Grilled Turkey Thighs and Garden Potatoes

I was looking to grill chicken thighs, but while I was at the store, the clerk was marking down turkey thighs. I grabbed a couple of packages, froze two and cooked one, along with the remainder of the gold potatoes I dug from the garden. A simple and delicious dinner.

Grilled/Smoked Turkey Thighs

  • 2 lbs of turkey thighs
  • olive oil
  • sage
  • salt and pepper

Rub thighs with oil, sage, salt and pepper. Heat grill to 400 degrees and grill for 5 minutes, flip and grill an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue to cook until the internal temperature of 175 degrees. Depending on the thickness of the thigh it can take 15 – 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving, to bring temp up to 180 degrees.


Roasted Garden Potatoes

  • 4 medium gold potatoes (Yukon or other)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • salt and pepper
  • foil (or skillet)
  • parchment paper

Scrub potatoes and cut into large cubes. Toss potatoes and onions with oil, butter, salt and pepper.

Make a pan with the foil and place a piece of parchment on the bottom. Add the potatoes and onions, don’t seal.

I grilled along with the thighs above, on the top shelf. They finished up at the same time as the thighs. Crispy and browned on the outside.


Friday Recipe Exchange: Oven Baked Chicken

Chicken à la noir.

Chicken à la noir.

I thought we’d covered oven baked chicken before, but it turns out we have not. Since this is one of my favorite ways to make chicken, I was surprised. So that’s tonight’s theme. There are many different ways to go about making crispy baked chicken, I like Italian bread crumbs and panko for mine. Sometimes I soak the chicken in buttermilk for an hour and use that instead of egg to get the breadcrumbs to adhere. But if I’m in a hurry, it’s just the traditional recipe that I’ve posted below. And by traditional, I mean the one I grew up with, although my mom used rice crispies and cut up chicken pieces.

To change things up, you can add ingredients, like parmesan cheese, sesame seeds (there’s a recipe for that below), corn flakes or rice crispies. I saw a very interesting recipe recently that used toasted pecans, breadcrumbs and panko as the coating. I’m going to recipe test that one when I have a chance.

If you want something a little different, one of my favorites is Crispy Potato Chicken (recipe here).

Craving a Crispy and Spicy Chicken Sandwich?  Here’s a recipe that comes close to a famous fast food joint.

And for something completely different, how about Baked Chicken with Peaches? (recipe here)

If you’re looking to barbecue chicken that’s not all scorched on the outside and raw inside, either on the grill or in the oven, I have some simple tips here.

Grilled, baked, fried or barbecued, what’s your favorite style of chicken? Do you have one of those favorite childhood foods you just have to make once a week or so? Share some recipes in the comments.

On to tonight’s two featured recipes:

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 bonelss chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water**
  • salt & pepper to taste (at least 1/8 tsp each)

large mouth bowl, large plate and baking sheet lined with foil or parchment

Wash and pat chicken dry. In a large bowl, add water, eggs, oil, salt and pepper and beat well. Mix together and spread Italian breadcrumbs and panko evenly on large plate. Take chicken pieces one at a time and dip in egg wash, coating completely, dredge  in bread crumbs until lightly coated on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake  at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with foil covering the chicken, uncover and cook additional 15 minutes.

If you want to punch up the coating, you can add additional dry herbs to the breadcrumb mixture, I usually add some extra garlic and onion powder, a touch of cayenne, a bit of dried basil and rosemary.

This next recipe is great when the kids want chicken fingers, or it can be used with breasts and thighs as well, but you’ll need to increase the portions of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds to equal 3 cups.

Sesame Chicken Fingers

  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp limejuice
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment or foil

2 bowls and 1 plate

Mix mustard, honey & limejuice in bowl, set aside. On plate mix salt, pepper, breadcrumbs & sesame seeds. In second bowl, add egg, water & oil. Dip chicken in egg wash then dredge in breadcrumbs. Line on baking sheet, bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, should be crispy on all sides. Serve with mustard dipping sauce, waffle fries and a fresh vegetable tray for a quick and easy dinner.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Grilled Chicken

Photo by JeffreyW

I had a request to do some grilling and picnic recipes for the next few weeks (thanks Yutsano). We’ll traverse the table: meats, vegetables, side dishes and desserts. By July 4th we should be covered.

Tonight we’ll start with grilling chicken. I have a stockpile of marinade and grilling recipes for chicken breasts. I may be in the minority, but when it comes to many chicken dishes, including bbq and fried chicken, I prefer thighs. They have more flavor and are moister. The introduction of boneless thighs was like a culinary miracle as far as I was concerned.

When I am using marinades, though, I actually prefer boneless breasts. Similar to pork loin, they take on whatever flavors are introduced and cook up quickly. When using a marinade, I think their blandness proves more of an asset than a deficit; they are kind of like a blank canvas for introducing flavors.

And for busy weeknights, nothing is quicker and easier than pulling marinated chicken breasts out of the refrigerator, doing a quick stir-fry or grilling them and serving with rice and a salad. I have three recipes to get us started:

Cranberry Grilled Chicken (recipe here) is one of my favorites and anyone who has read this blog, knows I LOVE cranberries.

And Sunrise Chicken (recipe here) is a great citrus based marinade.

Tonight’s feature recipe is a marinade that is meant for grilling. Grilling gives the marinated breasts a nice crust. It can also be used on pork loin or boneless pork chops, though I prefer apple cider or cranberry juice to the grape juice in that case.

So what do you look forward to the most at a picnic? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts

  • 4 chicken boneless breasts
  • ½ cup grape or cranberry juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup wine
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

zip lock bag or sealed container

Add all ingredients into zip lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight. Grill 15 minutes each side, 165 degrees internal temp.

When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear on each side (about 5 minutes each side), cook 5 additional minutes for each side, baste with marinade if desired, then move away from high heat for rest of the cooking time. The thickness of the chicken breasts makes a difference here, so adjust accordingly.

You’ re on your own tonight. I’ve been asked to film a drumming on Sunday and tonight is going to be a trial run. Should be fun.

What’s for Dinner? Teriyaki-Ponzu Barbecue Chicken

I had a hankering for my mom’s Soy Sauce Barbecue Chicken, but since I didn’t plan ahead and wasn’t really prepared to make the original recipe, I decided to see if I could use what I had on hand and make something just as tasty.  I didn’t have soy sauce, but did have teriyaki and ponzu sauce on hand, so those became the base of the marinade.  I had boneless thighs and only an afternoon to marinate.  Next they were barbecued on grill, not baked in the oven.  I think overall they turned out good – moist, tangy and sweet.  I served it with steamed brown rice and watermelon.

Teriyaki Ponzu  Barbecue Chicken 

  • 10-12 boneless chicken thighs


  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ponzu sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 heaping tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp or more of crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp or more of ground ginger

Mix marinade ingredients well so sugar dissolves. Put chicken and marinade in sealed container and marinate for 1 hour. Remove chicken from marinade and place on a foil.  Wrap up tight and place on a grill (depending on your grill – 350 degrees or not directly over the coals).  Turn at the 15 minute mark.  After an additional 15 minutes, remove from foil and place directly on the grill, still not directly over coals, basting well every 5 minutes until the sauce is sticky and the chicken cooked through (about another 15 minutes).

Mystery Meals

I shun plastic whenever possible.  So my meats, poultry and fish are wrapped in foil in the freezer.  I think it keeps them better than plastic bags, less freezer burn, etc.  Now this poses a problem, mainly identification.  There are many ways to solve this – freezer pens, freezer tape, segregation.  The latter is what I’ve always done.  I just have everything separated and I can reach in and grab a wrapped package and know if it’s chicken breasts or ribeye.

Or at least I could.  Something happened this week.  I’m blaming it on a capricious freezer fairy.  But I have reached in, grabbed a foil wrapped package, put it in the refrigerator to thaw, unwrapped it and WTF?!   Chicken thighs turned out to be chicken breasts, not that big of a deal.  Hamburger turned out to be small piece of sirloin.  A little more challenging.

Tonight I thought for sure I had it right.  Boneless chicken thighs.  I was going to slice them up, stir fry them with some green onions, garlic and Ponzu sauce and serve with brown rice.  Yummy and easy.

My chicken thighs?  London broil.  Luckily it was still slightly frozen, so I could slice it thin without too much effort and then I prepared it just as I would have the thighs.  Whole different flavor, but what the heck, I’m always up for a little adventure in cooking.

Tomorrow?  I’m still searching for those boneless chicken thighs.  This time I”m sure I have it right.  BBQ and garlic mash potatoes.  Or not.

BTW, sliced up the tomato today and it was awesome.  Can’t wait for the real harvest.

Chicken and Dumplings

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts*
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs*
  • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped, w/leaves
  • 8 oz carrots, sliced (I used frozen)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 32 oz chicken broth or water
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ cup milk

dutch oven or large saucepan

Cut chicken into large pieces add all ingredients (except flour & cream), to saucepan bring to a boil, reduce to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Stir flour into cream, add to saucepan with chicken, bring to low boil, stirring constantly. Add dumplings.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix together of dry ingredients, add milk and oil, stir just to moisten. Drop by spoonful into boiling chicken mixture (do this lightly, so they sit on top). Cover and simmer on med-low for 12-15 minutes. Remove dumplings with slotted spoon. Serve immediately.

*if you use bone-in, skin-on chicken and then remove the skin and bones, your dish will have more flavor. But in the interest of time, I’ve suggested boneless.

Men Who Cook: Michael Nightingale

Time for the next installment.  This is from Michael Nightingale, who some of you may know as Tattoosydney.  Here is Michael’s story and his recipe for Chicken with Peas and Buttered Rice.   It sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it.

I think my favorite part of this series, looking over the recipes I’ve received, is the stories that go with them and the style everyone has taken in writing the recipes themselves.  I’m enjoying it all and if you’re interested, I’d love to hear your story and recipe.  Now here’s Michael:

My name is Michael, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I’m a self taught cook. I lived in a number of share households while at university, and quickly realised that being able to churn out a good meal made me popular with other flatmates. Not only that, it was a barter-able resource. Cooking a meal could be swapped for less pleasant tasks, like cleaning the bathroom. Once I had decided I wanted to learn to cook, I devoured cookbooks, cooking whenever I could and following recipes carefully to learn techniques. Slowly, I moved to using recipes as a guide and then often merely as inspiration, rather than having to follow them slavishly.

I love the challenge of creating, and the joy of taking something special out of the oven, and then eating it. Perhaps most of all, I like that so many people think that cooking is hard, so if you can produce something tasty and good, no matter how simple it really was to make, half the world will think you are a cooking genius.

At the moment, I am obsessed with Portuguese food. We have visited Portugal three times. They are as obsessed with food, wine and coffee as I am. Their cuisine is, in many ways, quite simple. The same ingredients are used again and again – chicken, rice, beef, dried cod, sausage, cabbage, bay leaves, chilli – but yet every dish is subtly, differently flavoursome. There’s often little garnishing or fiddling – often a slice of orange on the side of the plate is all you get for a vegetable – and yet what is on the plate is so good you want seconds or thirds.

This dish is wonderful, slow cooked, easy to make, comfort food. For the full Portuguese experience, serve a couvert to start – a special cheese, homemade sardine paste or some grilled chouriço, with nice bread. The Portuguese always begin the meal with something on the table to whet the appetite (Hint for tourists: if you eat it, you have to pay for it). Serve the chicken with a big red wine, and finish off dinner with fresh fruit or a passionfruit creme caramel.

Chicken with Peas and Buttered Rice

(Serves 4 to 6)

For the chicken:

  • 1 big splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion, 1 stick of celery and 1 large carrot – all diced finely
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sliced chouriço or other spicy sausage
  • 6 or 8 chicken thighs – preferably with the skin on. Keep the chicken pieces whole, because they will break up a bit during cooking.
  • 1 cup of white (or red) wine
  • 1 tin of tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes – chopped
  • 3 cups of peas
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley
  • Piri piri oil (optional)

For the rice:

  • About half a cup of melted butter
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of medium grain rice
  • 3 cups of water or (preferably) vegetable stock
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped
  • A few sprinkles of paprika

Preheat your oven to about 160°C/320°F.

Put the olive oil in a big heavy based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Your pan will need to hold all of the ingredients except the peas. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and the bay leaves, and fry until the onion becomes a golden colour. Add the chouriço and continue frying until the sausage starts to brown a little at the edges.

Throw in the whole chicken thighs. Stir it all around, and then push the chicken pieces down, moving the vegetable mix out of the way, so the chicken is on the bottom of the pan, and will go a nice brown colour. Stir everything around every now and then, pushing the chicken back down each time. Fry until the chicken is browned all over, but not cooked all the way through.

Pour in the wine and the tomatoes and let it all bubble away for a minute or so. Transfer it all into a casserole dish, put the lid on, and put it in the oven for at least an hour.

Go and have a drink.

About half an hour later, check the chicken. If it’s reduced a lot, add another half a glass of wine. Then, you can start preparing the rice. Put the butter and the olive oil in a saucepan on a high heat, add the onion and the bay leaves and fry until the onion goes translucent. Throw in the rice, the garlic and the paprika and stir it all around for one or two minutes, so the rice smells toasty and is coated in the butter. Put in the water or stock and bring it to the boil, then turn down the flame as low as it will go, put on the lid and leave it for about fifteen minutes. You want to cook this a little longer than you would normally cook rice, so it is a little soft and clings together. Take off the heat, stir around, put a tea towel over the top, put the lid back on and let it stand somewhere until you are ready to serve.

Pour the peas and the parsley into the casserole dish, stir it all around, and put back in the oven for ten minutes before serving.

Serve the chicken and the rice in a big bowl, drizzled with a little piri piri oil and some more fresh parsley if you would like.

Bom proveito!