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ALMOND CRUSTED CHICKEN
Serves 4
3/4  cup dry breadcrumbs
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, broken into pieces
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons water
2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 400�. Place breadcrumbs in a medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Place almonds in a separate bowl, and set aside. Place eggs in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons water, and beat lightly. Dip chicken in egg mixture, wiping away excess with your fingers, and dip in breadcrumb mixture. Dredge until lightly coated. Dip in egg again, and then coat thoroughly with almonds.

2. Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Saut� chicken until nicely browned, about 3 minutes, and turn over. Cook 1 minute more; then transfer pan to oven, and bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

 
APRICOT CHICKEN
Serves 4
4 chicken legs and thighs (about 3 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds small ripe apricots (10 to 12), quartered and pitted
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup honey, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
Sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the chicken, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but a tablespoon of oil.

2. Reduce heat to medium; add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add garlic; saut� briefly. Add apricots, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, coriander, 2/3 cup water, and 2 tablespoons honey; season with salt.

3. Return chicken to skillet; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until chicken is cooked through and liquid is thickened, 45 to 50 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons honey and salt to taste.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Place couscous and butter in a medium bowl. Pour stock over couscous; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until the couscous absorbs all the stock, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and season with salt. Stir in almonds. Serve couscous with chicken, and garnish with sesame seeds.
 
ASIAN CHICKEN AND CABBAGE SALAD
Serves 4; Prep time: 30 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped scallions (about 6)
3/4 cup cilantro leaves, plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 small red cabbage, halved, cored, and shredded (8 cups)
2 cups shredded or coarsely grated carrots (about 4 medium)
12 ounces poached chicken breast or skinless rotisserie chicken meat, shredded (3 1/2 cups)
Rice crackers (optional)

1. In a blender, combine scallions, cilantro, vinegar, ginger, and sesame oil; blend until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, and chicken with dressing. Divide evenly among plates; garnish with cilantro sprigs, and serve with rice crackers, if desired.

Per serving: (without crackers) 278 calories; 11.3 grams fat; 27.6 grams protein; 18.3 grams carbohydrates; 5.1 grams fiber

Note: Though rice crackers were once considered exotic, these light and crispy Asian crackers are now available in many supermarkets.
 
BALSAMIC CHICKEN
Serves 4
For best results, use the highest-quality balsamic you can find.
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 chicken thighs, skin on (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450�. Combine vinegar and garlic in a small, wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until thick, syrupy, and reduced to 1/3 cup, about 8 minutes. Stir in rosemary.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet with an oven-proof handle over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in skillet skin side down, and sear until brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter, and pour off excess fat. Return chicken to pan, skin side up.

3. Transfer pan to oven, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 180�, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn on broiler. Brush chicken with reduced balsamic mixture. Place chicken in broiler until glaze is bubbly, 1 to 3 minutes. Serve.
 
BARBECUED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH SPICY PEACH GLAZE
Serves 8
The perfect summer dish, this chicken is even better served cold the next day.
1 cup peach preserves or jam
1 large cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 chicken breasts (about 5 pounds), split
4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted

1. Preheat grill to medium hot. In a medium mixing bowl, combine preserves, garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and mix well to combine.

2. Sprinkle chicken breasts with additional salt and pepper, and place, skin side down, on the grill. Cook the chicken about 10 minutes on each side before brushing the upturned side with glaze. Continue cooking chicken for another 10 to 12 minutes, turning it every 3 to 5 minutes and brushing each upturned side with glaze every time, until the chicken is cooked through. Move chicken to the oven or a cooler part of grill if it gets too dark before it is cooked through.

3. Place peach halves on the grill, cut side down, and grill 2 minutes. Turn, and brush the tops with glaze. Grill 3 to 4 minutes more, until the peaches are soft and the cavities fill with juices. Transfer the cooked chicken and peaches to a serving platter.
 
CHICKEN BURRITOS
Serves 6
Fresh turkey breast can be substituted for chicken.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice
5 sprigs fresh cilantro
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon coarsely chopped dried ancho chile
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts(6 to 8 ounces each)
6 eight-inch flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups Mango Salsa
6 romaine or 12 mizuna lettuceleaves, washed and cut into strips
6 tablespoons nonfat sour cream

1. Combine juices, cilantro, tarragon, ancho chile, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

2. Heat grill or broiler to medium high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Cover; set aside in a warm place.

3. Using tongs, toast tortillas over a flame, quickly flipping them from side to side until lightly golden. Cut each chicken breast half into 5 slices. On bottom third of each tortilla, place 5 chicken slices, several strips of lettuce, and 3 tablespoons mango salsa. Roll up, and serve with remaining salsa and sour cream.

Per serving: 332 calories, 1 g fat, 83 mg cholesterol, 37 g carbohydrate, 766 mg sodium, 35 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber.

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