Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Today is a weird day. Our heartstrings are tight here today for the 118th Boston Marathon. Last year’s events don’t feel that long ago. I still can’t believe it and Boston is so small that it all felt like my back yard. The event production in me cringes that these terrible events forever change this race. The foodie in me feels badly that there were several restaurants nearby with servers and bartenders who are still dealing with it. Every time I listen to the first hand accounts I cannot keep the tears back.  I can’t believe how many people have suffered hearing disabilities. There are so many who are still recovering, and I feel sorry for those who will not recover.

I’m thankful to have today off, for the first time ever. Mom and I are letting the pups run in the yard, whipping up something fun for lunch, and we’re casually watching the marathon. It seems right to settle in, enjoy the little things, and be together. In honor of the Boston Marathon, I figured on this day I should post pasta. It seems marathon-y. Not that this pasta is appropriate pre-marathon but it is a treat. It is true comfort to share today.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Ingredients:

2 slices bacon, chopped
2 chicken breasts, chopped and marinated in Italian dressing
3 tbs ranch dressing mix
3/4 pound of spaghetti or fettuccine
2 tsp butter
2 tsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
2 cups arugula, diced

Directions:

Pan fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain the bacon leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Add chicken to the bacon pan, and cook through stirring occasionally.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Add in a tsp of ranch mix to the chicken.
Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the flour and combine to a paste. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, then whisk in the milk.
Add the rest of the ranch mix, reserving 1 tsp separately. Reduce the heat to medium low.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Cook the pasta until al dente.
Add the pasta to the chicken skillet, with the sauce (if large enough) over medium heat.
Add in the chicken, bacon, arugula, and remaining ranch mix, tossing well to combine. Cook for 2-5 more minutes until the sauce reduces a bit.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

This was so good. I loved this. The flavors were strong. I liked the peppery arugula and just enough bacon but lots of bacon flavor with the chicken. The ranch is really undeniable. It was so good. This is so good with strong elements so I was glad I didn’t muck it up with too many flavors…like cheese.

suggested adaptations:
premade sauce + a grocery store roasted chicken = an easier chicken bacon ranch pasta
chicken bacon ranch pasta – arugula + spinach + chopped tomato – half the ranch mix = lighter flavored chicken bacon ranch pasta

What I Ate: Pesto Chicken Panini

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Sandwiches are such a quick and easy dinner for me. I love paninis and and I’m continually surprised how versatile they are. This was going to be chicken breasts marinated and grilled in pesto then I decided to shred it. I figured that would definitely make this seem different than some of my other paninis annnnnd I wouldn’t have that whole take a bite and the whole chicken breast comes out.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken tenders (or 2 chicken breasts)
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1 tbs grated parmesan
1 tomato
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, or sliced provolone, or fresh mozzarella
4 slices of bread

Directions:
Cook the chicken in simmering water until fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini

Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and Parmesan, then add the pesto and shred with 2 forks pulling the chicken apart.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini
Heat a panini press/grill pan/large skillet to medium high heat.
Assemble the sandwiches with sliced tomato and pesto chicken mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini

Top the sandwiches with cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini
Grill until toasty and melty on each side…about 3-5 minutes per side.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini
I love the flavors in this. The tomato is key for keeping the chicken moist. The pesto is a great use for a partial jar. I would normally have used sliced cheese but I had leftover shredded mozzarella and no plan for it, so this worked well.

Paninis need bread that can hold up to what goes inside. I think this nutty one works great. I think the Pesto Chicken Panini is kind of a nod to a lazy-man’s pizza…which makes great panini fillings.

Some of my other fav paninis are: fig and prosciutto panini, bacon & gouda panini with peach compote, and turkey cranberry & brie panini.

Pine Nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This dinner was sooo good. It was flavorful yet easy, memorable yet simple. I really loved everything about it. I didn’t go overboard for a random weekday night. I kept it simple with just 2 things and it was a good one.

I had brussels sprouts on the brain because we had talked at LENGTH about them at work during lunch. I can’t tell if you think that’s weird or awesome. We thought it was awesome. It was such a fun exchange of favorite ways to make, eat, or order brussels sprouts. I love roasting them and somebody mentioned adding a touch of honey. Done!

I think the first few teases of spring made me want a crunchy protein and a veggie. Nothing else.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule

I used chicken tenders because I can’t get over how massive chicken breasts can be sometimes. 2 tenders per person is plenty when you pound them out…the same amount of chicken seems like wayy more because of the increased surface area. Plus they tighten up a bit when frying. The nutty exterior and the salty Parmesan was a perfect combo. So good!

Ingredients:

2 cups brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
2 tsp honey
1 tsp olive oil
4 chicken tenders (2 tenders per person)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbs wheat germ (or bread crumbs)
1 egg
1/3 cup liquid egg whites (or one more full egg with a splash of water)
2 tsp light mayo
3 tsp milk
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
sea salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you trim & half the brussels sprouts.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
In a small pan, over medium heat, toast the pine nuts. Stir regularly and be careful not to burn them. Cook for about 5 minutes until evenly and lightly browned.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
Whisk together the egg and egg whites in a shallow container.
Mix together the wheat germ, Parmesan cheese, and chopped pine nuts.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
Put the brussels sprouts onto a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast them in the oven for about 5-7 minutes.
Heat a large skillet with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil to a medium heat.
Pound out the chicken tenders until evenly flattened.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper onto the chicken. Dredge the chicken in eggwash then into the crust. Flip and shake around to get completely covered.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule

Pan fry the chicken tenders, working in batches. Cook about 5 minutes per side.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
Pull out the brussels sprouts and flip them over/around to ensure they cook evenly. Add the honey and mix well. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 250 degrees. The brussels sprouts can stay in the low oven until the chicken is ready.
When the chicken has cooked on each side, put it on paper towel to absorb any excess oil, then put the chicken into the oven to keep warm as the other batches cook.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule

For the garlic aoli (optional): in a small jar, shake together mayo, milk, garlic, garlic powder, and worcestershire sauce.
Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
Serve and enjoy!

I originally thought the garlic aoli would be great drizzled on the brussels sprouts since they were sweetened with honey. Then I thought the crunch of the chicken would be good with the bite of garlic in the aoli. It became a very translational ingredient. It was not at all necessary, but good.

Pine nut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken - The Three Bite Rule
What’s your favorite way to have brussels sprouts? Are you jealous of our lunch convo? I’m loving that these conversations happen. I don’t miss the crazy fad diets, juice cleanses, wedding crash diets, and instant “I’m no longer eating ___” that I used to encounter at former work places. I think it’s moreso a difference that my new workplace is more closely focused on people who have a greater need for true healthy choices. There’s a different respect for whole foods, this place has a culture that doesn’t view food as an enemy but rather a tool, a benefit, and a joy when treated right. Also, the other day the teaching kitchen students came around with a tray of mini cream puffs. I’m living the dream.

In other news, today is Bailee’s 9th birthday! She can’t open her own presents like Windsor can, but she’ll get an extra treat ;) Those eyes! That underbite! We really love her.
Bailee

What I Ate: Chicken Parmesan Subs

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

These easy chicken parmesan subs have a few special touches that make them wayyy better than take-out. The secret is pesto on the bread. I do the same kind of thing for meatball subs. The roll also needs to be toasted…otherwise it will get soggy from the marinara in .2 seconds.

These rolls lived in the freezer until I needed a quick dinner. I like soft rolls for this (rather than ciabatta or sourdough rolls). I used breaded chicken tenders making this an even easier dinner.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub

Ingredients:

3 chicken tenders
2 sub rolls
3 tbs pesto
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tbs grated Parmesan
3 slices of provolone cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Cook chicken tenders until cooked through.
Spread pesto and a drizzle of olive oil onto the rolls.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub
Toast the rolls in the oven for 5 minutes.
Top with chicken and tomato sauce.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub
Cook for 10 minutes.
Top with Parmesan and provolone cheese and return to the oven until melted.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub

Some of my other fav sandwiches for dinner are: 
chicken and pear sandwiches with arugula and sharp cheese
fig jam and prosciutto on strong ciabatta
sliced turkey, cranberry, and brie panini on nutty wheat bread
Italian grilled cheese with breaded eggplant
some panini tips

any quick dinner ‘wiches to recommend? 

Turkey Meatballs with Garlic Sauce over Faux-Mashed Potatoes

When I meal-planned and started photographing this dinner, I hadn’t thought twice about the cauliflower mashed potatoes. I make these faux-mashed potatoes occasionally but I did realize I hadn’t blogged them in years, since making Balsamic Glazed Chicken. It’s a great way to lighten mashed potatoes or to stretch out the little potato you have. I used the potato as a base topped with turkey meatballs and a super quick sauce.

Cauliflower doesn’t really have all that much flavor so I honestly think people wouldn’t notice anything different about the potatoes. Plus, adding the cauliflower will add a ton more vitamin C, some added calcium, potassium, protein, & other good stuff without affecting the flavor or texture at all. Potatoes really shouldn’t be the enemy but adding some fresh or frozen cauliflower is a no-brainer.

The Three Bite Rule - Garlic Meatballs over Faux Mashed Potatoes
I came up with this idea thinking that frozen turkey meatballs would make for a quick weeknight dinner. The meatballs and garlic sauce were Trader Joe’s ingredients. Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs are hands down, better than any others. I was intrigued by the garlic sauce and ended up adding it to a few different dinners. It doesn’t make/break this dinner though. I included a really easy alternative.

The Three Bite Rule - Garlic Sauce Meatballs

Ingredients:

3 turkey meatballs per person
1/2 cup garlic cooking sauce (or double the broth (below) + 2 tbs diced garlic)
1/2 cup chicken stock
splash of white wine
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp thyme, dried or fresh rosemary
2 potatoes, pealed or unpealed
2 cups cauliflower
2 tsp cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp butter
salt & pepper

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling water, cook potatoes and cauliflower florets until fully cooked through.
In a flat pan over medium heat, add garlic,
Defrost meatballs and add to a flat pan with garlic sauce, stock, wine, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
Drain cauliflower and potatoes putting them into a big bowl.
Add cream cheese, milk, butter, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Garlic Meatballs over Faux Mashed Potatoes
Blend until smooth, or until texture of your preference. I leave some lumps.
The Three Bite Rule - Garlic Meatballs over Faux Mashed Potatoes
Top potatoes with meatballs spooning some sauce over the top.
The Three Bite Rule - Garlic Meatballs over Faux Mashed Potatoes
I liked this one a lot. It was a nice change from the usual. I guess it is along the lines of Swedish meatballs just without a creamy base. It was a easy use of already-made meatballs but would work well with chicken or pork medallions or beef.

I always forgot how much more mashed potato it seems like from the potatoes you start with. My faux-mashed potatoes are about half potato half cauliflower.

The Three Bite Rule - Garlic Meatballs over Faux Mashed Potatoes

Cauliflower Mashed potatoes would be great for mashed potato pizza. I also like blue cheese mashed potatoes with some blue cheese dressing for a subtle flavor. I guess I don’t make potatoes all that often. Hmmm.

Greek-Style Kofta over Salad

I like to vary up my dinner planning for the week. I could eat Mediterranean or Mexican everyday so I try to make sure there’s a mix. I do the same with meals to be blogged. It is much faster to cook without moving food to better lighting and snapping photos or making notes.

Cutthroat Kitchen had to make kebabs and one chef ended up being challenged to make his own skewers with vegetables. His were sad carrots but it did get me thinking kebabs are fun. Any food on a stick is fun! I figured we were long overdue for a meal like this. It felt balanced because of the raw veggies and grilled meat. The feta adds the saltiness and the creamy dressing added some tang. Overall is was fresh, and light but filling.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Kofta

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground chicken/pork/veal/lamb/beef
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
splash of red wine
3 cups lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup feta
1/4 cup Creamy Caesar/Greek/Italian dressing

Directions:

Preheat a grill, grill pan, or electric indoor grill to medium-high heat.
If using bamboo skewers: soak in cold water for at least 10 minutes.
Mix ground meat, onion, spices, vinegar, red wine, salt, and pepper.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Kofta
Form into 4 oblong logs onto skewers.
Brush with oil and grill.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Kofta
Grill 15-20 minutes, rotating to cook through (cooking time will vary depending on the ground meat. I used ground chicken which cooked longer than beef would).
Toss together lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and feta.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Kofta
Drizzle with dressing then top with kebabs.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Kofta
I loved this. The spices are so welcoming and truly make this dinner feel different. The meat is juicy and so flavorful. I love the warmth of the kebabs against the cool salad. Ahhh. So good.

Caprese Stuffed Chicken

Do you stuff foods often enough? I know I don’t. This is super easy with perfect flavors. It was a nod towards spring because of the basil. Caprese stuffed chicken would be great grilled. I baked it but plan to replicate when summer comes.

Baking chicken reminded me how thankful I am for a meat thermometer. It isn’t fancy but it helps me ensure these suckers got cooked through. Grab a meat thermometer. You’ll thank me later. They’re about 3-bucks even at the grocery store. Otherwise you really risk overcooking the chicken and ending up with rubber.

Pounding out the chicken and sprinkling with tomato & basil before topping with mozzarella at the end will give the same flavor without having to stuff them. I really only thought about that once they were in the oven. Though, cutting a pocket into the chicken is wayyy easier than butterflying the breast.

One of my trusty sous chefs head pointed to the ground in hopes of snagging anything that drops…
pb_gran_bailee_590_390

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts
1/4 cup Italian dressing
3 tbs olive oil
2-3 tomatoes, roma or campari
~6 basil leaves
4 slices fresh mozzarella

Directions:

Trim any fat or skin from the chicken breasts. Slice them in half, then cut a pocket into each piece.
Marinate the chicken pieces in Italian dressing, olive oil, salt, and pepper for 2+ hours.
The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Chicken
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Cut up the tomatoes and scrape out the insides. Dice the tomatoes discarding the insides & seeds.
Roll the basil leaves together and cut chiffonade.
Stuff tomato chunks and basil into each of the chicken pieces.
The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Chicken
Lay the chicken into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Bake 20 minutes. Flip each piece over and bake another 10-15 minutes.
Slice fresh mozzarella into 1/4 or 1/8 inch slices.
Check the internal chicken temperature to ensure it is fully cooked.

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Chicken
Lay the cheese on top of the chicken and return to the oven just to melt.
Sprinkle with any remaining tomatoes and basil to serve.

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Chicken
I opted not to butterfly cut the chicken since I was using chicken breast halves. The halves were plenty.

suggested adaptations: 
caprese chicken + balsamic reduction + pre-made bruschetta mix + rolled in breadcrumbs = bruschetta chicken
caprese chicken + caramelized onions/roasted garlic = big time caprese
caprese chicken – stuffing it + pulled chicken + on bread = caprese pulled chicken panini

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

So, you know how the 70s are back in full force via fondue? Well, I had a fondue party errr. maybe it was a party where we ate fondue. Then I made some up again since the party was a “girls gathering” and Mr. J didn’t get any. So 2nd time around, I had leftovers. It seemed like something I should keep and use wisely since it is ohh so delicious (and the price of fancy cheese isn’t going down anytime soon). I split the leftovers into 2 containers and froze it.

Then it got to come alive again. I was thinking how it could be used again, and duhh. I had leftover steamed broccoli and leftover cheese fondue in the freezer. Pizza!

Ingredients:

pizza dough
1 1/2 cups broccoli (steamed, roasted, or raw, as you like it)
1 cup cheese fondue (or cheese sauce, or alfredo sauce) warmed slightly.
3 chicken tenders
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Cook the chicken and broccoli, if needed.
Spread the pizza dough onto at hot pan or pizza stone before poking a few holes into it.
Bake 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule
Spread or spoon the fondue onto the crust.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Then sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
Next add broccoli florets and pieces of chicken.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
This was so good. I used breaded chicken tenders because they’re so quick and easy. They could cook while the pizza stone was preheating. The fondue acting as my “alfredo” sauce, and broccoli both were rescued & frozen after fondue.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
The touch of mustard from the fondue is really great here. The flavors are subtle, but decadently cheese, plus the juicy chicken, and the broccoli freshness…ahhh! It’s all you need.

Fondue is fun and the price of the cheeses definitely made me want to use the leftovers. This could have easily become pasta, or calzone (like I made eons ago), or into lasagna, or become cheesy garlic bread. The possibilities are endless for cheese sauce. I have one more leftover use ahead. Stay tuned! Have leftovers “left” you inspired to make something else lately?

Superbowl Snacks: Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls

These are the PERFECT appetizer. There’s crunch! There’s bacon! There’s freshness in the greens! There’s warmth with cool ranch! Soooo good! Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls are not “spring rolls” in any traditional sense, but are such a fun treat that I’m sure everyone would like. They’d be easy to prep and cook partially and then warm in the oven when the big game starts.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 oz dry ranch mix (1 packet)
2 cups arugula
4 green onions
3 slices of bacon
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Wonton wrappers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
In a large pan, fry the bacon until crisp, then remove to paper towels to drain. Leave the bacon drippings in the pan over low heat.
Warm the chicken in the bacon dripping pan.
Add in 3/4 of the dry ranch mix to the chicken, mix well, and then remove from the heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Chop the arugula, green onions, and bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Mix in the chicken once it has cooled a bit also adding the cheese to the arugula and bacon. (if the mixture is too hot, the cheese will melt and get all stringy)
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Sprinkle in the rest of the dry ranch mix, then stir well.
Lay out the wonton wrappers. Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of filling onto the wrappers, across the middle at an angle.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Roll them up, folding the bottom point up across the filling. Fold the sides in towards the middle. Roll towards the far point, tucking the edges in as you roll away from you.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Lay the rolls on a sheet pan with the point facing the pan. Spray, drizzle, or brush with olive oil.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Then bake for 10 minutes.
Flip over and bake another 10 minutes to ensure all sides get crisped. Pan frying in oil is an alternative.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
Serve with ranch dip or dressing.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
I used some of a roasted chicken for this, which really made this app really easy to whip together. I grabbed a deli roasted chicken and used half for a chicken pot pie. Then I took the rest of the chicken off the bone and froze it, to bring it to life for this! I used the bones to make broth for the chicken pot pie with some leftover too.  For this spring rolls I used all the filling and most of the wonton wrappers I had. I figured any we didn’t eat could easily freeze or reheat in the oven.

This uses a surprisingly small amount of bacon so I warmed the chicken in the bacon drippings for some more bacon flavor and to get some moisture into the chicken. The chicken was already cooked but I wanted to warm it to better incorporate the ranch flavor.

suggested adaptations: 
Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls – wontons + croissant dough or puff pastry = Chicken Bacon Ranch Rolls with less crunch but more doughiness
Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls – ranch + smokey dry rub + BBQ Sauce for dipping = Chicken Bacon BBQ Spring Rolls
Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls – arugula + spinach/cabbage/sprouts = Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls with more mild fresh flavor

Maple Dijon Chicken

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this before. I actually have made it quite a few times. Very few foods repeat over here but this is a crowd pleaser and is a simple one to have up your sleeve. The ingredients are staples in my house and having a fool-proof chicken recipe is great if you want to mess around with your side dishes.

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken
Anytime I mention simple ingredients all I can think of is Teresa Giudice sounding like a fool to her cookbook publishers when she keeps calling them ingredientses. If you can’t say it, then you shouldn’t get a book deal. Done. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I am hooked to the trash they say, but they can live on their millions from the show, not fake cookbooks others write and slap her photo on.

Anywho, it only takes a few flavorful ingredients to make this. I don’t recommend swapping out the thighs for breasts. It isn’t the same (I tried once). Trust me: people who think they don’t like chicken thighs will sing a different tune. They are so much more moist and they’re super cheap to buy. This recipe would be divine with the skin on it, but I wanted to spare us a few calories. Chicken thighs on the bone work fine too.

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tbs dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbs red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, syrup, and vinegar.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray and spread the chicken out.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken
Pour the sauce over and flip each piece of chicken to coat it in the sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken
Bake 20 minutes.
Flip the chicken over and brush more sauce over each piece of chicken
Increase the temperature to 400-degrees.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken
Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven.

So easy. I love the flavors here. It isn’t a super far stretch from honey mustard, but the taste is different. The vinegar keeps is bright and the maple is a perfect balance. It makes great leftovers!
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken
Need a jump start? Dump the sauce ingredients into a jar, shake it up and pop it in the fridge. Now anyyyyone can throw this dinner together. The chicken could hang out in the baking dish with the sauce all day so all you have to do is get it in the oven.

suggested adaptations: 
maple dijon chicken + fresh thyme/rosemary = super homemade tasting
maple dijon chicken + frozen chicken + crockpot (low for 4-6 hours) = easier dinner
maple dijon sauce + chicken tenders + skewers + grill = an alternative to BBQ sauce