Slow cooker sesame chicken

The weather is cold and comfort meals are still on the menu at our house.  I love using a slow cooker for an easy delicious meal, especially when I have a busy day of activities planned.  This Asian recipe is very easy and quite tasty to make and enjoy. It will serve four people or just two with a nice amount of leftovers for another day.

Begin by slicing 1-2 whole chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Prepare a sauce of 1/2 cup Agave, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  Pour this sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.  I usually stir the chicken after the first 1 1/2 hours just to mix well with the sauce.

Next, add 3/4 bag of small carrots which are sliced in half, and 2 small white chopped onions.  Continue to cook on low for another hour.  Then add one can of pineapple chunks with juice, about 3/4 cup snow pea pods and turn the slow cooker up to High.

Mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water and add to the cooker.  Cook for another hour and then serve with brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Chicken Cacciatore

Easy one pot meals or rustic stews are perfect for cold winter nights.  I look for hearty soup recipes and other meals with shrimp or chicken to help warm us in the early months of the year. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart and is another hit in our home.  Very easy to prepare and in under one hour, your family will enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner.

Here is how I prepared this meal.  First, gather these ingredients:  2 boneless chicken breasts, ground pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 large box white mushrooms, 1 can stewed tomatoes/14.5 ounces, dried oregano

Using the olive oil in my Staub pot, I heated it first and then added the two chicken breasts.  Season with pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes, turning over to brown both sides.  Remove from the pot and cook the mushrooms.  Cover during the cooking process, stirring half way after 3 minutes.  Cook until soft and moist.  Add tomatoes and season with oregano.  Reduce the heat and cook on medium until tomatoes are in small pieces, and flavors have blended.  I keep the cover on the pot for about 10 minutes during this phase of cooking.

Then, return the chicken to the pot and cook until the chicken is fully cooked and heated. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or other starch. Or, for a lower carbohydrate meal, omit the starches. This dish has great flavor and is very satisfying.

Chicken Scaloppine

Do you struggle with easy weeknight meals? Over the years, I seem to have found a variety of recipes that are “go-to” delicious meals that come together very easily and taste great too. I look for recipes that are low in fat, but nutritious and satisfying. Chicken dishes seem to adapt well to various tastes and flavors which allow the protein to appear very different based on seasonings and cooking methods.

Here is a recipe for a lemon flavored chicken which is excellent.  The way I made the recipe, the flavor profile was subtle, so I would increase the lemon ingredients for a more bold flavor if desired.

Gather these ingredients:  3 tablespoons margarine, about 10 white mushrooms-sliced, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2/3 cup chicken broth, 1 pound chicken thighs or breasts, salt and pepper to taste, dried parsley, 1/2 cup white wine.

Using an electric skillet, melt the margarine.  Start with the mushrooms, lemon zest and juice.  Simmer to soften the mushrooms.

Add broth and bring up to temperature.  Next, cook the chicken breasts in the skillet. This step may take 8 minutes.  Then, add the wine and parsley.  Finish the dish and serve.

 

Just like takeout chicken

Here is another really easy and delicious recipe for chicken that is so similar to takeout from your favorite Asian restaurant.  I was inspired by a recipe I found last year in Good Housekeeping magazine. I gave it a try, and the flavors were excellent and very tasty.

I used chicken drumsticks, but chicken thighs, chicken breasts or other chicken pieces could also be used in this recipe.  Here is how I prepared the recipe.  Using one package of chicken drumsticks, place in a ceramic baking dish, sprayed with Pam, and cover the chicken with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of hoisin sauce.   Place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Turn and rotate the chicken and bake for another 15 minutes until done.

Traditionally served with Chinese pea pods, I boiled mine for 10 minutes on low near the end of the chicken cooking cycle.  I drained them and seasoned with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, cilantro, red and ground pepper.  When the chicken was complete, I sprinkled sesame seeds on top for serving.  This dish could be served on a round platter, with the green pea pods in the center of the dish with the wings, drumsticks or other chicken pieces around the sides.

   

 

Chicken and Tomatoes

Another great way to prepare chicken is with tomatoes.  Over the years, I have found many chicken recipes that include tomatoes from soups and stews to slow cooker dishes.  This recipe is similar to a Chicken Parmesan but is baked in the oven. I found it online at the Taste of Home website.  We enjoyed this meal for dinner, and it can be adapted to prepare for a large group or for a “just for two” meal.

Here is how I prepared the dish.  Gather these ingredients:  1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup egg beaters, 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts), 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon margarine, 1 can diced tomatoes, dried basil, salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg.  Place in a greased baking dish.  Mix the cheese, bread crumbs, and melted margarine.  Sprinkle over the chicken.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover, and bake for 10-15 more minutes or until almost done.  Drain and then toss the tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper.  Spoon over the chicken and bake another 10 minutes or until hot.

The tomatoes could also be heated on the stovetop and simply served with the chicken or added already heated to the dish and returned to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time, or just combined for serving.

I prefer the taste of chicken breasts over thighs, but both work equally well in this dish. This is a great tasting dish that can become a family favorite.

 

Chicken with white wine sauce

Delicious one pot meals that come together for a satisfying dinner happen to be some of my favorite dinners.  Even though I try many more complicated dishes, somehow these easy dishes are quite tasty and enjoyable.  This particular dish is easy enough to serve to guests and eliminates lots of time spent in the kitchen just prior to serving.

The second time I prepared this dish, I did use a second saute pan and not just my Staub pot, and it made the dish go a bit faster.  This is how to make this dish:

In my Staub pot, I used about 1 tablespoon olive oil and browned 4 chicken thighs on the stove top. I seasoned the chicken with ground pepper and parsley flakes.  I cooked the chicken for about 7-8 minutes on both sides until brown and then added about 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary.

While this was cooking, I started the second step. When the chicken has browned sufficiently, it goes into the oven at 400 degrees.

  

In a large non-stick saute pan, I browned one small package of sliced mushrooms and 2 medium shallots.  When browned, I added 2/3 cup white wine, 1 cup chicken broth and 3 tablespoons sour cream and continued to simmer on low on the stove top.

After the chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, add the mushroom mixture and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.  I added fresh chives and fresh thyme on top.

The chicken can be served with the sauce, along with a side of rice or noodles and a green vegetable.  Delicious!!

 

 

Mushroom and Herb gravy

Here is a quick recipe for a mushroom gravy that adds an upscale look to any roasted chicken serving.  This recipe happened to be quite tasty and was an easy pan sauce.  It added to the flavor of the chicken.  If you like mushrooms, you will love this sauce.

I used one box of white mushrooms, which I cleaned and sliced, about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 2-3 chopped shallots, about 4 teaspoons flour, and about 1/2 to 3/4 cup white wine.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

While the chicken is roasting the last thirty minutes, begin this pan sauce.  Brown the mushrooms in about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil for about 4-5 minutes.  Then, add a bit of the chicken broth to hydrate the mixtures.  Add the shallots and cook until soft, another 3-5 minutes.  Add the flour and mix well.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Next, add the wine and allow the mixture to come up to a boil, cooking well.  Add the rest of the chicken broth and heat through.  Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Serve over a slice of white roasted chicken breast.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES