Brrrr. Much of the country is under the influence of the Great Polar Vortex of 2019. I am in Chicago, which seems to be getting the brunt of winter storm Jayden, and like much of the region, we are home for the next few days. I decided this was the perfect time to make (again) and write about my new favorite Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. It is taken from the Farmhouse Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from America’s Test Kitchen – one of my favorite cooking shows. Sometime in early January, I was watching a recorded episode, and almost passed it over. I mean, it’s Chicken Noodle Soup, not exactly something novel. Since they made it in a pressure cooker, it did pique my interest, and since I happened to have all of the ingredients, I made it. WOW. Seriously, it is the best Chicken Noodle Soup I have ever made – and I make a lot.
In my family, fall means football. Football means family. Family means food. Most Sundays, if we aren’t attending a Bears home game, we are at my parents, gathered around the TV, surrounded by never ending snacks and food. Staples include chips, salsa, and nacho cheese. We also have popcorn which my dad makes in the whirley-pop and my mom makes some sort of comfort food (we are Bears fans – we need it) and a delicious dessert. Last weekend, I decided to make my own wings in the Instant Pot® for NFL Sunday. They were awesome and a perfect addition to the non-stop feast. Plus, they are slightly less fattening, because they are not deep-fried in oil.
I have been on a soup kick lately. At this time of year, the days can be cool, and like today, they can be a bit hot. Mexican Chicken Soup is perfect for both warm or cool days and a great end-to summer/start-to-fall entree. Mexican Chicken Soup prepared in an Instant Pot® quick and easy to put together and can be on the table in about 30 minutes, so it is great for a busy weeknight – my favorite! My kids love when I have a bowl of tortilla chips on the table – they just crush them and add to their soup bowls.
Jambalaya is a creole dish usually made with andouille sausage and chicken. The delicious addition of peppers, onions, and celery (the holy trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking) make for a flavorful, savory stew, which is often served over rice. It is also a great dish for those following a paleo or low-carb diet. The heat can be adjusted with the addition of cayenne powder. I also serve it with hot sauce, for those who like it extra hot.
It’s time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! I love that my birthday falls a couple of days before, because it’s easy to enjoy tacos and margaritas for a couple of days. Last year, I shared a recipe forChicken Tacos in an Instant Pot for Cinco de Mayo. This year, I am sharing a slightly different recipe that I like EVEN more. I made these into filling for tostadas, but this would work easily for burritos, bowls, or tacos.
With the exception of Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken and Dumplings is the perfect comfort food. Today was one of those days. It was cold and dreary and after spending the day stuck inside with my toddler who A) cut up multiple sheets of paper into tiny bits of confetti, and B) used marker to cover her entire face and hands, all before 11 am, I needed some major comfort. Since alcohol before noon is typically frowned upon, Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot® to the rescue. We had a yummy and comforting lunch, and I was able to get through the rest of the day relatively unscathed.
We love spicy food at our house. My boys love to outdo each other when eating hot sauce. Even my baby can handle some significant spice. My mother-in-law contends that her consumption of spicy foods while pregnant caused my husband to be hairy and to love spicy food himself. While this is probably not true, when it comes to my husband, the hotter the better. We go through a steady amount of Sriracha, Tabasco, Franks, and Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce. Another favorite condiment is Sambal Oelek, an Indonesian-style chili paste. I recently bought a jar and immediately thought about using it in a marinade for chicken. With the addition of more ginger, garlic, honey, and some other Asian flavors, this marinade was spicy, sweet, and complex. I served the finished chicken over rice, topped with a sweet and spicy chili paste.
I always forget how much I love Chicken Cacciatore. It is so easy to make, full of rich flavors, and can be adapted for the Instant Pot®. Chicken Cacciatore is an Italian stewed chicken that simmers slowly in tomato sauce. It can be served over rice, noodles, or even on its own. Some recipes call for dusting the chicken in flour. I never do this, which makes this a great gluten-free recipe. I think the sauce is thick and rich without any added starch.
I love Orange Chicken. There is an old-school Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood. Its décor has not been updated since the 1940s and they make a couple of things really well – namely Egg Rolls and Orange Chicken. Orange Chicken is deep fried deliciousness, covered in a sweet and sticky sauce. I only get a craving for it about once a year, which is good, because it’s not exactly a health food. Plus, deep frying is not something I want to take on in my kitchen. I decided to try and adapt the flavors into a healthier version for theInstant Pot®. It was a huge success.
Yesterday was one of those day where I just did not feel like cooking. I knew I had chicken in the fridge that I had to use. I was too tired to grill and it was too hot to light my oven. I had taco fixings, but no shells. I felt uninspired and knew I had to think of something that would be a crowd pleaser with minimal effort on my part. When I opened my cupboard and found a jar of salsa, I knew dinner could be saved. Instant Pot® to the rescue with these amazing Chicken Burrito Bowls. I even made an easy salsa rice that I will share with you soon.