I cannot express to you how much I love this chicken dish. It has so many wonderful qualities, I don’t know where to begin! Surprisingly enough, this chicken is a pretty big hit in my house, even though it has tomatoes and fresh spinach, two things that my darling children abhor. It’s a hit with me because it is very easy, almost mindless recipe. I don’t measure anything at all. There is no chopping, just a little tomato slicing that I can sometimes outsource to My Faithful Assistant if he isn’t busy being a surly teen on a growth spurt. Mostly, I assemble it and bake it and we all live happily ever after.
Chicken with Spinach and Pesto
Four chicken breasts
6 oz pesto
Four roma tomatoes, sliced
Four big handfuls of fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
- Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with pan spray
- Put the chicken in the pan, and season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon pesto over the chicken.
- Arrange the spinach over that.
- Add the tomato slices.
- Cover with cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 375. Cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Mine were quite large and I actually had to cook them for an hour.
You could serve this with some angel hair on the side for all the pesto that you will have in the pan. But I prefer to serve it with a nice crusty bread. And may I point out that if you have a little assistant of your own, they can easily make this alone. Roma tomatoes are easy to slice with a serrated knife. Or you could leave them out and avoid that risk altogether! Just think of how much fun it would be to prepare this by remote control from the comfort of your office! And for once, you can come home to dinner waiting for you!
The other night, I posted a recipe for Classic Cucumber Salad. This made a friend of mine say that she wanted chicken skewers with peanut sauce. Mmmmm…. Peanut Sauce. From there, it was a grown up woman version of giving a pig a pancake. Mama wants what mama wants!
Chicken skewers are best when the chicken is marinated but sometimes we just aren’t that organized and we have to wing it. So I did and came up with some fast chicken skewers with pretty tasty peanut sauce in no time at all.
Fastest Ever Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce
1 lb chicken in pieces that can be skewered – 1 inch wide, 2 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 peanut butter
1/2 tsp curry
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 vegetable stock – I used Wegman’s Thai Culinary Stock
- Preheat oven to 400 and put chicken on the skewers.
- Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until transluscent.
- Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, vegetable stock and spices and simmer until nice and thick.
- Bake the chicken for about ten minute, brush with some of the peanut sauce and keep baking for another ten minutes. Turn, brush with more sauce, and bake for about another ten minutes until cooked thoroughly.
We were very happy with the outcome of our very spontaneous dinner. The peanut sauce was very flavorful, and even though the chicken wasn’t grilled, it was ready fast and no one had to stand out in the blazing heat, sweating over a hot grill, sacrificing body and spirit for a few crispy pieces chicken grilled to perfection.
There was plenty of sauce for those of us who wanted extra, and enough for one more meal. Always a win.
I also served the chicken with lime wedges and soy sauce. I keep looking at the bottle in the picture and thinking it’s beer. Beer would also be good with this.
The heat continues in Central Maryland for a few more days. You may want to save this recipe for cooler weather, or just embrace the heat.
Ripe avocados are always a gift. There they were at the store today so I picked some up and threw together a very delicious and healthy salad for lunch.
Southwestern Chicken Salad
1 medium chicken breast left over from some dinner this week that you couldn’t bear to throw away
1 can black beans
1 cup corn (thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 avocado peeled and chopped
Juice of 1/4 lime
Cumin and Cayenne to taste
Combine everything and enjoy! That’s it!
You could serve this on a bed of lettuce topped with cilantro lime dressing, or wrap it up in a burrito. Feel free to leave out the chicken, too, for a really delicious vegan meal. Tasty, healthy, and filling! I have three more avocados so I’m really looking forward to having the for lunch this week.
Leeks were on sale or maybe they were just there in their green and white finery, beckoning to me. “Buy us! Buy us! We are so good with everything!” Okay!! I really do love leeks.
That was about two weeks ago. Today the leeks were saying, “Use us soon or your $4 will be in the compost.”I’ve had so many ideas about what I could make with the leeks. Then I realized it had been quite some time since I’d made any sort of savory pie. It was time.
Chicken, Potato, and Leek Pie
1 leek, with all the white and a little green chopped and rinsed
3 medium potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut in small pieces
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1/3 cup milk or chicken broth
1/2 cup cheese
Salt and pepper
- Saute the leeks in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the bacon and cook thoroughly.
- Add the chopped potato, chicken, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chicken is just done.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top and let it sit for a little bit, then stir.
- Add the milk and stir. The milk and flour will make the chicken mixture a little pasty.
- Add the cheese and stir again.
- Put a pie crust on the bottom of a 9″ pie plate. Add the chicken mixture, and top with the other crust.
- Cut some vents.
- Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until crust is golden.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes before you cut and serve.
Because of the incredibly long time I made my people wait for a nice chicken pie, they were quite appreciative. Anything but chicken and rice in the pressure cooker again. Oh! It was also very tasty. And even though it was 76 today in Central Maryland, and hardly the weather for such a hearty dinner, we enjoyed it very much.
Perhaps the most exciting part of our meal was the fact that I was able to prepare it using a large burner on my stove. It took 14 years in my house with ill-fitting drip pans on my stove for me to realize I could CALL THE MANUFACTURER and order new drip pans. I have to admit I was a little ashamed. I am, after all, the daughter of the woman who called Gerber to find out what kind of apples they used in their baby food applesauce so I could make it for her precious grandson. (Golden Delicious, BTW.) And lets not forget all the times she called every maker of salad dressing to see if “seasonings” meant mustard to which she had a terrible allergy. I have so many more stories like this, but I’ll stop now. I’m sure there will be other times for these stories.
If you don’t have leeks, you can use onions I suppose, but I recommend that you pop right out and get some leeks.
Original post: Nov 29, 2014
You have leftovers? Me too. Shepherd’s Pie is a very easy and tasty way to use up extra meat and potatoes. You may have only made this with ground beef or turkey but it’s quite good with diced meat too.
Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
2-3 cups diced turkey
1 cup gravy
2 cups frozen corn – you could use frozen mixed veggies, too
2-3 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded cheese
1. Combine the diced turkey and gravy and layer on the bottom of a baking dish
2. Pour the veggies on top of the turkey.
3. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the veggies.
4. Top with cheese.
5. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes until heated through.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but My Faithful Assistant is not a big fan of meat. I’m never sure if he’s going to be in a mood to eat it or not. He did eat a fair amount of turkey on Thanksgiving and after he took his first bite of Shepherd’s Pie he declared, “Mmmm! This is actually good!”
So there you have it. It’s actually good. High praise. And FYI – this is a wonderful recipe to make ahead and freeze. It’s fast to put together, too. So if you want to avoid listening to your family complain about seeing turkey all weekend, put a couple of these bad boys together and stick them in the freezer for later. If you want to make Muffin Shepherd’s Pies, bake them in foil muffin liners.