Seasoned chicken with vegetables

As other foodies have featured one pot meals, I am also “all-in” with this easy and delicious way to have an amazing meal on the table with layers of flavor and excellent taste. I can’t say enough about cast iron cookware, but my Staub essential oven pot is one of the best.

Some of their best features make a huge difference in the end result of any dish prepared in my Staub cookware.  The interior has a matte black enamel finish which resists food from sticking, as well as benefits the self-basting cooking method.  The convex interior lid encourages moisture to stay within the pot, creating the most delicious moist dishes. Food is basted evenly and throughout the cooking process to create a superior end result.

Here is another dish I prepared in this essential pot, and I can’t wait to make it a second time.  It was just that good.  Gather these ingredients: 5 small red skinned potatoes, Kosher salt, minced garlic in a tube, 2 Tablespoons margarine and 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 bone in chicken breasts, 6-8 white sliced mushrooms, 2-3 yellow onions, chicken seasoning, black pepper, parsley flakes, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/2 bag small carrots

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a sauce pot, clean, cut and boil the potatoes for 10 minutes and drain.  Brown the chicken in the Olive Oil and margarine.  Season the chicken.  Add sliced onions and lightly soften and brown, add mushrooms and cook until soft and lightly browned.  Then add carrots and do the same.  Add garlic and extra seasoning for the vegetables. Add the potatoes and the white wine. Stir.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes COVERED.  Serve with crusty bread, popovers or a side salad.

Apricot glazed chicken

Grilled chicken has become a staple go-to in my house. I can serve grilled chicken a variety of ways with an assortment of side vegetables or toppings.  Over the years, I have become very creative with grilled chicken.

For an alternative, I found this recipe from Martha Stewart and omitted the red pepper flakes, and baked instead of broiling.  The apricot glaze is very tasty and instead of grilled chicken, these chicken breasts bake in the oven and stay very moist and tasty.  Much easier to make for a large crowd if needed to prepare in advance and then simply bake while visiting with your guests.

Here is how I prepared the chicken.  Prepare these ingredients ahead of time:  apricot jam in a bowl, skinless chicken breasts–thin sliced, salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a sheet pan covered with tin foil.  Place the chicken breasts on the pan and season to taste.  Bake in the oven for 6 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush with the glaze of apricot jam.  Bake another 8 minutes until the chicken is done.  I used thin cut chicken breasts and this cooking time worked perfectly for this dish.

Enjoy and serve with any side dish or salad.

 

 

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.