Tag Archive | garlic

Chicken with Bacon and Spinach in a Creamy White Wine Sauce

Chicken thighs with bacon and spinach in a creamy white wine sauceI combined some ideas from several recipes, and a delicious supper resulted tonight!!


Disclaimer: I don’t measure anything, so the amounts are approximate. Please adjust them according to your personal tastes.

5-6 chicken thighs

salt & pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, smashed & minced

2 green onions, chopped

fresh, canned, or frozen spinach

8 slices bacon, cooked separately

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup white wine (or chicken broth)

1 cup heavy cream


Pat the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle generously with salt & pepper, including under the skin, as possible. Brown and cook the thighs, skin side down, with lid on, about 7 minutes, in the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Check them occasionally, but do not turn them.

Remove the thighs to a plate. Cook the garlic and onions in the pan liquids about 1 minute. Then add already cooked & chopped bacon, spinach, lemon juice, & white wine and scrape (deglaze) the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, cover and simmer about 20 minutes until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the heavy cream to the skillet and reduce and thicken slightly by simmering.

Serve sauce with spinach over angel hair pasta. Place chicken thigh on top and spoon creamy sauce over all.

Serve with garlic bread.




Tonight’s Creation with Chicken Breasts



Sometimes I feel inspired just to get out some spices I haven’t used very much and put together something using basic ideas I’ve picked up along the way from cooking shows, recipe books, and experimentation. It’s really fun — especially if it turns out to be good. When I cook this way, I usually learn something to do differently next time (or several somethings). I’ll talk about that more at the end.

The basic ideas include:

(1) starting with a meat and deciding whether or not to braise (as I did tonight), bake, fry, grill, or broil.

(2) spices (salt & pepper, of course, and then a plethora of options)

(3) vegetables, if desired (possibilities include but are not limited to onions, garlic, celery, hot or mild peppers, carrots, mushrooms)

(4) oil (olive, vegetable, bacon grease, butter, etc.)

(5) liquid (wine, beer, chicken or beef broth, water, milk, canned soups or sauces, etc.)

(6) vegetable sides if you want to cook them with the meat and sauce (potatoes, carrots, etc.) or separate.

First tonight, I had bought bone-in chicken breasts, which I will now try to remember not to do. So I deboned 2 breasts. Then I meant to pound them to about 1/4-inch thick, but I forgot (the grease got hot). So, I pounded them later, after they were browned and not in oil, with the side of a small plate. I do NOT recommend doing it this way, but it worked pretty well in a pinch. Flattening them helps them cook more evenly and more quickly.

Before I put the chicken breasts in the skillet, I sprinkled one side with salt and pepper (S&P)  and paprika.  Then I put them in hot olive oil (not smoking hot) in a heavy skillet. When you put the meat in a hot skillet with the olive oil hot, they will appear to stick, but just don’t try to move the meat too soon. It will almost magically release itself from the skillet when it’s brown.

While they were browning, I added sliced onions and chopped garlic to the skillet and crushed red pepper flakes and sprinkled the chicken with S&P, coriander, ground ginger, and cumin. Then when I turned them, the full flavor of the dried spices was boosted awake in the hot oil. The same was true with the paprika on the first side.


Mushrooms Cut with a Boiled Egg Cutter

Mushrooms Cut with a Boiled Egg Cutter

After turning the chicken, I added sliced mushrooms about a minute before the browning was done.


20150128_18241120150128_182345When browned, I removed the chicken to a plate, added Marsala wine to the pan and deglazed it (scraping loose any residue – sucs or fond – stuck to the bottom that the wine helped to release) while over medium heat.




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I returned the chicken to the pan, covered the skillet with a lid, and cooked on medium-low (or enough to keep the liquid bubbling gently) until the chicken was tender and done – about 10 minutes in this case. Finish with a sprinkling of parsley and lemon juice.


I served the combination of  mushrooms, onions, and sauce over the chicken and white rice. The side was asparagus.

The pairing of wine was pinot noir. You can always choose your favorite wine, of course. Some would say it should be white with chicken. But I find that pinot noir pairs nicely with just about anything, and I thought it was especially good with the mushrooms.

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What did I learn tonight?

I like foods pretty spicy, so I think I was a little timid with the spices tonight. I’m sure that had something to do with the fact that they were unfamiliar spices to my cooking with chicken.

Also, there were lots of really good tasting and moist mushrooms and onions, but not enough liquid (gravy) left at the end to serve over the rice and chicken. Next time I’d add quite a bit more wine to assure that it doesn’t all absorb into the food or cook away.

Experiment! Be brave! Bon appetite!


Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Batter

Good evening!!

We had such a good supper! As you will realize, we really like fried foods. Tonight I fixed pork chops with a spicy flour batter fried in bacon grease [the rather large amount of bacon grease that is always in a ceramic container in my kitchen will be the object of a different post],

garlic & onion & butter & sour cream mashed potatoes,

flour & milk gravy from the sucs or fond and deglazed with milk and a small amount of the bacon grease, and

English peas with butter & onions.

I used hubby’s “secret herbs & spices” (pictures below)  in flour for the batter. [He mixes most of the spices that we have in the kitchen together in a plastic bowl with a lid and puts some in a shaker bottle. This started for use on his delicious ribeye steaks, but now we use them for many dishes.]

Hubby is very helpful and peals and cuts up the russet potatoes and chops an onion. Any extra onion I keep in a zip lock bag in the freezer and add to it or use it, as needed.

I saute’ enough onions in enough butter in the sauce pan to be used for the English peas for both the peas and the potatoes. When the potatoes are boiled and done and drained in a separate pan, I add some of the onions and butter to them and leave some of the onions and butter in the English pea sauce pan and add the English peas and heat. I keep minced garlic in the frig and also add a little of that to the potatoes, as well as sour cream or milk.

I like to put a little cold bacon grease in a cold stainless steel skillet and get it very hot but not smoking before putting in the meat. This technique helps to keep the meat from sticking. The same thing can be accomplished by putting cold oil in a hot skillet and adding the meat immediately if the skillet is hot enough that the oil gets very hot immediately. When frying a piece of any meat that’s relatively flat and thin, I turn it when red blood begins to come out the top. That traps the juices inside.

When the meat is brown on both sides and done, I put it on paper towels to drain. With the skillet and grease not very hot, I mix flour left from the breading process into the grease in the skillet and mix with a whisk [essential to me] until it is smooth. An estimate of the ratio is 1 Tbsp flour for each 1 Tbsp of grease to 1 cup of liquid, but I add more of any one of them, as needed. The flour and grease are easier to manage if initially they are not very hot and not thin but not at all thick. The thickening comes after it cooks in the milk. I gradually add milk while whisking and continue whisking until smooth. Then I whisk occasionally as the gravy begins to gently boil and thicken over medium low heat. If it gets too thick, more milk or hot water can be added and whisked. When taken off the heat, the gravy will thicken some more, so don’t make the consistency too thick before taking it off the heat and declaring it “finished”.

Pork Chops Fried                Bon appetit!!27 Spices 122614 27 Spices