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Entries in chicken (9)


Moo-Shu Chicken with Pancakes - Better "Take-Out" "In"



Mark Bittman's Pad Thai recipe  was a game changer, for me, in the whole scheme of it's possible to make a better "take-out" In, than "taking-out" take Out.

So, when I came across the America's Test Kitchen recipe for Moo-Shu Pork I was intrigued. But when I made it I was like "meh," This. Is. Bland.

I'll get right down to what I did to unbland the Moo-Shu. Added grated ginger and garlic at every step. Obvi substituted chicken thighs for pork, and cut the hoisin sauce with lots of fresh lime juice. 

One thing I'll suggest, don't substitute tortillas for the super thin pancakes that the recipe calls for. They're a little fiddly, but SO easy to get the knack of making, and well worth it. They turn out fresh and light, rather than chewy, and rubbery.  


 For the pancakes – will make 12 super thin pancakes

1 ½ cups flour

¾ cup boiling water

Vegetable oil for frying


Mix the flour and water together, in a large bowl, until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out on a floured surface and kneed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.


Roll dough into a 12 inch log, cut into 12 one in pieces. With cut side up, press each piece into a 3 inch round. Brush 6 of the rounds with sesame oil, place one plain one on each of an oiled one and roll out to a 7 inch round on a floured surface. Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan, when oil shimmers, wipe almost clean. Cook each pancake about 1 minute on each side. The edges should be crispy and a few brown spots should appear. Let cool slightly and pull apart. Stack moist side up and cover with plastic wrap.


For the chicken marinade

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced thin

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon grated garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine


For the vegetables 

2 tablespoon grated garlic

1 oz dried shitake mushrooms

8 oz fresh shitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon rice wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons grated ginger

2 tablespoons grated garlic

2 teaspoons cornstarch

8 oz sliced bamboo shoots

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3 cups shredded green cabbage

6 green onions, sliced, white and light green parts separated


Lime Hoisin sauce to serve


Marinate the chicken with the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Soak dried mushrooms in boiling water until reconstituted and soft. Drain reserving 1/3 cup of soaking liquid. Add 1 tablespoon rice wine, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch to soaking liquid, set aside.

Trim tough stems from mushrooms and thinly slice. Add a little oil to a wok or non stick frying pan, add eggs and scramble lightly, until moist, about 15 seconds. Set aside in a large bowl and mash with fork. Add fresh shitakes to pan, sauté until dark brown in color, add to eggs.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in same pan, add whites of green onions, cook until well browned. Increase heat, add chicken and spread out in an even layer. Cook until brown, about 1, toss until cooked through. Add chicken to the egg and mushroom mixture. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan, add bamboo shoots, dried mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant and heated through, about 1 minute. Add cabbage, 2 tablespoons of greens from onions, and mushroom soaking liquid. Continue cooking until the cabbage has wilted, but still crunchy. Return chicken and egg mixture to pan, reheat. Top with additional green onions. 

To assemble: spread a little hoisin sauce on a pancake, add filling. Fold bottom of pancake up to filling, fold in sides against filling, then roll up into a package.





Stir Fry Thai Chicken In A Spicy Sriracha Peanut Sauce



     I first saw this recipe on the Huffington Post’s Kitchen Daily website.  I loved the idea of a homemade peanut sauce and just happened to have a giant bottle of Sriacha chili sauce in the fridge -  thanks to the Bang Bang chicken recipe I posted yonks ago!  I have been a food blogging slacker lately due to a bunch of reasons I won’t bore anyone with. 

     Anyway, I’m back and here we go.  The original recipe called for poaching chicken…I just don’t care to poach my chicken – salmon and shrimp yes.  Even when I make a chicken salad, I always roast it – the flavor is better and I think the texture is better – that’s just me.

     So when I saw this recipe I thought…hmmm…how could I change it up and make it a little bit more mine?  Here’s my go…


Serves 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces

1-½ cups low sodium chicken broth

4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 kaffir lime leaves

½ cup all natural peanut butter

4 teaspoons lime juice

3 teaspoons light agave nectar or 2 teaspoons sugar

2-4 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce

1-teaspoon fish sauce

Canola oil for frying

Steamed snow peas or sliced green onions for garnish

Steamed rice to serve

     Simmer broth, ginger, garlic and lime leaves in a small saucepan over low heat until reduced to 1 cup – approximately 5 minutes.  Discard lime leaves, transfer broth to a blender and process until smooth.  Add peanut butter, limejuice, agave, chili and fish sauce - blend to combine, return sauce to pan and keep warm – whisking occasionally.

     Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.  Add chicken and cook until the pieces begin to turn opaque and brown – approximately 5-8 minutes.  Pour sauce over chicken and continue to simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is completely cooked – another 5-8 minutes.  Serve over rice and garnish with snow peas. 

     It’s All Delicious Note:  Adapted from Ruth Cousineau Huffington Post Kitchen Daily contributor.  



Hilton Head Monthly...The Wine Beneath My Wings


photograph by Rob Kaufman

In March, as all Islanders know, the festival season takes flight with two big ones: the Wine and Food Festival and Wing Fest.

On the 12th of March, more than three thousand wine aficionados will swirl and swill close to one thousand bottles poured at the 24th Wine and Food Festival.  Two weeks later another four thousand attendees will convene and commence to chomp their way through six thousand pounds of chicken wings at the 17th annual Wing fest in Shelter Cove Community Park.  

Now I know that buckets of ice-cold brewskys are generally the accepted libation of choice when it comes to wings.  Which is fine, but is it written in stone?  Why not take a walk on the wine side and put a glass beside your wings?  Mash it up a bit with an oaky chardonnay, a fruity sauvignon blanc, or a spicy zinfandel.  Now that really appeals to me. 

 So with that in mind I thought I’d pair these two popular Island events in my own little wing and wine taste test and see how it flies.  

Ways to cook your wings

To bake:  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Cook wings for 35-40 minutes on a baking tray (do not over crowd) turning them halfway through cooking time.

To grill:  Prepare grill for medium-high heat.  Cook wings for 15-20 minutes.  Keep a squirt bottle by the grill to douse any flare-ups.

To deep-fry:  Heat oil to 375°F.  Cook wings (in batches) for 5-8 minutes until crisp and golden.  Drain on paper towels.

Winging it…how many will you need?

Usually there are eight to ten wings per pound depending on size.  Four pounds should give you six appetizer or four main course servings.


Wings and wines

photograph by Rob Kaufman 

Chili Garlic Wings

Slightly sweet sauce with a mild bite and garlic taste.  Pair these with a Pinot Noir


1 28oz can of tomato puree

8oz chili garlic sauce

½ cup sugar

½ cup cornstarch

Whisk the above ingredients together in a large bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Marinate wings at least 20 minutes before baking or grilling.  This is also a great stir-fry sauce.  

photograph by Rob Kaufman

Orange Chipotle Glazed Wings

The ever-popular hot and sweet combination.  Pair these with a Chardonnay


1 32oz jar of orange marmalade

3 tablespoons chipotle puree*

Stir the marmalade and puree together in a medium saucepan.  Heat on low until glaze simmers; stir to prevent sticking and burning.  Re-heat gently to a brushing consistency when ready to glaze wings.  Bake or grill wings basting often with glaze.

*To make chipotle puree process a can of chipotles in adobo sauce in the bowl of a food processor until smooth.  The puree will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.


photograph by Rob Kaufman

Hoisin Lime Wings

Lime cuts through the sweetness of this traditional bean paste based sauce.  Pair these with a Zinfandel.


2 cups Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons garlic puree

1 tablespoon ginger puree

½ cup limejuice

Whisk the above ingredients together in a large bowl.  Marinate wings for at least 20 minutes before baking or grilling.

photograph by Rob Kaufman 

Classic Hot Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

The tried and true original.  Pair these with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling


¼ cup butter

1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)

4-6 tablespoons hot sauce (like Texas Pete)

Heat the above ingredients together in a small saucepan until the butter melts.  Transfer to a large bowl and add the piping hot cooked wings.  Toss to coat.  Serve with blue-cheese dressing on the side.


Blue Cheese Dressing


½ cup olive oil

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

¾ cup crumbled blue cheese

Place the above ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.  Dressing keeps in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.  


Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms - A classic!


You’ve got to love the classics – Books, movies, cars, and of course FOOD!  And Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite classic dishes.  It’s easy, quick and uses just a few ingredients; chicken, shallots, mushrooms, stock and Marsala wine.  Now if you don’t have a bottle of Marsala hanging around waiting to be turned into a sauce, try Madeira wine.  If you don’t have a bottle of Madeira from your last trip to Portugal in the wine closet then try using Sherry.  But if you just had Dr.’s Frasier and Niles Crane over and they drank your last drop, then from what I gather you can mix white wine and brandy for a similar-ish taste since Marsala is a fortified wine anyway (that means a spirit, like brandy, has been added to the wine).  I guess what I’m trying to say; not only is this dish quick and easy but also versatile and forgiving if the bottle you have on hand isn’t Marsala. 

And that brings me to my other point about versatility...I pulled this recipe out of the archives after Mr. Crown and Ginger (that’s my I’m too old to call him a boyfriend boyfriend) had an amazing grilled trout with a Marsala sauce the other evening at Charlies Etoille Verte (here on the Island and one of our favorites).  Now I would have never put Marsala and fish in the same sentence before, I guess since I’ve always reserved it for a classic scaloppini (chicken, veal or pork) dish.  Plus, I don’t have many fish dishes on this site (trying to improve that, in fact, also trying to improve my posting frequency – I’ve been a slacker).  But like I said, it did get me thinking of the classic dishes in that “go to” category, adaptable, straightforward and deserving of a re-visit on a regular basis.  Enjoy!


Serves 4

4 chicken breasts pounded to about a ¼ inch thick

All purpose flour

5 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped

3 cups thinly slice mushrooms

¾ cup Marsala wine

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper


Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper then dredge both sides in flour. 

Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  When butter begins to foam, working in batches, cook chicken until golden brown on one side about 3 minutes.  Continue cooking the other side for another 2 minutes.  Add more oil if necessary.  Remove breasts and set aside. 

Drain fat from skillet and return to medium heat.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in skillet then add shallots.  Cook until they soften, about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until they brown.  Pour Marsala wine over mushrooms and continue cooking until wine turns slightly syrupy.  Add remaining butter and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper.  Boil until sauce is reduced by half.  Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan.  Continue cooking until sauce thickens and chicken is heated through, turning occasionally to coat in sauce.  Add parsley and serve spooning sauce over each serving.  





Paella with Chicken, Shrimp and Clams


This was one of the best and most flavorful Paella’s I have ever made and dare I say – had!  Instead of kind of just throwing it all in, I followed a lead from two of my favorite guys in the cooking realm – Gordon Ramsey and Tyler Florence – I know I know, how could two total opposites have a common thread that I could find attractive in both and then mold and manipulate into the perfect man...I mean Paella.  I took Gordon’s robustness flavor, teamed it with Tyler’s ease and confidence wielding style in the kitchen and voila!  A pretty much perfect man...I mean Paella.  Please look at the notes below, this is not hard by any means, but depending on your tastes and pan size this could be a little on the fiddly most men.  

Serves 6-8


8 boneless chicken thighs, seasoned with dry rub below

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced on the diagonal (about 8oz each)

1 Spanish onion, medium chop

8 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and minced

½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves (or a good handful) chopped

½ bunch of cilantro (or a good handful) chopped

A good splash of sherry or dry white wine, about ¼ cup (not really optional)

1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed and smashed

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock plus a little more if needed

Saffron threads, a large sized pinch dissolved in a little chicken stock

1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined – tails left on

1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

Lemon wedges, for serving

Dry rub for chicken:  Oregano, paprika & garlic powder


Sprinkle oregano, paprika & garlic powder generously over chicken, coating both sides and rubbing into skin and meat.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.


Heat oil in the paella pan over medium heat. Sauté the chorizo until browned, remove and set aside. Add chicken pieces and brown until golden on both sides and almost cooked through, remove, and set a side with chorizo.

Add onions, garlic, parsley, and cilantro to pan, cook for 2 or 3 minutes over medium heat. Then, add rice and splash of sherry.  Stir to coat the rice and cook until it begins to crackle.  Add tomatoes and stir to combine all the ingredients, cook for a few minutes more until the liquid thickens slightly. 

Pour in stock; stir so the rice absorbs the liquid evenly.  Add saffron and stir to break up threads.  Add chicken, chorizo along with all accumulated juices back to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the clams tucking them into the rice and more stock if necessary.  At this point, you may have to remove the chicken pieces, cover, and keep warm depending on the size of your pan.  When the clams begin to open, add the shrimp.  Continue to simmer, adding more stock if needed.  The shrimp should take about 8 minutes to cook.  Carefully stir paella to distribute liquid.  When the shrimp are pink and cooked and the clams opened, remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas and lemon wedges.

It’s All Delicious Notes:  A few suggestions – a 15” Paella pan was not large enough for all this – men and their measurements!  So, I removed the chicken thighs and kept them warm while the shellfish were cooking.  I added ever so little additions of stock to keep the Paella nice and moist.  I also used a mixture of hot and mild chorizo sausage, cutting them in two different ways, so those who like their chorizo hot, knew exactly which sausage would suit their tastes.  Obviously, there’s nothing saying that you couldn’t make two different Paella’s – one all seafood the other all meat – after all it’s nice to have choices in and out of the kitchen!


Grilled Chicken "Piri-Piri"


 Piri-piri  reminds me of summer, grilling on the beach and Portugal.  Here’s my version using the traditional ingredients with the addition of a little sugar as I can’t get away from the sweet hot combo that I love!  This is a great marinade for grilled chicken or fish.  It’s also perfect as a spicy side sauce.   

“Piri-Piri” marinade


Makes about 4 cups

1 cup lemon juice

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

10 garlic cloves smashed and peeled

3 dried mild chilies

5 dried hot chilies

2 tablespoons oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

3 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)


Soak chilies in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes then roughly chop including the seeds.  Heat all ingredients over a low heat in a medium saucepan until just simmering.  Cool and process mixture in the bowl of a food processor until smooth.  Marinate chicken for 24hours in the fridge then grill. 



Jo's Curry


This is the very first curry recipe I was given in London.  It was given to me by my friend Debbie, who was given it by her friend Jo.  This basic curry is an original recipe from Jo’s cook, who was a former Gurkha from Nepal.  What I like about this is it’s simplicity for first time curry tasters.  It’s grounded with enough flavor as an introduction which after time can be adapted to suit anyone’s personal tastes and preferences.


Serves 4


 4 chicken breasts cut in strips

1 large onion chopped, finely

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili flakes

1 piece of ginger, minced

2-3 tablespoons curry powder

1 28oz can chopped tomatoes


Fry onions in oil until soft.  Add garlic, ginger and chili flakes continue cooking for

another 3 minutes.  Add chicken stir to coat.  Cook until just opaque.  Add tomatoes and

 continue simmering until chicken is cooked through.  Serve with steamed rice, naan bread, and raita




Oriental Chicken Salad


What’s nice about this....wait for the chicken! Okay that was a weak attempt at a joke given my time off (which I will explain tomorrow and over abundance of chicken dishes on this site).  No, the nice thing is the crunch and flavor this dish has.  You can serve it warm right from the wok, room temp or cold.  It’s a great dish for the summer (whoops...that seems to be over too!).


1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

¼ cup soy sauce

½ cup Mirin (rice wine)

2 teaspoons garlic puree*

2 teaspoons ginger puree*

8 oz shredded carrots

8 oz bean sprouts

¼  cup spring onions, white and light green parts only (about 1 bunch)

¼ lb snow peas, trimmed and sliced

2 teaspoons Ponzo dressing

Sesame oil for stir frying

Fried eggroll skins (optional)


 Whisk soy sauce and mirin together in a glass dish, add chicken tenders and marinate at least ½ hour. 

Heat wok then add oil.  When hot, add ginger and garlic puree and stir to prevent sticking and burning.  Add chicken with ½ the marinade, cook until the chicken begins to carmalize and brown.  Add carrots, bean sprouts, spring onions and snow peas.  Continue cooking until the snow peas turn a bright green, about 3-5 minutes.  Pour over the Ponzo dressing and serve warm or at room temperature on top of fried eggroll skins. 



Chicken Cordon Bleu - A Step Back In Time


I went all retro in the kitchen the other night.  I hadn’t made Chicken Cordon Bleu in years (and I mean years – probably about 15).  It’s one of those recipes I just forgot about.  Plus while I love deep fried foods, I don’t love what the smell does to my house.  Nothing worse than waking up the next day to that awful oil smell that lingers everywhere...Yuk!


So, I updated this old icon a bit.  I cooked the breasts in the oven and used flavored panko breadcrumbs.  It’s a nice dish and easy to serve since you are making individual portions.  You could also serve them cold and sliced.  Sometimes it’s nice to take a step back in time. 


Serves 4



4 chicken breasts, pounded to ¼ inch thick

4 ham slices

4 Swiss cheese slices

1-2 cups panko bread crumbs or as needed for breading

1 egg, beaten

1 cup of flour or as needed for breading

Salt and pepper

Dried parsley

Canola oil


Season flattened breasts with salt, pepper and parsley. 

Place one slice of ham on each breast then one slice of cheese.  If necessary cut the ham and cheese in half to fit onto each breast. 


This part can be a bit fiddly.  Fold in the sides of each breast, and then roll up from the smaller side.  If needed secure the “seam” with a toothpick (but warn everyone!)

Bread each portion using the standard method of flour, egg then breadcrumbs.


Refrigerate at least 15 minutes, up to an hour or so.  Pour 4 tablespoons of oil in an oven proof baking dish (not glass) just large enough to hold the chicken.  Bake in a 425°F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes turning them over mid way through cooking.  Serve with lemon wedges.