

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup water

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup uncooked grits 

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.


In a large sauté pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium until butter is melted.  Add chicken and sauté for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned.  Remove from pan to plate and reserve.

Add chopped mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally.  After two minutes, add garlic and shallots.  Continue to cook for another two minutes.  Add wine to pan, bring to a boil and reduce until almost gone, about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and juice, continue to boil until slightly reduced, another 3 or 4 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons basil and rosemary.  Turn heat to low.

Make the grits by bringing the stock, cream, water, garlic, and butter to a boil.  Slowly whisk the grits into the liquid.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes or until grits thicken.  Turn heat to low and stir occasionally while finishing chicken.

Add chicken and any accumulated juice back to pan with mushroom tomato sauce.  Turn heat to medium and cook chicken for about 5 minutes until chicken is heated through.

Divide grits into soup bowls then place two pieces of chicken on top of each bowl.  Spoon the mushroom-tomato sauce on top.  Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve. Serves six.


Nutritional Information, Per Serving:

510 calories; 24 g fat; 11 g saturated fat; 480 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 4 g sugars; 32 g protein

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Chicken Cutlet Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing


If you’re looking forward to the fresh taste of spring, look no further than chicken and fresh fruit when trying out some new, lighter recipes.  Chicken works well with delicate flavors like mint, and is a perfect complement to fresh strawberries. 


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If you’re looking for quick, economical and delicious new dishes for the holiday season, look no further than these recipes, which call for chicken tenders.  Chicken Tender Stroganoff  and Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry are also sure to become favorites for year-round entertaining. 

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Chicken sales are booming in the recession according to chicken industry analysts. Consumers are looking for value even while they cut back on expenditures at casual dining restaurants.  Here is an economical and delicious recipe for Chicken Paillards with Pears that you can easily make at home. The recipe will serve 4 at a cost of $3.68 per serving.



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Grilling is a year-round activity for many, but there is something about summertime that makes us yearn for food cooked outdoors like the Grilled Butterflied Chicken with Basil and Mint Vinaigrette shown above.  Chicken is the perfect choice for a grilling recipe, as it is incredibly versatile and offers a wealth of flavorful options. In addition to its time-saving benefits, grilling adds bold flavor, promotes healthy eating, and with a few simple guidelines and tips, is inexpensive and easy to master.


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