Category Archives: Chicken

Fresh Summer Chicken Salad

P1050885Last night I made chicken for dinner and since my Tim was out of town, we had more left over than usual.  So, when I began the search through the refrigerator today wondering what to whip up for lunch, Chicken Salad just sounded really good. I hadn’t had any in a long time!

Now, I know people are picky about their chicken salad. It seems like there is the camp that likes all the mix-ins- like grapes and celery, and nuts. And then there is the camp that adamantly hates that and likes it more plain. Well- I am one of those in the mix-ins camp. But, sadly I didn’t have any of that good stuff on hand to mix in!

So, I created this chicken salad with a fresh summer-flavored twist, using ingredients you are likely to have in your vegetable or herb garden this time of year, or that are in season for you to buy- and yum, yum, yum! I will make this again!

Instead of the traditional grapes, I used strawberries. Instead of celery, I’ve used cucumbers, plus fresh summer herbs and avocado. Perhaps the combination sounds a little weird to you, but it really hit the spot, and it was a great way to use up leftover chicken. It gave me a non-boring lunch for a change, too!

I ate mine right out of the bowl, but it would also taste great served over lettuce or on some good homemade bread! Give it a try!

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Chicken Noodle and Cheese Dinner

P1050828Want an easy dinner that everyone will love? Try this: Chicken and noodles, covered in a creamy sauce, and then topped with cheese.

That sounds pretty simple, right?

Well, it is!

It’s true- there is nothing fancy about this dinner, and there is nothing difficult about this dinner. But, there is a lot delicious about this dinner- and my kids and husband love it when I make it! And that is what makes it a keeper.

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Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder

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Where soups are concerned, I think this one is my very favorite!

My sister-in-law, Christa, first introduced me to her version of this soup many years ago, which is very similar to the way I now make it.

Hearty and comforting, this soup is creamy and cheesy, a little bit thick- like a chowder- and filled with tender chunks of chicken and vegetables like carrots, celery, potatoes, corn, and onions.

P1050641I love it all over again…every time!

Not only does it taste great on a chilly evening for dinner, it also warms up to make wonderful leftovers that taste just as good for lunch the next day.
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Tasty Barbecue Chicken Legs

P1050357Here’s a great Main Dish for any weeknight at your house. It’s easy and cheap and a family-pleaser!

Chicken legs are a very economical cut of chicken, so they are a great choice if you are wanting to save your pennies! Perhaps one of my favorite ways to prepare and eat chicken legs is with Barbecue Sauce.

In this method, I remove the skin of the chicken legs, so that the sauce sticks right to the chicken itself. Removing the skin also makes them a little less fattening, if that’s something you are wanting to watch. I have found that I much prefer eating chicken legs without the skin in the way. I never liked that all the good coating or sauce, or whatever was used, was only on the skin, and then you have all that bare chicken underneath. Personal preference, yes, but maybe you feel the same way?

In this recipe, I both bake and grill the chicken legs. Bake first to ensure the chicken gets cooked fully and evenly- then finish off with grilling, either on an outdoor grill if weather is warm, or even on an indoor grill. I have done both.

I use my Homemade Sweet BBQ Sauce to coat them up. The end result will be juicy, tender, and very messy chicken legs!

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Herbs and Spice Chicken Tenders (quick and easy)

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A few spices that you probably already have in your cabinets and fresh herbs are the stars on these chicken tenders. They’re fast and easy, but still bring plenty of flavor to the table. On those nights when dinner just needs to come together quickly, this is a great solution!

My whole family really enjoyed the chicken tenders prepared this way. I think there was a total of one-half left over 🙂

PRINTABLE RECIPE

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Golden Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders

P1030781These chicken tenders are so good and perfect for a family meal. Skip the pre-packaged chicken coatings- this is so easy to prepare at home with just a few ingredients.

You will be serving up golden and nicely-crusted chicken tenders that taste great and that are healthy, too!

Here’s why I like them:

1. Healthier! Anytime I can add nutrition to a dish, without  compromising the taste- I’m happy. This recipe uses Wheat Germ as a coating. It mimics bread crumbs, and results in a nice and crispy texture, but wheat germ is also a great source of Folic Acid, Fiber, and many vitamins. I love using it!

2. Baked- though I do like the taste of fried tenders, baking is lower-fat, less-messy, and easier to prepare.

3. Quick- Chicken tenderloins only take about 20 minutes to bake

4. Juicy and Crispy- This coating gives a nice crusted finish to the tenders- no soggy coating for me, please.

5. Completely homemade- Milk, Wheat germ, fresh Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, paprika- that’s it!

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Baked Chicken and Cream

P1020708This chicken is AMAZINGLY Delicious!

I was introduced to this dish by my in-laws many years ago when Tim and I were first dating. I fell in love with it.

Generally it was served on special occasions- like birthdays. I asked for the recipe, and began to make my own version for my side of the family- And my younger brother and sister also fell in love with it. Whenever I mention making it- their eyes close, mouths water, big smiles, and they let out an “Ohhhhh- that stuff is soooo good!”

Now, let me tell you- This chicken is very creamy. This chicken is very dreamy. This chicken is rich. This chicken will probably add a pound or two to your weight. But, my goodness, is it ever good. And that is the reason this is perfect for special occasions when you want something extra-special.

Not only is the chicken awesome, but the cream turns out thick and mixes with the wheat germ on top, and creates a delicious sauce. You can spoon all this over something like Baked Brown Rice or a Baked potato.

  • 2- 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( 4-5 breasts) (*NOTE: you could also use boneless, skinless tenderloins- just decrease the baking time to 30-35 minutes)
  • 1 cup. flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2- 2 1/2 cups whipping cream

Coating

  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 cup wheat germ (this mimics bread crumbs- but very good for you!)

Prepare a shallow bowl or pan with the flour and spices.

Melt the butter and pour that into another shallow bowl or pan

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Rinse the chicken and cut the breasts into 2 or 3 long strips

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Now coat a piece with flour

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Dip the coated piece into the butter mixture

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Place all of these in a lightly- greased baking dish (at least a 9×13 size)

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When you have coated all the chicken with the flour and butter, measure out the whipping cream and pour all of it over the chicken. (this is the really good stuff!!)

Bake this, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes at 375. (Be sure the chicken tests done)

Sprinkle with a little salt

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Melt 2 Tbs  butter and mix with the wheat germ. Sprinkle all of this over the chicken and bake for about 8 more minutes.

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The chicken is now done!

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I serve this over Baked Brown Rice and Carrots on the side.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

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Ohhhhh! Talk about comfort food at it’s best! This has to be one of my very favorite dinners to make and eat!

Tender chunks of chicken coupled with brown rice-absolutely covered in a delicious, hot and creamy sauce that is made with homemade chicken stock and cream.

Oh, yes. It. is. good!

I fix this quite often because we ALL love it! (James, my almost-3-year-old will usually eat about three servings!)

There are just 4 main steps to preparing this dish: Making the Stock/Cooking the Chicken, Making the Rice, Making the Sauce, and then Putting it all together.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

Chicken and Stock:

  • 2 split chicken breasts (2 1/2- 3 lbs) (NOT boneless, skinless. You want the bone-in, skin-on chicken. It has much more flavor and will give you a more tender finished product)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Carrots
  • Celery
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • Bay Leaf

Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tbs. butter

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) flour
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream)

So- let’s go:

**NOTE: Get “Step 2: Rice” started when you are about half-way through cooking the chicken

Step 1: Chicken/Chicken Stock

  • Chicken: Rinse off your chicken. Place in a large, deep pot- like a stock pot.

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  • Carrots: Peel the carrots. Chop off both ends. Cut in half. Add to pot
  • Celery: I like to take the whole bunch of celery- rinse it off, and then chop off the whole top- cutting right below where the celery leaves stop. There is a lot of flavor in the celery leaves, and I don’t use them for anything else. So, this is a great use for them. Add to pot.
  • Onion: Peel onion. Cut in half, Add to pot.
  • Garlic: Cut off both ends of the clove. Smash it with the flat side of your knife to loosen the peel. Peel it. Add to pot.
  • Bay leaves: Add to pot
  • Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper

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  • Water: Add water so that it covers all the chicken & vegetables, and then some- about 11-12 cups. (my pot is usually 3/4 full)

Now, keep your pot uncovered, turn up to high heat to get it to a boil.

Watch it- Once boiling, the contents will rise really fast and overflow if you are not careful. So, once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat to medium-high so that it maintains a steady boil.

You can place a lid on top- but allow it to remain cracked open

Keep an eye on the water level. If it looks like the chicken and vegetables are not remaining fully covered, add more water. You want plenty of liquid.

It should take the chicken about 45 minutes to be cooked. Try not to poke at it. You don’t want to lose the good juices that will keep it moist. You also do not want to overcook it, which will make it tough. I suggest checking it at 45 minutes and then add time as needed.

After 45 minutes- take one of the pieces of chicken out of the pot and lay it on a cutting board. Gently pull some of the chicken away from the bone.  Do you still see some pink? If so- back in the pot it goes. If you do not see pink, and all the juices run clear, the chicken is done.

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OK- now, once the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat. Place chicken on a cutting board. Using a fork, remove the skin. (it should slide right off). Now, pull the meat away from the bone and chop up.

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Set the chopped up chicken aside in a bowl until you are ready to use it.

Strain the stock through a colander into a bowl to catch all the vegetables. You can discard the cooked veggies or add them to your compost!

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And now you have chicken stock! Hooray! Good job!

Just set it aside until you are ready to use it. Any stock you do not use in this recipe, you can freeze. I freeze mine in 2-3 cup portions so I have homemade chicken stock ready for recipes.

Step 2: Making the Rice

While the chicken is cooking- get the rice in the oven.

I use and recommend Baked Brown Rice (you can see my full post here)

Boil the 2 1/2 cups water.

Pour rice in a greased 8in dish.

Dot with 3 Tbs. butter, cut into chunks

Pour boiling water over the rice.

Cover tightly with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour.

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Step 3: Making the Sauce

On medium-high heat, Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan.

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Finely dice up 1/2 of a small onion and add to the melted butter. Allow these to cook for a few minutes.

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Pour in a heaping 1/4 cup of flour and mix into the butter/onion until fully incorporated. (you just made a roux!)

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Measure 3 cups of your chicken stock and add it 1 cup at a time to the roux- stirring with a whisk in between each addition to break up the flour mixture.

Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens a little.

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Add 1 cup of half and half.

Stir a little more until it thickens again.

Sprinkle in a little more salt- about 1/2- 1 tsp.

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Stir in the chicken.

Stir in 3 cups of rice.

Now just allow it to simmer- stirring occasionally until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. (just a few minutes) It should all be bubbly.

And you are done!!

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I usually either serve this by itself, or with a green vegetable or carrots or some applesauce.

**My husband and I like to give our servings’ a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper, for some heat

Baked Chicken with Gravy

P1020566Baked chicken is such an easy meal to put together. It turns out beautifully, is simple enough for a family dinner, but can be nice enough for company, too.  And by watching sale prices, you can make this a very economical meal.

This Baked Chicken is particularly flavorful and moist, and the gravy just sends the dish over the top! 

We tend to eat mostly the white meat, so instead of buying a whole chicken, I usually just buy split chicken breasts when they go on sale. I find bone-in chicken breast to be so much more flavorful and tender than the boneless, skinless variety. So, it is definitely my preference. 

The gravy is just the perfect finish. We ate every last shred of this chicken. My husband and kids (even the picky ones) enjoyed it. Yay! (that is always an accomplishment!)

I hope it will be as big a hit at your dinner table sometime soon!

*Note: the following spice measurements are only approximate. Add more or less according to your tastes!

  • 2 bone-in split chicken breasts (about 2 1/2- 3 lbs)
  • Kosher Salt (about 3/4 tsp)
  • Pepper (about 1/4 tsp)
  • Dried Basil (or fresh), to taste (approx. 1/8 tsp)
  • Dried Thyme (or fresh)- just a pinch
  • Paprika, (approx. 1/8 tsp)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 of an onion

for gravy:

  • flour
  • water
  • drippings from the chicken (including any pieces of onion or garlic)

Rinse your chicken. Pull back the skin and remove. (I like to remove the skin so that the spices are directly on the meat)

Place in a roaster pan. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, basil, thyme, and paprika.

Peel Garlic and give it a rough dice. Place some on top and around the chicken.

Cut onion in half and then chop into large chunks. Place around the chicken. (the onion and garlic are just there to add flavor)

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Pour in 1/4 cup water around the chicken.

Cover the roaster and bake at 375 for 1 1/2 hours.

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When the chicken is done, remove it to a plate. (it is done when the juices inside the chicken run clear and it is tender)

Spoon just a very small amount of the liquid in the pan over the chicken- to help to lock in the moisture. Cover to keep warm.

Place the roaster right on the burner. (or if you don’t use a roaster- pour the drippings from the chicken into a saucepan)

Turn heat to medium.

In a cup, mix together 1/4 cup cold water and 1 large spoonful of flour. Mix well with a fork.

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Pour this mixture into the drippings. Using a whisk, stir well to combine completely.

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Continue to stir frequently until the gravy begins to bubble. Once it has begun to thicken, add about another cup of water.

Continue to simmer until the gravy reaches your desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow the gravy to simmer on low for several minutes. The more it simmers, the richer it becomes.

Pour the gravy into a gravy boat and serve with the chicken.

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Loaded Salsa Chicken and Rice

P1010796Talk about a super easy meal! This is it! Prepare your chicken in the crock pot or in the oven- works either way. I actually prefer the crock pot for this one because the chicken gets so tender and stays so very moist. But, whatever you choose, you can have fun with this dinner and all the toppings. Personally, I think the cool and creamy sour cream and avocado are what make this dish complete! The salsa from the chicken soaks into the rice and once all is added on top, you have a beautiful plate of deliciousness! I could eat a whole lot of this, especially on a cold night when I want to warm up with a good dinner, only reason I do not is that it’s so filling! Hope you enjoy it!

3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 16oz Jar Herdez Salsa- I like to use this brand because it uses very limited ingredients in it- no preservatives

1 recipe of Baked Rice, prepared and hot

Black Beans

Sour Cream

Avocado, sliced

Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated

Option 1: (preferred for more tenderness) Place chicken breasts in the crock pot. Pour 3/4 of your jar of salsa over the chicken. Cook on low for about 4-5 hours. Chicken should be tender. (Test a piece to be sure the juices inside run clear..no pink!)

Option 2:  Place chicken breasts in a roasting pan.. Pour 3/4 of your jar of salsa over the chicken. Cook, covered at 375 for 1 hour. Chicken should be tender. (Test a piece to be sure the juices inside run clear..no pink!)

Now, with two knives, shred the chicken.  Pour back in with the salsa and stir to thoroughly coat. Pour this mixture in a serving dish.

Here is how you build the dish:

Spoon Rice on your plate, Top with the salsa chicken, then top with black beans, corn, cheese, sour cream and avocado. ( or whatever combination of those that you prefer!)

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