Category: Chicken

One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetables is one of my favorite comfort foods. Comfort food by definition is, ” food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” For most, that means lots of carbs and lots of sugar. For me, comfort food really does fit the Merriam Webster definition, that is, a traditional dish that brings back childhood memories. So what is it about One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake that makes me nostalgic? I have so many childhood memories of being at my Tayta’s around dinner time. She’d whip up her chicken and vegetable bake. She always had a way of making even the hardest dish seem easy to pull together. It must be all her years of cooking for 8 children. Yes, eight. The apartment always smelled amazing. It was wafting with aromas from a mix of garlic, onion and Arabic spices that made me practically drool as I waited not-so-patiently in the family room watching TV.

One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

My mom learned to cook Arabic dishes from my Tayta. And I’m so happy she did. I grew up eating vegetables, stews, beef, chicken and lamb. You name it, I grew up eating it. I’m pretty sure my baby food consisted of full Arabic meals smoothed out in the blender and served in plastic Barbie bowls. And for that I’m thankful. There is no other comfort to me than cooking with Arabic spices, lots of garlic, lots of onions and lots of olive oil. I know I’ve done something right when my dishes look and smell like my mom and Tayta’s dishes.

One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

A note on “thirds of an oven.” You may have read in some of my recipes, or in other recipes a reference to cooking something in the top or bottom third of an oven. If you’ve baked sweets, you’ve definitely read baking in the middle rack. So here’s the deal with thirds of the oven. Different recipes require direct, medium or indirect heat. Most sweets are safe in the middle rack, where you’re ensured that the bottom won’t burn. While, other recipes, such as roasted vegetables, may require more direct heat to get that roasted and charred flavor.

One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

Open up you oven and take a look. Visually divide your oven into thirds. You’ll see there is a Top third, Middle, and Bottom Third. Keep that in mind when reading recipes. For the One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake, I mention baking in the bottom third of the oven. When I refer to the bottom third, it means place your rack in the lower half of your oven, closer to the heat.

One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

 

One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Chicken Thighs, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons Seven Spice (found at your local Arabic store)
  • 2 tablespoons Sumac
  • Salt, to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Stock

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare the chicken and vegetables
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the seven spice, salt, sumac and garlic
  4. Using your hands, rub the chicken generously, back and front and all over, with the spice mixture, then set aside
  5. Next, toss the potatoes in the spice mixture and set aside
  6. Heat a large cast-iron skillet (or oven safe skillet) over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil
  7. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the chicken skin-side down in an even layer, and the potatoes
  8. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes, until the skin is crispy, then remove and set aside
  9. Cook the potatoes until crispy on the outside, about 2-3 minutes on each side
  10. While the chicken and potatoes are being sautéed, toss together the carrots and onions with the spice mixture.
  11. Remove the potatoes from the pan and add the carrots and onions, cooking for about 5 mins (or until slightly charred)
  12. Turn the heat off
  13. Using tongs or a spatula, arrange the vegetables in your large oven-safe skillet (or in an oven-safe baking dish), then nestle in the chicken, skin-side up.
  14. Pour in 1/4 cup chicken stock
  15. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the bottom third of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are tender and can be poked easy with a fork
  16. Serve warm

Notes

Your oven is divided into thirds. Visually imagine the thirds as: Top third, Middle and Bottom third. When I refer to the bottom third, it means place your rack in the lower half of your oven, closer to the heat.

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Chicken Pot Pie Topped with Biscuits

Chicken Pot Pie

It’s that time, when the mornings and evenings get cooler, when we can’t figure out whether to wear a bulky sweater or a light jacket, when pumpkins are everywhere and people are happy because it’s early fall. Lucky me, I wake up for my day job before the sun comes up, which means I’m constantly debating whether or not I should be wearing a wool coat to work; only to realize that when I leave around 3:30pm that it’s a lovely 75 degrees and I’m overdressed for the heat.

It wasn’t until just a few days ago that I wore my black leather riding boots to work. It was 48 degrees that morning and I had a feeling despite the cold temperatures, my office would be chilly as well… I was right. Lucky for me, I keep a cozy blanket at my desk.

Cold weather goes hand in hand with warm, cozy foods, like soups and stews and … chicken pot pie.

Chicken Pot Pie_3

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Chicken Pot Pie Topped with Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 can [8 count] Reduced Fat Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Reduced Fat Whipping Cream
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 can Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Fat Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup frozen Hashed Browned Potatoes [keep them frozen]
  • 1 bag Frozen Vegetables
  • 1 can Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Sage, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil and sauté the onions until translucent
  3. Add the hashed browns and sauté for 5-7 minutes, then remove from the skillet and set aside
  4. In a medium pot, melt the unsalted butter and slowly whisk in the flour until it becomes clumpy
  5. Add the cream of mushroom soup, whipping cream and chicken stock, stirring well and bring to a boil [if the mixture is too runny, add more flour]
  6. In the meantime, mix together the frozen vegetables, mushrooms, celery, sage and salt in a large bowl
  7. Pour the vegetable mix into the skillet and heat until the celery is soft, about 5 minutes
  8. Mix in the onions and hash browns and then add the cheddar cheese
  9. Once the creamy mixture is boiled, pour it over the heated vegetables and mix until coated
  10. If using an oven-safe skillet place the skillet in the oven and bake for 18 minutes, if not, then transfer the mixture to a large baking dish and bake
  11. Remove the skillet from the oven and top with the biscuits and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the biscuits are browned
  12. Serve warm
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Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Broccoli-and-Cheese-Stuffed-Chicken

Last week I overdid it on red meat. I had lamb chops, a burger, kubbeh, and steak (and probably more that I can’t really remember). I’m pretty sure I had red meat at least once everyday for the entire week.

Generally, for health and preventing high cholesterol reasons, I limit my red meat intake to twice a week – three times max. But last week was a little out of the ordinary meal-wise. While I’m all about free lunches at work, it’s hard to keep track of what I’m eating when I’m hovering outside of a conference room waiting for leftovers and will honestly be willing to awkwardly stand outside the door of a concluding meeting for leftover Roti –it’s that good. I’m thinking I might have had red meat for lunch and dinner on some days.

In an effort to make things right and detox, somewhat, I’ve planned this week’s menu to include chicken, vegetarian meals and fish. That should right my system for a while.

Chicken can get boring – trust me, I know. So to add some flavor to the dinner table, I whipped up Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken. The bake time is a little long, but that just gives you [read as me] some time to sort through the mail.

Broccoli-and-Cheese-Stuffed-Chicken

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 cups Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Frozen Chopped Broccoli
  • 4 slices American Cheese
  • 4 Slices Swiss Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Set aside 3 separate bowls: one with the flour, one with the whisked egg and a teaspoon of water, and one with the breadcrumbs and set aside
  3. Slit the chicken breasts down the middle, the long way, as to butterfly each filet
  4. Place the butterflied chicken between saran wrap and pound until thinned out, repeat with the rest of the filets
  5. Place the filet on a flat working surface (I used a cutting board) layer 1 slice of Swiss cheese and 1 slice of American cheese, fold like a taco and spoon he broccoli in the folded space
  6. Roll up the cheese and place at the top corner of the chicken breast, them roll up the chicken, cheese and broccoli together, and secure with toothpicks
  7. Dip the rolled chicken in the flour, then the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs
  8. Place on a greased baking sheet, seam side down
  9. Repeat with the other chicken
  10. Bake for 30-40 minutes
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Skinny Chicken Salad

Skinny Chicken Salad_3

 

In general, I don’t go out of my way to make lunch unless I’m home around lunchtime on the weekend, or a three-day weekend. That’s because during the week in my morning rush,  I grab something on my way out the door or simply pick up lunch at work.

The nice thing about lunch is that it’s easy. Throw together a salad, or a sandwich and ta-da! Lunch is served. This weekend, I wanted to take a stab at making some better for your chicken salad. You can trade off some of the additions, but stick with the light mayo. Mine only has 20 calories per tablespoon, without compromising taste. A nice combination could be one tablespoon each of chopped walnuts and dried cranberries. Test it out, try it out and see what works for you. I like the crunch of celery and carrots but it’s your prerogative.

 

Skinny Chicken Salad

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Grilled Chicken Breast, 6oz (or left over cooked chicken breast)
  • 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
  • 4 Baby Carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Light Mayo
  • Lemon Juice, a few drops

Instructions

  1. Cube the grilled chicken breast
  2. Add celery and carrots
  3. Mix together with 1 tablespoon mayo and a few drops of Lemon Juice
  4. Serve on toast.
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Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Broccoli Chicken Casserole_3

 

The last time I made rice, it took me exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds. I basically pulled the plastic wrap off of minute rice, stuck it in the microwave and waited impatiently for one minute while it cooked. Needless to say, rice is not my forte. Even more needless to say, I barely eat rice at home, unless it’s minute rice of course. Despite this, I still decided to try my luck with a healthy, lower-calorie version of a rice casserole. I wasn’t sure. I’ve had too many experiences where the rice was either over (mushy) or under cooked. Trust me, if I can do this, so can you.

Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, whole
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 12 Clams
  • 1 cup White Basmati Rice
  • 1 ½ cups Water
  • 3 cups small Broccoli Florets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk Celery, chopped
  • 2-3oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, Boneless Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil, then add long-grain rice and boil for 5 minutes, then turn to low heat, cover and cook 10 minutes. Remove the rice and drain any remaining water. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Coat a large pan with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery, broccoli and salt/pepper to taste. Sauté 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and chicken and stir in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese until melted.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a baking pan, coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes (until cheese melts).
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Chicken Scallopine with Lemon and Caper Sauce

I found a recipe for Pork Scallopine online and it looked absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, we don’t eat pork so I thought why not try out the recipe and make some adjustments for Chicken. The best part about this meal is that it’s done in less than an hour saving time that I don’t really have.

 

Chicken Scallopine
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, halved
  2. ¼ cup All Purpose Flour for dusting
  3. 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  4. 3 small Shallots finely chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  6. 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  7. 3/4 cup White Cooking Wine or Grape Juice
  8. 1 tablespoon Capers small brined
  9. 2 tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
  10. Salt, to taste
  11. Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Gently pound the chicken breasts until about 1/2 inch thick (I pounded them between parchment paper).
  2. Mix salt and pepper with flour and dust the chicken
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat until very hot.
  4. Heat the oil and brown the chicken about 1-2 minutes each side.
  5. You will need to brown them in batches adding a tiny bit of oil each time.
  6. Remove from the pan and the remaining oil.
  7. Sauté the shallot until soft.
  8. Add the lemon juice, stock and wine.
  9. Reduce until halved, about 5 minutes.
  10. Add the chicken back in along with the capers.
  11. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and hot.
  12. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving
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