Chicken Barley Soup

It’s not very often a family of four can polish off a whole roast chicken in one sitting. What that means is there will be lot of leftovers.

chickensoupA cold chicken sandwich with a little mayo or Miracle Whip is pretty tasty, but if you’re up for something a little more substantial, soup is a great option.

Combining some of the leftover chicken with pearled barley and a pile of veggies is a hearty meal in itself as well as being quite nutritious.

Chicken Barley Soup
2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup pearled barley
4 carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups green beans
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup whole-kernel corn
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water or stock
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and cook on low to medium heat for about 2 hours or until vegetables are thoroughly cooked.

Pheasant Vegetable Soup

A good cook knows how to make use of what’s on hand. And if he or she has a fertile imagination, the possibilities are endless. That’s especially true when making soup.

soupphezThat’s the situation I found myself in after returning from a pheasant hunting trip a couple of days ago. No only did I have some nice pheasants — actually it was the meat from the backbones of about a dozen birds — the last of my garden beans, some tomatoes that had been ripening after they were picked about a week ago and some freshly dug carrots made my endeavor quite easy.

I decided on a little pearled barley as well as some egg noodles to thicken the soup. The result was a little more than 2 quarts of soup, which will make a nice lunch for three or four days.

Pheasant Vegetable Soup
2 cups cooked pheasant, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 cups green beans
½ cup pearled barley
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 tomatoes, skins removed or 1 14½-ounce can
4 cups chicken or pheasant broth
1 cup egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in stock pot and cook until vegetables are done
Note: I cooked the backbones in a pot of water, using the broth and the meat for the soup. You also could use chicken and canned broth.

Chicken and Green Bean Casserole

It’s always a challenge to come up with new recipes with the same old ingredients. But all it take is a little imagination. That’s what I did the other day, and the results were beyond my expectations.

pheasantMy plan was to come up with something that combined chicken (in this case pheasant), potatoes and green beans, since I had all three of those ingredients on hand. What I had in mind was some sort of casserole.

Of course, I needed a sauce, and the combination of mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup was just the ticket. The recipe that follows is what I came up with. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Chicken and Green Bean Casserole
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 14.5-ounce cans green beans
1 10.5-ounce can cream of chicken soup
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 to 10 small new potatoes, steamed
Red wine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly brown chicken breasts on both sides. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and set aside drippings.
Pour green beans (drained) into a 2-quart casserole dish. Place the chicken on top of the beans. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup along with the pan drippings. Place on top of the chicken and beans. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top.
Bake for 1 hour in preheated oven. Serve over steamed new potatoes.
Yield: Serves 4.

Pad Thai

There is no shortage of Oriental eateries these days, as people’s appetite for food from that part of the world seems to be growing as fast as the globe’s population.

stirfryAnd for that matter, a lot of cooks have taken up woks and added that genre of cooking to their culinary repertoire. In a lot of households, chopsticks are as common as knives and forks.

That’s the way it is in our house. We often have stir-fry, relying on fresh garden veggies during the summer and a greater selection of produce at supermarkets during the winter months.

One of our favorite dishes is Pad Thai, which until a year or so ago, we had to go out to one of our favorite restaurants to find. Now, Therese has a wonderful take on the entree, which I would put up against that of any eating establishment.

Pad Thai
4 to 6 ounces chicken, seafood or tofu
1 bell pepper, cut into slices
1 zucchini, sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 teaspoons of Maesri Pad Thai sauce (without peanuts)
1 heaping tablespoon of Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 package Thai brand stir-fry rice noodles
3 slices bacon, chopped
½ cup peanuts, chopped
Lime wedges
Precook small pieces of meat, chicken, tofu or seafood and set aside. Stir-fry the vegetables with bacon. Don’t overcook. (Don’t use broccoli or cauliflower.)
Add the Pad Thai, Hoisin and soy sauces along with the vinegar to the cooked vegetables. Add the cooked rice noodles to the pan and stir until they are mixed in and coated with sauce. Serve with chopped peanuts and lime wedges.



Pheasant Stew

There’s no doubt that stew is a cool-weather dish. And the changing of the seasons from early to late fall is the perfect time to fix this age-old comfort food.

stewJust recently back from a pheasant hunting trip, I dug the remainder of our home-grown carrots. A half-dozen of these, combined with some nicely cooked leftover pheasant and some other veggies including potatoes, celery, tomatoes and green beans, and I had the makings for a tasty stew, the recipe for which follows.

Pheasant Stew
2 cups cooked pheasant, cut into small pieces (can substitute chicken or turkey)
6 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 pint whole tomatoes
1 14½-ounce can green beans
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sage
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup red wine
1 bay leaf
2 potatoes, diced
Place all ingredients into stock pot and cook for 2 hours. Serve.
Note:To thicken, add some cornstarch dissolved in warm water.

Skillet Pork Chops with Green Beans and Red Potatoes

One-dish dinners are great for the busy cook. In fact, they’re often the only way to go for those households where both parents work. But you don’t have to fall into that category to enjoy the simplicity of such a meal.

b3c1cc2c-7175-442a-a02a-b317b93e046bThe following is a great option for everyone: stay-at-home moms; single moms or dads who work but also double as chauffeur for their on-the-go kids; retirees such as myself who keep busy with gardening, coaching and the like; and yes, those families where both parents work.

And as with other one-pot meals, cleanup is minimal.

Skillet Pork Chops with Green Beans and Red Potatoes
4 pork chops
1 10¾-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, diced
4 red potatoes, sliced
1 14½-ounce can green beans, liquid reserved
½ cup fat-free sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute chops with onion in cast-iron skillet in olive oil until browned. Arrange chops (with sauteed onions) in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer potatoes and beans on top of chops. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium bowl combine soup, sour creams, Worcestershire sauce and half of reserved liquid. Pour mixture over chops and potatoes. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and add remaining reserved liquid. Bake 30 minutes and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: Chop can be cut into smaller pieces before baking.

Garlic and Lemon Chicken with Green Beans and Red Potatoes

People who planted their gardens between rains in mid-May, probably have begun to see things popping out of the ground. That’s especially true in the case of beans and potatoes.

ed20b617f23931924c9ab358f03439c1While it will be a month or two before those two veggies will be ripe for harvest in area gardens, it’s not too early to think about some recipes that contain that dynamic duo.

I was contemplating that today after seeing a recipe on the social media site of one of my friends, Debra Vein of Grand Forks. The recipe was for lemon chicken with  — you guessed it — beans and potatoes, which I decided to give a try.

I made this choice after Therese had brought home a bag of nice green beans that were on sale at our neighborhood supermarket. Also featured at Hugo’s were some nice red potatoes.

Here the recipe, in which I substituted pheasant breasts for chicken.

Garlic and Lemon Chicken with Green Beans and Red Potatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken or pheasant breasts (about 3¼ pounds)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly.
Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.
Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.
Yield: Serves 4.