Quick & Delicious Dominican Chicken Sauté — Episode 23

From the first time our babysitter Rafaela cooked us this one-pot Dominican chicken, I was obsessed. Per usual we had a few chicken breasts in the freezer and she offered to whip up some dinner using those and a handful of vegetables we had in the fridge. There was a mortar and pestle involved. Fifteen minutes later emerged chicken so flavorful and delicious I begged her to teach me, and she kindly obliged. The recipe is simple enough, but I’ve found it takes some love to perfect. One trick is to use a bit more vinegar (I skipped this ingredient in the video). I think that helps keep the chicken juicy and gives it a lot of character. Also, don’t skimp on the vegetable oil. That’s critical to creating the delicious sauce or “sofrito” around the chicken.

Dominican Chicken Sauté


Dominican chicken is a quick and delicious weeknight meal.

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut into 3 inch pieces
  • juice of one lemon
  • splash of malt vinegar (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/3 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot sliced super thin with box grater
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, divided
  • Sazon seasoning; salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Place garlic, dash of salt and pepper and half of oregano into a mortar; crush with pestle until blended. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil and crush some more. Pour over chicken pieces and set aside to marinate about 20 minutes.

Heat 2+ tablespoons vegetable oil in large skillet or (ideally) French oven. Place chicken pieces into pot and cook on one side about 5 minutes until lightly brown, then flip with tongs and cook on the other side (trying to flip only once to cook). When chicken is a couple minutes from being done, add in all the veggies—red pepper, onion, carrot. Add a little more oil if needed and cook everything together, stirring occasionally. Season generously with Sazon, oregano, salt and pepper. When veggies are browned, remove from heat. Add cilantro (it will wilt). Serve over fluffy white rice.

How to Make a Kid-Friendly Quesadilla

I love it when a recipe takes just minutes to cook on the stove top—makes it easier to quiet my inner lazy cook and forgo the microwave. This kid-friendly cheese quesadilla is one of those recipes. I’ve been learning a bunch of Latin cooking techniques from our amazing babysitter/adopted “abuela” Rafaela, who is Dominican. When I spotted her toasting the flour tortilla in a bit of vegetable oil, I knew I could never go back to a soggy quesadilla land again. I like to do a blend of cheeses: queso for its mild flavor and melty goodness, and a sharp cheddar for some kick. Plus, you can sneak in some veggies for the kids if you chop them up really small, like we did in this pasta salad recipe. You can also add shredded chicken to this for extra protein, like my Jamaican Jerk style shown here

Cheese Quesadilla 

This broccoli and cheese quesadilla is quick, easy, and kid-friendly.

This broccoli and cheese quesadilla is quick, easy, and kid-friendly.

  • 1 cup Queso style and/or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, cooked & finely chopped
  • Large flour tortilla
  • Vegetable oil

Heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Place tortilla in pan and heat, turning every 10 seconds or so until bubbles form and tortilla begins to lightly brown. Add cheese and broccoli; cover pan with lid until cheese is melted (about 30 seconds). Fold tortilla in half and cut into wedges. Serve with salsa and sour cream. 

No Chop, One Pot Curried Cauliflower —Episode 21

If you’ve been following the show, you probably know the Shigleys tend to like our recipes simple and spicy! This one-pot curried cauliflower is just that—and makes an easy, flavorful vegetarian dish for a weeknight meal. Full disclosure, I call it “no chop” because each of the ingredients can be sourced already cut. But technically you might have to chop the onion/cauliflower if you don’t have the pre-chopped versions from the grocery store, or saved in your freezer. 

No Chop, One Pot Curried Cauliflower

Curried Cauliflower

Spicy and sweet curried cauliflower is a satisfying vegetarian meal.

  • 2 Teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • About 2 (10-oz.) packages fresh cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Cooked Basmati Rice
  • Store-bought Mango Chutney


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook curry powder and red pepper in hot oil, stirring often, 1 minute.
  2. Add cauliflower, onion, peas and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is crisp-tender.
  3. Reduce heat to low; add 6-8 Tbsp. water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or just until cauliflower is tender.
  4. Serve with Basmati rice and mango chutney. 

Teriyaki Chicken Tenders and Asian Noodle Salad for Back to School—CBS Atlanta Better Mornings

Last week I appeared on Atlanta’s CBS Better Mornings to share some easy recipes and reinventions for back to school. I made a breadless Teriyaki Chicken Tender, which we then reinvented into multiple meals. For example, you can do an Asian Noodle Salad for dinner on Day 2, lettuce wraps for lunch on Day 3, and mix-and-match the chicken or noodle salad for kids’ lunches throughout the week. Thankfully my little sister Lauren was in town and helped 33-week-pregnant-me prep all the food for the segment—and she’s a natural at food styling! Here’s a pic of us on set! Debra Shigley on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta

Chicken Teriyaki Strips

6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

2 cups Teriyaki Sauce

Cooking Spray

Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted.

  1. Marinate chicken in Teriyaki sauce for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Place chicken in pan (about 10 strips at a time), and cook until crisp, browned and cooked through, turning once. Add more cooking spray as needed.
  4. Roll freshly-cooked chicken strips in sesame seeds.

Asian Noodle Chicken Salad

For the Dressing:

1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar

1/4 Cup Fresh lime juice

1/2 Cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

3 Teaspoons Sesame Oil

2 Teaspoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

Dash of kosher salt.

For the Salad:

7 oz. Rice Noodles

2 cups Red Cabbage, shredded

1 large carrot, shredded

1/2 English Cucumber, seeded, halved and thinly sliced

Leftover Chicken Teriyaki Strips, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup Thai Basil, chopped

1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped

Crispy Fried Shallots*

  1. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain, set aside, and toss with a drop or two of sesame oil.
  2. Combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.
  3. Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing and serve!
  4. *To make the crispy shallots, slice up two shallots into 2mm slices. Heat 4 tablespoons oil (or enough to cover shallots) over medium low heat. Add shallots and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Fried Shallots can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Burnt Cauliflower and Broccoli with Mara Davis —Episode 15

I’m a huge fan of Atlanta radio host Mara Davis, and was thrilled when she agreed to cook on Deb’s Kitchen! This week we’re making one of her signature recipes: a “burnt” broccoli and cauliflower dish that’s pretty low-calorie, very easy to make, and kid-friendly.

IMG_0473Though Mara’s husband tends to be the “alpha chef” in her home, she told me she recently started cooking more, joking that she had more time on her hands since transitioning from her longtime role on 92.9 FM. Now you can catch Mara reporting for Atlanta Eats and sharing celebrity interviews and hilarious musings on her podcast. Thanks SO much for joining me, Mara!

For another variation on roasted veggies, check out this recipe I cooked on the TODAY Show a few months back.

Burnt Cauliflower and Broccoli

Roasted cauliflower and broccoli topped with Parmesan is delicious and kid-friendly.

Roasted cauliflower and broccoli topped with Parmesan is delicious and kid-friendly.

2 heads Broccoli, cut into bite sized florets

1 small head Cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets

2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle the chopped broccoli and cauliflower with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until edges are dark brown. Mara’s tip: separate the cauliflower and broccoli onto different baking sheets before baking because the cauliflower can take a bit longer to brown.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Photos: Kofi Oliver

Loaded Baked Potatoes with Savory Caramelized Onions—Episode 14

Loaded baked potatoes are an easy weeknight dish, all the better when dressed up with a fancy caramelized onion. In this episode I’m cooking my staple red onion topping, which is both sweet and savory and takes just 15 minutes to make. So in my house, we pop the potatoes in the oven, finish up the bedtime/bath time routine with the kids, then whip up the onions and other toppings to have dinner ready in a snap. I know it takes longer to actually bake the potatoes in the oven but I do think it’s much more rewarding and delicious. Just “precook” them for 3 minutes in the microwave to cut the baking time from over an hour to, say, 35 minutes.

Fancy Loaded Baked Potatoes

Savory caramelized onions really dress up a baked potato.

Savory caramelized onions really dress up a baked potato.

2 Russet potatoes, baked

Steamed broccoli

Shredded cheddar cheese and Emmenthal cheese

Sour cream

For the Caramelized Onions

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cups vertically sliced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sugar; sauté or until browned (about 8 minutes). Stir in sherry, Worcestershire, thyme, and; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen those tasty browned bits. (This step is called “deglazing,” similar to what we did in the Balsamic Steak recipe.) Top each potato half with about three tablespoons onion mixture, as well as cheese, broccoli, and sour cream if desired. Yum!

My top: Michael Stars Supima Raw Edge Short Sleeve V Neck Tee

Photo: Kofi Oliver

Teriyaki Beef with Broccoli Noodle Stir-Fry — Episode 11

Stir-fry is a staple weeknight meal in our house, and a simple way to shake things up is to swap out the standard rice accompaniment for an Asian-style noodle instead. In this episode, I’m reinventing the Honey Balsamic Filet we made a few weeks back. Even if I have just an ounce or two of steak leftover, I’ll wrap it up to make this stir-fry the next day. A little meat goes a long way, especially when you slice it very thin and add the veggies.

Saucy Beef with Broccoli Noodle Stir Fry

Use noodles instead of rice to liven up your weekly stir-fry.

Use noodles instead of rice to liven up your weekly stir-fry.

Leftover Honey-Balsamic Filet, cut thinly, crosswise, into bite-sized pieces

2 large heads broccoli

8 oz Ramen, Udon or Soba noodles

½ cup chopped onions

1 large carrot, sliced

 4 Tablespoons Soy Vay Teriyaki sauce*

Splash of low sodium soy sauce

Sesame Oil & Vegetable Oil

  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain, rinse and toss with a few drops of sesame oil.
  2. Heat a Tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of sesame oil in wok over medium high heat.
  3. Add beef and stir-fry until edges brown and crisp.
  4. Add a bit more oil, broccoli and continue cooking until broccoli is crisp tender. Add noodles and Teriyaki and soy sauce and cook for about two minutes, until heated through and noodles get a little crispy.

*For a midsummer twist, you could substitute a store-bought peanut sauce for Teriyaki and serve cold.

If you want to reinvent the filet as a beef fried rice dish, you can try my Trader Joe’s Cheat, also.


My top: Michael Stars Double Front Shine V-Neck

Photo: Kofi Oliver


Summer Pasta Salad with Jamie Bendall—Episode 10

In search of the perfect summer pasta salad? You’re looking at it right here—and it’s kid-friendly to boot. This week I’m joined by my friend, comedian Jamie Bendall, who co-owns The Punchline comedy club in Atlanta and happens to be a lawyer by day. He’s also a married dad of three daughters and often finds himself in need of a quick for after the kids’ softball games (full disclosure, this recipe is a staple of his lovely wife Kelly’s that Jamie has appropriated to share on Deb’s Kitchen). All you need is some mixed veggies, a box of fun pasta and store-bought salad dressing. Oh, and some tasty feta. The trick to making kids eat this up is you chop of the veggies really small in a food processor, so little ones can hardly detect they’re eating something healthy; it kind of blends right into the pasta. My favorite aspect about this pasta salad is that you can store it in the fridge and it tastes even better on day two or three; just freshen it with an extra splash of dressing or crumble of cheese. Give it a try for your next summer barbecue or picnic.

Light and Tangy Pasta Salad

Using a tri-color noodle for this pasta salad is extra fun.

Using a tri-color noodle for this pasta salad is extra fun.

One 16 oz. box of fun pasta noodles, like bowtie or rotini

2-3 cups total of fresh (or frozen veggies thawed) such as

  • Broccoli
  • Sweet corn
  • Edamame
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Peas

4-6 Tablespoons Italian dressing (I like Newman’s Own Lite Italian)

4 Tablespoons Feta cheese crumbled

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Let stand to cool. Meanwhile, toss the veggies into a mini processor and pulse until veggies are chopped into very small pieces and blended. Add to pasta, along with dressing and feta cheese. Toss well, chill and serve. That’s it!

My top: Michael Stars Shine Short Sleeve Scoop Neck Tee

Photo: Kofi Oliver

Lemon and Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Episode 5

In Episode 5, I’m making one of my favorite “tastes-fancier-than-it-is” vegetables, a lemon and garlic roasted brussels sprouts dish. Brussels sprouts get a bad rap, don’t you think? I can’t say I was much of a fan of them either—until I stumbled upon this particular recipe a few years ago. So often recipes try to drown the natural, cabbage-y brussels flavor with stronger elements—bacon, cheese, sugar, for example—but instead, this recipe creates just a little sweetness through the natural roasting process and then the jolt of lemon just perks and brightens up the whole dish, I think. What I love most about this brussels sprouts recipe is that it works well cold or hot, making it perfect for potlucks and dinner parties. 

Lemon and Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasting brussels sprouts brings out their natural sweetness!

Roasting brussels sprouts brings out their natural sweetness!

About 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, washed and halved (make sure to leave a little bit of the stem intact so the sprout holds together)

1 tablespoon Olive Oil, divided

3 cloves of garlic, chopped thin

Fresh juice of one lemon

Kosher Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the Brussels in a large bowl. Add half the olive oil (about a teaspoon and a half; eyeball it) and season with a bit of kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish and pop in the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned, making sure to toss the Brussels a few times for even cooking. When the Brussels are done cooking, begin heating the remaining oil over medium low heat. Sauté the garlic until the edges just begin to brown, then remove from heat and quickly add in the lemon juice. Pour mixture over Brussels and stir well. That’s it!

Photo: Lauren Hunter

Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice (with a Trader Joe’s Cheat!) – Episode 4

It’s easy to make fried rice a meal when you add a little extra protein, either meat or eggs, and a heaping of fresh veggies. In this episode, I’m going for a vegetarian option, so we’ll be adding eggs, scallion, and other crisp-tender goodness. Oh, by the way, yeah, I start with a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen vegetable fried rice. But believe me, the few little tweaks you see here take the meal from “Okay, that was easy and tasted good” to “Okay! I could even serve that for guests!”

If you’d like to make this recipe from scratch and ditch the prepared rice, just use 4 cups of day-old COLD rice from the fridge, and add about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, mixed with a few teaspoons water for your sauce at the end.

Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice (with Trader Joe’s Cheat)

Chunky vegetables makes fried rice so much more delish.

Chunky vegetables make fried rice so much more delish.

One bag frozen, prepared veggie fried rice, like Trader Joe’s brand

Two cups fresh broccoli florets

one bunch scallions, roughly chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Two medium-sized chopped carrots

1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or Teriyaki sauce

1 Tablespoon sesame oil, divided

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, divided

  1. Heat 1 ½ teaspoons of vegetable oil in wok, over medium-high heat.
  2. Add eggs and scallions, breaking up as it cooks. When egg is light golden brown, push mixture to one side of pan.
  3. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of sesame oil to wok.
  4. Add Broccoli and carrots to wok. Cook over medium-high heat until still crisp (about 3 minutes), combining with egg and scallions.
  5. Add remaining oils and bag of frozen Trader Joe’s vegetable Fried Rice, or 4 cups cold rice. Cook until heated through (and rice is a bit crispy), about 5 minutes.
  6. Just before removing from heat, add soy sauce and stir well.
  7. Serve with Sriracha Sauce, if you’re so inclined. Yum!