chicken

Spicy Chicken Southwest Salad

Spicy Chicken Southwest SaladCan I be real for a minute?? I now have a one year old. EEK! I get it now when people say kids grow up fast…where did the time go? When our little man was first born we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and now we have no idea what it was like before him. The laughs, smiles, and squeals just melt my heart. He plays like it’s his job (busiest boy in the world) and I swear he can run faster than I can. Something I must work on I suppose…Maybe less galette and more salad? Only if it’s this spicy chicken Southwest salad, of course! (Nice transition, right? Totally worked real hard on that one. Also, not giving up the galette. That would be silly.)

Spicy Chicken Southwest SaladThis is a super simple, weeknight, use-all-your-leftover-veggies, I-can’t-even-think-of-making-dinner kind of meal. And it’s AMAZING! Sometimes simple is better than the hard stuff and this is definitely quick and easy. Perfect for someone who wants to be somewhat healthy but also has to chase a one year old that they can’t keep up with (aka…me).

Spicy Chicken Southwest SaladMy absolute favorite part is that I usually have everything I need to make it because the ingredients are staples in my house. And actually I lied because I have another absolute favorite part…there’s not actually a recipe! MIND BLOWN! If you say you can’t cook because you can’t follow a recipe, this is good news for you. All you really need to do is follow a shopping list. Or maybe just go find these things in your fridge or pantry. 


Spicy Chicken Southwest SaladTravis and I probably have this once a week. I’ll have Travis grill up some extra chicken if we’re already grilling, I cut it up, and either freeze or refrigerate it depending on how quickly I plan on using it. Then it’s just a matter of chopping, heating some ingredients up (if you so choose) and eating. Nom, nom!

Spicy Chicken Southwest Salad
Hot and spicy chicken DEFINITELY spices up this Southwest salad!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. Lettuce (Romaine, or your favorite kind), ripped or cut into bite size pieces
  2. Grilled chicken, cubed
  3. Hot sauce
  4. Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  5. Frozen corn
  6. Avocado, sliced or diced
  7. Hard boiled egg, cubed
  8. Cheddar cheese, grated
  9. Tortilla chips, crushed
  10. Ranch dressing
  11. lime, for garnish
Additional Options
  1. Tomato, diced
  2. Bell pepper, diced
  3. Red onion, finely chopped or diced
Instructions
  1. Mix desired amount of hot sauce with the grilled chicken (I like mine hot so I add quite a bit!). I usually heat up the chicken and hot sauce in a saute pan if it's not already warm, but this is optional.
  2. Heat the black beans and frozen corn in a saute pan over medium heat. Again, optional but if you eat it cold, please make sure to use canned or fresh corn so you don't break a tooth!
  3. Layer desired ingredients over lettuce. Top with ranch dressing and crushed tortilla chips. Finish with a squeeze of lime to garnish.
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Focaccia Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Focaccia Grilled Chicken SandwichIf you missed my love story about focaccia, you can read it here. The love is real. So real, in fact, that my recipe makes 2 whole loaves of the magical bread. That’s stupendous if you are having guests for dinner. It might even be stupendous if you are super duper hungry and plan to eat an entire loaf in one sitting. Don’t judge, please. I can neither confirm nor deny that this may or may not have happened.

Focaccia Grilled Chicken SandwichHowever, since it’s currently just Travis and I typically eating the focaccia recipe at our house, we usually have plenty of leftovers. Perfect for creative leftover recipes like this focaccia grilled chicken sandwich! I’d like to say that this is a totally Italian take on a chicken sandwich…But then I threw some guacamole in there and made it a bit of a mutt of a recipe. Sorry I’m not sorry about that. It’s too delicious to be sorry.

Why is this focaccia chicken sandwich a winner? The bread is salty and rich, the cheese and guac are creamy, and the chicken and veggies are fresh and delicious. Oh, and then throw some herbs/spices on there and BOOM! You have a taste explosion. In your mouth.


Focaccia Grilled Chicken SandwichSo, first make the focaccia and enjoy it for all it’s worth with some pasta or whatever you may desire. Then, take what’s left and make yourself a sandwich that will leave you asking for more.

Focaccia Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Yields 4
Chicken sandwich with an Italian twist...focaccia bread, mozzarella cheese, and Italian herbs
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 thick loaf of focaccia*
  2. 1 pound grilled chicken, sliced
  3. 4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (about 6-8 ounces total)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian herb blend
  5. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
  7. 1 tomato, sliced
  8. guacamole (about 2 tablespoons per sandwich)
Instructions
  1. Slice the focaccia loaf into quarters. Slice each quarter in half so there is a top and bottom half.
  2. On a parchment lined baking sheet, place the bottom halves of the focaccia topped with the grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, oregano/Italian herb blend, and red pepper flakes. Put the top halves of bread on the baking sheet next to the bottoms halves, cut side up (so they can toast).
  3. Broil on high until the cheese melts and the bread is lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.
Notes
  1. *I used my focaccia recipe to make this sandwich.
  2. This is only a guide to a sandwich. Please, make it your own with this recipe as a starting point! Then share what you made in the comments!
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White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken EnchiladasYou want to know a secret?? I. LOVE. CHEESE. It’s actually not really a secret. I’d happily tell everyone I could that I love cheese. I just had to get your attention somehow…sorry :). If you have the same affinity for cheese that I do, you will most definitely love these white chicken enchiladas. No joke. I had a hard time photographing these enchiladas because they basically look like a pile of melted cheese all said and done. *sigh* Ok, yes, there are worse things in the world than too much cheese. But still, a real struggle to photograph.

White Chicken EnchiladasThis is a recipe I grew up on…not sure where my mom got it to be honest. But it was something relatively easy, quick, and tasty. Also, apparently with kids you make what they like and will eat. Speaking of which, my little one is finally eating some real food and it seems like he already has his opinions at 5 months old. I guess I thought for some weird reason that he would love everything but he tends to favor grains and avocado (and milk, of course!). Hmm. Sounds like me now that I think about it. I think we must be related or something…

White Chicken EnchiladasThis is really just the most basic form of this recipe, and it’s perfectly wonderful the way it is. However, you can spice it up a bit if you so choose. My mom would add chopped onions to the “adult” enchiladas because my sister and I were too grossed out by onions as children apparently. I’m starting to like onions more and I’ve found if you puree or grate the onions that you really only get some delicious flavor without too much of the texture of the onion. I’m sure you could add beans to this recipe, or your other favorite taco/enchilada fillings. When it comes down to it, it’s really all about the sauce and the cheese. You could cover a piece of cardboard with this sauce and cheese and it would be delicious…yeah, that was too far. Don’t attempt that. You get the point though.


White Chicken EnchiladasIf you love cheese, or chicken, or enchiladas, or anything good in life, then these are worth a shot. Perfectly creamy and cheesy with a little kick from the diced green chiles…yum!! Comfort food at its finest.

White Chicken Enchiladas
Yields 10
Creamy and cheesy chicken enchiladas with a kick!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 2 tablespoons flour
  3. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  4. 1 cup sour cream
  5. 1 can diced green chiles (4.5 ounces)
  6. 1 pound cooked chicken breast, cubed*
  7. 16 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or a Mexican cheese blend)
  8. 10 flour tortillas
  9. Salsa or cilantro, optional, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, chicken broth, sour cream, and green chiles. Stir constantly until it comes to a simmer and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add a scoop of the sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish (about 1/4 cup) to keep the tortillas from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Fill each tortilla with a little cheese and chicken (you will need to split the cheese so that you end up with a little extra for the top, but use all the chicken between the 10 enchiladas). Roll, and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  4. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through. Add any remaining shredded cheese on top and put back into the oven until the cheese melts.
  6. Serve with salsa, cilantro, or your favorite toppings.
Notes
  1. *To cook my chicken breasts, I coated them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven on a foiled-lined baking sheet for 25-35 minutes.
  2. Sometimes I can't fit all 10 enchiladas in one pan, so you can use two smaller pans instead (this freezes well once prepared).
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Shepard’s Pot Pie

Shepards Pot PieShepard’s pot pie. What exactly is that? Well that’s a good question since it’s kind of something made up from mixing other recipes together. Think chicken pot pie with a mashed potato (like Shepard’s pie) topping. Usually in my chicken pot pie recipe I use an exorbitant amount of potatoes for the chicken to potato to other vegetable ratio. So, why not just make potatoes a star with a mashed potato topping?? Genius, I know. It was bound to happen someday.

Shepards Pot PieChicken pot pie/Shepard’s pie/Shepard’s pot pie are recipes that usually go well on a cold winter night since they tend to warm your belly and your soul. Well, folks, here it is April 8th in southern Michigan and there is snow on the ground and there’s more snow in the forecast. So let’s forget the whole “it’s good in the winter” thing and say that this would be a perfect April dish when the snow is coming down in parts of the country where there should be no more snow for the season. It’s okay, next week will probably be 80 degrees and sunny based on the weather patterns here.

Shepards Pot PieEnough about the crazy weather and back to the Shepard’s pot pie. Everyone has preferences for what they like in their pot pie recipes. Please, add whatever you like. I’m not a fan of mushrooms and onions aren’t huge on my list of favorites (so I only added a little onion). Some people love those so add mushrooms and more onion if that’s you’re pleasure. You can add frozen corn…that would be delicious. You could even make this with ground beef instead of chicken if you wanted to really go the Shepard’s pie route! Hmmm, I didn’t think of that before but that would have been good. Whoever tries it with ground beef, let me know how it goes.
Shepards Pot Pie

Shepard's Pot Pie
Serves 6
Chicken Pot Pie...with a mashed potato twist!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Ingredients for the Mashed Potatoes
  1. 3-4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. 2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon to top the potatoes before baking
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. salt and pepper, to taste
Ingredients for the Pot Pie
  1. 1/3 cup butter
  2. 1/3 cup flour
  3. 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 carrots, diced
  5. 2 stalks of celery, diced
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 2/3 cup milk
  8. 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  9. 1 pound chicken, cooked and cubed
  10. 3/4 cup frozen peas
  11. 1 refrigerated pie crust
Directions for the Mashed Potatoes
  1. Add diced potatoes into a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, milk, and salt and pepper into the same pot. Once melted, add the potatoes back into the pot and mash.
  4. Set aside.
Directions for the Pot Pie
  1. While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1/3 cup of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until melted. Add in the flour, onion, carrots, celery, and salt and pepper. Stir constantly while cooking for 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are just getting tender.
  2. Remove from heat and add in the milk and chicken stock.
  3. Heat over medium to medium-high heat until mixture comes to a simmer, stirring constantly. Let simmer for 1 minute, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Add in the cooked chicken and peas and simmer until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Press the pie crust into an 8x8 pan (on the bottom and up the sides of the pan). This might take some finagling to fit but luckily pie crust is forgiving in this case.
  7. Pour the chicken pot pie mixture into the uncooked pie crust. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes, making sure to press the potatoes all the way to the edges. Top with 1 tablespoon of butter (cut into smaller pieces to spread over entire top).
  8. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet (in case it spills over) and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
  9. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. If you don't let the pot pie sit after baking, the chicken and veggie mixture will be thin and tend to run everywhere. Letting it sit for a bit helps the mixture to stay together a bit more while serving.
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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken ParmesanEvery once in awhile I get a hankering for a classic and simple dish like Chicken Parmesan. I mean, you can’t go wrong with a classic. It just so happens that this is a fairly classic recipe made oh-so-delicious with a panko breadcrumb and Parmesan coating. If you aren’t familiar with panko breadcrumbs, think breadcrumbs but lighter and crispier. You can find them in basically every grocery store, if not every one, so don’t worry that they’ll be hard to find. It’s worth it. For real.

Chicken ParmesanI’ve only ever actually made Chicken Parmesan maybe a couple times in my life. This is a dish that’s so easy to order at a Italian restaurant and it’s pretty much always delicious. Where can you really go wrong with breaded chicken, cheese, and pasta? It’s like you’d have to *try* to make those ingredients taste bad. Even though I’ve made it before, I for some reason was convinced that it would be hard to make and would be a disaster. False. Totally false. This recipe is not hard to make at all. And it totally was not a disaster. Note to future Steph thinking Chicken Parmesan is hard to make…IT IS SO EASY!

Chicken ParmesanThe main advice I have for anything breaded is just to prep well. As you may or may not know, I am a very experienced cook so you should all listen to any and all advice that I have. That’s a joke…my experience is limited. However, you can be assured that any advice I post is from personal experience. So that’s a win for you! Once you have the 3 pans (flour mixture, egg mixture, and breading) ready to go, you’re basically golden. The rest is just a little cooking on the stove top and in the oven. Easy peasy.


Chicken ParmesanThe moral of the story is that no matter how delicious Chicken Parmesan can be at a restaurant, you can easily make it just as (if not more) delicious in your own home. Your own home, folks.

Chicken Parmesan
Serves 4
Simple and delicious Chicken Parmesan with a light and crispy breading
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. salt and pepper, to taste
  4. 2 eggs, whisked
  5. 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs
  6. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  7. 1/2 cup olive oil
  8. 2 tablespoons butter
  9. 1 cup pasta sauce
  10. 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  11. basil, optional, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place chicken (1-2 breasts at a time) in a plastic zip top bag. Use a rolling pin to pound each chicken breast to about 1/2" thick. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the flour and salt and pepper, to taste. Pour mixture onto on a plate or large flat pan and set aside. Have another pan (with edges) ready with the whisked egg and salt and pepper, to taste. In a 3rd pan, mix the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dredge the pounded chicken in the flour mixture, coat with the egg mixture (let extra slightly drain off), and finally coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium to medium high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the dredged chicken into the pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side, until just golden brown.
  5. Place the chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover each piece of chicken with about 1/4 cup of pasta sauce, mozzarella slices, and basil.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve over pasta.
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