Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup


There is nothing like a good pot of soup at the end of a cold and rainy day. This is perfect. You can add sour cream, avocado or tortilla chips.







2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 ⁄ 2 medium red pepper
5 small boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cups frozen corn
1 ⁄ 2 cup dry white wine or 1⁄2 cup water
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce


Sauté onion, garlic, pepper and red pepper with olive oil in a large pot until soft.
Add all the rest of the ingredients to the large pot and bring to a boil.
After about 15 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and shred.
Return shredded chicken to the pot and simmer an additional 45 minutes.
Serve, topped with avocado and shredded cheese.

Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie

I was trying to come up with something to make with the boneless, skinless chicken thighs I had in the fridge so I started going through some old cookbooks I had not used in a while. I adapted this from an old James McNair recipe in his “Chicken” cookbook. I have quite a few that I have acquired over the years. This is a great weeknight recipe. It warms up well, too. 










1 can (28 oz.) Italian-style plum tomatoes, with their juices
1 can (16 oz.) cream-style corn
3 – 4 tsp. salt
1 medium-sized onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 canned adobo chipotle chili (chopped)
1 cup milk
½ cup yellow cornmeal
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pitted ripe olives
5 chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Olive oil for drizzling


Sauté onion until golden. Add tomatoes, corn, salt, olive oil and chili powder in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the milk, cornmeal, and eggs; add to the tomato mixture and cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thick, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the olives, chicken and about 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased shallow ovenproof dish. Top with the remaining cheeses, drizzle with oil, and bake until the pie is firm and the cheese is crusty, 35 – 45 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Mahogany Chicken Wings

Mahogany Chicken Wings


I grew up in Connecticut and came back for visits to my parents several times a year. One of my favorite places to go was a wonderful Garden shop called Lexington Gardens. 20 some odd years ago on one of those visits I bought this a cookbook that i still love and use today. Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter. I have made these wings many times over the years and have adjusted things here and there. The original recipe called for plum sauce and I can no longer find it in the store so I doubled the Hoisin sauce. I double the recipe and figure on about 3-4 wings per person. I served as a main meal with pasta salad.



4 pounds of chicken wings

3/4 cup plum sauce
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup Mirin
1/4 cup honey


Cut the tips off the wings

Combine the marinade ingredients. Place wings in a large pan and pour marinade over the wings to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 12 – 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375. Place a wire rack in a large roasting pan and coat with cooking spray.

Drain the marinade from the chicken and reserve. Put the marinade in a small pan, bring to a boil and simmer. Arrange the wings on the rack and roast for 30 minutes. I have done this without a rack and it works fine but the wings don’t get as crispy (but still tasty). After 30 minutes baste with the marinade, turn them and baste again.

Roast for another 30 minutes until tender and golden.


Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken


This was a quick week night dinner. I usually like chicken thighs better but the chicken turned out moist and flavorful. I served it with an apple, walnut and Romaine salad with greek yogurt dressing. This served more than 2 (depending on the size of the breast) but you could easily double for more servings. This would also be good with a marinara sauce. 





1 6 oz bag of pre-washed spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup of part skim ricotta (you could also use full fat)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup panko flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
cooking Spray


Preheat oven to 450.

Heat olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat. Add spinach to the pan and cook until spinach wilts, about 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently. Drain spinach in a sieve, pressing to remove any excess water. Place on a cutting board and finely chop. Place in a medium size bowl. Add ricotta and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Place chicken breast between 2 sheets of wax paper. Pound to flatten to about 1/4 inch using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Place half of the ricotta mixture in the middle of the chicken leaving a 1/4 inch border. Using the short side roll up in a jelly roll fashion and place seam side down in a 2 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining chicken breast.

Sprinkle chicken with the panko flakes, parmesan cheese and smoked paprika. Bake at 450 for 20 – 30 minutes until chicken is done