Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad with Apples & Bacon

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

A hearty salad that will fill you up and won’t leave you feeling hungry! With pecan crusted chicken breasts, diced apples, dried cranberries and crumbled bacon over a bed of romaine lettuce all gussied up with the easiest honey mustard dressing in the world. The salad of my dreams.

Let’s talk honey mustard. Have you figured out I’m completely crazy for it by how many times it shows up in my recipes?! It’s my go-to dressing and dipping sauce and one of the simplest things to make using your favorite Dijon mustard and honey. That’s it. Two ingredients. Mix equal parts together to start, with a little drizzle of water to thin it out, and there’s your life-changing dressing. 
… 

Read More »

Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Lemon Chicken Salad

A Greek inspired pasta salad with bright and sunny flavors! Lemon-marinated chicken is tossed with pasta, feta cheese, tomatoes, zucchini or cucumber, red onion and almonds in a tangy lemon dressing.

The lemon dressing also serves as a marinade. A small amount of it is removed and poured over the chicken before grilling or baking. It’s made of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and zest, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, thyme and oregano. So good, you could almost drink it. It helps tenderize the chicken and keep it juicy.

I don’t know if I ever shared my secret for juicy chicken every, single time without fail…. 

Read More »

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones (Personal Size)

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Calzones

Pizza dough wraps around a tasty filling of chicken, artichokes, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese in these personal-sized calzones or pizza pockets. If you took a pizza and folded it in half – stuffed with extra toppings – you’d have a calzone. Calzone = more. More of all the things you love in a pizza.

These take longer than pizza to make so I bought my dough from a bakery to save time. If you have leftover chicken that helps too. You only need a cup and a half of cooked chicken so you can plan ahead and cook extra.

The artichokes are sautéed with garlic, onions and Italian seasonings before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Sometimes calzones are layered starting with the ricotta then topped with the fillings and mozzarella. I mixed everything together so assembling them would go faster, plus it was easier to fold the dough over without random pieces of cheese and whatnot splaying everywhere.

They bake up hot and bubbly, irresistible, with a chewy, golden crust. The filling has the distinctively tangy bite of artichokes tempered with creamy cheese, baby spinach and tender pieces of chicken.

So much more than pizza.

Artichoke Spinach and Chicken Calzones

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 personal sized calzones

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

Pizza dough wraps around a tasty filling of chicken, artichokes, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese in these personal-sized calzones or pizza pockets.

INGREDIENTS:

2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed in a colander, patted dry and chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
red pepper flakes, optional
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 pound pizza dough
1 + 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 + 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top
pizza sauce, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, artichokes, Italian seasoning, a couple pinches each of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook about ten minutes, stirring often until the artichokes are soft with some golden color to them. Turn off the heat and lay the spinach leaves on top. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile divide the dough into four pieces as equal as you can make them. Roll them out on a floured surface to about an 8-inch roundish oval. If the dough is hard to work with let it rest 5 - 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it well with olive oil.
  4. Once the artichoke mixture is mostly cooled mix in the chicken, ricotta and mozzarella - it will be thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Scoop up a quarter of the chicken filling and place it on one half of one of the dough rounds, leaving a small border. Brush the edges all the way around with egg and then fold the dough over the filling, pinch the ends or roll it up over itself and crimp with a fork.
  6. Brush it lightly all over with egg, make a slit in the top with a knife then sprinkle sea salt and Parmesan on the top.
  7. Use a big spatula to gently scoop it up and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the calzones are made.
  8. Bake 26 - 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly in the center. Let set 5 - 10 minutes before serving with warm sauce for dipping.

Notes:

Copyright ©2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chicken-spinach-and-artichoke-calzones-personal-size/

Chicken Calzones

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Cranberry Chicken

This dried cranberry and balsamic glaze is perfect for perking up boneless chicken breasts! It easily takes them from ordinary to extraordinary.

The tangy sauce is made of dried cranberries, balsamic vinegar, a touch of honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and olive oil. It’s pulsed together in a food processor then briefly simmered in a small saucepan to reduce it down a little and develop its rich flavor along with its distinguishing dark color. You don’t want to cook it more than 10 minutes or the flavors will become too strong.

The glaze is brushed over chicken breasts that have been pounded thin, topped with a smattering of pine nuts and baked. It looks a little strange, this I know, but trust me when I say it doesn’t taste that way. The chicken remains juicy and tender under the sauce and the pine nuts give it a nice toasty crunch. It’s tart and a little sweet.

I made this twice in the past few weeks and am excited to try it again using turkey breasts. I know, I know, it’s April not November but when you discover a good thing you shouldn’t let it sit and idle. You know how some people celebrate Christmas in July? {That’s really a thing.}

I’ll have Thanksgiving in April. You’re invited.

Baked Balsamic Cranberry Chicken

Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 - 5 servings

Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

This dried cranberry and balsamic glaze is perfect for perking up boneless chicken breasts! It easily takes them from ordinary to extraordinary.

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup dried cranberries + 2 tablespoons for garnish
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 + 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
a few tablespoons pine nuts or almonds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. Using a food processor pulse together the 1/3 cup cranberries, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire and garlic with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Pulse in the olive oil.
  3. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, turn heat down and maintain a simmer, stirring often 8 - 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pound the chicken breasts out to an even thickness between sheets of saran wrap with a meat mallet or small frying pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Place in the pan.
  5. Let the sauce cool off to barely warm then spoon over the chicken and spread from edge to edge. Sprinkle with pine nuts and bake until cooked through 20 - 45 minutes, depending on their size. Internal temperature should reach 165 - 174 degrees F. on a meat thermometer.
  6. Garnish with the 2 tablespoon of cranberries and serve.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cranberry-balsamic-chicken/

Baked Pineapple Chicken

Baked Pineapple Chicken

Succulent chicken breasts cooked in a sweet, savory, spicy pineapple sauce will make you feel like you’ve been instantly transported to a Caribbean island. Take a bite, close your eyes and you’re almost there.

The pineapple sauce is made first by briefly simmering pineapple juice from canned pineapple, honey, soy sauce, curry powder, hot sauce and vinegar together then mixing in the pineapple. The chicken is smothered with the sauce and baked.

I thought it might be overly sweet but it has just the right balance of sweet and savory with a gentle kick of heat from the hot sauce and curry powder. I especially loved the crunch of the toasty almonds scattered on top and it’s perfectly delicious served over rice to catch the extra sauce.

It’s really hard to dry out your chicken with this recipe! The chicken soaks up the sauce to keep them juicy and the vinegar helps tenderize them making it easy to get good results. Plus the entire thing comes together quickly with little effort – making it great for a busy night.

Pineapple Chicken

Baked Pineapple Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Pineapple Chicken

Succulent chicken breasts cooked in a sweet, savory, spicy pineapple sauce will make you feel like you've been instantly transported to a Caribbean island.

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 + 1/2 - 2 pounds)
coarse salt and fresh pepper
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple in natural juice (unsweetened & not in syrup)
1/3 cup honey
1 + 1/2 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
1 + 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I like Cholula )
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup sliced almonds
cooked brown or white rice, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch roasting pan.
  2. Pound the chicken breasts out to an even thickness between plastic wrap with a meat mallet. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain the pineapple chunks and reserve the juice. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat whisk 3/4 cup of the pineapple juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, curry powder and hot sauce together. Bring to a simmer and cook 7 - 8 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Whisk the cornstarch and water together then whisk it into the sauce, stir in the pineapple chunks then pour it over the chicken spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle the almonds all over the top.
  5. Bake until the chicken is cooked through anywhere from 25 - 45 minutes, depending on their size. Internal temperature should read 164 - 175 on a meat thermometer.
  6. Serve over rice.

Notes:

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/baked-pineapple-chicken/

The links in this post are not affiliate links.

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Colorful bell peppers stuffed with a skillet chicken ziti for a delicious twist that brings two classics together in a new way. The stuffing is made of diced tomato sauce, ricotta and mozzarella with vegetable rotini pasta and bites of tender chicken.

The filling comes together in a skillet and then gets stuffed into the peppers and baked. For ease you can use leftover or rotisserie chicken but if you don’t have either on hand it’s simple to bake up the chicken while you’re making the sauce and pasta.

If you’re looking for a way to shake up your baked ziti routine then this is a great way to do it. The natural sweetness of the peppers and the acidic tomatoes balance each other out and are perfect with the chicken and chewy pasta. Stuffing peppers is becoming routine in my house.

I love reinventing them.

Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Colorful bell peppers stuffed with a skillet chicken ziti for a delicious twist that brings two classics together in a new way. The stuffing is made of diced tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella with vegetable rotini pasta and bites of tender chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

1 + 1/4 pounds chicken breast (about 2 + 1/2 cups cooked & chopped)
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
6 ounces vegetable rotini pasta (or any medium-sized pasta)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 + 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half & half
6 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise or with the tops cut off, seeds removed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and bake until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile in a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-low heat and saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, about a teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir often.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
  4. On a cutting board slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Turn off the sauce and remove about 3/4 cup of it - set it aside. Mix the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and half & half into the sauce. Stir in the chicken and cooked pasta.
  6. Lightly grease the bottom of a deep-sided roasting pan and spread the cup of sauce in the bottom. Spoon the filling into the peppers and set them in the roasting pan, if they're touching that's ok.
  7. Cover with foil and bake 25 - 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the tops with mozzarella. Bake 10 - 15 more minutes.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/baked-chicken-ziti-stuffed-peppers/

Baked Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Baked Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Bright and briny flavors are captured in these chicken breasts that are baked with artichoke hearts, capers, whole garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese and lemon slices plus a big glug or two of extra-virgin olive oil to help all the flavors shine.

The lemon slices add just the right amount of tartness without being overwhelming so it won’t make you pucker up. The garlic cloves soften, mellow out and sweeten up making it easy to pop them right in your mouth whole. You’ll wish there were more and it doesn’t hurt to throw in a few extra. I call them garlic candy.

Baked Artichoke Lemon Chicken

This is easy enough to throw together on a busy weeknight using only one pan. Score. The chicken is laid down in a big roasting pan then the artichokes, capers, garlic and lemon slices are arranged around it after being tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.  A blizzard of Parmesan cheese is sprinkled over the entire thing before being baked.

There’s no sauce for serving with pasta or rice. Not sorry. I meant for this to be on the lighter side, a meal that won’t weigh you down. The kind of meal that says hello spring, are you here yet?

It’s best served with a big salad, string beans, sautéed greens or my spinach Parmesan couscous.

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Baked Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: serves 4 - 6

Baked Lemon Artichoke Chicken

Bright and briny flavors are captured in these chicken breasts that are baked with artichoke hearts, capers, whole garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese and lemon slices plus a big glug or two of extra-virgin olive oil to help all the flavors shine.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 + 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
12 ounces artichoke hearts, jarred or frozen (thawed), cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup capers
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 lemons, 1 of them zested and thinly sliced, seeds removed
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
about 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large roasting pan or non-stick baking sheet with sides - spread it out so the pan is greased from edge to edge.
  2. Pound the chicken breasts out to an even thickness with a meat mallet - place them on a cutting board and cover them with saran wrap first. Cut them in half and season them well with salt and pepper then place them in the pan, spreading them out so they're not touching.
  3. In a medium-ish bowl toss the artichoke hearts, capers, garlic and lemon slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the zest of the lemon and a few generous dashes of salt and pepper. Arrange them all around the chicken in the pan, filling in the empty spaces.
  4. Sprinkle the Parmesan all over, especially on the chicken, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning, followed by a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake until the chicken is cooked through anywhere from 25 - 45 minutes, depending on their size (internal temperature should read 165 - 174 degrees F.).
  5. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges for serving.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/baked-lemon-artichoke-chicken/