Nut Crumb Chicken

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A dear friend of mine had given me a package of Nut Crumbs as a hostess gift a couple weeks ago. I’ve been looking forward to trying these, so made chicken using them last night. They were so good! The package says they are a bread crumb alternative … the ingredients are pistachios, almonds, almond meal, cashews, salt and pepper. Marie found these at the Cedars Farmer’s Market in Solana Beach, CA. If you do not live near Solana Beach, and would like to purchase a bag of nut crumbs, you can visit their website, http://www.nutcrumbs.com. The company is Appel Foods.

I was perusing their website and below I’ve shown a couple pictures of what other nut crumbs they offer. On their website, you can also find recipes, which is fabulous!

I decided to coat the chicken breasts with a mixture I made with my nut crumbs. First, I sprinkled kosher salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken and then poured a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top.

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I find that my chicken always turns out perfectly moist when I let it marinate in olive oil and vinegar for a bit, plus it gives it fantastic flavor.

I mixed 1/2 cup of nut crumbs with 1/4 cup of grated parmesan/romano cheese blend and added 3 tablespoons of pizza and pasta seasoning that I buy at The Spice Way. They have excellent spices and you can also order on-line from them at http://www.thespiceway.com. If you do not have this seasoning, any pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning will do (or a blend of both).

I coated both sides of the chicken and browned it for 3-4 minutes per side in a skillet that I could transfer to the oven where it could continue to cook for an additional 20-25 minutes (until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees).

I served my chicken over white cannellini beans that I had heated on the stove. I added a bit of dried rosemary for a little flavor on my beans. I also served a simple salad with romaine, shards of parmesan, croutons and dried cranberries along with my chicken and beans.

I loved this chicken, as did Dennis. We will definitely be buying these nut crumbs off the website in the future (or stopping in at the Cedars Farmer’s Market, which will be so much fun and a day I will look forward to). I will also be trying the other flavors they offer … along with some of their recipes. Thank you so much, Marie, for introducing me to this wonderful breading for my chicken (or fish, or pork …)!

Ingredients

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil for marinade, plus 4 tablespoons for the skillet

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons pizza & pasta seasoning mix

1/4 cup graded parmesan/romano blend

1/2 cup nut crumbs

Directions

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, both sides.
  2. Place chicken in a dish and add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Let sit while you mix your nut crumb mix.
  3. Mix nut crumbs, parmesan/romano cheese and pizza and pasta seasoning together.
  4. Coat the chicken in nut crumb mixture.
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large, oven proof skillet.
  6. Brown chicken 3-4 minutes per side.
  7. Place skillet in preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees).

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

Sicilian Seasoned and Prosciutto Wrapped, Breaded Chicken Breasts

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This may just be my favorite chicken recipe that I’ve come up with! I actually came up with this recipe while chatting with my sister on the phone. We were chatting and laughing, having a great time. I love the phone calls with my sister! It seems they mostly happen on a Sunday late afternoon, early evening. She is very busy during the week with her career, so I try to leave her alone in the evenings so she can catch her breath and just relax.

I knew I wanted to make breaded chicken breasts for dinner tonight and I was throwing together spices the whole time we were chatting. At one point while we were chatting, I needed to quickly write down what I’d put together so I’d be able to share this recipe with you all. To the flour, I ended up adding Sicilian seasoning, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a very small amount of ground mustard.

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Two tablespoons of dijon mustard were whisked together with two eggs, as part of my dredging station. I had three bowls in which to dip my breasts into. The first was the flour mixture, second was the egg mixture, and third was Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Before I coated the chicken with bread crumbs, I wrapped them each in two slices of prosciutto.

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Once the chicken breasts were all dipped and dredged, I laid them on a baking sheet fitted with a rack.

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I baked the chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. The chicken was done once the internal temperature reached 165 degrees.

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I let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and then topped each breast with a handful of arugula. I think arugula makes every meal look a little prettier. Once the arugula was on the chicken I drizzled a small amount of olive oil and and the juice of half a lemon over the top, as well as the zest of half a lemon plus a pinch each of kosher salt and pepper.

Dennis loved this chicken! He’s quite happy that I made enough for him to take for lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • 4 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sicilian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • arugula
  • 2 lemons (1/2 per breast)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Set up dredging station:
    1. In first bowl, whisk together egg and dijon mustard.
    2. In second bowl, mix together flour, Sicilian seasoning, ground mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and pepper.
    3. In third bowl, pour breadcrumbs.
  3. Cover chicken lightly, but completely with flour mixture.
  4. Dip chicken in egg mixture.
  5. Wrap 2 slices prosciutto around each breast.
  6. Cover chicken with breadcrumbs.
  7. Place on pan with rack and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  8. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Cover chicken with arugula, lemon zest, drizzle of olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

Asian Chicken Tacos

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Dennis and I were out running errands and enjoying a nice Saturday a couple weeks ago. and we decided to stop at Pei Wei for a quick lunch. Dennis chose to try a new menu item of theirs, Teriyaki Steak Tacos. These tacos also come in Korean Barbecue Chicken Tacos and Sweet Chili Shrimp Tacos. He really enjoyed this menu item, so the next time we were at Pei Wei, I tried the chicken tacos. These tacos were so good, I just had to try and make something similar myself. The tacos were light and seemed on the healthy side, which is always a plus for me when I’m choosing something off a menu for lunch or dinner.

I bought a package of thinly sliced chicken breasts and seasoned them with kosher salt, pepper, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, a Pasilla pepper that I had cut into strips and a cup of Asian Honey BBQ Sauce/Marinade. I let it sit for an hour to marinate and then roasted the chicken in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.

While my chicken was marinating, I shredded a cucumber and carrot on my box grater and set aside. I sliced an 1/8 of a red onion very thin and set it aside with the cucumber and carrot. I then chopped cilantro and set it aside.

Next, I cut the chicken up into strips to place in our small corn/wheat taco shells.

I built my taco by first adding the chicken. Next, I added the shredded cucumber, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red onion and cilantro.

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I drizzled a bit of Asian Honey Barbecue Sauce over the tacos before serving.

These tacos were very fresh tasting and they were very healthy.

Ingredients

  • 4 thin chicken breasts
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 Pasilla Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup Asian Honey Barbecue Sauce/Marinade
  • 1 cucumber, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 5 slices of red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a glass dish and sprinkle both sides of each breast with salt and pepper. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, along with the Pasilla Chili Pepper and Asian honey barbecue sauce.
  2. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 1-3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Move chicken to baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes (pouring any extra marinade from the dish over the chicken).
  5. On a box grater, shred cucumber and carrot. Slice red onion.
  6. Chop cilantro.
  7. Warm tortillas in microwave before putting your tacos together.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

 

Pesto Chicken

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This pesto had such great color. It looked so fresh, which also made it look so healthy to me as well. I made a batch of pesto to pour over chicken for tonight’s dinner.

I made my pesto using 3-1/2 cups of fresh basil, 1 entire head of garlic, 3/4 cup of walnuts, grated parmesan, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

I started by adding the walnuts and garlic cloves to my food processor. Next, I gave my basil a rough chop before adding it to the food processor. Then, the kosher salt, pepper and red pepper flakes went in. Once I processed the walnuts, basil, garlic and seasonings together, I kept the processor running while I slowly poured olive oil through the feed tube. I let this process together until a paste was formed. I then added the grated parmesan and processed everything together for another half minute or so.

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I then placed my chicken breasts into a glass dish and poured the pesto over the top. I had poked little holes into the meat with a sharp knife so some of the pesto would seep in.

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Before roasting the chicken, I placed it on a large sheet pan with a rack in it. I cooked the chicken for 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinkless chicken breasts
For the pesto
  • 3-1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 head garlic (9-12 cloves)
  • 1-1/2 cups olive oil
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Chop basil and place in food processor.
  2. Add walnuts and garlic to food processor.
  3. Add seasonings to food processor and process for a minute or so, until all is blended together.
  4. Slowly drizzle oil through feed tube on food processor, while the processor is on.
  5. Add parmesan and process for about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour over chicken.
  7. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

Chicken Thighs in a Balsamic Mustard Sage Marinade

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Last night’s dinner reminded me of a simple, comfort supper that is great for any weeknight, but also works for impressing your guests. I simply sprinkled kosher salt and pepper on chicken thighs and poured over a mixture of olive oil, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and dried sage. I let the chicken sit for about an hour before baking it in the dish I had it marinating in and baking it in the marinade. I wanted to have a little extra “sauce” for the chicken.

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I served this chicken with green beans that I roasted in nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and a side of cous cous.  It was delicious!

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Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1-1\/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken. Lay in a glass baking dish.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup, mix together olive oil,balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and sage.
  4. Pour marinade over chicken and let sit for 1 hours to 3 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking to bring dish to room temperature.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

 

 

Salsa Verde Chicken

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As I was grocery shopping the other day, I noticed Trader Joe’s had a new salad I hadn’t seen before … southwest chopped salad. It is a salad kit, like others they offer.  In it you will find green cabbage, romaine, cotija cheese, roasted pepitas, tortilla strips, green onion, cilantro and spicy avocado dressing.  This salad gave me the inspiration for the chicken I prepared for dinner tonight.

I decided I’d marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts in salt, pepper, minced garlic and a jar of salsa verde (green salsa). This was so easy. I placed my breasts in a glass dish, sprinkled them with kosher salt, pepper, three cloves of minced garlic and poured a jar of salsa verde over the top. I let it marinate for about an hour and a half.

I baked my chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven for 35 minutes. Once 35 minutes were up, I added light shredded Mexican cheese. I buy this already shredded in a bag at Trader Joe’s. I almost always choose to use lower fat cheese when I can.

I placed the chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes so the cheese could melt. I served my chicken over the chopped salad. Both Dennis and Kylie really enjoyed this chicken. If you wanted to put this chicken into a slow cooker for the day, you could definitely do that. Just add the cheese at the end to melt.

Ingredients

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 jar green salsa verde

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

shredded Mexican cheese blend (as much or as little as you’d like)

Directions

Place chicken in a glass dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and pour salsa over the chicken. Let marinate 1-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake chicken for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, add cheese and cook for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

Cinco de Mayo Nachos

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Last night for Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make a big cast iron skillet of chicken nachos for Dennis and myself for dinner. Kylie was out with her friend, so it was just the two of us hanging out in front of the t.v. watching a movie.

I started by seasoning and roasting two chicken breasts that I would later cut into chunks to add to our nachos. For the chicken, I drizzled a small amount of olive oil and the juice of a half a lime over each breast, sprinkled a pinch of kosher salt, a pinch of garlic powder,  and a pinch of Weber’s Chili Lime Rub. (I actually found this at Walmart.)

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On top of that, I sprinkled the zest of that lime. I roasted my chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven for 35 minutes.

While my chicken was roasting, I prepared my ingredients for the nachos and got the toppings ready.

I decided to bake my nachos in my cast iron skillet in the oven … and to serve it right in that skillet as well. I started with a layer of corn tortilla chips and added pinto beans that I had heated on the stove. Over the beans, I sprinkled diced, fresh jalapeńo, and the cooked, cubed chicken and reduced fat shredded cheese. I used the reduced fat Mexican shredded light cheese from Trader Joe’s. I then added another layer of chips, the rest of the beans, jalapeńo, chicken and cheese.

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I put the skillet in the oven for about 10 minutes and topped my nachos with diced tomatoes (seeds removed), sliced black olives, avocado, sliced green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.

These were really yummy and not too heavy. I used all healthy ingredients, even the chips had just a few ingredients (organic stone ground white corn with a trace of lime, organic vegetable oil and sea salt. This was a much healthier option than nachos at a restaurant and we enjoyed them just as much!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Cinco de Mayo as well. I’m really getting in the mood for the warm, summer months. That usually starts around Memorial Day for me, but this year Cinco de Mayo is starting the summer season out for me.

Ingredients

  • White Corn Tortilla Chips (or any tortilla chip you prefer)
  • 1 15-1/2 ounce can pinto beans
  • 2 fresh jalapeńos, diced (seeds and membrane removed)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • shredded cheese of your choice, as much or as little as you like
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced (seeds removed)
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3 sliced green onions, white and green parts
  • dollop of sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili lime rub
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil, lime juice, kosher salt, garlic powder, chili lime rub, and lime zest. Roast for 35 minutes.

While chicken is roasting, dice jalapeño, dice tomato, slice green onion, and heat beans.

Once chicken is done, cut into chunks. In a cast iron skillet, layer chips, beans, jalapeño, chicken and cheese. Repeat. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven. Top with diced tomatoes, black olives, avocado, green onions, and sour cream. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris