Baked Chicken Breasts with Pesto and Prosciutto

Very simple, very delicious. I serve this with Angel Hair pasta, tossed with olive oil and butter, drizzled with the pan drippings and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. YUM. 

4 small boneless chicken breast halves, or two large halves cut in half
4 Tbsp. prepared pesto sauce (such as Buitoni)
4 thin slices prosciutto ham

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread about one tablespoon pesto over each piece of chicken, and wrap in one slice of prosciutto. Bake for about 25 minutes, until juices run clear.


Easy and Amazing Chicken Paprikash

Warning: This is addictive … and very easy! Do use the smoked paprika if possible … it adds a wonderful nuance to the traditional flavor of this dish. Enjoy! 

Serves 4

1/4 cup butter
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts (about 2 halves, each cut in half crosswise to make four pieces)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream

1 12-oz. pkg. egg noodles
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil or olive oil

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter and add chicken; cook until lightly browned, turning once. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water, and season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper; cook about 8 to 10 minutes more, or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
Stir the flour into the sour cream; then slowly whisk it into the paprika mixture remaining in the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook just until thickened. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, return chicken to skillet and cook 2 minutes longer.
While chicken is cooking, cook noodles according to package directions for al dente. Toss with 1 Tbsp. butter and oil and set aside, covered.
To serve, divide noodles among four plates. Top each with one piece of chicken and pour sauce over.

Easy Herbed Chicken

Delicious and easy! My favorite combination! Put this in your CrockPot in the morning and come home to a yummy, comforting meal. The chicken is so tender it falls off the bone and melts in your mouth! 

3 lbs. chicken parts
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine melted butter, whipped cream cheese spread, soy sauce, parsley, basil, sage, thyme, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl until smooth. Spread evenly over chicken parts and cover. Cook until tender, 4 to 6 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low. Serve the juices alongside!

Wonderful with mashed potatoes! 

Serves 4

Irish French Dip Sandwiches

I have made this a lot lately … it’s extremely easy and absolutely delicious – the best French Dip I’ve ever tasted! Enjoy!

1 4-lb. cross cut roast
1 can Campbell’s condensed Beef Broth
1 can Campbell’s condensed Beef Consomme
1 12-oz bottle Guinness Stout

6 French rolls

Trim any excess fat from roast. Place in large slow cooker. Pour in broth, consommé and Guinness. Cook on low for 7 hours. Remove roast, shred and return to broth. Keep warm until serving.

Preheat oven t0 400 degrees. Split and butter rolls and place buttered side up on baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.

Pile meat onto toasted rolls and serve with the broth for dipping.

Slivered Chicken with Lime and Basil

This is an adaptation of a recipe that I’ve been making ever since it appeared in the August 1978 edition of BON APPETIT magazine. It’s a favorite at our annual St. Patrick’s Day party. This makes a LOT, but the recipe can be easily scaled down.

20 servings

3 quarts chicken stock
8 bone-in chicken breast halves

2 cups fresh lime juice (about 16 limes)
9 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tomato wedges and chopped fresh basil

Bring chicken stock to boil in a large stockpot. Reduce heat to low, add chicken breasts and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until almost firm when pressed. Turn heat off, stir and let the chicken cool in the stock for an hour or two.

While chicken is cooling, combine ingredients for marinade in a large bowl or Tupperware container. Set aside at room temperature.

Drain cooled chicken and remove skin and bones. Pull apart with hands or slice meat into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Place in marinade, stir to coat, and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

To serve, drain chicken and arrange on platter. Surround with tomato wedges and sprinkle with additional basil.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Since I’m making this tonight, I unearthed the recipe from the May 1984 issue of Bon Appetit, and I decided to share it here in the process. I’ve made this a lot over the years … it’s incredibly easy and absolutely delicious. Tonight, I’m serving it with a couscous and black bean salad that I’ve never made before. If it’s good, watch for that recipe to show up here too! ;~) 

4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
3 Tbsp. chili powder, divided
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Lime wedges

Pound each breast half between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to uniform thickness of 1/8 inch*. Arrange on baking sheet. Blend 1 Tbsp. of the chili powder with the oil. Brush each breast with some of the mixture. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.

Blend remaining chili powder with softened butter. Set aside.

Prepare charcoal grill or preheat broiler. Season breasts with salt. Cook just until meat turns white, about 45 seconds. Turn and cook second side quickly. Do not overcook. Transfer to heated plates. Place 1 Tbsp. chili butter on each breast. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Nowadays, supermarkets carry boneless breasts that are pre-sliced to about this thickness. That can save you some time in preparation, although I’m not convinced that they would be as tender as the pounded breasts.

Food fact du jour: Pounded chicken breasts are also known as “paillards.”

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