Lemon Chardonnay Chicken

This is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that is also pretty enough to serve guests at a small casual dinner party. The citrus sauce is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The leftovers (if you have any) are great for lunch the next day too! Enjoy!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

4-6 boneless chicken breast cutlets (see notes)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup Chardonnay (or you can use white cooking wine)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 green onions (white and half of green section, chopped)

4-6 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped

6-8 Tablespoons butter (divided)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

For Chicken:

Pat the chicken with a paper towel to dry.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Lightly flour chicken and place into a large frying pan with approximately 3-4 T. butter melted in the pan and fry until golden brown about 5 minutes per side.  Be careful not to burn the butter.  Chicken will not be fully cooked.  Place chicken in a warm oven while you make the sauce.

For Sauce:

Add 3-4 T butter to pan. Saute the onions and garlic in the butter on low heat.  Add wine and lemon juice.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken to the sauce, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes more or until fully cooked.   Serve over rice. Yummy!

Notes:  

Chicken – you can purchase chicken cutlets or chicken breast fillets in your local grocery store or you can cut them yourself but slicing a boneless chicken breast in half to form thin patties.

Flouring Chicken – Place about 1/4-1/2 cup flour in a shallow baking dish.  Dip and flip the chicken fillets into the flour to lightly cover them before cooking. This ensures that chicken stays both moist and tender.

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo (in Dutch Oven)

Serves: 4-6

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

For dish:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ stick unsalted butter
1 medium onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (I use Basmati rice but Mahatma works fine too)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons capers (drained)
½ cup pitted green olives (drained)
½ cup roasted red pepper strips (freshly roasted is great but you can save a lot of time by purchasing them in a jar too. They are just as good in this recipe).

Optional garnish: chopped cilantro or parsley leaves

  1. Put chicken thighs in a medium sized bowl and season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano. Let marinate while you’re organizing the rest of your ingredients, no more than half an hour.

2. Melt butter with olive oil in a Dutch oven (5 qt) or large lid pot then sauté onion over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook just until you can smell its characteristic aroma and it turns opaque. Add the rice and stir well so the grains are coated with the fat. Let it sauté for a minute. Add the tomato paste and the broth. Stir well to mix. Add the remaining condiments. Taste the liquid. It should have a piquancy from the capers and olives. Add salt now if you think you need it.

3. Nestle the chicken thighs into the rice, adding any reserved marinade or juices. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover the pot and cook either on top of the stove over low heat or in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the liquid and chicken is cooked through. Taste for seasoning.

4. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley leaves.

Serves 4-6.

Psst! Leftovers are great but this is also an easy recipe to cut in half when it’s just the two of you.

Mom’s HomeMade Chicken Stock

So many delicious soup recipes include chicken stock as the base for the broth. You can buy it in a box at the grocery store but in my opinion, homemade stock takes your recipe up a notch. It takes a bit of planning/preparation, but I think it is a game changer. Here is my go-to chicken stock recipe. It is my variation of Ina Garten’s but I make it in smaller batches. Try it out. It just might become your favorite too.

Yield: 2 quarts

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time 2-4 hours

Ingredients

1 whole roasting chicken (or 3 bone in chicken breasts)

1 large onion, quartered

2 carrots unpeeled and cut into thirds

2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds

5-6 sprigs of fresh parsley

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

5-6 sprigs of fresh dill

4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise

2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Directions

Dump all ingredients in a large stockpot. 

Add about 3 quarts of water to the pot (at least enough water to cover all of the ingredients).

Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 2-4 hours.

Strain the contents in a colander and discard all the solids.

Chill the stock overnight or use in your favorite soup recipe.

You can also pack in freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Italian Sausage Soup

As the weather starts to change, so does my cooking.  Warm hearty soups replace summer’s repertoire of grilled and barbecued fare.  This cozy soup recipe will warm you up this fall.  It’s both satisfying and comforting.

Italian Sausage Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. Italian sausage – mild or spicy (broken up out of skin or sliced with skin on)
1 large onion (cut into ½ inch dice)
4 cloves minced garlic (or more if you like)
1-16 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes (or plain crushed tomatoes with a few shakes of Italian seasonings)
32 oz. chicken broth (Homemade if you can.  See my favorite recipe here)
2 large (or 3-4 medium) zucchini (cut into a ½ inch dice)
2 T fresh basil  (Use just 1 T if using dried Basil)
1/4 cup pasta noodles (like elbow macaroni)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1.  Brown sausage with onion and garlic in a medium frying pan (drain fat).
2.  In a large pot, add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, zucchini, basil, and pasta noodles.
3.  Add sausage, onion and garlic mixture to the pot.
4.  Simmer slowly for 1 hour.  Enjoy!

Psst!  Soup can be frozen for up to 2 months and then reheated for a quick weekday meal.

Baked Penne with Tomato Mozzarella & Sausage

My sister, Tomi turned me on to this yummy goodness from chef, Erica De Mane, who specializes in southern Italian cooking. Serve with a simple salad.

Baked Penne with Tomato, Mozzarella & Sausage

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 lb. sweet Italian pork sausage, removed from its casing and crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 35-oz. can whole plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (from about 6 large sprigs)
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated mild pecorino cheese
  • Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lb. dried penne (or ziti if you prefer)
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut in small cubes

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • In a large skillet or stock pot, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crumbled sausage and sauté until the sausage starts to brown. Season with salt and pepper. If the sausage gives off a lot of fat, pour off most of it, but leave a little to add flavor to the sauce. Add the red wine and let it boil until it’s almost gone. Add the tomatoes with all of their juices and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly. Add the marjoram or oregano and taste for seasoning.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, about half of the grated pecorino, the nutmeg, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook the ziti until al dente (7-8 minutes max). Drain well and toss it with the ricotta mixture until well coated. Add the sausage and sauce and mix again. Add the mozzarella and toss gently. Pour everything into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining pecorino on top. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve right away.
  • Nutritional Info (based on four servings)
  • Calories (kcal) : 1070
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 390
  • Fat (g): 44
  • Saturated Fat (g): 20
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 114
  • Carbohydrates (g): 113
  • Fiber (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 54

Pesto Chicken Lasagna with Zoodles

1Pesto Chicken Lasagna with Zoodles

Ingredients

2  5-6 oz. tubs of Fresh Pesto (refrigerator section of most markets)
3 oz. Alfredo sauce
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 roasted chicken with herbs seasoning (skin removed and shredded)
2 large zucchinis (sliced thin with a mandolin)*
1 large carton of Ricotta cheese
1 carton of baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 T butter
Fresh Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/4 cup Pine nuts or slivered almonds

Instructions

1. Thinly slice the zucchini with a mandolin and lightly salt the “zoodles”.  This will draw some of the moisture out of them and prevent the dish from getting soupy after cooking.

2. Shred or cut up chicken into bite size pieces. Set aside.

3. Sauté mushrooms in butter just until they start to shrink. Set aside.

4. Mix the pesto sauce with the alfredo sauce

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

6. Layer ingredients in an 11X17 baking dish. Start with thin layer of pesto then zoodles.

Example:

pesto,
Zoodles (or traditional lasagna pasta noodles if you prefer)
ricotta (1/8 – 1/4 inch thick),
bite size chicken pieces,
mushrooms,
drizzle with pesto mixed with the Alfredo),
mozzarella.

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7. Repeat layering 3-4 times depending on how thick the baking pan is.

8. Make the last layer on top the pesto sauce with grated Parmesan cheese and then sprinkle with either pine nuts or slivered almonds.

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9. Cook in 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.

IMG_8853Yummy yummy and healthy too!

*You can substitute no-boil lasgana pasta noodles instead of zoodles if you aren’t counting carbs or prefer a more traditional lasagna dish. If so, cook for 50-60 minutes instead.

 

Favorite Salsa Verde Chicken

This 30-Minute One-Pan Salsa Verde Chicken is perfect for a busy weeknight.  It’s healthy, tasty, and super easy.

This Salsa Verde Chicken needs only a few basic ingredients and a casserole dish.

I always keep a jar of my favorite salsa verde from Sprouts in my pantry.  Trader Joe’s has a yummy version too, but I prefer the Sprouts version as it has a little more kick (from Jalapenos).

You can use either bone-in chicken thighs (my favorite) or boneless skinless chicken thighs works too.

Perfect over rice, tortillas, or chips.

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PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 20-40 minutes
TOTAL TIME 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs.  chicken thighs (bone in or skinless & boneless)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin’
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 jar (16oz) salsa verde
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Wash and chop the garlic, onion and red pepper.
  3. Wash and towel dry the chicken and then season with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Lightly brush the top of each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with the minced garlic. Set aside.
  4. Pour the jar of salsa verde in a casserole dish.
  5. Place the chicken pieces in the casserole dish next and add the onion and peppers to the dish and position around the chicken pieces.
  6. Roast for 20-40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. (Larger chicken pieces will take longer).  Do not overcook.
  7. Serve over rice (or with tortillas) and garnish with cilantro and lime.

Vince’s Tuscan Chicken

2Vince’s Tuscan Chicken

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
5-6 small chicken breasts or chicken thighs (boneless)
3-5 shallots, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2-3 T. oregano
1 tsp salt and
½ tsp pepper
½ cup vermouth
olive oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Lightly salt the chicken pieces if desired.  Brown chicken in olive oil for 15-20 minutes on medium heat (1/2 hour if frozen).
Remove from oil and set aside.
2. Add chopped shallots to the frying pan and cook until tender (3-5 minutes).
3. Add chopped tomatoes, oregano, vermouth and salt and pepper.

IMG_8892
4.  Replace chicken in mixture and cook for about 20 minutes more or until chicken done (no longer pink inside).
5.  Serve over bed of white rice, brown rice or fettuccine.

PSST!  Even though my recipe calls for boneless chicken, you can easily make it with the bone in version.  You just need to adjust the cooking time a little longer.  You want to test to make sure the juices run clear and that the meat is no longer pink.

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Skinny Lasagna

DFTSI - Skinny Lasagna_9601

Thin sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles turns this into a delicious yet hearty low carb meal.  You won’t even miss the pasta!

Skinny Lasagna

Cook Time: under 60 minutes        /            Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 – 24 oz jar tomato basil pasta sauce ( I like Bertolli)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (plus a few leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 5 shakes of italien  herbs (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 large or two medium zucchini (sliced 1/8″ thick using a mandolin)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1-2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

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Homemade Yogurt Sauce / Tzatziki

Homemade Tzatziki
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions: 

Wash produce (lemon and cucumber)

Grate the cucumber and squeeze out as much liquid as you can and set aside. This prevents your yogurt sauce from being to runny and watered down)

Cut 1/2 lemon into quarters

In a medium bowl, combine the drained cucumber, yogurt and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow flavors to mix.

Try it with Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Curry Spiced Chicken Thighs, or Ras El Hanout Chicken Breasts below.

autumn gingerbread cakeletsCurry-Spiced ChickenChicken and tabouleh