Tag Archives: Chicken Recipes

Chicken Pesto Burgers with Tomato Topping

One of my summer choices for a healthy burger is this recipe – what was originally inspired by a recipe called Chicken Burgers with Warm Mushroom Salad. I thought the original burger recipe itself had potential, so I just changed it up a bit and made it even better.   Admittedly, I do my own thing on the salad –  I don’t think her salad recipe does the burger justice.  I followed the notion of involving mushrooms in the side dish, however, since it is in keeping with the Italian influence and compliments the burger well. Wait till you taste these!

I have to give credit where it’s due.  In her 2003 cookbook,  More Low-Carb Meals in Minutes, Linda Gassenheimer collected and created and some wonderful gourmet-inspired recipes that are appropriate for many of the more popular low-carb diets.  It targets diet crazes such as Protein Power, Atkins, and now, South Beach Diet. I refer back to this book frequently when I am in Phase One of the SBD, for something more inspiring than lean chicken and a pile of roasted vegetables.  This is an excellent supplement for the SBD books because it has beautiful pictures and recipes that are a step up from the menus in the original diet plans, and most are quick and easy to make.  Since that book was published, there have been more, updated versions – equally beautiful and with great new recipes, and I intend to purchase this one called Good Carb Meals in Minutes, which is geared for the latter phases of low-carb diets and appropriate for anyone who just wants to eat healthy, delicious meals and not spend an hour in the kitchen doing so.

My modified recipe takes about 30 minutes, so if you’re using a charcoal grill (which I prefer), light it up and get started.  Makes 6 burgers.

GATHER THIS:

  • 1 lb. package of ground chicken
  • 2 turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons refrigerated store-bought pesto sauce
  • coarse salt & fresh ground pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon each
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 scallions, tops and bottoms trimmed, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dressing from the Grilled Onion & Mushroom Salad with Arugula & Goat Cheese recipe
  • 6 slices Gouda cheese

DO THIS:

In a large bowl, gently mix together the ground chicken, ground sausage, pesto, salt and pepper.  Take care not to overwork the meat, as is it easy to toughen.  Form into 6 patties, about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place on a plate or platter and refrigerate until ready to grill and prepare side dishes.

Prepare topping:

In a medium bowl, mix together the tomatoes, scallions, and dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook burgers: Heat grill to medium.  Oil the grates well with vegetable oil (chicken burgers stick easily). Grill patties, turning only once, about 6-8 minutes per side.  During the last minute of grilling, top burgers with Gouda slices, put cover on grill down until just melted.   Serve on toasted or grilled whole-wheat sandwich buns and top with tomato mixture.  Phase One dieters, serve without buns or open-face with one slice of toasted whole-grain bread.

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Filed under Grilling, Healthy Recipes, Italian-inspired, Kids Favorites, Quick & Easy, South Beach Phase 1

Pan-seared Chicken with Roasted Red-pepper Cream Sauce

To make a colorful, flavorful, and healthy dinner, serve this beautifully sauced chicken with brown rice, cooked in chicken broth and tossed with black beans, chopped scallions, lime juice and cilantro.  And don’t forget the margaritas!

Create fabulousness in an instant with this quick, well-rounded menu that will wow and satisfy. Another recipe inspired by Martha Stewart and her Everyday Food crew, the original was this Chicken with Poblano Cream Sauce; which while beautiful in theory and on the picture – lacks the reality that not everyone appreciates the taste of  a poblano pepper, nor knows quite where to find it or what to expect from one.

In my version, I use everyday ingredients but add the heat of the dried chipotle.  If you haven’t any, get some of this for your spice rack! You can add it to almost anything for a great, smoky kick – perfect in chili.   For this recipe, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes for heat if you can’t find chipotle, but it won’t give you the same wonderful smoky flavor.   I love that this recipe is a bit above the rest while still being  simple.  Here’s what I did:

GATHER THIS:

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried chipotle pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

DO THIS:

  1. Roast the pepper over a gas burner or under the broiler, until charred all over. Wrap in paper towel; cool 5 minutes. Peel off skin; remove seeds and ribs. Chop coarsely.
  2. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add onion, garlic, and chipotle; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add pepper and cream.
  3. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth; add chicken stock if too thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat remaining vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden and juices run clear, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with sauce

If you are absolutely not going to go through the roasted pepper work (which is healthier and more tasty), you could substitute the equivalent amount of jarred roasted red pepper.

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Filed under Healthy Recipes, Mexican-inspired, Quick & Easy

Super-Quick, Fantastic Greek Chicken Cutlets

We are South-Beaching it for a few weeks here at the homestead.  After the Super Bowl every year, my husband and I go on our “annual diet” – because we tend to pack on the poundage during the holidays.

We don’t have a regular recipe rotation in our house.  But there are a few recipes that I make, repeatedly – when the mood strikes – because they are just great and easy to make when you’re in a hurry.  This one is on my top ten list.  Best of all, it’s great for high-protein dieting and the first phase of South Beach.   This recipe was originally printed in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine in April of 2007, one of my favorite cooking magazines, recipes from which you will see me blog about frequently.

GATHER THIS:

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin chicken cutlets (about 8 )

DO THIS:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, feta, mint, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Heat a grill pan over high; brush lightly with oil. Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Cook, working in batches as necessary, until chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Top chicken with tomato mixture, and serve.

From Everyday Food, April 2007  – Serves 4

What’s good about this is its simple sophistication, but you can easily set aside one of the cooked cutlets and serve it with some noodles and another veggie for the kiddos.

In the first phase of South Beach, I am usually starving – so I bulk it up with some chopped cucumber and up the ratio of oil and sprinkle some lemon juice over the whole deal for added kick.

For accompaniments, I serve it with good-quality hummus (I like Trader Joe’s, Tribe or Sabra) and some extra low-carb veggies for dipping.   If you’re not in the first phase, a good, healthy side dish would be some whole-wheat couscous cooked in chicken broth and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and some fresh chopped scallions.   This recipe will do alright with fresh parsley or cilantro instead of mint – but it will knock your socks off with the mint!

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Filed under Budget Friendly, Healthy Recipes, Quick & Easy, South Beach Phase 1

Over the Top Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

It’s a snowy day, my three year old has a cold, and my husband has been working outside – so I thought it would be a perfect day to do some kind of chicken soup in the crockpot.  I have some wild rice in the pantry leftover from another dish, so I thought I would take a stab at a chicken and wild rice soup.

Now, you’d think it would be easy to find a recipe such as this.  I suppose it is, if you have vanilla tastes and you don’t want anything more than ordinary.  I like a little creaminess to my chicken soup – or at least, a little extra kick.  I like lemon, curry, coriander, ginger, or something beyond Grandma’s recipe. Plus, today I wasn’t able to get to the store for any special ingredients.

I spent about Over the top!40 minutes looking in my books and perusing the website with no success.  There’s probably one out there that’s as good.  But if I was going to get cooking I had to get off the computer and begin.  I found some inspiration from this:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chicken-and-rice-soup-recipe/index.html

But it still wasn’t all I wanted in a Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe.

So, I did my own – and this is what I came up with (don’t be afraid of the long ingredient list, most of them you just throw in):

GATHER THIS:

  • Any combination of 6-8 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken
  • Vegetable oil & 2 Tbls. butter
  • 2 stalks celery, diced finely
  • 2 small carrots, diced finely
  • 1 very small onion, diced finely
  • 2 tablespoons flour – I actually used Wondra!
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock, low-sodium, or 6 cups water with 5 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2  package (3 oz.) Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice Original, seasoning packet removed
  • 3-4 whole sprigs fresh parsley, tied together
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dash or more of cayenne pepper

DO THIS:

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add 1 tbl. oil and 1 tbl. butter.  Sear the chicken pieces in the skillet in two separate batches, about 5-6 minutes per side, to get a nice browning.*  Place the browned chicken pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Wipe out the skillet, lower the heat to medium-low,  then add the rest of the butter and just a teaspoon of oil. Cook the celery, carrot and onion in the skillet for about 5 minutes or until just soft.  Stir in the flour, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper, and remove from heat.

Transfer the vegetable mixture into the crockpot with the chicken.  Add the minced garlic, rice, and pour the chicken stock over everything. Add the parsley, turmeric, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir gently.

Cook, covered, in the crockpot 1 hour on high.  After one hour, reduce heat to low, and cook an additional 2-3 hours.  At some point, and really, any time after the first hour – you’ll take the chicken pieces out, let them cool a bit, and then bone the chicken.  Remove the skin, of course.  Then chop up the  cooked chicken rather fine – this is a good way to ensure no one gets a bone in their bowl.   You should have about 2 cups of chicken.   Return the chicken to the pot,  and now add the cayenne pepper to taste.  Replace the lid and heat through for the remaining cooking time – or if you wait until the end to bone the chicken, reheat for about 10-15 minutes.

Before serving, remove the bay leaf and tied parsley. Taste again for salt and pepper seasoning (I added more here).   Finish by stirring in the lemon juice just before spooning into bowls. Then grab a snuggie, some crusty bread or oyster crackers,  and a glass of chardonnay – you are well on your way to comfort heaven.

MY REVIEW:

Wow! This surpassed all my expectations.  This was family friendly, it had everything going for it.  I’m not sure I would change anything, except perhaps to add the rice a little later in the recipe – maybe after that first hour in.  I didn’t mind it soft, but I do like my wild rice to have just a little resistance to the tooth. And, though I was craving something creamy, this didn’t need it.  It was rich and delicious, without being too unhealthy.  I was really glad I ditched the written recipes and did my own thing here.  When I do this again, (and I will) I’ll try just keeping the crockpot on low the whole time, for a longer time – to see if it would withstand being gone most of the day.  Try it and tell me what you think!

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Filed under Budget Friendly, From My Own Kitchen, Kids Favorites, Low & Slow