Chicken

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Enchiladas

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured

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I am so blessed to live near my family, and especially enjoy when we get together for birthday dinners.  Each year, my Mom will let us pick whatever meal we want her to cook for us on our birthday.  Almost every year I convince my twin sister that we need to have these enchiladas!  My Mom has been making them for years and they still rank as one of my favorite meals.

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They are pretty easy and quick to make, especially if you already have some leftover chicken, like I did!  I also used Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice which made them even easier and a little healthier!  If you’re counting your calories, try using brown rice, chicken breast, whole wheat tortillas, and greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.  Amazing fresh out of the oven with a spoonful of fresh guacamole, and even better the next day as leftovers!  Make them for dinner this week!

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Cheesy Chicken and Rice Enchiladas

(makes about 8 servings)

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

2 cups shredded or chopped chicken, cooked

2 cups of cooked rice (white or brown will work)

1/2 cup of sliced black olives (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

20 ounces of enchilada sauce

15 ounces of tomato sauce or salsa

8 large flour tortillas

12 ounces bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese

1/2 cup of sour cream

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9X13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium/large skillet heat oil and cook chopped onions until they are tender and slightly translucent.  Remove onions from skillet and set aside.  In the same skillet heat enchilada sauce and tomato sauce or salsa over low heat until just warm.  In a large bowl combine onion, chicken, rice, and olives.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Heat 8 large tortillas for about 20 seconds in microwave or until they are slightly warm.  (this will help the sauce stick to them)  Now roll your sleeves up and grab an apron because this part gets a little messy!  Spoon a little enchilada sauce/tomato sauce into the bottom of your baking dish.  Grab a tortilla and dip it in enchilada sauce/tomato sauce mixture until both sides are covered.  Let excess sauce drip off, then place it in the baking dish.  Scoop between 1/3-1/2 cups of the chicken/rice mixture into the tortilla.  Sprinkle with a handful of cheese and top with about a tablespoon of sour cream.  Roll tortilla and place seam side down at the end of your baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.  When your baking dish is full (mine is always right about 8 tortillas) drizzle any remaining sauce on top and sprinkle remaining cheese on.  If you’d like, you can top with additional sliced black olives.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.  Let sit about 5 minutes then top with fresh guacamole and enjoy!  GREAT the next day!

 

 

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Easy Baked “Fried” Chicken

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured

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My husband ate 5 of these drumsticks at dinner tonight . . . I’m guessing this recipe is a keeper!  It is pretty simple to make and can be thrown together pretty quickly.  It’s healthier than fried chicken, but still has that crispy skin on the outside and tender meat on the inside.  I used drumsticks, but you can do it with any chicken pieces.  Just be sure to adjust your cook time accordingly.

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Easy Baked “Fried” Chicken

(serves 6-8)

1 1/2-2 pounds of chicken drumsticks (or wings, thighs, etc)

2 cups of buttermilk

1 cup of almond meal

1 cup of breadcrumbs (regular or panko will work or try Italian for a twist!)

1 teaspoon of season salt

dash of onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper

canola or olive oil cooking spray

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Place drumsticks in a large bowl and pour in buttermilk.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.  When you’re ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with canola or olive oil.  In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, breadcrumbs, season salt, and seasonings.  Take drumsticks and let excess buttermilk drop off.  Dip in breadcrumb mixture and roll coating completely.  Place drumstick on baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.  Spray tops of the chicken lightly with cooking spray.  Bake 15 minutes then turn chicken pieces over.  Bake an additional 15 minutes, or until juices run clean.  Serve immediately!

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Light Sesame Chicken

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured

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This was so easy and quick to make, and it turned out delicious!  Even my husband and 2 year old loved it!  If you are planning to toss some veggies in with the chicken, or just like a lot of sauce, I’d recommend doubling the sauce recipe.  I made mine with brown rice and roasted baby broccoli and it was perfect!  I hope you’ll try it soon!

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Light Sesame Chicken

(4-6 servings)

1 1/2 pounds of  chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces (I use chicken tender strips cut into nugget size pieces)

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup of cornstarch

salt and pepper

3 1/2 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoons of crushed garlic

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (plus a little more for garnish)

sliced green onions for garnish

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Mix egg whites and cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Add chicken and season with salt and pepper, stirring to coat evenly.  Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Once hot, add half of the chicken spacing the pieces out evenly.  Let cook about 4-5 minutes or until brown, then turn chicken pieces over and cook evenly on other side.  Remove and repeat with the other 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and remaining chicken.  While the chicken cooks, mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.  When all chicken is cooked through add chicken and sauce to skillet and cook over medium/low heat until heated through and sauce has thickened to a nice glaze.  Serve over rice with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

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Source: slightly adapted from http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2913758-Light-Sesame-Chicken?full_recipe=true

 

 

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Baked Chicken and Mushrooms

Posted on Mar 5, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner

This is a quick and simple dinner idea for those evenings you’re short on time and don’t know what to prepare.  You can make it with light or dark meat, just be sure to adjust cooking times if needed.   I served mine over mashed potatoes but it would be good with rice too.

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Baked Chicken and Mushrooms

(about 4 servings)

4-6 chicken breast fillets

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

10 ounces of mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon of minced garlic (or 1 clove)

1/2 cup of chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

2 tablespoons of flour

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9X13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.  Lay chicken evenly in dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are slightly translucent.  Add chicken broth and spices and heat.  Sprinkle flour over the top and stir until smooth.  Let mixture come to a low boil, then pour it evenly over the chicken.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Sprinkle cheese over the top and put back in the oven just until its melted.

 

Source:  Slightly adapted from http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Baked-Chicken-and-Mushrooms

 

 

 

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Baked Chicken Parmesan

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured, For kids, Pasta

This is definitely one of my new favorite recipes!  It is so easy and quick to make but tastes and looks like you spent a lot of time on it.  This is the same recipe I use to make plain breaded chicken, so if you have picky eaters in your family you could leave off the sauce and cheese and make them a plain breaded chicken breast.  I put mine over linguine noodles with some extra marinara sauce, but if you’re trying to be healthier you could just eat the chicken breast with a plate of steamed veggies.  Make sure you follow the baking instructions, that’s what gives it the crisp breading!  Try it out this weekend!

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Baked Chicken Parmesan

(serves 4)

4-5 thin sliced chicken breast (or you can buy breast and slice your own but this is much easier!)

3/4 cup of Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Dash of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted

Jar of your favorite marinara

About a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Cooking spray

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and  lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  (I used olive oil spray)  In a medium bowl stir together bread crumbs, parmesan and salt until combined.  Set up an assembly line with chicken, melted butter, bread crumb mixture, and your baking sheet.  Dip chicken breasts in butter so both sides get a light coat, then dip in bread crumbs.  Make sure chicken gets a good coating of bread crumbs on both sides, then place on the baking sheet.  Continue with remaining chicken breasts.  Spray tops lightly with cooking spray and put in the oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes flip them over and cook for another 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through.  (it may take a little longer if yours are thicker, mine took exactly 20 minutes total) Use a large spoon to smooth some marinara sauce on each breast, then top with about a tablespoon of cheese.  Put back in the oven just until the cheese is melted, don’t leave them because it will melt quickly!  Serve immediately.

 

Source: Slightly adapted from http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/04/baked-chicken-parmesan.html

 

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Almond Meal Chicken Bites

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 in Appetizers, Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured, For kids

 

This is one of those recipes that I make about once a week and is easily adaptable to different tastes.  You can easily add different seasonings to change the flavor for different meals.  These are baked vs fried and are a much healthier choice for your kids (and yourself!) than the drive thru.  Not to mention they take less than a half hour to make.  Give them a try this week!
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Almond Meal Chicken Tenders

(about 4 servings)

1 pound of chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

salt/pepper, season salt, garlic salt, etc–add whatever seasonings you’d like (about a teaspoon)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  I set up a little assembly line with the chicken bites, a bowl with the beaten eggs, the almond meal mixture, and then the cookie sheet.  Dip your chicken bites into the egg then coat completely with the almond meal mixture.  Place on cookie sheet and continue with remaining chicken.  Bake about 12 minutes or until there is no pink when you cut one open.  Serve immediately.

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