Late Summer at Pollo Tropical

It seems more and more families are looking for healthier options when dinning out while traveling or after a late day of sports. I know when we chose to dine out I really research healthier options because that is super important to my own family!

Fortunately we live in an area where several healthier options are available, including the inconspicuous Pollo Tropical; an upscale fast food option.

Last week I was invited to try a few new menu options as well as taste some of their original eats from this unique brand.

What makes Pollo Tropical different from other fast food restaurants?

** How about no freezers in the restaurant?! Everything is brought in fresh; prepped and prepared fresh in house daily.

**Pollo Tropical serves chicken that is natural; in other words, no hormones or antibiotics have been injected into their chicken as it was raised.

**The chicken is marinated in their special citrus marinade overnight and grilled fresh (never frozen) & right where you can watch.

** Recipes are traditional made with fresh ingredients daily, including the sauces on the sauce bar.

**Pollo Tropical prides itself in not using trans fats in their foods, and because everything is prepared fresh in-house there are a lot less unnatural preservatives in your food!

While known for their citrus marinated grilled chicken, Pollo Tropical has added Pollo Bites; fresh marinated chicken, dipped and battered in-house then fried in canola oil. These for perfect for those kiddos that love their chicken nuggets!

Also new to the menu are a couple of different chicken sandwiches. The chicken BLT with spicy chipotle ranch is so delicious!

For lighter fare, the bacon-shrimp salad served with dressing hits the spot. The shrimp is also marinated in the citrus marinade and then boiled.

The pulled pork sandwich with guava bbq sauce is such a treat. And I learned that in the Miami area this sandwich is served with a Cuban bbq sauce.

Originally founded in 1988 the Pollo Tropical chain has grown to 140 restaurants throughout Florida and up into the metro Atlanta area. This makes it really convenient for my southeastern friends when they hit the road for vacation!!

Check it out!

Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

Each year January comes and goes without a lot of writing from me on the blog.  Some see this a bad thing, but honestly, it’s one of the best practices I’ve established for myself, especially this year.

January is an interesting month.  While it is filled with the newness of a new year, it’s also filled with exhaustion of the old.  Holidays are over, guests have come and gone, the house must be put back to normal, winter sports are in full swing, and planners are just being filled with the excitement that is to come.

As I write this evening I’m sitting in my office; a new space to me that I’m super excited to enjoy.

But today, I’m not sharing my office space (I’ll share it soon); instead I’m kicking off February with this yummy Buffalo Wing recipe and with homemade Blue Cheese dressing.

Buffalo-Wings-with-Blue-Cheese-Dip | FiddleDeeDee

While Audley and I firmly believe football is played on Saturday and cars race on Sunday, this weekend is the Super Bowl.  Like so many others we’ll be getting together with friends to watch commercials the game, and this is the dish I’m contributing to the evening festivities!

There are a several reasons this is a fabulous snack to share.  One, it feeds as many as you want; just double, triple or quadruple the recipe.  Two, if you follow a clean eating plan or are Paleo or Keto, the wings totally fit the lifestyle (the dressing… yeah, it’s just not that healthy. HA!).

And three, it’s really easy.

Game Day

For our family of three I do three pounds of wing pieces.  You know Bradley is a wrestler so he eats me out of house and home which means I overcook all the time.  If you are serving as an appetizer this will serve up to six.

Take the wing pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper, then place in a single layer on an oven pan.  An oversize cast iron skillet is perfect for this, but you can line a baking sheet with foil as well.

Bake at 400°.

Ingredients for the sauce are so simple: hot sauce (I am addicted to Texas Pete), butter, lemon juice, and garlic powder.  While your wings cook mix together in a pan heat until the butter is melted and the sauce is all liquid.

Game-Day-Buffalo-Wings | FiddleDeeDee

You can make the blue cheese ahead of time (best so the flavors can mesh), or while your wing pieces are cooking.  I did say the dressing isn’t so healthy, but you can pronounce all of the ingredients which does make it better than purchasing it from the grocery store.  I use all organic products (which I will post in the printable recipe), but you don’t have to.  Ingredients include buttermilk, sour cream, mayo, blue cheese crumbles, garlic salt, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, pepper and chives.

Rich-and-Tasty-Blue-Cheese-Dip | FiddleDeeDee

It will take 45-50 minutes for all of the wings to cook completely; remove from the oven and drizzle the wing sauce over the top.  Return to oven for five minutes to set the sauce, turning the wings after a couple of minutes.

Game-Day-Wings | FiddleDeeDee

Serve them up on a platter arranged nicely or just dump them in a bowl.

They are going to be devoured either way, I promise!

Click here for the full printable recipe of Buffalo Wings and here for the Blue Cheese Dip.

Y’all enjoy the game this weekend!

Signature

Chicken with Citrus-Garlic Sauce

Life is busy during the holidays, but I don’t have to tell you that.  Fortunately on my end the decorating, shopping, Christmas cards, wrapping and planning is complete.  Now it’s time for parties, baking, celebrating…

and wrestling.

{We have a 2 tourneys this weekend, 2 next week & a 3 dayer right after Christmas}

I don’t want to spend every moment cooking and cleaning if I can help it; instead I want to savor this time, even though much of it will be spent in a smelly high school gym.  At the end of the day, if I can still manage to have a flavorful and filling supper on the table in thirty minutes, I am one happy momma.

I also have happy guys as Audley & Bradley really love it when I cook!

Recently I prepared this delicious chicken dish which not only tasted fabulous and like I spent hours on it, but it looked pretty when served up as well.

{I didn’t tell the boys it was easy; I wanted them to think I actually spent hours cooking!}

Chicken-with-Citrus-Garlic-Sauce | Fiddle-Dee-Dee

The recipe for Chicken with Citrus-Garlic Sauce is one I actually found in a Williams Sonoma cookbook, but altered to fit the ingredients that I had on hand!  What makes this recipe so awesome is you can use orange, lemon, lime… any kind of citrus that you like to cook with!

So here is my version that easily serves 4…. Gather your ingredients and make supper simple tonight!

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 Tablespoons minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tablespoon orange zest

3 Tablespoons olive oil

pink sat & black pepper

3/4 cup chicken broth

4 ounces fresh orange juice

1/2 cup of Riesling wine

Citrus-Garlic-Chicken | oh-fiddle-dee-dee

The instructions for preparing the citrusy chicken can be found by clicking Chicken with Citrus-Garlic Sauce

Citrus-Garlic-Chicken-Dish | fiddle-dee-dee

By the way, Williams Sonoma carries these awesome serving dishes in a couple of sizes!  I LOVE them!

Chicken-Citrus-Garlic-Sauce-Dish | fiddle-dee-dee

While you are letting your chicken cook, roast some green beans and asparagus  on a cookie sheet (I put the green beans on the pan first with a little salt, pepper, orange zest and brush with olive oil; then add the asparagus about 10 minutes in to roast) which keeps the dirty dishes to a minimum.

CItrus-Garlic-Chicken-Supper | fiddle-dee-dee

You can also add a salad if you want dinner on the table even faster.  If you have more time to dedicate,  sautéed brussel sprouts or roasted fingerling potatoes make great sides as well!

Do you have a favorite 30 minute meal you enjoy for your family?  I would love some more ideas!

 

Signature

Easy Roast Chicken

Madeline and I arrived home from our ten-day mission trip to Cuba on Tuesday afternoon.  After sleeping off our exhaustion, I was ready to get back into the kitchen for something not fried and didn’t involve rice and peas!

This one-pan dish is so easy, versatile and “clean” that I’m not even going to write up a recipe for it.  Even the most inexperienced of cooks can put this together for family or even serve it up for company dinner!

It’s just that simple.

Prepped-One-Pan-Chicken-Dinner | ohfiddledeedee.com

Whenever I roast anything in the oven I always use a Lodge skillet.

{It just makes food taste even better!}

I took my largest pan (I love this with the handles on each side), and drizzled olive oil on the bottom, then arranged chicken breasts and thighs in the pan.

Easy-One-Pan-Chicken-Dish-prepped | ohfiddledeedee.com

Next I added fingerling potatoes and lemon halves to the pan, after squeezing the lemon juice over the chicken.  Season with dried garlic (I LOVE this stuff), pink Himalayan salt and pepper, and top with your favorite herbs.  I used tarragon mixed with green onion, but you can use parsley, rosemary, basil or any other that you prefer!

Simple-One-pan-chicken-dish | ohfiddledeedee.com

Roast in the oven for about 50 minutes on 375, ocassionally spooning the juices over the chiken & potatoes.  Remove when the internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees at it’s thickest part.

One-Pan- Easy-Chicken-Dinner | ohfiddledeedee.com

Seriously, it’s that easy.

It doesn’t matter what level cook you are, a meat thermometer is your best friend when cooking chicken, roast, pork, etc… accurately.

Easy-One-Pan-Chicken-Dinner | ohfiddledeedee-com

This roast chicken is so pretty you can serve it right from the pan!  Just be sure to protect you tabletop or counter from the heat.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!  Next week I hope to begin sharing our Cuba travels with you all!  Be sure to stop back by!

Signature