Showing posts with label chicken breasts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken breasts. Show all posts

Monday, September 21, 2015

Parmesan Baked Chicken Breasts

With company coming for dinner, I was looking for a recipe for chicken breasts, preferably one that involved baking in the oven. I didn't want sauces, especially not a tomato sauce. It's still hot and humid here in the afternoon. The last thing anyone wants is a heavy dish with a hot sauce.

In my search, I stumbled over Ted Allen's Baked Chicken Breast with Parmesan Crust on Food Network. Perfect! Flavorful, easy to make, and it bakes in the oven. Not only that, it turned out great. Definitely a keeper. It involves very little preparation time, and bakes in 25 - 30 minutes, which means you can even whip this up after work, and make a quick salad or side dish while it bakes. I served it to company, and honestly, it's pretty enough for guests. It would double easily, too, if you have a larger group.

I changed it up in a few minor ways. He specified dijon mustard, but I used horseradish mustard. I omitted the Kosher salt because Parmesan is so salty anyway. No one even noticed. If you're into cayenne, by all means use it. I used paprika instead, and it worked very well. And finally, I didn't use cooking spray (I never buy it), though I'm quite certain that spritzing it with oil before cooking would make it even crispier.

The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of Panko and 3/4 cup of Parmesan. I had a lot left over that had to be tossed. Next time I'll start with 1/2 cup of each and add more if needed. The original recipe calls for baking the chicken breasts 15 - 20 minutes. My chicken breasts were not gigantic, but I found I had to bake them 25 minutes. They were perfect, but would have been under-cooked if I had taken them out earlier. So make sure they're cooked through.

The verdict? In spite of all my changes, it got a thumbs up from everyone. The mustard and thyme add a lovely layer of flavor under the Parmesan that's the key to making this special. Don't skip the mustard!

 Baked Chicken Breast with Parmesan Crust
by Ted Allen at Food Network

2 tablespoons horseradish or Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Kosher salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko
Cooking spray (optional)

Preheat oven to 450. Set up a baking dish with a rack in it large enough to accommodate the chicken breasts in a single layer.

Set out two plates or bowls. On one plate, combine the mustard, thyme, salt (if using), and paprika. On the other plate, mix the Parmesan and the Panko. Spread the mustard mixture over a chicken breast on both sides. Press into the Parmesan mixture on both sides and lay on the rack. Repeat with the other chicken breasts. If using cooking spray or a mister, spray with oil. 

Bake 25-30 minutes. Let rest for five minutes before serving.

Two are plain for the pups.

Monday, March 23, 2015

One Pan Chicken Breast Dinner

Where is the quinoa, please? I'm certain I bought it but I don't see it anywhere. Don't you hate it when that happens? So the interesting quinoa recipe that I found will have to be another week. In the meantime, I tried this one pan dinner by Jaime Oliver.

I have to admit that this is the way I like to eat. Quick, easy, fresh ingredients with a simple sauce. Elegant in its simplicity, colorful, and even healthy. I was drawn in originally because of the way he cut the chicken breast. Instead of pounding it (which I never like to do), he makes two slices in the thick portion so that it cooks as fast as the thinner end. I never saw anyone do that before and had to try.

My concern was that it would be easy to overcook the chicken. Chicken breasts are a staple in my life so I know there's nothing worse than dried out chicken. It turned out fine but don't walk away and ignore it. The chicken cooks quickly. I suspect I didn't have the heat up quite high enough. Start at medium high and turn it down if necessary.

I used thin stalks of asparagus. If you find that your asparagus isn't cooked enough for your taste, remove the chicken to a plate when it's done and let the asparagus cook a few minutes more.

There's bacon in the recipe, which was interesting to me. You're supposed to place a piece of raw bacon over each piece of chicken after it's browned. Now, I happened to have leftover bacon, so I cheated a little and used two slightly undercooked pieces. I also added a teaspoon of bacon grease to make up for the loss of that flavor. In the end, my bacon just became soft. So the raw bacon would probably fare better.

The recipe also calls for basil leaves. It's not quite that season here yet, so I substituted a fine herb blend. Remember to watch the chicken so it doesn't dry out. Oh, and we're carb people so I served it with rice.

One Pan Chicken Breast Dinner
by Jaime Oliver

olive oil
2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 slices raw bacon
asparagus (two handfuls)
16 cherry tomatoes
12 Kalamata olives
a few basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon of fine herbs
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan at medium high. Slice the thick ends of the chicken breasts into three roughly equal pieces so they will cook as fast as the thin ends. Salt and pepper the meat. Brown on one side, 2-3 minutes.

Flip the chicken breasts with tongs and lay the raw bacon on top of the breasts. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, herbs, and olives. When the bottom side is browned, flip the breasts again so that the bacon is underneath the chicken breasts. The bacon should crisp up. Flip again, moving the veggies around so that they cook.

Pour the white wine in the pan, scraping up any bits of bacon. Remove from heat and place the chicken on plates. Add the butter and swirl the pan to incorporate it into the sauce. Plate the veggies and pour the sauce over top of the chicken.

Slice the thick ends into three equal parts so they cook as fast as the thin part!

After browning, place raw bacon on top of the chicken. (Mine was cooked.)

Add the asparagus, olives, tomatoes, and herbs and . . .

. . . flip the chicken so the bacon crisps underneath it.

Flip back and add white wine.

Drizzle with the sauce.

So colorful!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Irish Chicken and Cabbage

by Sheila Connolly

In honor of the twin events of Saint Bridget’s Day (February 1st) and the release of my second County Cork Mystery, Scandal in Skibbereen (February 4th) this past week, I went hunting for an Irish recipe.

I know what you’re thinking: potatoes and cabbage, boiled, with maybe some butter thrown in. But there’s so much more! Irish cooking has improved immeasurably in the past decade, from country pub to Dublin white tablecloth venues, and now it’s much more interesting.

I found one promising possibility in Margaret M. Johnson’s delightful Irish Pub Cookbook. But of course I had to tinker with it. You know, I hated it when my mother departed from a recipe—I used to whine, “why can’t you just make it like the book says, the first time?” Of course, her idea of tinkering was adding a dash of vermouth. So why do I find myself doing it now? Yup, changing things. No vermouth, though.

The first thing that struck me in reading the recipe was that it called for 5- to 6- ounce bone-in chicken breasts. I do prefer the bone-in type, especially if the dish cooks for a bit, because they’re more flavorful. What stopped me cold was the “5 to 6 ounce” measure.  We buy chicken at our local supermarket and hunt for the smallest breasts possible. I weighed one when I made this dish and it turned out to be 13 ounces. More twice the Irish size. That’s ridiculous. Why can’t we find reasonable-size chickens here?

Anyway, this is a tasty, healthy dish with an Irish flavor.  It’s not quick, but the slow cooking give you a tender and juicy piece of chicken.

Irish Chicken and Cabbage
1/2 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 Tblsp parsley, minced
1 Tblsp fresh rosemary
2 cups shredded cabbage
1-1/2 cups chicken stock (homemade/canned/from a bouillon cube)
And my own little twist—a tablespoon or two of Irish whiskey

Huge, aren't they?
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or pie pan and dredge the chicken pieces in it, shaking off the excess.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a large baking dish or casserole.

Tuck the garlic cloves, carrots, onions and bay leaves around and between the chicken pieces.  Sprinkle with the parsley and rosemary. Lay the cabbage in an even layer on top and season with salt and pepper.

Hmm, the bottle seems
to be empty
Mix the whiskey into the broth and pour the liquid over the chicken and vegetables. Cover the contents of the casserole with foil (press it against the contents to make a fairly close seal), then place the casserole in the oven and cook for 75 to 90 minutes (remember, the heat is low). You can peek once or twice and baste the top with the pan juices if you need to.

To serve, place a piece of chicken on the plate and spoon the vegetables and sauce over it.

And raise a glass to Saint Bridget! (Oh, all right, Saint Patrick if you must, but he’ll get his turn later.)

Tá sé mo leabhar nua.

That means, "this is my new book" in Irish. It's great reading for a miserable winter day--the crumbling manor house, a lost painting, old family secrets, and the final reveal in the drawing room over tea.
Oh, and visit my redesigned website at
And! There are pictures of places that appear in the book here on Pinterest.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Caribbean Marinated Chicken Breasts by Peg Cochran

With warmer weather on the horizon, it's great to have some quick grilling recipes on hand--the kind that let you kick back and relax while your grill is doing all the work!  This is a very flavorful but low calorie recipe my character, Gigi Fitzgerald, from my Gourmet De-Lite series, would totally approve of!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 2 limes
2 jalapenos, choppped
1 TBL ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
Several grindings of black pepper
1 TBL olive oil

Place all of the ingredients, except the chicken breasts, into your blender or food processor.  Process until   smooth.
Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally (it helps if they are a teeny bit frozen).

Place breasts and marinade in zip lock plastic bag.  Let marinate in fridge for half an hour to two hours.  The longer, the more flavor you'll have.

Heat grill to medium.  Remove chicken from marinade and place on grill.  Grill approximately five minutes per side.

(Meanwhile, kick back with a book and a glass of wine).

Enjoy grilled chicken breasts with a salad (Greek quinoa salad shown here.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summertime Cherry Nectarine Chicken

A friend called me recently because she was looking for recipe ideas. Very specific recipe ideas. She comes home late and has to cook, but since it's late, she doesn't feel like starting up the grill. She wants dishes she can make fast, or even cook in advance so they're ready. She complained that it has become all too easy to swing by a takeout window, but that means eating food that isn't always healthy. She's looking for light summer fare, that is heart healthy and not loaded with fat.

Whew! Quite an order. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be a shame to miss out on all the wonderful fresh fruits and veggies that summer offers.

So then there came a day when I was beat. I'd been out running errands all day. It was already late, and I didn't want to cook on the grill because the air felt like a sauna. While running those errands, I had picked up boneless chicken breasts, gorgeous cherries, and nectarines. Could I do something with those? My first thought was to grill the chicken and make a little cherry nectarine salsa to go with it. That, of course, brought the grill and the heat back into the picture, so I nixed that thought.

Could I make a cherry nectarine sauce for the chicken? I gave it a shot. Had I made this in the winter, I would have used frozen cherries, wouldn't have had nectarines, and would have added brandy and maybe some rosemary. But this time, even though I was cooking the fruit, I wanted to preserve that fresh fruit flavor of summer. To be honest, I wasn't sure it would work, but the chicken was, to quote my mother, "like butter" and the fruit sauce had that intense fresh fruity flavor I sought. This is super easy and very fast. And note that, except for the fat that naturally occurs in the chicken breast, there is no added fat. No oil, or butter, or cream, so it's very heart healthy but still packs a punch of flavor. BTW, I should mention that on these soupy summer days when we're all thinking of iced tea and ice cream, this chicken and sauce is pretty good cold, too!

Normally, it's advisable to pound chicken breasts to a uniform thickness so the narrow end doesn't dry out. I didn't bother, and frankly, it made no difference. My chicken breasts were fairly thick, though, so you may find you need a bit less cooking time.

Summertime Cherry Nectarine Chicken

1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and sliced in half
2 fresh nectarines
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water

3-4 boneless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice the nectarines and place in a large oven-safe pan with the cherries, balsamic vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer, uncovered, about ten minutes. The liquid should be a little bit thick.
Arrange the raw chicken breasts in the sauce, turning to coat. Cover the pan and slide into oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice and checking on doneness.
Slice each chicken breast and serve with the sauce.