Birds and Bunnies

Southwestern Chicken Cakes

Because I am always looking for fresh, new ideas, I sometimes forget about delicious recipes that have been in my files for a long time.  This is one of those recipes.  If I remember correctly, it was a recipe for a quick dinner I sent to my son Scott when he was a bachelor and did not have a lot of time for cooking during the work week.  I decided to re-visit the recipe after my daughter-in-law Tammy reminded me how delicious she thought they were.  Using ground chicken is very convenient.  But you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped in the food processor if you prefer. 

An effortless recipe that is crab cake inspired.   Serve as a delicious entrée or a mouthwatering sandwich on a bun — or in a smaller size as a tasty appetizer!  Grilled Corn and Poblano Peppers and Green Rice (both recipes below) round out the plate perfectly.  Another delicious accompaniment is the Spicy Mexican Corn and Potato Salad.  If you are serving as an appetizer, I highly recommend Robert Rothschild Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Glaze as a condiment, which also is scrumptious as a sauce for Southwestern Chicken Cake sandwiches.

Southwestern Chicken Cakes

Makes 8 large Chicken Cakes
Author Rosalie D’Amico

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat
  • ¼ red bell pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ poblano chili, finely diced
  • ½ to 1 small serrano or jalapeno chili, seeded and finely diced (adjust to your taste)
  • 4 green onions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (or Italian parsley), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Zest of one small lime or lemon
  • ¾ cup panko (or breadcrumbs) for coating
  • ¼ cup olive oil for cooking, divided

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 375° convection.
  • Mix ½ cup breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, eggs, salt, and lime zest together in a large bowl. Add chicken, peppers, onions and herbs to the bowl and mix together well.
  • Using a #8 scoop or a ½ cup measuring cup, shape into 8 patties about 1-inch thick. Dredge in panko or breadcrumbs. If making ahead, do not dredge until ready to cook.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown half of the chicken cakes well on both sides. Transfer to a sheet pan. Add remaining oil to skillet and brown remaining chicken cakes. Transfer to the sheet pan. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Notes

The chicken cakes can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to cook.
Grilled Corn and Poblano Peppers

Grilled Corn and Poblano Peppers

Author Rosalie D’Amico

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • corn on the cob
  • poblano peppers
  • Fresno chili pepper
  • red onion cut into ½” rings
  • cilantro, chopped
  • lime juice

Instructions

  • Heat the grill to high.
  • Drizzle olive oil over corn on the cob, Fresno chili peppers, poblano pepper, and red onion. 
  • Grill vegetables until charred.
  • Remove kernels from corn.
  • Dice other vegetables.
  • Toss together with salt, olive oil, chopped cilantro and a little lime juice or other acid.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
Green Rice

Green Rice

I call this Green Rice as opposed to Arroz Verde because it is not made in the same way traditional Mexican rice is made. Mexican rice is usually sautéed in oil before adding the liquid. I prefer the texture of the rice without this step. Green Rice is the perfect accompaniment to Southwestern Chicken Cakes, enchiladas, soupy beans, or any Mexican dish. It is also a nice zingy side dish for grilled fish or chicken.
Author Rosalie D’Amico

Ingredients

  • ½ small yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • ½ poblano chili seeds removed, large dice
  • 1 jalapeno seeds removed, large dice
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice

Instructions

  • Add onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and salt to food processor work bowl and puree.
  • Add to a saucepan with the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add rice, stir and return to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes before serving.