Theeeese a a few of my favorite things…
I found some frozen roasted chicken in the freezer and decided it would fare best if cooked and would be perfect in a calzone. Add my fav flavors, and thus, a meal is born. I used roasted chicken, crispy bacon, chopped tomato, alfredo sauce, ranch seasoning, and mozzarella. I felt like a rockstar to prep this 75% of the way the night before and just finish it before serving. Boo-yah.
2 cups roasted chicken
3 strips of bacon
1 1/2 cups mozzarella (mine was a mix of fresh & shredded)
3 tbs dried ranch seasoning
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 small tomato, diced
Preheat the oven & pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the bacon until crispy.
Warm the chicken in a medium pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the ranch seasoning.
Lay the dough onto the pan or pizza stone, off center, for the filling to go on the bottom and for the rest to fold over.
Add chicken, tomatoes, cheese, alfredo, and ranch seasoning.
Then repeat the layers making sure to get the filling all the way to the ends & edges.
Fold the rest of the dough over the filling and pinch to close. Press down slightly to push the filling throughout the inside. Cut a few slits into the top to vent.
Bake 30 minutes until browned and crisped.
Serve and enjoy!
I knew we’d love this. What’s not to love? It was a perfect use for some leftover roasted chicken from the freezer (also the dough and bacon came from the freezer too). It was equally perfect that I prepped it the night before when I didn’t have to rush. I cooked it for about 20 minutes that night and just 15 minutes to serve. Dinner time is such a race against the clock and it was really nice to have this pretty ready. #winning
Pressure cooker success, again! Jump on board the pressure-cooker train, or really, just cook the chicken as you wish, this sauce was so good. I served it over polenta but rice, pasta, or couscous would be good too. Polenta cooks for about 5 minutes, so that’s definitely a selling point for that one.
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Marsala wine
2 tbs butter
1 cup instant polenta
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 grated Parmesan
~5 basil leaves
Roast the tomatoes in a 400-degree oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until they blister and pop.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on each side. Sear the chicken on both sides in the pressure cooker or in a skillet. Then either add to the pressure cooker with 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, high pressure for 10 minutes, or roast in the oven at 375-degrees for 30 minutes.
In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of the chicken broth to a boil. Add in garlic, Marsala wine, and butter and return to a boil for about 5 minutes.
Chop the zucchini and roasted tomatoes. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes, covered. Then reduce heat until ready to serve.
For the polenta, add polenta to the water & milk and stir while cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add in Parmesan and stir well.
Serve with a base of polenta, then chicken, then veggie sauce and sprinkle with basil.
I was really happy with this dinner feeling a bit different, very flavorful, and pretty quick! Polenta is such a great break from pasta or grains. I love the parmesan in there for some salt and flavor. The sauce was soooo flavorful. I liked that the zucchini was lightly cooked. I used some leftover roasted tomatoes that I used, but roasting them would be easy while prepping everything else. I think the marsala cooking wine and broth really kept it from being like marinara.
I’m trying to work through some freezer items. Some frozen ground chicken was my next victim. Muhh-haha.
I decided to use it for meatballs and thought they’d be perfect being Chicken Parmesan Meatballs. I love homemade meatballs and don’t make them nearly enough. Part of my love is for the crisp bits, though I detest frying stuff so I make my life a little harder and bake them, turning them often but filling the house with scents of garlic/parmesan/meaty goodness. I almost wanted to partially bake them, then coat them in breadcrumbs, and fry them (do it!) but alas, I didn’t have the energy when it came down to meal-time.
I made these the night before and they were all ready to heat-and-serve after work.
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 tbs milk
3 tbs chopped garlic
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Stir the breadcrumbs and milk together.
Gently mix together the ground chicken, breadcrumb mixture, garlic, Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper.
Roll into golf-ball sized meatballs.
Bake on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes then roll onto another side. Repeat again to bake a total of 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately, or cool on a cooling rack or paper towel.
Add into tomato sauce in an oven-friendly skillet or pot over medium low heat for about 20 minutes if the meatballs are cold or 10 minutes if they’ve just come out of the oven.
Cook some pasta to serve the meatballs over, or warm baguette rolls for subs!
When the meatballs are warmed, sprinkle some cheese over the top and return to the oven just to melt the cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
These are so flavorful and fluffy. There’s some serious garlic and salty Parmesan flavors in these. The babe loves meatballs – probably because he’s still growing teeth so they’re not too tough to munch. Sometimes I add some red wine into my meatballs but for these, I really wanted the Parmesan to be front and center.
In an effort not to have the same taco-night each week, I wanted something a little bit different but still quick & easy. This fit the bill perfectly! I used queso as the sauce on some taco-spiced chicken and served it over a bed of black beans. The chicken was very hands off – just seasoned and popped into the oven. I liked the black beans as the base to make this really filling, with a slight cruch to the peppers, spiced chicken, and smooth & cheesy topping.
6 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
3 tbs taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/4 of a lime, squeezed for juice
1/2 bell pepper
1/2 cup queso blanco
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
In a baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray, lay out the chicken. Sprinkle with half the taco seasoning. Flip the chicken pieces over and sprinkle with the remaining taco seasoning.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
In a medium sauce pan, warm the black beans over medium-low heat. Add a splash of water, squirt of lime juice, and a little lime zest.
Add the peppers to the black beans and stir well & often, cooking for about 5-10 minutes or until the peppers cook a bit.
Check that the chicken is cooked through. Then spoon queso over the top and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Spoon the beans onto a plate.
Place a piece of chicken on top.
I loved this. It had all the flavors and textures I wanted. I have nothing against tortillas and we LOVE taco-night here but this was a really great tweak on the usual. My little one tried black beans and he approved! Have you had queso blanco? It is perfect for this.
Today is my Sis’ bday! We’re celebrating with a Mexican fiesta! Ole!
Chicken Cordon Blue is the best of all the flavors. Chicken. Yum. Ham. Yum. Swiss. Yum. I put it together as a pasta dish and loved it. The ham with the swiss are such great flavors together.
I used breaded chicken cutlets I had made another time and froze. Then I used a sauce packet. Having these two elements pretty ready helped this come together quickly.
Chicken Cordon Blue Pasta (serves 3-4)
2 breaded chicken cutlets
8 oz rigatoni pasta
1-2 cups ham, diced
creamy garlic sauce
1 cup shredded swiss
Bring salted water to a boil.
Heat the chicken in the oven until warmed (or cooked through).
Cook the pasta until al dante.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and pan fry the ham until caramelized and golden on each side.
Warm the sauce through and add in the swiss over low heat. Stir well and keep warm.
Mix together the pasta with the sauce and the ham.
Slice the chicken and add it to the top.
I loved this! The swiss flavor can be strong so I went a little bit on the lighter side for that. I liked the chicken being crispy and on the top rather than mixed through. This was so fast to put together. I could have made the sauce from scratch but this was quick. I could have breaded and pan fried the chicken for this but it was a great use for some leftover.
Serving like this, you really only need a small amount of ham and a small amount of chicken. I made enough for a leftover serving for lunch the next day. Perfect!
Let’s talk about when dinner doesn’t go exactly according to plan. This one was one of those instantly needing to change the course of action. I had plans for a different topping, along the same idea of a breaded cutlet with a chopped, fresh topping. I started slicing into an avocado and muuuuush. I attempted to scrape the brownest avocado away but really, it was beyond use. That’s really sad because avocados cost a fortune right now. It was time to regroup, the chicken was cooking and I needed a plan b. pronto.
The chicken is coated in mustard and breaded with panko, thanks to the mustard idea from Ms. L. The cutlets were frying and my strawberry avocado topping wasn’t going to work out. I chopped the few little tomatoes we had in the garden and grabbed as many basil leaves as I could. Basil is not our strong suit over here. It was great, a quick recovery and meant we were eating pretty soon after.
chicken cutlets, 1-2 per person
3-4 tbs dijon mustard
1-2 cups panko breadcrumbs
~1 cup vegetable oil for frying
~4 cherry tomatoes
1 tbs fresh basil leaves
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
splash of olive oil
Mix mustard and a splash of water together in a shallow bowl large enough to dip the chicken in.
Spread the breadcrumbs with some salt & pepper onto a plate.
Bring a frying pan with the vegetable oil to medium heat.
Dip each chicken cutlet into the mustard, then the breadcrumbs.
Pan fry the chicken a few minutes on each side, ensuring the chicken cooks through. Then remove and keep warm in the oven.
Chop the tomatoes and basil. Add the vinegar and olive oil and stir.
Serve the chicken with a few spoonfuls of the tomato basil mixture. Enjoy!
Once I knew it was heading towards tomato and basil, I decided to serve it with some orzo since it cooks so quickly. It may not have been quite was I was going for but I was really happy with this regroup. Have you seen The Next Food Network Star? I regularly see one guy not being able to regroup, which is sooo important when cooking. I was determined not to be like that.
My breading didn’t stay on perfectly…that could be from the mustard instead of using egg, or my lack of patience frying. The topping hid any bald spots pretty well.
How do you regroup? Do you end up saving the dish in the end, or is it time to order pizza?
One of the many perks of work is that we get scratch-made lunch everyday. It is family style and there’s salad. Every day! I know, so lucky! It is always a hot lunch but the other day, before the long weekend, we got some really amazing chicken salad. It was full of apples and dried cranberries. I put mine on top of my salad and was loving it. I was eating thinking,
“this is just so good.”
“I love the add-ins. I could make this.”
“I should make this.”
My sis brought over dinner of a roasted chicken with a Caesar salad kit for the perfect instant dinner. I used some leftovers for this chicken salad and it wasn’t just any chicken salad. You’re bananas if you think I would ever put celery into my chicken salad. Blech. This one gets crunch from radishes and some sweetness from dried blueberries.
(for 1 serving)
1-2 slices of a roasted chicken, chopped
2 tbs dried blueberries
1-2 tbs mayo
splash of milk
Chop the radish into a fine dice
In a bowl, add the chicken, radish, blueberries (and walnuts would be good!)
Mix in a small amount of mayo and stir to combine. Add the splash of milk to ensure it is wet enough. Then add more mayo, if needed.
Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Enjoy!
I put some on a sandwich loaded with arugula. Use good mayo for his. I like The Ojai Cook’s Lemonaise. The blueberries provide a sweet chewiness. My radish was from the farmers market. Those are zesty! Radishes from the grocery store have nowhere near the same flavor. It added the perfect zip and crunch. I didn’t have any apples and was using what I had on hand. The radish was my stroke of genius for the day.
I grabbed some baby bok choy at the farmer’s market without a plan for it. I went to trusty Pinterest and found a fun raw use for it on Culinary Hill. I tweaked the dressing by adding some stronger flavors of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. We added some grilled teriyaki chicken for a really great speedy dinner.
Get some chicken on the grill, shake up some dressing in a jar, and then chop up a few veggies. Poof. Instant dinner with some great flavors.
adapted from Culinary Hill
2-3 chicken thighs, marinated in teriyaki
2 baby bok choy bunches
2 large radishes
2 tbs sesame seeds
3 tbs brown sugar
1-2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup almond slivers
Grill the marinated chicken until cooked through, brushing with some teriyaki at the end.
Chop the bok choy, discarding the bottom pieces.
Chop the radishes into a small dice.
Toast some sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Watch carefully to toast them without burning.
In a small jar, add brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.
Shake vigorously. Taste and adjust as necessary.
In a large bowl, add the bok choy, radish, and toasted sesame seeds.
Add in some dressing and toss. Sprinkle with almonds.
Top with chicken to serve. Enjoy!
I liked the mild flavor of the bok choy. The almonds were pre-sesaoned with salt and pepper near the croutons. I might have toasted them if they were regular almond slivers. It was such a quick dinner that felt fresh, crunchy with juicy chicken.
The dressing was great. Make it, and then you’ll have sesame oil on hand for these (most Pinterest-pinned) sesame noodles and for Asian Broccoli Slaw with Peanut Butter Chicken and your next pork & veggie spring rolls, etc. You’ll use it, it isn’t such a crazy specialty ingredient.
I was so excited about this meal! Maybe because it ended up all coming together so easily, but also because it was exactly what I wanted. I wasn’t going to blog it, but then sometimes I skip blogging one and it is really worthy of sharing. Deleting unused photos is easier than wishing I had snapped some pics. This is precisely the food I want to eat. The sides complimented the protein nicely and they weren’t just filler…they were flavorful and nice additions to the meal.
Mr. J got a new grill after MUCH deliberation. Now we are grilling machines and I feel like I need to up my side-dish game! The spice rub is adapted from the Essentials of Grilling by Williams Sonoma. Do not swap the chicken thighs for breasts. Trust me. Chicken thighs are how chicken is supposed to taste. They’re juicy and flavorful and ohh-so-good.
3 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dried rosemary
1 tbs dried fennel, crushed
1 tbs dried oregano
salt & pepper
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tbs butter
1 can white beans
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbs chives, diced (or fresh parsley or oregano)
Mix the dried herbs with salt and pepper. Pour the garlic and oil onto the chicken and then coat in the herbs.
Set aside while the grill heats up.
In a medium pot over medium-low heat, cook the onion and butter until translucent and soft. Drain and rinse the white beans before adding them to the onions. Add in the broth and cook for about 5 minutes at a low simmer.
Cook the chicken on the grill, flipping and ensuring it cooks through.
Reduce the temperature of the beans to low and add in the chives. Cook for another 5 minutes then turn off the heat but cover until serving.
When the chicken is mostly cooked, squeeze half the lemon over it and grill the other half of the lemon.
Serve the chicken with the grilled lemon. Enjoy!
I loooved this. This is what I like to eat. The herbs were distinct and flavorful but not too much. I never use fennel but love the flavor and then that lemon. It really brightened everything up and was a nice contrast. I liked the smokiness it got and how juicy it got on the grill!
I served some quick marinated cucumbers and the beans were so good that now I want beans with every meal! This dinner was filling but didn’t leave me feeling grossly stuffed. I felt like we were dining in Tuscany, or what I think of as Tuscany. I’ll just need to get there to know for sure