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Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

I was so productive last weekend. I packed away all the shorts and t shirts and swapped them out for everybody’s jeans and sweaters. It was a cool 50 degrees all weekend and we were cozy and oh-so happy. And damn if I didn’t pat myself on the back for checking that giant task of our seasonal to-do list. Aaaaand then this weeek rolled around bringing us 70 degrees and you’d have thought I was trying to torture my boys.

My bad.

Any who, it may not seem like Winter is coming from the weather, despite what our wardrobe (and the local weatherman) says, but I can tell– especially as we shift from using the grill, and move firmly into oven and crockpot territory.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This recipe is easy to throw together, and you let the crockpot do all the heavy lifting. Serve it over a warm bed of freshly cooked white rice, and make sure to ladle a generous scoop of sauce overtop the chicken. Because, this sauce. This sauce will have you smackin’ your lips and licking your plate clean. Shamelessly.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup*
1/2 cup soy sauce*
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Place the chicken thighs on the bottom of the crockpot.
    2. In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine the minced garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley, and stir them together until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
    3. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
    4. Cover the crockpot with its lid, and cook for 6 to 7 hours on LOW, or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH.
    5. Remove the lid and transfer the cooked chicken to a serving plate.
    6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
    7. Serve the chicken over a bed of white rice.

*Use low-sodium options if diabetic or of you have other health sodium-related health concerns. Similarly, this is just as tasty without the rice, or served over a bed of brown rice or quinoa for healthier options.

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Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

I try to follow the news and stay abreast of current events, and there’s currently articles circulating everywhere on the web over the recent results of a scientific study that found cheese (yes, you read that right, plain old cheese) to be as addictive as hard drugs. Basically, cheese is crack.

This explains so much.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches 2

And it makes me feel much better about posting a recipe with the word ‘crack’ in the title.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

This sandwich spread is addictively delicious, both in its simplicity to throw together, and in the few (but mighty) flavors it brings together. Bacon, cheddar, ranch, and chicken all mixed and melded together with a little help from some cream cheese served warm on a fresh, toasted bun. Now that sounds like a problem I wouldn’t mind having. Once in awhile at least.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches 3

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning
8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese + more for sandwiches (if desired)

Directions

 1. Add the chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning to the bowl of your crockpot or slow cooker.
2. Cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Then shred the cooked chicken, the easy way or by removing it to a plate and pulling it apart with two forks.
3. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot and use a large spoon or a sturdy spatula to stir until the mixture is evenly combined.
4. Add in the cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese is melted and everything’s mixed well.
5. Serve the ‘crack’ chicken warm on hamburger buns or sandwich bread, toasted or plain, topped with a sprinkle of shredded cheese (optional).

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

Fall is in the air. And in the grocery store. Apples, apples everywhere!

Trust me though, that is by no means a complaint. And stocked right beside all the apples sourced from several local orchards are just about every local brand of cider you could hope to find. And if you’re like us, you look forward to that taste as an integral part of any ‘Fall’ experience. But did you know that cider can be so much more?

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy 2

Betcha never thought about using it to make gravy, did ya?? Prepare to have your eyes opened wide to a wonderful new world of cider possibilities.

Apple Cider Gravy 2

This recipe allows you to easily cook up a chicken and gravy based dinner for your family, without any of the headaches or fears of making a more traditional gravy. It’s a thinner gravy, but it’s also low in fat. It’s sweet and savory and, thanks to the addition of the cider, full of Fall flavor. It’s a match made in Heaven, well I suppose I should say a match made in Autumn.

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup fresh apple cider
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1-2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp corn starch + 1 tbsp water, stirred together, to thicken
mashed potatoes or rice, for serving the gravy over

Directions

  1. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
    2. Heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
    3. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan, and brown on each side for about 2-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the pant, and set aside.
    4. To the heated pan, add the broth, cider, parsley, and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, and use a spatula or spoon to deglaze the pan. Stir in the corn starch mixture, and reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season the gravy with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the chicken back to the skillet and remove the pan from heat. Serve the chicken with the a liberal serving of gravy poured over both the meat and over the mashed potatoes or rice.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

We love Chicken Cordon Bleu. And how could you blame us? I don’t know many people who could resist a crispy chicken breast stuffed with ham and oozing melted Swiss cheese? And while most people are familiar with at least the basic concept of the original stuffed and pan fried version, we haven’t stopped there. We love all things cordon bleu. All. The. Things.

 Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis 3

Especially our pinwheels version, and in the colder months we really enjoy turning it into a hearty bowl of soup for supper. But we can’t ever seem to stop. We’re always on the lookout for those fun new ways to enjoy old favorites. And thank goodness for it, because it’s how we stumbled onto this sandwich idea.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

This recipe is basically everything you love about Chicken Cordon Bleu and its flavor profile, stuffed into a crisp, crusty grilled panini.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis 2

1 lb chicken cutlets
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
oil, for frying
4 ciabatta rolls, or other bread (we also like thick slices of sourdough)
softened butter
dijon mustard
1/4 lb thinly sliced swiss cheese
1/4 lb sliced deli ham

Directions

  1. Preheat your panini press to high.

2. Place the flour, egg, and panko each into separate, shallow bowls. Whisk the egg slightly to blend it together.  Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper, and then coat each piece in flour, egg, and panko, in that order. Set the breaded chicken aside.

3. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and golden and crispy on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.

4. To make the panini, take the ciabatta rolls and slice them in half lengthwise. Butter the top and bottom of each roll, yes the OUTside. Next spread a little mustard on the bottom half of each roll, the inside of the bottom half. Layer on the cheese and ham by placing a slice of cheese on both the bottom and top pieces, and a piece of ham on just the bottom. Next, place a piece of chicken on the bottom half of each sandwich. Top the sandwiches and move to the panini press.

5. Pressing down on the panini press, grill until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about five minutes. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

Have you ever had a Southwestern-style egg roll? They’re so good, and for the most part they’re not too bad for you calorie-wise. Originally we had to go to our local Chilis to enjoy them, but then we began making them at home, using tiny tortillas.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips 2

But have you ever worked with egg roll or wonton wrappers? Once you’ve opened the package, you’ve got days at most to use the rest before they go bad. And y’all know how much food waste pains me, so as usual necessity was the mother of ingenuity. And it led to our own deconstructed version of southwestern egg rolls, this time turned into a dip. With an egg roll ‘chip’ replacing our typical flour tortilla.

it good. When we ran out of chips the sons were scarfing it down by the spoonful!

East meets (south)West in this funky Tex-Mex, inside out, version of an egg roll. Its simple, fun and a great way to use up leftovers, especially if you’re like us and you’ve got a half a can of black beans here,a quarter cup of diced peppers there, etc.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

1 chicken breast, cooked, then either diced or shredded
3/4 – 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced and then diced
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
package of wonton wrappers
3/4 cup ranch dressing
the juice of 1 lemon or lime, your choice
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 avocado, mashed
salt and pepper, to taste
oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, corn, beans, peppers, green onion, spinach, and cheese until roughly combined.
    2. In a separate bowl combine the ranch dressing, the lemon or lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper stirring until an evenly incorporated dressing forms.
    3. Mix the mashed avocado in with the dressing, whisking until evenly incorporated, and then pour the finished dressing over the veggie mixture.
    Heat vegetable oil in a pan over med/hi heat.
    4. Cut a stack (your desired amount) of wonton squares in half diagonally, forming triangular shaped ‘chips’. Fry the chips a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
    5. Serve the veggie/dressing mix as a dip in a bowl, with the egg roll chips on the side, or scoop out a bit of the dip onto each chip for easy grab and go bite sized snacks.

{One Pot Wonder} Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

Today we’re back with another one pot wonder. A dish that from start to finish, dirties only one pot. ONE. It’s one of the seven wonders of the weeknight kitchen world.

While we’ve got a lengthy list of other one pot recipes we love, this Balsamic Chicken accompanied by some of our favorite veggies, became an overnight star. For real

I tweaked the original recipe to what we had on hand and it was delicious! I mean, REALLY delicious.

As in I think I ate 3/4th of the entire dish. As in, it was great the first time around and great as leftovers for lunch the next day. As in, I think this is one of my new favorite go-to, all-in-one meal.

As in you need to try this right now. Like TONIGHT.

One Pot Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

This meal is new, it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s easy. How many other nights are you able to get a home cooked, form scratch meal on the table in under 20 minutes? And the flavor? With the word balsamic in the title you know it’s got to be good, right?!

Enjoy this meal as is, or fortify it with a few simple carbs in the form of a scoop of your favorite pasta or rice on the side.

One Pot Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Italian salad dressing (light versions tend to work better since they’ve a bit of a thicker consistency for coating, BUT any variety will still taste great)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the dressing, vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes until evenly combined, and set aside.
    2. In a large skillet, or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, before putting the tenderloins into the skillet. Cook the chicken about 6 – 7 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking, until chicken has cooked through (meanwhile, prepare the veggies). Add half the dressing mixture to the skillet and turn the chicken to make sure it’s evenly coated. Transfer the cooked, coated chicken to a large plate or a serving platter while leaving the sauce in the skillet. Add in the green beans and carrots, season with salt and pepper (again, to taste) and cook, stirring frequently, until still crisp, but also tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the veggies to plate or platter with chicken.
    3. Add the remaining dressing mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the cooked chicken, cooked green beans and carrots, and the tomatoes back to the pot. Toss everything to coat, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Like the sound of this recipe? Check out some our other One Pot Wonders …

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken Lo Mein

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Cheeseburger Casserole

Cheeseburger Casserole

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

Pizza Pasta

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

We’ve run the gambit on the recipe list, especially when it comes to kabobs. They’re a favorite of ours, especially in the grilling months, since they’re so, so easy to throw together. Cooking? Well, that’s a breeze. What’s not to love??

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebobs 2

These kabobs are healthy, they’re absolutely loaded with flavor, and they’re pretty easy from start to finish. Short on time? Most of the work can be done ahead of time with the marinade. And then all you’ve got left is to string them along. Me? I get an assembly line going in the kitchen, and we’re all set in less than five minutes.

these kabobs are good all by themselves, BUT if you’re looking to take the meal from just mmm, mmm, good, to flavor bending good? That’s where the homemade tzatziki sauce comes in.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs 4

It’s a must. Rich, creamy, AND healthy ( and this from the cucumber hater of our family ). Get in on this action. There isn’t much more you can ask for in a healthy dinner for the whole family to enjoy.

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebobs 3

2 lbs bonless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing the grill
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 large red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
3 small zucchini (nearly 1 lb), sliced into rounds slightly under 1/2-inch thick
1 large red onion, diced into 1 inch wedges

Tzatziki

1 medium cucumber (about 8 oz), peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 heaping cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing kebabs
1 tbspchopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the kebabs:

  1. In a bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and coriander until evenly combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.  2. Place the cubed chicken in a Large zip locking bag and pour olive the prepared marinade over the chicken amd gently squish the chicken around to evenly coat. Seal the bag, lay it flat, and refrigerate the chicken for 45 minutes, or up to 2 hours (no longer than 2 hours or the chicken will start to get mealy because of the acidic ingredients). If using wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes.
    3. Drizzle the prepped veggies with the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil and gently stir/toss to coat. I just lightly season them with salt.
    4. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Thread a red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, 2 chicken pieces on to skewer and repeat until the skewer is full (leave an inch or two free on both ends to allow for safe handling). Brush the heated grill lightly with olive oil, place the skewers on grill and grill until chicken registers 165 degrees in center, about 7 – 9 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking. Garnish the cooked skewers with parsley (optional), and serve the. warm with Tzatziki sauce.

For the Tzatziki:

  1. Place the diced cucumber in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat then allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
    2. Rinse the cucumbers and place them onto several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth). Place the cucumbers in food processor and pulse to chop fine (if there’s excess liquid drain it off).
    3. Pour the cucumbers into a mixing bowl and add in the Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything to evenly combine. 4. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.
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