Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Chicken Skewers

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (9) WM

My car needed new front brakes so I took it to the mechanic today, and brought my bike to ride the 6 miles home.  The guy at the front desk asked if I needed a ride, I said ‘no, I’m going to ride my bike’ – he replied with, ‘next time you can use one of ours!’.  How very cool (and very Boulder) that my mechanic has several bikes that their customers can use!!

Onto this recipe.  As I’ve been saying in post after post, it’s summer so I have been grilling & using summer fruits and veggies – this recipe is no exception.  The balsamic vinegar & honey added a nice light touch of flavor to the chicken, and the quinoa & strawberry, goat cheese and nut salad were both a perfect compliment.

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (4) WM

serves 4

time: about 1 hour (marinade the night before)

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

2.5 good sized boneless & skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients:
strawberries
spinach
goat cheese
mixed seasoned/sugared nuts
I also used a cup of dried quinoa, cook according to package directions.

Directions:

  1. The night before.  Cut off any extra fat from the chicken breasts and then cut into 1 inch chunks and place in a gallon ziplock bag.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour into the gallon bag with the chicken.  Mush around and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The day of.  Soak 3-4 wooden skewers in a shallow dish filled with water while getting the grill, quinoa and salad ready.
  4. Right before the grill is ready, thread the chicken pieces onto the water-soaked wooden skewers.
  5. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook until no longer pink, turning over so all sides get charred.
  6. Wash and slice a good few handfuls of ripe strawberries, place on top of washed spinach.  Crumble goat cheese and throw a handful of mixed seasoned/sugared nuts on top
  7. Eat with your favorite beer, because it’ll make it that much better!

 

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (18) WM

Cilantro Ginger Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower “Rice”

Asian chicken thighs & cul (26) WM

Chicken can be boring, unless you get creative with the marinade, and this is one recipe that makes chicken pretty good!  As always it’s best to let the chicken sit in the marinade for a few hours and overnight if you can – that way the flavors of the marinade get soaked up.  My friend made me cauliflower “fried rice” at her house and I thought it would be good with this chicken and a side salad, it was!  If you are following the Paleo diet you can eat this “rice”.

Serves: 4

Chicken Marinade

  • chicken thighs, about 2 a piece
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, cut into fourths
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper to taste

1) Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and place in a gallon ziplock bag with the chicken thighs.  Mush the marinade around the chicken so that it is coated well.  Refrigerate for at least a few hours, and overnight if you can.

2. Heat up your BBQ coals, once they are ready pull out the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill.  Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink inside.  While the chicken is cooking make the cauliflower “fried rice” (recipe below) and a salad.

 

Asian chicken thighs & cul (5) WM

Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • coconut oil

1) Cut up the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, place in a microwave safe dish, add a tad bit of water and cover.  Microwave until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.

2) Once the cauliflower is tender mash with a potato masher (you want the pieces to resemble rice, so don’t go overboard with mashing), then place in a colander to drain excess water.

3) Heat up your skillet and add a scoop of coconut oil, add the cauliflower “rice”, crushed garlic, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the cauliflower has browned all over.

 

Asian chicken thighs & cul 15 WM Asian chicken thighs & cul (2) WM

Asian Fusion Tacos with Spicy Slaw & Queso Fresco

Asian Fusion Tacos (37) WM

 

Serves 4

Time: Forever, seriously.  About 1.5 hours. Why it took so long I have no idea.

 

These tacos were pure yumsy.  Though they took forever.  I thought this would be a quick meal, so the next time around I’ll be modifying a few things to make it a quicker dinner and a healthier dinner.  Believe me, there will be a next time.

Asian Fusion Tacos (34) WM

Ingredients:

Chicken Marinade
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2″ piece ginger, finely minced
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon honey
1 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
coconut oil
Asian Fusion Tacos (31) WM
Sweet & Spicy Slaw
1 bag cabbage & kale slaw mix
1/8 bag shredded carrots
2 red chiles, seeded and  sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 ” piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
black pepper, to taste
Toppings
warmed corn or flour tortillas or hard shell tacos
queso fresco cheese, crumbled

handful of chow mein noodles (or the entire container or 4 if you love them as much as I do!)

 

Directions:

Chicken.

1) Stir the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl with the chicken, then set aside while you make the sweet & spicy slaw (below).

2) Whisk the flour, water & cornstarch together until there are no lumps.

3) Heat a few inches of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet until it’s sizzling hot.

4) Add chicken chunks to the flour/cornstarch/water mixture and coat well.  Cook the chicken until golden and cooked through and then place on paper towels to remove excess oil.  Add the chicken to the bowl with the sauce and toss well.

Slaw.

1) Cut and stir all of the ingredients for the slaw together in a bowl, keep refrigerated until read to serve.

Put it together.

1) Heat the tortillas up until warm.

2) Place the chicken on each tortilla, top with some of the slaw, queso fresco, and chow mein noodles.  Drizzle with the extra marinade.

Asian Fusion Tacos (24) WM

Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers

Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (22) WM

My husband and I really, really, really liked this dish!  We made it a second time with a pork tenderloin for a friend that can’t eat chicken and it’s equally as yummy!  The lemon herb vinaigrette is a little over kill / way too much oil for this dish so we skipped it the second time – I would highly recommend doing that.  The asparagus  that we get here in Colorado are way too skinny to put on the wood kabob stick, so I simply put them in the bag of marinade after I took the chicken / pork out of the bag, rolled the asparagus around a bit to coat them and then grilled them separately.

Serves: 4

Time: Refrigerate overnight, then 1 hour, approximately

Moroccan Chicken
1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (14) WM Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (5) WM

Lemon Herb vinaigrette

2 small to medium lemons, grated + juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 a lime, juiced

 

Minted Goat Cheese Yogurt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 ounces soft goat cheese
Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (47) WM
Kabob Veggies
1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 bunch asparagus
 
Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (17) WM
1) Add the ingredients for the chicken marinade to a food processor and blend until smooth, add to a gallon sized zip-lock bag with the chicken pieces and massage the marinade over the chicken.  Refrigerate overnight.
2) The day of:  Mix all of the ingredients of the minted goat cheese yogurt together, cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
3) Pour the lemon juice and add the lemon zest into a small sauce pan over low heat; bring to a simmer and simmer for about 1 minute or until the zest absorbs the juice.  You do not want the zest burn and get stuck to the pan.  Add this mixture to the olive oil, parsley, salt, honey and lime juice. Whisk to combine and set aside.
4) Get the coals of your BBQ ready. Soak the wood kabob skewers for about 5 minutes.
5) Thread the chicken and artichoke hearts on the wood kabob artichoke .  Place the asparagus in the bag of marinade and move around to coat.  Place the chicken/artichoke kabob artichoke plus asparagus on the grill and grill until the chicken is cooked through and the asparagus are tender but aren’t overcooked.
6) Serve the chicken with the the lemon herb vinaigrette, the minted goat cheese yogurt and couscous on the side.

 

Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (25) WM Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (36) WM

 

Wild rice, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Cashew Arugula Salad

wild rice salad (83) WM

I love adding wild rice to my salads, I am now a believer in adding sweet potatoes to my salads too!  Did you know that wild rice isn’t actually rice?  It is actually four species of grasses forming the genus zizania and the grain which can be harvested from them.  

 

Chicken Marinade:

3-4 chicken breasts, sliced into fourths

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

pinch of salt

wild rice salad (43) WM

Salad Ingredients:

cooked wild rice (we used 2 cups uncooked, this was too much)

1 sweet potato

Arugula

cashew pieces

dried cranberries

olive oil

salt

pepper

 

Dressing:

2 lemons, squeezed

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

1) Combine the ingredients for the marinade (minus the chicken) and boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.  Cool for about 10 minutes and pour over the chicken pieces.  Marinade for at least 1 hour (which should be the amount of time it takes to prepare the rest of the meal) or overnight.

2) Cook the wild rice.

3) Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/4″ squares.  Place into a baking dish drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper, stir to coat.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes to make sure the sweet potatoes do not burn.  Once they are cooked through remove from the oven and set aside.

4) Combine all ingredients for the dressing and place in an airtight container so you can shake and combine the ingredients more easily.

5) Cook the chicken pieces in a medium-high heat skillet pouring in the marinade.

6) Once the rice/chicken are cooked, place a handful of arugula on each plate, place a scoop of rice on top of that, add a few pieces of chicken, and top with the sweet potato pieces, cashew pieces, dried cranberries and sprinkle with the lemon honey dressing.

wild rice salad (80) WM

Chicken with Honey Chipotle Sauce

Chicken with Honey Chipotle Sauce (2) WM

Chicken with Honey Chipotle Sauce (1) WM

serves 4

Honey Chipotle Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil (a little under 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup peanut oil

one can of chipotles in adobo sauce, chop chipotle chiles (less than a whole can if you don’t want a lot of spice)

3-4 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1 tablespoon regular yellow mustard

salt & pepper

Other Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, cut into thick strips

1 1/2 – 2 cups uncooked quinoa, with enough water to cook per direction

1 avocado, sliced

cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

cilantro, chopped finely

2 limes

green onions, sliced

cranberries

Chicken with Honey Chipotle Sauce (7) WM

Directions:

1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl, add the sliced chicken stir and cover and let sit for at least 2 hours.

2. Cook the quinoa per the package directions.

3. Fork the chicken into a hot skillet and cook (or alternatively on a grill), pour the marinade into a saucepan and heat/bring to a soft boil.

4. Slice all of the veggies.

5. Once the quinoa and chicken are cooked, spoon the quinoa onto each dish, place the chicken on top of the quinoa, spoon some of the heated marinade of the chicken and sprinkle with the vegetables.  Enjoy!

Chicken with Honey Chipotle Sauce (6) WM