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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

If one is going to break one’s new year’s resolution with homemade pasta, one might as well add alfredo sauce, right? The way homemade pasta clings to this sauce is absolutely dreamy.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (or fresh grated parmesan will work too)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper or white pepper to taste
  • Homemade fettuccine pasta (or store bought), cooked
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • About 6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Place butter in a medium-large saucepan over medium-low heat. After butter has melted, add cream and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

If making homemade noodles from this recipe, this sauce can be poured right into a large bowl with the pasta & chicken, and the amount of sauce per pasta will be perfect.

You won’t get that special connection with boxed pasta & alfredo mixes, baby. And they say two wrongs don’t make a right.

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Louisiana Jambalaya Recipe

Today we’re cookin’ rice the dirty way. The way they do it in the south, baby. No shame and no beads shall be rewarded. Like many things, this recipe actually goes faster than you’d think and is pretty fun and comforting.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (more as needed)
  • 1 chicken breast, butterfly cut
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, pre cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined & tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stems, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced
  • 3 tablespoons worchestire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 stems fresh oregano, stemmed & chopped
  • 5 stems fresh thyme, stemmed
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Freshly squeezed juice from one lemon

Place olive oil in very large saucepan over medium-high heat. Placed butterflied chicken breast in pan, salt & pepper, and cook until thickest parts reach at least 165°F (anything under 165°F isn’t safe, over 165°F gets too dry). When chicken is fully cooked, set aside on a large dish.

Heat sausage and ham in same pan and again add to large dish with chicken. Salt & pepper shrimp. Add to pan and cook until pink and opaque. Set aside with other meat. When chicken breast is cool enough, dice into small pieces.

Add butter to saucepan. Add onion, celery, and peppers. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir diced tomato, tomato paste, garlic, jalapenos, worchestire sauce, Better Than Bouillon, oregano, and thyme into pan.

Add water to pan. Bring water to a boil. As soon as water boils, stir rice into pan and cover well. Cook on low for 20 minutes. After rice has fully cooked, stir in meat that had been set aside for such a time as this.

No beads or feeling dirty needed, this dish is almost sinless.

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How to Roast a Whole Chicken

If you are new to the whole roasting a whole chicken thing, you’re gonna dig this post. Roasting your own chicken isn’t only easier than getting a pre-roasted chicken home without leaking in the car, but it’s oh so yummy. Oh, baby, nothin’ like it.

It only takes about an hour and half of roasting time and a few minutes of prep! So don’t be, well, uh, chicken. Give it a try.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.

They say not to name your farm animals. But, since her days are over already, we’ll take the risk of becoming too attached and call her Girdie. Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (at least 4-5 pounds in size)
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10-20 baby potatoes

Remove all loose pieces from inside chicken. They may be in both ends so check thoroughly. If you have no use for these, you can throw them away.

IMPORTANT: Wash hands thoroughly in between steps so no ingredients are contaminated with chicken juices.

Place Girdie in a large oven-safe pan with sides no higher than about 4 inches high. This will allow her to tan (brown) nicely.

Cut lemon in half. Squeeze lemon juices all over chicken while guarding with your fingers so no seeds drop into the pan. Place lemon halves inside Girdie. Poor Girdie.

Smear mustard, sea salt, and pepper all over chicken. Toss a few bay leaves on top of Girdie. May she roast in peace.

Place Girdie in oven to roast for an hour.

Cut potatoes in half or quarters so they are similar sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and add to roasting pan with Girdie. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Check chicken with meat thermometer to make sure Girdie has reached 165°F in her most voluminous places. Poultry must always reach this temp before it is safe to eat!

When done, remove roasting pan from oven. Allow chicken to rest for about 30 minutes before cutting into it.

Save and refrigerate loverly broth for other recipes.

Look at you. You did it. Soak in the praise of thy people. You and Girdie make a great team.

 

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

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In this post we will explore how to cook a perfect chicken breast. We will explore traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu filling and try a new, melty, and delightful alternative recipe. And, perhaps most importantly, we shall splurge and top it all off with a new heavenly cheesy, garlic-y sauce which will change your life forever. Amen.

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Cooking a perfect chicken breast comes from three very important steps:

  1. Lay chicken breast on counter and cut your chicken breast in half. the long way so that when you unfold it, it will look like a butterfly (thus the “butterfly cut”). Then, using a meat hammer, pound chicken until it it pretty much level all the way across. This will promote even cooking which will lesson dry or under-cooked areas.
  2. Soak in buttermilk. Many chicken recipes benefit from being soaked in buttermilk overnight (or around 8 hours) to help make for moist chicken. This isn’t a must, but it is another way to be sure your chicken turns out amazing.
  3. Cook to 165F in the thickest part of the piece of chicken. This is crucial for food safety and for creating moist chicken. Undercook, and that flu you thought your family had is actually food poisoning. Over-cook and you get chicken jerky. Cook to 165F, and you’ll have perfectly moist chicken every time. Meat thermometers can be testy, though, so be sure you get a reliable one. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. I find that digital ones seem to work best. My favorite is the iDevices brand but there are less fancified ones you can start with too.

Now that we have explored chicken breast basics, let’s get rolling with this amazing recipe.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 fresh chicken breasts
  • 4-8 pieces sliced smoked ham (not honey ham)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces gruyere, grated (or you can go traditional with swiss cheese)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 – 5 ounce package croutons, ground (or Panko crumbs)
  • 1 recipe of cheese sauce (this recipe from above is below)

Pour buttermilk in 9X13 pan. Set aside.

Butterfly cut and then pound evenly chicken breasts.

Place cream cheese, grated gruyere (or swiss), minced garlic, diced onion, and a dash of sea salt & pepper into mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined.

Roll about 3 ounces of cream cheese mixture into each piece of ham (or you can use 2 slices of ham per piece if you like to be generous).

Place a ham bundle inside of each chicken breast. Coat all chicken breasts in buttermilk and leave in 9X13 pan covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator overnight. (Chicken is okay to leave in buttermilk for up to about 48 hours if you have delays that change your plans.)

When you are ready to bake, remove chicken from buttermilk, salt & pepper top of each chicken breast, coat with ground croutons (or Panko crumbs), and place in a greased pan. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest part of breast. Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup mustard (regular or dijon work well)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan. Stirring continually, cook over medium heat until cheese melts and then incorporates into the heavy cream.

Pour sauce generously over your Chicken Cordon Bleu – reinvented. Breaking the cheese-y rules never tasted so good.

 

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Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza Recipe

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One of my very favorite things to make is pizza crust. It is easy to work with, opens the doors to so many flavors, and makes everyone oh so happy. This luau on a flatbread is so refreshing yet comforting – the best of both worlds with chicken, pineapple, melt-y mozzarella, and cilantro. And, yes. It includes bacon. Because, well, bacon.

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Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine yeast and water in a mixing bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil. Measure out flour and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and add dry ingredients. (Adding salt first can kill the yeast so be sure to add at same time as flour.)

Stop mixing when everything comes together. Remove dough from beater and cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Place in a warm location and allow to rise for one hour. Preheat oven to 450F. Roll out dough as thin (or thick) as you like. Adjust baking time accordingly as a thin crust will not take as long to bake as a thick one.

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 can diced pineapple, drained (save pineapple juice to enjoy later in a cocktail or pineapple dessert, perhaps)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts – grilled, baked, or slow-cooked
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 1 jalepeno minced
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

Place rolled-out unbaked crust on a baking sheet or a pizza stone. Brush crust with barbecue sauce. Top sauce with pineapple pieces, chicken, minced jalepeno, and then mozzarella cheese. Bake on lowest shelf if you have a thick-crust pizza. Bake until cheese is melted fully and crust is golden brown (about 10- 15 minutes).

Another fun option, is to grill your pizza dough on both sides and then add toppings after crust is almost fully baked. Bake until cheese is fully melted.

After pizza is done, remove from oven and top with remaining ingredients.

A lot easier than cooking a 180-pound pig in the ground and will still have you doing the hula in no time.

 

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Chicken Makhani AKA Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

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When my kids were little, they learned about various countries by studying not just the history of the country, but the foods. Son and dotter had to cook dinners that represented the country they had been learning about. In my home? Imagine that. I wish I had found my love for Indian food back then. I suppose this time mom is the student.

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I have finally figured out which Indian foods I can eat and still have tastebuds left after trying them. I had to ask a nice lady at our favorite Indian restaurant which dishes were hot and which were not after a few visits of dead buds tuckered out from all the heat. One bite of the super spicy stuff and I can’t taste anything else.


Butter Chicken has a little zing to it but not much. If you like things really spicy, you can add more green chilis or just leave the seeds in. Me? I’ll be the one with the taste buds in tact, thanks.

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Indian Butter Chicken Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 green chiles, stems removed, cut in half, and middles removed
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roasted in oven for 20 minutes then remove skin
  • 5 tablespoons kasoori methi
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 whole green cardamom seeds (husks can be left on)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (add a teaspoon or so more if finished product is too acidic)
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, diced into large bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place two tablespoons of the butter and olive oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add diced tomatoes. Cook tomatoes down for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in ginger, chiles, garlic cloves, kasoori methi, red chili powder, paprika, cardamom seeds, and honey. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Carefully pour sauce in a blender. Cover lightly and blend on lowest setting. Work blender up to medium speed until sauce is smooth. Set aside.

Clean large sauce pan.

Place last two tablespoons of butter in saucepan over medium heat. Saute chicken pieces in butter until cooked through to 165F on inside and light golden brown on outside. Pour sauce over chicken. Stir in cream.

Continue to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken and spices will settle, making this a dish you will adore.

Serve with Basmati rice (with some peas & carrots mixed in) and naan bread.

I couldn’t of been whiter in that moment I asked for help, but it has allowed me to find a love for Indian food. And by Indian food, I mean Butter Chicken and rice and naan bread. Happy buds.

 

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Southwest Salad Recipe

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I’ve had some fantastic Southwest salads and I’ve had some horrible ones. One restaurant served theirs covered in a vinaigrette – heavy on the vinegar. I couldn’t eat it. I puckered up, pecked at it like an Old Hen would, cut my losses, and left the place $18 poorer and pretty darn hungry.

So, because I love you, I present thee with a Southwest Salad which will be more pleasing than a prissy plate of lettuce & vinegar every single time.


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Makes two large salads or 4 medium salads.

Ingredients

  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 recipe of Southwest Rub
  • 2 chicken breasts, butterfly cut in half
  • 1 cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into about 1-inch squares
  • 1 ear corn on the cob
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 8-10 stalks cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons grated pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Tri-color tortilla strips (or regular tortilla chips will do)

Rinse black beans well and place in saucepan in water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Turn on grill (or oven to 350F. Prepare Southwest Rub and set aside. Butterfly cut chicken breasts and coat with Southwest Rub. Allow chicken to sit for about 20 minutes then grill until middle of thickest part reaches 165F.

It is wise to invest in a good meat thermometer to be sure any meats you cook reach their safe temperature for eating. 

Place corn cob in a pot of boiling water. Leave in water for three minutes and then place in a bowl of ice cold water for a few minutes. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn off of cob.

Place lettuce on plates. Top each plate of lettuce with corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, cilantro, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.

Slice chicken at a slant for an extra stylish look and place on top of salad.

Drizzle with desired amount of ranch dressing.

Dice avocado right before serving (so it won’t brown). If preparing in advance for a crowd, you can drizzle and toss avocado with fresh lime juice. Keep everything except chicken refrigerated until ready to use.

Decorate sides of each plate with tortilla strips and a couple of lime wedges. Lime wedges are ever so delightful squeezed upon your salad.

Budget-friendly, fresh, flavorful, and comforting. Eating out (on the patio) is so very perfect.

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Ground Turkey Tamales With Enchilada Sauce Recipe

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Tamale. Tamale. I love ya’ tamale. Only, you know, today is tamale. And tamale is today.  Oh, who am I tryin’ to kid? I love tamales today. And every day. And tomorrow. And you will too… especially making them at home. This is a great recipe to make with friends or family. It is the social Mexican equivalent of snapping beans on the front porch in rocking chairs.

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Prep:

Soak 20 large corn husks in water (there are usually about 40-50 to a bag sold in grocery stores). Place a clean plate or tray upon them to keep them from floating out of the water.

Ground Turkey Tamale Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 20 ounces ground turkey 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon leaves from 2 sprigs fresh oregano, minced

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add diced onions and fry until translucent then add ground turkey. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, oregano powder, cumin, chipotle powder and plenty of  salt & pepper. Cook until done then set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 – 5 cups chicken stock and/or water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Seas salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk continually while cooking for a couple of minutes. Whisk in chili powder and then pour in 4 cups of chicken stock and/or water. Sauce will thicken as it heats. Evaluate thickness of sauce and add 1 more cup of water or broth if desired. Cook down for a few minutes again and then turn heat to low. Stir in remaining ingredients. If you don’t think sauce is flavorful enough, it probably needs a bit more salt. Add salt just until you experience all the wonderful flavors. Stir 2/3 of the sauce into the ground turkey set remaining sauce aside for serving.

Masa Dough:

  • 2 cups masa
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • Sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. Taste and stir in additional salt of needed.

Assembling the Tamales:

Place about 6 cups of water in steaming pot and turn on high. Bring to a boil & turn heat down to medium to simmer. Don’t let the water get so high that it rises to the steaming rack as to not get the tamales wet.

Lay a softened corn husk out with top facing away from you. Press about 2-3 tablespoons of masa dough on the upper left side. Pressing with fingers, cover about 2/3 across the husk, leaving about 2-3 inches free at the bottom of the husk. It helps to pretend your making it the shape of the blue corner on the American flag.

Place a line of about 2-3 tablespoons of ground turkey filling straight up & down the middle of the masa dough. Turn corn husk so the left masa edge is facing you. Roll tamale away from yourself. Fold the bottom (which has no masa dough on it) up toward the top of the tamale. Repeat and place tamales on a tray.

When all tamales are prepared, place upward in the steaming rack. Simmer for about one hour.

To Serve:

It is most fun to place tamales in or on a pretty dish and serve in husks, allowing each guest to unroll their own. Of course, they will be very hot & steamy, so everyone will need to be careful. Serve with sauce and, if desired, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro and maybe diced tomatoes. The possibilities are limitless.

And to my friend, Roz, who recently sat with me, patiently picking cilantro leaves, let us make tamales next time and pick cilantro on the front porch together in rocking chairs. Today, tamale, or whenever you’d like to pretend we’re in an Anne of Green Gables movie – only, you know, based in Tijuana.

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Parmesan Chicken Recipe

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We all need more crowd-pleasing recipes. If one of your new year’s resolutions is to have more dinner parties, please allow me to entertain you. This recipe is winner, winner chicken dinner every time. Literally. It’s just too bad the chicken had to become dinner to win this race.

It’s loaded with flavor when the chicken is cooked to the perfect temperature and the topping uses salad croutons instead of plain bread crumbs, so everyone will be asking you for more dinner parties. Be careful what you wish for.


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PARMESAN CHICKEN RECIPE:

  • 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  •  1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups salad croutons (garlic or italian flavored recommended), ground up in food processor
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Raw marinara topping (optional for a refreshing, healthy twist) – see recipe below

Preheat oven to 350F.

If using chicken breasts, it’s best to butterfly pieces & pound to make them all a similar size which will allow for them to bake evenly. To butterfly, lay piece of chicken out flat onto cutting board. Cut from thickest side, inward until almost all the way through the piece. After cutting, lay out flat onto a piece of handiwrap, covered loosely (allowing for room to spread when pounded). Place on a cutting board and pound with a kitchen mallot until all parts of the chicken breast are about the same thickness.

Dip chicken pieces in melted butter. Toss parmesan cheese and  ground up salad croutons together into a bowl. Coat buttered chicken with breading mixture. Place on a baking sheet – half sheet pan works well). Bake in preheated oven until chicken is 165 degrees in thickest parts (usually about 30 minutes).

RAW MARINARA TOPPING RECIPE:

  • 5 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt & pepper

Stir together all ingredients. Salt & pepper to taste, stir and set aside while baking chicken. Place topping in a serving bowl so dinner guests can top chicken right before eating.

Lovely pairings: Beautiful World Bread, Northwest Summer Salad or Perfect Mushroom Risotto.

This recipe served with side dishes will feed about 8 people and is easy to multiply when word gets out about your crazy yummy dinner parties. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

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Braised Chicken With Dried Cherry Compote

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What is gorgeous and festive and scrumptious and festive? Why, braised chicken with dried cherry compote, of course. She is sexy upon a plate of arugula and impressive for your guests. Doubled or tripled, she is perfect for a shindig – for she is a party on a plate and in your mouth.

Braised Chicken With Dried Cherry Compote


Braised Chicken Recipe

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 chicken, fabricated (cut into pieces)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Leaves from about 8 fresh thyme stems
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe pot over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces a few pieces at a time. After skin is golden brown on all sides, set chicken pieces aside.

Add onion to remaining olive oil and cook until somewhat translucent. Add the chicken back into the pan and enough chicken stock to come to about 1/2 the way up the chicken. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, cover lightly with foil and bake at 350F for about 60 minutes or until middle of the breasts are 165 degrees on meat thermometer. Remove from oven when done.

Dried Cherry Compote Recipe

  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chardonnay wine
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Cook onion in oil in saucepan over medium heat until somewhat translucent. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes while stirring until sugar mixture turns a golden caramel. Carefully add  wine and salt. Continue to boil, stirring for a minute or so. Add dried cherries and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally, until liquid has reduced down to become syrupy, about 45 minutes. Add water. For a sweet and spicy zing, add a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper to compote at the same time as adding the water. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When chicken is done baking, place on a platter and top with dried cherry compote. ‘Tis lovely served with Swedish rye bread.

She is sweet and saucy.  She will not disappoint. Plus, you get to use the word “compote” when telling your guests about her and that is always most impressive.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016