Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

Yesterday I scored an eightly dollar panini press for a little over twenty dollars.  Woo-hoo!  A new toy like that absolutely must be used right away, and so, I present to you the panini that drew this unsolicited commentary from Michael: “Oh my god!  Undoubtably the best thing I ever ate!  This is ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ good.”  Yup, yummy!

Lots of yummy for so few ingredients!  Adjust amounts for how many paninis you want to make.

  • cooked chicken breast strips  (just under 1 lb made 2 large paninis)
  • sliced deli ham (used half the package)
  • sliced swiss (2 slices per sandwich)
  • bread of your choice (this is jalepeno cheddar from Great Harvest)
  • dijon mustard

Warm up your panini press.  Slice the bread and spread both peices with mustard.

Add a layer of chicken strips.

Lay a slice of swiss cheese over the chicken, trimming a bit so it won’t melt too much onto your press.

Place ham slices on top of the cheese.

Then add more swiss.

Finally layer on more chicken.

Finish the sandwich with the second piece of bread and place in the pre-heated press.  (Alternately, you could use a fry pan, with a second fry pan on top of the sandwiches to weight them down and compress them.  You’ll need to flip the sandwiches halfway through the cooking time to brown both sides.)

Close the lid on your press and cook until the cheese is melty and the bread has grill marks.  My press takes about 15 minutes on high for this to happen.

Carefully remove the paninis to plates; cut in half to make them easier to enjoy!

Asparagus and a nice crispy-cold riesling is uber yummy with the melty-smoky-tender-toasted flavors of these paninis. 

Last night I made “meatball” paninis with leftover meatloaf, zesty pasta sauce, and mozzerella–very meatball-esque and delish!  All sorts of grilled sandwiches are running through my head now…..mmmmmmm!  Yummy!

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Chicken Parmesan

The other night was one of those too-lazy-to-go-to-the-store-gotta-make-dinner-with-what’s-in-the-house kinda nights.  If you have chicken, milk, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, pasta sauce and pasta, You could make a yummy and yummy-looking meal like this:

Ingredient amounts will vary depending on how much many servings you’re making.  You can make chicken parm for two or a whole crowd.  I didn’t measure, so all measurements are approximate.

  • 1 pound chicken tenders (I like the portion size of a tender.)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like panko for the extra crunch!)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package pasta of your choice, prepared according to package directions.
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (This is my Zesty Pasta Sauce!)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×13 pan with oil a spread a bit of the pasta sauce over the bottom.

Place tenders a few at a time in a sealed ziploc and pound to a uniform thickness, around 1/4-inch thick, using a wooden mallet or something similar.

Stack them up on a plate until all are pounded thin.

Create a breading station of shallow bowls in this order: milk, flour, egg, and then bread crumbs.

Dip each tender in milk, then flour; shake off excess.  Then dip into egg and then breadcrumbs, coating evenly.  Place into a hot pan with 3 TBSP oil.  Fry until each side is golden brown and chicken is cooked through.  Work in batches, overcrowding will steam the chicken and you’ll loose the nice crunch.  Add extra oil as needed.

Drain on paper towels. Don’t they look yummy already?!  All crispity-crunchity?!  Mmmmmm….

When all tenders are cooked, place in prepared pan and schmear with some pasta sauce.

Then top with shredded cheese.

Bake 30 minutes, until cheese is melty and bubbly.

Serve with prepared pasta and garlic bread.  Top with shredded parmesan if you like.

Such an easy and yummy meal.  Great for the fam on a weeknight, impressive for company, fancy-schmancy enough for date night!  Have a bite!

Super yummy left over as well.  One pound of tenders, a jar of pasta sauce and a package of spaghetti was enough for the three of us and then left overs for two the next day.

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Nina’s Enchiladas

Mr17’s Granny, Nina, makes the most unique-est and yummiest enchiladas in the land!  She is the queen of comfort food in great abundance–no one goes hungry at Granny’s house!  Everyone looks forward to Granny’s cooking–especially these enchiladas, and maybe the butterscotch cake….or the snickerdoodles….or the pot roast…..  Oh, Mr17 is so lucky to have a Granny like her–because of her cooking and just how wonderful she is in so many ways.  ❤

The ingredients are simple, the spicy heat is easy to control, and I’ll bet even someone who doesn’t much care for Mexican food will LOVE these.  I mean, just look at the ooey-gooey creamy-cheesy yumminess that is a Nina’s Enchilada:

Run to the store for anything you don’t have…

  • 1-1 1/2 pounds of chicken, cooked and diced or shredded (Save money by watching for your grocery to mark down chicken close to its freshness date!)
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced, cooked, drained (I have 10 little potatoes left from last summer’s garden.  I have a habit of using the bigger ones first.)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup  (Store brand is cheaper and tastes the same!)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, spiciness of your choice–I like original
  • 1 can diced green chiles–spiciness of your choice
  • grated cheese–I ended up using a little more than half a pound
  • 12 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350F.  Oil enough pans to hold 12 enchiladas–I use an 8×8 and an 8×12. 

Cook potatoes and chicken.

Dump cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, Rotel tomatoes and a couple big handfuls of cheese into a large bowl.

Stir to combine and separate 1/3 of the mixture into a small bowl.  Reserve.

Add chicken, potatoes and green chiles to the large bowl.  Stir until all ingredients are well distributed.

Warm the tortillas to make them easier to work with.  Place them one at a time into a prepared pan, fill with chicken mixture and roll; line them up seam-side down.

Continue rolling until you’ve made 12 enchiladas.  Cover with the reserved mixture.  Be sure to spread the mixture to completely cover the tortillas all the way to their edges.  (Uncovered tortilla edges will get hard in the oven.)

Top edge-to-edge with cheese; another two large handfuls or so.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melty and bubbly.  (If you bake them too long, the bottoms get hard.)  Oh the aroma of these enchiladas when you take them out of the oven…

Serve with your favorite toppings.  My faves are tomatoes, green onion, avocado and sour cream. 

These are so quick and easy, they are perfect to take to potlucks or occasions when you want to take food to a friend.  They are also spectacular left over for lunch the next day! 

For me, the spiciness is perfect with original Rotel and mild green chiles.  Michael would prefer it hotter.  How hot is the perfect yummy-hot for you?

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Curry in a Hurry

Last week before we left on vacation, I wanted to make somethin’ yummy that would be quick, wouldn’t require a trip to the grocery store, and could be adjusted to make just enough for the two of us.  After snooping around through my freezer, pantry and cellar, I realized I had ingredients for a basic curry!

A curry is technically a spice blend, often handed down from cook to cook, and used to flavor a sauce.  I have curry powder in my spice cabinet, so I’ll be using the spice recipe handed down from the good folks at the spice company!  🙂

The usual spice blend is golden in color; a combination of cumin, coriander and turmeric.  Many curried sauces have a combination of both sweet and savory ingredients–I love sweet mixed with savory–yum!  Some have meat, others don’t.  Some are thick, some soup-like.  Most are served with a starch of some sort and a variety of toppings or stir-ins. 

Here we go for a quick (in about 30 minutes), easy, basic and yummy curry to get your creativity started:

To serve 4-6:

  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 4 TBSP flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-4 TBSP curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake (or more if you prefer!)
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half (coconut milk could be added instead…mmmm!)
  • 1 pound cooked, shredded meat–I’m using chicken, but I think pork would be awesome!
  • cooked starch–pasta, noodles, rice….
  • shredded coconut for a topper

Cook your starch according to package directions.  Tonight I chose spaghetti, because it was quick.

Saute chopped apples and onions in butter.

Add salt, pepper and flour.  Cook for a minute or two, stirring.  This will create a roux, or thickening agent for the sauce.

Add curry and red pepper flake, stir to combine.

Add chicken broth (I was out, but had those little cubes and dissoved them in water.)  Stir to combine, add half and half, and bring to a boil to thicken.

Add cooked, shredded meat.

Add starch and toss to combine.  Or, if you want, serve the sauce over your starch.

Top with a bit of coconut and enjoy!

I realized too late that I had macadamia nuts from our trip.  I’m thinking chopped, salted mac nuts would be another great topper.  I was also thinking adding frozen peas, chopped scallions and or cilantro to the sauce would add a  nice fresh, green flavor.  Some people like golden raisins in their curry….and chopped peanuts….what do you like?

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Parsley Pesto Chicken Parmesan

We’re freshly back from a 4000 mile trip to see friends and relatives in Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland.  That’s 4000 miles driving.  Y’know, I just couldn’t bring myself to blog.  I had some blogging ideas, like something about the snack foods I selected to munch on while we travelled, but decided to spend my time with our friends instead.  Time well spent!  I may get around to blogging my ideas….or not! 

So.  We’re back and there’s not much in the house to cook.  I had some frozen chicken, frozen pesto, potatoes that needed to be dealt with and some nice, sharp pecorino romano….how ’bout a chicken parmesan-y thing with pesto instead of tomato sauce along with some pesto mashers?!  Yup, just the thing.  A way to feed three people with just two chicken breasts.

I gathered up a few things:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4-6 slices of a sharp, hard cheese–like pecorino romano or parmesano reggiano
  • 1/2 cup pesto  (This is a parsley-walnut pesto made using my basil pesto recipe, subbing parsley for basil, walnuts for pine nuts.  Find the recipe at the end of this post.)
  • 1/2-1 cup bread crumbs, I like Panko
  • 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Cut chicken breasts in half.  One at a time, place each half in a ziploc bag and pound until a uniform thickness of approximately 1/4 inch is achieved.  I have a wooden meat pounder thingie, but you could use a rolling pin or can of soup or a skillet.  (Or any not-terribly-heavy, hard object….get creative!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set up a breading station of shallow bowls, large enough in diameter to accomodate the chicken.  Add milk to the one farthest from your fry pan, then flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs in the bowl closest to the fry pan.

Place the fry pan over medium high heat and add 1 TBSP each olive oil and butter.  Wait until butter is melted.  Dip a pounded breast into the milk, then flour–shaking off excess, then egg and finally bread crumbs.  Gently lay in the fry pan, and repeat with another breast.  Be careful to not overcrowd the pan to achieve a nice golden crispiness.  Work in batches if needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove cooked chicken to a plate lined with paper towels until all is cooked.  Place about half of the pesto in the bottom of a baking dish large enough to bake all the chicken pieces.  Add chicken breasts on top, then the rest of the pesto and cheese slices.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese gets melty and the chicken absorbs the yummy pesto flavors.  I added a bit of mozzerella at the end of the baking time (the romano wasn’t giving me the melty quality I was after) and baked for a wee bit longer–until it melted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve hot with some yummy pesto mashers (recipe soon!), garnish with some fresh-from-the-garden parsley to make it pretty, and wait for the compliments.  Oh yeah, there will be compliments.  Don’t even think about having leftovers.

Yummy!  Double the batch for leftovers–I’m thinking this chicken would make a killer sandwich…with a tomato…and a crunchy lettuce leaf….maybe a schmear of mayo…mmmmmm! 

I’m using my new phone to take pictures now.  Do you notice a difference?  The camera takes pics in portrait…I’m kinda liking being able to stack two side-by-side.  I’m looking forward to learning this new camera and seeing what sorts of things it will do. 

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Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts

Y’know, I just love Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.  She has a way of making even the simplest recipe seem elegant and well, yummy.  She emphasizes treating yourself to the best and freshest ingredients, using them in recipes that never seem uber-difficult.  So when I saw this recipe on her show, I just had to run out for fresh lemons and garlic.  I knew I could make chicken breasts turn out as beautiful and moist and yummy as the ones she made.  And I did!  And you can too!

Ina’s recipe was for four, I was making dinner for just DH and I, so my amounts are to serve two.

  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 TBSP)
  • 1/6 cup dry white wine (I used my 1/3 cup and “eyeballed” about half.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
  • 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Prepare and measure all sauce ingredients (garlic, lemon zest, oregano, thyme, lemon juice, wine).

Warm olive oil in a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.  Don’t allow the garlic to turn brown.

Off the heat, add wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, thyme and 1 tsp kosher salt.

Pour sauce into the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish.  Brush chicken breasts with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and pepper and set them skin side up in baking dish on top of sauce.  Cut lemon half into wedges and tuck around the chicken.

Bake 30-40 minutes, until skin is lightly browned and juices run clear.  Remove from oven and tent tightly with foil.  Let rest 10 minutes.

(Just look at that golden yumminess!)  Serve with pan juices and lemon wedges and savor the yummy, but not over-powering, garlicky, lemony, juicy chicken you’ve just baked!

Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm-mmmm-yummy!  Isn’t that pretty and elegant?!  I made parmesan baked potato wedges and parmesan roasted asparagus to finish off the meal, but pasta would be a perfect pairing as well!  (Recipes to follow in future blog posts!)  This chicken would be yummy to treat yourself, or to make for someone you want to impress.  Perfect for Sunday dinner or any night of the week, really.  Yummy!

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Home Run Chicken and Broccoli Stromboli

“Wow!  That’s a home run!”  Quote from a happy DH on his way to the kitchen for seconds of this uber-yummy, uber-easy stromboli.  Making a stromboli is really learning a method–you could fill it with whatever sounds yummy at the moment, whatever’s in the fridge, whatever’s in the garden.  Stromboli is essentially a stuffed pizza or pizza roll.

Only 4 ingredients were listed on the original recipe, from this month’s Prevention magazine.  (I expanded on that just a bit.)  Prevention says this stromboli serves 4, with only 459 calories, including the marinara sauce you serve it with–230 calories less than take-out stromboli! 

The recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken.  I had a package of boneless, skinless thighs and cooked them using the Mistral’s Chicken recipe–I had half the chicken, so halved the recipe.  I smashed the cooked garlic into the sauce that happens with Mistral’s Chicken, and used it as a sauce for the stromboli.

  • one 11-oz package pre-made pizza dough  (I made my own!  Recipe in tomorrow’s blog!)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 1/2 cup pre-cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup garlic sauce–optional  (My sauce came from the Mistral’s Chicken)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Oil a baking sheet.

Stretch and/or roll pizza dough to form a 16″x12″ rectangle.

Place dough on an oiled baking sheet.

Spread sauce (if using) and sprinkle chicken lengthwise down the center of the dough.  Then broccoli, then cheese.

Fold both long sides over filling, and pinch ends and overlap to seal.  Cut 4 diagonal slashes to vent, coat with cooking spray and bake until browned–12 minutes.

Cut into pieces and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Can you say YUMMY?!  Really flavor-y–especially with the garlic sauce–without being heavy.  Even though Prevention says this serves 4, it served 2 of us tonight.  You could stretch it to 4 with a salad.  I’m totally making this again.  (That’ll make DH a happy camper!)  The pizza dough recipe I used made two dough balls, so I made TWO strombolis!  I put the second together while the first one baked.  We’ve got uber-yumminess for a second meal!

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