Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mexican Chicken Soup (Ina Garten's recipe)

Its a cloudy day in Jersey, I must say I did enjoy every bit of summer heat in last couple of weeks. So its hard getting back to no sunshine and pouring rain which ruins any chance of going out for lunch. I am stuck at home, scrolling through the list of bookmarked recipes to feed my appetite for something spicy and warm. Ina Garten's Mexican chicken soup popped up in my screen, I quickly scanned the ingredients in the recipe and I had all vegetables handy and some left over roasted chicken from last night.

 I love Ina's recipes, they are very easy to follow, practical and it comes out perfect every time. So I decided to give it a go, only addition I did to the recipe was to throw in some Swiss chards that I had lying around in my fridge. It came out really flavorful and light, perfect for a rainy day.  You can get her full recipe from her website, I have posted here with my modifications.


4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks) 
1/2 cup chopped swiss chard
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2½ quarts chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes puree
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside. 

2.heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots ,swiss chard and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
3.Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into ½-inch strips and add to the soup.

3.Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with a dollop of sour cream and broken tortilla chips. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Sizzling Tandoori Chicken on the grill
Grilled Tandoori Chicken, ready to eat!
Tandoori Chicken (after grilling )

I cannot believe summer is almost over. This has been the hottest summer so far; I am making the most of it. Tandoori chicken is my favorite Indian recipe to do in every summer. If you are not used to Indian spices, this is very good recipe to get introduced to the common spices used in Indian cooking; cumin, coriander and turmeric. I know there are many versions of recipes out there a; from Authentic North Indian version to modified shorter version.
I have used the Food and Wine tested recipe for my cooking today, This is the most easiest one I have tried so far, and chicken turned out perfectly moist and flavored, better than what you get in an Indian Restaurant.


1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces and skin removed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons cooking oil


1.    Light the grill. Using a sharp knife, cut shallow incisions in the chicken pieces at about 1/2-inch intervals. In a large, glass dish or stainless-steel pan, combine the lemon juice, water, salt, and turmeric. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Let the chicken pieces marinate for 5 minutes.

2.     Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and cayenne. Add to the chicken and lemon mixture; turn to coat. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

3.     Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, basting with oil, for 10 minutes. Turn and cook, basting with the remaining oil, until just done, about 10 minutes longer for the breasts, 12 for the thighs and drumsticks.

Indian flatbread, such as naan, is the traditional accompaniment to tandoori. You can grill store-bought naan or other flatbread, such as pita. In summer, the sweetness of grilled corn on the cob makes a nice balance to the spiciness of the chicken. Another option is eggplant, a favorite vegetable in India, sliced and grilled.

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