Chicken, Salsa, Mushroom Bake

chicken-salsa-10_opt2.jpg

We bought a large container of fresh salsa at Costco and I was worried that it would go bad before the two of us could eat that much salsa. So I looked for a recipe to use a larger quantity of it.  We were skeptical, but this turned out so good!  First of all, I really like the taste of the salsa we bought.  (I sometimes get fresh salsa at the supermarkets and it just doesn’t taste very good.)  So, I think that is important.  Make sure you LIKE the salsa you are using.  I used half and half and not cream and that didn’t blend in during the baking, so it didn’t come out looking great.  I don’t know if regular cream would have done better baking with the salsa.  But looks don’t matter, just taste and this was very tasty!

INGREDIENTS *

  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons Fresh or Dried Thyme, Sage or Oregano (or herb of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 15 ounce container Fresh Salsa (or more), or jarred (see above)
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mushrooms, small dice
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Cream (Milk will substitute but will result in a thinner sauce)

* It is not necessary for ingredient measurements to be exact.

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice chicken breast halves in half horizontally; pound lightly between wax paper or plastic wrap to an even thickness. (You can skip this step to quicken the preparation but pounding produces a more tender chicken breast.)
  3. Place the chicken in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sage (or other herb), salt and pepper. Using a large spoon, turn to spread the oil and flavors among all of the chicken pieces.
  4. Heat an oven safe skillet on medium flame for one minute or until hot. Pour in 1 tablespoon of oil (or use a spray) and cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes a side or until lightly browned with an internal temperature of 155 degrees. (The chicken will continue to cook while in the oven.)
  5. Take pan off the heat.
  6. Spoon salsa over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with mushrooms
  7. Pour the chicken broth and milk or cream over the chicken.
  8. Place in the oven.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
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Published in: on February 5, 2017 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Provençal Chicken Bundles

chickdin2

This is a recipe from an old newspaper clipping that we’ve always enjoyed. I’m not very good at making bundles with meat.  Mine always fall apart and the inside goodies escape into the pan. But I’ve had better luck with this recipe, especially if I buy very thin chicken breast and keep the mozzarella in the middle. Of course I always mess with recipes depending on what I have at home. I currently have a big basil plant so I lined the chicken breasts with basil leaves before putting cheese on them.  Very tasty!

Serves 6

  • 6 large chicken thighs or 6 chicken half breasts, boned and skinned (I always buy thinly sliced chicken breasts so I have no work, and they are easier to role into a bundle.)
  • Seasonings (salt pepper, garlic, herbs, spices) to taste
  • 6 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated

Pound chicken to 1/8-inch thickness. Put small mound of cheese in center of chicken. Sprinkle on seasoning to taste. Pull edges into center and secure with toothpicks. Bake in 350 oven 35 to 45 minutes. Remove toothpicks.  Serve with following sauce.

Sauce:

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1- 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each basil and oregano (dried) or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala wine
  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (have never used this and still think the recipe is great)

Sauté onion, mushrooms and herbs in butter 3 minutes. Add Marsala wine; stir in tomatoes. Mix cheese and flour together; add to sauce. Add cream and simmer 8  minutes, until thickened slightly. Serve with chicken.

 

 

Published in: on August 3, 2016 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken with Tarragon and Mushrooms

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I have to admit that this photo is not mine. I just wanted to get this recipe online because I found it browsing through one of my “real” cookbooks with a “GOOD!” in the margin.  But now that I almost always just look for recipes online, I needed to get it in here or I’d never remember to make it again. Reading the recipe, I’m certain I didn’t use heavy cream as it’s not something I ever buy. (or did I when I was younger ??)  I may have used half and half or even a touch of milk.  I’ll have to make this soon and update.

However,  I came across another version of this recipe when I was looking for a photo to use here until I have a photo of my own.  I like the sound of it better as it has less fat with no cream and no bacon.  See the link for that recipe at the end of this one.

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  •  6 large (1.5 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  •  3 slices thick cut bacon, cut into quarter-inch pieces
  •  8 oz. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  •  3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  •  salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken and half of the garlic.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes each side turning once, just until browned. Remove chicken from the pan and drain on paper towels. Place chicken in a shallow baking dish; set aside.
  2.  Add the bacon to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; drain the fat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the wine, tomato paste and tarragon to the pan; stir until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat and add the cream; simmer for 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Bake, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Click the link for a slightly different version of a chicken, mushroom and tarragon dish from The Italian Dish blog: http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2013/11/5/tarragon-chicken.html

So I did make this again and of course it is delicious. I realized there is no garlic in the recipe.  Have to add garlic!  I minced a large clove and put some of it in the pan when frying up the chicken and put the rest in with the mushrooms.  I used half and half instead of cream.  Very tasty.  Here is the photo. Doesn’t look as good as the one from the blog I used up top so I’ll leave that photo as an inspiration of what I would like it to look like.

 

tarragonchick

 

Published in: on December 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pecan-Crusted Honey Chicken

pecanfilets

Here is a quick and tasty chicken recipe that’s nice for dinners with company or any special night.

4 servings; Preheat oven to 375 F

  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. butter or margarine, melted

Mix mustard, lemon juice, and honey; brush onto both sides of chicken breasts. Place in single layer in shallow baking pan. Then combine breadcrumbs, pecans and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over chicken. Press lightly into chicken to secure.

Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes (depends how thick the chicken is) or until chicken is cooked through and reaches 170 F.

 

 

 

Published in: on November 28, 2015 at 3:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken and Aspargus Casserole Almondine

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Just as the photo suggests, this is a recipe for cheesy, creamy, comfort food that tastes just as good in summer as it does on a cold winter day.

  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces (no thick ends) – (very thin or slightly pre-cook regular thick asparagus
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, slightly blanched
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheese (Swiss was also very good)
  • 2 cups pre-cooked diced chicken  (or just quickly saute a couple of seasoned chicken breasts and chop)
  • 1 can reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup crunched up potato chips (good, but optional)

Lightly grease a 2-quart Pyrex dish. Sprinkle half of the potato chips in dish. (Sometimes I just take a handful and break them into the dish.) Layer with asparagus pieces, mushrooms, onions, chicken and almonds in that order. Cover with remaining potato chips. (optional, really)  Pour the chicken soup and milk mix over the entire casserole. (Sometimes this just stays on top so I take a fork and make some holes so the sauce will drain down to the bottom.)  Bake for 25 minutes at 350. (I always cover it, but directions don’t say this.) When sauce is bubbling (may be longer than 25 minutes, depending on your pan) sprinkle cheese over top and bake another 5 minutes. Sometimes I put under broiler to let it brown on top a little, but be careful not to burn!  Let it set about 5 minutes after coming out of the oven.

I always serve this over boiled potatoes. We love the crunch of the onions and the almonds!

Published in: on May 2, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Herb-Marinated Chicken

marinated chickenJust an easy marinade from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook via the newspaper that works every time giving you a moist, tasty chicken that pairs well with anything. I make lots of changes, but will post the original recipe first and then the changes I have made.

  • 2 to 2 -1/2 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 TBsp olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 TBsp vinegar
  • 2 tsps. dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried oregan or or tarragon, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Skin chicken, if desired. Rinse chicken. Set heavy resealable bag into large mixing bowl and place chicken in bag. In a bowl, combine wine, oil, vinegar, basil, oregano or tarragon, onion salt and garlic. Pour over chicken in bag.  Close bag and turn to coat chicken well. Marinate 5 to 24 hours in refrigerator, turning bag occasionally.

Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Place chicken (skin side down if skin is left on), on unheated rack in broiler pan. Brush with marinade. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat about 20 minutes or until lightly browned, brushing often with marinade. Turn chicken and broil 5 to 15 minutes more, brushing often with marinade, until tender and no loner pink.

** My variations on this theme **

I usually only use large skinless chicken breasts, bone in or boneless. I never buy with skin, but recipe calls for it, so also possible.

For the marinade, I include all the dried herbs, but if I have fresh parsley or basil, I will add those as well, chopped fine. I don’t normally have onion salt, so will substitute with regular salt and /or Mrs. Dash’s Onion and Herb spice or dried onions, or finely chopped scallions.

I bake the chicken at 400 degrees, covered, until the internal temp (use thermometer) is about 160. (Removing from marinade and placing in a baking pan with no prep to the pan, but pouring some of the marinade over it so there is moisture in the pan.) When it reaches around 160 degrees, I take the cover off and pour more marinade over it and broil for about 5 minutes until it gets a little brown and I figure the internal temp has reached around 175 – 180.

The last time I made it I had leftover marinade so I made a sauce with a little roux (butter and flour), the juices from the chicken pan, the leftover marinade, some vegetable water I happened to have, and of course a splash of wine! Keep it at a low boil, stirring, to reduce and thicken. It was very tasty!

 

 

Published in: on June 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken Filets stuffed with Spinach and Mozzarella Cheese

Screen shot 2014-02-22 at 9.27.23 PM

I don’t normally photograph raw meat, but in this case I was totally making this up so I thought I needed to document the steps. In the end I was so eager to taste the dish that I forgot to take a photo of the finished product.

This turned out so good that I don’t want to forget it.  I marinated 2 chicken filets in store-bought Italian salad dressing for about 10 – 15 minutes. I put one of the filets on a big sheet of aluminum foil and topped it with a generous layer of baby spinach.  Then came slices of mozzarella cheese. (See in the photo they were not thin slices.) I think I sprinkled a little oregano on the cheese. I then put the other filet on top and wrapped it all up in the aluminum foil so it was a  little closed package. It went into the oven at 400 degreees and baked about 25 minutes.  When I opened the package I cut into the bottom filet because that was the thickest.  It seemed to be cooked to perfection so I took it out.  What I didn’t realize was that the top piece, though thinner, was not completely cooked.  I’m not sure if my oven isn’t working correctly or if it bakes from the bottom up, but make sure BOTH pieces of chicked are cooked completely.

Anyway, it was delicious! The marinade was just right to give the chicken a little taste, but not overwhelming. The spinach and creamy mozzarella were wonderful!  Will make this again and get the photo of the final product if we can wait for the photo before gobbling it all up!

Published in: on February 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mediterranean Chicken with Capers and Olives

medchick

The delicious sauce is hiding most of the tender chicken in this photo, but it’s down there and it’s tasty! This is another recipe from Jeanne Jones, the “Cook It Light” author from La Jolla.

Jeanne says she often makes the recipe in the morning, or the night before to allow the flavors to marry, and we agree that it becomes more flavorful with some age. Serve over couscous, orzo, rice, or pasta.

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 6 large, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, all visible fat removed (bone-in works too, but it’s just not as easy to eat says Jeanne.)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled and diced plum tomatoes (I always use canned)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan and brown each piece on all sides.

Set the chicken aside on a separate plate. Add the onion to the pan and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any bits stuck to it. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper, and stir until well mixed.  Add the tomatoes and wine, and again mix well.

Return the chicken to the pan, plus any juices that collected on the plate, and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer for 20 more minutes. Add the capers and olives, cover again and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Serve each chicken thigh on a bed of couscous,  (or other grain) spooning the sauce over the top of each serving.

You can put it in the frig for a day or two and it will taste even better. The stats on this dish are very good; only 215 calories per serving, 8 gm fat; 94 mg cholesterol, 325 mg sodium, and they go on and on. But we just love how it tastes, so that’s the best for us.

Published in: on July 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

enchicasser

Got this recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/layered-chicken-and-black-bean-enchilada-casserole/detail.aspx

This was very good, but made some changes as suggested in Reviews:  I added chopped  black olives and looks like green onions on top; probably onions inside too. Someone suggested crisping the corn tortilla in the oven for about 5 min at 450 degrees.

8 servings
  • 2 cups diced chicken breast meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
Good to add
1/2 cup minced onions – saute with chicken or just add raw
1/4 tsp. garlic powder or garlic salt to the chicken

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Saute chicken with cumin and coriander until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, black beans, and green chile peppers.
  3. Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream. Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas. Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Published in: on April 21, 2013 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Couscous Casablanca

This has been a long-time favorite around here.  So easy to make and so tasty!  I cut this recipe out of a newspaper years ago, but there’s no reference as to where it comes from.

  • 12 ounces lean boneless leg of lamb or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (I’m just noticing lamb as an option as I type this; I’ve always only made it with chicken.)
  • 1 to 2 tsps. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 tsps. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots  (I usually add more as it’s our entire meal and the carrots have to count as the vegetable.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 13-3/4-ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup Near East couscous  (aha! an ad for Near East; maybe that’s where the recipe comes from.  I use whatever couscous I have at home, which is NEVER Near East.)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro  (mint is also good)
  • Plain low-fat yogurt
  • Chutney (I don’t know much about chutney.  The only one I buy is spicy mango chutney which is very good on this dish.)

1. Toss meat with curry powder and salt. In large, nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 tsps oil over medium high heat.  Add meat mixture; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned on all sides. (Lamb should be pink in center. If using chicken, cook 7 to 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.)  Remove from skillet; set aside.

2. In same skillet, heat remaining 1-1/2 tsps oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 5-7 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

3. Stir in couscous and reserved meat; bring to a boil. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve with yogurt and chutney.

4 servings  (Call us piggies; we normally get only 3 servings.  One of us gets a nice leftover lunch.)

Published in: on September 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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