yummy chicken breast recipes
ok. So basicly, I eat skinless chicken breasts every weeknight. They're quick, healthy, and I don't mind them. I always find myself marinading them with "Soy Vay" or some BBQ sauce then broiling them. Any other suggestions? I don't mind whipping together a few ingredients or trying another way of cooking them (grilling, pan frying, etc...) I'm trying to cook "healthy", and would love recipe ideas, marinade recommendations (can be bottled!) Thanks!!
I just took a bag of skinless boneless chicken breasts out of the freezer. I was thinking, you know, it might be time to start a thread on Chowhound on this topic.
I like to brine my chicken breasts for 20 minutes before cooking, so that they come out plump and juicy. I basically follow the Joy of Cooking's tips for pan frying the little suckers. It's not a recipe, per se.
I often serve cbs with capers and lemon juice.
My latest favorite is "quick Tandoori style" Granted it isn't authentic tandoori, but I marinate them in low fat plain yogurt loaded with Indian spices, then grill or broil, cut into strips, sprinkle with peanuts and serve with rice. Very moist, flavorful and healthful.
The recipe calls for 2 hours to overnight. 2 hours should be fine. Here's the recipe I've been using:
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1/4 cup low fat plain yogurt
2 cloves minced garlic
1 TBS canola oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/s tsp ground turmeric
4 TBS chopped dry roasted peanuts
Combine ingredients (except peanuts). Marinate chicken in them 2 hours to overnight. Preheat oven to 400. Roast chicken covered for 15 minutes, turn, and roast for an additional 15 minutes. Pour off any fat, reduce heat to 350 and roast for another 15 minutes. Cut chicken into strips, sprinkle with peanuts, serve with basmati rice.
There are numberless Asian marianades that work well with chicken. The simplest is a combination of soy, garlic, ginger and a little oil. I would not marinate skinless chicken for more than an hour or so, but you can experiment. I would not bottle up this marinade in advance, as it might invite botulism.
You can cut up the chicken and add it to stir fries.
Or try making up a batch of chicken cacciatore (or other tomato sauce which can be kept in the freezer in baggies) and "poach" the breast in it.
Also, if health is your reason for eating skinless chicken breasts:
I recommend free range chickens free of hormones and anti-biotics.
Also I consider that eating the same thing every night is probably not as healthful as varying your diet. Fish at least once a week is recommended by most nutritionists. Some meatless meals using alternative proteins could also vary your diet. Pork is said to be as free of fat as chicken. I like the little tenderloins which lend themselves to the marinade above and also to stuffing with fruit, vegetables, or whatever you fancy, then saute-ing in a pan and finishing off in the oven for 15-20 minutes (just be sure the handle isn't plastic). You can make a little pan gravy while the meat rests for 15-20 minutes. One of the benefits of a pork tenderloin is that it can easily be portioned into single meals or meals for a couple and cooked in ways that do not dry it out. Virtually any recipe for chicken will work with pork
My cardinal rule for fish is, Dont Overcook.
My favorite fish dish at the moment: steamed salmon served with a yogurt, sliced cucumber, and garlic (& dill if you like) combo either on the side or on top. While steaming the salmon a few sprigs of dill or slices of lemon on top. I usually do not salt the salmon. And be sure to not overcook it. Check with the tip of paring knife - it should separate in flakes and be just barely done at the center.
Steaming works well with any whole fish, find an online black bean sauce.
Halibut: season and place in baking dish to the size of the fish, Cover with slices of tomato, (opt: dot with some butter and sprinkle with some brown sugar, and bake.
Cod: get the fishmonger to give you some bones & make a quick court bouillon (I like w.wine, carrot, onion, fennel instead of the celery, s&p), then gently poach the cod. You can use the bouillon as a broth or reduce it, add some cream.
Mussels: dead easy. Just besure they are closed before you cook them, open after. Put in a pan with a little wine, minced shallots (even water) and steam them JUST TIL THEY OPEN. I will even go in and remove them as they open. If they are overcooked they get tough. Some people dry pan fry them. You can add all sorts of things to flavor the residual broth as you like. There are gazillions of recipes online. I like them in the shallot & wine with a little cream added at the end after the mussels are removed, and reduced.
Clams, steamed. Dead easy. Just steam them and serve with some butter (or not).
Shrimp: I've recently taken to steaming rather than boiling them. So sweet. I sometimes eat them before incorporating them into another more complex dish. Again, it's key not to overcook them.
Small whole fish like bass (cleaned, scaled of course): Crust on one side (breadcrumbs, nuts, or a combo), saute in butter both sides & finish in the oven.
Flounder (whole, well cleaned, head, scales, & fins removed): cut slits large enough to stuff with bits of garlic, oil fish and dish with olive oil, sprinkle fish generously with oregano and bake about 15-30 minutes depending on size.
And of course you can saute just about anything and add some salsa, chutney, or sauce.
Enjoy, the variations are endless.
When I steam food, I usually put the food on a plate or piece of parchment and then into a metal or bamboo steamer.
Another good method for preparing fish or skinless chicken is en paupiette: take a piece of parchment per serving (size depending on the food to be prepared). Fold in half across the length of the sheet. Cut it into a heart shape. Place the fish, chicken, etc. on one half of sheet along with whatever vegetables and/or seasonings you choose to use. Then along the cut edge, fold the paper over itself by forming little individual pleats that serve to "lock down" the one that went before. Place the packet on a flat sheet pan and bake according to how much food is in it.
There are many other ways of making fish, chicken, etc. I have concentrated on things that are easily done for 1 or 2 persons without the dreaded leftovers and that do not take a lot of time. Also I have mostly avoided baking and broiling which I find tends to overcook fish unless done with complete attention. If you make fish often, it may be worth you while to beg some bones from the fishmonger and make up a big batch of fish stock/court bouillon which you freeze up in baggies. That way you have the basis for a very quick sauce.
Good recipe sources on line Epicurious (though many tend to be too elaborate for midweek menus, there's the advantage of user feedback), Martha Stewart, and BBC.com.uk has a lot of Rick Stein's recipes on-line (and others). There are tons of sites and a recent thread mentioned many of them.
Maybe I don't fix everything the correct way because I try to use standards when I cook to make it easier. I tend to follow what I see from watching chef tv shows in that I dust the fish (in a brown paper bag) and then saute it in peanut oil for about 2 minutes skin side down and then into the oven (400F) for about 8 minutes. For me it is perfect each time. I have been trying to diet this week so I have made catfish, talaphia, whitefish, mahi mahi and yesterday trout. It was wonderful. I am losing weight even though I have been putting a little dab of mayo on the plate.
Good for you, David. Losing weight can be tough.
And though this may start a war, for me the fun of cooking is that there is so many ways to do it and the right way is the way that pleases you, your family, your guests. It's the little variations in technique that make up our individual styles. (Yes, some dishes and procedures need to be done in a particular way to be successful, but most allow for variation. And I confess that I can be compulsive about some of my cooking procedures.)
For dieting & variety, try steaming, too. Some fish and veggies really benefit from that process (salmon, shrimp, cabbage) and develop a kind of natural sweetness. The yogurt and cucumber accompaniment I mentioned for salmon is relatively low cal (if you use lowfat only 3.5 g/ & 0g using no-fat); it takes well to various seasonings and makes a nice side salad, too.
This is one we love...I think it is from Biba
placwe the breast between 2 pieces of plastic or waxed paper
pound the breast flat with a wine bottle
place in the center of the pounded side
1 sage leaf
1 strip procuitto
1 slice fontina cheese
place in an oven proof pan rolled side down with a generous dousing of your favorite white wine and bake until done.
So it isn't the most fat free, once in awhile is fine! Yumm
My doctor would refer that I never eat beef and just eat boneless,skinless chicken breast of fish, so I do a lot of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I like to marinate them in Lawry's Teriyaki marinade and then just throw them under the broiler. I eat those straight with a salad. I will also use those, or just plain broiled skinless breasts as the major ingredient for burritos, or quesadilas. I use flour tortillas, and fill them with sliced up chicken, shredded lettuce, chopped tomoatos, chopped onion and plenty of salsa and hot sauce, and maybe some coooling guacamole.
The quesadillas are easy too, just throw a large flour tortilla on a hot non-stick fry pan, throw some shredded cheese on that, then add what ever appears to you. I like just cheese and sliced jalapenos, but adding sliced chicken breast is also good, as is chopped tomatos. When the tortilla starts to get warm and the cheese starts to melt, fold over one half of the tortilla on the other, then flip the whole thing over a few times, keep the heat low, and let it take its time for the cheese to melt, and the tortilla to grazdualy turn brown. Then slide it on to a plate, cut it in to wedges, and serve with guacamole and/or salsa.
Of course skinless breasts are also the main ingredient for fajitas.
I seem to be hooked on the south of the border flavored dishes right now, I think because the condiments add some zip to plain old chicken brest.
Joy of Cookings tips on pan frying are good. I like using Goya Mojo marinade, then either eating as chicken with sides, or slicing into strips and serving over a salad (one of my favorites is cole slaw mix with rice vinegar and grated fresh ginger - I know, a little homemade 'fusion' cuisine)
For a change, don't marinate them, but after pounding them flat between plastic wrap, sprinkle with salt and herbs and/or spices, then brush with olive oil and grill, or pan-grill in olive oil.
I like black and red pepper; chili powder; crushed garlic; cajun dust; or black and red pepper and lemon zest, then finish with lemon juice.
Our default for years was to put any meat in a bowl with Louisiana hot sauce, fresh ground black pepper, and garlic, mix, and saute in oil.
Many times, I just pound, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, lightly dust with flour, and pan fry them in just the slightest bit of olive oil.
My other favorite way to do them is to very lightly (less than a minute a side) pan fry "slabs" of boneless skinless chicken breasts in olive oil and garlic. I put the chicken aside and saute artichoke hearts for a couple minutes, re-adding the chicken, before dumping a bag of spinach over the top. I finish it off with a simple sauce of parmesan, half and half, and a bit of flour, cover, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Delicious over pasta or rice.
I have a recipe from another board that I haven't tried yet but can't wait to do -- roasted green chile stuffed chicken breasts with a safflower honey glaze. I just need to get my hands on safflower flowers and some good green chiles. It's kind of a long recipe to paraphrase, so email me if you're interested in the recipe.
I don't make breasts much anymore.. most of the time when I just can't think of something else to fix.
When I do fix them I just salt and pepper with a little oil and herbs... into a hot ridged grill pan for 2 min.. make a quarter of turn and go another 2 min. Flip and repeat the process.
Thighs on the other hand are much more tasty.. cheaper and more than likely (if you take the skin off but leave the bone in) just as healthy. I generally just eat these straight out of the oven with no sauce. Here is what I do:
6 chicken thighs
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 teaspoon butter
Preheat oven to 300F.
Season chicken thighs all over with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place skin-side down in a roasting pan or cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
Turn chicken pieces skin-side up and bake for 1 hour.
If you want to use a sauce then use it here. Brush with barbecue or other sauce of your choice.
Bake for another 15 minutes and then brush again.
When my kids were little and "shake and bake" and/or fast food chicken was high on their list, I improvised a healthier (& cheaper) version that is basically the same as DavidH's version with a twist.
Make up a batch of fresh bread crumbs in the processor. Roll the seasoned chicken parts in the unseasoned crumbs and place them on a rack that has been placed on a half sheet pan. Bake at moderately high heat. When the crumbs on top look appetizingly brown and crisp, turn and bake til finished.
Sometimes I would make more to freeze for subsequent meals. In that case, I would remove them slightly ahead as they would be baked again.
If you want dinner at warp speed, cut up the breasts into pieces, but not necessary...
I usually do one of 2 things if I am making breasts:
1- Balsamic: saute an onion and some garlic in a pan and remove, put whole (seasoned with salt and pepper) breasts or pieces in same pan and cook, when chicken is almost done add balsamic vinegar to deglaze pan followed by a dollop of mustard (pref. dijon kind), mix around adding onion back to pan...that's it...
2- Piccata: saute onion, garlic and scallion (mostly white parts, only a bit of the green), set aside and add seasoned (easy on the salt if you are using capers!!) chicken to pan, cook until almost done, deglaze pan with a little white wine and lemon juice, add onions etc. back to pan, add some chopped capers to the mix (if you like 'em, I sure do)...done.
Here's a quick fish bonus:
Poached salmon: cut carrot sticks, celery sticks and onions fairly thin, put them all in a pan and add a bit of water, broth, wine or a combo of any and all, add seasoned fish to pan, on top of veggies, cover pan and poach until salmon is just done...you can eat the veggies with or not, they did their job of supporting the filet up out of the fluid and imparting great flavor to the liquid...
SO good, so easy, so fast...and none of these require any kind of major culinary skills...or more than a saute pan on a burner and a knife...enjoy!
The balsamic idea sounds great; I plan to try it.
I cook salmon in a very similar way; but I use sliced onions, chopped garlic, and chopped fresh ginger, and I saute these ingredients in olive oil, then add the salmon on top. I think I'll try poaching as you described instead of sauteing the next time I make salmon.
One of my faves is fast fake Chicken Parm.
Sauté the breasts in a small amount of olive oil when you flip them over add two cloves of garlic to the pan and a pinch of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Let cook another 30-40 seconds and add a half a cup, or so of pasta sauce per breast up to 2 cups the. Let this simmer for about 5 minuets.
Turn the chicken one last time and sprinkle on a teaspoon or so of grated cheese and then put a thin slice of mozzarella on top of each breast.
Turn off the heat and slam a lid on for another 3-4 mins.
I usually make some angel hair pasta to server under this and a green salad.
All in all this takes less than twenty mins start to finish I tend to have just enough time to boil the pasta, make the salad and set the table.