Showing posts with label poultry and fowl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poultry and fowl. Show all posts

27 April 2016

Ham & Cheesy Chicken Breasts

This was my first attempt at prosciutto-wrapped, cheese-stuffed chicken breasts for April's Improv Challenge. While it came out well, I didn't think it came out quite well enough for the Challenge -- the spreadable cheese was both too mild to stand up to the stronger flavors of the prosciutto and too soft as it ran out of the chicken has it baked. Still, this was my first attempt and I thought it came out pretty well, so I'm leaving it here for kicks.

You can see the (better) prosciutto-wrapped, cheese-stuffed chicken breasts recipe I actually submitted for April's Improv Challenge here. The cheese still escaped, but the flavors were better.

Ham & Cheesy Chicken Breasts

Yield: 2


  • 4 thin slices prosciutto de parma
  • 4 tbsp soft spreadable cheese like Boursin or Aloutte
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the prosciutto in pairs on the baking sheet.
  2. Slice each chicken breast in half, almost-but-not-quite all the way through, so it is falls open like a book.
  3. Stuff each breast with half of the cheese, then gently smoosh together to close. Place each breast cross-wise on a slice of prosciutto. Fold the prosciutto over the chicken and tuck the ends under.
  4. Arrange tomatoes around the chicken. Drizzle both with olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with lots of pepper.
  5. Roast for 20 mins until the chicken is golden around the edges and the tomatoes look a little shriveled.

21 April 2016

Improv Challenge: Ham & Cheese

This my second attempt at cheesy ham-wrapped chicken for April's Improv Challenge. The first time, I used a soft, spreadable cheese that ran out of the chicken as it baked and was also a little overwhelmed by the sweet, salty, prosciutto. For my second attempt, I turned to a firmer cheese -- Gruyere -- whose sweet, salty, creaminess balanced a little better with the prosciutto. As I've used it in grilled cheese and paninis, I knew it would also melt better.

But it still tried to escape from the chicken! How do you keep the cheese inside the chicken? Should I have frozen the cheese first, the way you can freeze butter for chicken kiev? Seared the chicken to seal it shut? Using less cheese isn't an option, as I'd say that even with an ounce of cheese per breast, there was still not enough cheese!

Ah, well, what is cooking for if not to master new things? Slowly. With many redos!

If you want to skip the cheese and tomatoes altogether and tweak the cooking times, chicken tenders wrapped in strips of prosciutto are delish on a salad.

Why roast tomatoes, anyway? Why not? Roasted grape tomatoes are one of the most delicious things on Earth. The tomatoes roast down to an excellent jam-like state and their bright, sweet-sour tang goes really well with chicken.

Fancy Ham & Cheese Chicken Breasts

Yield: 2


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts [Coleman organic]
  • 2 oz Gruyere, thinly sliced [Boar's Head Blanc Grue]
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto de parma [Boar's Head]
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cut a deep pocket in each chicken breast, going almost-but-not-quite all the way through.
  3. Stuff each breast with half of the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, then gently smoosh together to close. Wrap each breast in two slices of prosciutto, tucking the ends underneath like a blanket.
  4. Arrange tomatoes around the chicken. Drizzle both with olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with lots of pepper.
  5. Roast for 25-30 mins -- until the chicken has reached 164°F, the prosciutto is golden around the edges, and tomatoes have collapsed in on themselves and look a bit charred.

15 April 2016

Easy Chicken & Black Bean Burritos

Looking for a supper that could be quickly assembled ahead of time, would use up a bunch of odds-and-ends, and also create ample leftovers for lunches, I turned to burritos. I simply tossed shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, black beans, thawed fire-roasted corn, salsa, shredded cheese, salt-free taco seasoning, and sour cream together in a big bowl. Then I portioned the filling out evenly among a package of flour tortillas, and folded the tortillas up around the filling to make little bundles that could, if you're feeling generous, be called burritos.

I arranged the burritos in a large baking dish, sprinkled them with cheese and salsa, covered the dish with foil, and left it in the fridge overnight. About 30 minutes before I came home, The Husband popped the covered dish in a 375°F oven and let them bake. When I came home, I uncovered the pan, switched the oven to broil, and let everything cook until the cheese was melty and the exposed tortillas had gone golden brown.

We ate the burritos topped with chopped romaine, grape tomatoes, scallions, guacamole, and salsa. It was not the most elegant of meals, but it was filling, economical, and (mostly) homemade.

26 February 2016

Easy-Peasy Barbecue Chicken Naan Pizza

Too lazy to run any of the errands I'd planned, I instead frittered away the day reading webcomics ... but, eventually, the growling of my stomach began to distract from even the most thrilling adventures of Far to the North and Blindsprings. Food must be acquired. Easy food. Food that definitely didn't involve putting on pants and leaving the house.

Naan pizza to the rescue!

I readily admit all the amounts in the following recipe are approximate as I was hungry and not measuring as I went. I'm also dead cert you could use buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese to create a delicious buffalo chicken version.

Barbecue Chicken Naan Pizza

Serves: 4


  • 2 garlic naan [Stonefire]
  • 4 Tbsp barbecue sauce [Stubb's]
  • ½ cup chopped cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie)
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat shredded "Mexican" cheese blend
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Pop your pizza stone in the cold oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce over one side of each naan.
  3. Toss chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, and spread chicken over naan.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with red onion and cilantro.
  5. Slide naan onto hot pizza stone and bake for 8 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is all melty.
  6. Quarter each naan pizza and serve.

If you don't have a pizza stone, just prepare and bake the naan pizzas on a baking sheet.

12 February 2016

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potato

If you hadn't noticed, this past Sunday was the annual championship game of the National Football League. I don't follow football, but I do enjoy chicken wings and Pinterest has been wall-to-wall with chicken wing recipes in the weeks leading up to the game. So, Sunday I really wanted wings for dinner but I hadn't picked any up when grocery shopping and knew that ordering delivery on Super Bowl Sunday would have been an act of madness. However, I did have a leftover baked potato, rotisserie chicken, and a bottle of sriracha wing sauce so...

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potato

Yield: 1


  • 1 6-oz baking potato, well scrubbed and dried
  • ½ tsp (or so) olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 Tbsp wing sauce
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 scallion, white & green parts coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prick the potato all over with a fork, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay it directly on the middle oven rack.
  3. Bake the potato for 45-60 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the potato gives a little when you squeeze it.
  4. Meanwhile, combine chicken, buffalo wing sauce, garlic powder, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is melted.
  5. Cut a cross on top of the potato and squeeze the sides open.
  6. Top potato with chicken mixture. Garnish with blue cheese and scallions. Eat.

Well, while it wasn't wings, but it was a pretty decent substitute ... and not just because I've recently become totally infatuated with baked potatoes. It's an easy dish to throw together and the flavors can be easily adjusted to suit your particular tastes. I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sriracha Wings Sauce and Glaze, which I'd bought on a whim a while ago when I needed barbecue sauce for something else and thought, I don't know why, that I might make my own wings someday. The sauce starts off sweet and smoky like barbecue and then the tongue begins to tingle and there's a delicious bloom of heat. Mind you, I'm pretty much a lightweight when it comes to hot sauces, so ymmv.

08 February 2016

Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Potato

The Husband has been away at a conference and proper cooking for one seemed an ... onerous ... obligation when I'd rather be catching up with my giant backlog of graphic novels or reorganizing The Dread Cupboards of Random Storage under the bay window. So I've been eating a lot of fancy-ish grilled cheese and baked potatoes. Also, some salad ... but mostly cheese and carbs. And red wine to wash it down, because red wine's heart-healthy, you know ...

This baked potato is a stuffed with a very simple combination of shredded rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce with cheese and scallions to bling it out a bit. I bought the rotisserie chicken at the fried chicken place down the street. They keep their rotisserie -- always full of plump, golden chickens -- in their side window so it's in front of you, tempting you with promises of juicy poultry goodness, as you walk across the parking lot. Cunning fried chicken peddlers. Tricksy.

I actually baked three potatoes in one go, as well as a tray of broccoli florets and sliced carrots, because heating the oven for one potato simply seemed too decadent. However, I'm giving the directions for one, because I only made one barbecue chicken stuffed potato. The others were topped later in the week, with random toppings, as I needed them.

Yes, that means I ate three baked potatoes in one week. It. Was. Fabulous.

Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Potato

Yield: 1


  • 1 6-oz baking potato, well scrubbed and dried
  • ½ tsp (or so) olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp shredded reduced-fat four-cheese Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 scallion, white & green parts coarsely chopped
  • Black pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prick the potato all over with a fork, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay it directly on the middle oven rack.
  3. Bake the potato for 45-60 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the potato gives a little when you squeeze it.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the chicken and barbecue sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes or until evenly heated all the way through when stirred.
  5. Cut a cross on top of the potato and squeeze the sides open.
  6. Top potato with chicken mixture and cheese. Garnish with scallions and black pepper. Eat.

I'd meant to serve the potato with a dollop of plain 0% Greek yoghurt on top, but forgot and didn't end up missing it, anyway.

29 January 2016

Slow Cooker Lemon Caper Chicken Thighs

Boneless chicken thighs combine perfectly with bright flavors like lemon, white wine, and capers to create a quick prep, no-fuss meal perfect for a lazy winter afternoon. Just put all the bits in your slow cooker, turn it on, and go about your business for 4-6 hours. That's just about long enough to become thoroughly addicted to the BBC Scotland crime drama Shetland, by the way.

Slow Cooker Lemon Caper Chicken Thighs

Yield: Serves 3-6, depending on appetite


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, well trimmed
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 8 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup Sauvignon Blanc or similar dry white wine


  1. Nestle chicken thighs at bottom of slow cooker insert. Sprinkle with shallot, garlic, tomatoes, capers, and seasoning blend.
  2. Whisk together wine and lemon juice. Pour around the thighs, trying not to get it on the thighs, because you don't want to wash away the seasoning blend.
  3. Cover and cook on Low 4-6 hours or until chicken's internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. Remove chicken from slow cooker and, if desired, turn the juices into a sauce by whisking in a cornflour slurry.

20 January 2016

Slow Cooker Tomato & Artichoke Chicken

Last time I was at the warehouse club (to buy vitamins and salad mix and only those things), I picked up an enormous (35 oz!) jar of marinated artichoke hearts to "put on salads and things." While I've yet to actually put them on salad, they have made their way into my slow cooker. With chicken. And tomatoes, of course. The three just work so well together and make one of my favorite flavor combinations. (A little wine doesn't go amiss, either).

Slow Cooker Chicken With Tomatoes & Artichokes

Yield: 3-6, depending on appetite


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cups drained marinated artichoke hearts
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup Sauvignon Blanc or similar dry white wine
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs


  1. Mix together onion, artichokes, tomatoes, white wine, garlic, and seasoning blend. Pour into the slow cooker insert, if using right away. Otherwise refrigerate until ready.
  2. Trim the chicken thighs so that the skin just covers the tops of the thighs like a little
  3. Nestle the chicken thighs in the artichoke mixture, skin side up.
  4. Cover and cook on Low 6-8 hours or until chicken reaches 165°F.

(To save time, and knowing I'm not at my best in the mornings, I combined all the artichoke mixture ingredients in a food storage container the night before and then just poured it into the slow cooker the next morning. I'd like to think this helped give the dish a greater depth of flavor, but I might be reaching).

You could, of course, remove the skin entirely from the thighs but then you'll probably want to pour the artichoke mixture over them so they don't dry out in the slow cooker. I know, it seems impossible food should dry out in such a steamy environment but it has happened to me before so I try to make sure all meats are topped with something juicy -- like sauce or skin -- to keep them moist. The fat melts out of the skin, anyway, flavoring the rest of the dish, and the skin almost disappears into the flesh so there's no need to fear the dread "slimy chicken."

We ate the chicken in shallow bowls with garlic knot rolls for sopping up the sauce, but you could be more "healthful" and have it over whole wheat couscous or quinoa pilaf.

17 January 2016

Slow Cooker Peanut Chicken

When I put Pillsbury's "Slow-Cooker Spicy Chicken in Peanut Sauce" on this week's menu plan I wasn't really thinking about how The Husband might react to it. But, the week moved along and it was the only supper left unmade, I started to fret. Cumin? Cinnamon? Chiles? Peanut butter?

Oh, he was going to hate it.

But he didn't. Except for the peanut garnish (which was too crunchy), he thought the dish was fine and would eat it again. Hooray. I quite liked the dish myself, although I found it more aromatic than flavorful. Other cook's comments on the recipe suggest I am not alone in this, so I might follow a few of their suggestions next time (yes, it's worth making again) and use more peanut butter (maybe a few tablespoons of PB2 stirred into the amount of peanut butter already called for?), more garlic, and add a squirt of sriracha.

13 January 2016

Too Tired Chicken Enchiladas

Last weekend, I had a pound of thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts in the fridge that were nearly at their eat by date and I still had no energy to do anything with them. So I tossed them in the slow cooker with a tablespoon or two of Penzeys salt-free Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend and a jar of salsa and just let them cook away for six or so hours. (Seriously, I wasn't keeping track of things so it could very well have been ten hours). At the end, I shredded them, mixed in half a can of chickpeas (the other half having gone into salad earlier in the week) and shoved it all in the fridge until I was sufficiently motivated to make a proper dish out of it all.

There are probably lots of things I could have done with the shredded chicken and I'm sure Pinterest is full of ideas, if you want to go take a gander, but I just made up a pan of enchiladas and called it good enough. I simply mixed the shredded chicken and beans with enchilada sauce, cilantro, and crumbled queso Cotija then spread the mixture down the middle of multigrain tortillas, rolled the tortillas up, popped them in a rectangular baker, covered them with more enchilada sauce and Cotija and baked them at 425°F until everything was brown and bubbly.

These "enchiladas" were surprisingly good and even reheated pretty well for lunches, so hooray!

27 November 2015

Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs

Had a quantity of fresh parsley leftover even after the garlicky lemon-parsley sauce I made to jazz up some baked barramundi. While I wasn't quite sure what to do with the leftover parsley, I knew it had to be done soon as parsley just doesn't keep in my fridge (the whole "wrap it in a damp paper towel and store inside a plastic bag" technique doesn't work for me).

As there were chicken thighs in the freezer (when aren't there?) and I had lemon and garlic so I thought "Why not marinade the thighs and then whack them in the oven when I get home from work?" And that is exactly what I did.

I tend to buy boneless chicken thighs more often than not because I find them more flavorful and less expensive than boneless chicken breasts. They're definitely better suited to slow cooking than boneless breasts and even short, high-temp oven excursions suit them better than breasts. Or maybe I just still don't know how to cook boneless breasts properly!

Anyway, this dish is quite lemony so feel free to cut back on the juice and zest! When The Husband first tasted the chicken, he thought he wasn't going to like it because it was too lemony, but he ended up really liking it so ymmv.

Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs

Yield: Serves 3-6, depending on appetite


  • 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. Place chicken thighs in a food-safe storage container.
  2. Zest lemon. Cut lemon in half; squeeze lemon juice over chicken. Add zest, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover container and toss to coat. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to cook.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly brush a baking dish with a little olive oil.
  4. Turn the chicken out onto the baking dish. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.

06 November 2015

Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

I keep meaning to menu plan, but then Life Happens and it's another week of catch-as-catch-can meals. I knew there was a package of boneless skinless chicken thighs in the freezer. I thought there was a partial bottle of barbecue sauce in the fridge. Garlic and onions are always on hand. We'd have garlicky slow cooker "barbecue" chicken for supper! Except, after I'd already put the chicken, garlic, and onion in the slow cooker, I realized there was no barbecue sauce in the fridge ...

Erk. So I threw a sorta-barbecue sauce together really fast, dumped it over the chicken, and skedaddled off to work. When I came home that evening, the scent that hit me as I opened the front door just made my mouth water! And what did it taste like? A bit like an Asian(ish) barbecue? A little spicy, a little sweet, and so savory. I'd definitely do it again!

Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

Yield: 2-4 servings, depending on hunger


  • 4 frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, bashed
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup low-sodium ketchup
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp ground ginger root
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Place frozen thighs at the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Top with onion and garlic.
  2. Whisk all remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on Low 8-9 hours.

Yes, I used frozen chicken in this recipe. I know some people are really skittish about doing that, and I used to be, but I've found my slow cooker cooks hot enough on Low that we're unlikely to get food poisoning. Also, starting with frozen meat means that the long cook time (after 8 hours of cooking, mine usually sits at Warm for 2 hours) will not ruin the chicken. Using thighs instead of breasts helps, too, as thighs are simply more forgiving.

30 October 2015

Chicken Thighs Breaded With Flax & Almond Meal

I was craving oven-fried chicken, but breadcrumbs seemed ... boring. Nutritionally unadventurous. I'd breaded chicken with almond meal before, but was always a little disappointed in the texture. What about adding in some flax meal? Flax has a nutty flavor that should pair well with the almond meal and, maybe, give the breading a little more body?

"Breaded" Chicken Thighs

Yield: 2-4, depending on appetite


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place a cooling rack on a half sheet pan (13"x18").
  2. Beat egg in a shallow dish like a soup bowl or pie plate.
  3. Combine meals, Parmesan, and seasonings in another shallow dish.
  4. Dip chicken in egg, allowing all excess to drip back into dish, and then thoroughly coat with the meal mixture.
  5. Place chicken on the cooling rack and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is 165°F.

Overall, I think this was a good start. Next time, I might reduce the amount of flax by a tablespoon or two, because The Husband thought the texture was a little "weird." I liked the texture just fine, but thought the chicken was just a bit ... bland ... so lashings of cheese and seasonings next time, too!

30 September 2015

Garlicky Chicken Tenders & Vegetables

This simply isn't a very exciting dish. Definitely not the kind of thing to make for company, no. But it makes an easy one-pan-throw-everything-together-and-go meal, which is sometimes what you need on a Sunday night when your monkey mind is too busy obsessing over tomorrow being MONDAY to deal with fancy cookery shenanigans.

I would really like go back to having proper Sunday dinners and not these catch-as-catch-can meals centering around speed and the opportunity to use up iffy ingredients -- like the spongy zucchini and sprouting potatoes in today's chicken dish. But my life is a bit topsy-turvy at the moment and, really, I suspect I should just be happy the chicken wasn't off!

Garlicky Baked Chicken Tenders with Vegetables

Yield: 4


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 6 small red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free poultry seasoning
  • Salt & pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. While oven is preheating, add butter to a large baking dish or pan and place in the oven to melt.
  2. When oven is at temperature, remove pan and stir garlic and onion into melted butter.
  3. Add chicken and vegetables to butter mixture, toss to coat, then spread out in pan, trying not to crowd.
  4. Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with seasonings and bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Give everything a good stir 'round and baste the chicken with pan juices. Return to oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and serve.

If you have a thing about butter, you could certainly use olive oil in this recipe. I happen to have a bunch of random cuts leftover from various baking projects and they keep falling off the "butter and egg" shelf and beaning me on the head when I yank open the fridge door. Yes. I'm blessed, I know.

18 September 2015

Roast All The Things: Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

End of the week, no idea what the weekend may bring, and the crisper drawers still hold far too much highly perishable produce. What to do? Roast them. With some chicken. Because not everyone wants a big plate of roasted vegetables for supper. Weirdos.

The package of boneless skinless thighs I used contained five thighs -- we had two apiece for supper and I enjoyed the remaining one with a bunch of the leftover vegetables for lunch the next day. Obviously, serving sizes are arbitrary so ymmv.

Roasted Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

Yield: 3 servings


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow (crookneck) squash, sliced into thick coins
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thick coins
  • 4 oz quartered small red potatoes
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and thyme
  • Olive oil


  1. Brush baking pans with olive oil. Distribute chicken and vegetables among pans, trying not to crowd. Season generously.
  2. Roast, uncovered, in 45°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken has reached 165°F and potatoes are tender.

09 September 2015

Cheesy Salsa Chicken

I've owned a Calphalon panini pan for yonks now and only very recently discovered the blessed thing is oven safe to 450°F. Do you know how liberating that is? No more transferring of ingredients to a baking dish. No, just grill the whatever, add the other ingredients to the pan, and whack the whole thing in the oven. Granted, it might look nicer at the table in a baking dish, but this isn't a nice-enough-for-company meal, anyway. It's an UGH-I-am-so-tired-what's-easy meal.

Creamy Salsa Chicken

Yield: Serves 2


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp fajita seasoning [Penzeys]
  • 1 cup roasted garlic salsa [Green Mountain Gringo]
  • ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese [Cabot]
  • Guacamole, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. While singing "Les Poissons," pound the chicken flat with a mallet. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with fajita/taco seasoning.
  3. Grill the chicken until it develops some nice color and grill marks. Mix the salsa and yoghurt; pour over the chicken and top with cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until chicken has reached 165°F and cheese is melted.
  5. Top with guacamole, as desired, and serve.

16 July 2015

Improv Challenge: Pretzels & Mustard

I'm just going to straight out confess that I made July's Improv Challenge recipe when I came home from work Monday night, so there was no time for rehearsal. I ran in the door, turned on the oven, and just started throwing chicken, mustard, and pretzels around.

So while we both enjoyed this dish -- The Husband thought the chicken was cooked "perfectly" and the "nut topping" was really nice (when I explained it was pretzels, not nuts, he merely shrugged and said that explained why they weren't as crunchy as he'd expected!) -- I think it could be better. Longer marinade time for the chicken, for one, and more finely crushed pretzels, for another. Also, maybe some garlic in the marinade and dressing? Mmm. Garlic.

If you have a food processor, feel free to pulverize your pretzels with it. I was all hepped up with Monday Grrr and was more than happy to bash away at the pretzels with my meat tenderizer. Seriously, it's good therapy!

Also, if you prefer a bit of sweetness, you could just use your favorite honey mustard vinaigrette rather than making the marinade and dressing.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken With Salad Garnish

Yield: 3


  • 3 similarly-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp + ½ tsp coarse grain Dijon mustard [Grey Poupon Country Dijon]
  • 6 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz salted pretzels [Snyder Of Hanover Olde Tyme Pretzels]
  • Baby arugula, as needed
  • Salt and pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. Place chicken breasts between two sheets of wax or parchment paper on a sturdy, flat surface. Firmly pound the chicken with a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat mallet until they’re all flattish and of similar thickness.
  3. In a large dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons grainy mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar. Add chicken to the dish. Toss to coat well and let marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and ½ teaspoon mustard in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
  5. Place pretzels in a food processor and whiz around until pulverized (you'll want to leave some small-ish chunks for both aesthetics and crunch). Or put pretzels in a food storage bag and bash with your meat tenderizer until they form crumbs of the desired size. Pour pretzel crumbs into a pie plate or shallow bowl.
  6. Remove chicken from marinade. Press chicken into pretzel crumbs, coating both sides.
  7. Arrange crumb-coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Mist the tops of the chicken breasts with nonstick spray. Bake for 15 minutes or until pretzels are nicely browned and chicken is 165 °F.
  8. Divide the chicken among three plates. Artistically arrange the arugula on top. Spoon the tomatoes over the arugula and serve immediately.

25 June 2015

Lazy Oven Kabobs

Brown and lovely oven-baked chicken-vegetable kabobs. Yum!
Kabobs! In the oven! Because Weather. (Also, maybe, laziness?) Last Saturday started as a beautiful late Spring day with big fluffy white sheep of clouds scudding across deep blue skies ... but, by the time lunchtime had rolled around, the sun was skulking behind dark clouds of dooooom, the wind kicked up, and it began to rain. The whole family wandered back into the house and the kabobs went in the oven.

Chicken-vegetable kabobs, marinating
And they were good! I'd bought these ready made, unseasoned chicken kabobs at the grocery store and then marinated them overnight, skewers and all, in Italian dressing. (What can I say? I am my mother's daughter and Italian dressing remains my go-to marinade). To cook them in the oven, I just decanted the container onto a baking tray and baked them at 450°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. As you can see, they came out looking pretty much just like they came off the grill -- charred edges and all.

Chicken-vegetable kabobs ready to go in the oven

19 June 2015

Lemon Dill Chicken & Potatoes

My tiny dill plants have become hulking monstrosities. While it's a bit early for pickle-making, I knew I needed to started using fresh dill more often (and in bigger quantities) or the plant would bolt and that would not be good at all. Well, when life gives you too much dill ... roast chicken!

This chicken dish is easy to prepare and comes together quickly. Simply toss all the ingredients in a big baking dish, pop it in the oven, and you're good to go!

Lemon Dill Chicken & Potatoes

Yield: 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Generous palmful fresh dill
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange chicken thighs, potatoes, onions and lemon slices in the baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake, covered with foil, for 40 minutes. Uncover, stir, and bake 10 more minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken has reached 165°F.

I think the combination of lemon and dill keeps the dish very bright and fresh-tasting, you may want to cut back if you're not a lemon-lover!

13 May 2015

Greek Chicken Salad

While it's only the second week of May, it feels like summer at my house and I'm thisclose to turning on the air conditioner. Unseasonably sweaty workdays call for cool, relaxing suppers and salad's just the thing.

I marinated the chicken using the gyro marinade recipe on the Penzeys Greek seasoning packet -- Mix 1 Tbsp seasoning in 1 Tbsp water. Let stand 5 minutes, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Combine with 1 lb chicken tenderloins. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When we were ready to eat, I broiled the chicken for 5 minutes each side on a foil-lined baking tray. When the chicken was done (165°F), I set it aside to cool for about ten minutes -- just long enough to make two supper-sized salads.

For the salad, I tossed 1½ hearts of romaine (sliced into thin ribbons) with chopped cucumber, red onion, grape tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives, and garbanzo beans. Then I sliced the cooled chicken (there was leftover chicken for future salads) and arranged it atop the salads.

It wasn't really "Greek," I know, but was good! Next time, I'll add roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts.