Roast Chicken

What can you say about roast chicken? It’s delicious, it smells amazing, you have leftovers that you can do a ton of things with (see subsequent posts) and it’s generally pretty easy.

I roasted what I believe is my 4th chicken ever this past weekend (I have to do this more often). It was certainly the largest weighing in at about 7.5 lbs. My local grocery store had them on sale for $.99/lb last week so I bought one and invited my Mom and Grandmother over for a Sunday evening roast chicken supper and Scrabble game. We’re all cut-throat scrabble players and get together often and play. It’s so much fun.  We use all of the words we’re not supposed to-proper names, abbreviations, foreign words-whatever we can as long as it’s able to be identified by someone else playing. It’s way more fun that way.

So while we had some appys of cheese and crackers, olives, hummus and some wine we played and laughed and argued over words. And the chicken roasted. And it gave off that gorgeous smell that only a roast chicken can. And then before we knew it the chicken was ready and it was delicious. Crispy skin, tender moist meat.  Just the way we all hope that they will be. I didn’t bother putting it on a pretty plate for a photo. We just cut right into it and served ourselves. Here’s how to do it:

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Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 7lb roasting chicken (I used a Perdue Oven Stuffer Roaster)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Let chicken and butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove the gizzards and the popup timer if there is one. Rinse under cold water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a roasting pan place the onions in 2 rows touching each other. 
  3. Rub butter all over the chicken. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Put the lemon, thyme and garlic into the cavity, tie the legs with kitchen twine. Place on top of the onions.
  4. Roast for about 30 minutes-you’ll notice the skin start to get nice and brown–this is what you want to happen–then reduce heat to 340 and cook until a thermometer reaches 180 in the breast and/or 190 in the thigh.  When poked with a fork the juices should run clear. It took about 2 hours for mine.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and tent with foil in the roasting pan (not touching the skin or it will get soggy). Allow the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes. Carve and serve, discarding the lemon, thyme and garlic.

You  may serve the onions along with the chicken or use them to make a gravy as outlined in the original recipe from Martha Stewart which I’ve changed up quite a bit. Perfect Roast Chicken from Martha Stewart Living, September 1997.

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Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

I will warn you before you start reading this-this is not a fast 30 minute recipe. In fact it’s more like 90 minutes but most of that time is simmering or reducing or things you can do while paying attention to other stuff so don’t be afraid of it. But it’s worth it! These came out so great. I did cook them on a weeknight so it can be done. Perhaps next time I can prepare the chicken and sauce over the weekend ahead of time and then just heat/bake to serve. That would make this a super fast dinner to put together. In any event they’re surprisingly filling and very very very tasty.  Don’t skip the sauce reducing or the chicken poaching-those steps develop very delicious flavor levels. 

I served these with the sweet corn and bell  saute on the side. Very nice together.

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Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups fat-free lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 6oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped coarsely
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 serrano pepper, cut in half most of ribs and seeds removed (remove all or none to taste. The more seed/ribs the hotter it is)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 7oz can salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup tomato, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 ozs whipped greek yogurt cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
  • 8 10 inch tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • 2 ozs freshly grated low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • fat-free sour cream for topping
  • salsa for topping

Instructions:

  1. Combine the first 9 ingredients (water through and including onion) in a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook it for 8 minutes or until chicken is done (time may vary depending on thickness of chicken pieces).  Remove the chicken and set aside. Drain the cooking liquid through a colander over a bowl. Keep the liquid and discard the vegetables.  When the chicken is cool enough shred it with two forks and set aside.
  2. Pour the cooking liquid back into the same pot and add the salsa verde and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until it’s reduced to about 1&1/2 cups (30-40 minutes). Reduce to low heat, stir in whipping cream. 
  3. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. Spray an 11×7 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  5. Place the chicken into a medium mixing bowl. Add tomato and next 5 ingredients (through and including cream cheese). Stir to combine.
  6. Dip each tortilla into the liquid for a few seconds then shake to remove excess. Place 1/3 cup of chicken mixture onto the tortilla and roll it up. Place the filled tortilla seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat until you can’t fit any more tortillas in the dish. Spoon some of the liquid over the top of the tortillas and then sprinkle all of the cheese evenly on the top.
  7. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Serve immediately with toppings suggested above or anything else you’d like.

Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2013.

Caprese Chicken

Recently I came across a recipe that I had printed for Balsamic Chicken which was cooked in the slow cooker.  It sounded delicious and very easy-but why stop there? If the chicken would cook for hours in delicious balsamic vinegar why not make it into a caprese chicken dish? In my head I imagined a piece of chicken topped with a slice of melted fresh mozzarella cheese, some toasted breadcrumbs, some tomatoes, fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze.  And that’s exactly what happened-although the picture in my head was this neat little package all perfectly balanced on the plate and the plate that I ended up with wasn’t quite so neat.

The flavor. WOW! Delicious!  Drizzling the balsamic glaze and olive oil over the dish at the end really made all of the other flavors pop.

The other fab part of this dish is that the chicken cooks in the slow cooker and you can make that in advance (mine was cooked on Sunday and I made the completed dish on a Tuesday night). The completed dish took no  more than 15 minutes start to finish-so it’s great for a weeknight as well.

I had cherry tomatoes on hand but you can certainly use other larger tomatoes and just cut a few slices-just make sure they’re nice and ripe.

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Caprese Chicken

Ingredients for slow cooker portion:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 2-2.5 lbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced to 1/2 inch rounds and then halved
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped into a few pieces
  • 1/2 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

Ingredients for oven portion:

  • 3 tsp butter
  • 6 tbsp fresh seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 3-6 slices fresh mozzarella (1-2 slices each-as per your taste)
  • 1/2  pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or larger tomatoes sliced.
  • fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
  • drizzles of balsamic glaze 
  • drizzles of olive oil 

Instructions for the slow cooker:

  1. Trim any fat from the chicken, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Coat the bottom of the slow cooker insert with the olive oil, snuggle the chicken breasts into the cooker in an even layer, top with the onion and, garlic and herbs.  Pour the vinegar and tomatoes into the cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. If you plan on completing the dish another day allow the chicken and onion/tomato mixture to cool and then store in the refrigerator for a few days—otherwise continue below.

Instructions for oven:

  1. Preheat broiler to low setting.
  2. Place the butter in a small pan on the stove over medium heat. When hot and bubbling add the breadcrumbs.  Stir and cook until toasty brown then set aside.
  3. Reheat chicken and some of the onions/tomato mixture (however you’d like–I used the microwave).
  4. In a dish suitable for the broiler place the chicken and some of the onions/tomato mixture, top with slices of cheese then breadcrumbs and put in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from the oven, place chicken and some of the onions/tomatoes on a plate, arrange tomatoes around it, sprinkle with basil and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

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Chicken with Mushrooms & Shallots

I’m always on the look out for new, fast, delicious chicken recipes and this one filled that bill perfectly. Very little prep, cooks quickly and the end result is a wonderfully flavorful, moist piece of chicken with earthy mushrooms and savory shallots-and plenty of them as you can see in the photo below. Clearly I haven’t mastered the art of food photography but trust me on this-the chicken is way better than my crappy photo makes it look.

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Chicken with Mushrooms & Shallots

Ingredients:

  • 4 6oz skinless boneless chicken breast  (halves) 1/3 inch thick
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large shallots
  • 8ozs presliced mushrmoom blend (I used baby bella, shiitake and oyster)
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • Cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, coat with cooking spray. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan and cook until browned on each side about 5-6 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking slice the shallots into thin rounds. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. Spray the pan with cooking spray, add the mushrooms and shallots and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry and marjoram.  Put the chicken back into the pan, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the mushrooms are tender. Serve chicken with mushrooms and shallot mixture poured over the top.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast cookbook.

Crispy Sriracha Chicken Bites

I really do like Sriracha and have used it for quite a few years. I came across this recipe over a year ago and it has sat, untouched, buried deep in my folder of ‘to make’ recipes——which is pretty thick.

As luck would have it Husband bought 2 large family packs of chicken breasts recently (on sale woot!! woot!!) so I’ve been looking for a few recipes to use them up and I came across this one.  I wish I would have made these sooner-they’re delicious! The chicken is juicy and perfectly cooked, the coating is hot and crunchy and really tasty and there’s really nothing to them-just great flavor.

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Crispy Sriracha Chicken Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (or ground ginger powder)
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into equal strips (mine were about 1 inch wide) or about 1/2-3/4 lb
  • 1&1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. In a large ziplock bag put the ingredients starting with Sriracha through and including the chicken.  Squish the chicken around to evenly coat and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and then place a cooling rack on top of the foil. Set aside.
  3. When the 30 minutes is up use tongs or gloves (I love my surgical gloves for things like this) to roll each marinated piece of chicken in the Panko and set it on the baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken strips. Be sure the pieces aren’t touching each other on the rack.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes  (if you cut your strips larger or smaller it may take more or less time) or until they’re cooked thoroughly.
  5. Serve with assorted dipping sauces if desired.

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 Adapted from http://sotastysoyummy.blogspot.com/2012/04/sriracha-chicken-strips.html

Red Dragon Chicken Salad

This is one gigantic delicious salad filled with great flavors and textures. The zingy chili sauce, the slightly sweet dressing, the crunchy noodles, the bright mandarins and the crispy veggies-everything just comes together.

I named it ‘Red Dragon’ chicken salad because of the zing, heat and red sauce on the chicken. Besides it sounds much better than plain old ‘chicken salad’,  no? Yes.

Unfortunately I can’t take full credit for this salad. I based in on a salad that I enjoyed a few weeks ago at Buffalo Wild Wings with Husband.  It was our first visit.  I’m not a fan of  chain restaurants but I liked it there more than I thought I would. The wings were delicious and they have a great variety of foods.

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Red Dragon Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups salad (combination of shredded carrots, cabbage, lettuce and broccoli)
  • 1/3 cup crispy chow mein noodles (I used La Choy)
  • 3 tbsp Newmans Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger salad dressing
  • 1-2 tbsp Asian Zing sauce (from Buffalo Wild Wings)* 
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled and sliced
  • 6 mandarin orange segments

Instructions:

  1. Put salad and dressing together, toss to combine. Sprinkle noodles over the salad. Set aside.
  2. Mix the Asian Zing sauce with the chicken and spread over salad.
  3. Arrange mandarin slices around the outside.

This makes one large salad or 2 smaller salads.

*their Asian Zing sauce tastes to me like Sweet Thai Chili sauce and sriracha so if you don’t have the sauce or want to buy it you can mix those 2 ingredients together to the desired heat level and use that on the chicken instead.

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Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Here’s an easy and really tasty weeknight meal that you can have on the table in about 30 minutes.  The chicken coating is crunchy and delicious, the cheese is deliciously stringy and melted and the sauce is whatever you want it to be-home made or jarred-it’s up to you. I prefer home-made but since I was out I used some jarred sauce. I like having them in the pantry to use in a pinch. 

I opted to forego the pasta that’s usually served with this and just have some steamed veggies and a salad with it. I didn’t miss the pasta.

There’s no neat pretty picture of this with the cheese ‘just so’ and the sauce dribbling ever so seductively down the plate. I slapped this piece on my plate, took 2 pics, and then dug in.  If you were as hungry as I was and smelled this delicious stuff you would’ve done the same 🙂

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Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut and/or pounded to equal thin pieces about 1/2 inch thick.
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 2-3 cups Panko
  • a few tbsp olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 3-5 cups marinara sauce (your preference on amount and type of sauce)

Instructions:

  1. Place flour in one shallow bowl, the eggs in a 2nd and the panko in a 3rd and place the bowls next to each other. Season the flour and panko with salt, pepper and italian seasoning.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet (large enough to hold the chicken in 1 layer or almost all in one layer-a little overlapping is ok) over medium/high heat.
  3. Take 1 piece of chicken, roll it around in the seasoned flour to coat it, shake off the excess, dredge through egg then roll in the panko to coat. Place in the pan and cook until first side is browned and crispy, then flip it over and do the same for the other side until it’s cooked through thoroughly. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Repeat with each piece of chicken.  You may place more than one piece in the pan but do not crowd it.
  5. Pour the sauce into the same pan and set over medium/low heat until thoroughly heated then place the pieces of chicken back in, ladle some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and then top the chicken with mozzarella and either cover with a lid and leave it on the stove until the cheese is melted or place in the oven (if you have an oven-safe pan) until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve immediately.

 You may also serve over pasta or then put the chicken into a hero roll for a great sandwich.

Pow! Pow! Chicken

The name says it all. It’s a pow!pow! in the mouth. This chicken has some heat- but it also has a ton of flavor and a some sweet so everything’s balanced out nicely. 

While this dish does have to cook in the oven for 1 hour the prep time and initial cooking take no more than 25 minutes-unless you’re really really really slow.  Then allow a few minutes to reduce the sauce.

Pow pow chicken

Pow! Pow! Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lb boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Arrowroot (optional-for a sauce thickener if needed)
  • Sliced scallions (optional-for garnish)

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 tsp cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place into a large ziplock bag. Add the cornstarch, smush around to coat, and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 325 and find a baking dish who’s base is large enough to fit all of the chicken in one layer.
  3. Place the eggs in a shallow dish and set aside.
  4. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat place 2 tsp of the oil and wait for it to get hot.  When hot start to cook the chicken pieces in batches as follows until all are cooked:  shake off excess corn starch, coat in egg, shake off excess and brown in pan one minute on each side then place in baking dish. Do a few pieces at a time being careful to not crowd the pan.
  6. When all chicken is in the baking dish pour the sauce over it and place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes then turn the pieces over and cook for another 30 minutes.
  7. When the oven time is finished remove the dish from the oven.  Place the chicken on a plate and pour the remaining sauce into a small sauce pan. Put the chicken back into the dish and back into the oven (which is now off) to keep warm. Cook the sauce over medium/low heat until thick and reduced, stirring continuously. Add arrowroot if you have it and if you need it.
  8. When the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon remove the dish with the chicken from the oven, pour the thickened sauce over it and stir to combine.
  9. Garnish with sliced scallions if desired and serve over rice or plan.

This recipe falls into the category of ‘who knows where it came from’. If it’s yours or you know please email me through the contact information tab and I’ll give proper credit.

Winner Winner Chicken Salad

Every once in a while I get the urge to have a chicken salad sandwich. I’ve tried a few recipes over the years and wasn’t ever happy with any of them for one reason or another-too much mayo, didn’t like the curry etc… and I didn’t ever take the time to mess around with the recipes to get it just right. So I’d go to my local deli and get a chicken salad sandwich which is neither waist-line or budget friendly.

Well my friends-my search is over. Last night I made (in my opinion anyway) the perfect chicken salad. Not too much sauce, tang from the gherkins (or cornishons if you’re feeling saucy), crunch from the celery, onion and gherkins, and a ton of flavors from the Dijon, lemon juice and parsley.  The best part is I don’t feel like I’m the size of a hippo after I’ve eaten it-and it’s just darn tasty to boot. 

I ate my chicken salad sandwich on one of the Pepperidge Farm sandwich flats with sliced tomato, a few wedges of avocado and some romaine lettuce and it made a pretty tall sandwich. 

I think this would also be great served on pieces of cucumber, rolled up in lettuce leaves or even crackers for an appetizer.  This would also be amazing eaten from an avocado cup.  I think I’ll try that next time.

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Winner Winner Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about .75lb) cooked and cut into small pieces (mine were about the size of my pinky nail)
  • 1.tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice-freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/3 cup light Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 2.5 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced small
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced small
  • 1/3 cup gherkins, diced small
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add everything into a bowl and stir to combine.

Notes:

  • For the celery, onion and gherkins I used my little Kitchen Aid chopper to have all uniform sized pieces.
  • I cut the chicken breast into about 7 equally sized strips and then cooked them on my panini press. I then cut them up into small nugget sized pieces and put them on a plate in the fridge to cool down so that I could make the salad.  They only took only about 25 minutes to cool.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

I really don’t have all that much to write about today. I found the original recipe for this on Pinterest and improved upon it a great deal. It came out great, the chicken was nice and juicy, the honey mustard reduction at the end made a delicious sauce-it was sweet and mustardy with just a hint of the rosemary and white wine. The shallot added a nice level of flavor as well. It’s also a one-pan dish which is a plus in my book.  The prep for this is pretty non-existent aside of dicing a shallot so it’s very quick to put together.  When the chicken is initially finished cooking the sauce is pretty liquid so I thought reducing it would be a great idea! It wouldn’t be good to just leave all of that yummy flavor in the pan. I was right. The reduction is so so so tasty. 

I’ll certainly be making this again. I imagine the chicken would be amazing sliced up on a sandwich or over rice if there are left overs.

Chicken

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 shallot, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced small
  • 1 & 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into even pieces (my package contained 2 pieces so I ended up with 5 smaller portions).
  • 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 more tsp for honey mustard sauce
  • 4 tbsp white wine
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp butter

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. In a dutch oven (or other stove and oven safe vessel with a lid)  large enough to hold the chicken in one even layer add 2 tsp of the olive oil and heat over medium heat. When hot add the shallot and sautee until translucent-about 5-7 minutes. Then add the garlic and sautee for another minute or so.  If you need more oil add extra little by little but you want to get some bits on the bottom of the pan so don’t add too much.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the wine and scrape up the bits. Let the wine reduce a bit. Be careful-the steam is hot.
  4. Place the chicken pieces into the pan on top of the onion and garlic.
  5. In a small separate bowl mix together the mustards, honey and additional 2 tsp olive oil.  Pour the mixture over the chicken and move the chicken around to be sure all are coated. Place the rosemary sprigs into the sauce.
  6. Put the lid on the pan and bake for 20 minutes then remove the lid, baste the chicken with the liquid and return the chicken to the oven and cook another 25-30 minutes until it reaches a safe consumption temperature and has browned slightly around the edges.
  7. Place chicken pieces on a plate, tent with foil and set aside.
  8. Over medium heat cook the sauce remaining in the pan until it has reduced to half and is thick. Add the butter and mix it through.
  9. To serve spoon the reduced sauce over the chicken pieces.

Greatly adapted from this recipe at goodlifeeats.com.

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