Chicken and Veggies

4 05 2009

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


First, there’s bacon.


Then there is chicken cooked in bacon grease.


Plus fresh veggies.




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


  • 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)


  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]


Chicken and Pasta Primavera

22 04 2009


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.


Chicken and [Penne] Pasta Primavera

Serves 2!


  • 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


  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.



Hope you enjoy!

Caesar Chicken with Orzo

Serves 2!


  • 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


  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]

Roasted Potato and Leek Salad

8 03 2009


Not a Barefoot Contessa recipe 🙂

I chose this recipe from a magazine because I love potatoes and I love leeks.  There is also a French Vinaigrette to dress the salad which I really liked but WH did not care for much.  Overall it turned out pretty good, even though I had to re-do part of the recipe.


The instructions say to bake the potatoes and leeks together for 20 to 25 minutes, but within 4 or 5 minutes I could smell something burning and the leeks were definitely crispy.  I immediately picked the leeks out of the potatoes.  Luckily I had some leftover leeks and decided to season them and add them when there were about 8 minutes left on the potatoes so that they wouldn’t  burn. I’m not sure if it was my baking sheet, my oven, or what.  I’m glad I fixed the leeks though because it would not have been tasty.


I served the salad over baby spinach which was okay (the recipe calls for arugula which we don’t really like).  I think next time I would leave out the leafy bed altogether.  Recipes for the salad and the vinaigrette follow.



Roasted Potato and Leek Salad

Makes 2 to 3 servings (reduced from 8 to 10 servings so some of the measurements are weird, but you get the idea)


  • 3/4 lb. red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 bunch leeks, sliced (about 1/4 c.)
  • 1/12 c. light olive oil
  • 1/4 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place potatoes on baking sheet.
  4. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing gently to coat.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.  Meanwhile, toss leeks with small amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Add leeks to baking sheet with potatoes.
  7. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are browned and tender.
  8. Remove from oven, and let cool for 30 minutes.
  9. Place potato mixture in a large bowl, and add French Vinaigrette (below), tossing gently to coat.

French Vinaigrette

Makes about 3/4 c.


  • 1/6 c. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallot
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 c. light olive oil


  1. In the container of an electric blender, combine vinegar, shallot, mustard, tarragon, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. With blender running, add oil in a slow, steady stream.

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.]

Parmesan Chicken

5 03 2009


The March issue of Better Homes and Gardens has a section of Ina’s recipes.  A simple and flavorful dish is Parmesan Chicken.  I made it very quickly and without much difficulty.  So tasty!


I substituted chicken breasts with cutlets so that they were already thin.  I also reduced a recipe for 6 to 2 so when it calls for 2 large eggs, I used 2/3 of one egg (beat egg and measure out about 2.5 Tbsp.)

p22404791Parmesan Chicken

Makes 2


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1/6 tsp. pepper
  • 2/3 extra-large egg
  • 1/3 c. seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/6 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • unsalted butter
  • olive oil
  • salad greens (I used baby spinach)
  • Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)


  1. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate.
  2. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1/3 Tbsp. of water.
  3. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Coat chicken breasts on both sides with flour mixture, then dip both sides into egg mixture and dredge both sides in bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.
  5. Heat 1/2 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saute pan and cook  chicken cutlets on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
  6. Toss the salad greens with Lemon Vinaigrette.
  7. Place a mound of salad on each chicken cutlet and serve with extra Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette


  • 1/8 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Source [BHG]

Garlic Chicken and Vegetable Pouches

19 01 2009


Happy MLK Day!  If you are like me and don’t have to work today, count yourself lucky.  WH is at work, but I at least get to have lunch with him.  Something we really miss now that I work 30 minutes away.

Here’s an easy dish I found at  I was planning this week’s menu and, as I said, looking for easy and quick dishes that required minimal thought.  I wanted a chicken dish, and since I love Mrs. Dash seasonings, I searched the site.


The dish I found is very easy and the clean up is so simple (WH was happy).  It’s a chicken and vegetable dish you cook in a pouch of aluminum foil or parchment paper.  My chicken took longer to cook than the recipe said because I had larger chicken pieces.  The dressing also came out very thin and runny, and that may have been because of a prolonged cooking time.  But the chicken ended up being nicely cooked as were the vegetables.  Not too squishy, just enough crunch left.  This recipe would be really good with a side of white rice.


Definitely a quick dinner when you don’t want to think too much about what you are doing.  Warning: the bottled marinade called for is very zesty.  Definitely stick to the amount listed and don’t add extra (like I did) unless you like a lot of kick.


Garlic Chicken and Vegetable Pouches

Serves 2


  • 2 4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 6 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Zesty Garlic Herb 10-Minute Marinade
  • 2 pieces of heavy duty foil or parchment


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Arrange one chicken breast in the middle of each piece of foil or parchment.
  3. Place 1/2 of the vegetables on top of each chicken breast.
  4. Bring sides of pouch up around chicken and add 3 Tbsp. Marinade to each pouch, making sure to coat chicken and vegetables.
  5. Wrap pouch loosely around mixture and seal edges carefully with double fold.
  6. Cook pouches for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

20 11 2008


As much as I hate to admit it, I have a special place in my cooking heart (is that my stomach?) for all things Rachel Ray.  Like I’ve said before, her recipes make me feel like a crazy person rushing around the kitchen yelling “EVOO” and “YUM-O” while attempting to do something that might look like cooking, if you squint real hard.  Ah, Rachel Ray, why must you challenge me so?  Why can’t you try writing some recipes that can be prepared slowly and calmly, so that cooking can be a soothing and relaxing experience?  Perhaps I need to try following her recipes after drinking a few energy drinks?  No,  I won’t be trying that strategy so it seems I’ll just continue to torture myself with her 30-minute meal recipes that usually taste fabulous (when I can keep from ruining them).


I own 2 Rachel Ray cookbooks and they used to be the only place that I really looked for her recipes (you know, when I was feeling cocky and obviously needed a recipe to knock me down a couple [hundred] pegs in the kitchen).  But then there’s her magazine.  A magazine that calls to me from the grocery store check out line: “Amy, look through my glossy pages filled with delicious looking food that will taste YUM-O.  Skim the recipes that could be just as easy as they claim.  Put me on the belt with your assorted pastas and EVOO.  Take me home with you so you can read my articles and be tempted by my recipes…”  I just can’t resist the calling of that magazine.  As much as I try to ignore it, I have to have it.  It’s just pretty and there is that section about food bloopers where regular people mess up recipes and stuff and it’s funny…  Oh, Rachel Ray, you will be the end of me in the kitchen!


In fact, I almost swore off all Rachel Ray recipes for good, somewhere around the 30 minute mark when I realized I was no where near the table.  I was still working on the turkey and gravy part of the recipe and hadn’t even started the salad part.  On the table in 30 minutes,  my foot.


There are two things that saved Rachel Ray from being banned from my kitchen:

1-The dinner ended up being absolutely, freaking delicious.

2-WH, my cooking salvation.

When I realized I was not going to finish the dinner before the year ended, I sweetly* asked WH if he wouldn’t mind lending me a hand by chopping and prepping and basically making the entire salad.  He obliged and dinner was saved.

*in this instance, “sweetly” means I was whining

imgp2281As the title says, this was definitely a pre-Thanksgiving feast.  It had turkey and gravy (plus I made some roasted potatoes which you can read about in a later post.  Yes, I added another component to Rachel Ray’s already ridiculously complicated recipe.  I just realized I might be a self-saboteur.   Hmmm…


Moral of the story: Rachel Ray is worth it if you can keep yourself from losing your mind and you can ignore the onslaught of “EVOO” references.  I promise.

imgp2288Turkey Cutlets with Herb Gravy

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • 2 turkey breast cutlets
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. half-and-half
  • 1/4 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. fresh, loosely packed herb leaves (such as tarragon, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary) – we used tarragon, thyme and rosemary

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Season turkey cutlets with salt and pepper.
  2. Place some flour on a plate.  In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with the half-and-half.
  3. On a sheet of wax paper combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and poultry seasoning.
  4. Coat each cutlet with flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 1/8 c. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the turkey, turning once, until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter.
  7. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  8. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. flour on top and cook for 1 minute.
  10. Whisk in the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 30 seconds.
  11. Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. Stir in the herbs and lower the heat to keep warm.
  14. To serve, ladle the gravy onto 2 dinner plates; top each with a turkey cutlet.

Celery-Apple Salad

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon + 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. golden delicious or gala apple, cored & sliced – we used a gala
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 c. baby spinach (or arugula)

What to do with that stuff:

  1. In a salad bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, mustard.
  2. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the apple, celery and baby spinach. Toss to coat.

Source [11] November 2008