General Tso’s Chicken

I really love my Instant Pot. It makes recipes like this super easy and fast! Now ordinarily I just order out for Asian food as it’s easier. But these days it’s not as easy and I had been meaning to try this recipe anyway. One this I will say is that using dark meat chicken vs. light meat makes a HUGE difference. This first time I tried this recipe I used boneless chicken breasts. It turned out dry and not all that good. This time I used boneless thighs and it was delicious. Enjoy!


General Tso’s Chicken

  • 1 tbsp. oil (sesame if you have it)
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (I have a tube in my fridge)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 green onion, chopped


Cut the chicken into about 1″ cubes. Turn your instant pot to sauté and add the oil. Once hot brown the chicken, about 5 minutes. Cancel the sauté. In a medium bowl which together the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, hoisin, and brown sugar. Poor into the instant pot and secure the lit. Make sure the valve is closed. Set your pressure cook to manual and for 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes is up use the quick release on the valve to quickly release the steam. Remove the chicken. Add the cornstarch to a couple tbsp. of cold water and mix well, I like to use a jar. Set the instant pot to sauté and whisk in the cornstarch. The mixture should start to thicken pretty quickly. Once it’s thick turn the pot off, and set it to keep warm, and add the chicken back in. Serve it over rice and sprinkle with the onion and sesame seeds (optional).


Lemon Chicken Soup

So I was talking to a friend and for some reason Greek food came up. He mentioned this recipe and I was intrigued. So I turned to my friend Google and looked up several versions before deciding on this one. I’d say the only change I made was to up the garlic and ditch the spinach. Don’t get me wrong, I love spinach, but not in my soup. And I almost always have shredded chicken in the freezer, left over from rotisserie chicken usually. Really the only thing I had to go out and buy was the orzo pasta.  It turned out delicious and was super easy to make. Enjoy!

Lemon Chicken Soup

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2-3 cups of shredded chicken
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 package of fresh dill, finely chopped


I used my Instant Pot for this but if you don’t have one you can just a regular soup pot. On medium heat, or the sauté mode for the Instant Pot, cook the carrots, onion, and garlic in the olive oil with about half the salt for about 10 minutes or until softened. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Once softened, add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add in the orzo and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the chicken (if it’s frozen even better).

Now beat together the eggs and lemon juice. Add a ladle full of the chicken stock mixture at a time, beating it into the egg lemon mixture. The idea here is to slowly bring the egg mixture up to temperature before adding it into the soup. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling and you’ll have a silky, creamy soup base. Once you’ve incorporated 4-5 ladle full pour it into the soup while slowly stirring. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add in the dill and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is completely cooked.

This soup reheats very well but you may need to add a little more stock or water as the orzo can soak up a lot of moisture.

Roasted Garlic & Truffle Chicken

There’s a reason why my blog tag line is my experiments in cooking. Sometimes it’s just that, experimentation. This is one of the recipes I found via the internet, I don’t even remember where, that I thought I’d try. It turned out super moist but not nearly as flavorful as I had hoped. In part, I’m sure, because I modified the recipe slightly. I don’t have truffle bouillon or salt on hand nor actual truffle. Both of which the original recipe called for. In addition, I cheated slightly buy using garlic butter instead of plain butter and cut the amount of fresh garlic down (big mistake). And I have also realized that not all truffle oils are the same. I recently had to buy some as I had used up my supply. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the same brand that I had before so I bought a different brand. Not nearly as good. And a quick consult with my friend Google informed me that a lot of truffle oil isn’t made with truffles at all, instead they use chemicals to get the flavor. Yuck!

So long story short, I’m going to have to try this again with different ingredients. But it did turn out ok so I’m still going to post the recipe. Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic & Truffle Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, 4-6 lbs
  • 1/4 cup garlic butter (recipe below)
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 Tbsp truffle oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock


Preheat your oven to 400°.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, make sure to take the package out of the inside of the chicken (it’s the heart, gizzard, liver and neck). I put these in the freezer and when I have several I use them to make chicken stock. Place the chicken in a Dutch oven or roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck the wings underneath so they don’t burn. Take the rosemary, lemon, several of the smashed garlic cloves and put then in the chicken cavity. Tuck the rest of the garlic under the chicken skin. Rub the chicken all over with the garlic butter. Pour the truffle oil over the bird as well. Salt and pepper generously. Put the rest of the onion in the pan with the bird.

Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another hour. Baste the chicken half way through and then again when you remove it from the oven. You want the internal temp to be 165 at the thigh, make sure not by the bone though.

Remove the chicken and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the onion from the pan and return it to the stove. Skim off some of the grease from the butter and truffle oil. Add 1/4 cup of wine and the chicken stock. Heat on medium-high for about 20 minutes or until reduced by half; this will make a nice gravy. It you like it thick, add a tbsp. or so of flour or cornstarch.


Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

So one of my family members posted this recipe to Facebook. The only modification I’ve made is to up the garlic (because I LOVE garlic) and removed spinach. Which I love as well, just not in this kind of dish. It’s pretty easy to make and actually fast, 30 minutes. Just have all your items prepped before you start, you’re not going to have time to do it as your cooking. Enjoy!

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper, + more for seasoning the chicken
  • 1/2 Tsp salt, + more for seasoning the chicken


In a large skillet add the olive oil and heat to medium-high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook on each side for 3-5 minutes (until golden brown). Remove from the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Add the butter and melt. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute to get rid of the flour taste and it starts to thicken. Whisk in the chicken broth, cream, cheese, garlic powder, 1/2 Tsp salt and 1/4 Tsp pepper. Stir until it starts to thicken. Add the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes. I like to serve this with mashed potatoes but you can also use pasts.

Fontina Rolled Chicken

My partner loves chicken cordon bleu. I found this recipe on the internet somewhere, not sure where (sorry to who ever it is that created this), and decided to modify it slightly. The original called for parsley and bacon and a couple of other things I don’t remember. I ditched the parsley and substituted crispy proscuitto instead of bacon (because I had some left over from my previousy risotto recipe).  It turned out really well and I think it’s delicious. Enjoy.


Fontina Rolled Chicken

  • 4 oz cream cheese at room temp
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/3 cup crumbled, crispy prosciutto
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp+ salt
  • 1 tsp+ pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • non-stick cooking spray


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl combines the cream cheese, fontina, prosciutto and green onion.

In a shallow bowl beat the eggs (a pie pan works great). In another shallow bowl, toss the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Pound out the chicken until it’s about 1/4″ thick, I like to use a ziplock bag for this. Season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Take the cheese mixture and spread it over the chicken. Roll up the chicken from the short side and secure with toothpicks. Dip the chicken in the eggs and then into the bread crumbs.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and place the chicken seam side down. Drizzle the tops with the olive oil. Bake for 35 minutes or until the internal temp is 165 degrees and the tops are golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, remove the toothpicks, and enjoy!



Garlic Fried Chicken

I got the idea for this from America’s Test Kitchen. Unlike their version, I don’t finish mine with garlic butter. Keep an eye on it as it’s easy to overcook, which you can tell by my picture I did. It still tasted pretty good.  Enjoy!


Garlic Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 10 cloves minced garlic, divided 5 & 5
  • 4 Tbsp black pepper, divided
  • 4 Tbsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4 pieces of chicken (I use thighs)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • 3 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder


In a ziplock bag; mix together the buttermilk, granulated garlic, 5 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp salt, and 2 Tbsp pepper. Add in the chicken and let it marinate overnight.

Sift together the flour, paprika, chipotle poser, baking powder, 5 Tbsp minced garlic and garlic powder in a medium bowl.

Heat a heavy pot, like a dutch oven, half full of vegetable oil until it’s 350 degrees. I’m lucky enough to have a Butterball XL Electric Fryer. Pour the buttermilked chicken into a medium bowl. Take and dip the chicken into the flour mixture, back into the buttermilk mixture and again into the flour. Gently place it in the hot oil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees.

Chicken Cacciatore

I make this dish for my significant other more than me. It’s pretty traditional and I, being me, have taken an untraditional approach. Enjoy!


Chicken Cacciatore

  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 or 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp drained capers
  • 1 Tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp crushed red pepper


Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a ziplock bag. Cut the chicken in about 3″x3″ cubes. Put them in the ziplock and shake to coat. In a large saute pan, I love to use my Le Creuset Braiser, heat the olive oil on medium high. Brown the chicken, about 3 minutes each side. Transfer it to a plate and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic; you may need to add a little more oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Saute until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, chick broth, capers, Italian seasoning, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken back in and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.

I like to serve with penne pasta and garlic bread.


Who doesn’t like something that’s quick and easy to make? I don’t mind using store bought mixes but usually it’s better if you can make your own. Why? Because you KNOW what’s in it and no preservatives. So I research a variety of different fajita spice recipes and came up with my own blend. Fell free to modify as you like, some people like a little more of one spice or a little less of another. This stores really well, so you can have it on hand. It’ll last at least 6 month, maybe longer. Enjoy!


Chicken Fajita’s

  • 1 chicken breast (or steak) slices in thin strips
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion
  • 1 bell pepper (red, green or yellow)
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided 2 and 2
  • 2 Tbsp fajita spice mix (see below)
  • 1/4 cup water


Heat a wok, or other large pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil on high heat until it starts to smoke. Brown the chicken strips and remove once brown on all sized.

Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil and saute the onion and pepper for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken back in, fajita spice mix and water. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Serve on warm tortillas.

Fajita spice mix

  • 2 Tbsp chili powder (I like Mexican chili)
  • 2 Tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 Tsp oregano
  • 1 Tsp Chipotle powder
  • 1/2 Tsp ground coriander


Combine everything. I use a jar, it’s easier to mix the spices up and you can store the mix in it.


Pico De Gallo

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, between 1/4 and 1/3 a cup or to taste
  • 1 Tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. The longer you let it set in the refrigerator the better the flavor.

Chicken Parmesan

I absolutely LOVE Italian food, it is probably my favorite cuisine. Don’t be put off by this recipe, it’s actually pretty quick to make (I think). If you can, I absolutely recommend using REAL bufalo mozzarella. I’ve been lucky enough to find it, once in a while, at Costco (I posted a picture to my Instagram – opie.seattle). There is NO comparison between this and US mozzarella. Seriously! If you are in a pinch you can use jarred marinara sauce, I do all the time. But I highly recommend 1) find one that does not have sugar (harder than you think) and 2) modify it! I add garlic, a little more italian spice and definitely crushed red chili flakes. Enjoy!


Chicken Parmesan

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (try to use the real thing)
  • Mozzarella (how much depends on you)
  • 1 cup (or so) penne pasta
  • Salt and pepper


Make the pasta sauce, recipe below, first.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (good time to heat up some good bread while you’re at it).

In an oven proof wide pan, I like my Le Creuset Round Braiser, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Whisk the egg in a shallow pan or bowl. Put the flour in another shallow pan or bowl. Put the bread crumbs and parmesan in yet another shallow pan or bowl.

Take the chicken breasts, put them in a zip lock so they can’t get away, and pound the out so they are thin and even. Lightly salt and pepper them. Dip them 1st in the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Remove from the pan, add the marinara, and put them on top of it. Put the mozzarella on top of the breasts and cook in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt and ooze over the breasts.

Meanwhile heat a large pot of water over high heat with a couple of tablespoons of salt. Cook the penne until done, firm to the bite and not mushy.

When the chicken is done, plate it and then combine the sauce with the pasta and serve as well.

Easy Marinara Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (the amount depends on how much garlic you like)
  • 28 oz can whole pealed tomatoes, crushed (or you can use tomato sauce if you don’t like your marinara “chunky”)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes (less it you don’t like heat)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a heavy bottom pot, I like my Le Creuset Round French Oven, heat the oil to medium and saute the garlic until fragrant (don’t burn it!). Dump the can of whole tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands (or not if you’re using tomato sauce). Dump them into the pot with the garlic, add the spices and bring to a simmer. The longer you simmer the better the flavor but this can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Carbonara

Be warned, this is not a healthy dish! But it is oh so good! This is my take on an Italian favorite. Brings back memories of my first trip to Italy. We were staying at a “castle” near Montalcino. We arrived late and our host was gracious enough to make us dinner and it was carbonara. Quick, easy and delicious. He used prosciutto, which he carved off the leg that was hanging in his kitchen. I use bacon but if you want to be more traditional use pancetta instead. I like the smokey flavor that bacon gives this dish. I also cook my chicken using my Anova Sous Vide but you can cook it in the pot after cooking the bacon. Enjoy!


Chicken Carbonara

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of bacon (or 6 of pancetta)
  • 4 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 chicken breast cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 lbs (1/2 box) fettuccine


In a bowl whisk together the cream, yokes and cheese.

Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta, season generously with salt. Add the pasta once it boils and cook until done, about 10 minutes.

In a heavy pot, I like my Le Creuset Dutch Oven, cook up the bacon on medium-high heat with the olive oil until crisp. If you’re cooking you chicken in the pot add it here with the bacon. After about 4 minutes turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool slighty.  Add the pasta and then the cream mixture and stir to combine. Put it back on the heat at medium-low. You want to slowly bring it up to a simmer so as not to “scramble” the eggs. Once it’s up to a simmer turn the heat down to low and let it cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you like you can garnish this with some chopped basil. It’s also good if you add walnuts, lemon peel, or parsley. You shouldn’t need to add salt because of the bacon but it’ll need some pepper.