Lone Star Chicken Spaghetti

Maybe I live in the wrong part of the country or don’t pay attention to enough of what goes on in Texas but I’d never heard of ‘chicken spaghetti’ before I saw this recipe on Maeghan‘s blog.  Which is ironic because she had never heard of it either until she came across it in a cookbook, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table. Well she made it and was nice enough to post the recipe. I’m glad she shared it because it’s DELICIOUS!!!  A sort of spaghetti and cheese with some Tex-Mex flavors and chicken.  Um, yes please.

Perhaps you’ve never heard of it either.  Well-today’s your lucky day because this is one super-tasty, easy to make, cheesy dish. It has a hint of heat-just right for the dish if you ask me and I like spicy, but with the chicken and cheese I didn’t want overpowering hotness.

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Lone Star Chicken Spaghetti

Ingredients:

  • 8 ozs spaghetti
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1&1/2 tbsp light butter (for panko #3 below)
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 2 tbsp light unsalted butter (for cheese sauce #5 below)
  • 2 tbsp AP flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups freshly grated light sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups freshly grated light monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, and a bit more for garnish
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces.

Instructions:

  1. Turn on broiler and move top oven rack so that it’s about 6 inches from the broiler.  Arrange tomatoes and jalapenos skin side up in one layer on a foil lined baking sheet along with the onions and garlic. Broil for 5-7 minutes until skin blisters. Remove and let cool.  Reduce heat to 350F.
  2. Cook spaghetti until it’s al dente in a pot of lightly salted water. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. While the spaghetti is cooking place butter in a small sauce pan and melt. Add the panko and toast until just golden brown. Set aside.
  4. Spray a dutch oven with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in a deep sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour until well combined and slightly browned-about 30-45 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens and will coat the back of a spoon, 3-5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in most of the cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time, leaving a small bit of both aside for later.
  6. Put the chicken, spaghetti, roasted vegetables and pepper, herbs and spices and lime juice to the waiting dutch oven and stir to mix evenly. Pour the cheese sauce over and stir to evenly combine. Sprinkle the reserved grated cheese and panko over the top.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling.
  8. Sprinkle with reserved cilantro and serve.

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Yummy bubbling cheese!!

Adapted from The Way to His Heart.

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Baked Chicken with Herb & Parmesan Panko

I’ve made this chicken a few times since I found the recipe I’ve liked it so much. Each time it’s been fast and easy to put together and comes out perfectly done.  You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand.

What a great healthy weeknight dish! Enjoy!!

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Baked Chicken with Herb & Parmesan Panko

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp light butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1&1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped small
  • 1/2 tbsp rosemary, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped small
  • 2 lbs (4 half pound pieces) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a small rimmed baking sheet just large enough to hold the 4 pieces of chicken with parchment paper.  Set it aside.
  3. Spread breadcrumbs out into a wide bowl or dish.  Use a bowl large enough to stir the breadcrumbs around in.
  4. In a small skillet melt the butter, then add the garlic and stir gently for 2 minutes.  Set it aside for a few minutes to cool then pour it over the breadcrumbs in the dish and stir to evenly coat them then stir in the cheese and herbs, stirring again to mix evenly. 
  5. Set the 4 chicken pieces next to each other.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.  Using 1/4th of the dijon for each breast, spread the mustard evenly on the top side of the chicken then press the mustard side into the breadcrumbs. Set the chicken, breadcrumb side up, on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden and juices run clear or a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165.

Adapted from Rachaelrayshow.com’s recipe.

Crispy Baked Cod with Tangy Dill & Pickle Sauce

I’m a sucker for a good piece of fish. When I received my latest issue of Cooking Light and saw Crispy Fish with Lemon-Dill Sauce I knew that I had to make it right away. I changed a few things about it–especially the sauce. That’s why I changed it’s name.

The title didn’t lie. It’s crispy. Really crispy. And that’s a good thing. I chose to make this dish with Cod but you could also use flounder, bass, tilapia etc… It cooks fast and is a really simple dish to put together-great for a fast weeknight meal or, in my case, a great dinner after a busy Saturday of running around.

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Crispy Baked Cod with Tangy Dill & Pickle Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/4 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 4oz skin-less fresh cod filets
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp – mayonnaise (Hellmann’s)
  • 1-2 tbsp finely chopped dill pickle (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat broiler to high.
  2. Place egg white in a shallow dish.  In a 2nd dish combine panko and next 3 ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Spray a broiler pan with cooking spray.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto both sides of fish then dip each fillet in the egg and then roll in panko to coat evenly.  Place fillets on the prepared broiler pan and broil 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Time will depend on fillet size.
  5. While fish is cooking prepare the sauce. Combine the last 4 ingredients in the list above in a small bow, stir and serve on the side with the fish.

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