REAL Chicken Nuggets

REAL Chicken Nuggets

The last time my kids ate Tyson’s chicken nuggets, Bethany took a bite and then said, “Look at that big bite Momma!”—and then I looked at this thing that was supposed to be chicken and I was completely grossed out.  I just cannot do it anymore.  I cannot feed my children this garbage.  Again, no judgment here—Lord knows we’ve been eating these nuggets for years, but I cannot do it anymore.  But my kids LOVE chicken nuggets!!  What is a Mom to do!?!  Make homemade ones, that’s what.  This recipe is super easy, and the best part is; I make a double or triple batch and freeze them.  This way I have an emergency stash if I need a quick meal if we are having one of “those” days.  I wish I knew where I found this recipe, but I don’t–somewhere from the online world.

Ingredients

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan (we use Pecorino-Romano)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 T. dried basil
½ cup butter (melted)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Dice chicken into bite sized pieces.  In a bowl, mix together bread crumbs, cheese, salt, thyme, and basil.  Mix until blended.  Place melted butter in a separate bowl.  Dip chicken in butter, then coat with bread crumb mixture.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Eat right then or pop them into the freezer on the tray for an hour or so.  Then place them into a Ziploc baggie for long-term storage.

When ready, grab out as many as you’d like and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until heated thoroughly.

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Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Ingredients

4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ T. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 cup small-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup green or purple grapes
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

 Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.  Set aside until cool.

When the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones.  (I save them to make chicken stock)  Cut the chicken into a ¾ inch dice.  Place the chicken in a bowl; add the mayonnaise, tarragon leaves, celery, grapes, pecans, 1 ½ to 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and toss well.

Original Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.  I added toasted pecans, and we prefer purple grapes.

Simple Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1-2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ice-burg lettuce, washed, dried and gently separated
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves minced
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. agave nectar (or honey)
1-2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into thin strips
Raisins
Shredded carrots
Alfalfa sprouts
Peanut Sauce (home-made or store bought, recipe below)

Thai Peanut Sauce

½ cup peanut butter
1 (8-ounce) can coconut milk
½ cup agave nectar
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
Garlic powder
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions for Peanut Sauce

In a blender or food processor, mix the peanut butter, coconut milk, agave nectar, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, to taste, and red pepper flakes, to taste until the texture is smooth and loose.

Directions

Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry.  Butterfly the chicken if they are super thick.  Combine 3 T. lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, 1 T. agave nectar and 1 tsp. of the oregano in a Ziploc bag.  Allow the chicken to marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the Peanut sauce and the rest of the toppings on a plate for easy assembly.  Toppings: cucumber slices, raisins, carrot shreds and alfalfa sprouts.

Grill the chicken breasts over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done.  Slice the chicken into very thin slices.  Assemble lettuce, chicken and toppings.  Enjoy!

Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe courtesy of Food Network.com

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

I serve this with pasta and a veggie or salad.  My husband and I skip the pasta, and just eat the chicken cacciatore with our veggie and/or salald.  But our kids LOVE (and can afford the calories!!) of the pasta.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentis from the Food Network.

20 Minute Turkey or Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

20 Minute Turkey or Chicken Tortilla Soup

*Leftover chicken or turkey is not my favorite reheated, so this recipe is especially great for that!  I usually have my husband grill extra chicken on the weekend if I know I am making this during the week.  This recipe is so simple, yet so incredibly flavorful and delicious—not to mention super healthy!

Ingredients

3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in strips
2 T cooking oil
1 cup of your favorite salsa
32 oz. chicken broth (preferably homemade and reduced-sodium)
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 large zucchini, coarsely chopped
Lime wedges
Sour cream and cilantro

 Directions

In a large skillet cook tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

In a large saucepan combine salsa and chicken broth; bring to boiling over medium-high heat.  Stir in turkey or chicken and zucchini; heat through.  Serve in bowls; top with tortilla strips, lime wedges, sour cream and cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of BHAG magazine from the November 2007 issue.