Matzav Mazon: Re-Introducing: Chicken!


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Chicken is the king of the proteins. It’s easy to cook, there are literally thousands of ways to prepare it, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s available everywhere. Unfortunately, many home cooks tend to get stuck in a cycle of two or three basic chicken recipes that they’ve come to know by heart, and never venture out to new frontiers to try different tastes and textures than they are used to. With just a couple of new ingredients or spices, you may have a brand new staple at your dinner table. Try out some of these interesting and unique chicken recipes, and see how your family likes them.

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Chicken Peperonata

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon ground coriander
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (5 to 6 ounces each)
2 bell peppers (preferably 1 red and 1 yellow), cored, seeded, sliced into ¼-inch-wide strips
1 large fresh poblano chili or jalapeno chili, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, lime juice, mint and coriander in medium bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and sauté until brown on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken over. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, poblano chili or jalapeno chili, and onion to same skillets; sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper. Toss until tender and just beginning to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Cover and cook 1 minute. Mix in 2 tablespoons dressing. Mound vegetables on top of chicken. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Chicken with Pears and Fennel


2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1-1/2 pounds strips of skinless, boneless, chicken breast
1-1/2 cups apple juice
2 teaspoons five-spice powder (just use pepper if you don’t have any but this gives a more interesting flavor)
½ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup white wine vinegar
4 pears, sliced


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until inside is not longer pink – about 6 minutes. Gently stir in fennel, 1-1/2 cups apple juice and the five-spice powder. Simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes. Stir together the remaining ½ cup apple juice with the cornstarch and add to pan. Stir until thickened. Whisk in vinegar and then add pear slices. Cook until heated through – about 3 minutes.

Haitian Chicken

Serves 6


2 chickens cut in 1/8th’s
Juice of 4 limes
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
Chopped parsley


Arrange chicken pieces skin side down in a shallow baking dish. Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs and parsley in a small bowl. Pour over chicken and marinate in the refrigerator covered for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chicken uncovered for 30 minutes, basting often. Turn chicken over, and bake for 30 more minutes and continue to baste. Heat broiler. Place chicken skin side down. Broil until brown (about 2 minutes). Turn chicken over, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and spoon some sauce over the chicken. Broil until crisp (about 2 more minutes). Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Maple-Mustard Chicken

Serves 6-8

8 large bone-in chicken pieces
4 tablespoons grainy French mustard
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
4 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Combine mustard, garlic, marjoram and maple syrup in a small bowl. Spread mustard mixture evenly on top of each chicken piece, being careful to cover as much of the surface as possible to form a “crust.” Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until mustard mixture has formed a crust and is slightly hardened, and juices run clear when the chicken is pierced.

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry


1½ cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice (10 to 11 ounces)
¾ cup orange juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
1½ pounds chicken cutlets cut crosswise into ²/7-inch-wide strips
1 (8 ounces) package stringless sugar snap peas


Cook rice according to package directions. Cover to keep warm, set aside. Meanwhile, whisk juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch in medium bowl, until cornstarch dissolves. Mix in orange peel.
Heat oil in large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onion and crushed red pepper. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to wok and stir-fry until onion is crisp-tender and chicken is just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and juice mixture. Toss until sauce thickens and comes to boil and peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.

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  1. Chicken is not the king of proteins. That is scientifically false. Ever heard of beef? Has greater protein content, and is a staple of any bodybuilder. I guess when non- professionals make assertions, there is risk for making false statements.