Foodie Blog

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grilled Chicken in Tapenade and Chicken sausage and veggie soup

What gives?  Yet another post in a week?  I guess this weather is finally inspiring me to share recipes.  Plus, I'm so excited for a cooking talk show that it has reinvigorated my passion for cooking.

Ok, I have two recipes for you this week.  One I got from watching The Chew and the other I got from ingredients I had laying around the house.  I guess you want the chicken first!  I know Peepers wants that one first! 
Yes, yes, enough talking and more food!  

Ok, I made the chicken for Picky while I was craving a delicious soup.  I can post whatever crap I feel like about Picky since he has informed me that he hasn't even checked my latest post!!  Picky has always turned up his nose at tapenade.  I know!  It never did anything to him!!  I think he just objected to the word tapenade in the first place.  He doesn't know what he is even objecting to in the first place.  Like if I was to say, "Picky, would you like some gelato?"  the word "no" would be out of his mouth before I even finished saying gelato.  If a word sounds weird to him, his motto is that the best answer is automatically no! 

I didn't tell Picky I was making a tapenade.  I just said I was making chicken.  And guess what?  He loved the tapenade!!  I just can't call it tapenade ever.  Ok, enough blathering.  On to the recipe!

Chicken Tapenade
Inspired by The Chew
This called for using anchovies, but you can imagine how Picky feels about anchovies.  I wouldn't be surprised if he called them Voldemort!
  • 1 cup Pitted Green Olives (or Kalamata will do as well)
  • 1/4 cup Capers
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 lb Arugula Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons White or Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Tapenade (made from above)
  • 2 teaspoon Fresh chopped Thyme Leaves (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 2 teaspoon Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy!)
  • 4 Chicken Breasts, sliced open like a book.
  • 1 lemon
 1.   Take your olives, capers, mustard, red wine vinegar, and 1/2 cup of olive oil and toss them all in a blender or food processor.  Process or blend until your mixture has a somewhat smooth consistency.  This is your tapenade.  Put the mixture aside.

2.  Preheat your grill or boiler.  I used a cast iron grill pan that you can put on top of the stove.  Take 1/2 cup of the tapenade and put it in a bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, thyme, pepper, and red pepper flakes and mix well.  Add your chickens to this mixture (made sure you have patted dry the chicken with paper towels before this) and coat well.

3.  If putting on a grill, lightly oil your grill before placing the chicken on it.  If you're sticking it in the broiler, then don't worry about oiling.  Because you cut open your breasts, the chicken should take 10 - 15 minutes to cook.  Make sure your grill or broiler isn't too high.  Medium heat is good.  Remember to flip the chicken half way through.

4.  While your chicken is cooking, take your arugula and put it in a bowl.  Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil and one whole lemon, squeezed, and pour it over your arugula.  flavor with salt and pepper.

5.  Place a bunch of arugula on a plate.  Put a chicken breast on top of the arugula.  Place a dollop of the tapenade on top of the chicken breast.  Now eat!

Sweet Potato, chicken sausage and kale soup
Good for cold days.  I pretty much finished this soup in two days.  I had it for lunch and dinner both days.  It was that good!

2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Olive oil
4-6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 links of chicken sausage, chopped
Two handfuls of kale, chopped (make sure to remove the middle rib)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
6 leaves of sage
Pinch of red pepper
Salt and pepper for taste

1.  Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a big soup pot over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the carrots, celery and onion.  Stir and cook for a few minutes until all the veggies get soft.

2.  Add 4 to 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock to the pot.  Raise the temperature slightly.  When the mixture starts simmering, add the sweet potato and bay leaves to the mixture.  When the potato is starting to get tender, add your chicken sausage, kale and the thyme and sage.  Continue to cook over medium heat.

3.  When the sweet potato is completely soft, add your pinch of red pepper and the salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat and serve!

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