Recipes for a Delicious Date Night

We had a great time getting together with some of our favorite Austin couples for our annual Love issue. Shane and Catherine Stiles, Carl and Nikisha Brunson and Jenn Rose Smith and Michael Spruiell welcomed us into their homes to see how they spend a romantic evening in: with lots of good food! Here, the three couples share with us their recipes for a spicy, homemade meal.

Caldo de Pollo by Shane and Catherine Stiles

(Cook time 2 hrs)

  • 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of fresh pressed or minced garlic
  • 1 medium whole white or yellow onion – diced
  • 2-3 boxes Free Range Chicken Broth – 32oz
  • 1 lb. bag of carrots – peeled and sliced
  • 4 stocks of celery – washed and cut stalks into quarters
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1 tbsp. – Natural Chicken Soup Seasoning/Spice - Knorr makes one or you can find a blend in the bulk seasoning section of your favorite grocer
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 lb. of white potatoes or yellow potatoes – peeled and quartered
  • 2 whole roasted chicken – I buy the fresh roasted chickens from (Central Market, HEB, or Whole Foods)
  • 3 ears of corn
  • Add olive oil to a large stock pot. Set to medium heat and let the oil sit for about 1 minute. Add diced onion and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until browned.
  • Add the pressed or minced garlic to the oil and onion. Sauté for about 30 seconds.
  • Add about 48 oz. of the free range chicken broth, sliced carrots, and celery stalks.
  • Split the skin of the Serrano pepper, but do not slice! Add to pot. (Tip: Take a butcher knife and lay it flat on the Serrano and smack the knife with your hand to split open the skin of the Serrano.)
  • Season with chicken soup seasoning, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it hits a boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Remove the Serrano pepper after 30 minutes for a mild spice (if you like your soup more spicy you can leave the Serrano for an additional 15-30 minutes).
  • Next, add the potatoes. Take the whole chickens and remove all meat off the bone and add to the soup.
  • Finally, add the corn. I take each ear of corn and cut in half so you will have 6 smaller pieces of corn. Turn the heat up to bring to a boil once more. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes.
  • Garnish with avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and lime. Serve with fresh baked cornbread or a French baguette.

Jamaican Curry Chicken Recipe by Carl and Nikisha Brunson

(Cook time 1 hr)

  • 6 Skinless Chicken Legs (or any part of the chicken you prefer)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Large onion diced small
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  • 5-6 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 5 Whole Allspice
  • 1 tbsp. Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Scotch Bonnet Pepper Hot Sauce (optional)
  • 4 tbsp. Jamaican Curry Powder separated
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2-3 Potatoes peeled and cut in quarters
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Take skin off of chicken and clean. Season chicken with 1 tablespoon of Jamaican Curry Powder, Adobo seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper, toss and make sure chicken is covered in all the seasoning.
  • Coat bottom of a big pot with olive oil and heat on medium/high, add chicken and slightly brown both sides. Add chopped onion, garlic, thyme, whole allspice, and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Hot Sauce (optional), stir and cook until onions become translucent.
  • Then add the can of coconut milk and 3 tablespoons of Jamaican Curry Powder. Add just enough water to the same pot to make sure your chicken is covered in liquid, stir. Cover pot and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Add cut up potato after 40 minutes and cover and continue to simmer for 20 minutes more. Once it is done add salt to taste.
  • Serve with coconut rice and beans, white rice, or brown rice.

Chicken Aglio E Olio Recipe by Jenn Rose Smith and Michael Spruiell

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • Butterfly each chicken breast and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and throw in 2 dashes of kosher salt. Cook the spaghetti for 8 – 10 minutes in the pot (8 for al dente).
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, drizzle olive oil into a large frying pan (enough to richly coat the bottom of the pan) and cook the chicken breasts over low-medium heat until done (should take about 6 minutes per side).
  • Drain the spaghetti and save about 3 tablespoons of the salty water from the pot. Set aside in a small bowl.
  • In a small sauce pan, heat the 1/3 cup olive oil over low heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Carefully add in the 3 tablespoons of salty pasta water.
  • Slice the chicken into small vertical pieces and combine with spaghetti into a large bowl. Add in the liquid from the sauce pan and toss with a pair of tongs to distribute sauce throughout.
  • Garnish with minced parsley.
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