Chicken Parmesan & Butternut Squash Bowl


Hi friends– With all the cakes and cookies we bake around here, I’m trying to stick to healthy-ish meals at dinner time.  This was a favorite.  Our student “room mate” Kendall even asked it this was hard to make.  I think he’s yet to develop kitchen skills (but he’s awesome philosophy student!).  I think you’d like this quick week night dinner as much as we did…

CHICKEN PARMESAN & BUTTERNUT SQUASH BOWL
1 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled & cut to small chunks
2 cups farro
14 oz. can chicken broth
1  3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1/3 cup cream (or whole milk)
1/2 cup parmesan
garnish:  green onion sliced

Cut the chicken breast into small bits.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and then drop in the chicken.  Salt and pepper it liberally and cook 5 or 6 minutes until the chicken is browned and cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the skillet.

In the same skillet, drop the butternut squash into the chicken drippings and cook 2 or 3 minutes.  Then add in the farro, chicken broth, water, salt, pepper and basil.  Bring it to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender (but not mushy!) and the farro is cooked through.

Then stir in the chicken, parmesan and cream. And simmer a minute or two more to heat it all up.  Spoon it all up onto dinner plates and garnish with green onion.  Hot and hearty!

Citrus Honey Chicken

Hey friends– It’s a little crazy here– working ahead on a stack of blog posts to send off to you before we leave on a 2 week trip tomorrow!  So I’m typing away, doing last minute laundry and stacking piles of things to drop into the suitcase.  So fun!

And for your busy days, here’s an easy dinner, done in about 30 minutes.  It’s full of citrusy flavor with just hint of sweetness.  A little mixed rice, a bright salad and it’s dinner!

CITRUS HONEY CHICKEN
4 chicken thighs
2 tab. olive oil
salt
freshly ground pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tab. honey
1 tab. soy sauce
garnish: more lime & lemon slices, green onion

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides (I like to take the skin off, but skin on is fine too).  Heat the olive oil in a skillet that has a lid.  Cook the chicken meatier side down for 5 minutes in the hot oil until they are golden brown.

While they are cooking stir together the lemon juice, lime juice, honey and soy sauce.

When he chicken is browned turn it browned side up in the skillet and pour over the lemon/lime mixture.  Cover the chicken and let it simmer on low for 15 to 18 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (about 180 degrees with a meat thermometer).  It’s good to spoon the juice over the chicken a couple times while it’s cooking!

When the chicken is ready, put the pieces on a pretty platter and drizzle the pan juices over the top.  Garnish with lime and lemon slices and green onion.  So inviting!

Enchilada Soup

 

Hello there– We had a unexpected drop in from our oldest, Micah, last weekend.  Loved the chance to catch up with that guy.  And since is was rainy and cold (hooray for rain in SoCal!), we lunched with a big pot of this soup and a slab of hot cornbread.

It’s rich and just spicy enough, chock full of chicken, beans and corn.  Topped with a few goodies, delicious!

ENCHILADA SOUP
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. chicken broth (2 cans)
14 oz. can enchilada sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
14 oz. can corn, liquid drained
14 oz. can black beans, rinsed
14 oz. can chili beans, sauce & all!
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 rotisserie chicken, boned and cut to bits.
garnish:  tortilla strips, avocado, grated cheddar, sour cream, green onion…

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot.  Then add in the chopped onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring now and then.  Then add in the garlic for a minute more.

Pour in the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, black beans, chili beans, cumin and salt.  Stir it all together and bring to a strong simmer and then add in the chicken.

Simmer for 5 minutes more and serve it up hot with whatever garnishes you like.

Smoky Honey Orange Chicken


Hi everyone–  It’s pretty true that you can’t have too many everyday chicken recipes up your sleeve.  So here’s a flavorful plateful with the brightness of orange and the spiciness of smoked paprika.  And it’s on the table in about 20 minutes– add some steamed asparagus, a wild rice mix.  Dinner!

P.S While I’m typing this up for you, I’m sitting in a cool Wisconsin coffee shop with Laurel while she’s doing a little work (and drinking coffee) on her way to her office.  Apricot tea, French ukulele music and Laurel!!  Perfect!

SMOKY HONEY ORANGE CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 large orange
1 tab. honey
2 cloves garlic minced*
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika**
1/2 tsp. cornstarch

Filet the chicken breasts, to make 4 to 6 thinner cutlets.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and then set the chicken into the skillet. Liberally salt and pepper both sides as they cook about 3 minutes on each side.

While they are cooking, grate the zest off of the orange and then juice it.  Put the grated peel along with the juice in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Add in the honey, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and corn starch.  Put on the lid and shake well until the contents are blended (no cornstarch lumps!).

After the chicken has browned on both sides, pour in the orange mixture and cook for 3 or 4 minutes more on a low simmer until the sauce is thickened.  Set the chicken on a pretty plate and spoon the sauce over the top.  Enjoy!

*This is the perfect time to used pre-minced garlic.  My favorite are the little frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s.
**Up the smoked paprika if you want more spice and more smoke.

Here’s Laurel “on the job.”

 

Balsamic Apricot Rosemary Chicken

 

Hi everyone– Here’s a recipe that’s so quick and delicious I’m happy to pass it on to you.  You can get it into the oven in about 5 minutes!  I put on some brown & wild rice mix to simmer after the chicken was in and then sat and read a book!  Best way to fix dinner.

BALSAMIC APRICOT ROSEMARY CHICKEN
4 bone in chicken thighs
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tab. balsamic vinegar
1 tab. rosemary, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and place them bone side down in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (If you like the skin, leave it on!)  In a small bowl stir together the apricot jam, vinegar, minced rosemary and salt.  Spoon it over the chicken thighs and pop it into a 400 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Spoon the extra juices over the chicken as you set it on the serving plate.  (If you use a meat thermometer, internal temperature of 165 degrees)

Ready and delicious!

Lemon Piccata Chicken & Pasta

Hello all–  New version of an old favorite here.  Had it with our new “housemate,” Kendall, a seminary student from Australia who’s staying with us for his last semester.  Larry enjoys talking theology with him and I just like having such a great guy around the house.

This chicken is salty from the parmesan, tart from the bit of lemon and garlic savory.  And the sauce melds just right with a big plate of pasta.  Real comfort food.

LEMON PICCATA CHICKEN & PASTA
8 to 10 oz. pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to filet
2 tab. flour
3 tab. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tab. olive oil
2 tab. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. can chicken broth
1/2  cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/3 cup parmesan
2 tab. capers (drained)
3 tab. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tab. cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. rosemary, minced and sliced lemon for garnish

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

In a shallow bowl mix together the flour, 3 tab. parmesan cheese, garlic salt and pepper.  Dredge the chicken filets in the flour mixture and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet.  Cook the coated chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side over medium-high heat, until they are nicely browned and cooked through.  Remove from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Drop the garlic into the same skillet and cook for a minute.  Then add in the chicken broth and milk and bring to a strong simmer.  Add in the parmesan and capers and simmer for 3 minutes or so to thicken.  Stir in the lemon juice.

If you want the sauce to be thicker, shake the cornstarch and water together in a container with a right fitting lid until it’s thoroughly blended and stir it into the simmering sauce for 3 or 4 minutes more until it thickens.

Return the chicken to the sauce in the skillet and simmer a couple minutes to warm the chicken.  Then spread the pasta on a platter, top with the chicken and sauce.  Garnish with the minced rosemary and lemon slices.  Serve it up hot!

Indian Spiced Chicken Curry

Hey there– How was your weekend?? I spend most the hours quilting away on a new baby quilt– so relaxing after a couple really busy weeks.

And we had this curry for dinner.  Served it with the frozen garlic naan* from Trader Joe’s for a cozy warming supper at home.  I think you might like it too…

INDIAN SPICED CHICKEN CURRY
1 cup white (or brown) rice
2 pounds boneless chicken breast
2 tab. olive oil
14 oz. can petit cut tomatoes
14 oz. can chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 carrots peeled and cut into thin disks
1/2 cup red lentils
garnish:  yogurt, cilantro

Put the rice on to cook according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot that has a lid.  Cut the chicken breasts into smallish bite size pieces and then cook the 5 or 6 minutes in the hot oil until they are browned and cooked though.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, pour in the tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic, garam masala and curry powder.  Bring it to a simmer and add in the carrots and lentils.  Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils and carrots are tender.

Add the chicken back into the skillet with the carrots & lentils.  simmer 2 minutes more to heat the chicken through.  Spoon the chicken over rice and serve it up hot!

* The frozen naan at Trader Joe’s is pretty good (not as good as sitting in an Indian restaurant, but better than the packaged naan in the bread aisle.