Tag Archives: chicken breast

I LOVE Chicken Thighs but HE CRAVES Chicken Breast; This ONE Dish works for both! (each dish variation serves 4)

This is a dilemma in my house; myself and my daughter love the leg and thigh of chicken, while my son and husband prefer the breast meat! It is not really a problem when you roast a whole bird, but when you want to make anything else it can turn into a problem.

Chicken baked in a mudhrrom cream sauce and topped with a cheddar dough crust

Chicken baked in a mushroom cream sauce and topped with a cheddar dough crust

One could argue that whatever I serve up for dinner should be eaten with very grateful hearts, and I have certainly gone down this road many times, but other times, when I’m feeling particularly generous, I what to give whomever I am cooking for exactly what they crave.

Two dishes, I method!

Two dishes, one method! (Read all my these super enamel dishes designed by Timo Sarpaneva  HERE!)

This is a fantastic solution and takes no more time than if you made one dish! The idea came to mind when I happen to be cleaning my kitchen and I saw my two identical baking dishes buried under some other pans. They screamed “USE ME!” and so I did, placing chicken thighs in one and chicken breast in the other, thereby satisfying us all without having to fish out the various parts for each plate.

you do have thyme to cook!

The thyme in my garden is still going strong!

This is a recipe you have to try if you are in the mood for true comfort food.

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You will need:

4 tbs olive oil or safflower oil

3 med/lrg chicken breast fillets

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 lbs mushrooms – diced (white or cremini will work equally)

2 medium onions – diced

4 garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped

fresh thyme springs (if large use two, if very small use four)

freshly ground pepper

good quality salt (I used Celtic sea salt and Maldon salt to finish)

2 tbs unsalted butter

2 tbs all-purpose four

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water and 2 good quality bouillon cubes – I recommend Rapunzel brand)

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups peas (this is optional and also if you don’t plan on making some greens to go with this – Frozen peas work great)

Dough Crust:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

several grinds black pepper

1 cup strong cheddar cheese – grated (optional)

8 tbs cold unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

* you will need two dishes – glass baking dish, cast iron, enamel shallow casserole or your favorite pan you use for the oven*

Method:

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Season the chicken with some pepper and salt. Put a saute pan on high heat and when it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned. Do this in batches (in other words: don’t crown the pan or your chicken will steam and not crisp up!). Add more oil as needed. As you finish the chicken place the thighs in the bottom of one baking dish and the chicken in another. *When the chicken breast is cool enough to handle, slice into thick pieces and place back into the dish*

Season and sear the chicken

Season and sear the chicken

2 – Turn heat down to medium/low and add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the diced mushrooms. Turn heat up and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and butter and continue to cook until the mushrooms are nice and soft (about 8 more minutes).

saute onions, garlic, add butter and thyme

saute onions, garlic, add butter and thyme

3 – Add the flour and sir into the mushroom mixture and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth one cup at a time stirring continuously. The mixture will start to thicken and get hot. Add the cream and stir. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy. Taste for addition of salt and pepper and add according to your taste. *Add peas at this time if using*

Add mushrooms, make sauce

Add mushrooms, make sauce

4 – Pour equal amounts of the sauce over each dish and place in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.

divide sauce between the two pans

divide sauce between the two pans

5 – While chicken is cooking make the topping. Put flour along with the other dry ingredients into a big bowl and stir everything together with a whisk. Cut the butter into the flour and knead the butter into the flour until you have a fine rubble. Add the cheese (if using) and toss it in with your hands. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon (work from the outside scraping into the center). Add more milk if there are still dry pockets of flour. The mixture should feel slightly sticky. Set aside until ready to use.

Make dough and top the chicken halfway through cooking

Make dough and top the chicken halfway through cooking

6 – After 20 minutes, take chicken out of the oven and dot the dough over each in irregular mounds. Do this with your hands (it’s the easiest way) Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until the crust in a nice golden brown.

Remove when dough is golden brown and let rest for five minutes before serving

Remove when dough is golden brown and let rest for five minutes before serving

Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or with veggies: boiled carrots and peas, sautéed spinach or other hearty green OR a big green salad!

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AMAZING – Creamy Chipotle Chicken with Rigatoni Pasta (serves 4-6)

This past Friday night I did not know what I was going to make for dinner. However, I did know it had to include chicken fillets and kale as these were the only two real ingredients left in my kitchen. This is where my trusty pantry staples and creativity would have to kick in as I wasn’t really in the mood for boring old chicken breast and kale!

This Chipotle-Laced pasta dish was a delicious surprise!

This Chipotle-Laced pasta dish was a delicious surprise!

I came up with an unlikely combination, and it turned out to be one of those dishes that was an instant hit. I had a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks and decided they either needed to be thrown away soon or used in this dinner. I opted for the latter and added them to my sauce with some cream (to cut the heat) and it was the perfect combination.

A Wonderful Pantry Item!

A Wonderful Pantry Item!

If you don’t know what chipotle pepper in adobo is, you can click here to find out more. But basically, it is a smoked jalapeno pepper that has been stewed and then left to marinate in the stewing liquid. The sauce is made up of a combo of different spices like other peppers, oregano and cumin with tomatoes, garlic and vinegar. The whole thing is canned and the peppers continue to marinate until they are used. It is hard to use a whole can at one time but they keep forever in the fridge which is why I had them on hand and used them in experimental desperation!

What's in the can!

What’s in the can!

The kale could have been a harsh veggie for this dish, but finely chopping it and cooking it down made it work very well with my big pasta noodles. Everyone knows chicken breast is a bit like tofu; you have to work with it to make it taste good. I think immersing it in this lovely smokey sauce did wonders to improve its flavor.

Tuscan Kale

Tuscan Kale (also called dinosaur kale)

I had no idea it would be this good and when I was told I had better have  recorded this recipe, I had to scramble for a piece of paper and write it down before it left my sieve for a head forever. Here it is, and I hope you give it a try!

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You will need:

2 or 3 tbls olive oil

4 boneless chicken breast fillets

1 onion – diced (any onion you have)

3 garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 bunch Kale – finely chopped (whatever is available in your supermarket or green grocer)

2 chipotle peppers with 1 or 2 tbs of adobo sauce (depending on how much heat you like) – Chopped

1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth

3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

1 lb Rigatoni Pasta or other large pasta (I use Barilla brand)

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Put heavy saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbs of olive oil. When it is hot, season the chicken lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.

season, then sear chicken

season, then sear chicken

2 – Turn heat down to medium and add the onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. You may need to add another tbs of oil. Add cilantro and chopped kale and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce and mix together.

saute onions, add seasonings

saute onions, add seasonings

3 – Add broth and stir and bring to a boil. Add the cream and chicken. When it boils, turn heat off and place lid on pan. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.

*Put the water on for the pasta and cook pasta according to instructions. Time the pasta to be cooked when the chicken is cooked and sliced and back in the sauce (step 4). Do not rinse the pasta with cold water. When it is drained it should immediately go into the cooked sauce. Reserve some cooked pasta water in case you need it later in the finished dish.

Slice Chicken

Slice Chicken

4 – Remove from oven and slice the chicken. Put chicken back into the sauce and add the drained hot pasta. Stir and adjust seasoning if necessary. You may also want to add more cream of some hot pasta water if you want to loosen the sauce to your liking.

Add pasta and adjust seasoning

Add pasta and adjust seasoning

Serve in shallow warmed bowls or plates.

Simple Lemon Chicken with Zero Talent Required! (serves 6 – 8)

 It will take more time to read this recipe than it will take you to prepare this dinner – I’m dead serious! It is dinners like this that have saved me from ordering take-out many an evening and I suggest that you add this to your repertoire.

Fast Lemon Chicken

Fast Lemon Chicken

I made this last night because right when I should have been making dinner I had to pick my kids up from their grandmother’s house. How was I going to make dinner and have it ready when they got home if I was the one picking them up?

Easy: I put this together in 5 minutes, popped it into the oven and it was ready when we got home. It was so lovely to walk into the house and smell the wonderful aroma of roasting chicken.

The lemon and herbs in this dish made the flavor happen magically and it tasted like a dish that I had labored over  – I’ll never tell!

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*This is a Great Blood Type A Diet recipe, just omit the black pepper and pepper flakes if you are strict*

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (that means, no skin and de-boned. They are sometimes called thigh oysters)

2 chicken breast fillets, cut in half lengthways

sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper flakes for seasoning

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 large sweet onion, halved, then sliced thinly

1 cup baby carrots (if very small leave them whole, if larger quarter them lengthways giving you “skinny sticks”)

1 sprig rosemary (about 3 inches)

4 sprigs thyme

1 lemon, quartered

3 cups chicken broth

Method:

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Prep veggies and season meat with salt and  pepper.

2 – Scatter onions, carrots, rosemary, thyme, and lemon in bottom of pan, roasting dish or baking tray. Add the broth. Place chicken breast on top in 4 completely separate spots. Lay one of the chicken things on top of each of the breast pieces and the rest of the things in-between.

3 – Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper flakes over the chicken (if using) and drizzle the entire dish with the oil.

4 – Place in your preheated oven for 40 minutes.

DONE!

DONE!

Remove from oven and remove the lemons and herbs. Serve with anything you like: pasta, rice, bread, boiled potatoes or a salad.

An A+ Soup with Chinese Noodles (chicken, spinach, lime) – Serves 8

I got home at 7pm last night and we were eating this soup in 45 minutes (granted I worked in the kitchen like a speed demon!). This was another case of knowing I would be home late but not wanted to waste money ordering out (not to mention the food wouldn’t be as good and all of that paper and plastic waste from containers, utensils and napkins!).

A+ Soup

A+ Soup

This is an amazing meal and satisfies all kinds of hunger, from the person who wants lots of food to the person who has a longing for something restorative and healing (like my daughter who was getting over a tummy bug).

A few ingredients made this dish stand out for me: lime juice, thin vegetable-laden broth and the addition of fresh Chinese-Style noodles (below).

These Chinese Style Noodles worked great with this soup

These Chinese Style Noodles worked great with this soup

I try my best to keep fresh wonton skins, egg-roll wrappers or these noodles in my fridge. They can be found in the cold fridge in the veggie section of most supermarkets. They are fresh, floury, light, and delicious for all kinds of dishes. They have an expiration date so I always grab a packet from the back with the longest expiry date. Last night they were the perfect thing to bolster the thin broth.

If you decide to make this, and have some leftover, keep the noodles in a container separate from the soup and add to the reheated soup cold, (the residual heat will warm them up nicely). At least that is what my plan is for lunch today!

Just wanted to show you more of what is growing in my garden at the monent: lovely chives

Just wanted to show you more of what is growing in my garden at the moment: lovely chives (they would also make a great garnish for this soup)

* This is a very good Blood Type A Diet recipe. if you are very strict or a sensitive “A” omit the cayenne pepper flakes*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb chicken breast, very thinly sliced

1 medium onion (sweet or yellow)

2 celery ribs, including leaves, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 sprig fresh rosemary (left whole)

1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

1 bunch scallions, including green part (green onions), sliced

10 or so medium shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced

4 cups baby spinach leaves (or regular spinach – chopped)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

10 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 12 good quality bouillon cube and water)

juice of 1 lime (or about 3 tbs)

sea-salt to taste

Method:

1 – Put large soup pot on medium heat and add the oil. when it has warmed, add the onions, garlic and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper flakes.

Saute onions and celery, add chili flakes

Saute onions and celery, add chili flakes

2 – Add the carrots and rosemary and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

Add carrots and rosemary

Add carrots and rosemary

3 – Next add the sliced mushrooms and scallions and continue to cook for another 3 or so minutes.

add mushrooms and scallions

Add mushrooms and scallions

4 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon cube) and turn heat to high. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the chicken and stir.

add liquid, then chicken

Add liquid, then chicken

5 – Add the spinach leaves (or chopped spinach) and bring back to a boil. When it begins to boil, turn the heat down and bring soup to a slight simmer. Cover with lid and simmer for about 12 minutes. Turn heat off and add the lime juice. Taste for addition of salt or pepper. Stir and replace lid. Let the soup sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Add spinach

Add spinach

6 – While the soup is sitting put a big pot of water on to boil (boils faster with a lid!) and when it is boiling cook fresh noodles according to instructions. Drain and rinse well with cold water and set aside.

*this brand says it takes 3 minutes to cook, but I found they were cooked in 2 minutes. I’d advise checking the noodles earlier than the cooking time stated in the instructions*

Put some noodles into bottom of bowl

Put some noodles into bottom of bowl

To serve, place a portion of noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl (as much or as little as you like) and ladle the soup over them.

Add Soup

Add Soup

Some of us add a swirl of sriracha sauce to the soup which gave it an additional bite of heat.

Add hot sauce if you like (we like Sriracha Sauce)

Add hot sauce if you like (we like Sriracha Sauce)

Easy Pork & Chicken in Red Sauce (serves 6)

This turned into something Oh So Good! (which was a relief). I had people over to dinner unexpectedly and I had to make dinner in a hurry out of a mish-mash of ingredients. I know that some people would hate to be put under pressure in the kitchen for a last-minute dinner for six, but I am the opposite, and that probably means I was destined to work in a busy, stressful restaurant kitchen! There is still time for that career, but for now I am content drumming up food for my family each evening, while making sure to have lots of dinner parties and impromptu guests!

Easy Pork & Chicken Dinner

Easy Pork & Chicken Dinner

This was dead simple to put together and the whole things was ready in no time. The addition of the tomatoes in combination with the rosemary made the meat so flavorful and warmed the cockles of each diner’s hungry heart.

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You will need:

3 to 4 tbs olive oil

3 chicken breast fillets

2 lbs country-style pork ribs (no bones, just rib meat strips)

coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning meat

2 onions, sliced into 8 wedges each

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 cups tomato puree

1 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups chicken stock OR 1 bouillon cube and 1 1/2 cups water

2 tbs tomato paste (I used a sun-dried tomato paste)

1 stem of rosemary, cut into 3 or 4 pieces

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (chili flakes)

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Season both the pork and chicken with a sprinkle of sea-salt and black pepper. Put a large saute pan or casserole pot on high heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When the oil is hot, sear the meat in batches in a single until browned on both sides. Try not to disturb the meat as it cooks or it may stick to the pan. Place meat on plate as you go and continue until all of the meat has been browned, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

brown chicken in hot pan..

brown chicken & pork in hot pan.

2 – Turn heat down to medium and add the carrots and onions (if the pan is dry, add more oil). Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rosemary and pepper flakes and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Next add the tomato paste, tomato puree and wine, and let the mixture come to a boil.

saute veggies, add seasonngs

saute veggies, add seasonings

3 – Add the stock (or water and bouillon) to the pan, and also add he meat. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Cover with lid and place in preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until meat s very tender.

add liquids

add liquids

4 – Remove from the oven and let the dish rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Place in oven

Place in oven

This is great with rice, pasta or fresh bread. Of course you also had better serve something green on the side!

Hot Green Rice with Chicken & Veggies (serves 6)

When I think about what I want to make for dinner, I don’t think of a recipe, and then rush out for the ingredients. I absolutely hate feeling boxed in by what cookbook recipes call for. My usual trend is to look through my cupboards and in the fridge to see what is available.

Hot Green Rice with Chicken & Herbs

I spy something I have a craving for, and build the entire dish around it. It can be something as simple as a bag of baby carrot or a little more obscure like tamarind paste or a frozen octopus. When I see it, I become determined.

Don’t get me wrong, I consult cookbooks for the best ways of doing things, and general advice on how certain ingredients should be treated to get the best results (yes, I like word-y cookbooks!), but then I do my own thing. I like ad-libbing and taking chances.

lovely green curry from Kalustyan's in New York City.

This particular night I opened up the pantry and rifled through my countless bags of spices. I swooned when I smelled this green curry powder. It smelled of heat and dirt (if that makes sence). 

I gathered everything that I had available to me to make this baby soar, and, this is the dinner we ended up with.

Delicious.

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You will need: 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 3 chicken fillets, sliced into large bite-sized pieces, 1 sweet onion, diced, 1 yellow or red pepper, diced, 1 celery rib including leaves, diced, 3 cups chopped chard leaves, (red or white chard), 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, 2 tsp hot curry powder (green if you have it, but another type will do also), 4 sprigs thyme, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 1 bouillon cube and 3 cups water), 1/2 cup heavy cream, 6 cups cooked basmati rice.

*for the rice: use 2 1/2 cups for stove top method and 3 cups using rice cooker and rice cooker measure. Cook as directed on the package. Set aside*

1 – Prep all ingredients before you begin to cook (or you might panic a little!)

lovely bowl of chopped chard leaves

2 – Put big pan on medium heat and add oil. When it warms, add onions, peppers, celery and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped chard and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

cook onions, garlic and peppers, then add chard

3 – Add curry powder and thyme, and stir for 1 minute to incorporate.

add curry powder

4 – Add broth (or bouillon and water) and bring to a boil. Add the chicken slices, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove lid and stir in the cream. Taste for addition of salt and pepper, and add according to your taste.

add liquid and simmer

5 – Add cooked rice and stir.

Add rice

I served this dish in warmed shallow bowls with a dollop of hot sauce, topped off with a delectable tablespoon of chile relish (I used a relish from the Patak company. You can find this in ethnic shops or good quality supermarkets in the International section).

Chicken & Sausage with a “French” Feel (serves 4 – 6)

My dear friend Deborah came to spend this weekend with us, and that meant two things; making lots of marvelous food, and fun!

All of this we enjoyed in abundance.

Chicken and Sausage with a French Feel

I wanted to make something easy as we were going to be out and about until late, and so I made a variation on a recipe that never fails; roast chicken with wine and herbs.

Deborah ate slowly, enjoying each morsel, and exclaimed that the flavors felt very “french”. I put it down to the liberal use of white wine, fresh thyme and garlic.

Good food and wine kept us at the table talking until way past our bedtime. Being a little tired the next day was a small price to pay for a wonderful evening.

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You will need: 4 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on, 4 Italian style sausages, (omit sausage if following Blood Type A diet), bunch of thyme (about 6 to 10 sprigs), 1 large sweet onion, diced, 2 cups baby carrots, halved lengthways, 2 celery ribs, including leaves, sliced, 8 cloves garlic, separated, left in skin, 1 cup white wine, 2 cups chicken or veggie broth, 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, sea-salt & cracked black pepper to season chicken & to taste.

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Prep veggies and lay in the bottom of a big pan or roasting dish. Add the liquids.

lay veggies in bottom of pan, along with wine and broth

2 – Lay the chicken and sausage on top and drizzle with the oil. Season chicken lightly with sea-salt and pepper. Place in oven for 35 minutes. Turn heat down to 375* and remove from oven. Turn sausages and cover pan with lid or foil. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

lay chicken and sausage on top

3 – Take out of oven and let everything rest for 10 minutes before serving.

A wonderfully rustic dinner

Serve meat with lots of broth, and veggies, making sure that each plate gets a clove or two of roasted garlic.