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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The Pantry

Entries in Chicken dishes (7)


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
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.


Chicken Salad Veronique

A few years ago at my best friend Catherine's bridal shower, I had the best chicken salad. Ever.

Here's us at her Minnesota wedding in 2009...

The chicken salad has haunted me since. Why was it so good? It was unlike any other that I'd ever had.

It had grapes in it.


And it was wonderful.

So when I was planning Shaun's birthday, I decided to finally give it a try. Of course I consulted my girl Ina Garten and found the easiest recipe ever. Once you go veronique, you won't ever go back! The fresh grapes in this salad give this classic dish a fresh burst of flavor while using roasted chicken kept the salad moist and well, simply fantastic. You won't ever go back to shredded chicken again. Oh and did I mention that this dish was the surprise hit of the night? Don't be weirded out by the grapes. I promise. It's wonderful.

Chicken Salad Veronique
*Adapted from Ina Garten
2 whole chicken breasts, with bone and skin on
1/2 C mayonnaise
1 C celery, finely diced
1 C green grapes, cut in half
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. On a sheet pan, layered with foil, place the chicken breasts, skin side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes until completely cooked. We broke out our trusty meat thermometer to make sure it was done without hacking up the meat. Meanwhile cut up the celery and grapes.

Once the chicken has cooled, cut the meat off the bone and throw away the bone and skin. Cut the chicken into cubes. Add to a large mixing bowl and stir in mayonnaise, tarragon, celery, and grapes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I served this so that guests could either put on a roll or eat with a fork. I prefer it on a plate with a fork, but its also great on toast!

So there you have it. A fantastic, easy salad that it absolutely perfect for any event, from an elegant soiree to a weekday lunch. I had actually made a double batch of this for the party and hardly had any leftovers!

So what do you think? Do you like adding fruit to your dishes? Have you ever tried to recreate a party dish in your own kitchen?

I added a cut up apple to my salad yesterday and I was in heaven!


Skillet Roasted Chicken + Potato Wedges

Sometimes the simplest dinners are the best ones.

In taste and in ease.

The only ones better than that?

The dinners that seem like they are complicated but are in fact a breeze. The ones in which your husband/roommate/friend/mother thinks that you slaved over a complicated dish and in which you merely toss your hair over your shoulder and claim how it was oh, nothing!

A dinner that's delicious, simple and will get bonus points for seemingly a lot of work? Um, why would I ever cook anything other than this dish?

To prepare for our 5K on Sunday morning, not to mention the terrential downpours curbing our desire to leave our apartment, Shaun and I decided to have a nice dinner at home. Possibly in front of the television.

I had been wanting to test out some more recipes from my giant America's Test Kitchen Cookbook (you may see another fab recipe here) and when I came across a recipe for roasted chicken and potatoes - which claimed to only take 30 minutes, no less - I just had to give it a try. Roasted chicken? Good. Potato wedges? Good. 30 minute timeline? Goooood. This dinner came together in a snap and had Shaun already planning how soon I could make it again. It combines simple ingredients and cooking methods, but packs a ton of flavor and texture. A perfect any-night kind of meal.

Skillet Roasted Chicken + Potato Wedges
*Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
2 bone-in, split chicken breasts with skin on*
5 medium red potatoes, cut into small wedges
5 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment: meat thermometer**

With a rack at the lowest possibly position in your oven, preheat it to 450 degrees. Remove the chicken from its packaging, pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Once it is extremely hot (sprinkle just a drop or 2 of water in the oil - if it sizzles, it's ready!), place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat until the skin is golden brown.

Meanwhile, get the potatoes ready.

Place the wedges in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes, stopping midway through to shake the bowl around.

Transfer the chicken to a baking dish with the meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the thermometer reads 160-165. Once the potatoes are tender, transfer to the now-empty skillet (do not clean the skillet out first!), and sautee about 10 minutes until the wedges start to brown and crisp.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk 3 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper together. Serve over the chicken and potatoes.

*Yes, I highly recommend using this kind of chicken, not a skinless boneless breast. Even if you plan to discard the skin, it will keep the chicken juicy and moist through the roasting process. Otherwise it will end up dry and unflavorful. No one wants that.

**I purchased a no-frills probe thermometer at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $4. Do it. It's worth every penny and will save you (and your meat) from being hacked into so that you can see if the chicken is cooked through. The thermometer doesn't lie. If it says 160+ degrees, your chicken is done.

So there you have it. My super duper easy peasy new favorite dinner. And one that I will be making again soon. Oh and next time I'll be sure to include something green on our plates too. Some roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts, perhaps? And I'm pretty sure this would work just as well with sweet potatoes instead of white, if you prefer. So what do you think? Have you made any simple dinners that look like you slaved away over it?