Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chicken

Crunchy Tortilla Chicken with Nacho Cheese Sauce

Just when I thought I had run out of ideas for chicken, clear out of the wild blue this smacked me in the face.

One second my mind was completely blank and the next it was picturing chicken with all the charm of hot, cheesy nachos.

Making them is sooooo easy! There’s no dipping and dunking and dredging and dirtying up fifty million bowls. You set the chicken right in the pan, coat it with mayonnaise, the glue, then pat on crushed-up white corn tortilla chips. Rather than grinding them up into fine crumbs I crush them by hand into chunky, little pieces and mix them with a little bit of panko crumbs.

While the chicken is busy baking it’s way to crunchy and golden brown, you get to work on the sauce…. 

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Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Zucchini Roll-ups

Cheesy Chicken &  Broccoli Zucchini Roll-ups

Thin slices of zucchini are stuffed and rolled up with a chicken and broccoli filling then baked in sauce until hot and bubbly. The filling is flavored with red onion, garlic, roasted red pepper, mozzarella and white cheddar cheese plus a little cream cheese to act as the “glue” to hold everything together.

For best results the zucchini should be salted and laid out on a wire rack to leach out some of the water. This makes them pliable and easier to roll up plus they won’t be as soggy. If you don’t like zucchini, cooked lasagna noodles can be used instead. They’re way too long as is so I would cut them in half first…. 

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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. 
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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…. 

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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/

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