Chicken Stew by Douglas

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Chicken Stew

This recipe is courtesy of Spane’s father, Douglas. When we were dating, before Spane was born, he came by and offered to fix dinner for us. He went to the store and bought everything he needed, except the spices. He knew I had myriad spices and that I would have just what he wanted.

I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this was. I thought of it this weekend and made it, but I reduced the amounts for just Spane and I. Spane was hungry, he got three thighs! Actually, with a salad, or other side dishes, this could easily make enough for 12 people, if each person is allocated one chicken thigh.

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Southern Spicy Vidalia Hot Wings

Southern Spicy Vidalia Hot Wings
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We’ve been eating a lot of chicken lately, especially fried chicken. That’s because I finally make excellent bacon fried chicken, and don’t like seeing good shortening go to waste. One of my favorite ways to have chicken is Buffalo Wings. Spane’s father, Douglas, gave me a recipe from the bar where Buffalo Wings originated, when he was frequenting the establishment and became friends with the owner.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Most Buffalo wings are made with a Louisiana hot sauce, quite often Franks. It’s good, but, I wanted to experiment a little. There is a nice Southern company, Glory Foods, that makes wonderful canned Butter Beans. I love ’em. When I was at the market buying wings, I saw that they also make Spicy Vidalia Hot Sauce. Spicy and slightly sweet, I thought that would make an interesting change from the usual Louisiana style hot sauces associated with this dish. I was right, that sauce was perfect, and it has not become my favorite hot sauce.

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Bacon Fried Chicken Fingers

Plate of Bacon Fried Chicken FingersRecipes in this Post

In the summer, even though it’s hot, I still think about fried chicken, and I’m not talking about that stuff at Kentucky Fried that tastes like a salt lick either. I’m talking about fried chicken like my Grandmother, Grace Boswell, used to make. She came from Texas, and she made the best friend chicken in the world, well in my opinion. Now, it’s my turn to pass on a tradition.

No Instructions, Experimentation Necessary

My Nana did not like to share her recipes, and really didn’t want anyone in the kitchen when she was cooking. She just wanted, and got, the accolades when the finished dish was on the table. The only time I saw the chicken before it got to the dining room was when there was a pan of it already fried, waiting to go to the table, which was too late. So, I’ve had to do some experimenting to get it right.

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Pesto Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Pesto Stuffed Chicken Thigh
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I love going on Pinterest and getting ideas for recipes. I saw a picture of Greek chicken that was made by dipping chicken in herb flavored yogurt and then grilling it. I always have plain yogurt in the house. We have it frequently for breakfast, and I love to make yogurt salad and yogurt soup out of it.

Coincidentally, I had made a batch of Fresh Basil and Pine Nut Pesto that I needed to use up. I thought that Italian pesto with a yogurt marinade would be quite tasty, and good for you. I was right, the chicken was delicious. We had it with steak cut potatoes and a salad. Very nice.

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Roasted Chicken

ruby red grapefruit chickenRecipes in this Post

A few days ago, someone asked me for a different way to roast a chicken, and I have her this recipe. I haven’t made this in a long time, and it was a welcome change from the ho-hum regular roasted chicken we all know and love.

Spane and I both love grapefruit, and I was lucky to get some beautiful ruby-red grapefruit at my local corner store. Today, I’m going to go to the local farmer’s market and get some more. Did you know that grapefruit is really good for you? As a member of the citrus family, they are packed with vitamin C, have low sodium, low sugar, high lycopene, high potassium, and fat burning enzymes.

binder clips bind chicken skin together

Binder clips bind chicken skin together

I have to tell you, binder clips are great in the kitchen. I use them mainly to close up bags, especially bags of frozen vegetables. When I was making my chicken, the skin on the breast tore, and I needed it to cover the grapefruit slices. What to do? I heard some TV doctor yelling “Clamp!” in my head, got some binder clips out of the drawer and clamped it up. When the chicken was finished cooking, it was just a matter of removing the clips, and the skin stayed nicely together. Clean up was simple, too, and unlike twine, I can reuse my clips after thoroughly washing them.

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Chicken with Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

Chicken with Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

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My best friend’s mother, Joan, used to make the best chicken. I was very close to Joan, and paid attention when she cooked. I think this was my favorite, and she was nice enough to give me the recipe.

I loved Joan for other reasons, too. Joan was the manager of a high-end gift shop in Beverly Hills, and she had very good taste. Her house was beautifully decorated, and well-organized. Everything had a place, and everything had a job, even the legs on the cast iron dining room table. It’s job was to bite us on the toe as we passed by it and weren’t paying attention.

Joan taught me a lot of stuff. She taught me the right jewelry to wear with what outfit, she taught me the importance of being organized, she taught me how to make the Hot Dogs with Mashed Potatoes and Cheese (Spane’s favorite), and she taught me how to make this chicken dish. She loved me like her own daughter, and I loved her like the mother I lost when I was 15 years old. When I moved out of her place, she gave me metal prep bowls and a stainless steel wok. Despite all the moving I have done, I still have those bowls and that wok, and use them frequently.

Fresh Water ChestnutsThe only thing Joan did not teach me was about fresh water chestnuts. My grocer taught me about those. They look like ginger fingers, and sliced thinly, they are very crisp with a nice flavor. I don’t know about you, but I always avoid water chestnuts when I find them in Chinese food because those have no flavor. But, the fresh ones? They have a very subtle flavor, almost like a potato. If you can find them, I highly recommend them.

Sadly, Joan died just before Spane was born, but I know she watches over us. I love you, Mom!

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