Category Archives: Chicken

Pesto Baked Chicken

This Pesto Baked Chicken recipe is great because it takes very little time to prep and there are very few ingredients involved.  You will need:

  1. Raw or frozen chicken breasts (one per person)
  2. Your favorite pesto (I like Buitoni’s)
  3. Tomatoes, sliced (2-3 slices per breast)
  4. Fresh mozzarella, preferably sliced not shredded

Before you start preparing the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a baking sheet in foil.  It is important to use a baking sheet with sides because the juices of from the chicken will run while its baking.  Place your chicken breasts on the prepared baking pan.  One of the beauties of this meal is that it is so simple to make

for one person, or to add more chicken breasts on the pan for last minute guests.  If you are using frozen chicken breasts you do not need to let them thaw, but consult the package directions for baking time.

Now that your chicken is on the pan, spread the exposed side of each breast with the pesto.  I LOVE pesto so I always use double the amount you need, which is only about 2 tablespoons per breast.  Place the pan in the preheated oven, middle rack, for about 40 minutes if the chicken breasts are frozen.  You will probably only need 25-30 minutes for raw chicken breasts depending on their size.

With 3-5 minutes left for baking time, top each chicken breast with the sliced tomato and slice mozzarella.  Once the cheese is melted you can remove the breasts from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is so simple and so versatile.  It is really great for a last minute gourmet meal.  Instead of pesto you could use tapenade, butter, or another favorite sauce.  You can substitute the tomatoes for another vegetable and you can use any type of cheese.

Serve with a side of rice or vegetables and enjoy!

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BBQ Chicken

School is out and summer is right around the corner!  Now who doesn’t love a good summer barbecue?  These are my favorite social events of the summer.  Barbecues bring friends and family together to listen to good music and eat amazing food.  Unfortunately, the weather does not always cooperate with your party plans, especially living in the Midwest.  Just the other day it was a steamy 80 degrees out, and in a matter of minutes, the sky was hailing!  So if the weather decides to “rain on your parade”, then you can make this simple barbecue chicken in your kitchen, no problem!

I am excited to say that this was my first, successful chicken dish!  I always thought that raw chicken seemed a little gross and intimidating.  So I did a little research on how to cook the perfect chicken, and I found this awesome webpage: How to Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time.  I’m telling you, this is fool proof!

However, since I was going to cook the chicken in the oven to get the barbecue sauce nice and caramelized, I tweaked the steps a little bit.

First, season the chicken to your liking.  I just salt and pepper each side to keep things simple for my first experiment.  Next, I browned the chicken breasts in a skillet for about 30 seconds-1 minute on each side.  Remove the chicken from the pan.  I decided to chop up about half a white onion and sauté it with olive oil in the skillet to give the chicken a little more flavor.  Once the onions are close to caramelization, return the chicken to the skillet.  Add water to the skillet, put the lid on, and steam the breasts for 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a sheet pan covered with foil.  It is best to use a pan with sides incase the sauce decides to run off the foil.

For the barbecue sauce I mixed my favorite Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce, Hickory Brown Sugar, with a little honey.  I used about a cup of sauce for 4 strips of chicken.  You kind of have to eye ball it and make a little extra incase.  Then, use a grilling brush to baste one side of each strip with your sauce.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.  Continue turning each breast every 5-10 minutes or so and continue basting with the sauce.  I broiled the chicken breasts for the last 5 minutes to get a crispier skin.

The hardest part about this recipe is not drying out the chicken!  So watch it carefully and enjoy your barbecued meal!

“Soufflé” Stuffed Chicken

Having a dinner party?  Cooking a romantic dinner?  Try this easy and healthy “Soufflé” Stuffed Chicken from The South Beach Diet Cookbook, page 226.  The name alone is sure to impress any dinner guest!

Do NOT be intimidated!  This recipe has a lot of steps, but they are very easy to follow.  Trust me, I made this in my little apartment and it was a breeze.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (12 oz) Stouffer’s frozen spinach soufflé (NOT THAWED)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4″ thickness
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Using serrated knife, cut the spinach soufflé crosswise into 4 equal pieces.  Top half of each whole breast with one of the pieces of soufflé.  Fold half of the chicken over the filing and fasten the ages with wooden picks.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden.  Discard the garlic.  Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until well-browned on both sides.
  4. Remove the chicken breasts to an oven-proof dish.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 170 degrees and the juices run clear.
  5. While the chicken is baking, add the broth, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to a large skillet.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce the heat to low, over, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced about 1/2.
  6. To serve, remove and discard the wooden picks.  Arrange the chicken on a warm serving platter, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with chopped parsley, lemon, and a parsley sprig if you desire.

This recipe serves 4.