Posts tagged chicken

Chicken Piccata

Here’s a fun dish to make. Really easy, yet still elegant. The only real chore to me is the meat pounding, but it reduces the cooking time tremendously, so it’s worth doing it. Other than that, it’s a great dish to make on a lazy afternoon.

The sauce is similar to the one I made using veal. Of course I made little changes. Again… what else is new? I just thought I’d use chicken this time, and then add pasta to make it a complete meal. Also, I’m sure you can use other veggie on the side but the asparagus makes for a great compliment, for some reason.

It is also good to note that although it’s fine to use any pasta you wish, I find that thinner strands (capellini, angel hair, thin sphagetti, etc.) work best. I don’t know, something about it being smothered with sauce makes it yummy. So anyway… get cooking, peeps!

Ingredients (2 servings):
1 large Boneless Chicken Breast (sliced into 2 thinner pieces)
1/2 lb Angel Hair or Capellini
Few Pieces of Asparagus, bottom chopped and discarded
1/2 cup Unbleached Flour, seasoned with Dried Herbs, Salt & Pepper
EVOO
2-3 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 tbs. Brined Capers, rinsed
3 tbs. Parsley, finely chopped
1 Lemon, halved
2 tbs. Butter

Directions:
Slice the chicken breast across to make two thin fillets. Cover each piece with plastic wrap and pound them on a chopping board with a flat headed mallet until they’re thin. Be careful not to pound too hard lest the meat breaks.

Pour flour in a wide bowl, season with salt & pepper and whatever dried herbs you have (tarragon, thyme, basil, etc.). Dredge chicken pieces to lightly coat, shake excess flour and pan-fry in a thick bottomed pan with a little olive oil in medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Don’t overcook! Set aside, cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, boil water in a double boiler for the pasta and asparagus. Chop and discard the thick bottom part of the asparagus pieces, place the rest in the steamer basket and set aside.

Now, back in the pan. Add more oil and saute the minced garlic for a minute or so. Add about 3 tbs. of the excess seasoned flour and cook for a couple more minutes. Add a cup of stock to start and stir until bubbly and thickened. Add more stock as needed, until a stew-like consistency is achieved. You don’t want it too thick. Whisk in the butter until melted, then turn the heat off. Mix in the parsley and capers and squirt the juice of 1/2 lemon. Sauce is done!

Your water should be boiling by now. Add the thin pasta and some salt then quickly put the steamer basket with the asparagus on top. Close the lid and cook for about 3 minutes. Again, do not overcook! Set aside the asparagus. Drizzle a little EVOO on the pasta and toss to keep from sticking.

For plating, twirl some pasta on a plate and smother with sauce. Then place a piece of chicken on top and smother with more sauce. Finally, add some asparagus pieces on top. If you want, you can add a garnish of lemon zest, more parsley and a lemon wedge. Buon appetito!

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Cilantro-Infused Chicken & Pasta

I have finally discovered the joy of cilantro oil. Aaaahhhh!!!! Yeah, I know… I’ve been living in a cave!

Although I have seen many recipes suggesting the use of neutral-flavored oil (canola, safflower, etc.), I prefer combining the pungent taste of coriander with the fruitiness of EVOO. I believe this combination allows for a bit more depth and complexity in flavor, especially when used in a naked pasta dish like this one.

Also, you can strain the oil so that the solids are removed but I’d rather go rustic and leave everything mixed in. After all, it’s all about the cilantro, isn’t it? And remember to only make enough for each time you’ll use it since you want it as fresh as possible.

Now, if you’re a cilantro freak like I am, this dish will definitely put a smile on your face. And possibly, a few pounds more than you’d probably want.

Ingredients (4 servings):
4 Split Chicken Breasts (or tenderloins)
1 lb. package Pasta of your choice
1 Bunch Cilantro, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup EVOO
Salt & Pepper
Hot Sauce (optional)

Directions:
Make cilantro oil by combining one bunch of cilantro (don’t forget to reserve a few whole leaves for garnish later), EVOO and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and running it for a few minutes or until the mixture is completely liquefied. Store in fridge until ready to use. Strain it if you want or stir well before using.

Rub chicken pieces with cilantro oil, season with salt & pepper and let it marinade for a few minutes in the fridge while you preheat the grill to 450F. Grill until done and set aside in a covered container.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente. Drain the water afterwards then pour cilantro oil over until every piece of pasta is fully coated. Salt & pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Plate the pasta. Top with slices of chicken pieces and if you want, drizzle a little hot sauce on top. Garnish with leftover whole cilantro leaves and maybe a lemon wedge, if you have it.

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Chicken & Waffles

Usually, the chicken used here is Southern fried. You can even just stop by KFC and grab a few pieces. That’ll work just as well. But what I had the other night was leftover roasted chicken, so that’s what I used. Works for me.

Oh, and the waffles are whole wheat. The recipe is Alton’s. I simply added a sprinkle of shredded cheese, popped it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt, and drizzled some honey. Definitely, good eats!

Waffles on Foodista

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Pesto Chicken

Here’s a quick dinner idea when you want style without the fuss.

Ingredients:
1 Chicken Breast, thawed and brined
2 Tbs. good quality Basil Pesto (store-bought is fine)
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbs. Low-Fat Shredded Cheese

Directions:
For an incredibly moist meat, brine the chicken breast first. Place it inside a ziplock bag and fill with water and a dash of salt. Store in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Overnight is great!

Preheat oven to 375F. Drain brine water completely and pat the breast dry with paper towel. Butterfly it and spread open. Dust both sides with fresh ground pepper and rub pesto all over. Fold back the breast, place on a baking sheet and pop in the oven until temperature reaches 165F, about 30 minutes more or less, depending on size. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with cheese and pop in the microwave for a few seconds, until the cheese has completely melted. Enjoy with pasta or polenta.

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Chicken & Dumplings

Here’s my version of the ol’ Southern staple. Greatly simplified and healthier but just as flavorful.

Ingredients (4-6 servings):
2 Chicken Breasts, diced into bite size pieces and salt & peppered
4 Frozen Buttermilk Biscuits, halfway thawed and sliced into thin strips
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup, low-sodium/ low-fat
1 can Cream of Celery Soup, low-sodium/ low-fat
3 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock (NOT broth!)
4-6 Garlic Cloves, minced
2-3 Celery Ribs, finely diced
1 small Onion, finely diced
2 Tbs. Canola Oil
Salt & Pepper
Finely chopped Fresh Chives (optional)

Directions:
Prep everything before cooking. Also, make sure you slice the biscuits on a flour-dusted surface or they will stick.

Using a medium-heated large pot or dutch oven, saute chicken pieces in oil until brown, about 5 minutes. Then, throw in the onions and celery and cook for another 5 munites. Now, stir in minced garlic for another couple of minutes. Mix in the soup and stock, salt and pepper to taste.

When it starts to boil, drop the biscuit strips into the soup a few pieces at a time, spreading it out evenly then reduce heat to medium-low. Make sure that all of them are fully immersed in the liquid, but don’t stir. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked and no longer doughy. By this time, it should have an almost chowder-like consistency.

Ladle on a soup bowl and garnish with chives, if you want.

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Mushroom Gravy Chicken

After  over a week of eating canned soup due to the winter bug, I am ready for some freshly cooked food. Something simple and quick, actually.

So, for one of those “I don’t know what to make for dinner” moments, this is a no-brainer, really. Grill or bake a chicken breast and top with gravy! How easy is that? And the gravy is wonderful. Try it!

And like I said before… brine the chicken ahead of time, if you can. It makes a whole lot of difference in taste and texture. You will be glad you did.

Ingredients (2 Servings):
2 Chicken Breasts
1/2 package Mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 tbs. Unbleached Flour
1 cup Chicken Stock
2 tbs. Unsalted Butter
Parsley, Thyme and/or Cilantro, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Season the chicken breasts and cook it your way, baked or grilled.

To make the gravy, heat butter in saucepan (in medium heat) and cook mushrooms until dry and browning, 8 minutes. Add flour and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Whisk in the stock until fully incorporated and bubbly. If it’s too thick, just add more stock. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add herbs and salt & pepper to taste.

Serve chicken breast on a plate. Pour gravy on top and garnish with more herbs.

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Garlic Parmesan Chicken

I happened upon a youtube video with Jamie Oliver whipping up a mean chicken parmesan, very quickly. There was nothing to it, really. Except that he pounded the chicken flat. Well, that’s easy, I thought. I’ve got everything I need minus the prosciutto. Oh well, the leftover turkey bacon will do for now. And I added some minced garlic which I think would be a shame, if you didn’t. It really escalates the depth of flavor. Also, I added a little balsamic vinegar at the end and I have to tell you… this dish turned out to be heavenly!

Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Oh yeah, it’s also worth the mention that brining the chicken in salted water not only fully flavors the meat but also keeps it moist and juicy, all throughout the cooking process. Just be careful with the amount of salt you use as the meat could end up being way too salty. As a rule… use 2 tbs. of salt per quart of water and brine overnight. If you only have a couple of hours to spare, double the amount of salt. Finally, rinse the chicken of excess salt and pat dry before cooking.

Ingredients (1 Serving):
Chicken Breast, pounded flat
2-3 Strips of Turkey Bacon
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
Parsley, Thyme and/or Cilantro, finely chopped
Parmesan, grated or shredded
Lemon, zested
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Butterfly chicken breast, then pound to flatten. If chicken was brined, season with pepper. If not, use both salt and pepper. Lay butterflied chicken on a surface and spread on top minced garlic, herbs (whatever you have), lemon zest, parmesan and cover with strips of bacon. In a medium heated skillet, drizzle a little olive oil and lay breast with bacon faced down and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Flip over and cook another 7-8 minutes or so, until chicken is just cooked but not overcooked. Transfer to cutting board, let rest for at least 5 minutes then slice into strips or pieces. Serve on a plate, garnish with lemon zest, more herbs and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

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