Grilled Chicken Legs and Broccoli Cakes

I have a confession, grilling chicken scares me. I constantly worry about turning what could have been a lovely dinner into the nasty, hard, dry chicken we all know and hate. In the past, I’ve over-turned it (no grill marks), under-cooked it (who’s up for a round of Salmonella?) and just given up. I was on the path of snubbing grilled chicken completely until our little grill entered the scene. Now, the possibilities are endless! After about 3 hours at Home Depot comparing tiny grills, we finally decided on the Brinkmann portable grill. We were extremely skeptical at first; the grill is small, only provides 7,000 BTUs (for comparison, your average propane grill burns at 32,000 BTU) and has legs that closely resemble the walking carriage out of Beauty and the Beast.  The grill is really more of a smoker and flames up ridiculously whenever you put any sort of grease or oil on the hot plate that is located about 1/2″ from the grill grate (not the best design), BUT we have had amazing results.

 

chicken and cake

So far, we’ve had sweet and succulent grilled pineapple, perfectly charbroiled hamburgers filled with bacon, jalapenos and cheddar, juicy pork chops and, most recently, perfectly grilled chicken legs. My fears have been quelled. These marinated drumsticks turned out wonderfully with a great crust and juicy, smokey meat inside. Served with a couple of broccoli cakes, these drumsticks made for a tasty, and triumphant, summer dinner.

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My first video!

Well folks, we’re branching out over here. I’ve made my very first video! I decided to go with a recipe I was very comfortable with and do turkey pesto meatballs and make a (very goofy) short video. This was a TON of fun, so I decided to keep at it. I now have a YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaX1KcRB4lOMW-3qChav3rw), and a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/messykitchenhappybelly?ref_type=bookmark)! We’re moving up in the world kids! As always I welcome comments and advice, hope you enjoy!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

finished casserole

Growing up in Colorado I’ve developed a love for great Southwestern food. I’ve been totally spoiled by farmer’s markets with roasted Hatch chilies and homemade salsas made with chilies plucked yesterday, not to mention the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants that just happen to have incredible tamales or chili rellenos. In my own kitchen, I love to incorporate all the deep flavors of the Southwest in simple dishes. I recently made rolled enchiladas, and they turned out OK, but this casserole version of the classic dish is a much easier way to get all the yumminess with half the work. Perfect for a Sunday dinner or a potluck lunch, this enchilada casserole is sure to become a favorite! Continue reading

Chicken Pot Pie

I had been looking for a great chicken pot pie recipe for a while and I think I’ve finally found it! This recipe has all the creamy goodness you want out of chicken pot pie and is loaded with veggies, lean white meat chicken and low sodium chicken broth. This pot pie is yummy comfort food you can feel great about! Continue reading

Chicken Fricassee

This dish was originally inspired by a Robert Irvine recipe that used all sorts of heavy cream and butter to create a wonderfully indulgent and guilt-ridden chicken dinner. I decided that it could be lightened up and be just as enjoyable. Because the chicken cooks in its own sauce full of rosemary and thyme, the meat stays incredibly tender and falls off the bone. This time around I also added some pancetta to the mix for a salty counterpoint to the roasted chicken flavor…oh my!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Divan

The first time I made this for dinner it took hours of chopping, dicing, and fussing before I finally called it quits. Luckily, it was so delicious that it ended up being totally worth it. Today, I’ve created some shortcuts to make this prep a cinch while still retaining the ooey gooey comfort-food goodness of this dish. Enjoy this on a snowy winter day, a freakishly hot July afternoon or really anytime!

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