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Posts Tagged ‘Chicken’

Okay, remember that pesto pasta salad?

This one?

The only problem with it is that it only uses half a container of pesto. So you have a few options. You can:

A.) Double the recipe and have pesto pasta salad sitting in your fridge for weeks in that bowl you always want to use but can never find because it’s sitting in the fridge with pesto pasta salad in it

B.) Leave the half-used container of pesto in your fridge to “do something with,” forget about it, and find it two months later in an unusable state

C.) Make this pesto chicken

This was really good, really easy, and tasted awesome. JW commented several times how good it was. A huge thank you to Pinterest for this find (which if you are any sort of creative or foodie or fashion type and you are not on Pinterest, you are missing out on a whole world of new and exciting things), and of course, many thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the recipe.

Baked Pesto Chicken (This is how I made it, when I didn’t have the recipe in front of me. Here is the original if you want to compare.)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
  • Half of a 7-8oz container of basil pesto
  • Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut chicken breasts into strips, or pieces. Whatever you prefer.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread pesto over the chicken. Stir it around a bit so the chicken is covered with the pesto.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. Don’t cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) Kalyn’s note: After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

We had this over the same tri-colored curly pasta I had used for the pasta salad, and the juice from the chicken dish was delicious over the pasta. You could also use angel hair, or even rice.

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Split chicken breasts were on sale at the grocery this week, and I thought I’d make a yummy chicken pot pie with a latticed puff pastry crust, like I saw somewhere on Pinterest. Now… JW does not like chicken pot pie. I know this. But I thought maybe he’d like it with the puff pastry.

So I cook, debone, and shred the chicken, and as I start to get the rest of the ingredients out, JW comes around the corner.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Chicken pot pie.”

Silence.

He walks over to the pantry, opens the door, glances inside for a brief minute, then proceeds to pull out a box of spaghetti noodles and lay it on the counter in front of me.

Okay, I can take a hint.

So chicken spaghetti it is. Except I don’t have any rotel tomatoes. What I do have is green salsa, which I decide will have to do. I also added a bit of sour cream. And do you know… it was great! And Kathryn loved it too.

Now I have some puff pastry to use. Oh, the possibilities! Love me some puff pastry.

Chicken Spaghetti Remake

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Half of an 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1 7-oz can green salsa
  • Couple handfuls of cheese

Mix it all together and bake in a casserole dish until heated through and cheese is melted. Yum.

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I decided it’s about time I start cleaning out my freezer and seeing what I can use and what needs to be thrown away. This package of drumsticks was occupying the back of the second shelf. I don’t really know a whole lot of things to do with drumsticks, but the first thing I immediately think of is barbecue. I kind of needed something quick and easy too – I didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen.

This recipe does take some think-ahead time because you start the day before, partially cook the chicken, and let it marinate in the sauce until you’re ready to use it, but actual preparation the day of is very simple. You can use whatever barbecue sauce you like, and using a bottled sauce would certainly make it an even easier recipe, but I wanted to try one from Cooks Illustrated (originally published for serving with pork), and I’ve included that recipe here for you as well.

The chicken turned out great, and the sauce was sweet and sticky and good. It made for a great summer meal! You can also use this recipe for thighs, and I’m sure other parts of chicken as well. This is a halved recipe, so if you have more than two people you may want to double it.

Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks (Recipe found here)

  • 5-6 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs, with skin on
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (or one recipe Cooks Illustrated sauce below)

PREP DIRECTIONS:

In oblong storage container (I just used a large bowl), pour 1/4-1/2 cup barbecue sauce on bottom and tilt to evenly coat.

Put chicken into dutch oven or other large pot with a lid. Fill with water until water is about 2 inches higher than chicken. Bring to a boil and cook 15-20 minutes – no longer, or chicken will be tough. Pour into colander to drain water.

While chicken is in colander, turn on cool water, and while holding chicken leg under water, pull off skin and any fat (meat will be tender so be careful not to pull off any meat pieces).

Place each skinned piece into the prepared container. If using thighs, place the piece meat-side down, the side the bone isn’t sticking out of.

Pour the rest of the barbecue sauce evenly over the chicken, making sure to cover all the meat. Cover container (I covered the bowl with plastic wrap) and put into fridge either for the rest of the day or overnight. Because the chicken is hot, it absorbs more of the sauce flavoring.

COOKING DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place coated pieces of chicken in greased oblong or square pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Alternately, you can grill.

CI Barbecue Sauce (Slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated July & Aug 2009)

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses (calls for light or mild, all I had was dark and it was fine)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Bring all ingredients to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, 5-7 minutes.

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If you’ve never used panko crumbs for breading, you’re totally missing out. These Japanese breadcrumbs are light and airy and give a crispy coating even to things that are baked instead of fried – which makes them perfect for this crispy baked chicken recipe.

The chicken was basic and good; the most important thing is to coat the meat well and not overcook it. I especially loved that they are butterflied, so they are thinner and you get a much better breading-to-chicken ratio.

But the dipping sauce? Out. Of. This. World. If you don’t make a lot of Asian recipes, you may need to pick up one or two ingredients, but it’s well worth it. And then, of course, you have them for use in future recipes 🙂

I’d love to use this sauce to dip other meats in, to give them an Asian flair. I think it would be good on just about anything. It is thin, a bit sweet, and reminds me of the sauce served with Chinese dumplings.

We served this with a cold Asian pasta salad, and it was delightful… stay tuned for that recipe!

I found this recipe at Annie’s Eats, but it originally came from Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. For more of Jaden’s recipes, check out the Steamy Kitchen Blog.

Panko Baked Chicken w/ Asian Dipping Sauce

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. sake (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. mirin

For the chicken:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

To make the sauce, combine the soy sauce, orange juice, sake, sugar and mirin in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 6 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  In a second bowl, lightly beat the eggs together.  Place the panko in a third shallow bowl or pie plate.  Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Butterfly the chicken breasts into halves so that you have 4-6 pieces total.  Lightly season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Using tongs and working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture to coat both sides.  Shake lightly to remove any excess.  Then dip into the eggs and shake gently to remove any excess.  Finally place in the panko, turning to coat well.  Transfer to the prepared wire rack.  Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.  Once all the chicken pieces are in place, spray lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for 11-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden.  Let rest a few minutes before serving.  Serve with the teriyaki dipping sauce.

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Did you know there was a right way and a wrong way? Did you know that the wrong way is probably the way your mother did it, your grandmother did it, and you’ve done it all your life?

Me neither.

Personally, I’m fine with whatever floats your boat. If you want to tie your chicken up all nice and pretty and have the picture of a traditional chicken dinner, that’s cool. If you want to roast it breast-down to keep the white meat moist, that’s cool too (although it takes considerably longer than the method I’m about to propose).

I would like to suggest that you try roasting your chicken a different way just once. It’s quick, it’s tasty, and it’s easier to cut apart into manageable pieces. Plus I think it’s pretty and looks rather impressive, even though it really takes no more time to prepare than your normal (read: “wrong”) roast chicken.

The secret is butterflying.

Basic technique: Cut the spine out of the chicken, spread it out, and lay it flat on a rack in a cookie sheet. Roast 45 minutes and you’re done. Now chop it up into leg quarters, breasts, wings, and serve.

This article explains the background and the science behind why butterflying your chicken evens out the cooking and gives you a better finished product – dark meat that’s done, white meat that’s moist and not overcooked. It’s really a fascinating read if you like science, and food. But more if you like food, because I don’t really like science but I do like the science of food.

Here’s what I did:

Butterflied Roasted Chicken (Adapted from here)

  • 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 to 4 lbs
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Additional spices if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse chicken, remove giblets and neck if applicable and feed them to your dog and cats who will love you for it.

Cut the spine out of the back of the chicken, using sharp kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Lay flat, skin-side up, on a rack in a foil-covered cookie sheet (with edges).

Roast approximately 45 minutes, or until thickest part of breast reaches 150 degrees and joint between thigh and body reaches 170 degrees.

Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes before carving.

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This was good. Like really, really good. It came together pretty easily and tasted like something I’d order in a restaurant. JW doesn’t like sun-dried tomatoes (anyone surprised? me neither) but he really liked this.

The sauce is pureed together so the sun-dried tomatoes just give it a very deep tomato flavor without screwing with the texture. With fresh basil, heavy cream, white wine, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes, it has a wonderful balance of complex flavors that work together really well.

The original recipe calls for chicken, which we used and enjoyed, but in the future I will probably just double the sauce and use it over pasta on its own. It’s so stellar that it really doesn’t need the chicken.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce (Original recipe here)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs total)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil – drain, pat dry, and coarsely chop (I used a 10-12 oz jar)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and black pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning once, about 6 minutes total (chicken will not be cooked through). Transfer chicken with tongs to a plate.

Add garlic and tomatoes to the skillet and sauté, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute.

Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half, about 1 minute.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, covered.

Add chicken to skillet with any juices accumulated on plate and simmer, covered, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

Stir cream and 2 tablespoons basil into sauce in skillet and bring just to a simmer.

Transfer sauce to a deep heatproof bowl or 1-quart glass measure (I used a tall plastic pitcher to minimize tomato flying all over my kitchen) and purée with an immersion blender until almost smooth. Alternatively, you can use a standard blender or food processor.

If necessary, add water to thin to desired consistency, then season with salt and pepper.

Serve sauce over chicken, and/or pasta if desired.

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This chicken was unbelievably delicious. The trick? Slow cooking it in the oven, breast-side DOWN to absorb all the lovely juices, as found at Soup of the Day.

The chicken completely fell off the bone when we served it up, which meant it was a cinch to pull the rest of the meat off afterwards to store for leftovers. I served it with carrots and stuffing (from a box… don’t judge me).

In the last 45 minutes of cooking, the directions say to add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white wine. At this point, I re-covered it to finish baking, but my “sauce” didn’t reduce like Traci describes, and I’m wondering if I should have left it uncovered for those last 45 minutes.

However, I assure you either way should be fine – I ended up with plenty of this gorgeous broth that I’ll be saving for some future recipes:

The only drawback to this recipe is time, but I think I will continue to use the breast-down technique in the future. I’m not a fan of bone-dry white meat 🙂

Here’s the jist of the recipe:

Upside-Down Chicken (Recipe found here)

In a large oven-safe pot with a lid (I used a crockpot insert and covered with foil because I didn’t have anything else), place whole chicken breast-side down.

Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, and other spices if desired (garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, etc). Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the top and rub it into the chicken.

Cook uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn down to 325 degrees, cover, and cook for 2 hours.

In the last 45 minutes, add desired vegetables, 1 cup water and 1 cup white wine.

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