Fly the Coop

Spicy and skewered, slow roasted or crusted with buttery pecans, 5 recipes reinvigorate weeknight chicken suppers.

Easy Peas-y Greek Wraps

8 ounces cooked chicken, beef and/or lamb
½ cup hummus
⅓ cup cooked sweet peas
¼ cup ricotta cheese
fresh arugula
4 whole-wheat or spinach tortillas

Mix hummus with peas and ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Spread mixture on each tortilla. Add arugula and your choice of meat. Roll into a wrap.

Serves 4

Spicy Chicken Skewers with Cool Mint and Yogurt Chutney

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons salt

Cut the chicken in to bite-size pieces, and place in a large bowl. In a blender, grind together all the other ingredients until smooth. Pour this over the chicken, mix well and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, but overnight in the refrigerator if possible. Remove chicken pieces from marinade, and cook quickly on a barbeque. Arrange on a platter, piercing each morsel with a toothpick or mini skewer. Serve with mint chutney.

For the chutney:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin powder

Blend the above ingredients until smooth. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep for up to three days.

Brick Chicken

1 4-pound whole grass fed chicken, or poussin (young chicken) backbone cut away.
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary plus additional sprigs for garnishing
5 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
coarse Kosher salt

Butterfly the chicken and make a rub consisting of garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt.

Place in a small bowl and drizzle in olive oil, then rub all over the chicken and under the skin (leave some marinade to pour over the chicken when transferring to platter). If you want your chicken spicier, add more red pepper or leave the chicken in the marinade for an hour or two.

Prepare your grill for direct medium-low heat.

Marinade chicken before placing it on the grill. Place a foil-wrapped brick atop chicken; grill for about 7 minutes until golden brown, remove brick and turn chicken over. Return brick to chicken and continue to grill until golden, about another 7 minutes. Remove brick and transfer chicken to platter. Drizzle chicken with remaining mixture. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and parsley.

Serves 4

Galley Paella

olive oil for sautéing
24 ounces uncooked chicken, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 cups white wine
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup asparagus, blanched, chopped
¼ cup roasted red pepper
¼ cup capers
¼ cup peas
18 shrimp
mussels and salty ham (chef’s choice of measure)
4-5 cups cooked brown rice
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, heat enough olive oil to sauté meat and vegetables. Add chicken, onion and pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, and cook over high heat until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, seafood and ham and simmer until mussels open. Then add asparagus, roasted red pepper, capers and peas. Toss with cooked brown rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6-8

Pecan Crusted Chicken Meunière

4 to 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed of fat
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
¾ cup pecan halves
¼ to ½ cup stale baguette cubes (to make ¼ cup of crumbs) 
½ teaspoon sea salt 
1 dash cayenne pepper 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Pulse baguette cubes to large crumbs. Remove crumbs and pulse the pecans to a rough texture. Return crumbs to processor. Add salt and cayenne. Pulse crumbs and pecans to a slightly chunky texture. 

Lightly pound each chicken breast. Brush with butter and then dredge in pecan-crumb mixture, pressing crust onto chicken to adhere. Carefully place chicken on a cookie sheet. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add butter and grapeseed oil. When they sizzle, add chicken and lower heat to medium. Sauté for 6 minutes, then carefully turn chicken and sauté for another 6 minutes. Remove from pan and drizzle with sauce Meunière.

For the sauce Meunière:
½ stick or ¼ cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
¼ teaspoon sea salt
finely chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish

Melt butter in a small heavy skillet at low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove skillet from heat and immediately add and swirl lemon juice and salt. Butter will foam.

Serves 4-5

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