Posts tagged ‘chicken’

December 8, 2011

Honey-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks!

Quick poll: Did you grow up eating and loving drumsticks? Because I remember when drumsticks were the go-to meat for kids, the item on the dinner table that kids would wrestle each other for. Why? It’s the meaty part of the chicken leg with a built-in handle. Natural finger food. What could be better? But now, most children are rarely ever exposed to meat on the bone. The truth is, neither are many parents. Sadly, that means kids are missing out on delicious cuts of meat and knowing where their meat really comes from—yes, an animal (gasp!).

I loved grilled chicken—thigh, wing, drumstick, you name it. The main reason I love it is because I usually grill chicken with both the bone and skin attached. The result is moist, juicy chicken with a crispy skin. I know it’s not politically correct to eat chicken skin anymore, but, really, if you can’t eat it when you’re a kid when can you?

I feel lucky to live in San Diego, because I’m able to grill year-round. Last night, I decided to try a new drumstick recipe from It looked so easy, which marinating typically is, and only required seven ingredients: salt, pepper, five-spice powder, cilantro, sesame oil, garlic and honey. I marinated the drumsticks along with some boneless, skinless chicken thighs for a couple hours and then threw them on the grill and brushed them with honey. The recipe says to grill the chicken for 35 minutes, but for me it was much closer to 15 minutes. While they cooked, I steamed some rice and stir-fried some Chinese green beans.

What was the consensus? S said, “This chicken is so good,” and C said, “I love the chicken. Thank you, mommy!” Isn’t it so satisfying when you try a new recipe and every member of the family likes it?

S went to school this morning with a lunchbox filled with rice, a drumstick, carrots and some seaweed.

Honey-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks (from Food & Wine)


18 chicken drumsticks

2 1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

3 TB sesame oil

Vegetable oil, for the grill

6 TB honey, warmed


  1. Make 3 crosswise slashes down to the bone on the meaty part of each drumstick. Put the chicken in a large shallow baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix the salt, pepper, five-spice powder, garlic and cilantro. Add the sesame oil; stir into a paste. Rub the paste in the slashes in the chicken and spread any remaining paste over the skin. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Light a grill. Lightly oil the grate. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, for about 35 minutes, or until just cooked through. Brush the drumsticks with the honey and grill until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Serve hot.
November 14, 2011

Trader Joe’s Chicken Egg Rolls

It was one of those whirlwind weekends, where Monday showed up way too soon. I simply was not prepared. The refrigerator was already empty again, so I scrounged in the freezer to see if I had any frozen entrees I could send for lunch. Way in the back of the second shelf, I found some Trader Joe’s Chicken Egg Rolls I bought a few weeks ago. It was the first time I bought them, so I’ll report back tomorrow about whether or not S likes them.

I put two in the toaster oven for S and one for me—I wanted to try them, too. The egg rolls are filled with white chicken meat, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, bamboo shoots and carrots. I was afraid they might be a little bland and a little dry, so I served a little sweet chili dipping sauce on the side. Honestly, they’re not anything special. As I suspected, they were on the bland side. But since I’m not the one eating them for lunch, I’ll wait for S for the final verdict. However, if I’m going to eat little spring rolls, I’ll stick with Trader Joe’s Lemongrass Chicken Stix or its Coconut Chicken Stix. Both are more flavorful.

November 3, 2011

Chicken with Cashews

I’ve been making this cashew chicken stir-fry for almost 10 years, and it is always a crowd-pleaser. The kids fight over the cashews and baby corn, and my husband usually eats three servings of it. For two consecutive years, S asked for it for her birthday dinner. Which is saying a lot, since S is not a child who likes stir-fries, for the most part.

Although the recipe is pretty straightforward, there are a number of components to it. And truth be told, I often wish I had a sous chef by the time I’m done prepping this meal. But part of it is my fault, because I like to include a lot of different vegetables. You can pretty much use whatever is in season, from asparagus to zucchini to broccoli and red bell peppers and sugar snap peas. Some of my favorites include shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts and baby corn. You could also substitute shrimp, pork or tofu for the chicken.

I send leftovers to school over some steamed rice and packed in a Thermos.

Chicken with Cashews (adapted from A Spoonful of Ginger)

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)


2 TB soy sauce or tamari

1 1/2 TB rice wine or sake

1 tsp sesame oil

1 TB minced fresh ginger

1 tsp cornstarch


4 TB canola oil


Seasonings and Vegetables

1 1/2 TB minced scallions, white part only (optional)

2 TB minced garlic

1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts

1 7-oz. can chopped baby corn

1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper

1/2 c. sliced carrots

1/2 lb. sugar snap peas


Sauce (mixed together)

1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

5 TB soy sauce or tamari

4 1/2 TB rice wine or sake

2 1/2 TB sugar

2 tsp sesame oil

3 tsp Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce

3 TB cornstarch


1 1/4 c. dry-roasted cashews


1. Mix together the marinade ingredients, and toss the chicken cubes to coat them. Cover with plastic wrap, and let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat a wok or skillet, add 2 TB of oil, heat until very hot, and add the chicken. Cook over high heat until the chicken becomes opaque and are cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Wipe out the pan.

3. Reheat the pan, add the remaining 2 TB oil, heat, and add the seasonings. Stir-fry for 15 seconds, then add the vegetables and stir-fry over high heat for three minutes. Add the premixed sauce and cook, storing continuously, to prevent lumps, until thickened. Return the cooked chicken to the wok and add the cashews. Toss lightly to coat and heat through. Serve with steamed rice.

September 29, 2011

Summer Rolls

My inspiration for today’s lunch came from last night’s dinner: grilled five-spice chicken, courtesy of S loves the chicken, as does her brother, but I wanted to repurpose it for lunch today. And I wanted to hold on to summer, since the sun was shining so warmly. So, I decided to make some summer rolls, the rice paper rolls that are frequently served at Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. It’s the spring roll’s healthy little sister.

I usually have all the ingredients I need in my pantry, so all I had to do was grate a carrot, julienne a cucumber, and soak some bean thread noodles (aka cellophane noodles) in boiling water. Before I started to construct the roll, I soaked an 8-inch round spring roll wrapper (made out of rice flour) in warm water until it was pliable. Then I moved it to some paper towels, where I blotted it. I arranged some spring mix on the bottom half of the soaked rice paper roll, leaving a 1-inch border. I topped it with the cellophane noodles, which had been drained in a sieve, some grated carrots, a couple mint leaves, shredded chicken from the night before, and a couple Thai basil leaves. You roll it the same way you would roll a burrito, but you want to make sure it’s tight around the filling. Wrap it with a damp paper towel to keep the rice paper soft. To finish, I made a peanut sauce for dipping.

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