Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in buffalo chicken (3)

Thursday
Apr122012

Dry Rubbed Drumettes + Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Last night Shaun had basketball. So my great friend Kristen came over for a little girls night. Instead of hanging on the couch and drinking wine, we decided to get our workout on!

We hit the gym and did a nice total body workout, with a little cardio mixed in. I have to say, working out with someone else really is the way to go. It is not only more fun, but I felt like I got a better workout! Do you ever find that working out with a partner leads to a better exercise session?

So let's talk about chicken for a moment. A few weeks ago, the kind people at Gold'n Plump sent me a cooler full of premium quality, wholesome chicken to sample.

I have to admit that I was skeptical at best about this chicken. Because let's face it...most chicken is chicken. It's not particularly tasty and can often be rubbery and overall just a vehicle for some kind of sauce or spice rub.

I was, however, intrigued by their mission. Gold'n Plump touts their All Natural, No additional hormone raised chicken. They are environmentally-friendly and constantly finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint. They feed their chicken all raw materials. They humanely raise their chickens. And so I was really excited to try the chicken and see if the taste lived up to all of the hype.

Chicken cutlet, pan-fried!

I'm happy to report that this chicken was absolutely delicious. {I don't usually say that about chicken}. It was juicy, flavorful, NOT rubbery and just overall really fantastic. I would definitely seek this chicken out again. And so with so much chicken at our disposal, Shaun and I got to work on a few dishes!

First up, we made some dry rubbed drumettes. Again, drumettes make me slightly skittish because they can be very rubbery. These were not. Shaun made a spice rub consisting of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, a tiny bit of cumin and chili powder.

He tossed the rub with the drumettes in a ziptop bag and grilled these up. I served them alongside some Mediterranean quinoa. A dish I'd make over and over again! Healthy (no oils or sauces) and tasty. Yum!

Such a nice treat and change up from the traditional chicken breast!

Next up, I wanted to use the ground chicken, and so I decided to make buffalo chicken burgers! I could eat buffalo chicken anything, anytime. It's so delicious.

Buffalo Chicken Burgers
1 lb. lean ground chicken
salt
pepper
paprika
onion powder
Frank's Red Hot
reduced fat blue cheese crumbles
sandwich thin or bun
cooking spray

With your hands, mix the chicken with the salt, pepper, paprika and onion powder. Shape into 4 patties. We grilled these on our Foreman grill since it was raining out side! Spray with cooking spray, close the lid and grill until cooked, just a few minutes.

Remove from grill and brush with Frank's Red Hot. Place on a sandwich thin or bun and top with blue cheese crumbles. Eat immediately!

So there you have it. Two easy chicken recipes made with all natural, delicious chicken. If you want to try the Gold'n Plump chicken, you can now find it at Target! And be sure to download their coupon for $1 off!

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Questions of the Day:

What's your favorite way to enjoy chicken?

How do you 'healthify' it?

 

psst...I did receive samples of Gold'n Plump, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday
Jan032012

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps + Celebrity Crushes

Today officially feels like the holidays are over. I had a truly wonderful time over the last week and a half spending time with family, lounging around with Shaun, catching up on sleep and just relaxing. Yesterday, we ended our little staycation with a viewing of Sherlock Holmes 2. Shaun has read the whole Sherlock Holmes collection and is a big fan. I was happy to go along so that I could stare dreamily at this guy...

Don't laugh at me.

Call me crazy, but I fell head over heels for Robert Downey Jr. when he starred in Only You and ever since, my love has never waivered. Shaun and I talk openly about the fact that he is probably my #1 celebrity crush.

I know...he may not be the most obvious choice to claim the #1 spot on my list, but what can I say? I like the tall, dark and handsome ones (though I supposed he's not particularly tall), not to mention that he's a little dorky with some bad boy thrown in. Oh and then he went and became Iron Man, so...you know. What more could a girl ask for?

I told you mine, now you tell me yours...dish! Who is your #1 celebrity crush?

Swoon.

Moving on.

As I may have told you, for our Christmas Eve celebration at my parents house, we don't really do a big dinner, but instead do a round of cold appetizers, followed by a wave of warm appetizers. My whole family loves to cook and so this is the perfect way for everyone to contribute a dish and no one person is stuck with all of the work. For one of my dishes, I created a buffalo chicken lettuce wrap.

 

I love love love buffalo chicken and I thought putting the mixture into a lettuce wrap would be a nice, light addition to the spread and would look simply gorgeous to boot.

Spoiler Alert: I was right.

Using the basic Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe as a guide, I added a lot more real, roasted chicken, subtracted a lot of the cream cheese & blue cheese, baked it off and then filled up some beautiful leaves of Boston lettuce. The buffalo chicken was just the perfect mix of spice and blue cheese while the lettuce was incredibly delicate and just looked so chic filled up and plated open-faced on a large platter.

I love this dish because it's incredibly easy. It can also be a perfect party food but is simple enough for a weeknight dinner. One thing is for certain, I will absolutely be making this again.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless or bone-in with skin)
1 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C Frank's Red Hot
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
1/3 C blue cheese dressing
1-2 heads of Boston lettuce, trimmed and washed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray, lay out the chicken (I used bone-in w/skin, but boneless, skinless works nicely too). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and thyme. Roast about 25 minutes or until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, cut into small cubes (discard skin and bone). Place in a large mixing bowl and combine with cream cheese, Frank's, blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing. You can place this in a baking dish and heat for about 20 minutes, or pack it up to be heated right before serving. I made mine a day in advance and simply reheated it before serving. Once warm, place a tablespoon or more into each lettuce leaf. Place all together on a platter and serve with extra blue cheese for dressing.

These were such an easy and fun recipes. I love that using the lettuce as a wrap was a totally unexpected change up from a traditional (and heavier) wrap. I hope you give these a try and enjoy!

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever made or eaten lettuce wraps? I am a recent convert...I love them!

Who is your celebrity crush? Come on, I told you mine...

 

psst...Kimberly is blogging about kicking off her fitness regimen for the new year over on The Peach & The Pit! Head on over to check it out!

Monday
Jan032011

Crunchy Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese Dressing

I got lots of cookbooks for Christmas.

So many to add to my already extensive collection that I cannot wait to dive into each of them. I'm vowing to stop pulling recipes from the Internet and adapting them, but instead to use the pretty books that grace my bookcase.

I was going to wait a few days before bombarding you with another Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This! recipe, mainly because I just feel bad for the other cookbooks. It's like they are just begging to be opened. But since I've developed a major obsession with this cookbook - for its ease of use, its healthy recipes, its photos of a very attractive looking Rocco - you're getting it today instead of next week. I made these tenders tonight and they completely changed our world.

Is it sad that I speak this way of chicken? Perhaps.

But it's so true. These tenders are not only crunchy and flavorful, but the elimination of frying keeps them light and healthy. As Michael Scott would say, it's a win-win-win.

Oh and if turned up buffalo tenders isn't enough, how about DIY blue cheese dressing? It's creamy, light and has convinced the mister and me to never ever go back to the bottled stuff.

Somebody stop me before I start singing from the rooftops.

Crunchy Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese Dressing
*Adapted from Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This!
For the tenders:
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C panko breadcrumbs (I could only find regular, not whole wheat)
4 egg whites
1 lb chicken tenders
1/2 C Frank's RedHot Sauce
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
For the blue cheese dressing:
1 C low fat mayonnaise
1/2 C low fat sour cream
1/4 C buttermilk (I made my own)
1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed, please!)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 oz low fat blue cheese crumbles
kosher salt
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set up an oven-safe wire rack over a large baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray. Next, set up your dredging station. A bowl for flour, a bowl for egg whites that are whisked until foamy, a bowl for the panko breadcrumbs and a package of chicken.  

Coat the chicken in flour, then submerge in egg whites and then coat with panko. Lay on the wire rack.

Once the chicken is breaded, sprinkle with salt and pepper and spray with nonstick spray. Turn the chicken over and repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (for thinner tenders, it might be less time). I flipped them over about midway through. The panko will turn golden and crispy.

Meanwhile, heat up the Frank's RedHot in the microwave and make the blue cheese dressing (and be prepared to never return to that store-bought stuff again).

To make the blue cheese, whisk the mayo, sour cream, buttermilk, Worcestershire, blue cheese crumbles, salt and pepper together until combined and creamy. Though the original recipe called for garlic paste (1 clove mashed together to form a paste), we thought it was overkill so I am not recommending it in this adapted version. I'm still tasting garlic which I find unnecessary at this juncture in the evening.

Once chicken is done baking, brush the chicken with the RedHot. I used a silicon pastry brush.

 

I even got my multitask on while doing this part. I'm on the phone with one of my very good friends who had some fantastic news to share!

Serve with a dollop of the blue cheese sauce and any other accompaniements you choose. Shaun whipped up a yummy couscous with baby bella mushrooms and chopped baby carrots.

 

You may also have noticed that some of these photos are not at an angle that can be gotten from my usual countertops. That's because tonight we broke in our brand new kitchen island!

A gift from my parents, we are so thrilled with this addition to our avid kitchen. It still needs some finishing touches so I'll do a full post about how it came to be and how it's functioning in the coming weeks. But meanwhile, I just had to share it because...well, it. is. awesome!!

So there you have it. A quick, delicious and healthy weeknight meal and a new kitchen fixture to boot. I can't wait to share more details about how we (mostly my mom) DIY'd our new island and to give you the grand tour!

What are your favorite weeknight meals? Any quick and easy ones to share?