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Chicken, Broccoli, Pasta with cream sauce

From Natalie:

This is one of my son Jonathan’s favorite meals.  It is very tasty and can be pulled together in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Farfalle pasta (14.5oz.)
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 1 jar of Bertolli alfredo sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken tenders
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Canola oil

Beat the egg with 1/4 cup of milk and put into a bowl.  Put 2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs into another bowl.  (I added garlic powder to the breadcrumbs for extra flavor.)  Cut the tenders into bite size pieces.  (I put the pieces of chicken in a zippered plastic bag and hammered  them out to tenderize them.)  Put the chicken into the egg bath and then the breadcrumbs.  Cook in a frying pan with canola oil.

At the same time, steam the whole crown of broccoli.  When it is tender, cut off the tough stalks.

Boil the pasta.

I have to confess I have a double standard when it comes to sauce.  I always make a red sauce from scratch, never do I buy a jar.  I do, however, buy the white sauce in a jar.  For this recipe, I use Bertolli’s alfredo sauce.  It is delicious and enables this recipe to be pulled together quickly.

Put the pasta, broccoli and chicken into a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over everything.  (I don’t even heat the sauce because everything else is hot.) Toss.  Enjoy!

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CHICKEN BROCOLLI & ZITI

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:
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You can have a great dinner on the table any night in just 20 minutes.   Use whole wheat pasta if you prefer.  The broccoli is sautéed – so it has a slight crunch.   A hint of  lemon adds terrific flavor to the sauce.  And the leftovers are perfect to bring to work the next day.       ~Sheryl
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb chicken, cubed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 cup broccoli (use fresh or frozen), or more!
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb ziti pasta, cooked
  • 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
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Cook pasta according to package directions.
  1. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large heavy bottom skillet.
    Add chicken cook over medium heat until browned on all sides.
    Add broccoli, sauté  for about 3 minutes.
    Add lemon slices, sauté for 2 minutes.
    Add garlic, cook until fragrant (about  a minute).
    Add chicken broth.  Scrape bits off bottom of pan.
    Add in cream.  Cook until pan boils.
    Lower heat and reduce to thicken sauce a little bit.
    Off heat.  Stir in cooked pasta.
    Serve on a decorated platter.
    Grate Parmesan Reggiano cheese on top.  (Yes, it is expensive, but worth EVERY penny.  A little goes a long way.)

Baked Chicken ~ seasoned with white wine and cinnamon

From Rita:

I have been making this dish for many years and have seen many dinner guests licking their lips over this one.  It is wonderfully fragrant as it cooks in your oven it causes those salivary glands to kick into high gear.  You almost can’t wait for it to be done.  So very simple and so very tasty.  I have added some things to make it a complete meal and the cooking process remains the same.  One pan clean up always works for me.  Hope you enjoy.

  • 1 – 4 lb. whole chicken cut up into pieces or you may use split breast or drumsticks
  • 1 large vidalia onion sliced into 1/2″ rings and broken apart
  • 1 box white mushrooms cleaned and left whole
  • 4 red potatoes, washed and cut into 1 1/2″ thick slices
  • 1 1/2-2 cups dry white cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simply toss everything into a large bowl and use your hands to toss and coat all ingredients well.  Line a cookie sheet or roasting pan with non-stick aluminum foil ( most important) and spread out evenly in a single layer.  Preheat the over to 400 degrees and cook for approximately 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.  The finished product should be beautifully browned and not dry!

Mixed Grille Dinner

From Rita:

An evening of mixed grill has been a long time favorite of mine.  Although I am trying to eat more vegetarian these days, every once in a while I break out and enjoy a taste of all these lovely things at one sitting.  To have guests to enjoy this with makes it special.   This was my evening dinner party and we all had fun tasting all the different flavors.

The key to enjoying this meal is to have bites of all the offerings so you are not stuffed and have had a fun time enjoying all the flavors. There you have it…. A complete meal with each item complimenting the next.  A great time was had by all and why not?

THE MEAT SOURCES:

1. I opted for apple chicken sausage and oven roasted them at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil until they were browned beautifully.  I accompanied them with jarred sliced hot cherry peppers.  A super combination that you need to taste to believe.

2. In the same oven on another cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil I roasted the chicken drumsticks.  They were seasoned with salt, pepper,  garlic powder, oregano and fresh lemon juice.

3.  Petite filets of sirloin was the real meat lovers part of the mixed grill.  Rubbed with olive oil and seasoned simply with a little salt and pepper and grilled to perfection.

THE SIDES:

BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES

I scrubbed these sweet potatoes really clean.  Leaving the skins on, I sliced them into a french fry size, placed them in a bowl and drizzled them with olive oil.  The spices were salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Place them on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet in a 400 degree oven, turning them periodically for approximately 35 minutes.

BABY ORGANIC KALE:

You can find this in some markets.  The brand is Olivia’s and I find her organics are always fresh and wonderful.  Simply wash and pick through them for any that may be yellowing. I spin them till they are dry leaving only traces of water.  Place a fry pan over med-high heat and add a little olive oil and as much garlic as you feel you would like.  I used jarred garlic as the taste is sweeter and not to strong as to not over power the baby kale’s flavor.  Stir fry till wilted which happens very quickly so this should be done at the very last minute before dinner is served.

THE APPETIZER:

First a healthy appetizer of sliced cucumber with a dollop of roasted red pepper hummus and topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper.

THE SALAD:

 Next  is a very simple salad made with sliced garden tomatoes, crumbled feta, fresh basil leaves from the plant outside my door (makes a world of difference) and a few Kalamata olives.  I always dress this salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

PERFECTLY CRISP PAN-SEARED CHICKEN BREASTS RECIPE WITH LEMON & CHIVE SAUCE

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From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Cooking is often about time.  This is one of those recipes that takes a little bit more time and is totally worth the effort.  A mixture of 3 parts flour to 1 part cornstarch creates a thin, brown, crisp coating that keeps the chicken moist.   The chicken comes out tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.  It tastes better than real chicken skin. 

Do you have a few more minutes?  Then take 5 minutes and make this Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce to pour over the chicken.   Add a green veggie on the side ~ and you are DONE!

Note: An instant read thermometer is key if you do not want to overcook meat.   Without one, you will often  slice into the meat to check for doneness- then the juices run out before they set- leaving the meat dry.   Make a small investment in this kitchen tool.  It will change your world.  Well, you know, not really, but it does have a small WOW factor.  

Ingredients to Pan Sear Chicken:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz each)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 TEAspooon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

POKE AND SALT:  Salting chicken seasons the meat and keeps it moist.  Poking thicker parts of the breasts with a fork ensures even seasoning.

COVER AND BAKE: Place chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish and cover tightly with foil.  Bake in a 300 degree oven until instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees.  (30 to 40 minutes)   Baking at low temperature in a foil covered dish cooks the chicken evenly and keeps it from drying out.

Remove chicken from oven and transfer to plate lined with paper towels.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium heat.  While pan is heating, whisk butter, flour, cornstarch, and pepper in a small bowl.  Light brush top of chicken with coating. 

BRUSH ON COATING:  Brushing melted butter, flour and cornstarch onto breasts creates “skin” to protect meat during  searing.

SEAR QUICKLY:  Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned.  3 to 4 minutes. While chicken browns, brush with remaining mixture.   Flip with tongs.  Cook 3-4 minutes until second side is browned and thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees on instant read thermometer.   Transfer chicken to large plate and let rest 5 minutes.   Prepare sauce……

Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 TEAspoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh chives
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled
  • salt and ground pepper

Add shallot to now empty skillet and cook over medium heat until softened- about 2 minutes.  Add flour and cook 30 seconds, stir constantly.  Add broth, increase heat to medium high, bring to simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits.   Stir in any accumulated chicken juices from baking pan, simmer 30 seconds.   Turn off heat.  Whisk in lemon juice, chives and butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon over chicken and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Adapted from COOK’s, Number 103

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