Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

The series of posts Eat Out at Home continues with this recipe for Chicken Piccata, a dish readily found in most any Italian restaurant.  Since I had a package of chicken cutlets to use I was torn between making Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Piccata.  Somehow the Parmesan recipe seemed a little heavy and more suited to cold weather, so this one won out,  since the light lemony sauce of this recipe seems to go with spring.

This recipe is quite simple to make and takes very little time.  It requires only  basic cooking skills, so even if you’re a newcomer in the kitchen, you will be successful.  Preparing the chicken cutlets ahead of time is a time saver. You can pound them out and dredge in flour in advance, then refrigerate them till its time to cook the meal.  Because cutlets are lean and cook in just a few minutes, they produce  very little drippings to use in a sauce, so dredging in flour first, then cooking them will help them to brown and  the flour acts as an emulsifier to slightly thicken the sauce.  The addition of lemon, white wine, chicken broth and capers creates the classic piccata flavors.   Knowing how to make this dish assures you of success when serving guests, since many people know about this entree, but are unaware of how easy it is to make.

A common way to serve chicken piccata is with pasta.  Linguine is a good choice as it will get coated by the sauce.  In my version I added some baby spinach to my nearly cooked pasta in the last minute of cooking,  just so it got a little wilted .  Drain the pasta/spinach combo, place in a large bowl or serving dish and place the chicken cutlets with their sauce poured over the top.   Molto Delicioso!

Chicken with its sauce poured over pasta with spinach.

Chicken with its sauce poured over pasta with spinach.

CHICKEN PICCATA

Makes  4 servings.   Increase all quantities accordingly to make more servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise and pounded into cutlets.  (I was able to purchase a package of 4 chicken cutlets ready for use at the supermarket.)
  • salt and pepper

    Chicken cutlets, white wine, lemon, garlic and capers produce the classic flavors of this dish.

    Chicken cutlets, white wine, lemon, garlic and capers produce the classic flavors of this dish.

  • all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. drained capers
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • fresh lemon slices
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1.   Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Add oil to a sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat.

2.  Saute cutlets 2 – 3 minutes on one side.  Turn cutlets oven and cook the other side, covered,  1 – 2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to a warmed platter and keep warm.  Pour off any fat from the pan.

Browning the cutlets.

Browning the cutlets.

3.  Deglaze the pan with wine and add minced garlic.  Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with wine and garlic.

Deglaze the pan with wine and garlic.

4.  Add broth, lemon juice, and capers.  Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for 1 minute.  Transfer cutlets to serving dish.

5.  Finish sauce with butter and lemons.  Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets.

Finishing the sauce with butter and lemons.

Finishing the sauce with butter and lemons.

6.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Chicken Piccata served with pasta and spinach.

Chicken Piccata served with pasta and spinach.

SOURCE:    CUISINE at Home

Advertisements

A Meal for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and black bean and corn salad.

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

With this Sunday coming up being the 5th of May, that means its Cinco de Mayo.  This Mexican holiday commemorates the victory of Mexican military over the French at the battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862.  This relatively little known holiday is a big day in Mexico and Mexican and Chicano communities.  Over the past few years, since Mexican foods have become so popular here in the U.S., this little holiday has also gained importance and now provides a good reason/excuse for putting together a Mexican meal and perhaps having a party.  Pinatas anyone?

The Mexican Chicken recipe produces an extremely tasty dish that is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.  It can be served over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla, or simply eaten as is.

Mexican Chicken

Mexican Chicken

Along with it I served yellow rice, for those who can eat carbs, and a corn and black bean  salad.   The recipe for the salad is included here also.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and corn and black bean salad.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

I love this salad as it makes a great side dish, or appetizer served with chips.  It can also be used as a topping on taco salads or served with grilled meats.  Nutritionally, it is very low in saturated fat, and loaded with antioxidants.  The carbohydrates that the beans and corn provide are complex carbs for the most part, and do not have an immediate impact on blood sugar.  Use fresh sweet corn when it is in season, otherwise, frozen, thawed corn,  or canned corn will work just fine also.

MEXICAN CHICKEN

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

Servings:   about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Grease or spray an 8-inch  baking dish.

2.  Sprinkle chicken on all sides with the taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Grill or pan sauté  until just cooked.  Remove from the pan or grill and cut into smaller bite-size pieces.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

3.  Place chicken in the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with salt if desired, and add enchilada sauce.  Toss to coat with the sauce.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Spread in a baking dish.

Spread in a baking dish.

Top with grated cheese.

Top with grated cheese.

4.  Bake at 350* for 10 – 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly.  Scatter green onions over the top.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Serve over rice or wrapped in a tortilla if desired.  The yellow rice I served was Carolina brand packaged mix that only required water added before cooking.

Nutritional index:  calories, 266,  carb. 4 g.  fat, 12 g.

SOURCE:   genaw.com/low carb

IMG_3928

SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SALAD

SERVINGS:   about 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 15,5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

    Corn and black bean salad with avocados.

    Southwestern black bean salad with avocados.

  • 9 oz, cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped,  or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped ( or more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced.  (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Squeeze fresh lime juice into the mixture (to taste) and olive oil.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.   Add avocado before serving.

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

Nutritional profile:  Wt. Watcher Points+;  2 pt.,  calories: 79.5,   fat:  3.5 g.,  Carb:  12 g. Sodium:  127mg.(with no added salt)

SOURCE:    skinnytaste.com

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili with Blue Cheese Chips

Buffalo Chicken Chili with Blue Cheese Chips

This recipe is a take off on the favorite appetizer Buffalo Chicken Wings.  It contains all the same ingredients, but in different form.  I’ve made this dish several times now and each time we seem to enjoy it more and more.  I’ve made a few adjustments to the original recipe which came from Rachael Ray on her daytime T.V. show.

It goes together easily and can be made in less than an hour’s time.  I’ve also made it in my slow cooker, by using less liquids, and it came out great.  This is a variation on the traditional red chili, one I would call a white chili, even though it contains tomatoes.  If you and your family like Buffalo wings, try this slightly different, mixed up version of the same flavors.

I think you will like this.

I think you will like this.

To make this into a low carbohydrate meal, you can omit the white beans.  Whether you use the beans or not this chili is low-cal, it’s good and good for you.  As Rachael would say, It’s Yum-O!

BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI

SERVINGS:  about 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

    Just a few ingredients, you may already have on hand.

    Just a few ingredients, you may already have on hand.

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 can tomato sauce  ( 15 ounces )
  • 1 can stewed, fire-roasted or crushed tomatoes ( 15 ounces)
  • 1 can ( 15 ounce ) canollini or other white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1 bag whole grain tortilla chips
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • a handful flat-leaf parsley chopped, or dried parsley

PREPARATION

1.  Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO, rotate the pan to spread the oil.  Add the ground chicken and break it up, lightly browning it for 5 minutes.

Brown up the chicken.

Brown up the chicken.

2.  Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.

Chopped veggies and chicken stock waiting their turn in the pot.

Chopped veggies and chicken stock waiting their turn in the pot.

Add the veggies.

Add the veggies.

3.  Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and white beans, (if using) to the chili and bring up to a bubble.  Simmer for 8 – 10 minutes more to let the flavors come together.

Tomatoes, sauce and beans added, plus seasonings.

Tomatoes, sauce and beans added, plus seasonings.

4.  While the chili is simmering, pre-heat the broiler.   Spread the chips out on a cookie sheet.  Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

5.  To serve, spoon into bowls and top each serving with a few blue cheese chips, or serve along side.

YUM-O,  delicious!

It’s YUM-O!

SOURCE:  www. rachaelray.com/recipes

Chicken Roulade

Chicken Roulade served over fettuccine.

Chicken Roulade served over fettuccine.

I would hazard a guess that chicken in some form is on your table at least once a week, ( with the exception of non-meat eaters).  I know its on our menu on a regular basis;  so with that amount of frequency I am always on the lookout for a new way to cook it.  I’m not a person who is satisfied with the same old, same old.  Variety is the spice of my life.  Therefore when I came across this recipe which first of all was described as “quick and easy”, but secondly called for a filling rolled up in a boneless chicken breast I was immediately interested.

IMG_3320

Roulade  is a French term for a thin cut of meat that is stuffed, rolled, then browned before being roasted or braised.  In this case the stuffing consists of a garlic and herb spreadable cheese and some prosciutto. rolled up inside a thinly pounded boneless chicken breast.  The chicken is browned, then braised in a light wine sauce and served over fettuccine.  Let’s face it sometimes white meat chicken can be pretty bland, but the flavors in the filling here were a nice contrast to the chicken;  a little salty,  a little smoky, and a little cheesy.  All in all I think this chicken dish is one you would be proud to serve to guests.

While the recipe was not as quick and easy as the recipe would lead you to expect, it certainly was not hard, nor lengthy to prepare.  Start by pounding the chicken breasts well between two sheets of plastic wrap,  then spread each one with the mixture of herbed cheese and chopped prosciutto.  Roll up and tie in a couple places with kitchen twine to keep them rolled while you brown them, then add a little wine to braise/cook them to completion.  While this is going on, boil a pot of water and cook the fettuccine.  Make a salad to go with it and your meal is complete.  I would serve this to guests because when plated it is quite impressive, and besides that it tastes really good!

Please note that in my version I used Laughing Cow garlic and herb wedges, because I couldn’t find a spreadable cheese like the one called for.  My filling was more crumbly than spreadable but it worked out well all the same, and kind of melted together as it cooked.

CHICKEN ROULADE WITH HERBED CHEESE AND PROSCIUTTO

SERVINGS      4

INGREDIENTS

An herb and garlic cheese and prosciutto make the filling.

An herb and garlic cheese and prosciutto make the filling.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves  (I only had three.) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons spreadable light garlic and herb cheese ( such as Alouette Light)
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leat parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons EVOO, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons water

1.  Place each chicken breast half between  2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound each piece to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Pound chicken out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Pound chicken out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

2.  Combine cheese and prosciutto in a small bowl.  Spread  1  1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture over each breast half.

Spread a small amount of filling on each chicken breast.

Spread a small amount of filling on each chicken breast.

Roll up chicken, jelly-roll fashion, starting with narrow end.  Secure chicken rolls in several places with twine.  Set aside.

Rolled, tied and ready for browning.

Rolled, tied and ready for browning.

3.  Meanwhile start a pot of salted water to boiling and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well Place pasta in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil;  toss gently to coat.  Cover and keep warm.

4.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Place  chicken in pan, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.

Brown well before adding wine and water.

Brown well before adding wine and water.

Add wine and water.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 6 minutes more or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from pan, and let stand 2 minutes.  Remove twine, and cut each roulade crosswise into 5 equal pieces.

5.  To serve:  place about 1 cup pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each with 5 pieces roulade.  Serve immediately.

Plate and serve with a green salad.

Plated and served with a green salad.

I felt that this meal needed some sort of green vegetable to complete it, so I made a spinach salad to go along with it.

Since I made this whole recipe for only 2 of us, we had chicken left over which I placed on top of a mixed garden salad for lunch the next day.  A delicious lunch and great way to use up the chicken.

SOURCE:    Cooks Illustrated

My Standby One-Pan Meal

Roast chicken with vegetables, a one-pan meal.

Roast chicken with vegetables, a one-pan meal.

What I love about this meal is it simplicity;  vegetables and chicken roasted together in one pan.  The only time you spend on it is prepping the vegetables.  Put everything together with the chicken in a roasting pan, stick it in the oven and relax until its done.  If I’ve done some advance planning of my menus then I might add extra vegetables so there will be some left over for another night.

My favorite combination of vegetables include potatoes, carrots, onions, and fennel.  Other cuts of meat can be used in place of the chicken such as pork loin.  A little white wine added along with some seasonings produces a gravy that is perfect.  You can swap vegetables in and out to suit your taste;  the whole point being how easy it is to put a great meal on the table without a whole lot of work.

This is how I put it together:

ROAST CHICKEN IN WINE SAUCE

SERVINGS:   4 – 6

  • Chicken pieces:  4 bone-in thighs, and 4 drumsticks. or leg quarters cut into sections. ( dark meat is best for roasting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium ribs celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic. minced
  • vegetables of choice, such as potatoes, carrots, fennel, turnip, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 – 1 cup white wine (depends on amount of vegetables, i.e., more veg. = more wine)
  • 1 Tablespoon grainy mustard such as Dijon.

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.

2.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Sprinkle chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Add oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add half the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.  Set the chicken aside.

Pre-browning the chicken makes the skin crisp and the keeps the chicken moist.

Pre-browning the chicken makes the skin crisp and keeps the chicken moist.

3.To the drippings in the pan, add the onion, celery, and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes till they begin to soften.  Mix the mustard with the wine, and add to the pan.  Cook for 1 – 2 minutes scraping to loosen browned bits.

4.  Add the mixed vegetables to the pan and arrange across the bottom.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Place vegetables on the bottom of the pan.

Place vegetables on the bottom of the pan.

Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables, cover and transfer pan to the oven.

5.  Bake at 350*F. for about an hour until chicken and vegetables are tender.

Moist, tender chicken and flavorful vegetables.

Moist, tender chicken and flavorful vegetables.

Note:  For the wine,  if you will be having a glass of white wine with this meal use some of the same wine for the roast chicken.  Otherwise use any wine that may be open and needing to be used up.

An easy and satisfying meal.

An easy and satisfying meal.

SOURCE:    Carolyn’s own recipe

Chicken Crescent Ring

Chicken Crescent Ring

Chicken Crescent Ring

I made this recipe just recently for a birthday party where the menu consisted of appetizers, finger sandwiches and desserts.  I’ve had this recipe for a long time and had completely forgotten about it until I read a blog posting over at the Rantings of an Amateur Chef where he describes this sandwich.  I suddenly knew it would be perfect for the birthday party we were going to.  So, thank-you to Pat for his post and for reminding me of this great sandwich idea.

Many years ago I went to a Pampered Chef house party.  The hostess was preparing baked items on a pizza stone, and talking about how useful the stone is in addition to making pizza on it.  I was one of many who purchased the pizza stone that evening.  I’ve used it often and always have success in getting a nice crispy crust on my pizzas, but I don’t think to use it for much else, until I made this sandwich. It is not essential to have a pizza stone, so if you don’t have one don’t worry,  you can use a metal pizza pan just as well.

When you serve this, your guests will be impressed with your creativity, and how delicious the sandwich is.

CHICKEN CRESCENT RING

SERVINGS:   about 16

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can chicken, broken up  ( about 1 cup )
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon green onions, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced vertically into wedges
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  •  2 rolls, refrigerated crescent rolls

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Lightly grease a pizza pan or stone,

2.  Mix mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and sliced green onion.   Set aside.

Make the dressing with mayo, mustard, parsley and green onions.

Make the dressing with mayo, mustard, parsley and green onions.

3.  Mix chicken, bacon, 3/4 cup cheese and 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture.

Mix together, chicken, bacon and shredded cheese.

Mix together, chicken, bacon and shredded cheese.

4.  Unroll crescent dough, separating into triangles.  Arrange in a circle, overlapping wide ends in and points hanging out over the edge.  Leave a  5 – 6 inch circle empty in the center.  ( see picture )

Lay out triangles in a circle with wide ends toward the middle, and points out.

Lay out triangles in a circle with wide ends toward the middle, and points out.

5.  Spoon chicken salad onto rolls at the wide ends.

Spoon chicken salad onto wide ends of triangles.

Spoon chicken salad onto wide ends of triangles.

Wrap the points over and tuck underneath.

Wrap points over and tuck under.

Wrap points over and tuck under.

6.  Slice tomatoes into wedges and tuck one piece into each open space in the ring.

Tomato wedges tucked into each open space.

Tomato wedges tucked into each open space.

7.  Bake 20 – 25 minutes.  Just before end of baking time, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and allow to melt.  Remove from oven to cool slightly.

8.  To serve:  Cut top off red pepper, remove ribs and seeds.  Spoon in remainder of dressing.  Place pepper in center of ring, and garnish around pepper with shredded lettuce.  Cut into servings so that each one has a piece of tomato.

Serve with red pepper in the center and garnished with shredded lettuce.

Serve with red pepper in the center and garnished with shredded lettuce.

I must apologize for the poor quality of the pictures of the finished dish.  In my hurrying I forgot to bring my camera, and so these pictures were taken by someone else with their  camera and then sent to me via e-mail.  I think you can still get the idea of how attractive this is to serve, however.

SOURCE:   Pampered Chef,   via The Ranting Chef.com

Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori

I didn’t know what “Yakitori” was, since I had never had it, but I was willing to experiment with a new recipe.  The title was intriguing, and besides that it promised to take only 20 minutes cooking time.  On a Friday evening I’m usually looking for a quick-to-fix meal and this one seemed to fit the bill.

I glanced at the recipe initially and knew that I had everything on hand that it called for with the exception of snow peas, so while I was out doing some errands, I stopped at the market to get some.  Snow peas are tender and crisp, some with tiny peas inside the shell, but they do have a tough “string” along the side that needs to be pulled off.  So to prepare them for the recipe, you need to wash them, then remove the tips and the string.  Then each one gets cut in half lengthwise.

Snow peas, trimmed and cut diagonally lengthwise .

Snow peas, trimmed and cut diagonally lengthwise .

The bunch of green onions called for also need to be cut into 1-inch pieces.  Therefore you need to plan for some prep time for the vegetables. Once all that is done the rest goes together quickly.

Green onions cut into one-inch pieces

Green onions cut into one-inch pieces

The seasoning in this dish is achieved thru the use of Asian ingredients;  soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), rice vinegar and peanut oil. Together they make a pleasant flavoring that is very enjoyable.  Mirin is low in alcohol content, and most of it cooks off in this recipe.  For a non-alcoholic version, substitute an equal amount of chicken broth and another tablespoon of rice vinegar.

Asian seasonings

Asian seasonings

CHICKEN YAKITORI RICE BOWL

YIELD:   Serves   4

  • 2  ( 3.5-ounce ) bags boil-in-bag basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin  (sweet rice wine)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, either breast or thigh meat. ( If meat is thick cut in half lengthwise)
  • 8 ounces snow peas, halved lengthwise diagonally
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

1.  Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2.  Combine soy sauce through chicken broth in microwavable bowl.  Heat on HIGH for 1 minute to dissolve sugar.  Stir, and set aside.

3.  Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat.  Add 2 teaspoons peanut oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chicken pieces to pan; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Lightly brown chicken pieces.

Lightly brown chicken pieces.

Transfer to a cutting board; cool slightly.  Cut into ( 1-inch ) strips.

4.  Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan.  Add snow peas and onions; sauté 2 minutes.

Saute snow peas and onions.

Saute snow peas and onions.

Add soy sauce mixture and chicken to pan;

Add in chicken pieces.

Add in chicken pieces and soy sauce mixture.

Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy and chicken is throughly cooked, stirring frequently.

5.  To serve, place 1 cup rice in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 cup of chicken mixture.

Serve over rice.

Serve over rice.

Our assessment of this recipe?  Both of us liked it well enough for me to make it again.  I am not generally fond of main course foods that  are sweet.  So for me,  it was a little too sweet.   Next time I will reduce the sugar to 2 Tablespoons from the 3 called for and I will probably add some matchstick cut carrots to the mix, just to get in another vegetable and for more color.

With some advance planning;  i.e. prepping the vegetables the night before and keeping them refrigerated,  this meal will go together quickly.  In the time it takes to cook the rice, you can have the chicken skillet made.

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori

Source:   Cooking Light,  December, 2012

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

One time when we were at Outback Steakhouse, I ordered Alice Springs Chicken.  The name of the dish, first of all, made me curious, but the description said it was boneless chicken breast in a honey-mustard marinade with bacon, mushrooms and melted cheese on it.  Well, with all those good things on one piece of chicken how could it not be good?  So, I ordered it;  and I was not disappointed in the least.  It was moist, a complex blend of flavors, crispy around the edges, and gooey with melted cheese.

I’ve thought about that chicken often and wished I could have it again.  And although I kinda remembered all the ingredients and how it tasted I didn’t know the proportions, or exactly how it was prepared.  Then just last week I saw a recipe for it on Zip List.  It claimed to taste just like the version served at Outback Steakhouse.  You know I had to try it!

People, you will love it.  It looks a little messy, but believe me, it is fantastic.  It tastes just like the one I remember having at OBSH.

Bacon, Mushrooms, Melted Cheese.  What's not to love?

Bacon, Mushrooms, Melted Cheese. What’s not to love?

ALICE SPRINGS CHICKEN

SERVES   4

INGREDIENTS

Honey Mustard Marinade:

A simple marinade locks in the flavor.

A simple marinade locks in the flavor.

  • 1 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Chicken:

  • 4  skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked (I used precooked bacon)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Combine the mustard, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Whisk for about 30 seconds.  Pour half of the mixture into a zip-top bag.  Add the chicken breasts and marinate them in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  My pieces of chicken were very thick, so I cut them in half lengthwise.

2.  Chill and save the remainder of the marinade for later.

3.  When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375*F.   Using an ovenproof frying pan large enough to hold all the chicken, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat.  If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, you will transfer the chicken to a baking dish.

4.  Sear the chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.  Remove from the heat, but keep in the pan.  (Here’s where you may need to transfer to a baking dish.)

Browned chicken in a baking dish.

Browned chicken in a baking dish.

5.  In another smaller frying pan, melt the butter and saute the mushrooms just till they start to give up some of their liquid.  Remove from the heat.

Sauteing the mushrooms.

Sauteing the mushrooms.

6.  Brush the seared chicken breasts with a little of the reserved honey-mustard marinade.  (Not the portion the chicken soaked in.) Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Lay two strips of bacon crisscross on top of each piece of chicken.  Spoon the mushrooms onto the bacon, being sure to distribute them evenly over all the chicken.

Bacon and mushrooms on top of the chicken.

Bacon and mushrooms on top of the chicken.

Sprinkle the Monterey Jack cheese evenly onto each chicken breast followed by the cheddar cheese.

7.  Bake for 7 – 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Sprinkle each piece with the chopped parsley before serving.  Put extra honey mustard marinade into a small bowl to serve on the side.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Served with herbed rice pilaf and a salad, this was a great dinner.

Served with herbed rice pilaf and a salad, this was a great dinner.

An idea for leftover chicken .  The next day, I made a sandwich from one of the pieces of chicken:  on a “sub” roll, spread both cut sides of the roll with Honey Mustard Mayonnaise,  lay a chicken piece on the bottom half of the roll, top with sliced tomatoes and lettuce.  This made a “man-sized” sandwich that my husband raved about..

SOURCE:   Family Favorite Recipes

Chicken with Mushrooms and Onions in Balsamic Cream Sauce

Chicken with mushrooms and onions in a balsamic cream sauce.

Chicken with mushrooms and onions in a balsamic cream sauce.

Challenge day # 3 without a refrigerator.  This is the requirement right now:  cook with what you have on hand, ONLY.  Going to the grocery store to fill in the blanks is not an option.   Today these were the food items that had priority for usage:  a package of 6 chicken tenders that had defrosted,  a half-package of mushrooms,  some  light cream, and part of a can of chicken broth.  To those ingredients I added 1 large onion, some balsamic vinegar and some butter to come up with what turned out to be a very good chicken dish.

The chicken tenders worked well because they cooked quickly, and remained tender in the cream sauce.  You could also use boneless chicken breasts, cut vertically in half, so they are not too thick.  The amount of sauce is plentiful, so it’s a good idea to plan rice or noodles to spoon it over.  I used a package of herbed rice pilaf with our meal.  To go along with this I used up the leftover  herbed butternut squash from day #1.

This is how I created this entree:     CHICKEN WITH BALSAMIC CREAM SAUCE, MUSHROOMS AND ONIONS

YIELD:   Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chicken tenders, at least 6 pieces, or 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut vertically in half.
  • Chicken Tenders

    Chicken Tenders

  • 1 large onion, cut vertically in half, then sliced into “half-moons”.
  • A large onion, cut into "half-moons".

    A large onion, cut into “half-moons”.

  • 1 pkg. mushrooms, (or less), sliced or halved

    Mushrooms, butter, and chicken broth.

    Mushrooms, butter, and chicken broth.

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup cream, light cream, or half and half
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Over medium heat, in a large skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter.

Hot skillet with butter melted.

Hot skillet with butter melted.

Add the sliced onions, reduce heat to low and sauté until nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Remove to a bowl, and set aside.

Nicely browned, caramelized onions.

Nicely browned, caramelized onions.

2.  Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in the same skillet, add chicken pieces and cook to brown each side.  Chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.  Remove to a plate.

Chicken browned, but not thoroughly cooked.

Chicken browned, but not thoroughly cooked.

3.  Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits into the broth.  Add the cream and balsamic vinegar and stir.  Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper.  Decrease heat to low and simmer a few minutes.

Saute mushrooms, add broth and cream.

Saute mushrooms, add broth and cream.

4.  Bring heat back up to medium.  Add the chicken and onions to the pan mixture and cook the chicken all the way through.

5.  To serve, transfer chicken pieces to a serving dish, pour mushroom-onion-cream-sauce over the top and garnish with parsley if you wish.  (I did not have any parsley on hand.)

A satisfying dish of chicken,  mushrooms and onions in a rich cream sauce.

A satisfying dish of chicken, mushrooms and onions in a rich cream sauce.

Our assessment of this dish?  My husband said ” UHMMM! this is great”.  But he loves mushrooms, so anything with mushrooms in it is AOK with him.  I thought it was a very good combination of flavors.  Most importantly for me is that the chicken remained moist and tender.  I always worry about white meat chicken becoming dried out, tough and chewy, but this didn’t.  The cream in the sauce smoothed out the tang of the vinegar, with the vinegar providing a dark color to the sauce. The mushrooms and onions rounded out the dish and were a good compliment over all.  I’m glad I made rice to go with it to put the sauce on.  I will definitely be making this dish again.

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original

Herbed Chicken Parmesan

Sometimes I am in the mood for a comforting meal that’s filling and delicious, but don’t have a lot of time to prepare it.  I’m sure you have the same experience on many occasions. Well, I am alway on the look-out for easy to prepare, quick meals, and when I find ones that look interesting, I dog-ear the page, or tear out the clipping.  The problem with me is that I can’t remember where I saw it , or where I put the clipping.  I just remember enough to purchase the necessary ingredients,  and then go “where did I see  that recipe? or,” where did I put that clipping?”  I am developing a better system of recipe organization,  but that story will wait for another time!  This recipe meets all my requirements:  quick, easy, well-balanced, not very fancy, but just plain good.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

For the pasta, I recommend Orzo, because it cooks quickly; and tastes good with some sauce over it.  To round out the meal add a vegetable like broccoli, which  also cooks quickly, and  looks great on the plate with the white pasta and red sauce.  A side salad would go well with this meal, but not really necessary.   I would, however, have a great white wine with it , like a Chardonnay!

Total time to prepare:  about 30 minutes.   Yield:  4 servings

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups bottled tomato-basil pasta sauce, or better yet, your own homemade tomato sauce.
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded provolone cheese
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish.
  2. Place egg in another shallow dish.  Dip each chicken tender in egg, then dredge in bread-crumb mixture.
  3. Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken;  cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.  Set aside in the pan.
  4. Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap;  vent.  Microwave sauce mixture at HIGH for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  5. Preheat broiler.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the pan.  Sprinkle  evenly with the remaining Parmesan and all of the provolone cheese.  Wrap handle of pan with foil, and broil 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Chicken Parmesan with Orzo and Broccoli

Chicken Parmesan with Orzo and Broccoli

Source:  slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine