chicken

Buffalo Chicken Bites

It is not often that I want fried boneless wings drenched in wing sauce, but yesterday was one of those days when they sounded good.  I have experimented with almond flour as my breading for fried chicken in the past, and it tastes good, but it tends to fall of when you take it out of the skillet or pick up the chicken to eat it.  This recipe calls for tapioca flour as part of its batter.  I didn’t have any and didn’t want to go buy any just for one meal, so I substituted arrowroot powder instead.  I also don’t like straight Frank’s Red Hot sauce on my wings, so I mixed it with my husband’s homemade BBQ sauce to “calm it down” a bit for me.  (I will have to get his BBQ sauce recipe and post it in the future!) My husband also enjoyed a little drizzle of ranch dressing on his.

I had to cook these in several batches, so we didn’t get to really sit down and eat together for this meal, but we both really enjoyed the meal and had a little bit of leftovers as well.  We had rosemary garlic oven fries along with our chicken bites, and although it is more of a “splurge meal,” at least we knew what all of the ingredients were, could get the right amount of sauce on our chicken without asking (lots!), and we didn’t have to go out to get it.  I should’ve taken a picture of them right out of the skillet, but I always like to taste-test first and make sure a recipe is “blog-worthy,” plus I forgot about it until all we had was leftovers to take a picture of :).

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Chicken, Bacon, & Sweet Potato Hash

This is a relatively simple recipe with ingredients that you may already have on hand.  It doesn’t dirty a large amount of dishes, either; just slice n dice, and throw it all into a skillet.  When I first read the recipe I was a little skeptical on how much “taste” it would actually have, worrying that it might be bland.  I was pleasantly surprised when I ate it, though, and wouldn’t hesitate to make it again.  It tasted great the next day for lunch leftovers as well.  If you are not a fan of greens, I would still put them in, when they are cooked I don’t think you can taste them.

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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I used to think of sweet potatoes only around Thanksgiving time, and ate them as a side dish with all the brown sugar and marshmallow toppings.  It’s becoming more common to find a restaurant that will serve a baked sweet potato as a side dish, but when it’s plain I have to slather on the butter and at least cinnamon to give it some more flavor.  This recipe, however, can serve as a main dish if you want it to be, and it is not lacking in the flavor department by any means.  We were skeptical that this would fill us up when I first made it, but were pleasantly surprised when we felt pretty stuffed after eating it by itself.  Not to mention, it has bacon crumbled on top, how can it not be good??  😉

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Sweet Potato and Kale Chicken Patties

I am not a huge fan of kale by itself.  If it is hidden within other ingredients or chopped up in small amounts in a salad, I can handle it (and its many health benefits).  When I found this recipe, I think I was most intrigued because it looked like something very different.  I remember thinking that it could be a total “flop” as well, not knowing at all what it would taste like.  I also remember thinking, “I’ll just fry them up in bacon grease, and if they’re that bad, maybe they will at least taste like bacon and we can still enjoy them.”  🙂

These do require some in-advance preparation time, which could be a good thing or a bad thing.  If you are a good planner, they could make a good meal that is easy to just throw in the skillet and cook maybe on a late night getting home from work.  If you forget to plan in advance, I’m not sure how it would work out if you don’t let the mixture of ingredients sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

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Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

I am a huge fan of barbecue sauce.  My absolute favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s Original sauce.  When I began making my dietary changes I finally paid attention to the ingredients in my favorite sauce, and it made me want to cry.  The first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, and it also contains corn syrup and sugar.  So, not only can I not have my milk, I can’t have the sauce that I dip almost any meat into.  For me it has been hard to find replacement BBQ sauces that are acceptable with my diet, especially at the local grocery store.  There are a few out there that I can tolerate, but I have come to accept the fact that they will never be Sweet Baby Ray’s.

My husband has gotten into smoking meat in the last year.  The first time we had chicken wings on the smoker I made a “homemade” wing sauce with Sweet Baby Ray’s, ranch dressing, Frank’s Red Hot, butter, parmesan cheese, and garlic.  They were amazing; however, I now don’t eat 3 of the 5 ingredients.  So, when my husband found this recipe I was anxious to try it.  Excited “anxious,” as well as a little scared “anxious.”

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When I was first making the sauce, I got a huge “whiff” of it and almost threw it away.  It smelled so strongly of vinegar, and the smell of any vinegar makes me instantly want to gag (as well as the taste).  I reluctantly poured it over the wings and we tried it anyways.  I didn’t make the same mistake twice, and the second time we made these I intentionally kept my face away in order to not smell it 😉  However, since we made them again you can guess that they turned out to be very good.

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Chicken “Chili”

I learned when I moved to SE Indiana that chili where I come from does not mean the same as chili where I live now.  Mom’s chili had ground beef, chili and kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, spices, beer, (and maybe a few other things I’m missing!) in it.  No noodles or macaroni.  You ate it like a soup from a bowl with a spoon.  When I tried “chili” from Skyline for the first time, it immediately seemed wrong to me.  One, it was served with pasta.  Yuck.  Two, it wasn’t “soupy” at all; you could eat it off of a fork (texture is a big thing to me, and this texture just wasn’t right!).  Three, it was almost as if they had to cover up the taste of their “chili” with the cheese, which is piled on like a mountain (when I was eating cheese this was not a bad thing!).  And last, I expect a little spice when I eat chili, but this was sweet and had a cinnamon or some other flavor I couldn’t identify to it (which was not enjoyable to me).

The point is not to bash Skyline chili, just to say that sometimes recipe names can be a little misleading, especially if you are expecting one thing before eating it and then taste a whole different thing.  I feel like lately since changing our diet I have been saying to my husband a lot, “Now this is called “something” (i.e. chocolate chip cookie), but don’t expect it to taste like a “real” chocolate chip cookie, or you might be disappointed.”  Your palate truly does have to get used to tasting food in a different way.  That is why the “chili” is in quotes for the recipe name.  I would call it more of a “chicken vegetable soup.”  Whatever you want to call it, it’s tasty in my opinion, and after all of the slicing and dicing, all you have to do is throw it in the crock pot.  Don’t tell me it’s too hard to eat well  😉

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