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Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing // Food Fresh and Simple from Karista's Kitchen

Bowl food is all the rage at the moment and for good reason.  It’s easy to assemble and typically filled with the most delicious ingredients like this spicy chicken and vegetable rice bowl.

This recipe is a lovely twist on the traditional chicken and vegetable bowl as I’ve used Harissa powder or paste to add a little flair, spice and flavor to the chicken.  Harissa is an aromatic and spicy chili paste or powder that is traditionally used in African or Middle Eastern cooking.  It’s become quite popular in the U.S. in the last few years and it’s now easily found in most markets.  I think Harissa makes a nice change in flavor to curry or sriracha.

I’ve paired this Harissa seared chicken with carrots, zucchini, red peppers and I’ve included diced pineapple to balance the flavors.  To finish off the dish, I’ve topped this recipe with sunflower seeds, fresh cilantro and then a drizzle of avocado lime dressing. On occasion, I’ll substitute some of the ingredients with wilted greens, spinach, tomatoes, green onions, radishes and mandarin oranges.

This spicy chicken and vegetable rice bowl definitely nourishes the body and delights the senses. Which is what good food is all about, right?

It’s been a busy winter and I haven’t posted here as often as I’d like. It’ll be another few weeks before I post again because I’m moving! Yep, again. We’re moving just up the road a few miles to a new house, but we’re still located in the lovely Willamette Valley. When I’m in and settled, I hope to tape some cooking videos in the new kitchen! I’m not terribly tech savvy so we shall se how it goes. 😉 In the meantime, I’ll be posting on Instagram and Facebook so you can keep up with all the deliciousness on my social media.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and delicious spring!

Love,

Karista

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing

Serving Size: Makes Two Bowls

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced chicken, either breast or dark meat
  • 1 teaspoon Harissa powder or Harissa paste (easily found in most markets)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, optional
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice, warm
  • ½ cup shredded or diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced zucchini, not cooked
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • In a sauté pan over medium high heat add the 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the diced chicken with salt and pepper and then toss with the harissa paste or powder.
  • Add the seasoned diced chicken to the sauté pan and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
  • In a small food processer or blender, add the avocado, lime juice, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, garlic clove, olive oil and white wine vinegar. Pulse until the dressing is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like the dressing a bit thinner in consistency, add 1-2 tablespoons of water until you’ve reached desired consistency.
  • To assemble, place one cup of warm rice into each bowl. Top with cooked chicken, carrots, zucchini, red pepper, pineapple, sunflower seeds and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with the avocado lime dressing and serve immediately.
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    Beef Chicken Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork

    Cassoulet

    Cassoulet from Karista's Kitchen // A slow cooked French stew

    Classic Cassoulet is a hearty slow-cooked dish originating in the south of France.  It’s often referred to as the “unofficial” national dish of France.

    Traditionally, cassoulet includes what my Grandmother would refer to as “everything except the kitchen sink”.  Meaning that almost any meat, poultry, skin, gizzards, beans and whatever was available went into this succulent dish.

    I’ve had a few truly authentic and amazing cassoulet’s in the past. All filled with decadent duck confit, pork skin, pork belly, mutton, sausages, fava beans and white beans. A meal so rich and lush, it’s everything you’d expect from a slow cooked French dish.

    My cassoulet however is slightly less time-consuming, and not to worry, it doesn’t contain duck confit, mutton or pork belly. Although those ingredients are delicious in a cassoulet, I wanted to create this recipe to be simple, yet flavorful.

    I also wanted this slow cooked stew to reflect the bounty of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  We’re so lucky to have an abundance of small farms and ranches nearby that raise grass-fed and pastured pigs, cattle and chickens. Not to mention all the gorgeous produce and fresh herbs.

    I’ve included locally raised meat and poultry (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, sausages), white beans and lots of fresh herbs and aromatics.  You could also substitute with beef chuck roast, lamb or pork belly – and any type of sausages that you love.

    This meal is perfect a la carte with a glass of French Burgundy or a Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s also quite lovely paired with a Salad Lyonnaise or Ratatouille, which I’ll get around to posting soon.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Cassoulet

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Ingredients

    • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 tablespoon corn starch or all-purpose flour
    • 2lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
    • 2-3 pork or beef sausages (I used my favorite German pork sausages)
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 2 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 2-4 cups chicken broth, enough to just cover the meat
    • 2-3 15ounce cans white beans, drained (cannellini beans work best)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

    Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then add them to the pot and brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl or platter.
  • Next season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and then toss with the tablespoon of corn starch or flour. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the pork. You may need to brown the pork in batches, otherwise the pork won’t brown if the pot is over crowded. When the pork is browned, transfer to the bowl or platter with the chicken.
  • Next brown the sausages, adding additional oil if needed. Once the sausages are brown, transfer them to the bowl or platter with the chicken and pork.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and then stir in the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and fragrant and then add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
  • Stir in the ½ cup of white wine, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the fresh thyme sprigs and dried herbs. Place the chicken thighs, pork cubes and sausages back into the pot and then add the chicken broth. Enough to cover the meat.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the meat simmer in the broth and veggies for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the lid and then stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer this stew sits the more flavor it will develop. I like to make this the day before I’m serving it, however, if I make it the same day I’m going to serve it, I’ll make it several hours prior and then let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove top before serving. If you feel the flavors need a little boost, sometimes a teaspoon of white wine vinegar will bring all the flavors together.
  • Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley and a basket of crusty French bread.
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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Chicken Veronique

    Chicken Veronique // One of the easiest and most delicious weeknight meals // Karista's Kitchen

    Chicken Veronique sounds fancy but it’s truly one of the easiest weeknight meals I prepare.

    Typically, I make this dish in the summer with halibut, sole (which is traditional) or another seasonal white fish.  However, this recipe works just as beautifully with chicken.

    The traditional recipe calls for poaching the sole in white wine and then topping it with a white sauce and garnishing with fresh grapes.  Although I do love a wine poached fish, I prefer to pan sear my fish and chicken for this recipe.

    Because the chicken takes a bit longer to cook, I finish it in the oven.  Once it’s done, I transfer the chicken to a platter and then make the sauce in the same pan.  Using any juices that have collected in the pan makes for a deeper flavored sauce.  Chicken Veronique is one of the easiest and most delicious weeknight meals! // Karista's Kitchen

    Fresh tarragon makes this Chicken Veronique sing! I’ve used dried tarragon and it just doesn’t taste the same, although if you can’t find fresh, dried tarragon will do.  I adore the combination of fresh grapes with fresh tarragon and they both pair well with white fish and chicken.  I do typically use chicken breasts that I’ve butterflied and cut in half so they’re more of a “cutlet” size. This also makes them easier to cook stove top.

    However, you can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if it strikes your fancy. 😉

    A little prep, a bit of dancing about at the kitchen stove and in 25-30 minutes you’ll have a delightful one dish meal.  Because the sauce is quite lush, I serve Chicken Veronique with herbed farro, quinoa, rice pilaf or cauliflower rice and a steamed or roasted, seasonal veggie.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chicken Veronique

    3-4

    Ingredients

    • 2 chicken breasts, butterflied and then halved, making 4 "cutlets"
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (optional but it does give a nice bit of crisp to the chicken)
    • 2-4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 medium to large shallot, diced
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 cup halved seedless grapes (red or green)
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. In a large bowl, mix together the one tablespoon fresh tarragon and the all-purpose flour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons ghee. While the ghee is heating, lightly dust the chicken with the tarragon and flour mixture.
  • When the ghee is hot, add the four chicken cutlets to the ghee and brown, about 5 minutes. Then turn each chicken breast over and then place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. The chicken breast should reach at least 160F internal temperature.
  • When the chicken is done, carefully remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a platter.
  • Over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee to the same pan. When the ghee is melted, add the shallots to the pan and stir, pulling up those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the shallots are wilted and translucent, stir in the wine and then the heavy cream.
  • Let the liquid come to a boil and then simmer on low until it begins to reduce and thicken slightly. The sauce should coat the back of spoon.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir in the tablespoon of fresh tarragon and the grapes. Let the grapes warm in the sauce for a few minutes.
  • Place the chicken either back in the pan, nestled in the sauce or place the chicken on a platter and ladle with the sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve.
  • Notes

    This recipe serves 3-4 and can be doubled.

    If you'd like a smooth sauce, strain the sauce prior to adding the fresh tarragon and grapes. Then add the sauce back to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the fresh tarragon and grapes.

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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes Sweets Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

    Our Premiere Digital Food Issue

    A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine premiere food issue Fall 2016

    I’ve partnered with VRAI Magazine and we wrote our very first digital food issue, A View to Delicious! 

    We’ve been working hard to craft a beautifully photographed food and lifestyle digital food issue featuring the freshest farm-to-table recipes, healthy lifestyle tips, articles on unique destinations that dot the landscape of this scenic region and more cooking inspiration, tips and advice from my years in the culinary profession.

    A View to Delicious is a little taste of what I create at home in my kitchen.  This digital food issue is a glimpse into where I live and why I adore my region of the world.  It’s also a little insight into how I feel about healthy and happy living and inspiration for creating life the table.  It also contains lovely verse and poetry by a few of my friends and lots of farm animals. Did I mention the farm animals?

    A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen

    Our premiere digital food issue, A View to Delicious, is available for pre-order now and until the 25th of September.  You can snag it HERE. The magazine will launch on Monday, September 26th!

    As I’m writing this, I’m filled with over the moon excitement.  I can’t wait to share with you the delicious new recipes and a peek into my crazy delicious world. 🙂

    I hope you’ll pre-order A View to Delicious and then tell me what you think when you read it. I always love hearing from my readers!

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy fall season.

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

    Beef Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Tips and Techniques vegetarian

    Three Compound Butter Recipes

    Grilled Fresh Corn on the Cob with Compound Butter // Karista's Kitchen

    Have you ever grilled a piece of fish or chicken and then wish you had a little something to dollop on top – just for a little extra flavor and fun?

    Compound butter is perfect for grilled, pan seared or roasted meat, fish and veggies.  

    Just make a few of these compound butters and keep them in the fridge.  They will hold for several months and when you’re ready to use them just slice a coin of  compound butter and dollop it on your “hot off the grill” fish, meat or veggies.

    Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Garlic Lemon & Thyme Compound Butter // Karista's Kitchen

    Compound butter is simply butter that has been mixed with a few ingredients of your choice; like garlic & herbs or anchovies and capers or lemon zest and cumin…  and most often used to enhance a simple pan seared or grilled fish, meat and veggies.   I typically make my compound butters savory, but during grilling season I also make a sweet compound butter spiked with spices and vanilla beans to use over grilled fruit or cake.

    You’re going to love these three compound butter recipes but feel free to experiment and make your own.  It’s a great way to use up the excess fresh herbs from the herb garden or citrus that might have seen better days. I also like to use finely chopped toasted nuts or cheese in my compound butters.

    Summer is in full swing and using compound butter to enhance the flavor of our grilled meals makes a delicious ending to a busy day.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Three Compound Butter Recipes

    Each recipe makes 8 tablespoons

    Three Compound Butter Recipes

    Ingredients

      Chipotle Orange Butter
    • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
    • One canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely diced
    • 2 teaspoons orange zest
      Garlic Lemon Thyme Butter
    • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
      Cilantro Lime Butter
    • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
    • 1 lime, zested
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

    Instructions

  • Compound butter can either be mixed by hand or in a food processor. If mixing by hand, add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a fork until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • If you are using a food processor, add the ingredients to the food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface and spoon the butter onto the plastic wrap forming a log. Fold the plastic wrap over the butter and twist the ends. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  • Notes

    I created this recipe originally for the beautiful Home By Design Magazine June/July 2015

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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pasta

    Isernio’s Ground Chicken Pasta Primavera

    Isernio's Ground Chicken Pasta Primavera with red and green peppers, peas, asparagus fresh basil and light cream sauce // Karista's Kitchen

    We had only been in our new home in Washington state for a few weeks when we were invited to our neighbors home for dinner.  Mr. Neighbor was an excellent home chef and prepared the most divine slow cooked tomato sauce with locally produced Italian sausages.  I’m sure we had other dishes of food that night, but all I can remember are the sausages.

    As we were chatting about food, Mrs. Neighbor mentioned the sausages were from Isernio’s Sausage Company in Seattle.  Well that was all she had to say because the next day I was on the hunt for Isernio’s sausages.  Thirteen years later… I’m still cooking with Isernio’s products.

    If there is one thing that will completely grab my attention, it’s a great story.  The Isernio story is one of timeless traditions shared with friends and family, combined with hard work and passion that led to the making of a great sausage company.  Flavor, quality, product selection and value are just a few reasons I’ve been a long time fan of Isernio’s products.  From traditional mild and hot Italian sausages to fresh ground meats and chicken sausages, Isernio’s has a product to make every meal inviting and delicious.

    Isernio's Ground Chicken Pasta Primavera prepared with fresh garden product and laced with a light cream sauce // Karista's Kitchen

    Over the years I’ve created dozens of tasty recipes with Isernio’s products. These Chile Lime Chicken Burgers were one of the first recipes I created with Isernio’s Ground Chicken, making a flavorful and healthy alternative for burger season.  Isernio’s Ground Chicken is perfect for most any recipe you would use ground beef.  I use the ground chicken in tacos and enchiladas and of course I use it in all sorts of Italian pasta recipes.

    This beautiful pasta primavera, prepared with linguine, is perfect for the spring and summer season.  It’s filled with fresh garden produce, beautifully balanced with Isernio’s Ground Chicken and laced with a light cream sauce.  Loads of flavor that make a healthy and hearty meal for any occasion.

    Here’s wishing you a most delicious week!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Isernio’s Ground Chicken Pasta Primavera

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Isernio’s Ground Chicken Pasta Primavera

    Ingredients

    • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small yellow onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lb Isernio's ground chicken
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
    • 1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
    • 1 yellow pepper, sliced into thin strips
    • 1 cup chopped asparagus or asparagus tips
    • 1 cup sweet peas
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn or chopped
    • 12 oz to 1 lb linguine
    • Splash of lemon juice
    • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Add water to a large pasta pot, add a generous pinch or two of salt and heat to a boil over high heat. When the water boils add the linguine and boil according to package directions. About five minutes before the pasta is done, add the bell pepper and asparagus to the pasta. The veggies will cook crisp tender in the pasta water. When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and veggies in a colander and place it in a large bowl.
  • While the pasta water is heating, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onions. Sauté until the onions are soft. Then add the garlic, Italian parsley and oregano and sauté a minute longer. Then add the ground chicken and a dash of salt and pepper and cook until the ground chicken is browned. If it's not cooked through, that's ok because it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Next add the 1/2 cup of white wine to the ground chicken mixture and reduce until almost all the liquid is gone.
  • Then stir in the heavy cream and simmer until the cream has reduced a bit and slightly thickened. Stir in the sweet peas and grated parmesan. Add a splash of lemon juice to the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the the sauce over the pasta and veggies, add the fresh basil and toss to combine. Serve with extra grated parmesan and warm, fresh Italian bread.
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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Chicken Scarpariello

    Chicken Scarpariello recipe from Rao's in Las Vegas // Isernio Sausage Company // Karista's Kitchen

    Chicken Scarpariello from Rao’s in Las Vegas using hot and mild sausage from Isernio’s Sausage Company

    Chicken Scarpariello is definitely a mouth full of words. When I stumbled upon this recipe years ago I was completely intrigued by the name of this dish.

    You’re probably asking yourself “how do I pronounce Scarpariello?” Well, I say it like this, “scar/par/ee/ello”.  Say it several times quickly and it’ll eventually roll off your tongue as if you’ve been speaking Italian for years.

    After doing a bit of research, I found that most culinarian’s believe this Chicken Scarpariello likely originated in the United States. However, because Chicken Scarpariello is similar in ingredients and preparation to many traditional Southern Italian recipes, many feel it’s an evolution of Southern Italian recipes that have been translated from one generation to the next.

    Chicken Scarpariello recipe from Rao's in Las Vegas // Karista's Kitchen // Isernio's Sausage Company

    This hearty dish, often referred to as Shoemakers Chicken, is filled with ingredients that are big and bold in flavor. Chicken that has been pan seared along with my favorite Isernio’s hot and mild Italian sausages, red peppers, potatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and a few sweet but spicy vinegar hot peppers.   Then all the ingredients are tossed together in a light white wine sauce making the most delicious chicken dinner you’ve ever tasted.

    I describe Chicken Scarpariello as a lusty and robust dish that is rich in flavor, delightful to the palate and welcomed anytime of the year.

    Chicken Scarpariello is perfect for large gatherings with friends or family or a Sunday supper. I love making this dish for a weekend meal, serving it with bottles of Chianti or Pinot Grigio, fresh tomato and basil bruschetta over ricotta, drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar.

    This particular Chicken Scarpariello recipe is from the world-renowned restaurant Rao’s and I created the photo for my friends at the fabulous Isernio’s Sausage Company.  Buon Appetito!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chicken Scarpariello

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Chicken Scarpariello

    Ingredients

    • 4 Isernio’s Italian Sausages, 2 Mild Italian and 2 Hot Italian
    • 4 - 6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, about 1.5 lbs.
    • about 1/8 cup flour
    • 2 red potatoes, about 1 lb.
    • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1/2 large yellow onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4" strips
    • 2 bell peppers, red & yellow, cored, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1/4" strips
    • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
    • 3 Tbsp. fresh oregano, coarsely chopped or 1 1/2 tps. dried
    • 2 hot cherry peppers, in vinegar from a jar, seeded and quartered - Optional
    • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 3 - 4 tsp. Salt
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Scrub potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a sauce pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp. salt and boil, partially covered for 10 minutes. Drain well, cool slightly, peel and cut into 3/8" slices. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large 12" skillet on medium heat, cook the sausage on both sides, until browned, about 8 minutes total. Remove sausages from pan, cut into 3/4" slices and set aside. Sausage does not need to be cooked through, just browned on the outside.
  • Pat chicken dry, salt & pepper both sides and dust in flour. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan, saute chicken until browned, 5-7 minutes per side, about 14 minutes total. Remove chicken from pan, cut into 2" pieces and set aside.
  • Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan. Add the onion, peppers, 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. of the oregano (if using dried, put all in now), mix well and saute for 4 minutes until slightly softened. Add the chopped garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits off the bottom for another 5 minutes. Add the sausage, chicken, potatoes, cherry peppers, white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano and chicken broth. Mix well and place in oven uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • Taste for salt & pepper, serve immediately with remaining fresh oregano.
  • Notes

    This recipe is from Rao's Las Vegas and using Isernio's Hot and Mild Italian Sausage.

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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Chicken Gaston Gerard

    Chicken Gaston Gerard // French Chicken with Dijon, caramelized onions, paprika and creme fraiche // Karista's Kitchen for VRAI Magazine

    Chicken Gaston Gerard… I love to say these words. Makes me feel as if I’m sitting in a cafe in Paris dining on decadent cuisine and sipping French wine.

    Ahhh… but alas, I’m sitting in my upstairs office writing this little paragraph while sipping ginger tea that my sister in law sent me from Japan. Ha. Life’s crazy isn’t it?

    Chicken Gaston Gerard may be familiar to many of you. I posted this gorgeous recipe years ago and I received such positive feedback and comments over the years, I thought it would be fun to share this lovely recipe in the February issue of VRAI Magazine.

    If you haven’t made this recipe yet, head over to VRAI Magazine and snag it.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  In fact, I think you’ll love it so much it might just become a regular on your dinner menu rotation.  While you’re over at VRAI Magazine, feel free to stay a while and browse the new recipes from all the fantastic food contributors.  I spotted a pink cocktail that is calling my name. 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Soup vegetarian

    Sipping Broth with Green Curry and Lime Leaves

    Sipping Broth with Green Curry and Lime Leaves // Karista's Kitchen

    Because I have a curious nature, recently I’ve been reading about the Scandinavian tradition called Hygge – pronounced Hoo-Gah.  A word that doesn’t quite translate into English except that Scandinavians will tell you it roughly means “cozy atmosphere” or “coziness”.

    I’ve always loved the word cozy.  In fact, after watching the play Les Miserable at least 20 times, I vowed to name my first daughter Cozette, and call her Cozy for short.  That didn’t happen, although now my oldest gal tells me she would have loved that name.

    My dear friend Maria of Pink Patisserie is Norwegian.  She tells me Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life.  The warm glow of candlelight, friends and family gathering around a table of food discussing the little things and the big things… this can all be translated as Hygge.

    Sipping Broth with Green Curry and Lime Leaves // Karista's Kitchen

    After reading about Hygge, I realized I’ve been practicing it in my home for years.  During the winter months in the Pacific Northwest, we live through very short days and very long nights.  When the day is lit, it’s typically gray and overcast; sometimes with a misty fog that rolls through.  I’ve never minded the winter months.  I’ve always felt it was a time of renewal, a time to take deep breaths and re-fuel for the spring and summer months.

    To keep things feeling more cheerful, I often light candles in the house.  Setting them in key visual locations.  Sort of my version of keeping the home fires burning.  I typically light all the candles just as twilight begins so that when everyone returns home the house feels warm and cozy.

    Thanks to my very wise sister in law, I just invested in flameless candles.  They look and feel as warm and cozy as real candles.  They give the room a warm glow which is so nice when we’re sitting in the family room reading or chatting about the day or hearing stories and drama of the life of a teenager.

    During these low lit days I often make myself a sipping broth for my working lunch or when I’m not feeling up to my usual self – creating a little Hygge in my day.  This sipping broth is so lovely for when we’re sick or when we just need a cup of comfort and nourishment.   I make my own chicken stock and usually make my sipping broth from that homemade stock.  But when I’ve run out and need a cup, I’ll use an organic chicken or vegetable broth purchased from my local co-op market. Currently, I’m really loving the organic Better than Bouillon brand for chicken and beef broth and Rapunzel brand for vegetable broth.

    I’ve listed my basic chicken stock recipe below as well as instructions on how to make this simple sipping broth.  If you can’t find fresh lime leaves, a squeeze of lime works well.  I usually find fresh lime leaves in the produce herb section of my market.  Sometimes I can find dried Kaffir lime leaves in the Asian food section of my market.  You can also order them online.

    Wishing you warm and cozy and all things Hygge!

    Karista

    I’ve also included my simple chicken stock.  I don’t follow the rules here.  (When do I ever follow the rules?)  This stock has never failed me and it’s the base for all my soups, stews and this little sipping broth. The key is to begin with quality ingredients. This is a “flavored” stock, although not heavily flavored.  I find the fresh herbs to be fragrant and slightly apparent, but not overwhelming.  There are all kinds of stock one can prepare.  I don’t add carrots or celery to my stock, I think it completely changes the flavor.  I don’t salt or pepper my stock until I need to use it for a recipe.  So when you taste the stock, it should taste flavorful, but in need of salt and pepper.  This is a good thing.

    Sipping Broth with Green Curry and Lime Leaves

    Makes one cup

    Sipping Broth with Green Curry and Lime Leaves

    Ingredients

      For the Sipping Broth
    • 1 cup organic chicken or vegetable broth (chicken stock/broth recipe below)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Thai green curry paste
    • 1-2 lime leaves
      For the Chicken Stock
    • 1 whole chicken carcass/bones (After I roast a chicken and serve it for dinner, I take what's left and make this stock)
    • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 small head of garlic halved or coarsely chopped (with the skin on and everything, no need to peel)
    • 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano (I don't really count the sprigs, I usually just run outside and snip a small handful from my garden)
    • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme (same as above with the thyme)
    • Handful of fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 dried bay leaf, optional

    Instructions

    For the Sipping Broth
  • In a small pan heat one cup of broth with the lime leaves and green curry. Stir to blend the curry with the broth and when the broth is heated through, pour it into your favorite mug. Savor and enjoy. The longer the lime leaves sit in the broth the more lime flavor and fragrance you will experience. The lime leaves are my favorite ingredient.
  • For the Chicken Stock
  • Place the chicken carcass/bones into a large pot. Throw in the onion, garlic, herbs and bay leaf if using. Fill with water until just covers the chicken and aromatics. Place it on the stove top over medium heat and just as it comes to a boil, turn it down to low and cover with a lid. Don't let it come to a rolling boil or it will foam. If it foams, just skim the foam off the top.
  • I keep my pot over the lowest heat setting and I let it simmer for at least 8-10 hours but most of the time I'll let it simmer for 16 hours. The longer you simmer the more flavorful the stock. Typically I'll put the stock on in the evening and let it simmer stovetop all night. The next day after about 16 hours I will uncover the pot, turn the heat up just a bit to medium low and let the stock continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, reducing the liquid a little and creating a more flavorful stock. I always end up with about 4-6 cups stock. Just enough to make one soup or stew recipe for my family. I make stock every week!
  • Take the stock off the heat and let it cool. Strain the stock into a clean container and either refrigerate or freeze. It will last in the freezer for up to three months and it will last in the refrigerator for about 7 days.
  • Use and season the stock as desired.
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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly VRAI Magazine

    The Perfect Roast Turkey

    The perfect roast turkey // Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    For me, Thanksgiving is a celebration of family and friends.

    I don’t always write about what goes on in my day to day life.  After all, this is a recipe website and delicious food is the focus.   I feel there is enough hardship, sadness and turmoil going on in the world.  Watching it splattered all over the news, I feel I shouldn’t add to the chaos with what happens in my little space in the world.  I’m typically an optimistic person and I believe it’s healthier to share my optimism rather than any negativity.

    But I will tell you this – although it’s been a long and arduous few years navigating through my oldest daughters health issues, resulting from a brain tumor in 2012, I am thankful.  I am so thankful she’s brain tumor free. I am so thankful it wasn’t the C word.  I am so thankful she’s able to continue college and move forward with her life.  Has it been hard?  YES. There have been days I just wanted to sit on my living room floor and sob tears of frustration and sadness.  There are still tough moments, but I have the best friends and family in the world that supported me and continue to support me every step of the way –  so that I can support my daughter.   This is truly a Thanksgiving.

    As a Contributing Food Editor with VRAI Magazine, I’m sharing this Perfect Roast Turkey recipe for our VRAI Magazine Friendsgiving in Oregon.  Everyone is coming to my house for Thanksgiving! I’m so excited to share this recipe, but I’m even more excited to share with you VRAI Magazine Friendsgiving.  Delicious recipes, home and holiday décor, DIY holiday projects, gift giving ideas, holiday fashion, travel and more.  New friends coming together to celebrate around the table.

    To snag this lovely and simple Perfect Roast Turkey recipe click HERE.  Don’t forget to browse the fantastic articles and subscribe to the magazine so you don’t miss a beat. You can also find VRAI Magazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    I am truly grateful and thankful for devoted readers like you.  I wish you the most beautiful and heartwarming holiday season.  May you bask in the deliciousness!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love to you all!

    Karista

     

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Pollo Giacomo (Balsamic Chicken)

    Pollo Giacomo (Balsamic Chicken) A Tuscan Braised Chicken Recipe How did two Prescott College Graduates become Willamette Valley Chicken Farmers?

    That was the first question I asked Laura and Robin of Red Bird Acres after meeting them for the second time at this year’s Corvallis Farmers Market.

    I met Laura and Robin the first time at the 2014 Oregon Small Farms Conference at OSU in Corvallis. I was attending the conference with a friend from Washington state who is the Founder of Barn2Door, a new ready-to-use web store for farmers and easy to find farm food for buyers .  I remember how fascinated I became while listening to Laura and Robin speak passionately about their chicken farm.  Both intelligent individuals who exude a passion for sustainable farming and the future of our food supply.

    Laura and Robin of Red Bird Acres in the Willamette Valley, Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

    Laura and Robin are both graduates of Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona. Receiving degrees in Wilderness Leadership and Adventure Education. While working as Outdoor Education Guides they discovered there was a huge disconnect between educating the public about protecting our environment and our less than perfect food supply.

    After a visit to Oregon, Laura and Robin decided to switch careers and put their knowledge and passion into helping change our food supply by pursuing agriculture. Robin completed a yearlong internship with Afton Field Farm in early 2014. Not long after, Red Bird Acres was founded.

    I saw Laura and Robin every Saturday at the farmer’s market and I always stopped at Red Bird Acres stand to pick up a broiler. One Saturday I couldn’t help but ask if I could visit them at their chicken farm and possibly photograph some of their birds. They smiled and were kind enough to oblige my need to visit with their chickens.

    Red Bird Acres in the Willamette Valley, Oregon

    We set a date, I cooked food to say thank you and one lovely Autumn evening I drove out to Red Bird Acres for a visit.

    A beautiful hillside location just outside of Philomath, Oregon, Red Bird Acres is home to several flocks of Freedom Rangers. Some refer to the chickens as French Rangers or Poulet Rouge and they are hatched by the Freedom Ranger Hatchery in Pennsylvania. The Freedom Ranger breeding stock is imported from Burgundy and Brittany, France.  According to the Label Rouge Poultry Program, this breed was derived from an American and European heritage breed that was developed in early 1960 to meet the high standards of the French Label Rouge Free Range program.

    A Freedom Ranger chicken at Red Bird Acres in the Willamette Valley, Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

    Laura and Robin raise their Freedom Rangers on pasture from the time they are three weeks old; large enough to have grown adult feathers to survive well outside the brooder. The birds roam free range and have access to shelter where they can roost and are protected from the elements as needed.  Portable electric net fencing is set up to separate the different age groups. During the height of the season, Red Bird Acres will raise four flocks of 100 birds on the field.

    Each flock’s shelter is moved within each paddock twice a day and the entire paddock is moved every four to five days as the birds graze down the pasture. Laura says “the benefits of this system is that the birds are truly able to express all of their natural behaviors. They can choose to be in their shelter, or they can run in the paddock seeking forage, so it is the most natural, healthy and humane way to allow chickens to live when you are raising them for human consumption”.

    Robin of Red Bird Acres holding one of his Freedom Ranger Chickens // Willamette Valley Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

    Laura and Robin feed their birds a high quality, non-GMO feed milled locally by Union Point Custom Feeds in Brownsville, OR. Laura says “our broilers do a great job of supplementing that feed with what they forage on the pasture. The pasture is definitely not wasted on these birds. That is evident in the flavor of our chickens and the beautiful yellow color of their fat”.

    While I was roaming the paddock with the chickens, I noticed the hearty bone structure of the birds – thicker legs and feet that seem to thrive in this free range setting. Friendly, calm and somewhat animated, the chickens were as curious about me as I was about them.  Several of the birds decided I should be greeted and that maybe my shoes required a little taste.

    I’ve raised chickens in the past and I have never seen such a happy and playful group of chickens. It was obvious they had grown attached to Laura and Robin; following them all over the paddock.

    I asked Laura and Robin about their philosophy on raising chickens in this method and why they felt it was important: “Our biggest values as producers of meat is that we are raising the animals with the utmost care and attention to humane techniques. This goes from breed selection, feed selection, providing the most natural and stress free life on pasture and gentle handling when it comes time to slaughter (which they do themselves). We are trying to raise meat with attention to the impact on the land and acknowledging that eating meat (as opposed to a vegetarian diet) has a bigger footprint, so what we encourage is that our customers eat less meat. But when they do, they should eat better meat.  Better meat usually comes with a higher price. It takes a huge amount of labor to raise chicken in this method but also the feed costs are higher with quality feed. The benefit is a chicken that lives a healthy life and in turn provides delicious and tremendously nourishing food”.

    Freedom Ranger chickens at Red Bird Acres in the Willamette Valley Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

    I can tell you from personal experience, the broilers I’ve purchased from Red Bird Acres are premium in every way.   Because this particular breed has a lovely distribution of fat, the taste is much more flavorful than that of a conventional chicken, which also makes the texture more moist and tender.  As well, the birds are not outrageously priced. Red Bird Acres sells their chicken for 4.99lb which is less than some of the organic brand names in the market.

    Red Bird Acres will continue to vend at the Corvallis Saturday Farmer’s Market until the end of the season. Eventually, they would like to include pastured heritage turkeys, as well as raise hogs and lambs. Their largest goal is to grow into a multi-species pastured livestock operation, but finding land is the biggest roadblock. They are currently looking for new land to lease to expand their farm.

    Laura of Red Bird Acres in the Willamette Valley Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

    I spent the most delightful evening at Red Bird Acres. We talked, I took photographs and played with chickens until the sun had almost set. It was difficult to leave the beautiful location. Walking back to my truck we stopped by their little garden and Robin gave me a bucket full of the most gorgeous cherry tomatoes. I think I ate half the bucket before I arrived home.

    Laura and Robin of Red Bird Acres in the Willamette Valley Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

    I know many of you do not live in the Willamette Valley. I wish you could taste a Red Bird Acres roasted chicken and I wish you could all meet Laura and Robin.   However,  you can support your local chicken farms. I encourage you to find local farms that humanly raise poultry, pork and beef.  Your body and your taste buds will thank you. Purchasing local supports our farmers and encourages a prosperous and healthy community.

    For more information about Red Bird Acres click on their website at http://www.redbirdacresfarm.com/

    As well follow them on Facebook and Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/redbirdacres/app_267091300008193

    I couldn’t end this post without a recipe. This is a recipe a new friend so graciously gave me while we were dining in Tuscany last year.  Giacomo Alari is the DaVinci Wine Ambassador and as we were chatting at dinner one evening, I asked Giacomo what traditional dish he remembered from childhood.  This braised chicken dish is one that his Mother would often prepare.  Simple, with fresh chicken, onion, garlic and balsamic vinegar. His mother would serve it over mashed or roasted potatoes.

    I have now prepared this dish at least twice a month for the last year and adapted it a bit to suit my family. I can tell you it’s just as delicious with just the onion, garlic and balsamic vinegar as it is with all the fresh herbs.  So however you prepare it, you will relish in the flavor and the simplicity.

    Grazi! Giacomo Alari for sharing your family recipe.

    Pollo Giacomo (Balsamic Chicken)

    Serving Size: 4

    Pollo Giacomo (Balsamic Chicken)

    Ingredients

    • 8 bone in, skin removed, Chicken thighs or 4 chicken leg quarters, or ONE whole chicken broken down into 6 or 8 pieces
    • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 handful of fresh herbs, sprig of rosemary, Italian parsley, sprig of oregano, sprigs of thyme, sage is nice too. (no need to chop just toss in with stems)Sometimes I just throw in some thyme and it’s still fabulous.
    • 1 cup high quality aged balsamic vinegar (or as Giacomo’s mother would say “one wine glass of balsamic vinegar”)
    • Serve with mashed potatoes or creamy polenta

    Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven heat the oil over medium high heat and then season the chicken with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot brown the chicken on both sides.
  • Turn down the heat to medium (so the onion doesn’t burn) and add the onion and sauté until soft, then add the herbs and garlic and sauté another minute.
  • Place the chicken back into the Dutch oven and pour the balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cover and turn the heat to low or medium low and simmer for about 30- 45 minutes or until the chicken is done. Chicken should reach 165F when done.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and then remove the chicken to a platter. Strain the remaining sauce and pour it over the chicken. Serve over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.
  • **OPTION - I haven't tried this recipe in a slow cooker but I think using a slow cooker would be a good option. Brown the chicken, add it to the slow cooker, top with onion, garlic, fresh herbs and balsamic vinegar. Cook on low for about 5-6 hours or until the internal temperature has reached 165F. Remove the chicken to a platter, strain the sauce and pour over the chicken. Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes or creamy polenta.
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    Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and The Writing Process Tour

    Pineapple Juice, soy sauce marinated and grilled chicken // karista's Kitchen

    Recently my friend and colleague, Wendy of Chez Chloe the food blog (and also by the same name – a gorgeous Home and Kitchen store on Orcas Island, Washington) asked if I would participate in an online writing process tour.

    Because I am completely nosy and curious about how other writers pen their poetic or educational prose, and because often, I stalk my favorite writers and then proceed to ask lots of writing related questions – I thought it would be fun to participate.

    What are you working on? 

    Hmmm… I think the best question would be, what am I not working on?  My work takes me in many different directions.  Which feeds my generous love for diversity in my daily schedule.

    Currently, I’m writing and testing recipes for a winter/holiday magazine issue for one of my lovely clients; writing and testing wine-pairing recipes for two more fantastic clients; writing and testing recipes for future issues of VRAI Magazine; writing food related content for an online e-commerce fashion and home accessories website; desperately trying to finish a small e-cookbook on salmon (to be released soon) and posting my personal recipes and musings on my website.

    How does your work differ from others of its genre?

    I learned a long time ago I’m not a traditional food blogger.  I tried. But I soon realized I arrived late to the party, as usual, and I’m not fiercely competitive.  I am however, passionate. Passionate about culinary arts, culinary education and quality, clean, local food.  I am passionate about the local farmer and how we can help each and every one of them sustain their farms. I am passionate about food products that use only the best, cleanest ingredients to help keep our bodies healthy.  In a sentence… I want my work to reflect my passion.

    I don’t typically write personal posts, going on and on about my day or how I’m feeling at the moment.  I don’t mind reading blogs that share more personal information, sometimes I rather enjoy them. But I feel my job and professional strengths are to inform, educate, inspire and sometimes amuse.  I love to laugh and I love to hear laughter.

    On occasion though, I might write about my sweet pup, Tank, who amuses me terribly. Or my two sassy gals – who make my life worth living.  Or my adventurous husband who always seems to take adventure to a new level.  He most definitely feeds my generous love of daily diversity!

    Karista's Kitchen

    The Bennett Five

    I believe my work only differs in that it reflects me.  It reflects my deep and profound love for what I do.  The passion, the art, the education and all the deliciousness that’s infused into every recipe and post I write.  I write to share. That’s how it all began.

    Why do you write what you do?

    I think I answered that in the paragraph above.  I’m famous for not directly answering a question.  Ask my husband.  He get’s half a novel with each question he asks.

    How does your writing process work?

    This too differs daily.  I develop recipes, write content about the recipe and photograph the recipe. Each portion is equally important, which is why I give lots of thought and research to every recipe I develop.

    Writing the related content about the recipe depends on my clients specifications.  Much of what I write is written specifically for the publication and their demographic.  I tailor the content as beautifully as I can, weaving in non-fiction stories if warranted, or poetic verse about the season.

    When I write, it’s usually always while sitting at my small, rather rustic, painted black desk in front of a window that faces east… with morning light.  Sometimes I play a little Josh Bell or cello music.  Vivaldi is my preferred music to write by, but on occasion some Wailin Jenny’s or Allison Krause will do the job.  I like the house to be quiet when I write. Which is why I write in the morning.  I never, ever answer my phone while I’m writing.  In fact, I turn it off.  This annoys my children.

    There are times when I’m testing a recipe – cooking, plating, photographing – when verse will come to mind and I’ll stop and jot it down.  I keep pens and notepaper all over the house and in my handbag.  I never know when something inspirational will pop into my head and I’ll need to write it down.

    Often my husband and I will be out and about or having dinner somewhere and I’ll grab my phone and start making notes.  It’s amazing how so many things around me can inspire me.  A beautifully plated creation at a new restaurant, a farmer’s market brimming with brilliantly colored produce,  dark and ominous storm clouds rolling past, threatening to unleash at any moment; an older couple strolling the sidewalk holding hands or a songbird singing his best song outside my window.  Little things that provoke or awaken and inspire.

    pineapple and tamari marinated grilled chicken // Karista's Kitchen

    Today, I’m sharing a recipe as well. This, a consolation for reading my very wordy post.

    This grilled chicken dish is one my husband and I have been making for at least the last 20 years. Prior to culinary school the marinade was extremely simple.  Teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice.  Recently I jazzed it up a bit adding garlic and honey and using gluten free Tamari instead of a Teriyaki sauce.

    Flavorful, moist and juicy grilled chicken that will have you licking your lips.  I serve this dish with my Carrot Cilantro Salad or my Mother in laws Macaroni Salad.  Perfect for the casual summer barbecue.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

    This is one of my simplest chicken recipes.  So easy, so delicious and perfect for a casual summer meal.

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    4-5lbs bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (breast, legs, thighs)

    3 cups pineapple juice (not sweetened)

    10 ounces Tamari (soy sauce)

    1/4 cup honey

    4-5 garlic cloves, smashed

    1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish

    Directions

    Whisk together the pineapple juice, Tamari, honey and garlic.  Place the chicken pieces in a large non-reactive dish or bowl and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.  On occasion, I’ll prepare it first thing in the morning and it’s ready to grill by dinner time.

    Heat the grill to at least 400F.  Brush the grill grates with oil.  The chicken will stick at first, but should turn easily after a few minutes.  Watch the flame as the marinade can burn.  Turn the chicken a few times while grilling and in between turns, keep the grill lid down so the chicken will cook evenly.  Adjust the heat as needed.

    The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165F.  Depending on the type of grill you use it will take about 20-30 minutes.  Place the chicken on a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with grilled corn on the cob and my Carrot Cilantro Salad or Macaroni Salad.  A perfect summer meal!