What to do with breasts. Specifically chicken ones.

We eat a lot of chicken in our house. For a while, I almost always bought skin-on split chicken breasts because they’re easy to roast and use in a lot of different dishes. They are also pretty much the only chicken parts that Ina Garten’s recipes ever call for, and we know how I feel about her. (Side note: if you like Ina Garten, you need to Google Ina Garten memes – so funny)

I used to avoid buying boneless, skinless breasts unless I was making chicken cutlets. I never knew how to cook them without them being dry and boring. However, in my efforts to save a few bucks, I’ve been buying big packs of them, so I had to find some tasty ways to use them. Good news…I found some!

Caprese Chicken – I found this one on Pinterest and I love it because it has a ton of flavor and requires very little prep or chopping. I shave two or three minutes off the cooking time on the chicken and use regular mozzarella instead of buffalo because I’m strange and don’t like buffalo mozzarella.

On a whim, I bought this Balsamic Reduction glaze and it’s so good. The caprese chicken is perfectly delicious with regular balsamic vinegar, but when you can drizzle this sweet syrup on it, why wouldn’t you??

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One-Pan Chicken Burrito Bowl – Here’s another one I found on Pinterest. I loved it so much that I think I made it three times in the month after I found it. As the title indicates, you only use one pan, which makes clean up easy IF you don’t use heat that’s too high. The second time I made this I guess I left it simmering a bit too high and there was a whole layer of cooked rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. Ugh.

The other change I make to this recipe is that I swap out the can of diced tomatoes for a jar (or really three quarters of a jar) of salsa. It adds some extra flavors and with the huge variety of salsas on the market, you can really customize the recipe based on your taste.

Chicken Chili – This one comes from Dinner: A Love Story (a great place for solid recipes) and it’s another fast and easy one. When I read through the recipe for the first time, I saw four tablespoons of chili powder and thought, “whoa! That’s a lot of heat.” I like a little spice but not too much. To be safe I used two tablespoons and I thought that was plenty of heat.

I had serendipitously just bought Whole Foods Organic Fire Roasted Corn and it was PERFECT in this recipe. Obviously regular frozen corn is fine too, but the flavor from charred corn was delicious and added zero extra work. If you don’t have a Whole Foods nearby, I’m pretty sure Trader Joe’s carries a similar product.

5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili – yet another Pinterest find! It’s really more of a soup than a chili and it’s so fast and easy that I felt guilty just pouring everything in the pot and saying, “Ok, I made dinner!” The secret to this recipe is salsa verde. If you’ve never had it, it’s a very mild salsa and it’s delicious.

The base of the soup is only the salsa verde, chicken, chicken stock, cumin, and Great Northern Beans but then you can add so many delicious toppings at the end. I like cilantro, avocado, sour cream, cheddar, and broken up tortilla chips.

Do you have any go-to recipes for chicken breasts?

Get cooking!

Quick and Easy Chili

Hey, it’s fall! Football is on! Hockey is on! Playoff baseball is on! Men are glued to the television and that means if you make chili you can eat it all yourself!

I’ve been making this Martha Stewart Everyday Food chili for several years because I think it has tasty, interesting flavors and is pretty quick. It bills itself as 30-minute chili but that’s not realistic. As is the case with many Everyday Food recipes, the cooking time and directions for certain steps are way off. But no fear, cooks! It can easily be tweaked for your personal preferences.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 – 2.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (found in the Spanish or Mexican food section)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey (dark meat is tastier)
  • 3 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 bottle/can (12 ounces) mild lager beer
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) kidney and/or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Toppings! Cheddar, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc.
I made this in a 5-quart Dutch oven (because that’s what the recipe told me to do) and it JUST fit. Let’s just say there was a lot of sloshing and my stove was a mess after. (Don’t worry, Mom, I cleaned it up.)
Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and not so onion-y, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir around for another minute.
COOK’S TIP! Very often recipes will tell you to cook garlic and onion (or other veggies) together from the start. This is a big mistake. Garlic cooks in about a minute and if it’s being sauteed, burns pretty soon after. Always add it at the end of sauteeing and cook for just a minute.
Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cinnamon, and chipotle chiles. It’s really important that you get the right chiles because the adobo sauce is the main flavor in the chili. If you want to cut out some of the heat, scrape out the seeds from the chiles before you chop them. Stir it up and cook this big sticky mess for 2-3 minutes.
Add the beef and turkey and stir with the mixture for 5-10 minutes until the meat is cooked. It’s kind of a pain to cook all that meat with the onions and seasoning so in the future I might try cooking the meat in another pan first. Just a thought.
Add the diced tomatoes, beans (rinsed and drained), and beer. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Enjoy!

Good Stuff

Image: aliciabockgallery.com

Have a wonderful weekend (early)! Matt and I are traveling down to Florida this weekend for his grandma’s 95th birthday (Shhhh!! She doesn’t know we’ll be there!).  We’re flying out of New York in the midst of snow but hopefully we won’t be too delayed.

Here is some good stuff I used/looked at/cooked this week:

Has your skin been as crazy dry as mine?  Korres Yogurt Body Butter has definitely helped.

This body wash from Origins smells so good you’ll be tempted to eat it. You probably shouldn’t.

I made this chili for dinner on Monday night. It’s very quick and very delicious. I halved it and it still made 5-6 portions. Make these tacos later in the week to use up the rest of the chipotle chiles you’ll buy. Scroll to the bottom of the recipe to see how to cook it in the oven if you don’t have a slow-cooker.

Did you miss the hilarity that was Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes? Here’s a montage of his funniest moments.

I love Alicia Bock’s photography and her series I Love Paris in the Springtime is probably my favorite. Maybe one day soon I’ll treat myself to a few prints!