Tag Archives: chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

During the work week I always try to make dinners that are fast and easy.  I like to make extra servings of a meal on the weekend and re-purpose the leftovers later on in the week.  Late Sunday afternoon I barbecued a big batch of my Tequila Lime Chicken for an early dinner.  Knowing in advance that my work week was going to be ridiculously busy, I made sure that I grilled up some extra chicken for Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos.

Whenever I am out on the back patio next to my kitchen, I always make sure that my camera is close at hand.  Last year I planted some giant allium in large containers and their gorgeous purple flowers were attracting dozens of honey bees.  So, I put my camera to good use while I was waiting for my Tequila Lime Chicken to finish cooking on the grill.  I have to admit, when I took this shot, I was just a tad worried about getting too close to my subject.  Lucky for me, he did not care that I was taking his picture :).

Earlier this spring, I planted a bunch of chives in a pot and they are blooming too.  The chive blossoms are much smaller and not as brightly colored as the giant allium.  However, whenever I need fresh chives I simply walk out onto the back porch, scissors in hand and I snip whatever I want.   Planting fresh herbs in pots saves a bunch of money at the grocery store.  Plus, they always seem to taste better and fresher.

My recipe for Tequila Lime Chicken is here.  For the Tequila Lime Chicken, I marinate boneless, skinless chicken thighs in lime juice, tequila, cilantro, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, garlic and smoked paprika.  I marinate the chicken for several hours and then cook the chicken on my barbecue or indoor grill.  I like to use any leftover Tequila Lime Chicken warmed up in soft tacos with shredded carrot, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, lime and drizzled with a tangy cilantro sour cream.  Sometimes, I chop it up the grilled Tequila Lime Chicken and place it on a heap of fresh picked lettuce leaves for a healthy salad.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3 cups chopped Tequila Lime Chicken (warm)
  • 6 corn tortillas (warm)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp cilantro chopped
  • big pinch of cumin
  • drizzle with hot sauce or salsa (optional)

In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and cumin.  Set aside. Heat up the tequila lime chicken (I used a microwave).  Fill warm tortillas with chicken, lettuce, tomato, shredded carrots and drizzle with cilantro sour cream.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges.  Makes 6 tacos.

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken

I have a bad habit…  Whenever Bruce and I have guests at our home, I tend to put out too much food.  Our guests always go home happy and with their bellies full but, dealing with party leftovers can be a pain.  Just like what happened over the past weekend.  We had a pound of leftover strawberries sitting in a bowl on the counter after our brunch and there’s only two of us living in the home.  Ugh!  I can’t believe I thought it and even worse, I can’t even believe that I said it out loud.  I bought way too many strawberries…

Strawberry Barbecue Sauce

I have learned over the years that sometimes you just need to get creative to use up the ingredients you have on hand.  I personally like to use ingredients and flavor combinations in ways that most people would never think or even dream of.  A great example is my sweet and tangy homemade Strawberry Barbecue Sauce with spicy ancho chili, sweet and sticky Indonesian soy sauce and my favorite soda, Dr Pepper.  The flavor of my Strawberry Barbecue sauce is smoky, sweet and complex but on the other hand, it’s really easy to make.

Strawberry Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 pound of strawberries (cleaned, hulled and quartered)
  • 1 can Dr Pepper
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder (use more for a spicy kick)
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste

Add all ingredients to saucepan. Cook on medium low, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes.  Blend with hand blender to make the barbecue sauce smooth.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Makes about 3 cups.  Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  Brush it on barbecue beef, chicken, or pork..

Now that the sauce is done… Let’s fire up the Q!

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken

  • 6 pounds chicken (I like to use legs or thighs)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 cups Strawberry Barbecue Sauce (or to taste)

Fire up your barbecue or grill pan.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill on medium high heat until juices run clear or about 15 minutes.  Brush with sauce and cook a few minutes more…  Serve chicken with sauce on the side.   Makes about 12 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Looks delish!

Guava Chicken


Guava Chicken

My son called me the other day just to gently point out to me that I did not live up to my promise to post easy recipes that he could make in his slow cooker while he studying at the university.   During our conversation he asked me to come up with something Asian inspired that he can toss together quickly and serve with jasmine rice.  My slow cooker Guava Chicken is just the ticket.  It’s easy to make, tender and flavorful.  Not to mention, I assembled the ingredients in about 10 minutes.

My slow cooked Guava Chicken is made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, guava jelly, Indonesian soy sauce, ginger, garlic and rice vinegar.  It’s sweet, tangy and has just the right amount of spice.  Next time you find some guava jelly at your favorite grocery store, buy some and make this.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup guava jelly
  • 1/4 cup Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chives

In a slow cooker, add the chicken.  In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the garnishes.  Pour sauce over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for about 4-6 hours or until fork tender.  Taste your seasonings, correct and serve with fluffy jasmine rice.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chives.  Serves about 4.

Chicken Cabbage Soup

Chicken Cabbage Soup

Today was a day that was all about simple foods with simple flavors.   I was in the mood to make a pot of chicken soup but I wanted it to be a bit different than my usual recipe.  I thought of incorporating tender cabbage instead of noodles or rice.  I’m glad that I did.  My chicken cabbage soup is light, delicately flavored and includes some of my favorite Asian ingredients such as soy sauce and mirin.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

Grab a large sauce pan and add all the ingredients with the exception of the cilantro.  Cook until the vegetables are tender.  Ladle up and garnish with the cilantro.  Makes about 6 servings.

Chicken Endive Spears

Chicken Endive Spears

I just love easy appetizers.  These Chicken Endive Spears are crazy simple to make and with all store bought ingredients.  I made a platter of these to share at a birthday party earlier today.  All you need is some store bought chicken salad (from the deli section of your favorite store), fresh endive spears, minced green onion and a jar of your favorite caviar.

Begin by washing and trimming the endive spears.  Scoop on the chicken salad.  Garnish with minced green onion and caviar.  That’s it.  See? I told you that was easy!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Chicken Pot Pie with Blue Cheese and Havarti













I don’t know where the time has gone…  It’s been over a week since my last post and that’s not like me.  Well, I have been under a rock lately, and it was about time that I got back in my kitchen.  It’s been a week of frozen meals and takeout dinners and I am sick of it.  I am seriously done with that.

I am happy to be back and in celebration of being back in my kitchen I cooked up this yummy treat.  It’s a Chicken Pot Pie with Blue Cheese and Havarti.  It’s a twist on a traditional chicken pot pie that is stuffed with tender chicken, sautéed carrots, onions and celery with a creamy blue cheese bechamel and buttery havarti cheese.  I even made the pie crust from scratch.  It’s good, it’s homey, it’s rich and it’s delish!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  •  4 1/2 cups cooked chicken (cubed)
  • 1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 3 cups blue cheese bechamel  sauce (see recipe below)
  • 6 ounces havarti cheese (shredded)
  • 1 egg (beaten with a bit of water)
  • pie dough for 2 pie crusts (see recipe below)

Begin by cubing up your cooked chicken and set aside.  Buy one of those precooked chickens from the deli or store if you don’t have time to cook your own.   Chop up your vegetables and set aside.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Grab 6 oval shaped casseroles and spray with non stick spray.

In a saute pan add your butter, celery, onion, carrot, and a pinch of salt.   Cook until the onions are opaque and the carrots are barely tender.  Remove from heat.  Add your cooked chicken and cooked vegetables to the oval casserole dishes.  Add 1/2 cup of the blue cheese bechamel to each casserole.  Add your havarti cheese.

Divide your 2 pie crusts into 6 pieces.  Roll out on a floured board, pie crusts large enough to cover each casserole.  Use a fork and crimp down the sides.  Put slits in the top of each pie.  Brush with beaten egg, place on foil lined baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown.  Keep an eye on them and rotate halfway through the baking process.  Lightly cover with foil if it is browning too fast.  Pull from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes and then dig in!  Makes 6 individual casseroles.

Blue Cheese Bechamel

Grab a medium sized sauce pan or saucier.  On medium low heat whisk together 6 Tablespoons of butter and 5 Tablespoons flour.  Cook until it is nearly golden in color.  Add 3 cups milk, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme and 2 ounces blue cheese.  Oh, and add a splash of dry vermouth.  Cook slowly, constantly whisking until it has thickened.  Taste it, you may not need to add salt because of the blue cheese.  Do not over cook.  Remove from heat.

Easy Pie Crust (2 crust pie)

Grab a food processor.  Add two cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cup shortening and 1/2 tsp salt.  Pulse until lightly mixed.  Add 5 – 6 Tablespoons ICE COLD water, one tablespoon at a time.  Lightly pulse until the dough sticks together and forms a ball.  You are done.  Remove from the food processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Put pie dough in your refrigerator for about a half an hour before rolling.  Makes 2 pie crusts or 6 little crusts for the casseroles.

Chicken and Rice Soup













Chicken and Rice Soup

I just gotta tell you…  I own a 47 year old rice cooker.  Yep, it is 47 years old and what’s crazy about it is that it still makes perfect rice every time!  My rice cooker was purchased in 1964, about the time my family immigrated to the United States. My Oma was the first owner and she used it for years.  Then for some reason, she passed it along to my Mother who in turn passed it to me when I was about 18 years old and ready to move out of the house.  What an unbelievable treasure!  And when you hear people say they don’t make things  like they used to, they aren’t kidding…













Here’s a picture of my rice cooker.  It is a bit scuffed from the years of use but is still my favorite appliance in the kitchen.  I did the math and I am thinking that we have made hundreds of pots of rice using this cooker!

Today I made my homemade Chicken and Rice Soup for Bruce and I for dinner.  I was feeling a tad bit under the weather and this was the only dish that appealed to me.  My Chicken and Rice Soup is home cooked comfort food at its finest.  It is made with tender chicken simmered in a simple savory broth with leeks, carrots, celery, coriander and warm soul soothing white rice.  And of course, the rice was made using my vintage rice cooker.  Makes about 8 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 leek
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 tsp butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 2 Tbls cornstarch
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups cooked rice (add more if you want)

Begin by cooking the chicken thighs in 2 cups of water and 2 bouillon cubes in a medium sized dutch oven or pot on the stove.  Cook covered for about 12 minutes on medium high heat or until done.  Remove chicken from pot, set aside and let cool.  Meanwhile chop your leek (don’t use the dark green part, it’s way too tough), carrots and celery into about a 1/4 inch dice.  Make sure that you have about 2 cups worth of vegetables.

Grab a saute pan, heat to medium high heat and add butter.  Toss in your vegetables, add big pinch of salt and saute until onion is opaque.  Add vegetables to the soup pot.  Add chicken stock, white pepper, and coriander.

Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch dice.  Add chicken to the pot.  Whisk together one cup cold water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch and add to soup.  Cover and cook for about 45 minutes on medium low.  Add the cooked rice, heat through for a few more minutes.  Taste your soup, correct your seasonings if necessary and then serve.



Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings













Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Last weekend when my son came home from school for a short visit, I bought him a slow cooker to help with the chore of cooking for himself while studying all day at the Honors College.  He skyped me the other day and in the middle of our conversation I asked him how was the slow cooker?  He promptly said, “Mom, I have never cooked anything in one of those before”…  First , I thought to myself, I thought he knew how but I as I think back, I have not used my slow cooker for at least two years.  I guess it is time to dust it off!

Well, here’s a easy recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings.  I know that this is not my usual style of cooking but, as all you moms know, you gotta take care of your cubs first.  So, G…  here you go!  Love you! – Mom

And, for the rest of you… I hope you try this simple and tasty recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings.   Enjoy! – Tessa


  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 potato
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dry tarragon
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 cups biscuit mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley or chives

Begin by chopping the potato, carrot, celery and onion into even sized pieces.  Put vegetables in slow cooker, toss to mix.  Trim fat from the chicken thighs and cut into 1″ sized pieces.  Add to the top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.

Be sure to wash your hand and workspace well after prepping the chicken.  If you don’t, you might be at home sick instead of in class where you belong…

Now go grab a mixing bowl and a whisk.  Whisk together the chicken stock, flour, cream of mushroom soup, garlic paste, seasoning salt, thyme, tarragon, and white pepper.  Pour sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker, cover and turn on low.













Go study for about 8 hours.  If you put it on high, it will take about 4-5 hours.

8 hours later (or 4-5 depending on if the cooker is on high), be sure to check the chicken to make sure that it is done.  Taste the stew, and correct your seasonings.  You may need to add more salt, maybe not.  Turn the slow cooker up to high.  Grab another bowl and mix together the biscuit mix and 2/3 cup of milk.  Drop the dumplings by spoonful on the stew.  Toss on some fresh chopped parsley for color.  Cook covered for 30 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.  Makes about 6 servings.

A couple of notes:  this recipe can be halved if you want to cook less and it can also be doubled if you want to make more.

Chicken Curry (Kari Ayam)













Every year for the past seven years I have planted tomatoes in my little pocket garden.  When we first moved into our home, my husband Bruce built me a couple of raised garden beds on the side of our house.  I have tomatoes and other vegetable plants tucked into those garden beds and every available space in our yard that gets over eight hours of sunlight everyday.  It’s now near the end of summer and for the size of my little garden, I am happy to say that I have quite the bumper crop of tomatoes.

Lemon boys and green zebras are the heirloom tomato varieties that I have chosen to use in my Indonesian inspired chicken curry.  I love the vibrant yellow color of the lemon boys in the sauce and the gorgeous green stripes of the green zebras as a garnish. My chicken curry is made with succulent chicken thighs, yellow tomatoes, Indonesian soy sauce, onion, coconut milk and fragrant spices.  Serve this flavorful curry over steamed rice and garnish with green onions and sliced tomatoes.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into large pieces.
  • 1 white onion chopped fine
  • 3 large yellow tomatoes (lemon boy) peeled and quartered
  • 2 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 6 oz. can coconut milk
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground lemon grass
  • 1/2 tsp. galangal powder
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • a big pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • water
  • 1 Tbls. canola oil
  • garnish with thin sliced green onions and chopped green zebra tomatoes

In a large hot saute pan, cook the chicken in the canola oil over medium high heat until a gorgeous golden color.  Add your onions and cook until translucent.  Add the tomatoes, soy sauce, coconut milk, spices and a cup of water.  Cook covered until chicken is tender and sauce is thickened (about 30-40 minutes).  Add more water if necessary.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with sliced green onions and tomatoes.  Serves 6.

Kip Smoor

The past couple of weeks at my work has been crazy busy.  I manage a small finance department and we have been working feverishly on our year end financial statements.  To top it off,  we are also preparing for a group of auditors who will be visiting us in just a few sort weeks.  And, I am sorry to report that we are still not ready.  As a result, I am a bit frazzled.  No wait… I am really frazzled.  I look at it this way, stressful situations require some serious comfort food.  In my opinion, my family’s recipe for Kip Smoor is the perfect dish for such occasions.  Some people prefer chocolate, some  people prefer macaroni and cheese.  I prefer Kip Smoor.  Then, of course,  chocolate…

This Kip Smoor recipe has been a much loved family recipe for well over 50 years.  My Oma would make this for my sister and I when we were just little girls.  Kip Smoor is a simple braised chicken that is slow cooked with white onion, garlic, fresh grated nutmeg, cloves, Indonesian soy sauce and fresh tomatoes.  We like to serve it ladled over a scoop of fluffy white jasmine rice and with cool crisp cucumber slices on the side.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 4 pounds or about 10 pieces chicken (preferably thighs)
  • 2 Tbls. butter
  • 2 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (quartered)
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 Tbls. Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • chicken broth (about 3 cups or enough to cover the chicken
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

Melt butter in a large pot and add the chicken.  Cook chicken until a light golden color or about 10 minutes.  Drain the oil out of the pot.  Add the onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low (uncovered) until tender and the liquid is considerably reduced.  Note:  I like to cook the chicken for well over an hour until it is ready to fall off the bone.  Serve with white rice and sliced cucumbers.

If by a remote chance that you have leftovers, be sure to pack some for your lunch tomorrow or if you want, remove the chicken from the bones and make some Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice).