Category Archives: Chicken

Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo-Tomato Salsa

Summer is here! And that means grilling in our household!  This recipe is easy and refreshing, especially with the fresh salsa. It makes quite a bit of salsa, so feel free to serve the extra with chips on the side. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo-Tomato Salsa

from Body and Soul magazine
serves 4

Olive oil, for grill
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
1/2 small red onion, quartered
1/2 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, roughly chopped (I used one cayenne pepper and left in the seeds & ribs – it was just the right amount of heat)
8 ounces tomatillos (about 4), peeled, rinsed, cored, and quartered
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves

Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. In a shallow dish, stir together 2 tablespoons lime juice and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and coat. Let sit 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse onion and jalapeno until finely chopped. Add tomatillos and pulse once or twice. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.

Grill chicken, covered, until opaque throughout, about 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil; let rest 5 minutes. Serve chicken with salsa (use a slotted spoon for serving, to remove some of the excess liquid).

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
Calories: 163.0
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 64.0 mg
Sodium: 147.0 mg
Potassium: 588.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 8.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Sugars: 2.6 g
Protein: 27.3 g


Brie and Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is one of those recipes that really elevates a plain chicken breast, but also seems daunting for a weeknight meal. When I decide I want to make these, I try to plan ahead and caramelize the onions the night before, which makes prep *much* faster for this dish! It is always a hit!  Enjoy!

Brie and Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
From Cooking Light, May 1996
Serves 4

1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1-1/2 cups sliced onion
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2/3 cup dry white wine, divided
2 ounces Brie or Camembert cheese, cut into 4 small pieces (about 2 tablespoons)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 3/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 1/2 oz low-sodium chicken broth

1. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onion; sauté 30 minutes or until golden brown. Add sliced garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup wine; cook 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Spoon onion mixture into a bowl; let cool. Stir in salt and pepper.

2. If chicken breasts are large (8oz), cut in half, then pound to about 1/2 inch thickness with a meat mallet. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the onion mixture and a piece of brie into each pocket.

3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet. Set aside; keep warm.

4. Add 1/3 cup wine, minced onion, sage, and minced garlic to skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil, and cook 7 minutes or until reduced to 3/4 cup. Return chicken to skillet; cover and simmer 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve sauce with chicken. Garnish with fresh sage, if desired.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 247.7
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.8 g
Cholesterol: 78.2 mg
Sodium: 262.8 mg
Potassium: 435.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 6.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Sugars: 0.1 g
Protein: 28.5 g

Cherry-stuffed Grilled Chicken

At this time of year, when cherries are in season, I love eating them fresh! But I also love to find as many recipes as possible that use fresh cherries – then I can justify the amount of fresh cherries I buy… I found this recipe a few years ago in our local newspaper, and over the years, I’ve made it with both chicken and pork, and either way it’s fantastic! Enjoy!

Cherry-stuffed Grilled Chicken

Adapted from recipe from San Antonio Express News (Originally cherry-stuffed grilled pork tenderloin)
Serves 4

1 1/4 lb chicken breasts, 5 oz each, pounded 1/2 inch thin – pocket cut horizontally (or use 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lbs)

3/4 cup pitted, chopped sweet cherries
1/2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine cherries, onion, sage, thyme, and salt. Set aside.

Mix marinade, place into gallon-sized ziplock bag.

Slice a pocket in each chicken breast. Fill with cherry-sage filling. Place chicken into marinade, and marinate for 30-45 min in refrigerator.

Preheat grill. Prepare one side for indirect grilling (turn one side of gas grill to low, or pile charcoal on one side for charcoal grill). Cook over indirect heat until internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees (about 20-30 min).

**Note** For pork tenderloin: Slice pork tenderloin lengthwise, pound with meat mallet to even thickness. Fill with filling, then roll tenderloin over filling. Secure with kitchen twine (3-4 places). Marinate, then grill over indirect heat until cooked through, about 30 min (about 145 degrees). Remove from grill, and let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional info (chicken):
Calories: 204.7
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 436.3 mg
Potassium: 66.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Protein: 33.0 g

Nutritional info (pork tenderloin):
Calories: 219.1
Total Fat: 8.3 g
Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.7 g
Cholesterol: 92.2 mg
Sodium: 507.2 mg
Potassium: 585.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Protein: 30.2 g

Chicken Pot Pie

I always think of chicken pot pie as the ultimate comfort food, so it is fitting that this is what I thought to bring to friends after they recently had their newest baby. I searched through my recipes, and I couldn’t find something that was just what I wanted… So, I made up my own recipe! Of course, it took longer, since I had to write everything down as I went, but I think it turned out pretty great! I made it the first time with pie dough as the crust, and since then I’ve also made it with phyllo dough (to lighten it up a bit). Either way, it’s great. Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

A Karen original recipe
Serves 6

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup pearl onions (thawed if frozen)
8 oz potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup peas
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp flour (I use ultragrain all-purpose)
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half & half

single pie crust (see recipe or use store-bought) – OR – 6 sheets phyllo dough

Egg wash:
1 egg
2 Tbsp skim milk

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large saucepan, saute carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes in butter/oil until tender. Add mushrooms and peas, and cook until mushrooms are browned. Add flour and dried herbs. Stir for about 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with wine.

Stir in broth and half & half. Add in chicken, then cook until thickened.

Put filling into pie pan, then cover with dough. (Alternatively, fill 6 oven-safe ramekins with filling, and top each separately with dough to make individual pot pies). Cut vents into the dough to allow steam to release. Brush dough with egg wash (milk + egg).

Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes (or about 30 min for individual size), or until crust is brown and filling is bubbling.

Nutritional info (pie crust):
Calories 403.7
Total Fat 19.5 g
Saturated Fat 8.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 72.4 mg
Sodium 521.3 mg
Potassium 576.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Sugars 5.6 g
Protein 20.7 g

Nutritional info (phyllo crust):
Calories 253.5
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 72.4 mg
Sodium 361.2 mg
Potassium 576.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 19.1 g

Pan-Seared Chicken with Wine and Herbs

For many years, I’ve followed Weight Watchers in order to lose weight and eat a better variety of foods. However, I usually like to find my own recipes (from cooking magazines, cookbooks, the internet, etc.). Last week, one of the recipes on the Weight Watchers website caught my eye – I thought it might *actually* be a good one! So, I decided to give it a try. The result? It was actually pretty fantastic! My only change was increasing the quantity of the herbs (the original recipe called for only 1/4 tsp of each!). We served this with bulgur and some roasted asparagus on the side, and we will definitely be making this again! Enjoy!

Pan-seared Chicken with Wine and Herbs

Slightly adapted from Weight Watchers website
Serves 4

16 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4 thin cutlets
2 sprays cooking spray
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
1⁄4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp uncooked shallot(s), finely chopped
4 fl oz white wine, dry variety
1⁄4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp each fresh thyme, tarragon, and chives, finely chopped
1 pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold

1. Slice through each chicken breast lengthwise to form two thinner cutlets. Pound gently to even thickness, if necessary.

2. Coat a 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat until very hot. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook, undisturbed, until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a platter; keep warm.

3. Add oil and shallots to same skillet; sauté 30 seconds. Add wine; cook, stirring to release brown bits from bottom of pan, and until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth; simmer 1 minute more. Stir in thyme (or tarragon and chives), a pinch of salt and juices from chicken platter; remove pan from heat. Swirl in butter until sauce is creamy; spoon sauce over chicken.

Nutritional information:
Calories: 194.8
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 71.8 mg
Sodium: 185.2 mg
Potassium: 334.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 1.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Sugars: 0.0 g
Protein: 26.3 g

Chicken Pad Thai

Recently, I was browsing the aisles at Whole Foods (dangerous, I know!), and I came across brown rice Pad Thai noodles. I had never made Pad Thai before, but thought – why not? So, I searched my cookbooks and online, and I found a recipe that I could mold into my own. The result? Some tasty chicken Pad Thai, for sure! Enjoy!

Chicken Pad Thai

Serves 4

8 oz brown rice pad Thai noodles (I use Annie Chun’s brand)
4 tsp sunflower oil, divided
1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 egg
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups bean sprouts, washed

1. Cook noodles as directed on the package. Drain, and set aside.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Saute chicken until browned. Remove, and set aside.

3. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in wok over medium-high heat. Crack egg into hot oil, and cook until firm. Stir in chicken, and cook for 5 minutes. Add softened noodles, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and red pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Mix while cooking, until noodles are tender. Add bean sprouts, and mix for 3 minutes.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 414.4
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Saturated Fat: 1.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.3 g
Cholesterol: 110.5 mg
Sodium: 797.6 mg
Potassium: 332.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 51.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
Sugars: 6.5 g
Protein: 33.7 g

Chicken with Lentils, Chorizo, and Red Pepper

Recently, when we were menu-planning for the week, I asked John what ingredients he wanted to use this week (so we could find some recipes/meals to make). He suggested lentils, and when I went through my recipes, I didn’t find anything inspiring. Until I came across this recipe, which I had saved quite a while ago. I asked what he thought, and we both decided it was worth a try. The result? It was really fantastic, and we will definitely be making it again! Enjoy!

Chicken with Lentils, Chorizo, and Red Pepper

Adapted from Food & Wine, Aug 2010
Serves 6

1 2/3 cups lentils (about 2/3 pound)
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
2oz dried chorizo, casings removed, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a large saucepan, bring the lentils, water, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, the thyme, and bay leaf to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Reduce the heat to moderately low and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the simmering lentils.

3. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the pan over moderate heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper and add it to the pan. Cook the chicken, turning, until brown, about 12 minutes in all. Pour off all the fat from the pan. Add the broth, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 15 minutes. Add the pan juices from the chicken to the lentils along with the lemon juice and the parsley. Top with the chicken and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 326.2
Total Fat: 4.8 g
Saturated Fat: 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 49.4 mg
Sodium: 547.7 mg
Potassium: 770.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 35.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 17.0 g
Sugars: 1.9 g
Protein: 34.0 g

Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

This is such a warm and hearty meal!  We started making this recipe a few years ago, and it is a go-to when the weather is chilly and you need something warm and satisfying!  We generally serve it over whole wheat pearl couscous, but you can serve it with any rice or grain, or even with bread for dipping in the sauce.  Enjoy!


Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

Adapted from Bon Appetit, Nov 2010
Serves 6

1 ¾ pounds skinless chicken breast halves or thighs
½ tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound shallots (about 5 large), peeled and sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
6 dates, pitted, halved
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 4-6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to high; add broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot.

Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh or drumstick is pierced with knife, about 20 minutes (less time if using only boneless breast meat).

Remove chicken from pan, increase heat, and boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce and dates over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Nutritional info (using chicken breasts):
Calories 250.7
Total Fat 3.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 74.7 mg
Sodium 112.2 mg
Potassium 656.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 33.0 g

Nutritional info (using chicken thighs):
Calories: 264.6
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 112.0 mg
Sodium: 140.2 mg
Potassium: 319.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 5.3 g
Protein: 28.8 g

Chicken Parmesan

I love to bring meals to people (or cook for people) when life gets a little hectic – for example, when my neighbor had a new baby, or when another friend recently found herself with two new foster children. I asked my neighbor what she would like me to bring over, and she asked, “Can you make Chicken Parmesan? That’s what I’m really craving!” I said, “Sure.” And then I scrambled to find a recipe! Why? Well, until now, I had never actually made Chicken Parmesan!

Once I found this recipe, I knew my neighbor and my other friend would both love it! So – we made it twice, and each time we served it with homemade pasta. It was a huge hit, and greatly appreciated both times! Enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan

From Cooking Light, Jan 2014
Serves 4

1 lb raw chicken breast, cut into 4 cutlets
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
dash of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (you will only use about 1/2 of this)
1 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese (you will only use about 1/2 of this)
dash of pepper
1 tsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced into four pieces

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Make 3 plates/breading trays: In the first, combine flour, garlic powder, and salt. In the second, add the beaten egg. In the third, combine panko, parmesan, and pepper.

3. Heat a large skillet to medium, and add the butter and oil.

4. For each piece of chicken, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour. Then dip into egg (let excess drip off). Then dip into panko/cheese mixture, pressing to adhere.

5. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned and done. Place browned chicken on a baking sheet or broiler pan. Place in oven at 300 for about 10 min (to thoroughly cook chicken).

5. Turn on broiler. Top each chicken piece evenly with mozzarella. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serve over pasta with tomato sauce, if desired.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 296.1
Total Fat: 11.4 g
Saturated Fat: 4.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8 g
Cholesterol: 145.7 mg
Sodium: 306.4 mg
Potassium: 399.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 7.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Sugars: 0.4 g
Protein: 37.8

Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-balsamic Salsa

It’s been so long since I’ve actually had time to post a new recipe, and I have a back-log of recipes I’ve made in the last few months!

I made this recipe early in the summer, when there is so much fresh produce available in TX. Since chicken is an easy go-to protein, I’m always looking for new ways to use chicken and fresh produce. I came upon this recipe in a summer issue of Cooking Light. We had all of the ingredients (including fresh TX blueberries), so we thought we’d give it a try. It was fantastic! Enjoy!

Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-balsamic Salsa

Adapted from Cooking Light, June 2015
Serves 4

1 garlic clove
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes (about 20-24 cubes total)
1 cup blueberries, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
Cooking spray

1. Drop garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until chopped. Add parsley and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper); process until finely chopped. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt; pulse to combine. Combine herb mixture and chicken in a medium bowl; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Wipe out food processor.

2. Combine 1/2 cup blueberries, vinegar, and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until thickened, pressing with a spoon to break up blueberries. Place blueberry mixture in a medium bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup blueberries to food processor; pulse 5 times. Combine chopped blueberries, 1/8 teaspoon salt, onion, and jalapeño pepper with vinegar mixture.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

4. Thread 6 chicken pieces evenly onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve with blueberry salsa.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 217.0
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5.0 g
Cholesterol: 64.0 mg
Sodium: 220.1 mg
Potassium: 377.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 8.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Sugars: 4.6 g
Protein: 26.6 g