Cheese & Mustard Chicken Wrapped in Bacon

December 19, 2010

Chef’s Notes: This isn’t even really a recipe. I considered what was in the kitchen and what sounded good for dinner and concocted this. Pretty tasty.

Pound a boneless chicken breast thin. Spread with Dijon mustard and sprinkle dill over the mustard. Wrap chicken breast around a 1-ounce stick of sharp Cheddar cheese. Wrap 1 or 2 slices of (maple or plain) bacon around the chicken breast. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes.


Nutty Mustard Chicken Thighs

December 14, 2010

Chef’s Notes: There are two problems when seasoning chicken. One, you can put the seasoning on the skin, but the flavoring never penetrates the chicken. Or two, you remove the skin and season the meat, but then you often have dry chicken. To solve these problems, in this recipe, the seasoning is placed between the meat and the skin, allowing the flavors to come in direct contact with the chicken while keeping the skin intact to moisten the meat.

Nutty Mustard Chicken Thighs
Serves 4

8 bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp. tarragon
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 T. finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375. On each chicken thigh, peel the skin back from the meat. Sprinkle the tarragon evenly onto each thigh. Combine the mustard, syrup and vinegar; spoon evenly onto each thigh. Sprinkle the pecans over the mustard mixture. Pull the skin back over the thigh. Place on baking sheet and cook 30 minutes.

Chinese Chicken Slaw

June 21, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I was prowling the produce section of the grocery on Saturday in search of a new veggie. I found broccoli cole slaw, which I’d never heard of, and I love broccoli. There was a recipe on the back of the bag which I modified slightly to come up with this version. It is so yummy!

Chinese Chicken Slaw
4 servings

One 12-ounce bag Broccoli Cole Slaw
1# boneless chicken breasts, diced, cooked, cooled
One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and sliced into thin strips
1/2 C. mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 C. Marzetti Sweet & Sour Salad dressing

Toss everything together and chill.

Calories 212.5
Carbs 17.5
Fat 4.6
Protein 25.3

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Tarragon

May 17, 2010

Chef’s Notes: This recipe is from a coffee shop I once worked at, and is my absolute favorite chicken salad. The only changes I made to the recipe was to add some celery for more crunch, and to toast the walnuts to intensify their flavor.

The flavor of this chicken salad is incredible…I love tarragon! Using Greek yogurt instead of all mayonnaise cuts back on the fat, adds some extra protein, and gives a little tangy zip to the flavor.

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Tarragon
(4-6 servings)

3 bone-in chicken breasts
1 onion
Parsley and black pepper
1 C. chicken broth

1/2 C. walnut pieces
1/2 C. celery, diced
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 T. tarragon

Place chicken breasts in roasting pan. Cut onion in half and add to pan. Pour in chicken broth. Sprinkle chicken with some parsley and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely, then remove chicken from bone. Cut into bite-sized cubes. (Or you can use 3 cups chicken that you have on hand.)

Toast the walnuts by placing in small cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Shake the pan frequently to prevent the walnuts from burning. Cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, combine cooked cubed chicken, toasted walnuts, celery, yogurt, mayonnaise, and tarragon. Stir to mix thoroughly. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Nutrition info:
(when divided by 4 servings) Calories: 400. Fat: 22. Carbs: 4. Protein: 46.
(when divided by 6 servings) Calories: 267. Fat: 15. Carbs: 2.5. Protein: 30.5.
Calculated at Spark Recipes.

Tomato-Buttermilk Marinade

April 27, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I concocted this recipe to use on some steaks that weren’t a very good cut of meat and needed a marinade. It worked great to make the meat tender and gave it just a hint of flavor.

I also tried the marinade on boneless chicken breasts and it was quite simply amazing. It made the chicken moist and incredibly flavorful.

I cut both the steak and chicken into strips (about 1/2-inch wide and 1-inch long) and cooked them in a grill pan. I marinated the steak about 4 hours and the chicken about 45 minutes.

Tomato-Buttermilk Marinade
(makes 1 cup)

1/4 C. tomato paste
1 T. minced onion
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. herbs (I used 1/4 tsp. each of thyme, oregano, tarragon, and Penzy’s Mural of Flavor)
1/2 tsp. brown mustard seed (or 1 tsp. stone ground mustard)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1-2 tsp. hot sauce
1 T. olive oil
3/4 C. buttermilk

Combine all ingredients except buttermilk in food processor; process until combined. Slowly add buttermilk and process until thoroughly mixed.

Orange-Herb-Bacon Roast Chicken

February 28, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I’ve roasted very few chickens in my lifetime, and the process was usually an umimpressive and not very tasty “throw it in the oven and cook it” type deal. I was in the supermarket on Friday, and whole chickens were on sale for $1.19 pound. I decided there had to be something I could do with that bird, so I tossed it in the basket.

I studied lots and lots (and lots) of roast chicken recipes. I discovered two basic principles for producing a great roast chicken. One, you put a combination of fat (butter or bacon) and seasoning under the skin. Two, you put a combination of (a) products to provide moisture (some kind of fruit – oranges, lemons, apples) and (b) products to provide flavor (onion, garlic, herbs) into the cavity.

Using those two principles and the inspiration of a hundredsome recipes, I concocted this recipe…and was duly impressed! It smells amazing while it is cooking and it’s flavorful and moist.

I served the chicken with Baked Garlic Sweet Potatoes.

Orange-Herb-Bacon Roast Chicken
Serves about 4

One roasting chicken, about 5#

Remove the innards from the chicken and rinse it. Use your fingers to slide under the skin and gently loosen the skin over the chicken breasts. Cut a small slit at the top of each leg and use your fingers to loosen this skin also.

The under-the-skin mixture

In a food processor, combine:
1 slice of thick-sliced raw bacon, diced
1 T. stone ground mustard
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 T. dried rosemary
1/2 T. dried basil
1/2 T. dried mint
1 tsp. fresh orange zest

Process until it is well-blended and the texture is paste-like. Spread the mixture under the chicken’s skin where you have loosened it, pressing and working it towards the back and so it is evenly over the meat.

The in-the-cavity mixture:

Toss together in a small mixing bowl:
1/2 orange, coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 T. dried rosemary
1/2 T. dried basil
1/2 T. dried mint
1 tsp. fresh orange zest
1 T. balsamic vinegar

Stuff the combined mixture into the chicken cavity.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the seasoned chicken in a roasting pan, cover, and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for about 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads between 165 and 175 degrees. Uncover for about the last 30-45 minutes. Remove and discard the mixture inside the chicken, slice, and serve.

I didn’t actually measure the orange zest. I zested the peel on the half an orange used in the cavity mixture, and divided it evenly between the under-the-skin mixture and the in-the-cavity mixture. Also, the herbs I used are just suggestions – you could try just about anything! I love tarragon with chicken, but didn’t have any on hand.

Mexican Chicken Roulade

December 5, 2009

Chef’s Notes: I confess. I love to stuff stuff in chicken breasts. I should have a whole blog category devoted to the recipes in which I’ve stuffed stuff in chicken breasts. This is another one to add to that list.

A filling of tomatoes, green chiles, corn, olives and pepper jack cheese stuffed into a chicken breast that is then breaded with a cornmeal/taco seasoning mixture. An explosion of cheesy-spicy deliciousness. Indeed.

Mexican Chicken Roulade

Mexican Chicken Roulade

Mexican Chicken Roulade
(Serves 4)

4 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 C. Ro*tel tomatoes and green chiles
1/4 C. frozen corn
4 T. green or black olives
4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, cut into four 1-ounce sticks
1 egg, whisked
2 T. cornmeal
2 tsp. taco seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pound each chicken breast as thinly as possibly. Combine the Ro*tel, corn, and olives; divide the mixture evenly onto each chicken breast. Place one cheese stick on each chicken breast, then roll up the chicken breast as tightly and evenly as possible, tucking in the edges. Put the egg in a shallow dish. Combine the cornmeal and taco seasoning and place in a separate shallow dish. Dip each chicken breast into the egg and then coat with the cornmeal/seasoning mixture. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes.