Spaghetti with Chicken and Zucchini

Quick and easy! Great for a weeknight. Adapted from Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian by Lidia Bastianich.

 

Spaghetti with Chicken and Zucchini

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 medium leeks, white and green parts, halves and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 pound medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-by-1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup Grana Padano

 

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken and to the skillet, toss and brown all over, for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cover, and cook until the zucchini wilts, about 3 minutes.  Uncover, increase the heat to medium high and cook until the vegetables are carmelized on the edges, for about 2 minutes. Add back the chicken, and 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  5. Add the spaghetti to the sauce, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the basil and parsley and toss. Add more pasta water if dry.
  6. Remove from heat and add cheese, toss and serve.[/recipes-directions]

 

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Italian Chicken “Stir Fry”

For those who love Lidia Bastianich’s Chicken Drumsticks with Peppers and Paprika, this recipe is for you! Very similar in cooking style. Adapted from Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian.

 

Italian Chicken Stir-Fry

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup fava beans, thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 sounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • all purpose flour for dredging
  • 8 ounces of chicken livers, trimmed of all fat an cut into 1/2-inch chunks

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet;et, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the peppers, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and cook until t he onions are golden, about 4 minutes.  Add the peas and favas, toss and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to large roasting pan.
  2. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add garlic until it sizzles. Add the mushrooms and thyme.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the the mushrooms liquid has reduced and the mushrooms are browned, for about 5 minutes. Add to the roasting pan.
  3. In the same skillet add, heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil.  Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add to the skillet. Brown all over for  about 3 minutes. Add to the roasting pan.
  4. Spread some flour on a plate. Return the skillet to the heat, and ad remains oil. Season the chicken livers with salt and dredge lightly in the flour. Brown all over, about 2 minutes. Add to the roasting pan. Give everything a toss and roast in the oven  till browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Cuban Rice Salad (Ensalada de Arroz)

Part 2 of my Cuban salad series. Fantastic hearty salad with chicken and rice! Great for outdoor parties or picnics.  I omitted the toasted sesame seeds, for personal taste.  Adapted from Cuba, the cookbook. Recipe invented by Vivian Costa Leal, a Cuban housewife.

 

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 large green peppers
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely cooked chicken
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup or more mayonnaise

 

Directions

  1. Roast the peppers over an open flame or broiler. Place in a bowl fuller ice water. Peel off the skin, and cut into strips. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the onions and vinegar. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3.  In a medium fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes till the garlic is fragrant. Stir in salt. Set aside.
  4.   In  a large bowl combine half the peppers and the rest of the ingredients. Salt to taste. Use the remaining peppers to decorate the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

 

Cuban Chicken Salad (Ensalada de Pollo)

A staple served at parties. This isn’t my great aunt’s version but close.   Adapted from Cuban Chicks Can Cook, by Ana Quincoces Rodriquez

 

Cuban Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole roasted chicken shredded without skin
  • 4 large peeled red potatoes, cubed into 1-inch pieces and boiled till tender
  • 1 large green apple peeled and finely chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, 3 finely chopped, use 1 for decoration
  •   3/4 cup peas
  • 1 cup canned asparagus tips, reserve 2 tablespoons liquid
  • 1 small can diced pimentos, reserve 2 tablespoons liquid
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, reserved pea and pimento liquid, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the chicken, I used my hands. Add remaining ingredients. Toss well.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise if necessary.
  4. You can decorate the top with slices of egg, any left over pimento pieces, peas or asparagus.

 

Country-Style Chicken

Part two of my recipes from Cuba, The Cookbook by Madelaine Vazquez Galvez and Imogene Tondre.  I adjusted the quantity of the oil to 1 cup instead of of 2.  You can also take the chicken out and place in the sauce instead of pouring the sauce over the chicken, that way you won’t have so much oil in the dish. Otherwise this is very delicious!

 

Country-Style Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup bitter orange juice
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 2 large green peppers
  • all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

 

Directions

  1. Combine the chicken, salt, and bitter orange. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut an “x” into the skin at the blossom end of the tomatoes and submerge them in the boiling water. When you see the skin starting to peel away submerge the tomatoes in ice water to cool. When cool enough to handle peel away the skin. Halve, seed, and dice.
  3. Roast the green peppers over flame or broiler until the skin blackens, turning frequently.  Let cool and peel off the skin. Seed and cut into thin strips.
  4. In a large frying pan heat up the oil over medium high heat. Dredge the chicken in the flour and add to the oil. Fry till browned on both sides. Set aside.
  5. In a medium frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.  Pour the soffit over the chicken.
  6. Add the wine and let it reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the stock, peppers, and scallions. Cover and cook till the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes and garnish with parsley.