Cook Once, Eat Twice: Baked Honey Chicken

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Thank you Kelly Swartz Photography for this photo!

It’s only August but the start of school is upon us!  This return may mean more routine to your week and more regularly-scheduled meals at home. Are you wondering where you’ll find the extra time for everything?  Hopefully I can help you with an easy dinner recipe or two!

This Baked Honey Chicken is a recipe for success: cook once, eat twice.  First, the chicken marinates before it’s baked in the oven.  Half of this cooked chicken is then saved in the refrigerator for the next night’s dinner, Key West Chicken Salad Wraps. The remaining half of the Baked Honey Chicken is served for tonight’s yummy Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli.    

Photos of these recipes are the ones featured on my new website.  This new website is launching in just 4 days!  Watch for my big announcement later this week!

Baked Honey Chicken (makes double 4-serving portions)

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sliced scallions

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer.  Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken.  Cover dish with foil and marinade in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours.  Turn chicken once midway through marinating time.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place chicken, covered, in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove chicken from oven, uncover and turn chicken pieces over, and bake for another 15 minutes, until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Remove half of the chicken to a covered storage dish.  Refrigerate and save for Key West Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps.

Use remaining chicken and sauce for the Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli.

Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli (serves 4)

1 pound Honey Baked Chicken, sliced

Honey Baked chicken sauce, about 1 cup

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1 scallion, sliced thin

Divide rice into each of four serving bowls. Top with equal portions of broccoli and sliced chicken.  Spoon generous amounts of sauce on top of bowl contents. Garnish with shredded carrots and scallions.  Serve and enjoy!

Key West Chicken Salad Wraps (serves 4)

(these wraps can be served in lettuce leaves- as pictured- for a lighter meal or in heartier whole grain tortillas)

1 pound Honey Baked Chicken, diced

1 ripe mango, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 small jalapeño, minced

1/2 jicama, peeled and diced

1 head Boston leaf lettuce, separate and clean and dry leaves (or 4 soft whole grain tortillas)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Dressing ingredients:

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the dressing: combine lime juice, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.  Whisk in olive oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine avocado, mango, jicama, and jalapeño. Add dressing to taste.  Fold in chicken.  Season, as needed, with more dressing.

When ready to serve, arrange lettuce leaves or whole grain tortillas on a platter.  Divide Key West Chicken Salad amongst leaves or tortillas.  Garnish with cilantro and serve.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup with Chips, fresh lime and spoon on Rustic Wood Ba

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I first posted a recipe with the same name five years ago.  This new version boasts bigger flavor with a few additional ingredients and new sauté procedure.  Slow cooking is perfect for this busy spring season. Simply start this in the morning to cook on low for 7-8 hours or at lunchtime, to cook on high for 5-6 hours.  If your slow cooker does not have a sauté function, simply prepare the first part of this recipe in  a skillet on the stove top and transfer to the slow cooker when ready.

If you are not familiar with Chihuahua cheese, please try it.  It is wonderfully creamy and is often used in quesadillas, too.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 6)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon chili powder

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 onion, cut into eighths

1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

1-1/2 cups corn from cob (or 1 can sweet corn)

1 can fire roasted (15 ounce) canned tomatoes

4 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano

2 corn tortillas, torn into 1-inch pieces

1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed

Salt to taste

Garnishes: non fat plain Greek yogurt (or light sour cream), shredded Chihuahua cheese, sliced avocado, fresh lime.

Heat oil in slow cooker set at 400 degrees on ‘Sauté’. Add pepper, onions, garlic and corn, sauté for a few minutes. Add chili powder and stir to coat vegetables and heat until chili powder is fragrant. Place chicken on top of veggie. Add tomatoes, broth, oregano and tortillas. Adjust slow cooker setting to low,  cover and cook for 7-8 hours. (Or set on high for 5-6 hours). At the end of cooking, remove chicken breast to a plate. Add black beans to the slow cooker to heat while shredding the chicken with two forks. Add shredded chicken back to pan. Serve soup in bowls topped with garnishes. Enjoy!

 

5-Spice Glazed Chicken and Rice Bowl

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Sometimes I want a meal that boasts big flavor.  This one does!  If you have ever cooked with Chinese Five Spice (typically a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns), you know it is a culinary treat.  I learned that a few years ago with one of my slow cooker recipes, Chinese Five Spice Pork.  This will be a great recipe to reference if you like the flavor of 5-Spice Glazed Chicken and Rice Bowl.  The ingredient list may look long in this new recipe, but I’ve bolded the ones that get repeated in both the marinade and the glaze.  It’s really very manageable… I made it again for dinner this past weekend!  Enjoy!

5-Spice Glazed Chicken and Rice Bowl (serves 4)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (at least 4 pieces)

Marinade ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon mirin*

1 teaspoon GF soy sauce

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

Glaze ingredients:

1/4 cup mirin*

1/2 cup GF soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

 

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup shredded scallions

1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed

Sesame seeds, for garnish

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix the marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and coat with the marinade. Place in fridge to marinade for 15 minutes, up to one hour.

To make the glaze, combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan. Gently heat to dissolve the sugar. Mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water. Add to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer. Add the rice vinegar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon 5-spice and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally.

In a 10 inch skillet with medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pan fry the chicken, 5 minutes on both sides. Baste chicken with sauce before turning and again on other side. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

To assemble bowls, spoon rice into the bottom of each serving bowl and drizzle sauce on top. Stripe with shredded carrots, green onion and edamame. Slice chicken and place on top and drizzle with more sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.  YUMMY!!!

*Mirin is a Japanese rice wine that provides a mildly sweet acidity to a recipe. It’s used in many Asian-inspired dishes. Mirin is easy to find in the Asian food section of conventional grocery stores.  But if you need a substitute, you can use dry sherry, dry white wine, and rice vinegar by adding 1/2 teaspoon sugar for every tablespoon needed.

Chicken Fricassée with Fennel and Artichoke

Chicken Fricassee

FRANCE!!!! Ever since my time in Paris and the west of France this past autumn, my cooking has been influenced by the flavors of this luscious cuisine.  I even worked on a chocolate soufflé recipe I’ll have to share with you very soon!

And FENNEL!!!!! This fragrant vegetable has many culinary uses from the seeds to the bulb.  This recipe uses the bulb, sliced thin and sautéed with onions until soft.  Please don’t let the fancy name of this recipe hinder you from trying it!  It is basically a one-pot meal with straightforward prep.  And it’s OH, SO DELICIOUS!  ENJOY!

Chicken Fricassée with Fennel and Artichoke (serves 6)

6-8 pieces from a 2-3 pound chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, halved and sliced thin

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and sliced thin

1 cup dry white wine

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1-1/2 cups pitted mixed, green and black olives (in the original recipe, Picholine is the recommended green olive as is brine-cured black olives)

1/4 cup capers in vinegar, drained

12 artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil, drained

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cooked thin pasta or rice, for serving

Generously season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet (with a lid) or Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and brown until they are golden in color, about 5 minutes. Flip carefully with tongs and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Reduce heat to low, add the onions and fennel. Cook, covered until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to pan. Add the wine, tomatoes, olives, capers and artichokes. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust, as needed. Serve over hot cooked pasta or rice. Bon Apetit!

Adapted from Patricia Wells, The French Kitchen Cookbook

Italian Chicken and Orzo Soup

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It’s soup season!  Think of this one as a spin on traditional chicken noodle, loaded with veggies and some orzo pasta. Start to finish, it will be ready in just under an hour.  I do hope this recipe helps you stay warm and healthy this winter!

Italian Chicken and Orzo Soup (serves 6)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound skinless chicken breast

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup orzo pasta

3 cups baby spinach

parmesan cheese, shredded

In a large pot, heat oil. Sauté onion and celery until onion is translucent. Add oregano, garlic and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Sprinkle in salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Add chicken, stock, water, and tomatoes. When brought to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) for 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with fork. In the meantime, add the orzo and simmer aggressively for 10 minutes. When pasta is done, return chicken to pot and add parsley and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve into bowls and top with shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

I have fond memories of enjoying regular home cooked meals during my childhood (thanks, Mom!).  Life seemed a little slower then and certainly more home-centered.  But that doesn’t mean home cooked meals should be a thing of the past.  I will not surrender to statistics that tell me the average American adult buys a meal or snack from a restaurant 5.8 times a week, and more than 30 percent of children eat fast food on any given day.

I have found the key to preparing home cooked meals for my own family, is having the ingredients ‘on hand’.  This requires a little planning or, as in this recipe, having some regular staples in my fridge and pantry (egg, flour, cheese, pasta sauce).  You can quite easily get this meal on the table in 30 minutes or less.  Please let me know how your family enjoys this home cooked dinner!

Chicken Parmesan (serves 4)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

4- 6 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup jarred tomato pasta sauce

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmesan-Reggiano)

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (preferably part skim)

Creamy Polenta recipe (see below*)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Collect 3 shallow dishes. In first, combine flour, oregano and salt. In second, place eggs. Place breadcrumbs in third dish.

Coat chicken pieces one at a time in this order: Dredge in flour mixture. Dip in eggs and dredge in breadcrumbs.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and turn chicken over to cook for 2 minutes. Place chicken in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over, top each breast with 1/4 cup sauce, 2 tablespoons parmesan, and 3 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake at lease 5 minutes more until chicken is done (165 degrees).

Serve with a side of pasta that you made while the chicken was baking in the oven. Round out the meal with a simple green or cucumber salad.  Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies

IMG_2979Cooking with MU Women's Soccer

This week I had the privilege of teaching a cooking class to 16 upperclassman at Marquette University.  They are members of Marquette’s Women’s soccer team.  I brought my ‘Kitchen Simple’ recipes: 10 easy recipes from 15 main ingredients (the ones promoted for Myplate2yours 3rd Birthday!)  This Easy Chicken Stir Fry was one of the recipes we made.  What makes this ‘easy’ is the simple prep of the ingredients (using already shredded carrots and pre washed baby spinach leaves).

It was enjoyed by all of these rising chefs!

MU Soccer cooks!Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies (serves 4)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch strips

2 tablespoon oil, separated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips (the size of matchsticks)

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup sliced onion

1 handful baby spinach

1/2 cup soy sauce mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup brown rice, cooked to package directions

Heat oil in skillet with medium-high heat. Quickly stir in garlic to lightly brown. Add chicken strips. Cook until lightly brown on all sides and no pink remains in middle. Remove from pan. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. When hot, add onions, peppers, and carrots. Stir fry until tender crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to pan and add spinach. Stir fry until spinach wilts. Stir the soy sauce mixture and add to pan. Stir fry until sauce heats and thickens. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings

It’s going to be another cold week in Chicago, but I have a recipe to keep you warm!  Simmering Chicken and Dumplings will warm your kitchen and your tummys with comforting aromas and flavors.

This is a recipe I’ve been making for my family for many years.  It’s especially tasty on cold winter nights when it helps us forget we were counting down the days ’til spring!

(Ssssh!  Only 39 remain…but who’s counting?!).

Simmering Chicken & Dumplings (serves 6)

Chicken:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 small onion, diced

2 ribs celery, sliced thin

5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin

3 cups plus 1/2 cup water

1 bay leaf

3 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoons salt

Black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup flour

Dumplings:

1-1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried

2/3 cup skim milk

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the chicken, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or large covered saucepan. Add the chicken and brown them on each side for 2 minutes. Stir in onion, celery and carrots. Sauté briefly, then add 3 cups of water, bay leaf, bouillon cubes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken, covered for 30 minutes. Whisk together the flour and the remaining ½ cup of water in a medium bowl until smooth.   Add the mixture to the simmering saucepan. Cover and continue to simmer.

For the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and parsley in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry mixture and add the milk, egg and oil. Stir briskly to make a batter. For each dumpling, spoon a rounded tablespoon of batter into the simmering broth. Cover and simmer (no peeking!) for another 10-15 minutes, without stirring. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot. Enjoy!

Chicken Kebabs in Lettuce Cups

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A kebab for the oven?  YES!  Chicken Kebabs in Lettuce Cups with Tomato-Red Onion Salad is full of fresh flavors with an easy prep.  What can be better?

Chicken Kebabs in Lettuce Cups with Tomato-Red Onion Salad (serves 4)

1-1/4 pound ground chicken

1/2 medium red onion; half fine diced and half sliced thin

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup crumbled feta

½ cup fresh mint leaves; half chopped and half whole leaves / larger ones torn

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 Bibb lettuce leafs

Eight bamboo skewers

Soak skewers in water for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, diced onion, chopped mint, feta, garlic, salt and pepper. Divide mixture in half and into 4 portions per half. Form each portion around skewer and place onto baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare tomato-red onion salad by combining tomatoes, onions, mint, olive oil, vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve kebabs in bibb lettuce leaves topped with the salad. Serve with whole grain couscous or a gluten-free grain, if desired. Enjoy!

Adapted from Everyday Foods 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas

This is a dish to enjoy! Especially today as we celebrate the second year of Myplate2yours.  Thank you for allowing me to share two fun years of easy cooking and healthy eating with you.  Feliz Cumpleaños, Myplate2yours!

Chicken Enchiladas (serves 6)

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and diced

1 medium sweet onion

1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 can corn

1/2 can black beans

1-10 ounce can enchilada sauce (or 10 ounces homemade enchilada sauce)

12 corn tortillas

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, onion, corn, beans and half the cheese.  In a skillet, combine enchilada sauce with 1/2 cup water.  Heat to simmer.  Place a tortilla in sauce.  When limp, remove it to a plate while shaking off excess sauce back into skillet.  Spoon 1/4 cup filling across diameter of tortilla.  Roll-up the tortilla and set it seam side down in baking pan.  Repeat this for each tortilla, arranging them in a single layer.

Pour remaining sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover the pan with foil.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more.  Serve with sliced avocado and non-fat plain Greek yogurt (for a perfect higher protein, lower fat substitute for sour cream).  Enjoy!!