Chicken Francese Anniversary Dinner

I’m going out with a bang this week. Normally Fridays are my What I Ate series but I’ve been traveling, and I’m super backlogged. I have a super exciting weekend of food coming up and I’ll kick it off with a big time Friday post! It is a bit delayed but without further ado, I give you my 1st wedding anniversary dinner! Ta-da!

We went to Portland for the weekend and ate, walked around, shopped, checked out some lighthouses, and swam in the hotel pool (check out how adorable it is!). When we got home I decided to make our wedding meal for dinner! Of course we had to eat our frozen slice of wedding cake too!

I made chicken francese, blue cheese mashed potatoes, and green beans. It turned out great!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francaise

I drew the line at making squash veggie rings like the wedding venue had.

 

Chicken Francese

(adapted from Epicurious) 

Ingredients:

4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs, whisked
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (plus sliced lemon for garnish)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound chicken with flat side of a meat pounder (or with a rolling pin, canned goods, or cast iron skillet) until 1/4 inch thick.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.
While oil is heating, stir together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl.
Dredge chicken, in flour mixture, shaking off excess
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese
then dredge in the eggs in another shallow bowl
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese
When oil is hot, fry, turning over once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm in the oven (at 200-degrees). Fry remaining chicken in same manner.
Pour off and discard oil, then wipe skillet clean and heat butter over low until foam subsides. Add wine, broth, and lemon juice and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 6 minutes. (Do you know the trick of squeezing lemons upside down so you don’t drop any seeds in?)
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese
Stir in parsley and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and top with lemon slices.

It was good. I added some more lemon juice before serving because it got too sweet for me. I also had way too much parsley so I chopped it all and froze the leftovers in ice cube trays with a splash of water. Next time I need parsley I have small servings in the freezer! I also zested some lemon into the sauce too.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese

I had every intention of doing half mashed potatoes/half cauliflower but I was zipping around to get everything done at the same time and I totally forgot.  I mixed in some butter, milk, and blue cheese dressing. The blue cheese flavor was light but great. I think the salad dressing was a good use when I didn’t have other plans for blue cheese before jetting away on a work trip.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese

Now, the cake. Our frozen slice ‘o cake wasn’t nearly as gross as I thought it would be. I never eat wedding cake at weddings, but we haaaad to have one. I actually loved our wedding cake (when I ate it the next day). The frozen one moved with us and everything. We each ate a bite or two and then somebody, whose name starts with J, ate the rest of the piece of cake later too.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese
It was a great celebration and we have lots to celebrate. Good thing I have a year to come up with the next themed anniversary dinner!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Francese

Onion Dip Burger

Grilling the best part of summer. Dontcha think? Or maybe it is the beach. I think food is best in the summer. I capitalize on burgers at home since not everywhere offers their delicious combos ontop a burger I can eat. I can make my own chicken, pork, turkey, etc burger at home. Let’s be honest, I’ve been all about the ground pork lately since it is by far the cheapest, and tends to not get as dry as turkey. Try it.
The Three Bite Rule - Onion Burger
This idea came from Ms. L long enough ago that she had forgotten about it. I didn’t. I heard onion-dip burger and was all about it! I modeled this one off my technique for ranch burgers.

Ingredients:

½ pound ground meat (I used pork)
1 container of onion dip
1 packet of onion soup mix
2 slices of cheese
3 tbs fried onions

Directions:

Mix the ground meat with the onion soup mix, and 1/3 cup onion dip until well incorporated.
The Three Bite Rule - Onion Burger
Form into patties and grill (or cook) until cooked through.
The Three Bite Rule - Onion Burger
Lightly warm fried onions in toaster oven or skillet.
Top burgers with cheese, onion dip, and fried onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Onion Burger
Enjoy!

The onion burgers were juicy and completely flavor packed. I’m salivating just thinking of them. They stayed together perfectly on the grill (unlike some of my stuffed burgers).

These are such a great treat and EASY way to amp up your regular burger. I think the dip as a condiment is perfect and the crunch from the onions was awesome. They do have a use other than green bean casserole!

When I heard about onion dip burgers I was going to top it with chips, like Bobby Flay’s crunchified burgers but the onions seemed like a fun but unexpected topping.
The Three Bite Rule - Onion Burger

I do need to crunchify my next burger though.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Have you ever used corn tortillas? I guess I don’t know how to use them! I had an enchilada mishap I figured I’d share with you. Not that any of my meals are pefect but I think everyone needs a reminder that not everything goes to plan. The meals that do go to plan are just more fun to blog about.

They were super crumbly. I tried soaking them in water but they still cracked.
enchilada_mishap_beginning_590_390
Then I threw in the towel. I shredded the tortillas and made it casserole style.
enchilada_mishap_redo_390_590
We ate it anyway. Ohh well.
enchilada_mishap_dish_590_390

Bacon Wrapped Burgers

I was really excited for my menu for Mr. J’s birthday. My guy loooves a good burger so I thought about a bacon wrapped burger. I guess Birthday Burgers are a tradition now since I made stuffed burgers for his birthday last year.

I googled and saw a few that put bacon around the edge. That’s not good enough. I was thinking of weaving it to make a little bacon wrapping.
bacon_burger_cooked_590_390
It seemed like it would cook ok, it just might need to be secured with toothpicks (I recommend counting them to be sure they all come out). We strategized that getting the bacon crisped on the first side might help keep it all together before flipping.

Ingredients
2 burgers
strips of bacon (4-6 strips per burger)

Directions
Lay 3 strips of bacon and interlace 3 other strips in the opposite direction to form an L.
bacon_burger_weaved_590_390
Place burger on the bacon intersection. Fold the flaps over and weave them together.
bacon_burger_assembled_590_390Mr. J’s was a beef burger. I did ground pork. Though I didn’t eat Mr. J’s burger, I have to say I think the 4 strips of bacon is plenty (versus the 6 on his).

I served it with a cucumber ribbon salad. It was plain greek yogurt, dill, garlic, and pepper.
bacon_burger_sauce_590_390

I sliced the cucumber with a mandolin but was afraid to make them too thin. I figured not slicing my hand off was a good birthday present too.
bacon_burger_cukes_590_390

The burgers were reallllly good. I topped mine with swiss and Mr. J’s with American cheese. I think it was a fun meal.
bacon_burger_cut_590_390

Now what kind of burger am I going to make for his bday next year??

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I’ll never tire of pizza toppings. This is actually an oldie-but-goodie. It was the first meal I made for Mr. J. It was kind of a go-to meal since it was easy regardless of grill access. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged it for you before!

bbq_pizza_slice_590_390

Ingredients:

Pizza dough
4 chicken tenders (or 2 breasts)
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
½ red onion
2 green onions

Directions:

Pre-bake pizza crust at 400-degrees for 15 minutes or until the edges start getting crisp.
bbq_pizza_crust_590_390
Brush chicken tenders with ½ the barbecue sauce and grill until cooked through.
bbq_pizza_chic_590_390
Shred the cooked chicken with 2 forks.
Top the pizza crust with a light layer of barbecue sauce, then cheese, then red onions.
bbq_pizza_assembled_590_390
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
bbq_pizza_baked_590_390
Remove from oven and top with chopped green onion and drizzle with bbq sauce.

I forgot how much I love this pizza. The sweet and tangy sauce with melty cheese…ohh so good. It is really good for leftovers too. Don’t let the 2 kinds of onions be intimidating. They are not overpowering. Topping this with a drizzle of sauce really makes it an impressive dinner.

On my trip to Chicago my colleague inspired a NEW pizza. Stay tuned for that one! Thanks Mrs. M!

Cheeseburger Pizza

Sometimes when I have a good thing going I don’t know why I change it up. I have pizza dough I love (Portland Pie Co) that I get at the grocery store. It comes in regular, beer, and basil but I especially love the garlic.

I’m not sure why I haaaad to try making biscuit dough crust. It was terrible. It tasted OK but looked quite sad. It was crumbly and never molded together. I made Cheeseburger Pizza which was phenomenal despite the crust being not so great.
burger_pizza_slice_590_390

Ingredients:

Pizza dough
1/3 pound ground meat (I used ground pork)
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (or cheddar and mozzarella mixed)
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
pickles, chopped
lettuce
ketchup and mayo to drizzle

Directions:

Prepare pizza dough and prebake until crisp at 400 degrees.
burger_pizza_dough_590_390
Cook the ground pork until cooked through and drain. Return to the pan and add onions for a few minutes until softened.
Assemble the pizza by topping the dough with sauce, meat, onions, and cheese.
burger_pizza_assembled_590_390 Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and the cheese melts.
burger_pizza_baked_590_390 Top with pickles, lettuce, tomato, and drizzle with ketchup and mayo.
burger_pizza_plate_590_390
This was a really good pizza. I liked the flavors and it was a great use of some basic ingredients. I had the pork leftover and frozen from another dinner so it was also a great use of frozen meat. Frozen ground meat isn’t great as a burger but as taco meat, or pizza toppings the lack of freshness isn’t apparent.

I’ll make it again I’m sure. Pizza is such a regular weeknight dinner because the leftovers are so good too. I ate leftovers even though the “biscuit” crust wasn’t great. Here’s the biscuit recipe if you want to give it a go but I recommend sticking to regular dough.

I have another pizza to post soon and I have an idea I haven’t tried yet so stay tuned!

Baked Coconut Chicken

Here’s an easy one that will actually be part 1 of 3. I’m crazy right now at work which has spiraled into the rest of my life. I’ve been saying that for awhile but the end is near. Think of all you stress at work, and condense that to 3 months. I’m not at all stressed 9 months of the year, then the insanity ensues. It is worth it…I think.

People ask all the time where I get inspiration. Everywhere! This time it was partially from pinterest when I saw some coconut shrimp. I ended up making them around Christmas. The coconut chicken idea was also from the appetizers at my wedding. I wish I had remembered that the coconut chicken at the wedding came with this really silky raspberry dipping sauce. Ohh well, next time!
wedding_ap1_590_390
This was such an easy one to whip up. I had plans for the rest of the chicken but again, like I’m obsessed with, you could make a ton and freeze it. I baked these so they would be healthier and not as messy.

Ingredients:

4 chicken tenders or breasts cut into strips
1 egg + 1 tbs water
1 cup shredded coconut
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup cornstarch

Directions:

Set up your trio of dredges: 1st cornstarch, 2nd eggwash, 3rd breadcrumbs & coconut mixed.

coconut_chicken_trio_590_390
Dredge each chicken strip and put onto a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on top of it.
coconut_chicken_bredded_590_390
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once.
coconut_chicken_done_590_390

I loved the coconut flavor. It had a great crunch without being greasy. I served these coconut chicken strips with lemon risotto which felt super summery and some steamed broccoli.
coconut_chicken_plate_590_390
Stay tuned for part 2: the risotto and part 3: leftovers turned into a treat!

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup in Breadbowls

I’ve been meal planning lately and it’s working out great. I’ll go into further detail later, but I think it’s helping me a bit more well rounded. Mr. J might have been a little bit nervous when I popped a soup onto the weekly list but we LOVED this.
brocc_cheddar_done_590_390
I wasn’t even going to blog this but just after I got going I figured it was worthy! My roux was perfect. That doesn’t happen all the time. I’ve made a few mac & cheeses that haven’t been ideal because my roux ratios were off. This time it was right on and it made the soup velvety and delicious.

Ingredients:

¼ cup flour
¼ cup butter
1½ cup half and half cream
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups broccoli florets
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar (I used a mix of sharp and American)

Directions:

Melt butter and whisk in flour. Let it cook for about 5 minutes on medium low until golden and sticky.
Add in cream and chicken stock, stirring until well incorporated. Add broccoli and cook covered for 15 minutes.
brocc_cheddar_brocc_590_390
Slowly add cheese and stir until melted.
brocc_cheddar_cheese_590_390
Cook for 15 minutes on low.

I served this soup in bread bowls by just baking lumps of pizza dough and scooping out the middle after the outside was fully cooked. It took about 30 minutes at 375-degrees to cook far enough in. The bread bowls were about baseball size each or a quarter of the dough.
brocc_cheddar_bowl_590_390
It was so thick and could easily be thinned out with more milk, water, or chicken stock. We really liked how creamy it was and the thickness was a good thing to us. I owe all the credit to the roux. I normally don’t measure but the equal parts worked magically.

Look at how interested the pup is. Windsor hangs out by the microwave that is set into the island. He was interested in the chicken stock warming up.
windsor_590_390
This literally could have been fondue it was that thick and melty.  I think it would have liked it as a dip with crusty bread or to fill baked potato skins.

brocc_cheddar_done_590_390

Meatball Subs on Garlic Bread

This doesn’t seem like it really warrants a recipe, but this hit the spot and makes all other meatball subs look sad.The key was the garlic bread. It was a pretty good “water-proofer” to keep the roll from getting too soggy too!
meatball_meatballs_590_390

Ingredients:

2 crusty rolls
7 meatballs
4 slices of provolone cheese
2 cups tomato sauce
3 tbs butter
2 tbs garlic, chopped
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Prep the rolls as you would garlic bread (I spread the butter on them, then garlic, truffle oil, Parmesan, kosher salt, and garlic powder)
meatball_roll_590_390
Bake for 5 minutes at 400-degrees.
Cut meatballs into quarter chunks and warm with sauce while bread is toasting.
Remove the rolls and top each one with 1 slice of provolone.
Add sauce, meatball chunks, and more sauce, then top with remaining cheese.
meatball_meltcheese_590_390
Bake 5 minutes at 400-degrees until melted.
meatball_plate_590_390

I loved how garlicky it was and the truffle oil was a great addition. I cut the meatballs to make it more manageable but if they were smaller I might not have.

I think the important thing to remember to keep these as a quick kitchen-to-table dinner is that if everything is warm, they don’t need to cook long. The meatballs and sauce were both warm so all that was happening in the oven was the cheese melting.

Peanut Noodle Salad Hot or Cold

Marcus Sameulsson had me at bok choy. Well, I actually hadn’t cooked bok choy before but I loved this recipe from his blog. This was a pretty quick one to put together and it reheated well the next day for lunch.
peanut_noodle_ingred_590_390

Peanut Noodle Salad with Edamame and Bok Choy

 

Serves 4, adapted from Peas and Thank You

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp honey
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
2 heads baby bok choy, chopped
2 cups frozen edamame

Directions:

In a food processor mix coconut milk, tomatoes, peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and honey until smooth.
peanut_noodle_sauce_590_390
Boil the pasta.
While the pasta boils, cook the bok choy for about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender before adding the edamame and cook until heated through.
peanut_noodle_veg_590_390
Add the spaghetti to the pan and pour the peanut sauce mixture into the pan, tossing to coat.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
peanut_noodle_closeup_590_390

This was a really great meat-less meal. I was shocked, but Mr. J really liked it too! I wasn’t sure he’d be really into the coconut milk/peanut butter sauce. This was also a great use of whole wheat pasta. Normally, I really don’t like it and honestly, I’d often prefer not to even have pasta if it is going to be wheat.

It is fresh tasting. Each bite had something different…from the noodles coated in the creamy peanut sauce, to the bite of the edamame, to the leafy bok choy. The recipe had peppers in it but I threw in some carrots for color instead.
peanut_noodle_plate_590_390