Green Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich

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I call this a GREEN chicken sandwich because all the other ingredients besides the chicken are green in color: avocado, green onion, cucumber, and spinach.

I made this sandwich for a light lunch with friends.  It was a little fancier than deli meat and cheese, but not too difficult for a quick lunch.  It’s also great as a make ahead.

 

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Start with two cans of chicken breast.

 

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Mix in mayo, mustard, juice from half a lemon and salt and pepper.

 

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Add in half an avocado, diced up in the skin.  You can then easily scoop this out with a spoon into the bowl.

 

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Dice two green onions for a little kick.

 

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Peel and dice up half a cucumber for crunch.

 

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If you want a carb-free option, this would be great in a leaf of romaine lettuce too!

 

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Toast and slice the ciabatta and lay down a bed of baby spinach.

 

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Spoon on some of the chicken salad and enjoy an easy but fancy chicken salad sandwich.

 

Green Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich

2 (13 oz) cans chicken breast

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cracked pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Half an avocado, diced

2 green onions, diced

Half a cucumber, diced

1 cup spinach

 

Drain the chicken and place into a medium sized bowl.  Mix in all the remaining ingredients except for the spinach.  Toast and slice the ciabatta bun and layer pieces of spinach on one side.  Top with chicken mixture and the other slice of bun.  Slice on the diagonal.  Make 4 sandwiches.

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Baked Chicken Chimichanga

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The chimichanga by definition is a deep-fried burrito.  Since I’ve been trying to feed my family healthier foods, I’ve never dared tried making a chimichange myself.  But, when I came across this recipe for a baked chimi, I had to try it!  I completely did not miss the deep frying part.

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Start with mixing together cream cheese and taco seasoning.

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Stir in the Mexican four cheese blend.

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Here is my secret weapon for the quick weeknight meal………..store-bought rotissiere chicken!  Finally, the secret’s out!

Thank you to the genius who knows that moms can use some help every now and again and invented the precooked rotissiere chicken.

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Shred up the two breasts.

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Spread a generous layer of the cheese blend onto a flour tortilla.

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Layer on some chicken.

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Tuck and fold tightly so nothing leaks out.

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What a cute little bundle of joy…………I mean, deliciousness!

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Lay the eight chimis seam side down on a baking dish.

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Then spray them with some vegetable oil spray.  I love my Misto, I can put any kind of oil in there and just pump and spray away!  It’s a very handy kitchen gadget and one of my favorites.

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I love that the chimichanga does get a nice brown crunchy texture on the outside.  Then when you bite into it, you get the creamy chicken with all that savory taco seasoning, delectable I tell ya’!!

I topped my chimi with sour cream, homemade salsa, shredded cheese and some green onions.  Here’s the recipe for the amazing restaurant style homemade salsa.

I know it’s good when my hubby keeps saying how good it is after each bite.  He did that about 4 times tonight.  This recipe is a keeper!

Baked Chicken Chimichanga

From Menu Managed

8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup Mexican Blend cheese, shredded
1 taco seasoning packet
1 lb. store-bought  rotissiere chicken, shredded
8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
shredded cheese
green onions, for garnish
sour cream
salsa

Stir together cream cheese, Mexican blend cheese and taco seasoning.  Spread cheese mixture on a flour tortilla, then lay some shredded chicken on top.

Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.  Lay seam side down on a baking pan lined with foil.
Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn chimichangas over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

FRESH Egg Salad Sandwich

There is no sandwich more pure than a simple egg salad.   The only thing that could make this sandwich better is fresh home grown eggs.

And that’s exactly what I used!

My daughter and son love to check for eggs every morning.  It’s become a morning routine and finding the eggs in the chicken coop’s nesting boxes never gets old.

Here is Ribbon, our Rhode Island Red chicken and she belongs to my daughter.  My son’s is the Ameraucana and her name is Chocolate.  Ribbon lays the brown eggs and Chocolate lays green eggs.

Here’s what they looked like when we first brought them home.  Aren’t they the cutest things you’ve ever seen?

 

We’re able to get about a dozen eggs a week from our chickens.  They’re such hard workers aren’t they?  I love pets that earn their keep!

 

I learned about the difficulty of peeling fresh boiled eggs the hard way.  With eggs that are just a day or two old, the membrane beneath the shell sticks tightly to the shell making peeling the egg almost impossible.  But, I must say it was totally worth the trouble.  I’m glad I boiled extra eggs because I did lose a lot of egg during the peeling process.

 

 

 

This had the be the most heavenly egg salad sandwich I’ve ever eaten.  I made it really simple so I could taste the purity of the fresh eggs.  I only used mayo, mustard, and dill, and salt and pepper of course.

 

Fresh Egg Salad Sandwich

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise (to taste)

1 tsp dijon mustard

½ tsp dried dill

Salt and pepper (to taste)

2 slices wheat bread

 

To make hard boiled eggs, place a few eggs in a saucepan and add enough water to cover the eggs.  Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the pan from heat and let it sit, covered, for 12 minutes. Drain the water from the pan, add cold water to cool the eggs, let sit a couple minutes longer.

Mash up the chopped egg a bit with a fork. Mix together the chopped hard-boiled egg, mayonnaise, and dill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper  to taste. Mix with a spoon.

Spread the egg mixture on top of one slice of bread, put another slice of bread on top.

Green Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

These chicken enchiladas were a hit with my kids because they are simple, yet flavorful.  As most moms know, kids like simple flavors with not too much going on.  And as most moms know, we don’t like to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, so this recipe satisfies both kids and moms!

My favorite new tip is shredding chicken in your stand mixer.  It’s genius people, just genius I tell you!

Warm up some corn tortillas then slap on some canned refried beans and chicken on top.

Enchiladas are not enchiladas without cheese, so don’t be stingy with the cheese.  I used monterey jack here.  You can use anything you have on hand.

Place all the enchiladas, snuggly into a 9×13 pan and bake until bubbly and all the cheese is melted.  Serve to your family while hot and await the praise they will bestow upon you.

Green Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

15 corn tortillas

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 can refried beans

¼ cup milk

1 (28 oz) green chile enchilada sauce

½ cup sour cream

1 pound shredded Monterey jack cheese

Stir to combine refried beans and milk in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Prepare 9×13 pan by pouring some enchilada sauce, just to cover the bottom of the pan.  Take the remaining sauce and mix in the sour cream.  Warm the tortillas and spoon on beans, chicken then cheese.  Roll each enchilada and place seam side down in pan.  Pour sour cream enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

Chicken Picatta Pasta

It is HOT!  Southern California has been having a heat wave of triple digit temps all week.  And, the hotter it is, the less I want to use my oven, let alone be in the kitchen.  So, I found this refreshing pasta recipe that did not use the oven.

I did have to be in the kitchen though, but not for too long.

This is diced chicken breast, seasoned and browned nicely.

Pull it out when it’s done and set aside for now.

I’ve diced the aromatic shallots and garlic and gotten together the other ingredients for the dish.

Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil and butter.

After adding in the wine and reducing, add in some flour to make a thick sauce.  Thin out the sauce with chicken broth.

Stir in the capers.

Once all the flavors have had some time to marry, add the chicken back in and a squeeze of lemon.  Add in some penne pasta and you’ve got a simple and quick meal, made all in one pan.  You gotta love only having to clean up one pan, right?

Here’s is the very aromatic and savory chicken piccata pasta, garnished with some slices of green onion.  I love the creamy sauce with the hint of sour lemon juice and capers.  Refreshing for a hot summer night.  A tall glass of lemonade would complete the meal for me!

Chicken Picatta Pasta Toss

Adapted from Rachel Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast , cut into 1-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white wine

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup chicken broth or stock

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente

Chopped scallions, for garnish

Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet. Saute garlic and shallots 3 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in capers. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce to give it a little shine. Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped scallions.

Cilantro Parsley Pesto Chicken

I know this bowl of green stuff looks very unassuming and maybe even a little scary.  Let me put you at ease by saying that this may be my favorite new condiment/sauce/dip/very yummy stuff!  It is really easy to make and packs a lot of flavor in one spoonful.  I’ve used it on chicken (as I’ll show below), mixed it into pasta and even spread it on a sandwich.  It just gives anything bland a punch of flavor.

This is not a traditional pesto as there is no basil or pine nuts, or any nuts at all.

The easiest part of this pesto is it’s all made in a blender, without cutting or chopping anything else.  First add in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Wash one bunch each of cilantro and flat leaf parsley.  I know this looks like a lot, but it all gets blended into only about one cup of pesto.

With your bare hands just rip off the tops, stems included.

Poor herbs, they had no idea was was comin’ to ’em!

Stuff the herbs down into the blender.  Now here’s the hard part, if you have a cheap blender like mine.  Once you start the blender it will blend the bottom half pretty easily, but the herbs toward the top would be blended.  Intermittently stop the blender and push all the leaves down toward the blades.  You can also drizzle more olive oil in slowly as the blender is running.

Here’s the lovely green concoction!

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

My favorite way to use the pesto is on chicken breasts.  I use chicken with bone and skin on.  Lift the skin and with your fingers and rub the pesto onto the meat, and then some more over the skin too.

Roast the chicken in the oven and savor the beautiful herbal flavors of cilantro and parsley in the juicy chicken dish.

Cilantro-Parsley Pesto Chicken

2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro

2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 large garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

6 chicken breasts, bone and skin on

 

Add in oil, garlic, herbs and seasoning to blender.  Pulse blender until blended well. With machine running, add in more oil in a slow, steady stream if needed.

Lift the skin of the chicken and with your fingers and rub the pesto onto the meat, and then some more over the skin too.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done.

Cranberry Chicken

I do realize that I’m using cranberries in a recipe and its not even Thanksgiving!  You do not need to wait for the holidays to make this chicken dish.  It’s great any time of the year.  The sweet and tangy sauce is so easy to make, it’s just 3 ingredients.  I promise.

I served it with steamed rice and roasted brussel sprouts.

Start with one can of whole cranberries.  Not the jelly stuff, you want the whole cranberries in it.

These are the other 2 ingredients.

Pour in half the bottle of French dressing and one packet of onion soup mix and combine.  Just look at those beautiful colors!

I like to use chicken thighs with the bone in.  I’m trying to be a little more health conscious lately, so I removed the skin.  You can keep it on if you you’re feeling frisky.

Pour the sauce all over the chicken, making sure you get the under side too. And bake.

What you’ll get is delectably tender chicken with a creamy sweet and savory sauce that you’ll want to drench your rice in.  Then you’ll want more rice for the sauce that’s left on your plate.  Then you’ll want more sauce for the extra rice that you got.  It’s a vicious cycle!  But so worth it.

Cranberry Chicken

1 can whole cranberries

½ bottle French dressing

1 packet onion soup mix

8-10 chicken thighs

 

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl .  Place the chicken thighs in a 9×13 pan.  Pour the cranberry mixture evenly over the chicken.  Make sure to coat the bottom of the chicken as well.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.

You will definitely want to serve this with rice to sop up all the great sauce.

Chickens = Eggs


I have always wanted to raise chickens for fresh eggs.  We’ve finally moved to an area where we are able to do that, so we are very excited to announce that we’ve added two new members to our family.

This is our Rhode Island Red chick, which my daughter named Ribbon.  She’s one week old here in the picture.

Isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

This is Chocolate.  She is an Ameraucana chick and she is 2 weeks old here.  She will lay blue-colored eggs and Ribbon will lay brown.   Of course we have about 5 months before they will be old enough to lay eggs, but in the meanwhile the kids are having a great time with our new pets!

I look forward to posting lots of egg-related recipes in about 5 months.

The Best Roast Chicken

I have roasted many a chicken in my time and this is by far the best way I like it.  The chicken comes out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  The lovely bed of vegetables it sits on absorb all the chicken juices and it’s just a delectable meal, all in one pan.

I beg of you, make this tonight!  You can’t go wrong with roast chicken.

Start off with a large roasting pan, glass or metal will work.  I rough chop red potatoes, carrots, fennel, and onion.  You can substitute your favorite root vegetables, but my family loves this combination.

Then pour on some olive oil to coat well, salt and pepper and the leaves of 5 sprigs of thyme.  The combination of fennel and thyme is to die for!

The lemon wedges and thyme are for stuffing the chicken.  It gives the chicken a wonderful aroma from the inside out.

One of the most important things when roasting chicken is trussing it.  That just means that you need to get all the limbs tight and secure around the body of the chicken so that it cooks evenly.  I’m sure you’ve bought one of those Costco or grocery store chickens all bound with string.  There’s a good reason for it!

Here’s my favorite trick for trussing a chicken the lazy way.  Hey a girl needs some shortcuts sometimes!  Besides, I don’t like fumbling around tying up my chicken with kitchen twine.  I mean, the poor thing’s been through enough already, don’t you think?!

Start by tucking the wing tips into the chicken’s armpit.

Next, use kitchen scissors or a knife and carefully snip a hole in the flap of skin near the chicken butt.  Tuck the left drumstick through the hole of the flap of skin on the right side.  Then do the same with the right drumstick.


When you are done, it should look like this.  Each drumstick is tucked through the flap of skin and secured tightly to the body of the chicken.  Give the chicken a good rub down with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

The Best Roast Chicken

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch fresh thyme

1 lemon, quartered

1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks

4 red potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks

2 bulbs of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges

Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme and lemon. Reserve 5 sprigs of thyme for the vegetables.  Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the legs into the skin flaps and tuck the wing tips under the body. Place the onions, carrots, potatoes and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 5 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Chicken Cacciatore

I just learned that cacciatore means hunter in Italian.  So this dish, is chicken made in the “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions and herbs.  I served it here with creamy parmesan polenta.

I think that driving to the grocery store in my SUV and picking out a package of raw chicken thighs to bring home could be a form of hunting.  Okay, I know it’s a stretch, but none the less I managed to get meat into my kitchen and prepare it for my family, as a hunter would have done.  And boy was it tasty!

Start by browning the chicken thighs.

In the same pan, add the vegetable and cook until soft.

Add in the tomatoes, capers and wine.

Reduce and add the chicken back in to finish cooking and for all the flavors to marry.

I deeply implore you to try this with creamy polenta.  The flavors just sing together.  The creaminess helps to balance the acid of the tomatoes and capers in the chicken.  You will call this a new favorite, I just know it.

And when you serve this to your family,  make sure that they appreciate the fact that you “hunted” for the meat and prepared for them a delicious home-cooked meal with your bare hands!

Chicken Cacciatore

Adapted from Giada De Laurentis

 

8 chicken thighs

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 large green 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

 

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 peppers, 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.