SUPER BOWL Super Snacks! Super Tasty!

MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN
This is a perfect snack while watching  SUPER BOWL LIVE on  Sunday.
I used the spice mix featured in my HOLIDAY GIFT Spice Jars  that Is used in this Mexican shredded chicken recipe from Always Hungry? ..by renowned Harvard endocrinologist Dr. David Ludwig See the full story on Ambition Nutrition.  Dr. Ludwig returned to Toronto where his wife Chef Dawn demonstrated some of the wonderful recipes from his book .  The Mexican chicken dish was a big hit! I have already made it four times because it is so fast andvery’ easy to make! Bonus: kids love it!
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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • spice mix:
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (grind you own in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered red chili i.e. Ancho, chile de arbol or New Mexican
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper ~ or ~ to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (use Kosher or sea salt )
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix the spices together in a plastic bag. Add the olive oil and combine. Add the chicken and evenly coat. You can refrigerate this overnight.
  2.  Film the frying pan with 1/16″ oil and set over moderately high heat.  When very hot but not  smoking place the chicken in the pan in one layer without crowding.
  3.  Cover; cook turning regularly especially in the beginning, until the oil and juices from the chicken begin to make a sauce. Add water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep the mixture from burning or sticking. Cook until the chicken is cooked throughout, 15 to 20 minutes. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pan, pulling along the grain to create thin strands. Shredding the chicken disperses more flavour.
  4.  Continue to heat the shredded chicken, stirring frequently, until the liquid and spices have been absorbed and thicken, another 3-5 minutes.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings (about 3 cups)
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.

A VARIETY OF SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Chicken is so tender, juicy and versatile. You can serve it in a myriad of ways.
(1) A filling for tacos
(2) Casseroles, Mexican lasagna
(3) Tortilla or quesadillas (topped with guacamole or sour cream)
(4) Mexican Shredded chicken on pita bread
(5) Chicken salad with tortilla chips, avocado and red peppers
(6) Pizza

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HAT2 FOOD TIP:  After removing the cooked chicken from my pan, I added cream (or  use water)  to the hot pan along with pink peppercorns and started swirling the pan to loosen all the tasty bits in the fry pan.  I poured the cooled mixture  into a glass mason jar.  After a day in the fridge,  I stored the sauce in the freezer.  If you use chicken thighs with the bone in then toss the bones into a pot of water  with leftover vegetables like carrot tops or the core of a cauliflower (save it all ) for a healthy, home-made chicken stock.

 

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW?
WHAT GIVES MEAT ITS COLOUR ?
The reddish colour of dark meat comes from the  myoglobin, a hemoprotein (an oxygen-carrying protein) The more myoglobin, the darker the meat and the richer the nutrients. Myoglobin provides muscles with the oxygen they need during exercise or movement. The flightless chicken use their ‘myoglobin’ legs to get around pumping those muscles into a red ‘myogloben’ frenzy.  I bet some of you didn’t know that.

100 g (3.5 ounce) of skinless chicken thigh = 7 g of fat.
100 g (3.5 ounce) of skinless chicken breast = 3.6 g of fat.
100 g (3.5 ounce) of chicken wings = 8 g of fat. A raw chicken wing weighs approximated 3 ounces, or 89 grams

DARK MEAT IS RICHER IN NUTRIENTS THAN WHITE MEAT: CHICKEN THIGHS contain protein, niacin, phosphorous,  Vitamin A, K, D, B6, B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid,  selenium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc (protects immune system) and iron. Niacin helps to build and maintain healthy skin, and aids in the digestion and absorption of food. Vitamin B6 is needed for protein metabolism and amino acid synthesis. Keep in mind that  the darker the meat the more nutrition in the meat.

MEMORIES OF THAILAND ~ Honey “Thai” Thighs

MEMORIES  OF THAILAND
There are  many recipes for chicken and chicken thighs. I really liked Linda’s “Honey Thigh Recipe” from the Fabulous Fare Sisters. Linda wrote that she would like to see my version of her Honey ~”Thai” Thigh Recipe”  after I commented on Linda’s Yummy honey Thai chicken recipe. . . .from LINDA: Thank you! Hope you give it a try – would love to see your version!  Being a lab rat, I enjoyed experimenting with this chicken recipe;  originating from Thailand.  I prepared Linda’s  wonderfully tasty chicken thigh dish. The selection of spices was too good! I did not adjust the original recipe. The great flavours of Turmeric, chives basil, ginger and soy sauce were so good already. You don’t want to change something that is already spectacular.  The only variation I made was  in the added honey;  used for  sweetness and caramelization.

Memories of Thailand!

Memories of Thailand!

TEST-TUBEMY TEST KITCHEN 
I made 3 versions of this  “dish” by  altering the method of adding sweetness to this dish. I wanted to see if there was any change in the flavour and the caramelization.
I made my first version almost the same as the original Fabulous Fare Sisters recipe. (on March 10, 2016).  In my version I used green onions instead of chives.  I doubled up on the turmeric,  basil and ginger since I am fortunate to live near “St. Lawrence Market” where I am able to get fresh ginger and turmeric along with fresh basil all year round. I grow my basil in the summer. The fresh turmeric is not as common as fresh ginger from local supermarkets here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was very generous with the cilantro. I used 1/4 cup of cilantro instead of a few leaves since I like it so much!
I made the second version  and added  the honey at the end, with one tablespoon of soy sauce glazed on top to see if the flavour and caramelization was affected.  I assumed that the caramelization would be less.
I made a third version with two tablespoons of stevia substituted for the honey and used chicken legs.

All Natural, Healthy Stevia

All Natural, Healthy Stevia read more from godshalingplants.wordpress.com

All versions were marinated for 24 hours. I shared my Thai chicken with my  friends, neighbour and  the concierge in my building.  The concierge is very please that I include him in my test kitchen.
RESULTS
The results surprised me a little.  The first version was good.  I had thought that the second version would have less caramelization. It did not. It was the same as the first. If the caramelization is too much and carbon is formed then this is not very healthy.  The third version with the stevia was just a little too sweet. I would perhaps change it to 1 tablespoon of Stevia instead of two tablespoons.
THE VOTE WAS UNANIMOUS!
All the critics favoured the version that had the honey and soy sauce glazed on top at the very end. The sweetness of the honey was enjoyable but it did not permeate through the entire dish.  This gave a pleasant contrast between the sweet and the savory.  It was the winner with everyone here!
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RECIPE
HONEY THAI THIGHS
INGREDIENTS
6-8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs  ( or bone-in or legs)
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt  fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 limes
1/4 cup honey (or 2 tablespoons stevia)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves.

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Ingredients for the chicken thighs on the left and chicken legs with stevia on the right

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Season the chicken with the chives, turmeric, basil, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce,
2.  Zest the lines and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken.
3.  Drizzle with the honey and add cilantro.
4.  Allow to marinade for 10 minutes(up to 24 hours).
5.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the seasoned thighs 6-10 minutes on each side until cooked through.
6.  If using bone-in or legs cook 2 more minutes on both sides.
7. Test to an internal temperature of 165 degrees away from the bone. Serve and garnish with more cilantro leaves.

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Chicken thighs that had honey glaze on the left and chicken with honey in the marinade on the right

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Chicken legs in stevia marinade cooking

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Chicken thighs and legs garnished with cilantro

I would like to thank the talented Fabulous Fare Sisters for their delicious recipe .  The challenge was truly interesting and made me consider all options to improvise and test this recipe.  The recipe was wonderful.  Everyone enjoyed it. The version that had the same amount of honey as in the original recipe but used as a glaze was the winner with my group of taste testers.  Many thanks to them as well and I hope that everyone keeps cooking happy and healthy.