Ranch Chicken Pizza

Have you tried pizza without marinara sauce? This was my first foray into making pizza without a traditional red sauce, and MY GOD! WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!

Literally, so so good!

I happened upon this recipe after my son asked that I make pizza for dinner (I had already set a packet of frozen chicken out to thaw). It worked out perfectly, because it also gave me a chance to use up a few vegetables that were past their prime. Win-win 😉

(Recipe courtesy of Annie’s Eats; crust and pizza)

 

ranchchickenpizzapic

Ranch Chicken Pizza

Yield: 1 Large Pizza

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Oil, for greasing the bowl

For Pizza:

  • ¾ – 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into bitesize pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar, Colby, or Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Make Crust:

Combine ¼ cup water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Add remaining water and oil, and stir to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine bread flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add yeast mixture. Once all of the dough has come together, increase speed to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, about 2 hours.

Make Pizza:

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, while stirring often, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Lightly sprinkle pizza pan or half-sheet baking pan with cornmeal or semolina. Roll out pizza dough to fit pan, leaving the edges slightly thicker for the crust.

Spread the ranch dressing evenly over the crust, followed by mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with the cooked chicken, green onions, and tomato. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

Place the pizza in the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted, about 13-17 minutes.

 

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Not too long ago, my brother mentioned that I don’t post enough “main” dishes on the blog. I took a step back and realized that he was right. He made me realize that I seem to share recipes for the occasional treats or indulgences, and rarely the regular day-to-day meals. My goal for the coming year is to focus more on daily meals, including traditional Pakistani fare.

Coming to this recipe, it’s a delicious and healthy meal that comes together very quickly. I adapted it from here based on dietary restrictions, and it’s a meal I come back to time and time again.

broccolichickenstirfrypic

 

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, divided
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish

Directions:

In a bowl, combine chicken, sugar, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, ginger-garlic paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili flakes, and salt. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine remaining cornstarch and water and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat. Add broccoli, remaining ginger-garlic paste, 2 tablespoons water, salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat skillet over high heat again and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken and stir-fry until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and cornstarch mixture, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Garnish with green onions.

Eid Eats 2016: Zesty Spice Roasted Chicken

Eid Eats 2016 is officially here! This “party” is one that I look forward to all year 🙂  With Ramadan coming to an end, it’s fun to get together with other bloggers and enjoy the festive atmosphere.  Do you want to come to the party but worried that it’s too late?  Fret not my friend, there’s still time! You’ve got until Wednesday, July 6, to submit a recipe.  Just follow the guidelines found here, and you’re in!  I, along with my co-hosts Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies (check out what she’s sharing here), and Sarah of Flour and Spice (and the yummies that she’s sharing here) would love for you to join us!

EidEats5

Click on this graphic to submit your addition to #EidEats2016. You can also click here to check out all of the yummies everyone has brought.


This year, Eid Eats falls on my father’s birthday.  I had decided beforehand that I wanted to make something that would make him proud.  My father was a huge fan of roasted poultry (chicken and turkey). He was the honoree turkey-carver at every Thanksgiving gathering. He used to enjoy revving the electric knife and getting down to business on the bird. Friends (and their children) would stand around and watch him, and he would hand feed little pieces to those standing closest to him.

I decided to make a zesty spice rubbed roasted chicken (adapted from here) because I knew it would be something that he would have enjoyed.  Prior to this attempt, I had never roasted a chicken before. I don’t know about you, but I had so much fear going into it! Afterwards however, I wondered why the heck I took this long to attempt something so simple! Please, don’t be a scaredycat like me. It’s a simple dish to prepare, and it really adds a classy touch to any spread.

 

ZestySpiceRoastedChickenPic

 

Zesty Spice Roasted Chicken

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 – 3 ½ pound) whole chicken, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ lemon
  • Potatoes, as needed, diced into 2-inch chunks (or baby potatoes cut in half)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine 1-tablespoon butter, salt, paprika, basil, oregano, black pepper, and red chili powder.

Place chicken in a large container and rub with spice mix, making sure to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the meat to marinate for several hours (overnight is best).

Remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 450°F. In a baking pan, place potatoes in an even layer. Place chicken on top and stuff the cavity with garlic and lemon. Tie the chicken legs together with baking twine. Brush chicken with remaining 3 tablespoons butter, making sure to pour a few spoonfuls into the cavity as well.

Roast chicken in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400°F and cook for an additional 40 minutes, until the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 165°F. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil, and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve garnished with cilantro.

Guest Post: Faaiza of Modest Munchies

Today we have my very close friend Faaiza, who blogs over at Modest Munchies, sharing Iftar (break-fast meal) with us!  Before we get to the delicious recipe, let me tell you a little bit about Faaiza. She is based out of Australia, and her blog features delicious recipes, reviews, and even awesome Islamic based crafts for kids! She’s a total creative at heart, and her work shows just that.  Also, Faaiza along with Amnah of Little Life of Mine have just released their new app Muslimify! It’s a photo editing app that can be used to give your photos some flair using Islamic themed editing tools.  It’s a very fun and user-friendly app, and I would encourage everyone to take a look at it! Below is a photo I edited using the Muslimify app; it’s a photo of some string lights I have hanging, and I added a filter and that cute Ramadan Mubarak “sticker” (is that what they’re called?)! Totes adorbs, right? 🙂

IMG_1679

Salaam All and a happy Ramadan to you all. I’m so glad to be here on Henna’s blog today. It’s been a long time coming, and I already feel at home. I’ve had the honour of having Henna over on my blog and and even hosted a virtual baby shower in her honour. Ahh, the joys of the internet. Some of the biggest joys is being able to reach out to so many people and of course making new friends, like Henna. If there was an internet version of a BFF Henna would be mine, hands down!

I was recently featured in a Buzzfeed Community Roundup for Healthy Iftar ideas. The round up included my pasta and bean salad as well as these baked chicken tenders from I Knead to Eat. After going through the list with Mr. Munchies I knew this would be one I would have to try, Mr Munchies loves fried chicken and a healthier baked version sounded like a good idea.

Sunday rolled around and I couldn’t decide what to make for Iftar, when I remembered those baked tenders. I quickly ran to the grocery store and grabbed some corn flakes as well as some chicken from the butcher. I set to work and prepped everything ready for the oven. Between running to the grocery and coming back to prep the chicken I had lost track of time and it was getting too close to Iftar. I decided frying them would be the best option with the time I had left. We usually try to be healthy in Ramadan, but it was Sunday and who can resist ‘fried’ chicken right? They were served with chilli mayo, the perfect accompaniment.

Here’s my adapted version below:

Crispy Cornflake Fried Chicken

Crispy Cornflake Fried Chicken

 

500g chicken breast

1 tsp crushed garlic

2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

6 cups corn flakes + 1/2 cup

2 eggs

Oil for frying

 

Chilli mayo

1/3 cup mayo with 2 teaspoons of your favourite chilli sauce mixed in

 

Wash and clean your chicken breasts. Slit each piece lengthways along the middle. Place a piece of baking paper on the chicken. With a kitchen mallet (or rolling pin) pound the pieces so they’re an even thickness. Cut these pieces into even sizes, about the size of chicken tenders. Place the chicken in a bowl and mix in the garlic Set the chicken aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a food processor blend the 6 cups of corn flakes, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour this into a bowl. Crush the remaining half cup with your hands and mix it into the crushed cornflake mixture. This creates chunkier bits for added crunch. Place th flour in a shallow bowl. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them well. Set up your bowls in order of flour, egg, cornflakes mix. Dunk your chicken in flour and dust off excess. Drop your floured pieces in the egg, coat it well then let the excess drain off before dropping into the corn flake mix. Coat the egged pieces well in the corn flour mix and set aside.

Once you’ve finished all the crumbing. Place a pot of oil on a medium to high heat. Once your oil is hot place in a few pieces of chicken at a time (this will depend on the size of pot you use, and the amount of oil inside, do not overcrowd the pot). Fry for a few minutes until the pieces reach a golden brown.  Cut through thicker pieces to ensure they are cooked through, they should look white inside with no hint of pink. Alternatively you could place the chicken on a tray in a pre heated oven of 200c and bake for 20 mins, turning after 10 minutes of baking. Again, cut through thicker pieces to ensure they are cooked through.

Serve with chilli mayo. Yum!

Chicken Quesadillas and Eid Eats 2016!

Salam and Hello friends!

I come bearing exciting news! Ramadan is right around the corner (less than 2 weeks remaining! Eeeks!), and Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, Sarah of Flour and Spice, and I are hosting Eid Eats (2016) again! What is Eid Eats, you ask. Consider it a virtual potluck in which you “bring” (ie., blog about) a food item which is reminiscent of Eid (the holiday marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan). What you decide to share can be something traditional that’s made in your home/family, or you can get creative and share something completely out of the ordinary. The choice is yours, as long as it screams Eid festivities to you 🙂

EidEats5

Here are a few guidelines in order to participate:

  • Prepare and blog about your food item on July 3rd, 2016.   You can prepare your blog post beforehand, just be sure to have it go live on the above-mentioned date. The link party will be open and accepting submissions until July 6th, 2016.
  • Be sure to use the hashtag #EidEats2016 in your post and on any social media.
  • New recipes and posts will only be accepted. Unfortunately we cannot accept links to past blog posts.
  • Link your post to the party hosts blogs (Flour and SpiceChocolate and Chillies, and My Ninja Naan) and be sure to include the party button/graphic (the one you see above) in your post.
  • Visit the aforementioned blogs on July 3rd and be sure to submit your post via the link party (will be set up that day).
  • Check out what our fellow bloggers have submitted, and be sure to head on over to their space and leave them some love in their comments section!

 

To get this party started, I made a batch of zesty and delicious Chicken Quesadillas whose recipe Asiya had shared. To say these are yummy is an understatement. These are freaking fantastic! They’re zippy and packed with flavor! Serve them with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream (or all three!), and you’re on your way to Flavor City 🙂

 

ChickenQuesadillasPic

Chicken Quesadillas

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless chicken breast, butterflied
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 8 to 10 medium flour tortillas
  • Cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or Colby), as needed

Directions:

In a small dish, combine lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, chili powder, cumin powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and salt. Add chicken and coat well.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer raw, keeping in mind that this can take several minutes. Transfer chicken (along with any juices that may have accumulated) to a plate and shred. In the same skillet, add onion and cook until softened, just a few minutes. Add onion and tomato to shredded chicken, mix well, and set aside.

Heat a lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Lay tortillas flat and place approximately ¼ to 1/3-cup on one half. Top with cheese and fold. Transfer to heated skillet, cover, and cook until the cheese has melted, just a few minutes. Flip the quesadilla and cook until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and serve immediately.