Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's Tips: Chicken Recipes

I am not the best cook you'll ever meet. I don't mind cooking per se but am often stunted on ideas and find the pre-planning of several meals per week a real bore. On top of this, I used to be much more creative and inspired in the kitchen but with a nagging toddler, it can really wear me out. I now typically prepare the majority of the dinner stuff during naptime (even more of a drag - I just want to rest). We predominantly eat chicken in this house and I've prepared two yummy chicken meals over the past week that meet my requirements: relatively simply and delicious. As always, I tweak recipes to fit what ingredients I have on hand so try some variations.

Three Pepper Chicken (not sure who should get credit for this recipe - I did not invent it myself - I'm sorry I can't remember who gave it to me)
1 TBS. all-purpose flour
20 saltines, crushed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (I used Italian breadcrumbs)
4 4oz. boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup egg substitute (I used regular egg)
1 cup red, yellow, &/or green pepper strips (I used all)
1 medium onion, cut in strips
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 TBS. margarine/butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups hot cooked bowtie pasta (I served over Jasmine rice instead)
chopped parsley, for garnish (I'm not that fancy)

In shallow bowl, combine crackers and Italian seasoning. Dip each chicken breast in egg substitute & coat with cracker mixture; set aside. In large nonstick skillet, over med-high heat, cook peppers, onion, & garlic in 1 TBS margarine until tender crisp; remove from skillet. In same skillet, cook chicken in 1 TBS margarine until golden brown on both sides, adding remaining margarine as needed, about 5-10 minutes. Remove chicken to serving platter; keep warm. Blend chicken broth & flour, stir into pan drippings. Heat until mixture thickens and begins to boil; stir in pepper mixture & heat through. Serve over chicken with pasta (or rice). Garnish with parsley.

Chicken Divan - Paula Deen

2 10-oz. packages frozen broccoli, chopped
6 cups shredded chicken, cooked
2 10.75-oz. cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream (I substituted cottage cheese b/c I forgot the sour cream, OK but s.c. is better)
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 TBS. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I used the canister)
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (Again, the canister)
2 TBS. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Remove the outer wrappers from the boxes of broccoli. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Add the shredded chicken. In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and chicken. Mix well with a spatula. Place the mixture into a 11x7 casserole dish or 2 (9 inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, and butter and sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 30-45 minutes. Cook's Note: Try topping with Cheddar or Gruyere cheese.

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