Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Tools of Torture AKA Chicken Piccata

Remember I mentioned the short ones in my house and how they like to complain? I thought maybe they’d be getting old enough now to try new things and like them, they’re 9 & 12. Honestly. We took them on a cruise 3 or 4 yrs ago and my daughter was brave enough to try octopus, and claimed to like it. Fast forward to mom’s home cooking, nothing doing!

My husband loves capers. Any time we go to an Italian restaurant, or any restaurant for that matter, he gravitates toward menu options containing artichokes or capers, or both if he’s really lucky. We recently spent a weekend in Eureka Springs, AR and tried a new restaurant which got me thinking about changing things up, as I am wont to do. I decided it was time I try my hand at chicken piccata. It’s not really as intimidating as I’d thought. I suppose it was the capers I was afraid of. So not scary, they’re just little pickled flower buds. Hah. I never knew that. They’ve been around for thousands of years. Interesting.

Here is what mine looked like. Please refrain from licking your monitor. ūüôā

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Super Simple Chicken Piccata

3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened to about 1/2″ thickness
1/2 C flour
salt & pepper to taste
2tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp capers drained
1/2 C white wine
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C water
3 tbsp butter cubed
hot cooked angel hair pasta

1. Put oil in skillet and heat on med-hi.
2. Dredge chicken breasts in flour, season with salt & pepper and put in skillet. Cook approximately 5 min on each side, or until chicken is browned and is no longer pink inside.
3. Remove chicken to plate & keep warm.
4. Put capers in skillet, slightly smash to release brine & heat through (about 30 seconds).
5. Pour white wine into skillet & deglaze, scraping browned bits from the bottom. Heat to a low boil and allow wine to reduce for approximately 2 minutes, or until wine is reduced to half.
5. Pour in lemon juice and water, bring to a boil again. Add in cubed butter. Stir until sauce thickens.
6. I used angel hair pasta just because the sauce is a lighter sauce. Put chicken on pasta & top with sauce. Be sure to eat the capers too!

Husband and I were quite pleased with the resulting meal. It was delicious and different from my normal repertoire. My kids, who will eat a jar of pickles or pickled okra faster than any human should (they’d even drink the pickle juice if I let them) refused the capers. Flat out. And they didn’t care much for the sauce either. My son refused to eat the pasta and my daughter developed a sudden belly ache. We thought it was a perfectly lovely meal, they missed the boat. Some day they’ll appreciate my kitchen experimentation!

Enjoy!

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Super EASY Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

Long time no hear, I know. I”m a slacker. But I”m here to share a really delicious and easy recipe. Really what I wanted to title it was ‘The chicken soup recipe for those who don’t cook’ or maybe the ‘if you can boil chicken, you can make this’ but I just thought it’d be a little too long. Crazy I know.

I’ve always loved a nice hot bowl of chicken noodle soup when it’s chilly out. I mean, really, who doesn’t? But I really want to avoid all the salt in the condensed soups, besides, isn’t fresh always better? So, here we are. This really is easy, so if you want a tough, complicated recipe, you’ll just have to go elsewhere! Are you ready? Ok, here we go.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 containers of chicken broth (32oz each)

2 to 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

3 carrots-peeled and sliced

3 celery stalks-sliced

1 med to small onion diced

1-2tbsp butter

1 tsp each dried basil & thyme

1-1/2 c rotini cooked al dente OR 12oz pkg frozen egg noodles

salt to taste

Instructions

1. in a large pot, chicken breasts w/at least 1-2″ water to cover them. boil until chicken is completely cooked.

2. in a separate large pot, melt butter, add onion/carrots/celery and cook until veggies are crisp/tender

3. pour in chicken broth, salt & spices. bring to a rolling boil & reduce heat to a nice simmer, or you can leave it on a nice gentle rolling boil for a while, it won’t hurt anything, just keep an eye on it.

4. Remove chicken from pot DON’T THROW OUT THE WATER¬†and either cut into chunks or shred using two forks-this one is your preference, I like it both ways. (My family has decided they prefer the frozen egg noodles to the rotini. I cook the noodles in the chicken broth/water, then put in the pot with the soup mixture)

5. Add the chicken, as well as the water used to cook the chicken to the bigger pot w/the broth.

***NOTE: If you have the time, you can let it simmer for a few hours, it will condense and strengthen the flavors, as well as making the chicken really tender. Or you can add the noodles directly after adding the chicken, let it cook another 10 minutes or so and serve.

6. When noodles are done, add them to the big pot w/the chicken broth etc. Let it cook another 10 minutes or so and serve. It goes really well with crusty bread or biscuits for a nice hearty chilly evening dinner.

If it’s not soupy¬†enough for¬† you, you can always add more broth. I’ve done it and it makes a really big batch, but in my world, that’s not a bad thing!

This is just so darned simple, and delicious, I seem to find myself making it about once a week. At first my kids were really excited. Now, well, not so much. It used to be ‘Oh yay! chicken noodle soup!’ Now its ‘oh great. soup again.’ But they eat it, b/c it’s good and it’s what they get for dinner. They know I”m not a short order cook, you get what you get.

Enjoy!

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Green Chicken Chili 2 Ways

I know, ‘green’ and ‘chili’ in the same sentence can be taken a few ways. But, if you like spicy, even just a little spice, I think you’ll like this recipe. I say ‘2 ways’ because it can be prepared stove top or in your slow cooker. Have I mentioned how much I ‚̧ my slow cooker? I had this on my menu and really wanted to watch my favorite football team & #W2B¬†play #OSUvsUT. The game was going to be over about dinner time, which would leave me scrambling to get dinner ready. Hmmm, I wonder if I can put this in the slow cooker. The answer? YES! Since you can do it either way, I’ll include instructions for both. Enjoy!

Green Chicken Chili 2 Ways

1 lb chicken cut into bite sized pieces

1 poblano pepper, membranes & seeds removed, and chopped

1/2 medium sized onion chopped

2 cloves garlic pressed or minced

1tsp cumin

2 cans chicken broth 14.5 oz each

2 cans pinto beans drained and rinsed 15oz each

1 bottle salsa verde, 16oz

4 corn tortillas grated w/cheese grater or food processor

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

1. saute onions, pepper and garlic just until softened.

2. place all ingredients into 4qt slow cooker.

3. cook on low for 6 to 8 hrs, or high for 4 hours.

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS

1. cook chicken in large pot in 1 tbsp oil approx 5 min.

2. remove chicken from pan and cook onion, peppers and garlic for 3 min.

3. add the rest of the ingredients, including grated tortillas, into the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and fresh cilantro if desired. If you like it spicier, I suppose you could leave in the seeds from the pepper, I don’t know how spicy poblanos are, but w/o the seeds and the green salsa, it’s got a nice warmth to it w/o being painful. Yum! And it’s healthy to boot!

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Over the summer, my slow cooker is my best friend. In cooler weather, it’s my friend too! I’ve got several delicious recipes I like to use it for. Our summer ended rather abruptly this year <NO, I”m not complaining!> so rather than waiting for October to make soups & stews, I get to do it now! One of my husband’s favorites is this one I’m getting ready to share. I got this from¬†my husband’s twin sister. Thanks Kim!¬†I will tell you , I didn’t take any pictures of it, it doesn’t photograph well, but it’s super easy and delicious! It’s warm and hearty, without being really heavy.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/2C wild rice

5-1/2C water

2 stalks celery sliced thin

2 carrots peeled and sliced

1 medium onion chopped

2 tbsp chicken boullion crystals or 3 chicken bullion cubes crushed

2 cans chicken breast

2 tbsp flour

1C heavy cream or half & half

1. rinse wild rice. Place first¬†6 ingredients in slow cooker. Set to high and cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until rice is tender. (if not cooked long enough, the rice is crunchy….gross!)

2. pour undrained cans of chicken in crockpot. Mix flour and cream/half & half and pour into crock pot. Cook another hour or so.

Serve with crusty bread. Delicious and you hardly had to do a thing! If you need to, I think you could totally cook this on low all day, and then add the chicken/cream when¬†you get home from work and give it time to finish cooking. My children grumble and don’t like it, but hey, that’s more for us, right? ūüėÄ Enjoy!

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The JUICIEST grilled chicken you will EVER have!

Do you love your grill in summer? I mean, really LOVE it? You have to check out this recipe then, because your grill will be loving you right back!

Grilled Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:  2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4C balsamic vinegar

1. Mix marinade and place in a plastic storage bag.
2. Place chicken in the storage bag, close it and turn to coat chicken.
3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning once, turn more if refrigerating longer.
4. Heat grill to medium heat.
5. Grill chicken on covered grill for 5 to 7 minutes, then turn and grill another 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
6. Let chicken stand 5 minutes before cutting (Just like red meat, it will let the juices go back into the meat)
7. Serve with fresh veggies and a green salad and be amazed at how tender and juicy the chicken is!

Enjoy!

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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

So you remember my post about all the ways I love garlic? Here’s a quick, easy and healthy way to get it into your diet!

Garlic chicken stir fry

1 lb chicken cubed

1 bunch green onions, sliced diagonally

1 can sliced water chestnuts drained

12 to 15 cloves garlic sliced very thin

16 oz pkg fresh mushrooms  sliced

1 C water

2 tbsp chicken broth

3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp canola oil

1. in a wok, heat oil to med/high and stiry fry the vegetables 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. remove from pan.

2. put chicken in pan and cook until no longer pink, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.

3. mix chicken broth, water and soy sauce.

4. push chicken to the side of the wok, pour liquid mixture into center of wok. stir and cook until bubbly and slightly thickened.

5. add vegetables, including water chestnuts, back to wok. stir and cook until completely heated through and blended.

6. serve over hot cooked rice.

Delish and nutrish! It goes together really easily and is healthy. And the best part, it’s even better the next day! enjoy! Sorry, once again, no pics, we were starving and dove right in!

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Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings

I love me some chicken and dumplings, but have never attempted making it. The only times I’ve ever had it, it’s been prepared by¬†a little old¬†lady and I know for a fact, these little ladies take hours to boil the chicken, bone the chicken, make the dumplings-by hand-from scratch. And I’m also pretty certain there’s no real recipe involved. One main reason I have not attempted, I am impatient to the 10th degree, so there is no way I am going to undertake a recipe that will take me that long. Imagine my joy coming across a recipe, which I immediately altered, that would yield the delicious, golden comfort food in my crock pot! AAAAAAHHHH a choir of angels singing in the back ground! So, here is my version, which turned out incredibly well. So well in fact I will be making this again, with one minor alteration: more chicken broth. I used all I had, but another can I think would’ve made it perfect.

Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings

1lb boneless skinless chicken cut into 1″ pieces

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can chicken broth

1 can water

1 onion finely chopped

2 tsp pepper (if desired)

1 can refrigerated biscuits (10 count) torn

Step 1.  place everything into a 4 qt slow cooker and mix.

Step 2. cook on high 4 to 5 hours (or low 6 to 8 hours-while you’re at work), or until chicken is cooked through. Stir after 2 to 3 hours.

Step 3.¬†thirty min prior to eating, put torn biscuits into the crock pot and stir to make sure biscuits don’t stick together.

Step 4. ladle into bowls and serve with biscuits or crusty bread.

Soup is very creamy, if you like it to be a bit thinner, add a second can of chicken broth (I will next time). To cut some calories, next time I will use the reduced fat version of cream of chicken soup and reduced fat biscuits. That will cut some of the guilt, but not much of the flavor.

MMMMM perfect for a busy work day and cold weather. Yum-o-rama!

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Italian Flag One Pan Dinner

As per my norm, I saw this recipe and immediately altered it! You know me, I can’t seem to leave anything alone! This is really delicious, extremely simple and very healthy. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and, wait for it….TASTE! I promise, you will so love it!

Italian Flag One Pan Dinner

1lb chicken cut into 1″ pieces

1 can 18 oz cannelini/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans diced tomatoes-one plain and one Italian

16oz frozen chopped broccoli/broccoli florets thawed

1C orzo

1 tsp Italian seasoning

6 garlic cloves pressed (more or less, depending on what you like)

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain.

While orzo is cooking, in a large skillet, cook chicken in olive oil 5 to 6 min, or until no longer pink. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add garlic to remaining oil and cook about 1 minute. 

Put tomatoes, beans and italian seasoning into skillet and bring to a boil.

Add in broccoli and chicken, reduce heat stir to blend and allow all ingredients to com to the same temperature.

Put orzo in the chicken mixture and stir to blend.

Serve with a nice green salad and you are done, done, so done!

Calorie info: 1-1/2 C =approx 350 calories.

You can’t beat that! Enjoy and do tell me if you give this a try!¬† So sorry I have no pics to share, we dove in so fast, I didn’t have a chance to grab my camera!

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Tex-Mex Chicken Chowder

OMG! Once again, I read it wrong and it turned out ah-maz-ing! Sorry my friends, I don’t have a pic to share, it was gone too quickly and I thought if it too late! Sooooo good!

Tex-Mex Chicken Chowder

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast chopped

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies

1 C salsa verde/green enchilada sauce

1 each chopped green, red, and yellow bell peppers

1 medium onion chopped

3C water

2C frozen corn

2 to 3 fresh cloves of garlic chopped or pressed

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp salt

1C (8oz) reduced fat sour cream

1/2C (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1. in a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook chicken, peppers, garlic and onion in oil until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in water, corn, rice, green chilies, green salsa, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until rice is tender.

2. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and cheese until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips and chives if desired.

So good, and reheats well. My husband wants me to use a Poblano pepper next time I make this. It would add a different flavor.  If  you like Tex-Mex food, you will so love a nice hot bowl of this on a cold day! Enjoy!

If you want to cut some of the calories, feel free to omit the cheese and use fat free sour cream.

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Tuscan Chicken

By now, if you’ve been hanging out with me on a regular basis, you know I love me some Italian food. I think in a former life I really must have been Italian. I love the food, the wine, the language sounds incredible (although I know not a single word besides names of pasta), the scenery. A trip to Italy is at the top of my bucket list. So, it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that when I found this recipe, I ran around in little circles like a yippy dog (minus the tinkle on the floor!). It’s delicious, and even better, EASY!¬† Are you ready???

I know, right? Makes me hungry right now!

 

Tuscan Chicken

1C chopped onion

1tbsp minced garlic (or several cloves pressed)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can Italian diced tomatoes, drained

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1C each chopped red and yellow bell pepper

1tbsp olive oil

3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/4C shredded parmesan

2/3C chicken broth

hot cooked pasta (I prefer linguini)

1. saute onions and peppers in oil 4 to 5 min or until crisp tender

2. add garlic and cook 1-2 min or until veggies are tender

3. place chicken in a resealable bag and flatten to 1/2″ and place over veggies

4. add tomatoes, broth, vinegar and salt

5. bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.

See what I mean? EASY! If the red and yellow peppers are way expensive (like most of the time around here) it works well with green peppers as well, they just give a different flavor.

This is how I like it! A green veggie on the side and nice glass of zin to go with! Mangia!

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