Food Blog Spotlight: THE WRIGHT RECIPES Braised Chicken

BraisedChicken[Jump right to the recipes: Green Chile Chicken Tacos & Chicken Salad ]

I feed my foodie obsession not only with my own kitchen and blog fun, but by enjoying the many excellent food blogs penned by others. As part of my goal to help anyone feel more comfortable in the kitchen, I think it’s important to point to other great foodie resources as I find them. To that end, I’m adding a new feature called “Food Blog Spotlight” where I’ll highlight a recipe (or a few) from a blog that I like and share my own experiences cooking them. My hope is that you’ll find a new blog or two along the way that you’ll enjoy reading as much as I do, and maybe pick up a new trick or two that you haven’t seen before.

For my first post in this series, I’d like to introduce you to THE WRIGHT RECIPES, a food blog by Caroline Wright, a former food editor for Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food who recently started a beautiful and very useful blog. Caroline’s blog is full of lovely imagery and truly useful information. One of my favorite features on her blog is Dinner: $20 in 20 Minutes or Less, a regular series where she offers fantastic recipes that go beyond everyday budget fare. I also truly enjoy her posts that cover multiple variations on a theme. Recently, her Chicken Three Ways post caught my eye. I’m always looking for ways to cook once and have the efforts serve multiple meals, and I’ve been trying to do more in my slow-cooker recently so I can stock my freezer with options for the nights I just don’t feel like cooking (much). This recipe fulfills both of these needs and the braised chicken is super-simple to boot.

I braised the chicken (mostly) according to the slow cooker recipe, but because I’m a tinkerer, I couldn’t make it exactly as written. Even though I mucked-about with the recipe, trust me, I know Caroline’s exact recipe will produce wonderful results. I only did two things differently:

  • I browned the chicken thighs in olive oil for about 3 minutes per side to create a nice brown crust before placing them in the slow cooker.
  • I deglazed the pan I browned the thighs in with about ¼ cup of white wine so I wouldn’t lose the fond creating by the browning. I brought the wine/fond mixture to a boil, stirred the chicken broth and cider into it, and then poured the whole concoction over the thighs in the slow cooker.

By browning the thighs I added a bit of a roasted flavor to the chicken, which fits my personal flavor preferences. It takes a bit more work but I think it’s worth it.

I love Caroline’s three quick recipes for using braised chicken, particularly because they show how versatile braised chicken can be. And the chicken freezes beautifully, so you can make a big batch to feed you a couple times in one week and a few more times in the next three months.

Braising on Foodista Learn more about braising

And, because I couldn’t further leave well enough alone, I came up with my own chicken tacos and chicken salad recipes to use with this wonderful braised chicken. Both were tasty and are a quick fix because the bulk of the work – braising the chicken – is already done.

GreenChickenTaco

Recipe: Green Chile Chicken Tacos

Details

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Weight Watchers™ Points: 5*

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 4oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • Zest of ½ a lime
  • ½ c. chicken broth or white wine
  • 3 cups braised chicken
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Chopped onion, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, and other taco “fixin’s” you like. [optional]

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until just shy of smoking.
  2. Add the onion and shallot. Sauté until lightly brown and beginning to soften.
  3. Add the chilies, cumin, and chili powder. Sauté for another minute.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth or white wine, scrapping up all of the brown bits (aka fond) from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Reduce the heat back to medium-high, add the chicken, and toss to combine.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until the chicken is heated through.
  8. Add cilantro and lime juice; stir to combine.
  9. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Serve in tortillas with your favorite fixin’s.

Recipe for Success

  • The shredded braised chicken really makes this recipe, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can also make this recipe with the shredded meat of a rotisserie chicken sold at many grocery stores.
  • I use canned green chilies because the Hatch brand I can buy locally in just about any grocery store is on par with chilies I would roast myself. However, if you can’t get good canned chilies in your area, you can roast a poblano pepper or two for this recipe.

*Points Details

  • This points value for this recipe only covers the chicken and the corn tortillas. Because the combination of toppings are almost endless, you’ll need to account for those separately based on their individual point values.

Recipe: Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

Details

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Weight Watchers™ Points: 5

Ingredients

  • 3 c. braised chicken
  • 1 ½ c. sliced celery
  • 1 c. halved red grapes
  • 1/3 c. chopped walnuts
  • 8 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the chicken, celery, grapes, and walnuts in a medium mixing bowl. Toss to mix well.
  2. Add the yogurt and crème fraiche; stir to combine.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve on lettuce leaves, in a pita, in a sandwich, or alone with some good crackers.

Recipe for Success

  • I use a combination of Greek yogurt and crème fraiche in this recipe instead of the traditional mayo because the tartness of these two ingredients offsets the sweetness of the grapes nicely, and because I like my chicken salad more tart than not. I also like the health benefits of plain Green yogurt. You can substitute mayonnaise for some or all of the yogurt if you’d like.
  • Start with 8 oz. of the yogurt and the crème fraiche and then add more yogurt as needed to reach the creaminess you like in a chicken salad. Non-fat Greek yogurt is very low point so another spoonful or so won’t alter the nutrtion values.
  • Celery, grapes, and walnuts are my go-to choices for a chicken salad, but they are just a starting point. Substitute your favorite nut for the walnuts or try mango or pineapple instead of the grapes.
  • Once again, if you don’t have braised chicken on hand, this salad works just as well with shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from a recent night’s dinner. In fact, if you plan to grill chicken breasts any time soon, make an extra one and use it for this salad the next day.

3 Comments

  1. I’m going to try this recipe out this weekend. I expect it to knock my socks off! Thanks for sharing this in such a great way.

  2. Hi! I found this blog in Foodista and followed it here. This is actually a cool Braised Chicken recipe. Thanks to Foodista widget I saw your blog, now I know what I’ll serve my husband this weekend. By the way you can add more Foodista widget to your future blogs so more people can view it. Cheers!

  3. Great stuff, thanks for the post. These are some very practical tips full of impressions.you seem to have a real passion for your subject which is really all the motivation you need.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. Delish Dinner in a Dash: Broccoli and Sausage Sauté : Fête & Feast - [...] food is a good thing. I’m a big fan of making extras of slow-cooking foods like braised chicken thighs ...
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