Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Healthy Alternative to Deep Fried Chicken Fingers

You Will Need:

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced diagonally into strips
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, or (1/2 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice added and let curdle for 1 minute) 
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes, or crushed Ramen Noodles
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 tsp powdered garlic
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp canola oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, drizzle canola oil over bottom of a shallow baking pan. Pour buttermilk (or milk/lemon juice) and egg mixture into gallon sized Ziploc bag, and add the sliced chicken breast. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, and refrigerate it for 15-20 minute, while you mix the dry ingredients.

Combine corn flakes or crushed Ramen, breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, and pepper in another Ziploc bag. After chilled, remove the chicken strips from the wet mixture bag and drop them into the dry bag, shaking and turning the bag over to coat the strips completely, “shake n bake style”.

Arrange the strips, evenly spaced, on the oil-drizzled pan, and bake on center rack for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes. For crispier fingers, bake for slightly longer, or increase oven temp slightly.

Serve the fingers with a light ranch dressing, or ketchup, for a healthier alternative to their deep fried counterparts.The chicken offers almost 50% of your daily protein needs in just one serving, according to a similar recipe from, and the Omega-3 fatty acids in cholesterol- free canola oil, just a tablespoon a day,has been shown to reduce the risk of America’s deadliest cancer, colon cancer, in men and women.

This recipe contains almost all of my family’s favorite meal items into one dish, and was super easy to make, and can also be easily adapted to suit certain tastes and levels of pickiness. (I like the Hunt’s with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, but accidentally opened the plain kind for this recipe, it’s good either way)

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

You Will Need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly tenderized
1 large handful of baby spinach leaves, makes 1-1/4 cups chopped
1 cup of finely grated cheddar cheese (1/4 of it set aside)
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Pam cooking spray
8X8 Glass baking dish
Cutting board
Sharp knife

Preheat your oven to 375*F and spray the bottom of your baking dish with a very light coat of Pam, (it helps to remove the baked on bits of cheese when you wash later!) Rinse the baby spinach under fresh clean water and I like to remove the stems, but you don’t have to. Arrange your spinach leaves into a small pile and chop them until they are in uniform thumb-nail size pieces. In a large mixing bowl add your can of diced tomatoes, the chopped spinach, 3/4 of your cheese, and a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir until everything is throughly mixed, then cover with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge until your chicken is prepared.

To prepare your chicken, wash your hands with warm soapy water, get a clean dry cutting board, and lightly tenderize both chicken breasts with a meat mallet or your fist. Slice gently into the longest side of the breast, making a neat cut right into the center of the meat, but not too close to the top or the bottom , essentially making a pocket out of the center of the chicken. After handling the raw meat, wash your hands again.

With clean dry hands, scoop spoonfuls of the tomato cheese and chopped spinach mixture into the chicken pocket, and press down gently on the top of the chicken to squeeze out any air bubbles. Place the chicken in your glass baking dish and then top it with any extra mixture you have and finally sprinkle the last 1/4 cup of grated Cheddar on top. Finish the prep with a dash of salt and pepper on top, then put the whole thing in the oven, uncovered, for 35 minutes. I served it with some leftover fried rice from another meal, but it’s pretty filling and delicious just by itself, or perhaps with some garlic bread or a small Caesar salad. If the taste of fresh chopped spinach is too much for your sensitive tastebuds, feel free to steam the handful of leaves for 10-15 seconds until slightly wilted, but I love the texture that the freshly chopped stuff gives the meal, compared to the slightly squishy tomatoes and the juicy chicken breast.

In my research for this post, I signed up to receive a newsletter from Hunts Tomato Products, it’s chock full of special offers, tips, promotions, the occasional coupon, and recipes, all related to your local area, and you also can receive a great Mama-friendly meal idea guide called ReadySetEat, which can help you with those last minute dinner decisions. For more information you can click here. Don’t worry, in the week since I signed up, I have not received a single bit of evil Stuff Posing As Mail.

Happy Cooking!

Nothing quite like the summer, and moving meals out of the house. After a long hard day of work, or play, it’s nice to enjoy the cooler hours of the day with a family meal out on the patio, or porch, and Cajun Fried Chicken evokes all those memories, with just a few simple ingredients and almost no time at all.

Cajun Fried Chicken

What You’ll Need:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
i cup of Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp of Kosher Salt
I Tbsp Cajun Blackened Seasoning
1 cup Canola Oil
2 Eggs
Paper Towels

Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breasts and set them aside. Mix the bread crumbs, the kosher salt, and the blackened seasoning in a shallow dish, and set that aside. Heat the oil in a frying pan on med-high, so that when you drop a splash of water in the pan it sizzles for just a second and then evaporates.

Crack the two eggs into another shallow dish, and scramble them together, making sure the consistency is even, you don’t want to much egg white, it should all be one color. When your frying pan is hot, dip a chicken breast into the egg, coat it well, then quickly drop it into the bread crumbs, piling more on top. Flip the breast over in the bread crumbs than quickly transfer it to the pan, and be aware that the oil is going to jump around a little bit on you when that chicken hits it. Sizzling oil hurts, so I wouldn’t let kids help with this part.

Let your four pieces of chicken cook on the one side for between 5-8 minutes, until a golden reddish brown, then flip and cook on the other side. When the chicken is cooked through, remove the breast pieces from the pan and set them on some paper towels to drain the excess oil off and get nice and crispy.

Serve the Cajun Fried Chicken with some okra, green beans, or mashed potatoes. It’s sure to be a classic for your family in no time, and it’s pretty comparable to Popeye’s Chicken, without the hassle of going to the fast food place to get it.

Happy Cooking!

One of my New Year’s resolutions is always to eat less at the fast food places, and eat better food more often at home. This not only saves us money, but gives us more meals at home with everyone gathered around the table, and keeps better tabs on the nutrition that we consume. With my family’s slightly crazy schedule, we sometimes pass like ships in the night, so a meal that can be made and reheated later with no side effects to things like taste and texture is really important, and since I’m a mom with a curious little boy who is starting to pull himself up on stuff, it helps if it can be made quickly with simple ingredients. I don’t mind checking the oven every once in a while for an hour or so. but I’m not a big fan of intensive time consuming or tedious recipes, unless the end result is something spectacular, like a standing rib roast or a loaf of bread that requires lots of TLC. This recipe comes from “Mama’s Recipe Box”  and would be perfect for us or any busy family just getting back into the swing of things after the New Year.

Zesty (Cheesy) Chicken And Rice Casserole

The first part of this recipe calls for an immediate disclaimer. I, Jillian Rebecca, ran out of cheese. And forgot to get more before I wrote this post. So we need to pretend, for the record, that there is cheese in this dish, because if there isn’t any cheese in this dish its just not as good. It’s good, I’ll be the first to say its awesome without cheese, but with cheese its PERFECT. Doesn’t matter what kind of cheese, as long as it can be shredded, and you have lots of it. Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or perhaps cheddar are some excellent choices, stronger flavor is great, meltability is important.  (Another disclaimer, there is an excellent possibility that meltability is not a word. But it sounds GREAT!)

So apart from the fact that I have no cheese, this recipe is amazing. One of my favorites, it’s something that I planned for a week. (Yes, I planned for a week and still forgot the cheese. I know.) The simplicity, quick and easy assembly and flavor are just perfect for the winter days, and your whole family is going to want to know how to make it. It can also be wrapped up and served at a potluck, or gifted to a neighbor who might be going through a hard time, so print out and keep a copy of the recipe handy!

You Will Need:
2 boxes of RiceARoni Chicken Fajita Flavored Rice
1-½ cups water
2 cups of frozen chicken fajita strips (available in your grocer’s freezer)
1 large (29oz) can of black beans
1 green pepper
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
9 X 13 glass baking dish or casserole dish
1-2 cups shredded cheese (optional, but highly recommended)
Sour cream (optional)

Heat your oven to 350*F. Spray your glass baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside. Remove the seeds and stem from the green pepper and then chop it into bite size pieces, or thin strips. Pour the rice and the seasoning packets into the baking dish, mix to combine, then layer the can of beans, the chicken strips, the green pepper, the minced onion, the garlic, the olive oil, and half of your cheese, stirring until combined. Fill the large can halfway with water (approximately 1 ½ cups), pour it over the mixture, stir until combined again.

Place the glass dish in your oven, bake uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes,  taste the rice for done-ness, sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top, and let it melt for a minute or two under the broiler. Serve with chips and salsa, or some fresh guacamole, or a giant dollop of sour cream. Make the kids wear sombreros, or cut black paper mustaches for everyone to wear to dinner. Makes a great family meal, and you can even freeze leftovers in Tupperware or Ziploc containers to bring to work for lunch!

You can use almost anyone of the boxed rice or noodle blends for this recipe, try yellow rice and red peppers for a more colorful dish. Try brown rice and add up to another half hour to the cooking time for a healthier recipe.