Panko Chicken Strips

I love Panko!  Do you?

Do you know why Panko breadcrumbs are so different from other breadcrumbs that you buy at the grocery store?  It’s because Panko is made with the soft insides of the loaf of bread only.  Panko is dried without squishing the bread and that’s what gives it the crunchy texture. 

I made some Panko chicken strips a while back and wanted to share them with you.  First, I cut up the chicken breasts and dried them off.  Then, I dipped them in seasoned flour, then in a bath of beaten eggs, then into the panko.  I fried them in a skilled in a little bit of olive oil, turning them with tongs every few minutes so that I could get all of the sides a nice golden brown.  These were awesome served with a little bit of honey mustard dipping sauce.  Yum!

Roasted Chicken & Brussels Sprouts

Well, since we got a new gigantic microwave for Christmas, I can finally use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker to make the Roasted Chicken I’ve been waiting to make since I started selling the stuff in September.  Lots of people are skeptical when I tell them about this recipe, so I wanted to make it for myself to have proof that it’s amazing.

First, you’ll need to get a whole chicken from the grocery store and prep it with whatever spices that you’d like.  I bought a pre-seasoned chicken from The Merc (local food co-op here in Lawrence) and was on my way.  The whole chicken goes into the Deep Covered Baker with the lid on and you place the whole stoneware baker in the microwave for 30 minutes.  When it comes out of the microwave it looks like this – completely roasted and ready to eat (I did use my meat thermometer, just to be safe – nothing is more disgusting than finding pink in the middle of my chicken).

I also sauteeed some brussels sprouts to go with the chicken.  I’m pretty sure that this was the first time I’d ever eaten them and I have to say that they’re not as bad as people make them out to be.  I rather enjoyed them.

This is definitely a recipe that I’ll be making again.  I think that everyone should have a Deep Covered Baker.  You can use it in the oven or the microwave and it’s a really versatile piece of cookware.  I highly recommend it and of course, if you’re looking for one, I know a great Pampered Chef Consultant that would sell you one in a heartbeat.  I’ll even throw in a set of recipes designed especially for the Deep Covered Baker!

Panko Crusted Chicken with a Maple-Mustard Pan Sauce

This was amazing.  Josh talked about this for several days after I made it and he was very happy with how it turned out.  It’s a recipe that I got from the October issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.  I will definitely be making more recipes from Bon Appetit from now on.  I’m really going to utilize that subscription!

Ingredients
2 8-ounce skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise in half
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter

Preparation

Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound chicken in re-sealable plastic bag to 1/3- to 1/2-inch thickness. Whisk egg, parsley, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard in large bowl. Place chicken in egg mixture; turn to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each chicken piece in panko; turn to coat.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook until brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, whisk broth, syrup, coarse-grained mustard, and remaining 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard in glass measuring cup.

Transfer chicken to plates. Add broth mixture to skillet; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add butter; whisk until melted. Spoon sauce alongside chicken.

Creamy Dijon Chicken & Noodles

This was several kinds of wonderful.  I was kind of on a pasta kick this week and thought that this would be good.  Again, I used some gluten free noodles that did not disappoint.  They were actually brown rice noodles and they were wonderful.  I really think I could get used to this gluten free pasta thing, but alas. . . they’re still carbs.  Darnit!

For this Pampered Chef recipe, click HERE.

Chicken Parmesan

I went a little bit outside of my comfort zone with this recipe and substituted gluten free pasta for regular pasta.  I have to say that I was very concerned about gluten free products and I haven’t had good luck in the past with substitutions for the "real thing" but this recipe was awesome.  Now, I know, some of you might be thinking, well, yeah, the pasta was gluten free, but the breaking on the chicken wasn’t and you’d be right.  Baby steps people. . . baby steps.  :-) 

This was another Pampered Chef Recipe from the Good for You cookbook that’s put out by the company.  I really like this cookbook.  It’s got lots of recipes that are under 400 calories and have you eating from multiple food groups.  It was definitely a good purchase!

Ingredients
4 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, thawed
2 egg whites
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup fat-free seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 oz uncooked angel-hair pasta
1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Preparation
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Using Kitchen Shears, remove chicken from package and trim any visible fat.

Using Mini-Whipper, beat egg whites in Classic Batter Bowl until frothy.  Press garlic into egg whites using Garlic Press.  Using Deluxe Cheese Grater fitted with coarse grating drum, grate parmesan cheese into shallow bowl.  Add oregano and black pepper, mix well.

Coat chicken breasts with flour.  Dip into egg white mixture.  Coat both sides of each chicken breast with crumb mixture, shaking off excess.  Discard any remaining crumb mixture.  Place chicken on Classic Round Stone; lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions, drain.  Heat spaghetti sauce on stove until hot.  Divide pasta between 4 plates and top with sauce, one chicken breast and 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese.

Quick Chicken Primavera Risotto

This was another Pampered Chef recipe that I wanted to try so that I would have more savory recipes to try out at cooking shows.  I was not disappointed.  Pampered Chef has some wonderful, quick, and tasty recipes that would be great for busy families who are always on the go.  This week and next, I put together two of their Power Cooking sets of meals and so far, I’m thoroughly impressed.  Nothing like coming home and popping a ready-made meal in the skillet to heat up and eat.  Yum!

Ingredients
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
salt and black pepper
Olive Oil
1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
1 medium onion
1 large garlic clove, pressed
2 packages (8.8 oz each) buttery or roasted chicken flavored pre-cooked rice (I used Uncle Bens in the vacuum packs)
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium zucchini
2 plum tomatoes
2-2.5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
2 oz. cream cheese

Preparation
Flatted chicken to 1/2 inch thickness using meat tenderizer.  Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.  Lightly spray 12 inch skillet with oil, heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until hot.  Arrange chicken and lemon halves, cut side down, in skillet; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until center of chicken is no longer pink (do not turn lemon halves).  Remove chicken and lemon from skillet.  Cool slightly; slice into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

Dice onion.  Lightly spray same skillet with additional oil.  Cook onion and garlic over medium heat 4-6 minutes or until onion is tender.

Add rice; juice caramelized lemon halves into skillet.  Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until juice is completely absorbed into rice.  Cut carrot into julienne strips.  Slice zucchini.  Seed tomatoes and dice.  Add vegetables and 2 cups of chicken broth to skillet, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer 4-5 minutes or until broth is slightly thickened.  Stir in chicken; cook until heated through.

Remove risotto from heat.  Add Asiago cheese and basil; stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened (Adjust sauce consistency with additional broth, if necessary).  Stir in cream cheese, if desired.

Smoky Black bean Chicken Wraps

These were amazing.  They kind of reminded me of Chipotle, but with more to it.  These were a part of the Pampered Chef series, Power Cooking Chicken.  You make one large batch of chicken and divide it up into three portions.  For each of those portions of chicken, you make one meal that goes in your freezer for prep later in the week.  It took about an hour to put all three meals together originally, and then as I made them, it only took about 10 minutes to execute each full, 6-serving meal.  This is a great series for any busy mom or anyone who doesn’t have the time to cook every night.  It’s awesome! 

You can find the recipe HERE.

Chicken with Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce

This was a great recipe.  Definitely not something that I would normally make, but the calories were low and it looked interesting, so I tried it out.  It’s a great way to combine chicken and peas with a very different flavor combination.

Ingredients
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided, plus more as needed
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh tarragon or dill, plus sprigs for garnish

Preparation
Combine lemon juice and cream in a small bowl. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mash 1 teaspoon flour and 1 teaspoon butter in another small bowl until a paste forms. Set both bowls aside.

Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and white pepper. Dredge lightly in the remaining 1/2 cup flour, shaking off any excess. (Discard leftover flour.)

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken—do not crowd the pan. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Add 1/2 cup broth, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. (Check to make sure the pan juices don’t run dry. If necessary, add more broth, a tablespoonful at a time, to prevent scorching.) Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and tent with foil.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup broth to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add the reserved lemon cream and bring to a simmer. Gradually whisk in the reserved butter-flour paste, a few bits at a time, until the sauce coats the spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in peas.

Reduce the heat to low and return the chicken to the pan along with tarragon (or dill). Turn to coat with the sauce and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Slice the chicken and serve with the sauce, garnished with sprigs of tarragon (or dill), if desired.

Pretzel Baked Chicken

This is not a favorite dish of Josh’s, but I really happen to like it.  It’s a spin on the classic honey mustard and pretzels, but with chicken.  I bought a bag of pretzels and crushed them with my food processor, so I’ve got a bag of pretzel crumbs ready to go whenever I want to make this chicken.

Basically, to make this, you just need to marinate the chicken (I use one split breast per person) in honey mustard salad dressing overnight.  When you’re ready to cook it, take the chicken out of the salad dressing and toss the leftover dressing in the trash (because re-using it would be gross – and dangerous).  Prepare a plate of pretzel crumbs and, while the chicken is still wet with the salad dressing, coat both sides of the chicken breast in the pretzel crumbs.  Spray an oven-safe dish (I use a piece of Pampered Chef Stoneware) with Pam and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink. 

It should turn out moist and taste like you’re at the state fair eating a pretzel (with chicken).  🙂