Moroccan Chicken

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I really love chicken legs. Maybe because they come with their own handle, or maybe because they’re also called “drumsticks”, which reminds me of those yummy ice cream treats. . . but I digress.

This delectable chicken is coated with olive oil, lemon juice, and lots of fragrant spices, and is allowed to marinate for at least 24-48 hours. Be patient; the tender flavorful chicken will be worth the wait.

Moroccan Chicken

I broiled my chicken, but this would also be great on the grill. The cooking time should be about the same.

3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 2 large lemons
4 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pounds (approx.) chicken legs

For the marinade, mix all of the ingredients, other than the chicken, together in a large zip top bag. Add the chicken to the bag, seal the bag, and then toss to coat the chicken. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 24-48 hours, turning the bag every 12 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, move an oven rack to the lowest position in the oven, and move another oven rack near the top of the oven, about 5 inches from the heating element. Preheat the broiler.

Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil, and place the slotted broiler pan on top. Remove the chicken from the bag and place it on the broiler pan, skin-side down. Discard the marinade.

Broil the chicken on the bottom rack of the oven for about 12-16 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown. Use tongs to turn the chicken skin-side up and continue broiling on the bottom rack for another 10-15 minutes, or until the meat registers 165 degrees. Move the chicken to the upper rack and broil until the chicken is well-browned, and the skin is crispy, about 1 minute.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Perfect Beef Chili

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Chili is a simple meal, consisting usually of meat, beans, tomatoes, and spices, but if you ask 10 different people to describe the perfect chili, you will likely get 10 different answers. I, for example, like to have veggies in my chili, but my husband considers this chili blasphemy. (That doesn’t stop him from devouring several bowls of my chili, however.) 

I realize that your idea of the ideal pot of chili may be different than mine, but for me, this is the perfect beef chili: thick, hearty, and tons of flavor (without being spicy). I keep the chili mild, for my kids, but I like to add a dash or two of hot sauce to my bowl, after serving. If you like your chili spicy, then you can add a couple of diced chili peppers, before simmering.

1 lb ground beef
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cubes beef bouillon
1/4 cup beer
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon hot New Mexico chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of water

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, and cook, using a spatula to break the beef up into small pieces. When cooked through, drain the excess grease and return to the stove.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot, stirring well to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 2 hours.

Serve hot, with a slice of cornbread.

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Chile-Lime Chicken

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This Chile-Lime Chicken is a wonderful way to kick-up your usual chicken dinner. The chicken is coated in several tasty spices, sautéed, and then finished with lime juice and a bit of butter (because butter makes everything better!). This recipe is quick and easy, so it’s great for a busy weeknight meal. 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 limes, juiced

Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl and set aside.

Pound the chicken breast with a meat mallet until flat and evenly thick (use a large zip-top bag to contain the mess). Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the spice mixture and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter and all of the olive oil to a large skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add 2 of the chicken breasts to the skillet (or as many can fit without touching) and sauté for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through (the cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken). Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and cook the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the lime juice to the skillet. Use a spatula to scrape up the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat in the sauce.

Serve hot with rice and your favorite veggie. Enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken Tandoori

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This grilled chicken is flavored with lovely aromatic spices and is super-tender, thanks to a yogurt-lime marinade. The combination of spices may seem a bit strange, but it gives the chicken a mild Indian flavor, without being spicy. The chicken is excellent served right off the grill, but would also be great served with your favorite Indian sauce and some naan bread for dipping. The cooking time is quick, but the chicken does need to marinate for several hours, so be sure to start this recipe in advance.

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Stir together the yogurt, spices, and lime juice in a small bowl. Add the mixture to a large zip-top bag or shallow baking dish. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels to remove most of the marinade.

When the grill is hot, put the chicken on the grill and cook for 2 minutes with the lid open. Close the lid and continue to grill for about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, close the lid and grill for another 6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with basmati rice and your favorite green veggie. Enjoy!

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