cold pesto pasta with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes

cold pesto pasta with chicken and sundried tomatoes_

cold pesto pasta with chicken and sundried tomatoes_So I have this friend who is as obsessed with sun-dried tomatoes as I am with kale, and we all know how obsessed I am with kale, so you can only imagine. He puts sun-dried tomatoes in anything and everything, scrambled eggs, pasta, chicken dishes, cookies and brownies, you name it (just kidding on the last two, but I wouldn’t be surprised)!  Sun-dried tomatoes haven’t been in my pantry for the past couple of years, not because I’m not a fan, but I guess I sort of forgot about them.  Since I’ve been reintroduced to them, I’ve fallen in love with them once again.  They really add that extra punch of flavor to any dish, and I love their chewy texture.  I especially love them packed in olive oil, they’re so good that I could literally eat them out of the jar (and I have).  I think I’m becoming as obsessed with them as my friend, and who knows, I may be adding them to my next kale salad or topping them on my next pizza.

My friend’s obsession reminded me of one my favorite cold summer pastas, which yes, include sun-dried tomatoes.  I’ve seriously been making this pasta since 1994, and it’s still a pasta that I look forward to each summer.  The combination of pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives is amazing!  It’s the perfect pasta to bring to a picnic or potluck, and an easy weeknight dinner as it can be made ahead of time. I love it when I can come home after a busy day, open the fridge and have dinner all ready to go. All you have to do is pair this pasta with a salad and a baguette, and you have yourself the perfect meal for a hot summer night.

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farro and chicken salad with dates and cranberries

farro and chicken salad with dates and cranberries

farro and chicken salad with dates and cranberriesIt’s official, Marin mama has been slacking on the blog.  I promised this recipe to you all last week and I never posted it, so I’m sorry!  I’m still trying to manage working full-time, making quality time for the kids and friends, as well as making sure I have some time to play and enjoy life in general, because at the end you have to enjoy all the fruits of your labor, right?  Life is a balancing act that I’m trying to figure out.  What I’ve learned lately is to let go of certain things that really don’t matter at the end of the day, and to try and not control life too much.  My big lesson this spring has been to let go, go with the flow, be open to new paths and opportunities and just play more. So, I will post when I can, and there might be months where I post weekly, and months where I only post twice. I know you’re all super chill with it all, and I totally appreciate it!  I’ve been meeting a bunch of you lately as I roam out and about Marin, and I have to say that I have some of the friendliest and supportive readers ever, so THANK YOU!  You all keep me motivated to get back on this blog!

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rosemary skillet chicken

rosemary skillet chicken

rosemary skillet chickenOk, here’s a recipe for all of my chicken loving readers out there, and I know there are quite a few of you.  You guys have been so patient with my quinoa craziness lately, so I found this recipe just for you, and I guess selfishly for me, because my family and I do love chicken.  This is the perfect weeknight chicken recipe folks.  The marinade comes together in a flash and can be made ahead in the morning, so when you get home from work or just from a long busy day, all you have to do is roast up the chicken.  The chicken takes under 30 minutes to roast up to perfection, but tastes like a chicken that has been cooking for hours.  The chicken is moist and full of flavor from the rosemary and garlic marinade. Oh, and let’s not forget about the amazing sauce, or should I say gravy, because it tastes like gravy everyone. It’s the perfect sauce for dipping a popover in.  The sauce is made up of chicken broth, fresh thyme, shallots and garlic, and just adds that extra yummy factor to the chicken. I’ve made this recipe twice in the past week, and I have to tell you that I’ve had some pretty happy campers in the house.   

I paired this with some traditional popovers one night and my rosemary and sea salt popovers another night, as well as some broccoli rabe that I sautéed in shallots and a bit of olive oil.  This chicken dish is definitely ranking up there as one of our favorite weeknight meals. The kids love it because it tastes great, and I love it because it’s easy.

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simple weeknight chicken soup

simple weeknight chicken soup

simple weeknight chicken soupSo, I’m back, well sort of. I’ve realized during this brief hiatus that I really missed my blog and I really missed all of you.  This blog is a part of me and a part of me that I don’t want to quit or give up on just yet.  I’m a person who loves to share with people, sharing just makes me happy, so I’m going to keep sharing with you all my recipes as well as my journey. There are a lot of changes going on in my life right now, some changes that are amazing and others that are difficult, so I don’t know the frequency of how often I will post, it may just be two times a month or it could be more, I’m just going to play it day by day.

I also wanted to also say a huge THANK YOU to you all.  I was amazed by all of your supportive comments, emails and for those of you that came up to me in person and shared what you loved about the blog. I didn’t realize how many wonderful and loyal readers I had, and I want to thank you all for reaching out these past few weeks. Each one of your comments and emails really touched my heart, and made me realize that I truly have a real audience of readers who were going through the same life struggles as me.  We’re all on this journey of life together, and we’re here to support and love one another and I truly feel supported and loved by you all, so THANK YOU!   I will slowly share my journey with you all over time, but for now, I’m just wanted to share with you all this simple and easy weeknight chicken soup that has quickly become a family favorite.

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citrus-marinated chicken

citrus-marinated chicken

citrus-marinated chickenOk, I have to say that this is one of my favorite chicken recipes ever, and Zoe and Eli both agree with me. We tried this the other night, gave each other the thumbs up and said that this chicken was totally blog worthy and need to be posted sooner than later. The chicken is just so moist and full of flavor from the citrus marinade and I love how crispy the skin gets from cooking under the broiler. This is going to be one of my new go-to recipes for chicken, and the best part is that it can be made year round because it’s cooked under the broiler. You could also grill it up or even sear it in your cast iron skillet and then bake it off in the oven.  I can see paring this chicken with roasted cauliflower or brussels sprouts in the fall and kale mashed potatoes in the winter. This chicken is total comfort cooking anytime of year…. 

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pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticksI love chicken recipes like this where all you have to do is throw together a few simple ingredients and then let the chicken sit and marinate all day. This is the perfect weeknight meal because it can be assembled ahead of time and only take 30 minutes to cook up. You have flexibility here, you can either throw together the marinade the night before, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and then when you get home from work or running the kids around, you just throw it in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. While the chicken is roasting, you can assemble the rest of the meal. Now, how easy is that?

We love chicken drumsticks anytime of year, but for some reason we eat them more in the summer. I think it’s because they make the perfect picnic and backyard fare. You can enjoy them hot out of the oven, warm or better yet cold. I love throwing the cold leftover drumsticks into my kid’s school lunches. They’re a no fuss lunch that my kids happily devour.

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chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa

chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa

chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsaI’m so excited to share these enchiladas with you. I made these up last week and my family LOVED them.  I mean John kept exclaiming to me how good they were. These are truly the perfect spring or summer enchilada, because they’re filled with chicken and fresh vegetables and topped with a light tomatillo salsa. The tomatillo salsa is a light and refreshing change from the normal heavy enchilada sauce that you think of when you hear the word enchiladas. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good enchilada sauce, especially the pumpkin sauce I use on our pumpkin enchiladas, but this is a nice change and flavor for spring.  These enchiladias are so light and refreshing that we each ate two!  Yes, we were piggies, but we didn’t feel bad at all. Sometimes you just have to savor the moment and savor the food.

I chose to roast up chicken breasts instead of using a rotisserie chicken because we’re not fans of dark meat, but feel free to use a rotisserie chicken. To make these enchiladas an easy weeknight meal, all you have to do is pre-cook and shred the chicken (or just use a rotisserie chicken) and make the salsa ahead of time. Then come dinner time, all you have to do is sauté a few veggies, assemble the enchiladas, and throw them in the oven for 10 minutes. At that point you truly have a 30 minute meal. Easy peasy, right? You could even substitute the tomatillo salsa with a store bought mild green salsa if you wanted, though I really think this salsa is the bomb!  I actually roast and shred the chicken the night before or earlier that day and then make the salsa while the chicken is roasting.  That way I take care of two components of the meal. Hey, I’m always looking to cut time at dinner as well. Please don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients or instructions below, these are truly a simple enchilada to throw together.

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Thai style chicken burgers

Thai style chicken burgers

Thai style chicken burgersBurgers are a staple in our house come spring and summer. To me, burgers say spring is here, and summer is around the corner. They make such an easy weeknight meal because all you have to do is pair them up with a side salad or vegetable, and voila, dinner is served. We love all types of burgers from turkey, chicken, to buffalo and veggie. I’m always on the hunt for a new burger recipe to add to our recipe box. I’m currently in the process of testing some new veggie burgers, so for you vegetarians, stay tuned.

I saw this chicken burger in Gwyneth’s new cookbook and decided to give it a try. I thought if Gwyneth likes this burger, then I’m sure I will as well. I became a fan of turkey burgers last year and figured why not try a chicken burger. I mean there really isn’t that much difference between the two meats, right? Turkey and chicken burgers get a bad rap for being dry, but I find that when you mix the turkey or chicken with some spices, onions or cheeses, then you get a nice flavorful and juicy burger. This chicken burger is a lighter and leaner burger for those nights where you don’t want a heavy cheesy burger. This burger is chock full of flavor from the garlic, red chili and shallots. We of course love it paired with our favorite burger condiment, cilantro lime mayonnaise. This mayonnaise really brings out the flavor of the cilantro in the burger.

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buttermilk roasted chicken

buttermilk roasted chicken

buttermilk roasted chickenIt’s so nice to have an arsenal of quick and easy weeknight meals that don’t taste like they were quick and easy to make. I want to serve my family healthy, real food during the week, but I don’t always have the time to make something elaborate. I have a boatload of easy week-night meals in my repertoire, and this chicken dish is one of those. This is one of those chicken dishes that you will make at least once a month, if not more. It’s one of my favorite chicken recipes because you can throw the marinade together in less than 10 minutes and then let it sit anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. It’s a great make-ahead dish, perfect for a weeknight dinner or fancy enough for a dinner party…. 

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easy skillet chicken parmesan

easy skillet chicken parmesan

easy skillet chicken parmesanHere’s an easy weeknight chicken parmesan recipe that can be made and on your table in under 30 minutes, and the added bonus is that it can all be done in your cast iron skillet, making clean up a cinch! It’s also flour-less and egg-less and gluten-free to boot!  My foodie friend Amanda kept telling me that I needed to try this recipe.  I already had my favorite chicken parmesan recipe that was passed down from my mom, so I was a bit hesitant to try a new one.  I then remembered that I have a recipe blog, and my readers may want some variety, so I gave it a try. I’m so glad that I did because it was fantastic and John and the kids gave it a double thumbs up. I gave it a thumbs up due to taste as well as ease.  I still love my classic chicken parmesan because I love the crunchy bread coating, but I love this one just as much, so bonus!

This is basically another pantry meal. Most of the herbs I either had in my backyard or in the fridge, I had some leftover tomato sauce, and I always have cheese on hand, so all I needed to pick up was the chicken breasts.  I really love easy meals that I can throw together at the last-minute.  It’s just helpful to have an arsenal of those easy pantry recipes on the nights when you’re pulling out your hair wondering what to make.

So, I know you all were anticipating the turkey meatballs recipe today, but ever since I posted this photo on my weekly dinner menu, I’ve had numerous emails asking me to please post this recipe soon. I then decided to be nice and post it today instead of making you wait one more week. I figure the meatballs will be perfect for next week’s Super Bowl as they make a great meatball sub.

easy skillet chicken parmesan

easy skillet chicken parmesan

recipe from Giada De Laurentis
serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh italian parsley – I used flat leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise and lightly pounded
  • 1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce, or your favorite tomato or marina sauce
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese – We like our cheese, so we used 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces – The recipe called for 2 tablespoons but I used about 1 1/2

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Let’s prep the ingredients.  Prep your chicken, measure out your cheeses, measure out your sauce, cut up your butter and rinse and chop up the rosemary, thyme and italian parsley.  In a small bowl add the 3 tablespoons olive oil and then mix in the chopped herbs along with a pinch of salt and pepper.

DSC_0013-2Get out your chicken and brush each side with the olive oil and herb mixture.

DSC_0119Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet (I used my 12-inch cast iron) over high heat.  Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.  This step may take longer if your breasts are a bit thicker.

DSC_0137Remove the skillet from the heat.  Spoon the tomato sauce over and around the chicken.

DSC_0025Top each breast with a bit of mozzarella.  Then sprinkle each breast with some shredded or grated parmesan cheese. It’s really an individual preference here with how much cheese you want to add.  We like cheese as you know, so we tend to go a bit on the heavier side.

DSC_0027Sprinkle the butter pieces over the chicken breasts.

DSC_0153Pop the skillet into the oven and bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.  The timing will vary on this as well depending on how thick your chicken is.  You really just want to make sure that the chicken is cooked through.  I always use a meat thermometer to test my chicken, as I will not eat undercooked chicken.

easy skillet chicken parmesanIf you want your cheese a bit browned on top, pop it under the broiler for a minute or two until you see the cheese brown up.

DSC_0024Serve this up with some crispy garlic bread and a nice big salad.  We love it served alongside my lacinato kale salad.  Feel free to play with this recipe to suit your dietary needs, add less cheese and butter if you want a healthier or lighter version.

Three cheers for another easy weeknight meal!

easy skillet chicken parmesan

Rating: 51

Serving Size: serves 4 people

easy skillet chicken parmesan

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh italian parsley - I used flat leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise and lightly pounded
  • 1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce, or your favorite tomato or marina sauce
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese - We like our cheese, so we used 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces - The recipe called for 2 tablespoons but I used about 1 1/2

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Let's prep the ingredients. Prep your chicken, measure out your cheeses, measure out your sauce, cut up your butter and rinse and chop up the rosemary, thyme and italian parsley. In a small bowl add the 3 tablespoons olive oil and then mix in the chopped herbs along with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Get out your chicken and brush each side with the olive oil and herb mixture.

Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet (I used my 12-inch cast iron) over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. This step may take longer if your breasts are a bit thicker.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon the tomato sauce over and around the chicken.

Top each breast with a bit of mozzarella. Then sprinkle each breast with some shredded or grated parmesan cheese. It's really an individual preference here with how much cheese you want to add. We like cheese as you know, so we tend to go a bit on the heavier side.

Sprinkle the butter pieces over the chicken breasts.

Pop the skillet into the oven and bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. The timing will vary on this as well depending on how thick your chicken is. You really just want to make sure that the chicken is cooked through. I always use a meat thermometer to test my chicken, as I will not eat undercooked chicken.

If you want your cheese a bit browned on top, pop it under the broiler for a minute or two until you see the cheese brown up.

Serve this up with some crispy garlic bread and a nice big salad. We love it served alongside my lacinato kale salad.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/01/easy-skillet-chicken-parmesan/

Italian wedding soup

Italian wedding soup

Italian wedding soupI love this Italian wedding soup and I love Barefoot for supplying me with this recipe. I’ve seriously never had a bad recipe with Barefoot, honestly, every recipe that I’ve tried from her turns out great. Maybe we’re kindred spirits or something, but I get her cooking, and I like it.  I have her new book, Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, on my Christmas wish list, and I’m hoping that Santa delivers me a copy.  

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cilantro lime chicken tacos with mango avocado salsa

cilantro lime chicken tacos
cilantro lime chicken tacosThese cilantro lime chicken tacos are the BOMB!  This is the recipe that I raved about in Friday’s mango avocado salsa post.  If you like chicken and tacos, then you will love this recipe.  These tacos were rated a 10+ in my house.  Everyone had 2 tacos and some people, (I’m not mentioning names) wanted a third.  The chicken is so moist and flavorful from the cilantro lime marinade, and top it with the mango avocado salsa, well, you have yourself a winner.   

I got this recipe from a blog that I have been following for some time called, For the Love of Cooking.  Pam has been blogging for years, and she has so many recipes that you could literally make a new recipe every day for a year and then some.  Every recipe that I have made from her blog is a winner.  I love that Pam gives her kid’s honest opinion on each dish, as it helps me to know if the dish is going to be something my kids will eat.   

This recipe is super easy to make, and pretty much a make-ahead meal, perfect for entertaining. You can marinate the chicken in the morning and then just grill it up that evening (don’t marinate it for more than 6 hours though). The mango avocado salsa literally takes 5 minutes to whip up.  

DSC_0145

cilantro lime chicken tacos with mango avocado salsa:

recipe slightly adapted from for the love of cooking
serves 4 to 6 
printer friendly version
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat
  • juice and zest of 3 limes 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small red onion or 1/2 of a large red onion, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • package of whole grain corn tortillas
  • cotija cheese or queso fresco
Click here for the mango avocado salsa recipe.
Prep all of your ingredients.  
Chop up your cilantro, zest and juice up your limes, mince your garlic and chop your red onion into small chunks.
You can either mince your red onion by throwing it into a food processor or mince it by hand.  I find it easier to just throw it in the processor, and let it do the work.
In a medium bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, minced red onion, red pepper flakes, chopped cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper.  
Put the chicken breasts into a ziploc bag and pour in the mixture.  Zip up the bag, and give it a couple of shakes to make sure that all of the chicken breasts are evenly coated.  
Put the bagged chicken in the refrigerator and let it marinate for 2-4 hours or up to 6 hours. 
Note:  I wouldn’t recommend marinating the chicken breasts for more than 6 hours, as they will get a bit rubbery.  If you want to make this a true make ahead meal and marinate it for more than 6 hours, then you can pick up some boneless chicken thighs.  They will take in the marinade beautifully and can handle marinating overnight or for more than 6 hours.     
Once the chicken has marinated, call upon your grill master (that would be my husband) to get the grill nice and hot.  Grill the chicken breasts about 7 minutes per side or until thoroughly cooked (when they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees).  Chicken breasts vary is size so it usually takes longer than 7 minutes per side, that is why I always test my chicken with a meat thermometer.  
DSC_0002Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes, and then slice the  chicken breasts into thin slices.  
While the chicken is resting, throw the tortillas on the grill, and grill them until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side.

cilantro lime chicken tacosThese tacos are not complete without the mango avocado salsa, seriously, it adds so much flavor.  

Top each tortilla with the sliced chicken, mango avocado salsa, cotija cheese or queso fresco and some fresh cilantro.  My kids and hubby honestly loved this dish.  The chicken was super flavorful, and topped with the mango salsa, it was a real treat. 

curried chicken salad

currychickensalad

Want an easy, tasty, family friendly summer meal that can be made ahead of time?  Look no further because this recipe has it all. This is one of our favorite summer meals (well any time of year meal).  Its chock full of flavor and can be served up in so many ways that you’ll never get bored.  Top it on some mixed greens or basmati rice, throw it in a whole grain tortilla or serve it between your favorite sandwich bread.  The possibilities are endless.

This salad is also great to bring to a potluck picnic.  My friend Yvonne brought it to our 4th of July pool party and we served it up on some whole-grain tortillas and paired with my lacinato kale salad.  It was such an easy and healthy potluck dinner, as everything was made ahead of time.

curried chicken salad:

recipe from epicurious

serves 6

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt, I use plain Greek yogurt
  • 5 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion (1 cup), diced
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved - You can also substitute 1 cup of chopped mango for a cup of grapes.  I always do this when mangos are in season.
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped – I just buy cashews that are already salted and roasted
 
Below are the ingredients you will need (you just need 1 more cup of grapes, as I forgot to add that below).
Prep all of your ingredients while your chicken is simmering, and then you will be ready to go.
In a 2-to-3-quart saucepan, bring 4 cups of water along with the 1 3/4 cups chicken broth to a simmer at medium-high heat.  
Note: When simmering, bubbles will break the surface slowly, mostly around the edges of the pot.  
Once the water is simmering, add the chicken and simmer, uncovered, for 6 minutes 
I kept my heat at medium-high here because once you add the chicken the water cools down a bit.  
Remove pan from heat and cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes, or more.  You may get 2 large breasts that are 1 1/2 pounds or 3 small ones, so the cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
Make sure your chicken is cooked through; sometimes it takes less than 15 minutes for my chicken to cook or sometimes it takes more.  I just pull the chicken out and test it with a meat thermometer. You want the chicken to be at 165 degrees, as there is nothing worse than undercooked chicken, YUCK!
 
Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and let it cool for 10 minutes or so.  
Once the chicken is cool, chop it into 1/2 inch pieces.
While chicken is cooling, whisk together in a large bowl, the following ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 5 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

Add the chicken, red onion, grapes and cashews and stir gently to combine.  

Cover and refrigerate the chicken salad till needed. Serve this up as a sandwich on your favorite bread or on a grilled whole-grain tortilla. 

We love this served up over some basmati rice in the winter.  Feel free to substitute apples when grapes are out of season.  You can also use walnuts or almonds in lieu of cashews or omit the nuts and add some celery.  Seriously, you can add and mix in whatever you like.
Curry is known to be good for you, so do something good for yourself and make this salad!

beer-braised chicken verde tacos

tacos

Let’s talk Mexican!  Who doesn’t love Mexican food? I personally don’t know anyone that isn’t fan of Mexican fare.  Living in the bay area we have access to some amazing Mexican restaurants, and we frequent them quite a bit. I love cooking Mexican at home as well, and have really branched out from just making tacos and burritos. I remember when we first moved to California, 15 years ago, the only Mexican food I ate was a bean, rice and cheese burrito.  I’m so glad I got out of that rut and tried some new and exciting flavors.

My husband introduced me to this recipe.  I saw the title, beer-braised chicken, and thought beer, really John?  Is this something the kids and I are going to eat?  It sounded to me like a “manly meal” not a “family friendly” meal.  I took a bite just to please him and was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it.  The kids loved it so much that Zoe ate 3 tacos and Eli ate 2 (that’s a big deal for him as he usually eats about 1). You don’t taste the beer in these, in-case there are those of you that are worried about that. The chicken is super moist and really mild in flavor.  Don’t be scared off by all the ingredients. Most of them are just spices that you most likely have lying around the house.

Another great thing about this dish, besides the fact that it tastes great, is that it is a two-nighter meal and it can be made ahead of time.  Who doesn’t love that?  Oh, and it’s a great weeknight meal because it takes about 30 minutes or so to throw together.  

beer-braised chicken verde tacos:

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Mexican issue
serves 4-6

  • 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil - I used olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion – I used a yellow onion
  • 5 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12-ounce bottle Mexican Beer – I used Pacifico 
  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilies – you can always use the fresh stuff
  • 1 4oz can diced jalapeños – you can always use the fresh stuff
  • package of corn tortillas

Make ahead or leftovers?  You can make this chicken verde ahead of time and store it covered in the refrigerator till needed.  All you have to do to re-heat it is to put the chicken mixture in a saucepan over low heat, and stir occasionally.  The liquid will come out from the chicken and make a sort of sauce for the chicken to simmer in.   

 Let’s prep our ingredients, shall we?
Cut up your onion, combine all your spices and salt into a small bowl (as you will be adding them at the same time), mince up your garlic, wash and prep your chicken (cut off any fatty parts) and open up your canned goods and the beer.
In a 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes. 
 Add butter, and your spices of cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano & salt.  
Cook and stir until butter melts.
Add beer, fire roasted tomatoes, green chilies and jalapeños.  Bring to a boil.  
Add chicken. Return to a boil and then reduce heat.  
Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, stirring a few times.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken from the cooking liquid to a cutting board.  
Gently boil the cooking liquid, uncovered, for about 10 minutes more or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  
Meanwhile, using two forks, shred up your chicken.  Put shredded chicken into a medium sized bowl.
 Add 1 cup of the reduced cooking juices to the shredded chicken and stir to combine.  
You can use this mixture as a filling for either quesadillas or hard or soft-shelled tacos.  
We chose small soft shelled corn tortillas. 
To warm them up, we wrapped the tortillas in tin foil and cooked them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Insert your favorite taco fixings.  

We love topping ours with shredded red cabbage, queso fresco and lots of cilantro.These tacos are family approved and rated a 10+ in our house.  Whenever I make these, all I hear from the troops is, “thanks for making these mom, they’re so good.”  

Chicken with Shallots

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Here’s another wonderful kid approved chicken recipe from you guessed it, Ina Garten. I tend to make a lot of her recipes because they’re easy and they always turn out amazing. This particular recipe was from her cookbook, How Easy is ThatI usually make a chicken dish once a week for my family as it’s economical, easy to prepare and my kids just love it.  This dish was a bit messy and a bit grease splattering, but the smiles and thumbs up from my kids and hubby made it all worth it.

I just found out an interesting fact about chicken skin here at my friend Em’s blog that you might want to check out.  It’s made me re-think having an occasional bite of crispy skin.  My kids were psyched that they got to eat their skin last night, as that is really the best part, right?

This dish is paired with a shallot and lemon sauce that is amazing!  I even rolled my popover in it after my chicken disappeared.  The sauce really makes this chicken stand out, so make it!

Chicken with Shallots:

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa
serves 4

  • 3 to 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)  - The chicken breasts from my grocery store are huge, so we typically get 2-3 breasts
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine – Pinot Grigio works great
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots 
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fine kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Lets get our ingredients prepared.  Mince your shallot, squeeze up your lemons to get your lemon juice, pour your 1/2-cup wine, slice up your room temp butter. Rinse and pat the chicken dry with the paper towels and sprinkle them generously on both sides with salt and pepper.  Make sure that the chicken is dry, as that helps it to brown up in the skillet. 

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet or oven safe skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, until it begins to smoke. Place the chicken breasts, skin side down in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes without moving, until golden brown. 
 Raw chicken photos, gotta love them!  
The below photos show 2 chicken breasts, as I was making a smaller batch to photograph for you all. 
Using tongs, turn the chicken breasts skin side up and place the skillet in the preheated oven.  Roast the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (when they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees).
Please remember that this is an estimate on cooking time since chicken breasts vary in size.  Keep an eye on the chicken and cook accordingly. 
Meanwhile (while the chicken is cooking), in a medium sauté pan, combine the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots and cook over medium-high heat until only 2 tablespoons of liquid remain in the pan, about 5 minutes. If the sauce reduces too much, add an extra splash of white wine or water.   
Honestly, just keep an eye on the sauce and you shouldn’t need to add any additional wine or water.  
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Add the cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a full boil.  
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Remove the sauce from the heat, add the diced butter, and swirl the pan until the butter is incorporated.  Don’t reheat or the sauce will break! 
The sauce will be a creamy yellow and pinkish color.  
Pour your sauce into a small bowl and set aside until the chicken is finished. The sauce may not look pretty, but it tastes amazing!
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Serve up the chicken breasts and have each person spoon the desired amount of sauce over their breast, or you can pour the sauce over all of the breasts. We served these up with popovers and roasted cauliflower.
DSC_0143Everyone in my family was part of the clean plate club.  I even found members of my family lapping up the remaining sauce with their popovers.  

Ratings:
Zoe rated this dish a 10+++.
Eli rated this a 10+++ as well.
John and I loved it as well.

lemon chicken breasts

lemon chicken breasts

Oh Barefoot, how I love your recipes.  Your recipes are always simplistic, delicious and comforting.  Truly, I do love the Barefoot.  Her recipes always come out fantastic and they are not complicated.  I’m not a fan of complicated recipes.  I want something that tastes amazing, is fresh but easy to replicate.  I have 5 of the Barefoot’s cookbooks and go back to them quite often for new and old recipes.  

Two of my favorite recipes from her are her chocolate cake and broccoli lemon pasta.  The chocolate cake is my go-to cake and whenever I make this cake for people they beg me for the recipe. It’s rich and moist and oh so chocolaty.  I will never try another chocolate cake recipe because this one is the bomb. The broccoli pasta is a weekly staple in my house.  It’s one of those dishes that I could make in my sleep.  My kids beg for this dish after we get back from a trip because it just reminds them of home.

I recently received a new cookbook of hers called, How Easy Is That, and I decided to make one of her famous recipes, lemon chicken breasts.  I have seen this recipe on various blogs and it always looked so scrumptious to me. 

I paired this chicken with the roasted fingerling potatoes that I posted the other day and some roasted cauliflower.  This was a very traditional meat and potatoes meal but healthy at the same time.  The perfect winter comfort food dinner.

Lemon Chicken Breasts:

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is That
Serves 4 with leftovers (2 adults, 11 year old and 7 year old)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 8-9 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to rub on chicken
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each) - I used 3 chicken breasts here as the breasts I bought were huge –  Note: we are not fans of the skin but I cooked the chicken breasts with the skin on to keep them moist.  We took off the skin after these photos were taken.
  • 3 lemons total (2 for zesting and for lemon juice and 1 for cooking with the chicken)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and mince your garlic & zest and squeeze your lemons.

Warm the 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet pan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown.  Turn off heat and set aside.

Get a 9 x 12 inch baking dish out and add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt.


Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts and place them skin side up over the sauce.  Brush or rub the chicken breasts with the olive oil and garlic mixture (use all of the garlic here) and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.  Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it in among the pieces of chicken.   

Sorry for the raw chicken picture below.  It’s not the prettiest picture.
 Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, unit the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned.  If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes.  Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  
 Garnish with fresh thyme if your presenting it to guests as it makes the chicken look so pretty!
 Make sure to pour some of the pan juices over each chicken breast when you are serving it up as it adds a bit more juice and flavor to the chicken.  I actually poured all the pan juices into a serving bowl and the we each spooned up some and added it to our breasts throughout the meal.
 My family rated this meal a 10.  I hope yours will enjoy this as well.
Now, how easy was that?
 
Do you have any Barefoot Contessa cookbooks?  

If so, what is your favorite recipe of hers?

chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce

chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce
chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauceJohn and I have become huge fans of Mexican cooking since moving out to California 15 years ago.  The Bay area has so many amazing and authentic restaurants to choose from that we rarely cook Mexican at home.  Now that I am blogging about food, I realize that I need to get out of my comfort zone and try some new dishes.  I recently asked a friend what type of dish she would like to see on my blog next, and she said anything Mexican.  So I listened to her request and perused through my stack of cookbooks for some Mexican inspiration.  I stumbled upon this pumpkin enchilada recipe in my Everyday Food cookbook, and since it was fall, I decided to try it.  I love anything with pumpkin and this sauce looked so savory and rich.  I have always had pretty good success with recipes from Every Day Food, so I knew it would turn out decent (fingers crossed).


This dish had since become one of our family’s favorite dinners.  Every time I make it, I get a thumbs up from the family.  The corn tortillas add so much flavor and texture to the dish.  It’s the perfect blend of spices and flavor.  We love serving these alongside a nice big salad, like my kid friendly caesar salad.  

This is also another great make ahead meal.  This dish can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead of time; refrigerate, covered with tin foil or plastic wrap, until ready to bake (add a few minutes to the cooking time).  You can also make the sauce ahead of time and cover and refrigerate it. Cook and shred the chicken and add the scallions and salt to it and refrigerate and cover till you’re ready to assemble the enchiladas.  When its time to then make the enchiladas, all you have to do is warm up the tortillas and assemble the enchiladas.

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chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce:

Recipe from Everyday Food
makes 8 enchiladas

  • 2 decent sized chicken breasts, bone in, skin on or 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno chile, quartered, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil – or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
UPDATE:  I wanted to let you all know that I was at the grocery store today and noticed that the organic pumpkin (shown below ) now comes in BPA free cans!  Yippee!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet.  Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  I always use my meat thermometer here and take the chicken out when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º.       Want to know a super cool trick for shredding chicken? I learned this step from my good friend Carolyn.  While the chicken breasts are still pretty warm, (you really want them warm to hot for this next step to work) remove the skin from chicken and then using a knife, slice the chicken breast off of the bone.

Get out your kitchen aid mixer, throw the chicken breasts into the bowl and put your paddle attachment on.

DSC_0005Turn the mixer on to speed 4 and in approximately 20 seconds you will have shredded chicken. Super cool right? I didn’t believe it either till I saw it with my own eyes.  See, now you can believe it as well because there’s proof in the below photo.

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Note: The original recipe called for 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken so you can also use that if you wish.  We’re not fans of dark meat in this house, so I always just roast up some breasts when a recipes calls for shredded or cubed chicken.  I learned this trick from the Barefoot.

Note:  For time efficiency, the chicken can be roasted and shredded up ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.  

Once your chicken has been shredded, it’s time to start assembling the enchiladas. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees for the enchiladas.

As you know, I like to prep all my ingredients ahead of time, so lets get prepping!  Slice up your scallions, peel your garlic, chop up your jalapeño chile and grate your fresh cheddar cheese (you can just buy the cheese grated as well).In a blender, add 2 1/2 cups water, the pumpkin puree, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and puree until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full).

Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken and scallions and season generously with salt and pepper.Now its time to heat up your corn tortillas so they do not break apart while rolling them.  I learned this amazing trick from simply recipes and it works every time.
In a medium sized skillet at medium-high heat add 2-3 tablespoons of grape seed oil.
Add a tortilla to the pan.  Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath.
Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath.
Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs any excess fat.
Lay the tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly.  Its best to put the chicken to one side of your tortilla and roll it up from there.
Roll it up as you would a sleeping bag.
Roll up each tortilla into a tight log; place seam side down over the sauce in the baking dish.
 Pour the remaining sauce on top.
I didn’t use all of my sauce here as I thought there was too much.
I poured what I thought was enough sauce and then threw away the rest, so just use your judgement here.Finish by topping the enchiladas with the sharp cheddar cheese.Bake the enchiladas uncovered in a 425 degree oven until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.   
DSC_0099 Top your enchilada with a dollop of sour cream and serve with a vegetable of choice or a nice green salad.  I must admit it wasn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, but it sure got rave reviews on the taste, and we ate it happily two nights in a row.Kids and hubby also requested that I make it again, very soon.
Adios Amigos!
chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce

Serving Size: makes 8 enchiladas

chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 decent sized chicken breasts, bone in, skin on or 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno chile, quartered, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil - or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. I always use my meat thermometer here and take the chicken out when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º.

Want to know a super cool trick for shredding chicken? While the chicken breasts are still pretty warm, (you really want them warm to hot for this next step to work) remove the skin from chicken and then using a knife, slice the chicken breast off of the bone.

Get out your kitchen aid mixer, throw the chicken breasts into the bowl and put your paddle attachment on.

Turn the mixer on to speed 4 and in approximately 20 seconds you will have shredded chicken.

Note: The original recipe called for 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken so you can also use that if you wish. We're not fans of dark meat in this house, so I always just roast up some breasts when a recipes calls for shredded or cubed chicken. I learned this trick from the Barefoot.

Note: For time efficiency, the chicken can be roasted and shredded up ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

Once your chicken has been shredded, it's time to start assembling the enchiladas. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees for the enchiladas.

As you know, I like to prep all my ingredients ahead of time, so lets get prepping! Slice up your scallions, peel your garlic, chop up your jalapeño chile and grate your fresh cheddar cheese (you can just buy the cheese grated as well).

In a blender, add 2 1/2 cups water, the pumpkin puree, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and puree until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full).

Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken and scallions and season generously with salt and pepper.

Now its time to heat up your corn tortillas so they do not break apart while rolling them.

In a medium sized skillet at medium-high heat add 2-3 tablespoons of grape seed oil.

Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath.

Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs any excess fat.

Lay the tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Its best to put the chicken to one side of your tortilla and roll it up from there.

Roll it up as you would a sleeping bag. Roll up each tortilla into a tight log; place seam side down over the sauce in the baking dish.

Pour the remaining sauce on top.

I didn't use all of my sauce here as I thought there was too much.I poured what I thought was enough sauce and then threw away the rest, so just use your judgement here.

Finish by topping the enchiladas with the sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake the enchiladas uncovered in a 425 degree oven until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Top your enchilada with a dollop of sour cream and serve with a vegetable of choice or a nice green salad.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2011/12/chicken-enchiladas-with-pumpkin-sauce/

Chicken Parmesan

chicken parmesan

chicken parmesanMoms, here’s a wonderful and classic meal that is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.  I tend to make this meal when I know were going to have a crazy filled week.  It’s one of those make ahead meals that re-heats extremely well.  I always whip this up when the kids are at school and I can blast my iPod and sing while cooking away.

I have been making this dish for a long time.  Quite frankly, this was the dish that I made for all of my college and post college boyfriends when I wanted to impress them.  Everyone that eats this, literally loves it.  It’s pure comfort food.

chicken parmesan

Chicken Parmesan:

  • Italian style breadcrumbs 
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (halved horizontally) and pounded – Tip:  If you shop at a grocery store with a butcher, have them cut and pound the chicken for you, as it will save you time and a big mess.
  • 2 large eggs – lightly beaten
  • 1-2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce or  2-3 cups of homemade sauce - It really depends on how many chicken breasts you use and how much sauce you like. 
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chunk of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices or you can use shredded mozzarella cheese
  • flour

I usually get 3 chicken breasts that are halved and pounded (giving me 6 large cutlets) because I want dinner for 2 nights.  If you just want this for just one night, then get 2 chicken breasts.

It takes 1.5 jars of sauce to coat the bottom of the two pans below.  

I used a 9×13 pan and a 8×8 pan. Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 or large lasagna style baking dish (if you’re making a double batch like me, then coat another small pan with some sauce as well).    

Get out 3 shallow bowls.  Put some flour in the first bowl, beat 2 eggs in the second bowl and mix together your breadcrumbs and some freshly grated parmesan cheese in the third bowl (that third bowl has a cutlet in it, so that’s why it looks a bit strange).  

Note:  I like mixing italian style breadcrumbs with some panko breadcrumbs to get a bit more crunch.    Dip the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the eggs and then dredge it in breadcrumb parmesan mixture, turning to coat both sides.   Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet (non-stick preferably if you have one) over medium heat.  

Note: You’re going to use a lot of olive oil here if you have a regular skillet.  A non-stick skillet or a cast-iron pan is recommend when making chicken cutlets because you use less oil and the breadcrumbs will not stick to the pan.
While your olive oil is heating up, grab a plate and put some paper towels on it.  You will use this to pat your chicken with after it has been sautéed.
Tip:  Whenever I fry something on the stove I take off all of the burners (besides the one that is being used). This helps with clean up, as I just have to wipe down the stove and not the burners.Place 1 to 2 chicken cutlets in your skillet; cook until golden brown on each side.  

I’m not giving any time estimates here because the cooking time will depend on the thickness of you chicken cutlet.  I usually pull them out when I see that the chicken is no longer pink on the inside.

Tip: I also use a meat thermometer to test the doneness of the chicken.  I take the chicken off when the internal temp is at or close to 165 degrees.  Using a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken to the plate with the paper towels and pat the cutlet to get rid of the excess oil.  You’ll want to use fresh paper towels with each cutlet.  Transfer the chicken cutlet to your baking dish, placing it on top of the sauce. Repeat this process with your remaining cutlets.

Turn on your broiler. Thinly slice up your mozzarella cheese and top each chicken cutlet with a slice or two (or three)!  We like our mozzarella so I put plenty on.Broil uncovered, about 6-8 inches from heat source until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted and lightly browned in spots, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately, or if you’re making this meal ahead of time, let it cool a bit on the stove and then cover tightly with tin foil and place in the refrigerator till later.  

To re-heat it; cook uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the chicken is warmed through.

chicken parmesanPair this with a vegetable of choice or a fresh salad and some crispy garlic bread.  

To make this a two-nighter meal, you can top the chicken on a bed of spaghetti or get some french bread, broil it and make some chicken parmesan subs.  
Delish!

Chicken Parmesan

Rating: 51

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

  • Italian style breadcrumbs
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (halved horizontally) and pounded - Tip: If you shop at a grocery store with a butcher, have them cut and pound the chicken for you, as it will save you time and a big mess.
  • 2 large eggs - lightly beaten
  • 1-2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce or 2-3 cups of homemade sauce - It really depends on how many chicken breasts you use and how much sauce you like.
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chunk of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • flour

Instructions

I usually get 3 chicken breasts that are halved and pounded (giving me 6 large cutlets) because I want dinner for 2 nights. If you just want this for just one night, then get 2 chicken breasts.

When I'm making this for 2 nights, I typically use a 9x13 pan and a 8x8 pan and it takes 1.5 jars of sauce to cover the bottom of the two pans. Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 or large lasagna style baking dish (if you're making a double batch like me, then coat another small pan with some sauce as well).

Get out 3 shallow bowls. Put some flour in the first bowl.

Beat 2 eggs in the second bowl.

Mix together your breadcrumbs and some freshly grated parmesan cheese in the third bowl.

Note: I like mixing italian style breadcrumbs with some panko breadcrumbs to get a bit more crunch.

Dip the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the eggs and then dredge it in breadcrumb parmesan mixture, turning to coat both sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet (non-stick preferably if you have one) over medium heat.

Note: You're going to use a lot of olive oil here if you have a regular skillet. A non-stick skillet or a cast-iron pan is recommend when making chicken cutlets because you use less oil and the breadcrumbs will not stick to the pan.

While your olive oil is heating up, grab a plate and put some paper towels on it. You will use this to pat your chicken with after it has been sautéed.

Tip: Whenever I fry something on the stove I take off all of the burners (besides the one that is being used). This helps with clean up, as I just have to wipe down the stove and not the burners.

Place 1 to 2 chicken cutlets in your skillet; cook until golden brown on each side.

I'm not giving any time estimates here because the cooking time will depend on the thickness of you chicken cutlet. I usually pull them out when I see that the chicken is no longer pink on the inside.

Tip: I also use a meat thermometer to test the doneness of the chicken. I take the chicken off when the internal temp is at or close to 165 degrees.

Using a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken to the plate with the paper towels and pat the cutlet to get rid of the excess oil. You'll want to use fresh paper towels with each cutlet.

Transfer the chicken cutlet to your baking dish, placing it on top of the sauce. Repeat this process with your remaining cutlets.

Turn on your broiler. Thinly slice up your mozzarella cheese and top each chicken cutlet with a slice or two (or three)! We like our mozzarella so I put plenty on.

Broil uncovered, about 6-8 inches from heat source until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted and lightly browned in spots, 5 to 8 minutes.

Serve immediately, or if you're making this meal ahead of time, let it cool a bit on the stove and then cover tightly with tin foil and place in the refrigerator till later.

To re-heat it; cook uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the chicken is warmed through.

Pair this with a vegetable of choice or a fresh salad and some crispy garlic bread.

To make this a two-nighter meal, you can top the chicken on a bed of spaghetti or get some french bread, broil it and make some chicken parmesan subs.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2011/12/chicken-parmesan/