Archive for ‘Poultry’

May 25, 2012

The best crock pot chicken tacos

Budget Savvy Diva

Serves: 4

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds of skinless chicken breast – frozen or thawed
  • 1.5 ounces of taco seasoning ( about one packet worth)
  • 1 can ( 10) ounces of Rotel
  • All your taco fixings – corn or flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, Chipotle guacamole , lettuce, tomatoes
Set your crock pot to low and place taco seasoning, chicken, Rotel together – mix. Set aside for about 6 hours if chicken is frozen; If thawed, it will be done in about 3 -4 hours. Take two forks and pull-apart the chicken and mix into the awesome juices. If there is not enough liquid use a little chicken stock. Enjoy — Simply scoop up the chicken in that tortilla and go topping crazy.
*Chef’s note: This was just OK. Still not super moist with a bit of added chicken stock, but I think this is a good base recipe to start with and play with. I added some sauteed onions and red pepper that I had leftover from making some guac that afternoon, along with some Southwestern Chipotle Mrs. Dash (a.k.a. Senorita Dash) in place of some of the taco seasoning. Next time I might add some green chiles and some red enchilada sauce for more liquid/flavor. Mmmm.
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May 16, 2012

Sweet and sour chicken

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 3

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 325.

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in egg and then in cornstarch. Pan fry in oil until golden brown, but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.

Sauce

3/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake chicken for 6o minutes, turning every 15 minutes. You can also make extra sauce – add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer until thick.

*Chef’s note: This tasted just as good as restaurant sweet and sour chicken! This is my boyfriend’s favorite (a.k.a. only) dish to order at Asian restaurants, and I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out just as delicious! He especially liked that there were no peppers in this sauce. Two breasts were plenty for the two of us with brown rice. I wouldn’t change anything except maybe try to crisp the breading a bit at a higher temp for the last few minutes (our chicken was cooked through after 45 minutes because of the pre-cooking in the skillet).

May 16, 2012

Crock pot chicken Parmesan

Siggy Spice

Serves: 4

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • favorite jarred marinara sauce, I use Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara

Spread the 1 TBSP of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert.

Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl. Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the Parmesan cheese in another separate dish. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings.

Place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crockpot. Layer 2-3 slices or 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you like. Cover chicken and cheese with entire jar of marinara sauce.

Close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4. I cooked mine on high for about 3 1/2 hours and the chicken was perfect! Serve with your favorite pasta.  ENJOY!

*Chef’s note: I love the idea of this recipe and had to give it a try. It doesn’t beat classic chicken Parm. for me, though. Even cooked on low, it still seemed to taste a bit burned, and though covered in sauce and falling apart, the chicken still had a dry texture that I didn’t enjoy.

April 10, 2012

Chicken salad

Pioneer Woman

Serves: 6-8

  • 2 cups diced or shredded chicken
  • 2-3 stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 2 cups (to 3 Cups) Grapes, Halved
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt Or Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • A Small Handful Of Fresh Dill, Minced
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Sugar
  • Juice Of One Lemon
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Chop all of your fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl with the chicken.

In another bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

Add fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro…whatever makes your skirt fly up) and if you’re feeling a bit brazen throw in a dash of cayenne pepper!

When the dressing tastes just right (you must taste test for appropriate saltiness especially), pour 3/4 of it it over the chicken/veggie/fruit mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed. If you are feeling naughty add a sprinkling of bacon bits. Add more dressing if you want.

Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich or heck, eat it straight out of the bowl with a serving spoon.

*Chef’s note: This was chicken salad just the way I like it! Another reason I should meet Ree Drummond? Although I left out the dill and almonds. halved the recipe, using red grapes, all 3 green onions, the yogurt and plenty of salt and pepper, and I used only 3/4 of the dressing.

April 10, 2012

Caramelized chicken with mushroom sauce and grilled herb bread

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 2

  • 4 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • bread of your choice (I used whole grain talonica bread)
  • salt and pepper
  • for bread: 1/4-1/2 cup butter, softened + herbs of your choice (I used parsley, basil and thyme – a good sprinkling of each)

Season the chicken breasts (make sure they are very thin or slice them thin!) liberally with salt and pepper. Add the flour in a bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour – you want a very thin and light coating on the chicken. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. While the chicken is browning, chop the onion and get out your mushrooms. Slice your bread as desired. Combine 1/4 cup of butter and herbs of your choice (you really can’t go wrong here! I’ve used dried and fresh, just add a sprinkling to the butter.) and mix. Spread on one side of bread. At this point you can either use a grill pan and grill the bread buttered-side down first, or heat your broiler and set the bread underneath for 30-90 seconds.

Once chicken is done cooking (after about 7-8 minutes total), set it aside on a plate. Turn heat down to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter and onion. Saute for 1 minute. Add the remaining butter (2 tablespoons) and mushrooms. Stir and saute for 6-8 minutes, until mushrooms are soft. Add in wine to deglaze the pan and stir well to remove brown bits from bottom of the pan. Add chicken back in with the mushrooms.

Serve hot with bread for dipping.

*Chef’s note: I didn’t make the grilled herb bread but still included the recipe because it looks fabulousss (I probably would use parsley, thyme and rosemary). The browned chicken had a great flavor, but I wish I had browned the mushrooms and onions more. And it didn’t create so much of a “sauce” for me; I could have added some flour to thicken it up. It seemed to be missing something to me, but it was very yummy!

March 24, 2012

Roasted red pepper penne

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 4

  • 2 large red peppers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups of dry whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper for seasoning chicken

To roast peppers: remove core and seeds from peppers and slice into pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and preheat the broiler in your oven. Place under the broiler skin-side up until skins are completely charred and black – this took about 10 minutes for me but will depend on your oven. Just check every 2 minutes or so. Immediately remove peppers from oven and using kitchen tongs, quickly place them in a ziplock bag then seal it. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

While peppers are “steaming” in the bag, pat the chicken breasts completely dry with a pepper towel, then season them with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Brown chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside to cool, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet with onions and a sprinkle of salt. Saute over medium-low heat until onions soften and caramelized. Cut chicken into pieces.

Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions. Remove peppers from the bag and peel the skin off to discard. It’s okay if a little bit of char remains as it adds to the flavor. Add peppers, garlic, parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Blend until pureed, then stream in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil so mixture comes together.

In a large bowl, combine penne with chicken and onions. Add red pepper sauce and toss thoroughly to coat as it is very thick. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves.

*Chef’s note: Can I just geek out for a minute? I loved getting to roast my own red peppers. I’d never done it before; so easy! I just felt so official. Anyway, this was very tasty! Next time I would add a tad of plain tomato sauce to smooth out the sauce and add a touch of sweetness with the red pepper. I am very happy to have found a yummy red pepper sauce without cream in it. Score.

March 24, 2012

Cheddar-crusted chicken fingers

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 2-3

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup seasoned regular bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 ounces of cheddar, freshly & finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

2-4 hours before serving (or even overnight), add chicken to a baking dish and cover with buttermilk. Let soak.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, flour, salt (quantity should be adjusted to taste given the amount of salty cheese), pepper, mustard and paprika and stir with a spoon. Fold in cheese. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk (it should have a think layer of milk around it), and dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and repeat. Before baking, hit each chicken tender with a spray of non-stick spray or mist of olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then gently flip using kitchen tongs and spray the other side. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, then remove from oven and serve with dips of choice.

*Chef’s note: I think these could have benefited from a dipping sauce, as suggested on How Sweet It Is (LOVE this blog. Thanks to my gal Alyssa for introducing it to me!). (She used a bacon ranch with added chili powder.) And I should have cooked them longer to get them nice and browned and crispy.  That would have made the dish. I was afraid they would dry out, but the buttermilk really does keep that from happening. Otherwise pretty tasty. I may have even added more sharp cheddar! NOTE: This amount of breading (said to serve 2-3) coated 2 pounds of tenderloins for me with almost half left over, so plan accordingly.

March 24, 2012

Hummus-crusted chicken

Oprah

Serves: However many you want

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Hummus
  • Lemon juice, slices
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Smother some boneless, skinless chicken breasts with hummus (about 1 cup for 4), then top with a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh rosemary, and lemon slices (optional). Bake at 450° until hummus is golden brown and meat is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve immediately.

—Jenny Bailly, O executive beauty editor

*Chef’s note: I love the idea of simplicity and resourcefulness behind this recipe, but it didn’t quite do it for me. I wish it had “crusted” up for me like the name promised! Just kind of a weird texture and a surprisingly bland taste. :/

February 20, 2012

Honey-lime chicken with coconut-black bean rice

Southern Living

Serves: 4

  • 1 (13.5-oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 6 (4-oz.) chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Bring coconut milk and 1 tsp. salt to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt. Place crushed tortilla chips in a shallow bowl. Whisk together honey and next 2 ingredients in a second shallow bowl. Reserve 2 Tbsp. honey mixture. Dip chicken in remaining honey mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in crushed chips.

Cook half of chicken in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and oil. Spoon reserved honey mixture over chicken.

Stir black beans and next 2 ingredients into rice; spoon onto serving plates. Top with chicken and cilantro.

*Chef’s note: Another hit! Ah, that rice! Yum! I didn’t realize coconut milk was so fatty, though, so I don’t know that I will make this as often as I’d like to. I used tenderloins but next time will use cutlets. The breading didn’t adhere very well for me and burned a bit, but even with a bunch falling off the chicken was still full of flavor. I think my pan was just too hot and I flipped the chicken too often. I was out of green onions but would add them next time. Again, I left out the cilantro. I think it’s safe to say I always will.

February 20, 2012

Pesto presto chicken

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 8-10 leaves basil, about a half a cup
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, a handful
  • 1 5.4 ounce round of Boursin garlic and herb soft cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 slices 1/2 inch thick of vine ripe tomato, 3 medium tomatoes

Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a small pan over medium heat lightly toast the nuts then cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, Boursin cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (about a handful), some salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste. Reserve.

Butterfly each of the chicken breasts and pound them out lightly in a plastic bag with a dash of water using a skillet or meat mallet. Season both sides of the chicken and divide the herb-cheese mixture between the four breasts, placing a scoop on one half of each breast. Fold the flap over to enclose the cheese mixture.

Transfer the chicken pockets to a baking sheet and shingle 3 slices of tomato over each breast. Season with some salt and pepper, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful).

Bake the chicken pockets until cooked through and light golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

*Chef’s note: I made this without the basil (whoops!), and it was still very tasty! (And, boy, is that Boursin good plain on a cracker!) I’m not usually a fan of stuffed dishes, but this wasn’t over-the-top rich. Just be sure to season it well.