Chicken and Veggies

4 05 2009

ATTENTION!!!!  This is one of my favorite new recipes to date!!!

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First, there’s bacon.

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Then there is chicken cooked in bacon grease.

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Plus fresh veggies.

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HEAVEN.

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Just the Two of Us is one of the best cookbook purchases I’ve ever made.  This dish was quick, easy and so delicious, I don’t have words to describe it.  WH wants it on the “rotation”.  I want it every night.  DONE.

Easy Chicken and Garden Veggies

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 chicken breasts (we used 1)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt (I have garlic powder and added some salt)
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 4 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and left whole
  • 1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium plum (Roma) tomato, cut lengthwise in half then sliced
  • 1/4 c. Italian dressing (or balsamic vinaigrette)

Cook

  1. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until crisp.
  2. Remove bacon and keep warm.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Place chicken in skillet and cook 3 to 5 minutes until browned on both sides.
  5. Discard excess bacon grease.
  6. Add water and green beans to skillet.
  7. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 8 minutes.
  8. Stir in bell pepper.
  9. Cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally.
  10. Cook until chicken is done.
  11. Stir in tomato and dressing until heated through.
  12. Top with bacon.
  13. Serve with rice if you like.

Source [19]





Grilled Chicken and Crazy Rice – Part 2

30 04 2009

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You received the recipe for Crazy Rice yesterday, now here’s Part 2!  The Grilled Chicken recipe also comes from My Italian Grandmother and is originally called Grilled Lemon Chicken.  I did not experience the true lemon flavor as much as I did the herbs because I forgot to zest the lemon… so if you want it really lemony, make sure you zest!  This chicken is easy to prep and grill in a grill pan, although it does need to marinate for about one hour.

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The only problem I ran into was with my herb application.  I’ve been using these herb blends, which are like herb paste in a tube.  See:imgp2836imgp2835

The herb blends are super flavorful and quick, but when grilling the chicken, the excess burned very easily.  There was still plenty of flavor on the grilled chicken, but I had to pick off a lot of burnt herbs as I cooked.  Not the most appetizing looking stuff.

Grilled Chicken

[only slightly adapted from My Italian Grandmother]

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 chicken tenderloins (or chicken cutlets)
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • small clove of minced garlic
  • 1/8 c. parsley blend paste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning blend paste
  • 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Table Blend
  • salt and pepper

Cook

  1. Combine lemon juice and zes, garlic, parsley, olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Add chicken and coat each piece well.
  3. Let marinate for one hour.
  4. Heat grill pan and drizzle with oil or cooking spray.
  5. Cook chicken on both sides until cooked through.
  6. Chicken can be served whole or chunked and added to the Crazy Rice.




Grilled Chicken with Crazy Rice – Part 1

29 04 2009

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Um, this dish is good.  REALLY good.  Trust me.  I would never lie to you.

I recently came across another new blog called My Italian Grandmother.  Here’s how the blogger, Michele, describes her content:

“This blog is a tribute to my Italian Grandmother Emilia who everyone called Nanny…whether she was theirs or not. Nanny passed away at the age of 98. This is my attempt to keep her memory alive, through stories, recipes and photos. She certainly passed along her love of cooking to me and I will share recipes and stories (inspired by her and others) with you here.”

I love the concept and I’ve bookmarked several recipes from her blog.   The other night I had the opportunity to try one out. As the weather gets warmer (or flipping hot if you are not used to SC heat), I am drawn to dishes with lots of fresh veggies.  This one really caught my eye and it turned out absolutely delicious.

In Part 1 I’ll tell you how to make this Crazy Rice which you could pair with many other things.  The way that WH and I eat, it could be it’s own meal.

imgp2840Michele’s original recipe calls for brown rice, but I used white as it’s what we typically have on hand.  Michele’s recipe is also made to serve probably 4 to 6, but I halved everything.  The basic gist is chopping up lots of fresh veggies, including Campari tomatoes (which are SO GOOD.  First time eating this specific tomato and it’s the best I’ve ever had!).  Anyway, you chop them up and saute/cook veggies then add wine and reduce.  Stir in the cooked rice and you’re ready to go!

Crazy Rice

[only slightly adapted from My Italian Grandmother]

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 boil-n-bag rice (or whatever rice)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 to 5 small Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/8 c. diced red bell pepper
  • splash of dry white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 c. parsley herb blend (from a tube)

Cook

  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in skillet and saute onions, peppers, and garlic in oil.
  3. Once soft, add zucchini and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomoatoes and cook down, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add wine and reduce.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.
  7. Add cooked rice and toss with vegetable mixture.
  8. Note: If you use a fair amount of oil in the beginning and/or wine and/or tomatoes, it should not be dry.  If it is, Michele suggests adding more oil.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll share my version of the chicken recipe!





Chicken and Pasta Primavera

22 04 2009

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I would pay for this dish in a restaurant.  It was sooooo delicious.  It is light and flavorful and easy.  And the portions turned out perfect — no leftovers!

I want to make this every night.  Seriously.  It’s that good.  Just make it and eat it and enjoy it.

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Chicken and [Penne] Pasta Primavera

Serves 2!

Ingredients

  • 1 c. uncooked [penne] pasta (I used corkscrews)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 1 large breast)
  • 1/2 c. sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 c. sliced yellow squash
  • 1/2 c. 2-inch pieces asparagus
  • 1/4 c. Italian dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves (I used a basil “paste” from the store — worked fine)
  • 3 Tbsp. shredded parm
  • pepper

Cook

  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed, without salt.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook chicken in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in zucchini, squash, and asparagus.
  5. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are crisp tender.
  6. Stir pasta into chicken mixture.
  7. Stir in dressing and basil.
  8. Heat through.
  9. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Source [19]





Caesar Chicken with Orzo

21 04 2009

Sorry I have been a little MIA lately — this house business took up a lot of my time and energy last week.  I’ve started making more repeat dinners and even doing things like hot dogs and mac and cheese from a box.  As much as I love cooking and making fresh dishes, it is nice to have a break every now and again.  Plus some of that stuff (herb&butter rice, baked beans from a can, frozen tater tots — yum!) really pulls at my heart and reminds me of some of the stuff I ate as a child.

cookin da orzo

cookin da orzo

I got back into my groove a bit though, when I bought those new cookbooks.  Here’s another recipe from Just the 2 of Us.  I liked this dish — it was quick and easy.  I’m not sure we really got the taste of Caesar dressing , but it was still tasty.  We chunked the chicken instead of keeping it whole because that’s how we roll.

My only issue is that a few of the directions were a little unclear.  The dish still came out fine, but I wasn’t sure what had been messed up.  Basically, after cooking the chicken and removing from the pan (steps 2 & 3), you add water and broth to cook the orzo (steps 4 – 7).  By the time 8 minutes had passed, most of the liquid was absorbed by the pasta.  So when I got to steps 10 & 11, there wasn’t any liquid to bring to a boil/simmer.  I added a couple more splashes of chicken broth, but it didn’t last very long.  Maybe my heat was too high or I shouldn’t have cooked the orzo so long.  Who knows.  At least it was still good.

yummy

yummy

Hope you enjoy!

Caesar Chicken with Orzo

Serves 2!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used 1 large breast)
  • 1 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. uncooked orzo
  • 1/2 bag (1 lb. size) frozen broccoli florets (I used half a lb. of fresh florets and it worked fine)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 tsp. Caesar dressing
  • pepper

Cook

  1. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook chicken in oil until brown on both sides.
  3. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
  4. Add broth and water to hot skillet.
  5. Heat to boiling.
  6. Stir in pasta and heat to boiling.
  7. Cook uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Stir in broccoli, bell pepper and dressing.
  9. Add chicken to pasta mixture and sprinkle with pepper.
  10. Heat to boiling then reduce heat.
  11. Simmer uncovered about 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through.

Source [19]





Chicken Mozzarella

8 04 2009

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This is just something I tried from a cookbook the other night.  Very simple to make and doesn’t take long at all.  I had to cook mine longer than the recipe instructs because my chicken pieces were thicker.  This made the sauce fall apart a little bit but it was still very tasty.  This comes from a cookbook that uses about 5 or 6 ingredients or less in each recipe.  Fabulously easy.

Chicken Mozzarella

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning OR dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 & 1/2 c. cooked pasta with salt (about 1 & 1/2 c. uncooked)

Cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place chicken in shallow baking dish.
  3. Mix soup, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  4. Spoon over chicken and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over chicken.
  6. Remove chicken, stir sauce, and serve over pasta.

Source [7]





Buffalo Chicken Burgers

6 04 2009

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As far as burgers go, I’m pretty much a regular beef patty and cheese kind of girl.  Ketchup only.  Every now and then I’ll put some mayo, lettuce, and tomato on there.  But for the most part, plain and simple wins every time.

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When I saw this recipe for Chicken burgers, I was intrigued.  Although I’m far from a “healthy” eater, every now and then I try.  Chicken burger just sounded healthier than beef.  WH gave it the okay and I tried it out a few weeks ago.

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Aside from the patties being a little to large for me, the overall outcome was very surprising and very good.  WH doesn’t like wing sauce very much so I got a milder sauce.  We both decided that next time I could go with a spicier or hotter sauce since it didn’t come through as much as we would have liked.

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And on a random note: we totally forgot to top with swiss cheese.  I bought it and everything.  We just forgot.  Still good though!

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Makes 3 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs (original calls for panko)
  • 1/4 c. minced celery
  • 1/6 c. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. minced green onions
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. mayonaisse
  • 1/8 c. hot wing sauce
  • 3 buns or rolls (original calls for English muffins)
  • 3 slices leaf lettuce
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 3 slices swiss cheese — don’t forget!!

Cook:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, bread crumbs, celery, blue cheese, green onion and salt.
  2. Shape mixture into 3 patties.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (we used the George Foreman).
  4. If using outdoor grill, spray grill with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray.
  5. Grill, 3 to 4 minutes per side (if using George Foreman type) OR grill covered with grill lid for 7 to 8 minutes per side on outdoor grill.  Instant read thermometer should read 165F.
  6. In a small bowl, combine mayo and wing sauce.
  7. Spread mayo mixture over bottom halves of rolls/buns.
  8. Top each with lettuce, tomato, chicken patty, and cheese.
  9. Top with additional mayo mixture if desired.

Source: [Sadly, I ripped this out of a magainze that doesn’t have a tag line at the bottom and I threw the magazine away and I don’t know what it was called.  If I figure it out, I will let you know.]