Tag Archives: Kroger

Peri Peri Chicken

I know what you’re thinking. How did I end up cooking Portuguese Peri Peri Chicken? Well I saw a chef make it on one of the many cooking shows, it might have been Beat Bobby Flay. It looked delicious. Peri Peri  or Piri Piri chicken is grilled whole chicken that has been butterflied, or split or cut into leg quarters that has been marinated and basted in the peri peri sauce. The peri peri (or piri piri) sauce is made up of a blend up Peri Peri or african bird’s-eye pepper, garlic, sun ripened lemons and spices. Originally I thought this dish was Portuguese as there are spanish variations. However I prepared the African version as I used a shortcut this time, the already bottled and packaged Nando’s Medium Peri-Peri sauce. I did want to fix it but I didn’t want to buy a long list of ingredients to make the sauce, sometimes I’m here for it – the homemade taste and flavor of cooking from scratch. Then there are those days when I am absolutely not here for it. I want to cook, I want it to be good but most importantly I want it to be convenient. So I grabbed two bottles of this 4.7 oz bottle because I was skeptical if I could make such a small amount go far. But at $3.49 a bottle in Kroger, two had to do.

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Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce (Medium)

It probably would have been cheaper to buy the ingredients and make the sauce, but again, I was buying time and convenience in a bottle. I would also benefit from getting the authentic Peri Peri flavor versus what I hoped it should be if I made it myself. So it was still a win win situation. I found mine at my Kroger on the condiment aisle. Once back home in my kitchen I prepped my chicken leg quarters for the marinade. I opted to get quarters because they are affordable, you get a gang of them, and I would have a bunch left over to cook another day. Still winning right? Right. So with my chicken rinsed and dried I covered 4 leg quarters in a gallon zip loc bag with a whole bottle of the sauce. I massaged the sauce into the meat and let the bag rest while I lit my grill. Normally I would recommend marinating your chicken overnight. If you don’t have time, 30 minutes is better than nothing. While my chicken marinated and the grill heated up, I googled side dishes that went with the Peri Peri chicken. I found a rice dish and grilled corn. Of course I included a side salad because that’s a staple at my table.

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The leg quarters marinating in a Ziploc bag covered in Peri-Peri sauce.

 

Once my coals were nice and hot I placed 4 leg quarters on the grill rack that I had already sprayed with Canola oil to keep the meat from sticking. Sometimes I cover the grill rack with aluminum foil when I want to slow down the cooking process or prevent the food from cooking too quickly. When I’m cooking bulky meats like leg quarters I try to get a direct heat source to help them cook evenly and completely. The best advice I have received to date is to cook to temperature and not time…when it comes to meats anyway. The quick marinated leg quarters went directly on the grill rack and were basted with the remaining sauce from the bag before it was discarded.

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The leg quarters grilling and basted with Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce.

 

While the leg quarters cooked on the grill I went back inside to prepare the rice dish, Portuguese Rice. Yes I know, I thought I was on a whole Portuguese thing with the chicken but I was already invested – no turning back. Again the ingredients were pretty straightforward: long grain white rice, olive oil, chopped onion, minced garlic, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaf, chopped tomatoes, water, parsley, and cilantro. The recipe calls for fresh herbs but fresh herbs go bad quickly. I keep dried herbs on hand because it’s more convenient and affordable. First you want to get your oil hot in a sauce pan.

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The chopped onions cooking in the olive oil for the Portuguese rice.

Once your onions have softened a little bit, you add in the garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. This cooks for about a minute or so and then the chopped tomatoes are added. Your tomatoes need a couple of minutes to soften and then the water, parsley and cilantro are added and brought to a boil. Once boiling the rice is stirred in and then the pot should be covered and the heat reduced to low. The recipe suggests cooking the rice undisturbed for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. An additional  5 minutes of rest time is given before the rice is fluffed for serving.

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The finished Portuguese Rice. Looks pretty good eh?

With the rice done, the chicken was coming along beautifully. It had a slight char around the edges but it was cooking to a golden brown with splashes of red peri peri sauce. During the grilling I had used the half of the second bottle to baste and brush the leg quarters as  flipped them over. I pulled the leg quarters about five minutes after they read 165 degrees on my meat thermometer and covered them in foil.

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Peri-Peri Chicken

Along my research I also stumbled upon Peri Peri chips and sauce. Essentially it’s potatoes that have been either cut or sliced in chip form and fried and served with a sauce that is mayonnaise and peri peri sauce mixed together. I short cut it and picked up a bag of Kroger potato wedges and whipped up the sauce (1/4 cup of mayo and 4 tablespoons of peri peri sauce) while I fried the potatoes in my cast iron pot. I tossed the fried potato wedges with smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.

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Kroger’s Potato Wedges with Skins

The final product looked pretty good once I put it all together. If you ever eaten at Chicken Fiesta, my finished plate almost resembled a meal from their menu if I have to say so myself. What do you think?

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Peri Peri Chicken, Portuguese Rice, and Peri Peri Chips with Perinase

I can’t forget I shucked a couple of pieces of corn, and cleaned and then covered with olive oil, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic powder, and old bay. I grilled the corn about 12-15 minutes while turning the corn over 5-6 minutes. The plate above is my husbands’ plate who doesn’t care for corn. The  plate below is the plate I prepared for myself and my mother in law.

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Peri Peri Chicken, Portuguese Rice, Peri Chips, Portuguese Grilled Corn and Perinaise

With all of the semi hard work done it was finally time to eat. Upon first bite the chicken was juicy and flavorful. The Peri Peri sauce was spicy and tangy. It wasn’t overly spicy but mind you I got the Medium version. There are a Hot and a Lemon Garlic version as well. The Portuguese rice was different. It too boasted lots of flavor but there was one flaw. The rice was still crunchy and  this was after determining at 20 minutes additional cook time was needed. So I added more water, replaced the lid and put it back on low setting to cook longer. I know I cooked it another 30 minutes or more and it still wasn’t completely tender. I didn’t care for the corn. I would have preferred it if I had boiled the corn first to get it tender and moist first before grilling. The Perinaise wasn’t my cup of tea. It was a little thick in taste and texture. In the future if I were to attempt it again, I might add more spices and fresh lemon to the mayo to lighten it up a little more. I ended up eating my peri chips with ketchup. Overall the meal was entirely delicious. The rice was still a hit, I would definitely add more water and a longer time to cook. My husband liked it. I liked it. I definitely didn’t get my kids to try this. This was way too elevated for their peculiar taste buds.

I give this meal 3.5 out of 5 stars, it delivered on the flavor and it was not very complicated to put together. With the modifications discussed I think this could definitely be a five-star meal.  So what’s next on my plate? Umm, at the suggestion of one of the doctor’s at my kid’s dental practice…baked alaska. Interesting right? Yeah, and my oldest son’s birthday is Monday and even though I bought him a traditional store brought cake, I still want to do something special for him. Two cakes for a special kid. So check back to see how my Baked Alaska turns out!

Till next time – Happy Eating  and Be Blessed!

Tameka, A Very Pleasant Mom of 4

#NandosPeriPeriChicken

#Portugueserice

#Kroger

#PortugueseGrilledCorn

#AVeryPleasantLife

#ittastesgood

 

 

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Super Bowl LII: A Truly Super Win

It’s estimated that over 100 million people tuned in to watch Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, February 5th including my family. While none of our teams were actually playing (Dad’s team is Buffalo Bills, mine is undecided till next season, Fred 5’s somehow became the Patriots after dropping the Redskins/”Deadskins”, Cassius rocks with Dad, King rocks with me and well Praise is not interested in football) we are still a football house who cherishes the Super Bowl and the fun and excitement it can bring no matter the teams playing.

I can’t forget that the Super Bowl is special for me and my husband for our own reason too. Many a Super Bowl ago (at least 13 bowls ago) I made the best darn burritos ever because that day my then boyfriend proposed to me. Initially I didn’t take him seriously but yes the burritos were that delicious and he was serious. Eventually we did marry and ever since we have been using Super Bowl Sunday to celebrate the undying love that we have for each other. So it’s important to me that he can relax and enjoy the big game comfortably with all the fixings and the greatest of them all, love.

I thought that inspiration would be lacking when it came to my Super Bowl planning considering neither of the teams were ours. I was pleasantly surprised to find many great meal ideas that made the cut for our Super Bowl Party on my favorite app in the world right now Pinterest.

My final Super Bowl menu was :

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New England Lobster Rolls vs. Philadelphia Cheesesteaks

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New England Lobster Rolls vs Philadelphia Cheesesteak

Pizza Pull Apart Bread & Meatball Sliders                                                                            photogrid_1517943387070-1900424510.jpg

Chicken Nuggets & Tater Tots

Fiesta Chorizo Queso & Tortilla, Doritos and Plain Lays Chips

Epic Dry Rubbed Wings & Vegetable Tray

Candied Grapes & Strawberries                photogrid_1517943638048363673090.jpg

Peach Cobbler with Cream Cheese

Store Brought Cupcakes

With the menu laid out I set out Sunday morning to acquire the ingredients I didn’t have on hand and to pick up my Infladium. Even though I lay everything out nicely I still try to do so on a budget and we’re never sure whether we’re celebrating with company or alone. Just the household alone is still 7 people so I always try to make sure that it’s enough food for us and that it may be enough leftover for lunch or dinner the following day. Before I could get the food I had to make it to Party City by 10am to attempt to obtain one of the 2 Infladiums Party City’s website reported to still have in stock not so close to my home. Because I wasn’t sure how big I was going this year I waited too late and was disappointed that there were no more Infladiums in stock even though I was the second customer in the store when it opened. The fact of the matter is that they barely had anything left Super Bowl related. Luckily the remaining items were marked down 50% but the pickings were slim. So I grabbed a fitted football field table cover for my table and 2 Snack Stadiums and some football and flag party picks. I had also picked up a few things from Dollar Tree to add to my decorations nicely. Satisfied with those things and some items I knew I had at home I could finally start food shopping.

The Lord was working in my favor because when I walked into Kroger it was so busy they didn’t even have any shopping carts available but I had a calmness in my soul that took me straight to the Seafood Counter where there was surprisingly no one in line. My God he really loved me – the lobster tails that I needed were on sale for $5 a pop. Thank you Jesus I smiled as I ordered my six. As soon as he began bagging them the line began to form behind me rapidly. Still with no cart in hand I decided to at least try to find the ribeye steaks that I needed for the cheesesteaks. My menu didn’t exist without these two items and so far I was doing pretty good. Again I was pleasantly surprised to find the ribeye steaks that I needed marked down. The items that sold out completely were the regular Philadelphia cream cheese but I was feeling so good I had already grabbed a shopping cart and decided to use 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream cheese, it still had to taste better than generic cream cheese which could be awful.

I did have to obtain a few more items from Wal-Mart that I either forgot or Kroger didn’t have but I was cooking by 2ish and feeling good about how everything was coming together. Even though the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, the New England Lobster Roll won in my house. They were absolutely delicious and now my husband’s favorite meal. The rolls were toasty and buttery filled with the lobster salad. I used the recommendation of fellow Pinners and added Old Bay seasoning to the mixture of mayo, lemon and what not. I didn’t have any sriracha as the recipe called for so I opted to swap it for Louisiana hot sauce. It was good! (Disclaimer – it was still good the next day after re-heating). Even though the Lobster Roll was the clear winner for us both, the cheesesteak was still very tasty in its own right. For that I went the old school route and used finely cut ribeye, sliced baby bella mushrooms, onions and green peppers. I used season salt and black pepper liberally to flavor it all. No cheese whiz for us, I found a nice smoked provolone thinly sliced. I also decided against melting the cheese in the pan over the meat and placed the cheese on the inside of the hoagie roll. I did keep with the recipe’s instructions and roll the sandwiches tightly in foil and put them in the oven for 10 minutes on a low setting. The steak was tender and flavorful – it was a great steak and cheese.

The next winner of the night was definitely unexpected – the Candied Grapes were a huge hit with everyone. Who knew that covering grapes in jello would give them a great texture and taste? I grabbed the Jolly Rancher Watermelon flavor and was delighted with the results. Those were gobbled up quickly. It also inspired me to cover other fruits in jello too in the future. The queso dip is always a hit, I make a version similar to the Fiesta Chorizo Queso with ground sausage or breakfast sausage.

The losers of the night in my eyes were the Pizza Pull Apart Bread and the Epic Dry Rubbed Wings. I had done my research and read the comments on both recipes and tried to modify them to prevent certain aforementioned issues. I added pizza sauce to the blend of dough, mozzarella, olive oil and pepperoni to give it more flavor and moisture or so I thought. 2 of 4 kids loved the pizza bread, me not so much. The chicken wings which are a favorite of ours were a little lackluster. The recipe directed to only use 1/3 of the dry rub to coat the wings to get full flavor but I used more than half and they were still lacking the color the wings in the picture boasted but they also lacked flavor. I even sprinkled the dry rub over the wings post cooking to add more seasonings to it and they still were light in the flavor department. The hidden jewel of the game was the Peach Cobbler. This cobbler came as no easy feat because once again I failed to read the instructions completely so I goofed right at the beginning  of the process when I forgot to add in softened butter to the yellow cake mix and egg. So I added another egg when the cake mix didn’t get crumbly – the additional egg made it goopy and by the time I added the forgotten butter it was like cookie dough. Still I forged ahead and pressed the cake dough in the bottom of the sprayed baking dish and baked it for 15 minutes. Now I had a new problem – half of the remaining cake crumble mix was supposed to go on top of the peaches and I didn’t reserve it to the side as it all got gooey. Now I had to make a cobbler batter to pour over the canned peaches that I had tossed in cinnamon and the cream cheese and sugar mixture that covered the peaches. Pinterest to the rescue, I found a different peach cobbler recipe that employed all the ingredients I had on hand. I poured the cobbler batter over the pan and returned it to the oven for 40 more minutes.

There was so much food that I had absolutely no more space to even try the peach cobbler on Super Bowl Sunday. This was the hidden gem because when I tasted it the next day it was refreshingly delicious. My husband had said it was good but it was a real understated good. When I tasted it my taste buds were awakened with flavor and delight. Even the gooey cake crust had held up well and was actually cake-like crust rather than a pie crust. I could have pulled it probably 5 – 7 minutes sooner as the bottom was brown but not burnt.  When I approached my husband the day I tasted it and told him that I thought it was great he just looked at me like I was crazy and reminded me that he too had said the same thing the previous night. I reminded him that he didn’t really say that much about the cobbler but then again he reminded me that he was so flavor rocked from all the delicious foods that it just didn’t stand out amongst all the praise. Point made.

Everything about Super Bowl 52 was great. Even with the small snafus that arose everything was absolutely incredible. I didn’t get my Infladium but I only had space to use 1 of the 2 Snack Stadiums I purchased from Party City. Even the little touches like the field goals that we made out of yellow popsicle sticks and styrofoam cups were cute. The kids even made their own paper footballs. Normally the kids do their own thing while my husband and I watch the game together, this year I required all of our kids to watch the game together with us, even little Miss Praise. There aren’t a lot of times where we can all sit down together at one time and do anything, Super Bowl Sunday 52 did that for us and allowed us to watch a great victory on behalf of the Eagles and a valiant attempt to the very end for the Patriots. The food was delicious – the company was great. It was certainly a Pleasant night and one that we will remember for many years to come. We continued one of many family traditions and were blessed in so many ways as a result. I can’t even imagine what we’ll be eating and who we will be watching for next year Super Bowl? Or better yet where? Maybe at the Super Bowl? You never know. That’s the pleasant thing about life. If you stay in the game, you never know what the outcome will be and how it will change your life – win or lose.

Thanks for stopping by. If you’d like to try out the recipes I used for my Super Bowl Party check me out on Pinterest – Pleasants Personal & Professional Solutions, LLC. My “She Tried It” Board are all the recent pins that I’ve tried. I try to include good descriptions and photos. Did your family watch the Super Bowl this year? What traditions did you all have? Feel free to share your ideas with me as we all wait patiently together for the 2018 NFL Football season.

Peace and Blessings,

Future Chef Mek

Infladium and Snack Stadium available at Party City

My Favorite App Right Now – Pinterest

Place I Spend Way Too Much Time at – Kroger

Second Place I Spend Too Much Time At – Wal-Mart

#SuperBowlLII

#flyeaglesfly

#newenglandlobsterroll

#averypleasantlife