Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

  • 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 6 oz. Chorizo, sliced & quartered
  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth or Red Wine
  • 1 Medium Onion, julienned
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, crushed/minced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 Cup Small Sweet Peppers (red, yellow, orange) & Green Bell Pepper, cored & sliced
  • 1 Cup Mixed Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Cup Kalamata Olives, de-seeded, cut in half
  • 1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 14 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped

Pre-heat your oven to 350ºF. In a large, oven-proof pan (like a cast-iron skillet), heat the oil & fry the chorizo until slightly crisp. Remove the meat to a paper towel.

Salt & pepper the chicken & lightly coat each piece in flour. Add the chicken to the pan & fry until golden all over. Remove to sit with the chorizo.

Add the onions & garlic to the pan & sauté for a couple of minutes until just beginning to soften. Stir in the rosemary, peppers, mushrooms, olives, small tomatoes, & broth (or wine) & sauté to bubbling. Stir in the can of crushed tomatoes & cook for another minute.

Remove the pan from the heat & stir in the chorizo. Lay the chicken in the pan, skin-side up, & cover with foil. Slide the pan in the oven & bake for about 45 minutes.

Remove the foil & increase the oven temp. to 375ºF & cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool a little, & then sprinkle with the fresh parsley before serving. Great with rustic bread to sop up the juices.

Pan's Lab Cacciatore bite
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 32: Pan’s Labyrinth

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Sailor Venus’ Chicken Curry Fruitopia

Sailor Venus Fruitopia w figure

According to the character profile for Minako Aino, A.K.A. Sailor Venus, her favorite food is curry! I wanted to create a unique curry with healthy elements because Minako also loves to exercise (her favorite subject in school is P.E.) so I added fruits of colors connected to her sailor scout attire/accessories; yellow, orange, and gold! Combining fruit with chicken curry, haha, not to mention adding whipped cream, might seem crazy, but it’s delicious, and I feel that it goes along with Sailor Venus’ daring and brave personality.😉

Sailor Venus Fruitopia aerial html

Sailor Venus’ Chicken Curry Fruitopia

  • 6 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (shake the can)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger Powder
  • Dash of Sweet Paprika (optional)
  • 2 Cups Shredded/Chopped Pre-Cooked Chicken
  • Cooked White Rice
  • Lo-Mein or Philippine Noodles (I used Philippine)
  • Whipped Cream (store bought like Cool-Whip, or better yet, homemade so you have control over the sweetness)
  • Sliced Almonds

Fruit Suggestions

  • Apple (+ lemon juice to keep from browning)
  • Mandarin Orange
  • Peach
  • Nectarine
  • Passion Fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Golden Raisins

In a large pan over medium heat melt the butter. Sift in the flour, whisking constantly, until s smooth slurry forms. Cook for a minute, & then whisk in the broth until combined & there are no flour bits. Whisk in the coconut milk, & then add in the spices. Bring to a simmer & whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Add in the chicken & cook for a few more minutes until you’ve got a nice curry. Pour into a serving dish.

Peel & chop the yellow & orange fruits that you choose. To make the Venus Love Me (Heart) Chain, cut the apple into 1/4″ thick slices on the horizontal (so, not from stem to bottom, but through the center so you end up with the star core), & then use a little heart cookie cutter to cut several hearts. Submerge the hearts in lemon juice, & then use a few toothpicks to carefully skewer the hearts together, & place them on the sides of the serving dishes.

You can present this meal as a buffet so everyone can make their plate how they like, or you can start each plate with rice & curry (either on the rice or beside it), & then let people decorate it how they will. You can also take complete control & do the plating, according to your own aesthetic or following these photos for ideas. It’s all up to you! It’s a fun and crazy meal. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

Sailor Venus fruitopia rice
Sailor Venus fruitopia dish
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 42: Sailor Moon

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Mercury Soda Bubbles Blast & Chicken Katsu Study Sandwich


Sailor Mercury is my favorite Sailor Scout; she’s smart, and sweet, good with computers, gets good grades, and is a loyal member of the team! She loves sandwiches, and in the 90s series fights with bubbles (bubbles!).

So I made a nice little meal for her so she can recharge, read some books and fight some more baddies.

Chicken Katsu Sandwich

Adapted from Food & Wine

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 inch oil for frying
  • 8 slices white bread (Japanese milk bread if you can get it), crusts sliced off
    lettuce or sliced cabbage
  • tonkatsu sauce (recipe follows)

Between two sheets of saran wrap, pound the chicken thighs flat (I use a rolling pin).

Heat oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Assemble flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs on three plates. Dredge each chicken thigh into the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, letting the excess drip off, then cover with panko. Fry about 3 minutes per side, until outside is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve on the white bread with lettuce or cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

Tonkatsu Sauce

Adapted from Saveur

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1⁄4 cup Worcestershire
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

Thoroughly whisk together all ingredients

Mercury Soda Bubbles Blast

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teabags white tea (I used Tazo White Tea Berryblossom)
  • 1 cup blueberries, mashed and strained
  • seltzer

Heat sugar with 1 cup water to a boil, then simmer until sugar is dissolved, swirling to combine. Cool slightly then add teabags to steep for 30 minutes.

Remove tea bags and allow syrup to cool completely. Stir in blueberries.

To serve, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the syrup into a tall glass, add ice and about 10 ounces of seltzer. Stir gently.

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Pippi’s Meatball Sandwich


On scrubbing vacation day (sounds fun), Pippi packs a lovely picnic for Tommy and Annika, including meatball sandwiches. I’m a huge meatball fan in all forms, and like playing around with different ingredients and techniques from different regions. Swedish meatballs are made with milk-soaked bread which keeps them nice and tender, and are mixed thoroughly so that they’re almost silky. They’re mostly made with a mixture of beef and pork, but as we don’t eat pork and had had beef earlier in the week, I decided to try them with ground chicken – and they turned out great!

Also, rather than cooking them in gravy, I made some Swedishy sandwich fixings – quick pickled cucumbers and a bright magenta beet spread.

Pippi’s Meatball Sandwich

Loooooosely based on Alton Brown’s Swedish Meatballs

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon (plus a pinch) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a food processor, combine onion, bread, milk, butter, egg yolks, salt and nutmeg. Mix well with the ground chicken, and form into meatballs (about one heaping tablespoon in size). The mixture will be fairly wet, to make it easier you can form balls, then put them in the freezer for a few minutes, then reform as you put them in the pan to fry.

On medium high, heat a couple tablespoons oil with a tablespoon of butter. In batches, brown the meatballs on all sides, turning with spoons, then remove to a plate. When the last batch is browned, put all the meatballs back into the pot and cook, covered, 10-15 minutes until cooked through.

For the cucumbers

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • small palmful chopped dill

Toss cucumber slices, salt, sugar, and dill, let sit at least 15 minutes.

For the beet spread

  • 1 cup pickled beets, diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • good pinch salt

Combine beets, mayonnaise and salt.

Serve meatballs on a toasted sub roll with cucumbers and beet spread. Enjoy!

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Galician Stew


It should not be as hard to get ahold of rabbit as it is, considering our neighbors’ cat is happy to drop one off fresh on our doorstep every spring. However, this simple tasty stew works just as well with chicken thighs which are readily available. The wine used is Albariño, a Galician wine, but any light dry white would work.

Galician Stew

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Spanish Rabbit Stew

  • 1 rabbit, cut into pieces OR 4-5 boneless or bone-in chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 10 ounces red pearl onions
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 sprig rosemary, needles finely chopped
  • 1 cup albariño wine or other dry white wine
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and sliced
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sear the lemon. Brown the rabbit or chicken pieces, and remove to a plate. Add another tablespoon or two of olive oil as needed, and cook garlic and onions until beginning to soften. Add paprika and stir for a minute, then add wine and 2 cups of water and stir well, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add rosemary and the meat back to the pot and simmer, covered, for an hour to an hour and a half until meat is tender. Remove from the pot and shred with two forks. Turn the heat up and thicken the sauce to desired consistency, then add the meat back in along with the red peppers and cook another 5-10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serve hot with crusty bread.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 32: Pan’s Labyrinth

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Spike’s Spicy Wings

Buffy hot wings

Spike: Right. You want to learn all about how I bested the Slayers and you want to learn fast. Right, then. We fought. I won. The end. Pay up.
Buffy: That’s not what I–
Spike: What did you want, eh? A quick demo? A blow-for-blow description you can map out and memorize? It’s not about the moves, love. And since I agreed to your little proposition, we can do this my way. Wings.
Buffy: What?
Spike: Spicy buffalo wings. Order me up a plate. I’m feelin’ peckish.

S5 Ep7, “Fool for Love”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Spike’s Spicy Wings

  • 1 Quart Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Wings
  • 1/2 Cup Potato or Corn Starch
  • 3 Tbsp. Strawberry Preserves (no seeds)
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. Gochujang Red Pepper Paste (found in Asian section of grocery store or at an Asian Market)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil

Pour the oil into a large pot or little deep-fryer & heat to 375ºF. Cut off the tips of the chicken wings & discard, & then cut the wings in half at the center joint. Rinse the wing pieces & pat them dry with paper towels.

Put the starch in a medium bowl &, a few at a time, coat the chicken pieces in the powder, squeezing them to press the starch on well. Set a mesh strainer over an empty bowl & also put a couple of paper towels over a large plate.

Carefully put about half of the chicken pieces into the hot oil & cook them for 10 minutes. Lift them out & put them into the strainer so the excess oil can fall into the bowl below. Put the 2nd batch of coated chicken pieces into the oil & cook for 10 minutes. Just before lifting them out, move the 1st batch of chicken to the paper towels. Put the 2nd batch into the strainer & put the 1st batch back into the oil to cook for another 10 minutes. Move the 2nd batch to the paper towels & remove the 1st batch from the oil for the last time & let them sit in the strainer. Put the 2nd batch into the oil for 10 minutes & before they’re done–you guessed it–move the completed 1st batch to the paper towels & the completed 2nd batch to the strainer.

In a large pot on medium heat, stir together the rest of the ingredients until they are melted together & begin to thicken. Remove from heat & toss the chicken pieces in & coat them thoroughly. Place the chicken on a serving dish & enjoy! Serve with beer or Mountain Dew.

Buffy wings closeup
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 23: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Cinderella Cassoulet


This cassoulet is “authentic” the same way Cinderella is “French” – not really, but I think it definitely catches the spirit.

That means it’s more hearty and simple than fancy fare, and it’s made with common ingredients and suits our modern peasant lifestyle. So no duck, although I eventually want to make this exact dish using duck fat as the cooking oil once I get my hands on some, and it’s fairly quick, so perfect for very busy girls who have to sleep by the fire and wait on their hideous step-families.

I have a great cooking vessel that transfers to the oven, but you could certainly make this stovetop then transfer to a baking dish before you top with breadcrumbs.

Cinderella’s Cassoulet

  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chicken sausage, cut on the bias into large chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (or 3-4 fresh, chopped)
  • 2 15 ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • about 3 slices bread, thoroughly toasted, or about 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • herbs – I used a few sprigs fresh thyme and a pinch of dried oregano, but you can use what you have on hand

Heat a small amount of olive oil on medium high in a heavy-bottomed pot. Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper (just a little salt or the dish will be way too salty by the end), and brown well on both sides. Remove to a plate, and pour off all but a tablespoon or two of the oil. Brown the sausages and remove them to the plate.

Lower the heat to medium and saute the onion with just a sprinkle of salt, until golden brown. Add the garlic, and stir for a minute or two, then add the paprika and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes with another small sprinkle of salt, and cook, stirring, until they are well broken down. Add the beans, the chicken, and the sausage, and mix well. Add enough water to almost cover the chicken, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the chicken is well cooked through (stir occasionally and lower heat if necessary to keep from burning). Remove the lid, taste and adjust seasoning. Cook for a few minutes uncovered to thicken the sauce up if necessary.

While the chicken is cooking, in a food processor blitz the bread into breadcrumbs, and add herbs, a small pinch of salt, and a couple tablespoons olive oil.

Heat broiler. Smooth the chicken and beans mixture evenly and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Heat under the broiler just a few minutes, until breadcrumbs are nice and brown.

Serve hot!

I referenced a couple of great recipes on Serious Eats:

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 11: CINDERELLA

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