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Chef Kelly is serving up chicken with an attitude

| Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Here's one to make for a crowd that will certainly increase the beverage consumption. You can tame the heat of this spicy dish by decreasing the jalapeno, or spice it up by adding more. Serve with some steamed rice or pasta shells. The devil's chicken can be as mild or spicy as you like.

Chicken Fra Diablo

(Makes six servings)

14 cup olive oil

6 chicken thighs with skins, bones removed, pounded to a 14-inch thickness

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 medium jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced into rings

14-ounce can tomatoes with the juices

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

12 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place a dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and warm the oil. Season each chicken piece with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side down and cook for about two minutes, just until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and cook for a minute. Add the garlic, bell peppers and jalapenos, then cook for about a minute.

Add 12 cup of water and de-glaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about another minute. Add the tomatoes with juices, and the capers. Cover the pan and cook for two more minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately with some rice or pasta.

A quick and easy one that will have the troops coming back for more.

• • •

What to do with an abundance of pancakes? Some left overs from Sunday brunch can be turned into a quick and easy dessert that your family will be requesting and enjoying. You can make the pancakes a day ahead and keep them refrigerated for a day or two. The cake can be assembled two hours before serving. This fall-themed treat is sure to satisfy.

Pancake Cake with Maple Cream Icing

(Makes an 8-inch cake)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup rye or whole-wheat flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

12 teaspoon salt

1 14 cups milk

2 large egg yolks

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted,

(plus butter for greasing the pan)

34 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling;

11 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

14 cup whole milk yogurt

5 teaspoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rye flour, cornmeal, granulated and brown sugars, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, whole eggs, egg yolks, melted butter and pure vanilla extract. Coat an 8-inch skillet with some melted butter and heat over medium-low heat. Combine the two mixes and whisk just until the batter is whisked together.

Pour 12 cup of the batter into the heated skillet and cook for about 1 12 minutes or until large bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes. Carefully flip the pancake over and cook for about a minute longer or until the under side is just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. Let the pancakes cool at room temperature. You should have about six pancakes.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and yogurt until smooth. Add in the four tablespoons of the maple syrup and confectioners' sugar until just well combined.

To assemble the cake, spread each pancakes with the 16 of the filling, continuing this pattern for each pancake and stack on a platter. Drizzle the last of the filling over the top and you have yourself a masterpiece.

• • •

Here's a real easy one that you can pack in juniors lunch box. You can make the dough and store ahead for up to one week to make life easier.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

12 cup butter, softened

1 23 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups self-rising flour

12-ounce package semisweet chocolate morsels

baking parchment

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed with and electric mixer until creamy; gradually adding the sugar, beating well. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add in the flour and beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels.

Drop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons on paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes (bake chilled dough for a minute or two longer).

Remove from the oven and place the sheets on a wire rack to cool for five minutes. Remove the cookies from the sheets and cool completely, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container. You might want to hide them because when kids are around, they have a tendency to disappear quickly.

As always, enjoy!

David Kelly is a Tribune-Review freelance columnist. He has been sharing cooking tips and recipes in Culinary Corner for more than 24 years.

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