Tag Archives: chicken

Day 22: Honey Garlic Chicken

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It’s Monday and almost the end of March! I can’t believe almost a 1/4 of the year has already flown by and I can’t wait for it to officially be summer. I’m ready for some consistent warm weather! Last week we were blessed in NY with weather in the 70’s and for some reason a cold front has decided to come through this week. I don’t like waking up to 30 degree weather! Never have, never will. I need to be in warm environments because I get cold way too easily, plus I packed up all my winter clothes.

I start my new job on Wednesday, so I took advantage of sleeping in today as with my new job I’ll have to be at the office at 8am. I haven’t had early mornings like that since I quit teaching last year, It hasn’t even been a year since I was waking up every morning at 5 am, but I’ve already become accustomed to sleeping in and waking up at 7:30 am! Needless to say, Wednesday morning will be tough. Besides sleeping in today, I literally did not leave my apartment all day. It was really windy and although the sun was out, it was still too cold to enjoy the weather. Instead, I watched movies and did an in-home workout focusing on my legs and abs. Tomorrow I’ll hit the gym or Central Park to get in some running. Today I also cooked!

For Day 22 of the Pinterest Project I made Honey Garlic Chicken for dinner. This recipe was originally for pork chops, but since I’m not a big pork chop eater I substituted it with chicken. Plus, I had two chicken breasts that I needed to use up that expire in a few days, so this recipe was perfect for those! This recipe was originally pinned from the website ‘Spark Recipe’ which is a healthy recipe website. I cut this recipe in half to account for the fact that I was using less meat as the original recipe was for 6 pork chops.

Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a shallow dish, whisk together honey, soy sauce and garlic. Coat chicken in mixture or if you have more time, marinate chicken in mixture for 6+ hours before cooking. Set aside leftover honey mixture for basting.

Put chicken breasts in baking dish that has been greased with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through, basting two times with remaining honey mixture.

As you can see from the picture, I paired my chicken with a side of garlic spinach which was super easy to make. (Sautee one clove of garlic in olive oil until browned, add 2 cups spinach and cook until it wilts –  only takes 5 minutes.)

This chicken was amazing! I know I’ve said that a about a few of the recipes I have made lately, but seriously this was really good. This chicken was one of the most moist pieces of chicken I have ever had in my life, literally. The chicken had a subtle honey garlic taste and was just oozing with juice when I cut into it.

It went perfectly with the spinach for a light, healthy meal. This recipe will definitely be one that I make for a long time! I might even end up trying it with pork chops, like the recipe was originally intended for. We’ll see if I feel up to it, but if it tastes anything like this chicken, then I’m sure I’ll end up enjoying it.

And Mom, when I come in town for Easter weekend I’ll cook this for y’all and give you a break from cooking dinner one night. Trust me, y’all will love it! 🙂

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Day 16: Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

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Day 16 of the Pinterest Project is already upon us and I have decided to make Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce for dinner! When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try it. I love jalapenos and everything spicy for that matter. The spicier the better, if you ask me! This recipe uses Jalapeno Kettle Chips, which are so good. I don’t eat potato chips often, but when I do Jalapeno chips are one of the few kinds I really like to eat.

This recipe is a little different from the one that was originally posted on Pinterest from the blog “My life as a Mrs.”  If you look at her recipe, you’ll see that I made my chicken into strips instead of keeping it as breasts. I thought it was be easier to dip the chicken in the homemade jalapeno ranch sauce, then to drizzle it on top of the breasts.

Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • 5-6 hot pickles jalapeno slices, finely chopped

Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts or tenders (about 1 3/4 – 2 pounds total)
  • 1 bag Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crushed
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash cayenne

Directions:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

Mix all ingredients together (adding additional buttermilk until desired consistency). Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish or baking sheet for chicken. In a bowl, whisk buttermilk, salt and cayenne. If using chicken breasts, pound out chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness and cut into strips. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, tossing well.

Place crushed Kettle chips in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Pull one piece of chicken at a time out of the buttermilk and gently shake to remove some of the excess buttermilk. Dip into the chips and coat thoroughly on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken breast are thoroughly coated.

Place chicken in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve hot with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce.

35 minutes later and the chicken was done. Honestly I don’t know how I feel about this recipe. I was a little frustrated while making it. The chips weren’t sticking to the chicken as well as I had assumed it would and since I cooked my chicken on a baking sheet, the bottom wasn’t as crispy as the top. Also, for some reason chicken looks pink in these pictures, but it was fully cooked!

My favorite part of the recipe was the homemade ranch dipping sauce. It gave the chicken a completely new flavor which was good because I thought the chicken was too bland. I could hardly taste the jalapeno chips and instead it just tasted like baked chicken with a few crunchy things on it. I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with this recipe and I probably won’t make it again. Maybe it would have turned out better if I had followed the directions exactly and cooked chicken breasts, but who knows. The only thing I  for sure will make again is the dipping sauce. I think it would be really good with some buffalo wings or even over a salad – it would give it a really good kick! The pickled jalapenos in it made all the difference.

Let me know if you try this recipe out and get a better result!

Day 11: Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

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It’s the start of a new week and a beautiful week at that. Although the first day of spring is still 8 days away (March 20th) today is finally a gorgeous day in NYC. It’s partly cloudy and in the 60’s, which reminds me of the few nice days you get in Texas. Even yesterday the weather was finally warm enough to enjoy going outside and trust me, the streets were packed! I’m praying that this weather holds up because it’s the first nice weather we’ve had since the fall. No lie, for the past 4 1/2-5 months it’s been cold, overcast and non-stop rainy! In other words, it’s been miserable outside! I’ll be glad to finally be able to get back out to Central Park for a run!

For Day 11 of the Pinterest Project, I’m making Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes for dinner! This recipe was pinned from the blog ‘Skinny Taste’ which I’m sure you’ve heard of because their recipes are all over Pinterest! This will be the first Skinny Taste recipe I’ve tried and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a basic pasta with fresh tomatoes in lieu of a rich tomato sauce, which I’m looking forward to trying. It also helps that one serving of this pasta is only about 330 calories, which is way less than most pastas!

Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes – serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti (the recipe recommends high fiber or low carb noodles)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large frying pan on high. Spray with cooking spray and add chicken. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to packaging, making sure to stir occasionally. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta cooks, heat same frying pan on high heat. Add olive oil to skillet and saute garlic until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft, but not falling apart. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta is too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while I was making this meal because I got a really late start to dinner and my phone was about to die so I need to charge it! So, the only picture I have is of the finished dish.

For a low-calorie, light dish this was actually pretty good. If you’re looking for pasta that isn’t too heavy and has a subtle taste, then this is a good dish for you. The strongest flavors I could taste were the fresh basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. For my pasta, I didn’t need to add any of the reserved pasta water as my pasta wasn’t dry. Everything was thoroughly coated in the olive oil and garlic.

As a side, I made some garlic bread to go along with this dish. I sautéed some french bread in a skillet with a little olive oil and then rubbed the top of the bread with a garlic clove to give it a subtle garlic taste. Eat a helping of this dish with a piece of garlic bread and you’ll be set for the night.

Day 8: Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for lettuce wraps. There’s something about eating warm chicken wrapped in a cold, crisp piece of lettuce that is just so satisfying and tasty! Plus they’re made with fresh ginger which is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with because I love the smell of fresh ginger! So, for day 8 of the Pinterest Project I am making lettuce wraps and the recipe that I repinned is originally from the blog ‘She wears many hats.’

Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

For stir fry sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For Cashew Chicken:
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb. total), diced
  • 8 leaves of green leaf or iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

For the stir fry sauce:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, making sure the brown sugar dissolves. Set aside to use later.

For the Cashew Chicken:

Heat oil in pan over medium to medium high heat. Add the diced chicken cook until browned (about 4-5 minutes). Remove the chicken from the oil and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to remaining oil and cook until golden brown and tender. Add stir fry sauce mixture, browned chicken and cashew to the pan. Saute mixture for a few minutes and then remove from heat.

Spoon chicken mixture into individual lettuce leaves. Add your favorite hot sauce and/or cashews and enjoy! Makes 6-8 lettuce wraps.

I added a premade Satay Peanut Sauce from Trader Joe’s to the top of my lettuce wraps. It added a sweet, nutty taste to the already spicy taste of the chicken. It was so delicious and good and I devoured 3 lettuce wraps before I even realized it.

This is a recipe that I’m definitely going to keep on hand. It only took me about 30 minutes total to make these lettuce wraps. Not only were they easy to make, but they weren’t too heavy which is perfect for dinner. The last thing you want is a heavy meal a few hours before you go to bed. I thought about making a side of rice to go along with this, but I’m glad I didn’t. Try this recipe out and you will not regret it!

Day 2: Baked Chicken Fajitas

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For day 2 of the Pinterest Project, I made Baked Chicken Fajitas. Apart from the Fajitas, I also made homemade guacamole and spanish style black beans.

Baked Chicken Fajitas – This recipe was originally posted on ‘Eat it on the cheap blog’ and was adapted from a recipe in the magazine Taste of Home. Like most recipes I make, I didn’t follow it exactly, but it was pretty close.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 12 flour tortillas, warmed to serve

As you can see, the ingredients that I used a bit different that those in the original recipe. I omitted the chili powder and opted for cayenne pepper instead. Also, I used some Adobo as a little extra seasoning in my fajitas. Also, the original recipe used green peppers, but I used red to make the fajitas a bit sweeter. Unless I’m baking, I typically don’t measure out my spices, I think I have seen enough cooking shows to know what the difference between a tsp and TB looks like in the palm of my hand – plus I also like to improvise by adding extra things in my dishes!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degree. Grease a baking dish (preferably one that is 13 x 9, otherwise you’ll have to use two smaller glass dishes like I did). Mix together chicken, chilis, onions, peppers and tomatoes in the dish. In a small bowl, combine the oil and spices. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables and toss to coat. Since I had to use two baking dishes, I combined all the ingredients into one large bowl to make sure the chicken and vegetables were coated evenly. I then divided the fajita mixture into the two dishes.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Serve on warm tortillas (either corn or flour) and with other additional garnishes (cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc) as desired.  I personally like cheese and guacamole on my fajitas!

Fajitas on corn tortillas

Fajitas on flour tortillas

The fajitas were really good, especially with a Corona and lime to wash it down! It definitely felt like I was back in Texas eating homemade Tex Mex!  The recipe for the Spanish Style beans was straight off of the back of a can of GOYA Black Beans, but I did add GOYA Sofrito (seasoning) to it as well. Below is the recipe for the guacamole I made.

Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Peel the avocados and place them in a bowl. I typically cut them into smaller pieces so that it is easier to mash them up. Using a fork, mash the avocados until there are no large pieces left. Add the onions and tomatoes and mix throughly. I typically also add a tablespoon or two of sour cream to make it creamier, but I was out. Add salt to taste. Also, if you want spicier guacamole, then add some diced jalapeno. Serve with tortilla chips and dig in!

Tonight’s meal was a good Friday night meal. It was filling and perfect when washed down with a cold beer. I do have to admit though that I had a Julia Childs moment in the kitchen. When I was peeling the onion for the fajitas, I accidentally dropped the onion in the trash can! Luckily the onion fell on the onion peel, so I just picked it up, cut it up and tossed it in the bowl! I figure if anything got on it, it was cooked off, right?? When that happened, it reminded me exactly of that Julia Child clip where she is flipping an omelette and drops half of it on the counter. She picked it up, put it back in the pan and said that you’re alone in the kitchen and no one had to see what you did… That is exactly how I felt!

On that note, Bon Appetit!