Category Archives: Chicken

Skinny Tortilla Soup…A Hominy Story

1 cup is less than 2 Weight Watcher points but you don't need to be watching your calories to appreciate a yummy bowl...or two!

1 cup is 2 Weight Watcher points but you don’t need to be watching your calories to appreciate a yummy bowl…or two!

I’m a soup girl. I could devote an entire blog to my soup creations. I could eat a bowl of any soup any time of day. There is something comforting to me while I have a large pot steaming away all day while I go about other chores, visiting the pot to add an ingredient, give it a stir or to simply taste its progress.

Though a mystery to my Mom, as I was not a fan as a child. I would turn my nose up to anything considered a soup or stew opting for a PB&J instead. I’d pout, make terrible faces and whine until she would cave and excuse me from my bowl.

Despite that I deserve paybacks from my own children, to my pleasure, they too, share my (Now as an adult) love for bowls of anything soupy.

This recipe really got its inspiration from a blog called http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/youll-love-our-heavenly-chicken-tortilla-soup/ I of course added my own twist, but truly, this was the base recipe I used for my own

First, before I continue onto my recipe, let’s get a little lesson on Hominy. These corny nuggets are what really make this the BEST Tortilla Soup ever!

Why Hello, Hominy, welcome to my kitchen.

Why Hello, Hominy, welcome to my kitchen.

According to Wikipedia, Hominy consists of dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization….okay, lesson over…just know this stuff is really cool…indians used it too…so it must be magic!

Here it is, the healthy, yummy, lick your bowl clean recipe:

Ingredients for Skinny Tortilla Soup

1 large or 2 small chopped onions

2 stalks celery sliced

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 corn tortillas chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon quality cumin (more to taste)

1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder (regular is fine too)

1/2 teaspoon smoked spicy paprika (offers a really nice smokey spicy flavor, I found mine at Penzy’s)

3 TBS tomato past (save the rest of the can in a ziplock baggie in your freezer for later use)

1 15oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes juice and all

1 Can green chilis, drained

1 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed

1 15 oz can Yellow hominy drained and rinsed

2 cups of cooked lean chicken

Juice and zest of 1 lime plus more for garnish

In a large stockpot sweat your onions and celery in a bit of EVOO for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and chopped corn tortillas. Sweat for another couple of minutes. Add spices, tomato paste, broth, tomatoes, beans, chilis and bring to a slow bubble. Turn back heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Add hominy, and chicken. Simmer for another 10 minutes taste and adjust seasonings. I believe I ended up adding more chili powder and cumin. Just before serving, add the zest 1/2 lime into soup and juice of whole lime.

Garnish with cilantro, baked corn tortilla strips and a wedge of lime

Baked Corn Tortilla Strips

Simply cut 2 corn tortillas into strips, spray sheet pan with cooking spray, lightly spray tops of tortillas and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees until edges begin turning golden, about 10 minutes or less.

Chicken Cordon Bleu – Ohh la la!

Not many dishes can compete for the presentation award as rolled and stuffed meat! With a bit of time, you can impress and appear to be a master chef with this Chicken Cordon Bleu and  cream sauce recipe.  I found I was able to assemble the chicken ahead of time (a few hours), cover and move on to the rest of my meal plan (or in this case, attend to a sick 5-year-old)

Recipe makes 4
4 chicken breast trimmed of any visible fat
4 slices smokey deli ham (no honey ham here)
4 slices swiss cheese
Dijon mustard for brushing on chicken
2 eggs beaten
splash water to thin egg wash
Italian bread crumbs (or plain) for coating chicken

Between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, pound chicken to about 1/4 inch flat, careful not to tear. Salt and pepper both sides, brush the inside of the chicken (the side that doesn’t look as pretty) with Dijon mustard, place slice of ham and cheese on chicken and begin to roll. Secure with toothpicks. Dip in egg wash and coat with bread crumbs. Place rolled chicken onto baking sheet or 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. At this time, you can immediately bake or store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest before slicing.

Cream Sauce:
2 Tbs butter melted in a heavy sauce pan
1 cup white wine, I used Sauvignon Blanc as I like it to drink also
2 TBS bouillon powder
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 TBS corn starch whisked into a bowl with the heavy cream
2 TBS fresh herbs chopped, I used parsley so not to compete with the flavor of the sauce, but thyme or rosemary would be great too

Heat pan and melt butter, add wine and bouillon powder bring to a boil reduce by 1/3. Slowly add cream and cornstarch, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add fresh chopped herbs. Pour over sliced Chicken Cordon bleu. Sauce is also wonderful over steam vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli.

Balsamic Chicken Wraps

I make these Balsamic Chicken Wraps almost weekly. These are the number one request from my boys. Healthy and so very versital these too, have become my favorite. The name comes from the Balsamic marinade that the chicken breast soak in overnight. I have learned to make a double batch as these make for wonderful lunches the next day or Dinner on the run for families looking to feed their kids healthy during busy schedules, just wrap them up and these babies can be eaten on the run! The topping options are endless, though the boys favorite is with ranch dressing, I love to make mine ceasar style with fresh grated parmesan and a fat-free Ceasar dressing.

Marinade for 4-6 Chicken breast
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup water
1 Tbs diced garlic ( I like to use the jar kind)
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp paparika
1 Tbs Adobo seasoning (Goya is the brand I use)
1 tsp black pepper

Mix ingredients and pour into a large ziploc bag with 4-6 chicken breast and marinate for 24 hours. I usually do this the night before and the next morning before work, I will massage bag working in the marinade. When I get home, I massage again. Always put bag in a bowl in case of leakage. Remove bag from Refridgerator at least 20 minutes before grilling. Let meat rest at least 5 minutes on cutting board before slicing.

Toppings:

Romaine lettuce (shredded)
Cheese (shredded, cheddar, parmesian, ohhh, what about a pepper jack?)
Tomato (diced)
Peppers
Avocado
Bacon
Ranch dressing
Ceasar dressing
Honey-mustard
Try experimenting with the various flavored Tortillas (sun dried tomato, or spinach)

Get Creative!!! Hope your family loves them as much as mine!

Too-Hot-to-Cook Chicken Salad

I created this salad tonight, since I am too hot and tired to stand over a grill or stove. The dishes were done, house cleaned and I have to wake up for my real job at 4:00am. If you’ve ever listened to my advice, you made extra chicken earlier in the week. The last time you grilled, you added 2-3 extra chicken breast as it was no extra trouble and comes in handy tonight. Also, you have already cleaned your fresh vegetables and put them in a Ziploc bag with a folded paper towel to keep them fresh all week- long. Tonight is when it all comes together.

Ingredients:

2 Chicken breast or any leftover chicken (pork would be good too) cubed to make about 1 1/2-2 cups.
1 cup plus a bit more (use judgement) of fresh broccoli cut into small pieces
4-5 baby carrots julienned or 1 large carrot peeled and julienned (fancy term for long, thin, matchstick pieces)
2 large radishes from your mom’s garden or, if you are not so lucky, 3 regular radishes, quartered and sliced
2 Scallions sliced using the white and green
1 Handful of sweetened dried cranberries (golden raisins would be good too)
1 heaping TBS of fresh dill from your mom’s garden, or 1 regular TBS of dried (again, not so lucky)
1/4 Cup of your favorite Prepared Ranch salad dressing (enough to cover but not drench)
* Any other veggies you may have on hand (Cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, celery, etc…)
Fresh ground pepper to taste.

Chop all your ingredients, combine into a medium bowl. Add Ranch dressing, stirring and adding more if needed. Add pepper and give 1 last stir. Cover and put into refrigerator to chill. Meanwhile, make yourself a refreshing drink and comment on my blog (or blog of your choice)

1/2 hour later, give salad a final toss, serve in your new Pier 1 bowls (my latest thrift store find) Garnish with fresh dill, and enjoy this easy and satisfying dinner for 2.

BBQ Pineapple Chicken Skewers with Wild Rice

This makes 4-6 Servings

Pineapple BBQ Sauce:
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Juice of 1 Can of Chunk Pineapple
2 pkg of unflavored Knoxx gelitan

Mix in a small serving bowl and set aside.

Skewers:

3 large chicken breast cut into 1 inch squares
1 large Green Pepper cut into 1 inch squares
1 large Yellow Pepper cut into 1 inch squares
1 med Red onion cut into 1 inch squares
1 Can Chunk Pineapple
2 boxes of your favorite brand wild rice prepared according to package instructions

Soak wooden skewers for 1/2 hour in water to help prevent burning. Alternate Chicken, peppers, onion and Pineapple. Grill until chicken is done basting with BBQ sauce. Serve over wild rice.

Beer Can Cornish Hens

These Cornish Hens turn out perfectly and are fun to make! Crispy skin and juicy meat…a hit for any occasion.

Rinse and pat dry hens.
Massage liberally your favorite grill rub or make your own.

House Rub
1 Tbs Adobo seasoning with Cumin
1 tsp. Garlic
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Paparika
1 tsp.Cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbs Chicken bullion granuels

Place hens over 1/2 full cans of beer (Hmmm…someone has to drink the other half) sprinkling a bit of seasoning into can. Fold wings behind hen to keep tips from burning.Place on Cookie sheet or 9×13 pan to catch drippings. Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done. On the grill, medium heat with top closed. The legs of the hens will be easily wiggled from the joint. Let set for at least 5 minutes before carefully removing the hens from beer can with tongs and an oven mit.

Give each Guest their own hen, although I split mine with my youngest son. These gals are such a hit! Try on the grill! They are wonderful! And make for a fun presentation.

Leftover chicken makes for delicious chicken salad another day. I add onions, celery, dried sweetened cranberries, mayo, salt and pepper. Stuff in a pita with some lettuce and tomato for a gourmet luch or dinner.

Elegant Chicken with Cucumber Dill Sauce

This recipe is a take from one of my coworkers recipes. Fancy enough for company but easy enough for a weeknight dinner. If you think making sauces are difficult, try this and be amazed how easy it really is.

Recipe Serves 4

Ingredients for Chicken:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup cornmeal
1 TBS Ginger
1 TBS Cayenne pepper
1 egg
splash of milk

Sauce:

3/4 cup diced cucumbers with green peel removed
3 scallions sliced thinly white and green parts
2/3 cup Ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBS milk
1 tsp dill

Rinse and pat dry chicken breast. In a shallow bowl, mix egg and milk. In another shallow bowl mix cornmeal, ginger and cayenne pepper. Heat EVOO in a skillet med to med high. Dip individually, each Chicken breast first into egg mixture then coat with cornmeal mixture shaking off excess. Cook each side until golden brown and chicken is done.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan combine cucumbers, scallions, Ranch dressing, sour cream, milk and dill. Heat on low gently. Stirring occasionally.

Top each Chicken breast with Cucumber Dill sauce and serve.

Fiesta Chicken Salad with Black Bean and Corn Pico de Gallo

Craving something South of the Border? This salad is a fiesta of flavors, light, fresh and perfect for summer. Cilantro and lime really brighten this dish and a super healthy choice that will satisfy.

Marinade:
1/3 Cup EVOO
1/3 Cup Vinegar (I used Basalmic it’s my favorite)
1/4 Cup water
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS Cumin
1 TBS Cayenne Pepper
1/2 TBS Adobo seasoning

Wisk ingredients. Pour over 4 chicken breast in a ziploc bag, squeeze out the air and leave in refridgerator overnight.

Black Bean and Corn Pico De Gallo:

2-3 roma tomatoes seeded and diced in about 1/4 inch pieces
2/3 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
1 cup canned black bean drained and rinsed
2/3 cup frozen corn thawed
1 TBS chopped garlic
Cilantro
1 lime
1 TBS chopped garlic
Salt to taste

Add all ingredients into a bowl. Juice of 1 lime and give a good stir. I usually put the lime in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds. This maximizes the amount of juice. Instead of chopping Cilantro, I use my kitchen sissors and snip. This prevents bruising and is easier. Pico De Gallo can be made the night before. Gives the flavors a chance to combine.

Salad:

This recipe makes 4 salads

2 hearts of romaine lettuce
2-3 cups baby spinach
Cilantro
Black Bean and Corn Pico De Gallo
1 Avocado cubbed 
Light ranch dressing
Salsa of choice
1 Lime
Tortilla chips
Grill chicken breast and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting

Layer Romaine lettuce, spinach, and snipped cilantro. Add a generous amount of Black Bean and Corn Pico De Gallo. Sprinkle with avocado and place sliced chicken breast on top of salad. Squeeze lime juice lightly over chicken and salad. Top with crumbled tortilla chips. For the dressing, add equal parts ranch dressing and salsa

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Bacon

I have a serious addiction to the BBQ Pizza at my local pizza place. For the price of this homemade pizza…I can make over 3-4 of them! Not to mention I can add more chicken and customize.

Ingredients:
1 store bought Large premade pizza crust (I got mine from Plumb’s  bakery, made fresh that day)
1 Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 large cooked chicken breast diced (I made extra earlier in the week so I would have leftovers)
3-4 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon (also made earlier and used the leftover pieces)
Thinly sliced red onion to taste
About 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (Buy on sale and freeze…keeps very well)
1 TBS butter or margarine
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds (optional, but highly recommended)

Spread BBQ sauce with the back of a large spoon onto crust avoiding edges. Sprinkle with Chicken, Bacon, sliced Red Onion and top with Mozzarella Cheese avoiding crust. With a basting brush, lightly coat crust with softened butter, sprinkle crust with toasted sesame seeds. Place pizza directly on the rack of a pre-heated 375 degree oven until ingredients are warmed and cheese is melted. About 12-15 minutes.

Other Topping Ideas:
Sliced Hot pepper Rings
Turkey Bacon