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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but my husband (Stan) and his friend/coworker Mayur are going to Everest in the Spring. They will trek to North Col, at 23k feet. It is no small trip – it will take a whole month to complete!

One of their preparations involves gaining weight – 15-20lbs each! A couple weeks ago, we had Mayur over for dinner and I cooked the men a calorie-packed feast of hearty chicken parmigiana and spaghetti.

The recipe comes from “Tyler’s Ultimate” on the Food Network. The show is what it sounds – Tyler Florence travels the country, tastes variations of the same dish, picks out the best elements from each, and then assembles the “ultimate” recipe.

This dish required a good amount of preparation and ingredients. But the guys liked it, so I think it was well worth it. (Even Stan really liked it, and he’s usually not a fan of chicken parm!)

Chicken Parmigiana
from Tyler’s Ultimate

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft.

chicken-parm-start

cooking the onions, garlic, and bay leaves

3. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil, reserve the rest of the basil for finishing the chicken. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

chicken-parm-sauce

the finished sauce - keep warm!

4. Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, add the 1 cup parmesan, chopped parsley, and garlic powder Season with salt and pepper and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

6. Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and arrange the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and remaining basil. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

right out of the oven

serves 4

Each serving has roughly 900 calories… so it’s not diet-friendly!!!

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While Stas and I were in New Zealand for our honeymoon (late November – earlyDecember 2009), Stas fell in love with Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce. When we returned home, I set out to make my own version.

I had made chicken schnitzel before, on many occasions (it’s simply meat covered in breadcrumbs)… but never with the sauce. My goal was for it to be quick and simple, using only a few common ingredients. Afterall, I usually only cook schnitzel when I’m short on time or when the fridge is almost empty.

It was a success on the first try!

Here’s what I did:

Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could also use bonleless pork or turkey – but then you can’t call it “chicken schnitzel” 🙂 )
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

ingredients

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place the egg in another bowl. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap, and pound until thin:

pound the chicken until thin

2. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Gently shake off the excess, then dip them in the beaten egg, then back in the flour. (Doing flour- egg-> flour helps it stick to the chicken, so you’ll have a nice batter when it’s cooked.)

3. In skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; fry chicken breasts in batches, about 4-5 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

keep warm

4. In the now-empty skillet, fry mushrooms and garlic until no liquid remains, about 5 minutes.

5. Add reserved flour mixture and cook, stirring for about 1 minute.

fry the mushrooms and garlic, then add flour

6. Stir in stock; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes.

7. Add sour cream and soy sauce and stir for about 1 minute.

finished mushroom sauce

8. Pour over schnitzel and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4

served with fried potatoes and a salad

See the recipe for those fried potatoes here.

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chicken-cacciatore

I love that Cooking Light has so many 20 and 30 minute meals in their magazines; they make weeknight dinners a breeze!

Tonight, I made Chicken Cacciatore. It was good, although a little bland. If I make it again, I’ll add more salt – both to season the chicken and to the sauce. I think it may have been lacking because of the pasta sauce I used (I think it was “too healthy”). I may also add some bread crumbs to the sauce to thicken it a bit.

Chicken Cacciatore
from Cooking Light, October 2009

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
olive oil
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce (I used Ragu No Sugar Added Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce)
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (tip: slice it length-wise so that it doesn’t brown!)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with oregano, basil, and red pepper. Place a small amount of olive oil in the pan. Add chicken to pan; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.

chicken-cacciatore-cooking-chicken

browning the chicken

Add mushrooms and bell pepper to pain; saute 5 minutes.

add the mushrooms and peppers

add the mushrooms and peppers

Stir in pasta sauce and wine; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

add the wine and sauce

add the wine and sauce

Stir in the salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and basil.

Serves 4
(1 serving = 1 cup chicken mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil)

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the plated dish

1 serving = 5 Weight Watchers Points (probably less if you omit the cheese!)

calories – 239
fat – 6g
carbs – 11.1g
fiber – 2.6g

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porcini-dusted-chicken

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for awhile, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t made it previously – but I’m glad I finally did! It was so good – definitely a keeper!

And the best test of how good it was? Stas liked it – even with the mushroom sauce. Actually, that was his favorite part!

This recipe uses dried mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are readily available in most supermarkets. You’ll find them in the produce department. If you don’t see them, ask an employee.

Porcini-Dusted Chicken Scaloppine
from Cooking Light, October 2007

  • 1/2  cup  dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  minced shallots (about 1)
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 3  cups  sliced wild or cultivated mushrooms (about 1/2 pound…  I used baby bella mushrooms)
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  tablespoons  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Place porcini mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

2. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound them to even thickness using a meat mallet. Sprinkle chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Then dredge them in the porcini powder, shaking off the excess.

covering the chicken breasts in porcini powder

covering the chicken breasts in porcini powder

3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until chicken is lightly browned and done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

cover with foil to keep warm

cover with foil to keep warm

4. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

cooking the shallots and garlic

cooking the shallots and garlic

5. Add 3 cups mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.

after adding the mushrooms to the pan

after adding the mushrooms to the pan

6. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add broth to pan; simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes).

reduce the liquids

reduce the liquids

7. Stir in sour cream; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and parsley.

after adding final ingredients

after adding final ingredients

Serves 4

(Each serving is 6 Weight Watchers points.)

I served it with boiled potatoes garnished with chives and fresh tomatoes. For wine, I used the same wine I used in cooking… my current favorite, Nobilo 2008 Sauvignon Blanc:

plated and served

plated and served

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chicken-walnut-sauce-1

I’ve been up since 5am – way too excited for my bridal shower today…

What a perfect time to (finally!) update my blog!

I actually made this dish a few weeks ago, but never posted about it. It’s amazing how quickly the days fly by when you’re trying to plan a wedding! It’s less than 2 months away now – I’m beyond excited, but a little stressed out by my list of still-to-do’s.

Stas didn’t like this dish. I’ve mentioned before that he generally doesn’t like sauces, and this time was no exception. He ended up scraping it all off, much to my dismay!

I loved it, though! It was filling, yet light. Since the sauce is bread-thickened, it tastes and feels a lot more fattening than it really is  (it tastes cream-thickened).

deliciously thick (and light!) sauce

deliciously thick (and light!) sauce

You could also use this sauce as a pasta sauce, to change this into a vegetarian dish!

chicken-walnut-sauce-close

delicious

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Walnut Sauce
from Cooking Light, May 2006

  • 2 (1 1/2 ounce) slices day-old white bread
  • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 /3 cup walnuts, toasted (the toasting is optional)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • parsley, to garnish

1. Remove crusts from bread. Chop bread and combine it with the broth in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine bread mixture, walnuts, parsley leaves, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.

walnut-sauce

walnut sauce

2. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

3. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes on each side, or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

chicken-browned

browned chicken

4. Add chicken broth mixture to pan; cook until hot and slightly thickened, scraping pan with a wooden spoon (don’t use metal – you’ll ruin the pan!) to loosen browned bits.

5. To serve, plate the chicken breast and top each with about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

plated chicken

plated chicken

Serves 6

(1 serving = 6 Weight Watchers points)

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061809_blackberry_pork_2

I love the summertime – when all of the yummy fruits hit the grocery stores. Melons, berries, stone fruits… yum! I eat way too much fruit in the summer – but it’s just so good that I can’t help myself! When Stas and I sit down with a bowl of cut-up cantaloupe or watermelon, one of us ends up having to take the bowl away because we cannot stop ourselves.

I bought a couple packages of blackberries for this recipe – and  Stas was very upset when I told him that he wasn’t allowed to eat them 🙂 But it was all for a good cause… this recipe came out great! We both loved it (even though he doesn’t usually like sauces).

This recipe would be great for a dinner party – or even an outdoor grilling/lunch party. To save time, make the sauce ahead of time (I’d say up to a day ahead of time).

We don’t own a grill (because we live in a loft… and have no yard), but I used my grill pan on the stovetop and it came out just fine…

061809_blackberry_pork_1

Grilled Pork with Blackberry-Sage Sauce
from Cookling Light, June 2009

Cooking spray
2  tablespoons  minced shallots (I didn’t have any – oops!- so I used some white onion instead)
3  cups  fresh blackberries (about 1 pound)
1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh sage
1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar (Again, didn’t have any!! I used 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar + 1 tsp sugar)
1 1/2  teaspoons  sugar
1  tablespoon  butter
3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt, divided
1  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Sage sprigs (optional)

(If using a grill, prepare grill to medium heat)

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots (or onions) to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add blackberries, sage, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until blackberries break down. Press blackberry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return liquid to pan. Stir in vinegar and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 9 minutes); remove from heat. Stir in butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until butter melts. Keep warm.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper over pork. Place pork on grill rack (or grill pan on stovetop over medium heat) coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink), turning pork occasionally. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

061809_grilled_pork

right off the "grill"

061809_grilled_sliced_pork

so juicy!

061809_grilled_sliced_pork_close

waiting for the blackberry sauce

Serve with blackberry sauce; garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.

061809_blackberry_pork_3

the finished dish

serves 6 (about 3 ounces pork and 2 tablespoons sauce)

And for all of you on Weight Watchers: 1 serving = 4 points

By the way, that bamboo cutting board was only $3 at a flea market! I’m sure I’ll find out why it was so cheap one of these days. But in the meantime, it’s awesome!

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IMGP4268

I make a lot of chicken recipes, don’t I? I just loooooove chicken!

And cheese? Don’t even get me started on cheese! I’m addicted to the stuff!

So you can probably imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light. I had to make it.

I loved this dish. The stuffing is perfect and the reduced sauce is delicious, although you could definitely serve it without the sauce if you don’t have wine or chicken broth available.

Stas wasn’t a huge fan – he just doesn’t like chicken stuffed with anything (which is so weird to me). He did like the sauce though. So maybe if I make this in the future, I’ll only stuff half of them and just serve him a breast with the sauce.

I just really want someone else to make this and get excited about it because I loved it that much 🙂

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Leeks, and Thyme
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009

1 1/2  teaspoons  olive oil
1 1/3  cups  thinly sliced leeks
3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1  tablespoon  fat-free milk
1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
6  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/2  cup  dry white wine
1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan; cook 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 2-5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

cooking the leeks

cooking the leeks

Combine leek mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheese, parsley, milk, and thyme in a small bowl, stirring with a fork.

the cheese/leek mixture

the cheese/leek mixture

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket; stuff 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

cutting pockets in the chicken breasts

cutting pockets in the chicken breasts

Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, smooth side (the top of the breast) down; sauté 5 minutes; turn chicken over. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

add chicken to pan

add chicken to pan

IMGP4266

the chicken is done!

Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced by half (about 2 minutes). Add broth, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 9 minutes). Serve with chicken.

IMGP4276

reducing the sauce

serves 6

I served it with mashed potatoes:

IMGP4279

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