Category Archives: Chicken

Arros con Pollo; Recipe



I was very lucky to grow up with Cuban and Puerto Rican friends in Chicago. Arros con Pollo and Arros con Gandules (Pigeon Peas) were two of my favorite dishes of all time. I would like to recognize a few people that shared some great Arroz with me over the years. Jenni Keas, Nellie Paddilla and mi Suegra (Gloria Rico). My all time favorite was when I visited my friend George Lamond in Queens NY. We walked over to George’s mom’s house and she had some Arros con Gandules for us. “Hands Down” my favorite and I’m still waiting for her recipe from George. Arros is by far the most difficult for me to master… I think you have to be Boricua to truly get it right. I could eat Puerto Rican food for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy! 

Well, I think I finally got it right due to some advice from a random Puerto Rican woman that visited The Party Source… “Let the water completely absorb into the rice before stirring and covering!!!!”


Whole Chicken cut up



1/2 Cup Canola or Olive oil

2 Cups Medium Grain Rice (Goya Brand)

4 Cups Boiling water

1 Can Gandules (Pigeon Peas)

8 Oz can tomato sauce

8 Oz jar Goya Sofrito

1/4 Cup Spanish Olives

1 Tbsp Alcaparras (small capers)

1 Tsp Garlic powder

The Tools

1 Tsp Black pepper

2 Packets Sazon Goya

Handful chopped cilantro

Stock Pot

Caldero (Imusa Brand)



Bring 4 cups of water to a simmer and have it ready to boil when adding it to the caldero.

Heat your caldero over medium high heat and add oil. Brown chicken pieces in batches for 5 minutes on each side and remove to dish.



Add all ingredients except rice and water to your hot caldero. Stir continuously for 5 minutes. Add chicken and rice to the pot and stir only once. Add boiling water to just cover the rice. You may not need all 4 cups of water; just enough to cover. Boil uncovered over medium high heat until water is absorbed. When the water is absorbed gently stir the pot a few times and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes covered or until the rice is tender. There should be a bottom layer of crispy rice “Pegao” at the bottom of the pan… This is delicious!

Cooking Tip: Do not over stir the rice. Resist the urge or your rice will become sticky  or “Amogollao”

Cooking the rice over too high heat will burn the rice.

Arros con Pollo










Chicken Vesuvio; Recipe Courtesy of Pina Lollino (Ristorante Italia)

Pina Lollino's Chicken Vesuvio

Pina Lollino’s Chicken Vesuvio

Ristorante Italia’s Chicken Vesuvio

This recipe comes courtesy of Pina Lollino and my favorite Italian restaurant… Ristorante Italia on the northwest side of Chicago. Chicken Vesuvio is one of those dishes that defines Chicago Italian cooking and nobody did it better than Pina! Sadly, Ristorante Italia has closed and I have to cook all of my favorites myself. Chicago really lost something special the day Pina stopped cooking!


1 whole fryer chicken cut up191

1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)

10 cloves finely chopped garlic

4-5 Idaho potatoes wedged

1/4 cup olive oil for marinade

1 tbsp Fresh chopped rosemary

1 tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour

Olive oil for frying.

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup frozen peas (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine wine, olive oil, garlic, rosemary and oregano in a bowl and whisk together. Make shallow slices in the chicken thighs, legs, wings and breasts. Cover chicken with marinade or place in a large zip lock bag forcing the air out. I like using zip locks because the entire chicken comes in contact with the marinade; you can also massage the marinade and really work it into the chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour.

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. add olive oil and brown potatoes about 5 minutes. Remove and add to pan with browned chicken.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in large dish. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Lightly flour marinated chicken and brown on both sides; this should be done in batches to not overcrowd the skillet. Remove chicken to a large baking dish or pan. De-glaze with a splash of white wine and add to reserved marinade. Add precooked potatoes to baking dish with chicken and cover with remaining marinade. Sprinkle chicken and potatoes with paprika, salt and pepper. Bake in oven for and hour to and hour and a half. Check after an hour and spoon juices over chicken and potatoes. Add peas if you are using them. The chicken and potatoes should be browned very well with a modest amount of liquid left. Some Chicken Vesuvio recipes call for green peas. Pina didn’t use peas but I thought I would try them this time… The peas were a nice sweet touch!



Grilled Greek Chicken

Grilled Greek Chicken

Grilled Greek Chicken


1 4-5 Pound chicken cut in halfMarinated Greek Chicken

4-5 Cloves garlic minced

2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme

Juice of 2-3 lemons

1/2 Cup olive oil

1 Tsp cracked black pepper

1-2 Pinches red pepper flakes

Combine garlic, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and red pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk together.

Make small slashes in the wings, legs and thighs of the chicken. Do not slice the breasts. Pour marinade over chicken and marinade from 8 hours to overnight.

Prepare a charcoal fire with the grate as far away from the coals as possible. We do not want the chicken too close to the coals because the fat drippings will cause flare ups burning the chicken.

Grill covered for approximately 30 minutes turning every ten minutes. My son and I ate the whole thing! This recipe is very easy and very gratifying. Do not over cook the chicken, we don’t like dry chicken!


Perfect Greek Chicken

Perfect Greek Chicken

Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine); Recipe

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin is a classic French dish typically featuring Burgundy, Mushrooms and Lardons. I have prepared this dish using bacon in the past instead of Salt Pork. I must say the dish really shines with salt pork. Bacon overpowered the the Burgundy and herbs that had a better showing when I used Salt Pork. Coq Au Vin is a decadent display of classic French cuisine. Although this dish involves a little work; it is really quite easy and rewarding. Thanks to Darschon at the Party Source wine department for his excellent Burgundy recommendation; L’AURORE BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2010


1 Whole chicken cut upCoq Au Vin Ingredients

1 Bottle Burgundy or Pinot Noir

20 Pearl onions

20 Button mushrooms

2-3 Cloves garlic minced

4 Sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Tbsp dried

1/4 Pound salt pork

1/2 Stick butter

1 Bay leafSalt Pork

3 Tbsp flour

Cracked pepper

Salt to taste if needed

1-2 Tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Preparing the Pearl onions and Lardon (Salt Pork)

Anyone who has tried to peel pearl onions knows how difficult it can be. Pearl onions can be easily peeled with the following technique. Start by bringing water to a boil over high heat. Cut off a small portion of the tops of the onions. Place onions in a brown or plastic bag and blow in some air. Holding the bag closed shake vigorously for about 30 seconds; this removes a lot of the outer skin. Place all onions in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain water and remove onions to cold water. Cut the root ends off and squeeze off the outer layer of skin. Do not over boil the onions.

Cut Salt Pork into Lardon (Small strips or cubes). Heat a Dutch Oven over medium heat, add lardon and fry until golden brown. Remove lardon and save.

Fried Lardon

After rendering all the glorious pork fat from the lardon add 1/2 stick of butter. When the butter is melted coat the chicken pieces with flour and brown on both sides two pieces at a time. Remove chicken to a dish and fry the next two pieces until all the chicken is browned. Add onions and Lightly coat with about 1-2 tsp of sugar over medium heat. Let the onions cook stirring every minute or so. The sugar will help to caramelize the onions. Add mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 2-3 tbsp of flour and stir to coat; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken back into the Dutch Oven along with the minced garlic. Pour entire bottle of Burgundy or Pinot Noir into the Dutch Oven. Add Bay leaf and thyme pushing them into the liquid. Add fried lardon and a generous amount of cracked black pepper.


Coq Au Vin 1

Cover and place into a 325 degree for 2-3 Hours. After cooking for 1-1 1/2 hours remove Dutch oven and turn over all pieces of chicken being careful not to damage them. Put back into oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The liquid should have thickened by now. Serve over egg noodles.

I absolutely love this dish and have fun making it. The mushrooms are an inconspicuous treasure bearing the fruits of all the ingredients soaking them up like a sponge.


Coq Au Vin 2

Healthy Baked Chicken Or Fish, Meal In A Foil Pouch; Recipe


I was challenged last night by a friend to come up with a healthy, quick easy and cheap. Little did she know I had this one up my sleeve. This can be done so many different ways… so have fun with it.


1 Boneless skinless chicken breast or white fish fillet such as tilapiaIMAG0419

2-3 Red potatoes sliced thin

1/4 Bell pepper sliced thin

1/4 Small onion or 1-2 green onions sliced thin

2 Mushrooms sliced thin

Garlic sliced thin

1 Oz fresh herbs: Basil, tarragon, cilantro or parsley (choose one)!

Drizzle of quality olive oil

Splash of white wine

Salt and cracked pepper (I use Goya Adobo and cracked pepper)!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees:

Tip: Use good quality heavy duty aluminum foil. Do not over stuff the pouches.


Place a large piece of aluminum foil on your cutting board or counter. Drizzle a little olive oil on the foil. Place chicken or fish in the center of foil. place 3-4 garlic slice over chicken or fish. Cover fish with potatoes first; then remaining vegetables and herbs. Drizzle a very little amount of olive oil and and season with salt and pepper. Splash a little white wine and fold up the pouch without any gaps for steam or liquid to escape. Each foil pouch serves one person. Get creative and let your family make their own using the ingredients they like. Use smaller pieces of chicken or fish for children.

Place pouches on the oven rack and cook for 40-45 minutes.



Tip: Fish cooks much faster than chicken; adjust cooking time if necessary. I tend to slice my vegies thinner in my fish pockets so the they cook evenly with the fish.

Chicken Pouch

Hoisin Sriracha Marinated Chicken

I love the sweet savory flavor of Hoisin Sauce and the savage garlic and chili flavor of the ever popular Sriacha. One day I planned to grill some chicken thighs but I didn’t really feel like cooking. It was hot and I was feeling a little lethargic. I mixed these two condiments together to get a brilliant little marinade for chicken.


2 pounds skinless chicken thighs or boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup or more Hoisin Sauce

1/4 cup or more Sriracha

In a bowl combine Hoisin and Sriracha and whisk together. Pour mixture over chicken thighs in a dish and marinate for 20 minutes to 1 hour. I use large zip lock bags for marinating; it just works better. Prepare a fire using charcoal or gas and grill over low to medium heat.

Tip: When grilling meat with a high sugar content; be mindful that high heat will burn the sugar quite easily. Grill over low to medium paying close attention.

We want a little charring of the meat as in the picture above. This is one of the easiest and tastiest dishes I have come up with, everybody loves this. Surprisingly the Sriracha doesn’t make this dish very spicy at all. You can control the heat by simply adding more Sriracha.

Chicken Black Bean Sauce with Jalapeno

I love the color the carrot brings to this dish!

Chicken Black Bean Sauce with Jalapeno

I first tried Chicken Black Bean in San Francisco on a trip back in 1998 at a fantastic Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name or location; I would love to go back! Black Bean goes well with, Chicken, pork, shrimp, squid, fish, green beans, broccoli and many more. This stir fry is very easy and cooks quite fast. Most restaurants precook the the meat and add it to vegetables and sauce. This recipe has you cooking the chicken and using the juice from the chicken as the sauce with Black Bean Paste. I have finally figured out how to have juicy tender chicken and crisp vegetables. This recipe works the same way for all meat ingredients. With Vegetarian versions using broccoli or green beans require a little water or vegetable stock for the sauce. The Jalapeno can be omitted if you don’t like the heat.


1 pound chicken breast and or chicken thighs cubed in bite size pieces

1-2 tbsp Black Bean Garlic Paste

2 tbsps Canola or Peanut oil. Peanut oil has a higher burning point good for high heat cooking

1 small onion or spring onion roughly chopped

1 carrot thinly sliced as in picture above. I use the slicing attachment on my food processor.

1-2 Jalapeno or 2-3 serrano chilies

1/2 tsp sugar or to taste. (optional)

1 tsp corn starch or less for thickening the sauce

1 cup Jasmine Rice cooked to directions

Tip: Cook rice first and start chicken after fluffing the rice. The rice will be perfect when your dish is ready!


Wok or skillet (Non stick works best)

Spoon or Spatula

This dish is fast paced and requires your attention, If the vegetables get mushy the dish is good but far from Ideal. Follow this recipe as written and you should be quite happy.

Get your Wok or skillet medium high, it is nearly impossible to get this perfect without a hot pan. experienced Chinese cooks like their woks super hot. I don’t recommend this for novices, medium high is more forgiving. Add oil to hot wok. Add chicken to wok and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add carrots, onion and sugar (if using). There should be some liquid from the chicken.

Tip: Control the heat by moving the wok off the heat back and forth.

Add Black Bean Paste and Jalapeno and stir over the heat. Use the corn starch to thicken if needed. The vegetables should be cooked but crisp and the Jalapenos should be under cooked maintaining there crisp fresh flavor. Remove from heat and cover for a few minutes. You’re done!

Serve over Jasmine Rice,


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