Tzatziki Chicken Salad Sandwich

While shopping this past week, I ended up buying a bunch of fresh dill. I’ve been wanting to incorporate dill into some of my recipes. Dill has this citrus, and maybe slightly sour aspect to it, and personally, I love it. I’ve tried growing it in my garden in the past, and it has never blossomed the way I wanted. I’ll admit that I have somewhat of a green thumb, but have failed when it comes to dill. Regardless, I can now get some fresh dill, and I’m fine with that.

So, I decided to make a batch of tzatziki sauce. If you have never had tzatziki sauce, well, it is a must! I made a batch, only to be used for my Grecian lamb and grilled cheese sandwich (It was amazing). However, I had plenty of leftover tzatziki sauce. It was last Sunday, and after looking in my refrigerator, I also noticed I had some leftover chicken that I had roasted the previous night. That’s when I thought of making a tzatziki chicken salad sandwich!

Tzatziki Chicken Salad Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 slices of rustic French loaf, about 1/2 inch thick, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 thin slice of provolone cheese, optional

Ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated using a microplane
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the tzatziki sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir to combine.

 

Mix all of the chicken salad ingredients, with the exception of the bread, into a small mixing bowl.

Tzatziki Chicken Salad Sandwich

Take one of your toasted pieces of bread, and add the thin slice of provolone cheese. Generously mound some of the chicken salad onto the bread.

Top with the remaining slice, and slice on the diagonal prior to serving.

As you typically think of using mayonnaise in a chicken salad sandwich, the tzatziki sauce gives this an awesome surprise. Personally, I think the sauce with the cucumbers, dill, garlic, and yogurt really make this a better sandwich. You let me know what you think, as I thought this was a real winner.

Hope you enjoy!

Pho Style Chicken Stock

Do you love Vietnamese pho as much as I do? Sometimes I feel I cannot get enough of it. If you have never tried pho, please go out and try it, or better yet try making your own. The broth is unique in the sense that I know you will fall in love with it. It has notes of cinnamon, star anise, and roasted onions and ginger that it has you slurping up those noodles, beef, and bean sprouts like you were some sort of soup ninja. As pho is typically done with beef, there is also a chicken pho that is just as great. So recently I decided to make a big batch of pho style chicken stock to be used in some of my braises, and a base for ramen throughout the week. This stock is so good that you can simply reheat any day during the week, and drink it from a cup.

Pho Style Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole onions
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1.5 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 quarts of water, to cover
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sake, optional
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the onions and ginger to a baking sheet, and place into the oven until they are nice and charred. You can do this on your grill as well if you desire. Once charred, add them to the stock pot, along with the chicken pieces, salt, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, sake, and sugar.

How to make chicken pho stock

Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat. You will notice a bunch of chicken scum come to the top during the simmer. No fear. You want to remove all of this. Use a skimmer to remove the scum, and discard. If you do not have a skimmer, use a large spoon. Continue to remove the scum as it appears.

I cooked my stock for about 6 hours, because, hey, why not? Once thoroughly cooked, strain using a chinois, or another type of strainer over a large pot. I use the chinois, and press the mixture until all of the stock is strained. Let the stock cool, the cover and refrigerate.

When you are ready to use, add the stock (it will be thickened from all of that great chicken fat) to your pot to reheat, letting it come to a boil.

This pho style chicken stock is just loaded with awesome flavor, and again is something you can use for a couple of weeks, whether that be with a noodle soup, a braise, or as part of a slow cooker recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Pho Style Chicken Stock
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 quarts
 
Ingredients
  • 2 whole onions
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1.5 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 quarts of water, to cover
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 whole star anise
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sake, optional
  • 2 tbsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the onions and ginger to a baking sheet, and place into the oven until they are nice and charred. You can do this on your grill as well if you desire. Once charred, add them to the stock pot, along with the chicken pieces, salt, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, sake, and sugar.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat. You will notice a bunch of chicken scum come to the top during the simmer. No fear. You want to remove all of this. Use a skimmer to remove the scum, and discard. If you do not have a skimmer, use a large spoon. Continue to remove the scum as it appears.
  3. I cooked my stock for about 6 hours, because, hey, why not? Once thoroughly cooked, strain using a chinois, or another type of strainer over a large pot. I use the chinois, and press the mixture until all of the stock is strained. Let the stock cool, the cover and refrigerate.
  4. When you are ready to use, add the stock (it will be thickened from all of that great chicken fat) to your pot to reheat, letting it come to a boil.

 

Middle Eastern Style Chicken and Rice

I have mentioned this in the past, but almost every day, my colleagues at work talk about food, whether it was what they ate over the weekend, or what they were going to eat. I work in an open space environment so it lends well to those types of conversations as we plug away at emails and prepare for events. A buddy of mine turned me on to this dish. He came into work boasting about how awesome it was, and so that intrigued me to say the least. Simple to say the least, this Middle Eastern style chicken and rice dish is perfect to make during a busy work week and is great for leftovers. Did I mention the yogurt sauce? Yep, it’s all about the sauce.

Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the yogurt sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

Ingredients for the rice:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of Basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp oregano powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

Trust me, this all works to your advantage.

Start by making the marinade for the chicken. Add all of the chicken ingredients, with the exception of the chicken, to a food processor, and process until the garlic is broken down and you have a nice marinade. Add the chicken to a sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Move that around in the bag, then seal, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or go longer if you desire.

How to make Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice

 

Next, make the yogurt sauce.

Add everything to a mixing bowl, stir to incorporate everything, and taste. Adjust any lemon juice or salt to your preference. (This sauce goes great with a lot of stuff.)

Next, make the rice.

Heat a medium sized pot on medium heat, and add in the butter. Let that melt, then add in the turmeric and cumin, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Next add in the basmati rice, and give it a good stir. Keep stirring for about 2 minutes, then add in the stock, and salt. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes. Once the rice has fully absorbed the stock, fluff with a fork, uncover, and set to the side.

Next, make the chicken.

To a large skillet on medium-high heat, add the chicken. Spread it out and leave it untouched for about 5 minutes, then flip over the pieces, and caramelize the chicken on the other side.

Now you are ready to plate. I’m drooling just thinking about this.

Add the rice to a plate, top with some of the chicken, and spoon over a bunch of sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if you like, as well as a wedge of lemon.

Dig in. My wife and kids fell in love with this one, especially the chicken. It’s got this great lemon and garlic flavor, along with the awesome spices throughout the entire dish, and don’t even get me started on the sauce. Don’t. Just make this, I think you will really love it. Hope you enjoy!

Blue Cheese Dip

Superbowl Sunday is finally over. I’ll admit it, I watched some of it. Only some of it, and I will say that I was not that pleased with the commercials. I was more excited however on making the game day grub. We were supposed to have some family over, however the Milwaukee area got hit with a ton of snow, so no one was able to come over due to the road conditions. That did not stop me from making game day food however, and as my wife requested my loaded potato skins (which I was a bit surprised, but thankful), and my kids were going to ask for chicken wings, I decided to knock those out and enjoy the snow, and food!

After looking in my refrigerator, I saw a container of blue cheese crumbles that I had not used in some time, and that sparked the idea of making an awesome blue cheese dip for some of those wings.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce Recipe

This blue cheese dipping sauce is so freaking awesome and can go in so many directions, whether it be with chicken wings, or veggies and pretzels. Seriously, this is so good, I am drooling just thinking about it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup of crumbled blue cheese

This recipe is so simple. Basically add everything to a mixing bowl, get everything nice and incorporated.

How to make blue cheese dipping sauce

Dig in. I served this alongside some baked chicken wings, and whoa, I cannot say enough about how great this sauce is. It’s creamy, with that great touch of blue cheese, and then a hit of garlic. Get a breath mint when you are done, but I guarantee you will be coming back, and back again for it.

I hope you enjoy!