Tag Archive: Chicken


I bought some Hidden Valley Lime Cilantro Ranch dressing that was not a hit.  It languished in my fridge not appealing to anyone.  Imagine my surprise that a dish made for tonight’s dinner transported that off-the-mark dressing into an amazing marinade!  I came home from the market with some bone-in chicken thighs, wondering what marinade to create.  I took the Hidden Valley dressing and, since there was not quite enough of it to coat all the thighs, mixed it with a little balsamic vinaigrette I had on hand, and the result was one of the most delicious chicken dishes we’ve had in a while!

Lime Cilantro Ranch Chicken Thighs

8 Chicken Thighs

1/2 c. cilantro lime ranch dressing

1/2 c. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine dressings and pour over thighs.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight or freeze for future use.

Bake in 425F oven for 45 minutes.

I cooked baked potatoes next to the chicken, and put in the broccoli and squash for the last 20 minutes.  Yum Yum Yum.

There was a bit of juice left from cooking the chicken.  I saved it and am using it to make tomorrow’s chili by cooking the meat and veggies in it for the cilantro lime flavorings.  It smells amazing and hopefully will be perfect!

 

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I had some frozen crispy breaded chicken breasts on hand and decided to make chicken and biscuits.  We all love the banh mi style veggies, so I was inspired to fuse a southern classic of chicken on biscuits, and top it with sriracha aioli and banh mi pickled veggies.  The result was better than I could have imagined!  I baked the biscuits first, and then baked the frozen chicken patties and cubed potatoes tossed with oil, salt and pepper.  All was done at the same time and was yummy.  I made the banh mi veggies before work this morning, so they would be ready for tonight’s dinner.  We’ll do this again!

Banh mi fusion

Banh Mi Style Veggies:

1 hothouse cucumber, sliced thinly

1 bag carrot matchsticks

1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. water

1 c. vinegar (I used white vinegar, but rice wine vinegar is better)

Heat sugar, water and vinegar until sugar dissolves.

Pour over veggies and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  This gets better every day and is amazing on sandwiches, salads, and as a crunchy topping for most anything!

 

General Tso Chicken

Still on my Asian kick. Tonight’s super easy dinner was also yummy!  Boneless chicken breast baked in General Tso sauce while veggies cooked on the stovetop and rice cooked in the rice cooker.

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For the sauce (most jarred sauce have tomatoes so are a no-no for me):

2 Tbsp. oil

6 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. minced ginger

1 c. sugar

3/4 c. soy sauce

1/2 c. rice wine vinegar

1/2 chicken stock

Cook garlic and ginger until fragrant.  Add in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until slightly thickened.  Pour over boneless chicken breasts and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Bake 350F 40- 45 minutes meanwhile cooking rice and sauteeing stir fry vegetables.  I used chop salad, my go to for stir fry.

When chicken is done, cut into bite size pieces and toss in sauce.  Add rice to sauteed stir fry.  Serve chicken over rice.

 

 

I’ve been fighting a cold, and with Thanksgiving coming up, don’t want to wear myself down with meals requiring a lot of prep.  This meal definitely fits the bill of a meal that practically makes itself!

I was watching the television show Sunday Morning yesterday, and there happened to be an interview with the daughter of the man who invented the crock pot!  He was named Irving Naxon and he invented it in 1936, perfecting it to a “Beanery” by 1940, for the purpose of cooking a Jewish bean stew called cholent.   In the days before Naxon’s invention, they would heat the oven and place a dutch oven in it, so that they could turn off the oven during the Sabbath and have a meal ready to go that had cooked in the residual heat of the oven.  Rival bought the rights to his invention in the early 70’s.  Thank you Irving Naxon for making our lives easier!

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8 Skinless bone in chicken thighs

1/2 bottle Italian dressing (I used Drew’s – lower sodium and less sugar than most)

1 can low sodium Cannelloni Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Package frozen Swiss chard (I used Cascadian Farms)

1/2 c. seasoned Panko bread crumbs

Rice cooked in the rice cooker.

I pour the dressing over the chicken as soon as I get it from the market.  Sometimes I refrigerate it.  Sometimes I freeze it and then thaw it in the refrigerator (which takes longer than you think, depending on how you pack it in the tupperware).  This batch was laid out in a single layer, so it took about a day and a half to defrost in the fridge.  This way the marinade really flavors it well.

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Put chicken in the crock pot on low for 7-8 hours, until it’s literally falling off the bones.  Remove the bones using tongs, being sure to pick out those pesky knuckles too.  Shredding up the meat as you go along.  It’s a good idea to have a count on how many pieces there are, so you don’t miss any of the bones.

At this point, put on the rice cooker with rice of choice.  I had some yellow rice on hand, so I used it, and it was delicious with this.

Back to the crock pot – add in beans, and chard.  cook on high for about 10 minutes.  Add in bread crumbs to thicken, and place a paper towel under the crock pot lit to help absorb some of the moisture from the frozen chard, and cook until rice is done.

When the rice was done, not everyone was ready to eat, so I pulled the chicken aside in my crock and put the rice in with it, and set it to warm.  That way everyone could decide on their own rice/chicken ratio and eat at their own leisure.

Obviously, the variations are as voluminous as there are bottled dressings on the shelf!  Also, black beans and garbanzos work well.  Kale in the place of chard?  Add ins of onion, mushrooms, carrots, squash, etc.  You get the idea!  Great use of leftovers.  Eat it over noodles or quinoa instead of rice.  The list of what can be made this way is endless.

I’m thinking of trying a ginger miso inspired version of this and stir fry veggies for an Asian flair!

 

I can’t remember the last time we had acorn squash.  It was on sale the other day, and I decided to give it a try.  I simply roasted it in the oven with a little oil, salt, and pepper (ceramic dishes are reportedly better than metal).  We loved it so much, the kids want to have some for Thanksgiving.  I will try mashing it with some garlic.  It’s so sweet, even though many of the recipes I found called for adding sugar, it doesn’t need it one bit!  I can’t wait to try it lots of different ways.  My new favorite squash!  It reminded us of sweet potatoes, but creamy and nutty.  Really yummy!

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10 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/2 c. sesame ginger dressing (I used Olde Cape Cod – makes a wicked marinade alone)

1/2 c. kimchi (I used wildbrine – I love this stuff)

1 large acorn squash

Oil for tossing acorn squash (I used grapeseed sunflower blend)

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine dressing and kimchi, and marinade chicken thighs at least 30 minutes (mine marinated overnight)

Cut acorn squash into wedges or slices and toss with oil, salt and pepper.

Place chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish.

Place squash in 13 x 9 baking dish.

Bake at 375F for 45 minutes.

I made some Minute multi-grain medley on the stovetop while the chicken and squash cooked in the oven.

 

I confess!  In the interest of saving money, I’ve been shopping at Lucky’s and other stores promising good quality organic boneless chicken at lower prices than Fresh Market.  This Little Big Meal offer called out to me, so I decided to splurge.  Guess what?  There really is a difference in the taste and texture.  I will start shopping the Tuesday sale again religiously in the interest of better tasting chicken!  This meal was super easy.  The website said to fry the chicken up in a skillet with a little oil.  Besides the fact that the thought of standing over a hot stove frying chicken didn’t appeal to me, it also sounded a bit greasy.  I opted for a baked method and the results were amazing.  I am on board every time they run this Little Big Meal deal.

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1 Little Big Meal – which includes:

4 large butterflied chicken breasts with light breading

1 jar sauce (the LBM deal was for a brand called Lucini, but they were out – I chose Cucina Artica fresh spinach cooking sauce – very good straight from the jar, but I always taste and doctor it up)

1 pack Fresh Market shredded Mozzarella cheese

My add ins:  sherry, butter, and jarred pesto sauce for sauce, bread, butter, oil, and pesto sauce mix for the garlic bread, and shredded 6 Italian cheese for on top.

1 box DeCecco pasta (I chose cavatappi)  FYI DeCecco won the blind taste test on America’s Test Kitchen as best tasting pasta.

1 package chop salad (again they were out of what it was supposed to be, so I got baby lettuce to make myself lunches for salad this week)

I also made some garlic bread from wonderful sourdough rolls I picked up at their bakery.

  1.  Line baking sheet with foil and brush with oil (I use a grapeseed sunflower blend).
  2. Place chicken pieces on sheet and drizzle with oil.  By the way, the picture is 1/2 of one of the chicken pieces, so it’s a lot of chicken.
  3. Bake at 400 F, setting the timer for 10 minutes to rotate pan and check for even cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and heat sauce in pan.  I doctored the sauce with a couple splashes of sherry.
  5. Chicken will be golden around the edges after about 25-30 minutes total cooking time.  Remove from oven and spoon sauce over the pieces, reserving the remaining sauce to mix with the cooked pasta.  After adding the pasta to the sauce, I added in 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. pesto.
  6. Top chicken pieces with shredded cheese.  I had a little 6 cheese Italian on hand, so I used that and some of the Mozzarella.
  7. Return to oven and allow cheese to melt.
  8. For the garlic bread, I mixed melted butter, oil, and Knorr creamy pesto mix and dipped the pieces of bread in it, and baked them first on the lower rack, and then switching out with the chicken towards the end.

The Little Big Meal sells for $20.00 and is supposed to feed four.  We have some leftovers, so the kids are happy!  It’s a lot of food.  I also opted not to make a salad to go with, opting to use it for my lunches instead.  I did purchase the rolls to make the garlic bread for an additional $4.00 investment in the meal.

All in all a success and a great reminder of why the Fresh Market chicken is worth spending a little more!

 

 

I love stuffed chicken!  I used to shy away from making it because the filling tends to leak out.  Turns out, it’s yummy and pretty anyhow.

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2 1/2 lb. Boneless Chicken Breasts (Cut into 8 cutlets and pounded thin)

1 pouch Sesame Stir Fry Sauce (any sauce will do!)

4 oz. goat cheese

1/2 package broccoli florets, steamed

3 packages Pereg Coucous with Pumpkin Seeds

1 Can garbanzo beans

Preheat oven to 350F.  Top each cutlet with goat cheese and broccoli.

Put a little sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.

Roll up cutlets and place seam side down in baking dish.

Top with remaining sauce.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Couscous according to package directions.  Add in broccoli and garbanzo beans before serving.

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8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle S & F Caribbean Mango marinade

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I’m hooked on the S & F Chef Sauce line they carry at my local market.  So many great flavors.  Sometimes I doctor them up by adding in fresh ingredients.  Sometimes not.  Straight from the bottle, with no doctoring, we loved this one!  I marinate and freeze the chicken in the sauce, and then defrost in the fridge and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  The dijon mustard and cayenne in this sauce give it a nice kick.

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4 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 pouches Frontera Fajita sauce

Yellow Rice, cooked according to directions

2 cans low sodium black beans, drained

1 package frozen seasoning vegetables

Marinade chicken in sauce at least 30 minutes.

Bake at 350F 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

Meanwhile cook rice in rice cooker.

Cook seasoning vegetables in a little olive oil until softened.  Add in beans and heat over low until chicken is done.

Frontera is Rick Bayless’ brand.  This is the second product I have tried, and I am sold on his ability to create amazing flavors.  Everyone agreed that the chicken was delicious.  I am running to my local grocery store tomorrow to stock up while the Frontera sauces are on a BOGO deal.

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I wish I was kidding about this being mystery chicken.  I was lazy about labeling chicken one day and put the containers in the freezer.  It’s anybody’s guess what sauce it is.  I actually think it was Allegro Vintage Raspberry Chipotle Marinade.

I like to freeze chicken in the marinade.  That way while it’s freezing and while it’s defrosting, the marinade is doing it’s magic.

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I baked the chicken at 350F for 35-40 minutes (to an internal temp of 165F) and then chopped it up into bite size pieces.

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I was lazy about sides, though.  I tried Birds Eye Protein Blends.  This one is Asian style.  I added chicken broth instead of water and cooked it on the stove top while the chicken baked.

I topped it off with a salad that is another convenience food.  It’s a kit:

kale-chopped-salad

Perfection!!

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