Orange and a blend of spicy red pepper is one of my favorite flavor combinations to prepare chicken with. The sweetness and acid of the orange balances the heat and punch of the red pepper, creating a a marinade that is kind of like a spicy margarita, with equal parts sweetness, spice, and salt. This dish of spicy orange chicken, blistered corn and green peppers, and flat fries with spicy orange aioli incorporates that flavor combo into a meal complete with a bounty of summer vegetables. This is a very forgiving recipe, as it can be made in a variety of vessels, grilled, roasted or seared in a pan, but the flavors are the consistent stars.

The key is to marinate the chicken for a few hours before cooking, as the acid really gets the juices flowing and tenderizes the meat. It almost jump-starts the cooking process. The aioli can be made in advance, while the chicken, vegetables, and flat fries are best when served hot. I used green bell peppers here, which I believe are highly underrated, but any pepper would benefit from this flavor and blistering process. This spicy orange chicken marinade infuses the chicken with heat and flavor which when cooked, retains its juicy seasoning.

serves 4


for the spicy orange chicken

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup orange zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally into thick strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

for the spicy orange aioli

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

for the flat fries

  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 2 gallons of water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

for the corn and green peppers

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ red onion, diced 
  • 4 ears of corn, husked and with the corn sliced off
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

for assembly

  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

chicken steps

2-4 hours before you are ready to begin cooking, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, garlic, maple syrup, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Place the chicken in a large dish or bowl and cover with the marinade. Let sit for 2-4 hours until you are ready to cook.

Once the chicken has marinated, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Place the chicken in a flat even layer on the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another 10-12 minutes.

spicy orange aioli steps

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice, and mustard until combined. Slowly drizzle in the oil, while continuing to whisk vigorously until the mixture comes together, this is called emulsification. Add in the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and orange zest. Set aside. 

flat fries steps

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl and cover them in the water and baking soda, allowing them to soak for 30 minutes to an hour. This helps extract some of the starch, allowing the potatoes to be their crispiest when cooked. After they are finished soaking, rinse and pat them dry with a paper towel, and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with the olive oil, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake the potatoes for about 35 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through to ensure even cooking.

corn and green peppers steps

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and cook until it turns translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the corn, half of the lime juice, the salt, and the pepper, and cook for 7-10 minutes until it begins to slightly char. Remove from the pan and add the green peppers, skin-side down. Pour the remaining lime juice, salt, and pepper over the peppers and cook them for 7 minutes then flip them and cook for another 5 minutes until softened. The peppers will sizzle and the skin will blister.

assembly steps

Transfer the chicken, vegetables, flat fries, and aioli to a large plate or platter and dress with the lime juice and chopped cilantro.

I really believe that sweet and salty foods balance the best of both worlds in one satisfying dish. Chicken with capers and apricots is an easy, one pot, weeknight recipe that is both sweet and salty. The chicken simmers in a luscious herby white wine sauce which is salted by the punchy capers and sweetened by the dried apricots. Of course, the apricots absorb the sauce and plump up, filled with the flavorful liquid. Chicken with capers and apricots is filled with Provençal herbs that turn a simple dish into an aromatic delight. 

serves 2-3


  • 2 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken (mix of thighs and legs)
  • 3 tablespoons salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons pepper, divided
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • ½ cup dried apricots


Place the chicken, skin-side down in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the skin is crispy and releases from the skillet without much effort. Flip the chicken to the underside and cook for another 7-8 minutes.

Add in the shallot and onion and stir. Let cook for 7 minutes until beginning to caramelize. Then add in the garlic dried basil, dried thyme, marjoram, parsley, and rosemary, and cook for 4 minutes. Add in the wine, capers, and apricots, making sure to evenly distribute them throughout the pan.

Cover and cook for 40 minutes on medium-low heat. Uncover and remove the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes to reduce the sauce. Serve over rice or potatoes.

Chicken paprikash is a warm and soothing dish, perfect during the long spell of winter cold. It is a classic Central European staple which has been made for generations in endless ways. Yet all of the recipes share a principal emphasis on paprika. This is how my grandma always made it.

When combined with the other ingredients, the paprika transforms into a creamy, wondrous base that you could really eat on anything, but since this is chicken paprikash, it is served on chicken over rice. The key when adding in the sour cream is to turn off the heat then mix it in smoothly and very slowly to prevent any curdling. Mixing slowly allows it to thoroughly emulsify into the beautifully silky texture.


  • 2 pounds of chicken, a mix of breast, legs, and thighs on the bone
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons salt, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 ½ tablespoons smoked or hot paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped


Generously season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the pepper. Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and cook the chicken skin side down for 7-8 minutes. Wait for the chicken skin to release from the pan then flip and cook again for another 7-8 minutes on the other side. If the chicken sticks to the pan and does not release easily, it is not ready to be flipped. 

Remove the chicken from the pan and add the sliced onions. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook. Add the paprika, remaining 1 tablespoon of salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon of black pepper. Add the flour and cook until it has evenly combined, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and mix thoroughly. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 35 minutes. Chicken should be soft and cooked through.

Remove the chicken and slowly stir in the sour cream until the sauce has thickened and combined. Serve over rice, spaetzle, egg noodles, or potatoes and top with chopped parsley.

Breaded chicken, also known as “schnitzel” in German, is a real culinary delight. I am sure you have heard of wiener schnitzel, which is quite popular in Austria, one of the countries my family descends from. And who can forget the timeless song “My Favorite Things” in which Julie Andrews sings “schnitzel with noodles”. Thus, pastrami chicken schnitzel is a new take on an old classic.

Schnitzel meat is typically pounded to a thin slice, dredged in flour, dipped in egg, and covered with a fine layer of breadcrumbs, then fried up to crisp perfection.

For this pastrami chicken schnitzel, I have omitted the flour and opted to bake the schnitzel instead of frying it for a lighter, less laborious process. In place of the flour is a pastrami spice blend that has been finding its way into our cooking quite often. We use the smoker to make hot smoked salmon, all kinds of jerky, and meat — so we decided to create a pastrami spice mix to compliment it.

The best part of this pastrami chicken schnitzel recipe is that you will have leftovers of the pastrami spice mix after making this recipe, which you can use for other meat, potatoes, veggies, fish!

Note: The proportions on this spice blend are suggestions — feel free to add or subtract to your liking — but this is the essence of a pastrami seasoning.

serves 4


for the pastrami spice mix

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seed
  • 1 heaping teaspoon juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish style smoked paprika 
  • 1 pinch of Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

for the chicken

  • 2 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs

In a saucepan, toast coriander, juniper berries, caraway seed, and black peppercorns individually, each for 3 minutes. Add to spice grinder and grinder until powdered. Add to a bowl and mix in the smoked paprika, aleppo pepper, mustard powder, salt, and brown sugar. Set aside.

Butterfly chicken breasts by running your knife alongside the middle and splitting in half. You will have 4 pieces.

Place one piece into a plastic freezer bag and pound it with a mallet or a rolling pin until it is about ⅛ inch thick. Repeat with 3 remaining pieces.

Generously season the chicken with pastrami mix and and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place the egg in a small shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a second small shallow bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Dip one piece of chicken in the egg then immediately in the breadcrumbs. Place on the sheet pan. Repeat with remaining chicken. Cook for 10 minutes then flip schnitzel on pan and cook for another 10 minutes on the other side. Schnitzel is finishing when it begins to turn golden brown. It will cook fairly quickly since the pieces are so thin.

Serve with noodles!

Yesterday was the first snowfall of the winter season, and with festive decorations popping up everywhere, it officially feels like the holidays are in full swing. I am heartened by the amount of holiday spirit I have seen so far this season, despite the innumerable tragedies plaguing our world. In nearly every window I pass, there are twinkling lights and colorful decor to remind us that small wonders still exist!

For most of us, the holidays are synonymous with celebrations and parties, and parties are often synonymous with food and drinks. I love party food, any and all of it. Perhaps it is the mere association with festivities that makes it so full of flavor or the instant gratification that comes with popping it in your mouth.

When I was little, I remember parties being filled with classic finger-food appetizers like pigs and blankets, bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, mini quiches, and bite-size spanakopita. Be it the most interesting and unique canapés or retro snacks like deviled-eggs, I am a huge fan of indulging in party food.

Even though our gatherings may be a bit quieter this year, we can still imagine ways to celebrate the season. These spicy cornflaked chicken tenders are a perfect menu item for any sized party. They are a twist on a timeless classic [chicken fingers!] that can be made ahead of time and scaled up or down, to suit the audience you are serving!

This recipe for spicy cornflaked chicken tenders is reliable and sure to please merrymakers of all ages. You can experiment with different spices, but this is the mixture that I feel accentuates the flavor best.

Note: Chicken tenders are really just boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into that distinctive “tender” shape. You can save money by buying chicken breasts and cutting them into “tenders” yourself.

Serves 6


  • 2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ½ cups of cornflakes
  • 2 eggs 
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Trim the chicken breasts and cut into long strips.

Place the eggs in a shallow bowl or dish and beat with a whisk until combined. Place the flour into a separate shallow bowl or dish and mix in 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.

Grind the cornflakes in a food processor or place in a large plastic freezer bag, seal, and roll with a rolling pin to make into a breadcrumb-like mixture.

Pour into a bowl and mix in salt, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and chipotle pepper until evenly combined.

Dip one piece of the chicken into the flour, then into the egg, then into the cornflake mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all pieces of chicken have been thoroughly coated.

Bake for 22 minutes, flipping the chicken tenders after 10 minutes so both sides cook evenly. Rotate a third time and bake 2 more minutes for extra crunch.

Serve with any dipping sauce you’d like. I recommend ketchup, honey mustard, harissa aioli, yogurt ranch, anything your heart desires!

You can cut regular boneless skinless chicken breasts into tenders
Cornflake mixture will vary in texture
Served here with regular ketchup, but the dipping sauce possibilities are endless!