Tag Archives: chicken

The Best Chicken Soup

This chicken soup that (I hope) you are about to make is the BEST. It is so flavorful and does the body and soul good. And by the time you read this, we’ll be feeling like winter again AND maybe it’ll be close to the weekend so it gives you time to buy all the ingredients because…well…there is something about a hot bowl of soup on Sunday. I actually used up a lot of ingredients hanging out in the fridge to make this baby. I don’t know about you, but I never really feel like cooking on Sunday, but I do it. This soup simmering on the stove for all of 45 minutes makes it okay. And full disclosure…this recipe is inspired from Ambitious Kitchen’s Best Chicken Soup You’ll Ever Eat. It actually pops up FIRST when you type in the words “best chicken soup.” Everything I’ve ever made by Monique has been delightful so TRUST. I made a couple of modifications to add a bright lemony flavor to it but the OG stands on its own just splendidly.

Here’s how you make it.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil. I actually next leveled and used duck fat (yum)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1/2 sweet or yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1-2 celery stalks plus leaves, chopped (we chop very finely because my people don’t want to crunch it)
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 TBS fresh grated ginger plus it’s juices
  • 1TBS fresh grated turmeric (you can use 1 teaspoon ground turmeric). You want the color!
  • Juice of one lemon plus its zest (zest it first)
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 pound (or about 4) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme, leaves only OR you can use a mix of dried herbs as I did here (1/2 tsp. of what you love, taste and adjust at the end)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pearl or Israeli couscous, or tiny pasta like pastina
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas to be tossed in at the end
  • 1 parmesan rind (scrape the stamp off with a knife)

In a large pot, get the olive oil or fat shimmering. Add the onions and the celery and saute about 3 minutes until softened. Add carrots and garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the ginger and turmeric, lemon zest and lemon juice, parm rind, and bay leaf. Add the chicken thighs to bottom of the pan and pour the broth over it all. The thighs should be submerged. Add the herbs and salt and pepper and bring to a good simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the thighs are tender.

Remove the thighs from the broth and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back to the pot then add the couscous. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until the couscous or pasta is done. Add the frozen peas and cook until heated through. Taste for seasoning, Top with fresh herbs.
First person to find the parm rind can eat it. It’s delicious.

NOTE:
You may want to add more broth depending on how “soupy” you like your soup. If you don’t have fresh herbs, use dried (which I did a mixture of fresh and dried on this day). You could also add beans instead of couscous, lentils, gnocchi, or quinoa. This will affect your cooking time, however. As a matter of fact, you can see on my instagram reel and maybe can tell in the photos that I used a Harvest Grain blend that I love from Trader Joe’s since there’s pearl couscous in this blend. There’s also quinoa, lentils, orzo. You might call this soup day a fridge purge day (it was).

I hope you make this Chicken Soup. It really is for the soul and when you do, tag me or let me know and let Ambitious Kitchen know too…because she really gets the credit here.

A Review of Winston-Salem’s Newest Chicken Sandwiches

When last we visited the fair Camel City, we decided to check out two very different chicken sammies. One is huge and packs some heat and the other is also a good size, yet more traditional. Let’s take a stroll to 5th Street downtown…

Top: Timmy’s Hot Chicken’s The Tim Bottom: Skrimp Shack Chicken Samwich

Timmy’s Hot Chicken 237 W. Fifth Street

We flew in on Timmy’s Hot Chicken’s second day open. Not something I usually do, but it’s not Tim’s first rodeo. We ordered The Tim ($8) which is as “basic” as it gets: chicken, pickles and comeback sauce. Although I like spicy food, I ordered it medium because I was scared 🙂 …It’s GIANT with two good-sized perfectly crispy thighs that are super juicy on the inside, a light schmear of comeback sauce and a few pickles. Pic of size does not do it justice. I removed one of the thighs and still wasn’t able to finish the entire sandwich. The goal was to share it anyway, but my entire table wanted their own sandwich (only my husband could finish his). With medium. it still had a kick but wasn’t uncomfortable. I’d be willing to share the Hot with mr. foodie one day. You can get as many toppings as you want, all the way up to The Timothy ($10) which is basically loaded with slaw, bacon, cheese and sauce. Not into bread? You can also order chicken tenders, thighs or beyond chicken if you prefer a protein to go with a side.  A plethora of sides are available at Timmy’s and we especially enjoyed the mac & cheese. The slaw is a nice accompaniment to the rich chicken. We didn’t try the collard greens, but if you do, let us know what you think! All in all, the sandwich is a good value for the size. Sides are not included in the sandwich price.

I highly recommend the bread pudding as a dessert. It wasn’t full of layers like you are used to as it was really like pudding, but you could really taste the banana and it had a nice depth of flavor.

Oh and if you love a challenge and are so inclined, Timmy’s invites you to try the Hellfire wings and eat them in 10 minutes or less and you get your name on a plate! Note: Tim told me that hellfire is ridiculously spicy.

Across town at the Skrimp Shack (1103 Silas Creek Parkway)…we were invited to pop in and try their new Chicken Thigh Samwich which features their crispy signature breading, slaw, pickles and their own “sweet sauce” that was created just for the sandwich. The sauce will remind you of a comeback sauce or a bit like a white barbecue too, albeit less spicy than Timmy’s. 

Skrimp’s chicken samwich isn’t as huge as Timmy’s, which means you’ll likely be able to finish if you didn’t just eat half of The Tim, lol. This is the sandwich you’ll want when you want to eat local, fast, inexpensive and you want your chicken sandwich traditional. We don’t always need bells and whistles, y’all, right? The sandwich comes with slaw and feel free to get yours the way it comes, but I like to taste the main event in a sandwich so I ordered my slaw on the side. Skrimp Shack’s slaw is really good, I just ususally prefer slaw not on my sandwich. If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich or even chicken at Skrimp Shack, by all means order some freshly fried oysters, shrimp or fish as they never disappoint. They even have terrific fish tacos. Sides are too many to mention but we do love Skrimp Shack’s mac & cheese.

Chicken Thigh Samwich, slaw on the side and an order of mac & cheese

Fried Oysters…just a few to sample

Again, this is not a best or better review…simply a tell-all about chicken sandwiches, but if you love you some banana pudding, Skrimp Shack has it too and it’s a big one …big enough to share and it has the layers like you may know and love. It has more of a vanilla pudding base with bananas layered in. Super old school and yummy.

Oh and fun fact! If you can’t eat your whole sandwich and you happen to have an air fryer, these chicken thighs reheat incredibly well. I literally had 2 whole chicken thighs and 2 half sandwiches to eat when we got home and they made some delicious leftovers.

With that foodies, I send you out into the world to eat local and try some locally-owned chicken sandwiches. Where do you find your favorite non-chain chicken sandwiches? Let us know below or comment on our instagram post!

Chicken Schnitzel w/ Sweet Mustard Sauce

We’re really enjoying playing around with NC’s Lusty Monk Mustard. Keeping following along as we get creative with this delicious local condiment that can be used in so many ways. Head over to Instagram to enter a giveaway for a trio of their flavors, Original Sin, Sweet Temptation, and Burn in Hell.

I just love a crispy schnitzel. Be it chicken, veal or pork, if it’s fried perfectly crispy, I’m here for it. This schnitzel pairs perfectly with the creamy, slightly sweet and spicy mustard sauce and it’s like grown up chicken tendies wtih honey mustard dipping sauce and that my friends, is another blog post that is a throwback to a childhood favorite. In case you missed it, we have Corn Dog Minis here.
Note: I bread my schnitzel or fried cutlets a bit differently. Lately, I do not dredge in flour. It gets perfectly crispy without the flour and the crispy coating actually sticks better to the chicken if you don’t do it. But if you’re a diehard believer in the flouring first, by all means, you do you.

Ingredients:

4 chicken cutlets, about 1/3 inch thick (or as many as you need). I took chicken breasts and sliced it through the middle horizontally along its equator.
1 egg
1 cup Italian or seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Italian seasoning, garlic, smoked paprika or favorite seasoning combo
Salt/pepper
2 tbs Lusty Monk Sweet Temptation Honey Mustard
1 clove grated garlic
1/4 -1/2 cup cream
1/4-1/2 cup broth
Brandy, sherry or white wine (optional)
Micro greens, parsley or chives for garnish

Instructions:
To prep the chicken, cut the chicken breasts into cutlets. You can even pound them with a mallet a bit to get them to about 1/3 inch thick. Whisk an egg in a shallow dish and place the breadcrumbs in two separate plates. Season the chicken with salt & pepper then dredge both sides in egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs then panko.

Heat a skillet with a good bit of olive oil. You’ll want enough oil for the chicken to sit in the oil and not be totally covered, but nearly. Once the oil shimmers, carefully place the chicken in the skillet, flipping once the bottom side is golden brown. Once completely golden on both sides, set aside on paper towel or wire rack and give it a sprinkle of salt.

For the sauce:
You can prepare the sauce before and keep warm or if you feel good about your multitasking skills while the chicken cooks, you can quickly bring it together. Add a touch of oil to a skillet, add garlic and stir a few minutes until fragrant but not browning. Next, add the mustard. Add your 1/4 cup brandy or wine, about half the broth and allow to cook down. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer until thickened. Do not let it boil too hard as I find that it can make a grainy mustard bitter. Loosen, if necessary, with additional broth.


To serve, plate the chicken and top with sauce. Garnish with micro greens, parsley or fresh chives. Serve with a beautiful veggie, spaetzle or mashed potatoes.


Staying at home…so enjoy Thai Chicken w/Sweet Potatoes & Peppers

It’s been a minute since I’ve been on, foodies.  There have been many things going on. A quick catch-up on all that, outside of the obvious of course.

Right around the time the CoVid-19 pandemic got super serious around here and they started shutting everything down, schools, restaurants, facilities,  etc, my father, who has battled Parkinson’s Disease for years, took a turn for the worse and he passed away on March. 19. This was made exponentially more difficult because his skilled care center was on lockdown and only end of life visits allowed.  On top of that, my mom, who had been in the hospital with a non-Covid illness (at least we think so as she tested negative) was just released from the hospital and moving into rehab and then back to HER assisted living facility, which was ALSO on lockdown. So we could visit him and so could she, but she has not been able to receive visitors at all in the past 2 weeks while she grieves. We had to settle for a private graveside service with no hugs, which was very difficult. But we shall celebrate my Daddy’s life in a few weeks, months, whenever it is safe to do so.

So…here we are.
I hope you are all doing well. After a hectic week and a half going back and forth to the Triad, I actually am so grateful for being at home with my family and cooking and only going out for essentials. As much as I like to eat out, I am a homebody. As you may know, I homeschool, so our schedule hasn’t changed too much other than we don’t go to our school co-op on Friday or church on Sunday. I like an excuse to stay home for sure.

I figure no time like the present to pop in for some recipes and what’s going on in the local restaurant world when I hear about it. For one, DO try to support local restaurants by ordering takeout occasionally. They need your support now more than ever. But since you can, enjoy cooking at home too.

So here’s the first of a few recipes I plan on posting that will hopefully get you out of the doldrums and pack your plates with flavor. I didn’t take a lot of photos because I was throwing it together, however it was just so pretty, I decided to snap one.

This dish turned out so great and was gone in a flash.  I cooked it in the Instant Pot but it can easily be done on the stove, you just need to cook longer until the potatoes are cooked through.

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Thai Chicken w/ Peppers & Sweet Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds chicken, boneless thighs preferred here
1 red pepper, sliced in strips
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 bunch of arugula, kale, spinach (optional)
1 large knob of fresh ginger, divided
1/4 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbs. Thai red chili paste
1 Tbs. ground or fresh turmeric
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbs. fish sauce
juice of one lime
Handful of cilantro (optional but really not)
red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
green onions for garnish
2-3 Tbs. oil, sesame oil or ghee
salt/pepper to taste

Before you start cooking, rub the chicken with the turmeric and half of the ginger. Let it hang out overnight or a few hours but if you forget, it’ll be fine. Turn the IP to sauté and once hot, sear the chicken on both sides until lightly browned.

Add the onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, chili paste and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic remaining ginger, broth, coconut milk, cayenne or red pepper and fish sauce if using. Here, you may add the red pepper but I like it a little crisper, so you can add it at the end if you prefer.

Turn the Instant Pot to manual pressure and cook on high for 8 minutes. Quick release the pressure, remove the lid, add the red pepper, greens, lime juice and season if needed.  Turn the heat to sauté and reduce the broth a bit, until peppers are tender crisp. This won’t take long. Stir and check for flavor, being careful not to bust up your sweet potatoes. Serve over rice. Top with fresh arugula or cilantro and or green onion.

Stove Top version:

In a dutch oven, heat oil of choice. Follow all the steps as above at medium heat, adding the peppers to the pot, but once you get to the pressure cooking part, turn the heat down to a light simmer and allow to cook partially covered for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are mostly tender (you don’t want them falling apart). Add some broth if it gets too thick. Once fully cooked, add your greens, lime juice and spices as necessary.  Top with cilantro or arugula and green onion and serve over rice.

Enjoy!

the bird is the word: Slappy’s Chicken is slap yo mouth good!

Why did the chicken cross the road? To dive into Slappy sauce!

Why did YOU cross the road? To go get the Slappy’s chicken!

Slappy’s Chicken opened last week on Acadia Avenue in the former Acadia Grill location. Slappy’s is so brand new, that as I write this… it doesn’t even have a sign yet. It’s a hot chicken joint. But not Nashville hot. Slappy’s hot. And it is outstanding.

IMG_3206Owner Scott Brambleburg and his wife used to own a restaurant in Brevard before returning to Winston-Salem. She went into the wine business while he’s been doing stints at local restaurants…some of our faves, like Mary’s and Meridian. And he’s spent that time perfecting his recipe, which is a mixture of heat, spice and a touch of sweet. “I’ve been working on this recipe for several years now with the hopes of opening up a place,” he says.  Scott says he grew up eating chicken similar to this so his dream was to bring the amazing chicken to the Camel City. He says, “I just wanted a place where we basically just do one thing and do it well. And what we have here is a great set up because it’s like a food truck, but it’s an actual restaurant.” 

Plus, it’s super quick. We had our food in front of us in less than 5 minutes. The chicken? It was seriously slap yo mama good. The sides were …they’re getting there.  I ordered the Chees-Its mac n cheese and the collards. The chicken is the star though.  A steady stream of customers kept coming through the door right up until closing. Brambleburg said traffic has been busy since opening last week. “It’s been awesome. And it’s mostly my friends coming in and then spreading the word on social media.”

Owner and Slappy Chef, Scott Brambleburg

Owner and Slappy Chef, Scott Brambleburg

We expect the word to get out pretty quickly and this place may soon have a line out the door. It’s that kind of place. Just hole-in-the-wall enough yet so delicious.

So go check them out so you can say how you discovered them before they got so popular.

Props to Jordan Keiper of Tavern In Old Salem for the inspiration for the headline! 

Slappy’s is located at 200 W Acadia Avenue, Winston-Salem; Open Monday-Saturday 11:00-8:00pm.

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