Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This is EXACTLY the type of recipe I've been hoping to find! Not only was it super easy, but the chicken was very flavorful and moist. I did follow the recipe almost exactly as written, except I did change part of the cooking method, per several reviewer's suggestions. I couldn't find the cord to my electric skillet to save my life, so I just used my largest skillet and fried the chicken for approximately 4-5 minutes per side and then baked the chicken breasts for 10 minutes on a 350 degree oven. The recipe states that you should combine the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl (as your first step), but I would suggest going ahead and heating up your skillet first (and preheat your oven if you want to bake them in addition to frying), and while they're heating, combine the ingredients...it didn't take very long at all--I'd venture to say it took longer for the oil to reach the correct temperature! I will definitely make this again--it's perfect for a quick weeknight meal (it shouldn't take more than 25 minutes) and was something that my entire family enjoyed!
Garlic Chicken Fried Chicken
2 teaspoons garlic powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin
1 cup oil for frying
In a shallow dish, mix together the garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika, bread crumbs and flour. In a separate dish, whisk together the milk and egg.
Heat the oil in an electric skillet set to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Dip the chicken into the egg and milk, then dredge in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
Fry chicken in the hot oil for about 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from the oil with a slotted spatula, and serve.
Oh, how we love pasta at our house! I've been spending a little bit of time each day, going through some of my favorite blogs in search of recipes to try and this particular recipe comes from Donna's blog (My Tasty Treasures). If you haven't checked out her blog, I HIGHLY recommend it--not only will you find some wonderful looking recipes, but she's one of the most down-to-earth and entertaining people I have ever "met". I love meals that can be prepared using one skillet and this dish is relatively healthy...bonus! I only made a few minor changes: I substituted penne pasta for ziti, used lemon juice from the bottle (since I didn't have fresh lemons) and I did use half and half instead of heavy cream. I've substituted half and half in countless recipes and have never noticed that much of a difference...except in the price! (Heavy cream is generally about double the cost of half and half). This is a great weeknight meal, but there was a bit of prep involved, so make sure you take that into account! My husband helped me prepare it, so that cut the prep time down significantly, but between cutting up the chicken, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and onions, I would allow about 15-20 minutes for prep...depending on how fast you are in the kitchen!
Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta and Parmesan Cheese
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want!)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or asiago
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring for one minute. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges--1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened--2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant--about 30 seconds.
Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed--about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover and reduce heat to medium and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and almost tender, 2-3 minutes.
Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, Parmesan cheese, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
Source: My Tasty Treasures
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
This was by far one of the most frustrating recipes--I felt like the name of the recipe was somewhat misleading...that, or I'm just a bit "cooking-challenged"! I was so excited, because I saw the word "easy" and thought how perfect it would be for a quick weeknight meal! My husband and I decided that we would make it a point to sit down every Friday for dinner, as a family, since it's the ONLY night a week that we're all home around dinnertime. I had every intention of sitting down at 7pm, but we didn't end up eating until a little after 8pm! Granted, I did bathe the kids before dinner which stalled my starting dinner a bit, but it still felt like it took forever and a day for the chicken to finish cooking--it was *supposed* to be done in 20 minutes! I followed the recipe exactly as written, which may have been my first mistake--I generally tend to take the suggestions of other "reviewers", but it seemed as if enough people stated that they made it exactly as written and enjoyed it. I almost didn't even bother posting this recipe, because I was that frustrated, but I definitely think it has potential--that, and we had the leftovers last night and it tasted delicious reheated! I can count on one hand the amount of times I've used the broiler on my oven, so that might have been part of my problem. Perhaps I should have moved the rack up a bit, but I did take one person's suggestion and left it in the middle of my oven, since they said the chicken seemed to burn on the outside real quickly, while it was raw on the inside. I initially set my timer for 10 minutes, turned and basted the chicken and then set it for another 10 minutes and when I checked on it, it didn't appear to be anywhere near done and the skin wasn't at all browned. I moved the rack up and set it back in for 5 minutes, took it out and quickly realized it wasn't done as I was cutting it up for my kids. I put it back in and ended up going through this SEVERAL times until it was finally finished! Bless my kid's hearts...they sat so patiently, eating their broccoli and salad, even though it was already pushing 8pm, which is when they're normally heading to bed! Anyway, I'm going to post the recipe below and will be very anxious to know if anyone tries it and what changes you make! Since I did enjoy the leftovers so much (and my husband and son really liked the chicken the night I made it), I will give it one more try, but next time, I think I will let the chicken sit in the sauce (turning at least once) for an hour or two, prior to cooking and will then attempt to bake the chicken at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes and perhaps broiling the last couple of minutes. The recipe called for a fairly substantial amount of garlic (which we love) and the kitchen smelled wonderful while it was cooking, but I didn't feel as if the sauce/flavors had enough time to infuse into the chicken and I ended up broiling my chicken thighs for closer to 40 minutes. I used 10 bone-in chicken thighs (with skin) and one and a halfed the sauce ingredients, which gave PLENTY of sauce that would have been great spooned over noodles or rice. I really think this recipe has a lot of potential and the fact that it didn't cook as quickly very much could have been "user error". Feedback would be much appreciated from those of you who experiment with this recipe!!!
Easy Garlic Broiled Chicken
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
6 boneless chicken thighs, with skin
dried parsley, to taste
Preheat the oven broiler. Lightly grease a baking pan.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley.
Cook 2 minutes on High in the microwave, or until butter is melted.
Arrange chicken on the baking pan, and coat with the butter mixture, reserving some of the mixture for basting.
Broil chicken 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until juices run clear, turning occasionally and basting with remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
The first week of my husband's crazy semester is just about coming to an end! This week has really flown by, so I anticipate that the next four months will go by in the blink of an eye. I've been on a mission to find "quick weeknight meals" and as usual, turned to one of my favorite sites: Allrecipes.com. I LOVE that site for so many reasons, but one of my favorite features is the ability to search for recipes by ingredients. We've been attempting to be as cautious as possible, financially-speaking, now that my husband stepped down to a part-time position, so I looked at the sale ads and noticed that pork chops were on sale this week. I searched on allrecipes.com, listing "pork chops" as my ingredient and was then able to sort the recipes, listing them in order of which received the highest ratings. This particular recipe had over 940 reviews and received 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. I was drawn to the simplicity of the preparation aspect of the recipe and that there really was very little to do during the cooking process. My husband (who is BY FAR the pickiest eater of the four of us) went back for seconds...he said he really enjoyed dinner :) I would make a few suggestions, however, to the original recipe. I tripled the sauce ingredients, allowing extra sauce to spoon over the rice that I served as one of my sides...we also had green beans. The recipe didn't really specify a particular type of pork chop, but my husband picked up a package of the assorted pork chops and I used the center cut pork loin chops. They were approximately 1/2 inch thick and I made five, since I knew my kids likely would opt to eat something else. The recipe suggests baking for an hour, but I baked mine for approximately 45 minutes and then broiled them for an additional 2 minutes and while I would make these again, I would cut back on the cooking time. I'm thinking 40 minutes would have been plenty of time, but obviously you'll want to make sure they're thoroughly cooked, so you may have to experiment a bit on your own. I'd definitely check them closer to 40 minutes, though! I'm going to list the recipe as originally written, but I would very much encourage you to take my suggestions into account--especially tripling the sauce ingredients and cutting back on the cooking time!
Marinated Baked Pork Chops
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
6 pork chops, trimmed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small bowl, thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup.
Place pork chops in a medium baking dish, and spread with 1/2 the sauce.
Bake pork chops 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn, and spread with remaining sauce. Continue baking 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of the chops has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
Friday, January 7, 2011
Well, well, well...it has been WAY too long since my last post! There have been many changes the past five months and it's been a bit of a struggle to get into somewhat of a groove and attempt to bring some degree of normalcy back to the very chaotic schedule we are now juggling! I've always been a creature of habit--I swear by my planner and can't stand deviating...if I can get something done a week ahead of time, that would be my preference. Unfortunately, all of these changes have forced me to deviate a bit and "planning" is becoming more and more impossible--hence the lack of posts/new recipes! Just to back up a bit...my husband and I had a lengthy conversation back in July and he decided that he really wanted to go back to school to pursue a degree in Nursing. He's taken classes here and there, but it's been difficult to really buckle down and focus, while working full-time, finding time for our two small children and attempting to juggle our work schedules so that one of us can always be home with the kids. We decided that I would go back to working full-time hours (and more, when I'm able to get additional shifts) and he would go down to a part-time position and start taking classes on a full-time basis. That certainly has been easier said than done! This next semester is going to be especially crucial for my husband, as he is getting ready to apply to the nursing program by April 1st and should *hopefully* find out by early June if he is accepted. Keep in mind...I'm someone who doesn't do well with the "unknown" and the suspense of waiting to find out whether or not he's accepted and/or what our alternate plan will be since the program he's applying to is very competitive, is absolutely driving me crazy! This blog had always served as somewhat of a diversion for me, which is why I am excited about jumping back in and shifting my focus a bit! I certainly can't promise "fancy meals", by any stretch of the imagination, but my goal is to seek out recipes for everyone else trying to juggle crazy schedules and live on a budget! My husband is going to have late classes, several days a week, so my intent is to find recipes that reheat well or those that can be frozen and ready to serve after defrosting and rewarming!
My first recipe for the New Year is Turkey Tetrazzini. My children requested turkey for Christmas dinner--actually, my son's actual request was for "whole body turkey"...as opposed to just a turkey breast :) The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint my kids, so I began watching the sale ads to see if anyone had turkey on sale. Naturally, no one did...I mean, really...why would they when they know many people serve turkey for Christmas and will pretty much be suckered into paying whatever they charge?!? I'm one of those people who firmly believes that everything happens for a reason and on my way home from work one night, I stopped at Target to pick up some last minute stocking stuffers. I was making my way toward the "Health and Beauty" area, but for some reason, I took the long way around and passed by a frozen display of whole turkeys. I went over to check the price, figuring that Super Target, of all places, would be exorbitantly expensive (as their meats tend to be) and they had turkeys for $.39/lb! I have never seen turkey so cheap and was beyond excited to bring it home and show the kids! The thing is...seeing as how this turkey was just for the four of us, a 10-12 lb turkey would have been more than enough, but I picked the largest one I could find...about 18 lbs. Shockingly, there was a TON left and seeing as how we were going out of town the middle of the following week, I had no idea what to do with all of the remaining turkey?!? I froze the turkey carcass (in anticipation of making soup), along with the obscene amount of leftover turkey. When we returned from my parents' house, after having a wonderful and relaxing visit with them for New Year's, I thawed out the turkey carcass and my bag of turkey. I made a HUGE pot of soup--and when I say "huge", that is a major understatement! (I have 3 LARGE containers in the fridge and had to freeze another 3LARGE containers--and that's after my husband and I ate a ton!) While we were visiting my parents, my Mom suggested that I make turkey tetrazzini with some of the leftover turkey. I naturally went directly to Allrecipes.com and found a recipe that received great reviews, although I only somewhat loosely followed it and took many of the reviewers suggestions, in addition to adding some of my own. My husband seemed to really enjoy it and seeing as how he's a pretty picky eater, it's always a major compliment when he makes a point to comment on something that I make! My kids liked it, as well, and as for myself...I definitely liked it, but think I might try it with chicken next time. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if I had leftover turkey, but I'm not sure that I would go out of my way to buy turkey for the recipe. It's funny, too, because some of the people who reviewed the recipe mentioned that they felt it was a bit bland, so I made sure I added extra seasoning, however, I would even consider adding a bit more salt next time. The original recipe didn't call for any salt whatsoever. One other major change that I made that is unlike more traditional tetrazzini recipes, was that I substituted penne pasta for spaghetti, per my husband's request, and I would definitely do that again! I hope you enjoy and be on the lookout for more recipes in the very near future!
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta (or spaghetti)
10 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups chopped cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 cup frozen peas
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add diced onions and minced garlic, stirring frequently. Stir in flour, until blended. Add chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pot. Add chopped turkey, peas and chicken broth mixture to the pasta and stir to blend all ingredients together.
Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and top with Italian breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for approximately 45-50 minutes.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com