RITZY CHEDDAR CHICKEN

RITZY CHEDDAR CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 sleeve RITZ crackers
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

SAUCE
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons butter

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  • In a food processor grind crackers until fine crumbs.
  • Generously pepper chicken pieces.
  • Soak chicken pieces in the buttermilk.
  • Dredge chicken pieces through the cheese first and then the crumbs.  Pressing each layer firmly into the chicken pieces before the next layer is applied..
  • Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Lay chicken pieces into the baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes or until chicken is golden brown.
  • While chicken is baking begin the sauce.
  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
  • Blend in flour and salt, cooking until bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in chicken brothe and milk alternately.
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.
  • Stir over a medium high heat until sauce is heated through.
  • Serve over chicken.

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HOT CHICKEN CHILE VERDE SALAD

While you cook this, leftovers are good either heated or cold or even on a sandwich.

HOT CHICKEN CHILE VERDE SALAD
3 cups cubed cooked chicken OR 1 Costco rotisserie chicken torn into pieces
3 celery ribs, chopped
8 ounce cans sliced water chestnuts, drained and quartered
1 can green enchilada sauce
3/4 cup REGULAR mayonnaise (do NOT use lowfat)*
1 1/2 cups sour cream 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 small can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used finely grated SHARP cheddar)
1/2 cup Almond Accents honey roasted sliced almonds, crushed**

  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, enchilada sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Add chicken pieces, celery, water chestnuts, almonds and onions until well combined.
  • Turn into a greased baking dish.
  • Combine bread crumbs and almonds.
  • Top with bread crumbs and then cheese.
  • Arrange green chiles around the edge of the baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until heated through.

NOTES:
*I cut this in half for continuity because the enchilada sauce was much thinner than the original cream of chicken soup
**from the produce section – a salad topper

CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, breasts and/or thighs
1 batch Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
1 large tomato chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
3/4-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • Spray casserole dish with NON-STICK cooking spray
  • Lay chicken pieces in bottom.
  • Generously salt and pepper chicken.
  • Cover with Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
  • Place a generous dollop of sour cream on top of each chicken piece.
  • Cover with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 350°.

Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
My Source for awesome homemade verde sauce is Chris the wonderful cook, griller, photographer and Big Green Egg enthusiast. Check out his blog at NIBBLE ME THIS.  He adapted this from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue!

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 Serrano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thirds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and skewered together with a toothpick
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon fat
3 ounces chicken stock
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Get your grill cooking at about 450f.
  • Place the peppers and tomatillos on and sear them until all sides are blackened.
  • This should take a few minutes per side. Remove and place them into a plastic bag for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grill the onion and garlic until browned (about 4 minutes a side for the onion, 1-2 for the garlic) and remove from heat.
  • Skin, seed, and dice the peppers.
  • Skin and quarter the tomatillos. Don’t be super picky about getting all the charred skin off, you want a little in there for flavor.
  • Quarter the grilled onions.
  • Place them all in a food processor and pulse them until you get a salsa like texture.
  • Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat and then add the tomatillo mixture for 3-5 minutes. You’ll get some thick “pops” as the thick liquid heats but keep stirring.
  • Mix in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, letting the flavors get happy together.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

HULI HULI CHICKEN

There is nothing better than chicken on the grill in the summertime. Whether it’s smoked, BBQed or marinaded – you really can’t go wrong. It’s an easy dinner and it doesn’t heat up the house.

This chicken is soaked in a soy sauce brine, then grilled and brushed with an amazing pineapple juice glaze for the last bit of grilling. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Country, June 2009 & Tide & Thyme. I changed a few aspects of the recipe by using chicken breasts which is what I had on hand and it cuts down on cooking time.  I served it with a bowl of Hawaiian macaroni salad & fresh pineapple wedges which disappeared immediately thanks to hubby.

Huli-Huli Chicken

For the chicken
1 quart water
1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon avocado oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken piece **

**I used all boneless, skinless breasts and adjusted the grilling time accordingly.  The breasts were so much better than bone in pieces!

For the glaze
3 (6-ounce) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke (can omit if using a charcoal grill)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
Brine Chicken
  • Combine water and soy in a large bowl.
  • Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir into soy sauce  mixture.
  • Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 8.

Make Glaze

  • Combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger and chili-garlic sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer until thick and syrupy (you should have about 1 cup), 20-25 minutes. 

Prep Grill

  • CHARCOAL GRILL Seal wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vents on grill. Light about 75 coals. When coals are covered with a fine gray ash, spread evenly over the bottom of the grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered with lid vent open halfway, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner.
  • GAS GRILL **Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes.
  • Turn all burners to medium-low.
  • Scrape and oil the grate.
**IF YOU USE LIQUID SMOKE IN THE GLAZE YOU CAN SKIP THE CHIPS.

Grill Chicken

  • Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.
  • Arrange skin side up on grill (do not place chicken directly above foil packet).
  • Grill, covered, until chicken is well browned on bottom and meat registers 120 degrees, 25-30 minutes.
  • Flip chicken skin side down and continue to grill, covered, until skin is well browned and crisp and thigh meat reaches 170 to 175 degrees, 20-25 minutes longer.
  • Transfer chicken to platter, brush with half of the glaze, and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

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BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS & RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

Hubby actually found this recipe over at Two Peas & Their Pod and requested I make them soon! Taquitos are just rolled up tacos. Her recipe calls for baking them which I adore since we just don’t do or need the fat, but don’t worry they still get nice and crispy in the oven!

Is there anything any more fun for an appetizer than a plate of FUN Mexican food? Don’t forget to top it with all your favorite toppings too. You can leave all the topping separate and do an appetizer bar for a party. The taquitos are the perfect appetizer or even the whole meal. The more toppings the better in my opinion. I’m going to make it again for Super Bowl! Her recipe is great the way it is, we just added a few additional toppings.

Hubby found this recipe just in time for my grocery shopping day too and I made them the next day for the NASCAR race – so perfect because I made them in advance and wasn’t in the kitchen during the race.

I did omit the step (changing it to brushing them with avocado oil) “Spray the taquitos generously with nonstick cooking spray” as I try to use very little chemicals in cooking and the spray just has an odd taste to me when used directly on food. And I added greenchile verde sauce, diced green onions and diced cilantro to the insides.

BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup green chile verde sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar jack combo
20 corn tortillas *

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Chopped Jalapeños
Limes for squeezing
Chopped black olives
Chopped Green Chiles
Chopped Green Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Finely shredded Jack cheese
Finely shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with the cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 cup green chile verde sauce, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro. Stir until chicken is well coated and everything is well distributed.
  • Add the shredded cheese and blend well.
  • Before you roll up the taquitos, place the corn tortillas in between damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and fill quickly.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each tacquito, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling taquitos until the tortillas and filling are gone. You should have about 20 taquitos. Nestling the taquitos tightly keeps them from spreading during baking.
  • Use a silicone brush to spread a little avocado oil on the tops of the taquitos.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired toppings.

When I make up the platter, I top the taquitos with the toppings we both like and then do up a side bar for the toppings that we use differently.

NOTE 1*: This will make them easier to roll and keep them from tearing.

NOTE 2**: These tasty snacks can easily be made in advance.  You can even freeze the taquitos before you bake them. Lay the taquitos in a single layer, side by side on a baking sheet, cover with saran and freeze. When frozen, place taquitos in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425° and place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet lined with foil or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

4 large avocados (black in color, slightly soft to the press)
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice 1 lemon or tangerine
1 bunch green onion, diced
3⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 large tomatoes, diced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
finely chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)

  • Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop all the meat into a medium bowl.
  • Add juice of one fresh lime immediately to prevent browning.
  • Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  • Add chopped onions, tomato, and cilantro, stirring gently to mix ingredients.
  • Add juice of lemon or tangerine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  • Add jalapeño to taste.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for a dip, or use with your favorite TexMex meal.

NOTE: If you want a very creamy dip use a food processor. Otherwise doing it by hand gives you a rustic chunky guacamole.

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APRICOT ALMOND CHICKEN

APRICOT ALMOND CHICKEN
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken
1 cup Smucker’s apricot jam
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 green onions, chopped
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sliced almonds**
2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Whisk together the jam, soy sauce, green onion and vinegar.
  • Put half of the sauce in a shallow bowl and coat each piece of chicken.
  • Set the other half aside.
  • Place chicken pieces in a greased baking dish.
  • Sprinkle almonds over chicken pieces.
  • Drizzle with butter.
  • Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve with reserved sauce.

**I used honey roasted from the salad toppings section of the produce section.

PARMESAN MUSHROOM CHICKEN

PARMESAN MUSHROOM CHICKEN
4 thin skinless, boneless chicken steaks
seasoned flour (I use Wondra with salt & pepper)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Asiago Parmesan

  • Combine WONDRA flour with salt and pepper – mix well.
  • Dip chicken in the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour mixture.
  • Heat butter and saute’ chicken until golden.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.
  • Add olive oil.
  • When oil and butter are well mixed and heated through add mushrooms, thyme and garlic sauteing until golden.
  • Add wine to deglaze pan being sure to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream, stirring constantly until well blended.
  • Add Parmesan cheese, stirring until melted.
  • Plate chicken, serving with rice pilaf or mashed potatoes and top with mushroom sauce.

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CAST IRON SKILLET CHICKEN

I menu plan.  I cut coupons.  I read sale ads.  Being a Virgo I tend to be controlling too, but the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your budget is to stay a bit flexible too. When I run across a fantastic sale, I adjust, adjust and adjust to accommodate it into my menu planning.

Do you like those rotisserie chickens from the market?  I do, but on average they are only 2-3 pounds and cost anywhere from $5-$8 or even more.  My local grocer ran a unadvertised special the other day and I got this 5.86 pound beauty for 97 cents a pound.

Now an almost 6 pound chicken will get us a minimum of 4 meals!  So this one even with the additional items of butter, preserves and syrup will cost us around 75 cents per person maybe less if we get more than 4 meals.

I love my cast iron skillet too!  There is nothing better for even cooking heat!  I like to roast my chicken in it so the sides are always radiating an even heat to the whole chicken.

CAST IRON SKILLET ROAST CHICKEN

5-6 pound roasting chicken
3-4 tablespoons butter, softened
salt & pepper
1/2 onion, wedged small
1 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
  • Wash chicken and dry.
  • Spread butter along the inside of the cast iron pan and all over the chicken.
  • Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
  • Place onions along side the chicken.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the preserves and syrup.  Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Roast at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  • With a pastry brush spread preserve mixture all over the chicken every 10-15 minutes until skin is crisp and chicken is cooked through. This should be from 30-45 minutes based on the actual weight of your chicken.

DURANGO CHICKEN

DURANGO CHICKEN
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced green chiles, drained REALLY well
1 green onion per chicken breast, minced
1 1/2 slices thin swiss or jack cheese
8 ounce package Old El Paso Roasted Tomato Mexican Cooking Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter per chicken breast, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh fine bread crumbs
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Crush together the bread crumbs, chili powder and garlic salt until you have fine crumbs.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and blend well.  Set aside.
  • Pour sauce into bottom of baking dish.
  • Flatten chicken breasts – I like to put them in a large ziploc bag and use a rolling pin.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add a single layer of cheese on chicken breasts.
  • Top with green onions and green chiles.
  • Carefully roll chicken breasts, securing with baking bands. DO NOT USE RUBBER BANDS.
  • Roll each breast in butter and then the crumb mixture.
  • Place on top of sauce.
  • Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • Plate chicken.
  • Ladle sauce over chicken.
  • Enjoy.

BUTTERMILK CHIVE CHICKEN

One of the things I love best about this recipe is the tenderness of the chicken.  Marinating the chicken in buttermilk is one of the best tenderizers available. Buttermilk works especially for beef to break down the fat fibers.

BUTTERMILK CHIVE CHICKEN recipe for 4

MARINADE
1 chicken breast per person
1 tablespoon Litehouse freeze dried red jalapenos
1 tablespoon Litehouse freeze dried chives
1 tablespoon Litehouse freeze dried garlic
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • Whisk together marinade and soak chicken for at least 4 hours.  I prefer overnight.

2-3 tablespoons butter or avocado oil
Wondra
salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat butter or oil over medium high heat.
  • Dredge chicken in Wondra.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Brown first side and then turn.
  • Now cover and cook until cooked through.

SAUCE 
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1 tablespoon Litehouse freeze dried red jalapenos
1 tablespoon Litehouse freeze dried garlic

  • Blend together in small food processor and serve room temperature over chicken breast and veggies. Can be made ahead and refrigerated, but bring to room temperature while cooking the chicken.
When I’m making a couple of veggies and want less clean up, I cover the cookie sheet with foil and then make foil dividers.  These Brussels Sprouts were roasted in a balsamic glaze while the asparagus was done in a lemon butter.

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FONTINA STUFFED CHICKEN

WHY IT WORKS: This recipe is light and refreshing while ALSO being crisp and savory. This makes a great “company” meal.

FONTINA STUFFED CHICKEN
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even 1/4 inch thin pieces
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
1/4 cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained, dried and chopped
2 large eggs
FRESH ground Himalayan pink salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, fontina cheese, bacon pieces, green onions, parsley and sun dried tomatoes until well blended.
  • Season cheese mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk egg with salt and pepper.
  • Spread cheese mixture over chicken breasts.
  • Roll chicken up from the shortest side and secure with toothpicks.
  • Add paprika to Panko crumbs.
  • Dip chicken in egg mixture and then in Panko crumbs.
  • Place chicken rolls seam side down in a greased baking dish.
  • Drizzle tops with the oil.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes u until golden brown and chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove toothpicks and serve.

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TAIWANESE CHICKEN

WHY IT WORKS: This recipe is savory and spicy with a chile sauce and tempered by fluffy Jasmine rice. The crispy shallots add a crisp bite to meld all the textures together and tempt your palette.

TAWAINESE CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound red cabbage, sliced thin
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 shallot
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids
1 dried chile de árbol
2 + 1 tablespoons Avocado oil
1/2 cup Jasmin rice
1 + 1/2 cup water
Cilantro , for garnish

  • In a small saucepan heat 1 cup water with a BIG pinch of salt and the rice to boiling.
  • Once it boils, cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Cook 12-14 minutes until rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil and set aside.

 

  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  • In a saucepan combine the Bragg’s amino acids, sugar, water and as much of the chile as you desire and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved and the sauce has reduced by half.
  • Remove the chile.
  • Pour sauce into a large mixing bowl.

 

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
  • Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Add chicken and cook 5 minutes and then flip to second side and cook 5 minutes more until both sides are browned well.
  • Remove chicken to cutting board for shredding.
  • Shred chicken pieces and add to bowl with sauce.

 

  • Add a scant 1/2 cup water to pan and warm.
  • Add cabbage to the pan, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Stir occasionally and cook until wilted and water has been absorbed.

 

  • Slice shallot into thing rings.
  • In a mixing bowl toss the shallot rings with the rice flour, separating the rings into individual pieces.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat.
  • Add shallots in a single layer to sizzling oil.
  • Stir frequently until browned and crispy, 2-4 minutes.

 

  • Divide the rice between 2 plates.
  • Top with cabbage.
  • Top with shredded chicken.
  • Top with shallots and cilantro.

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