August 20, 2016

It may be a staple of the American diet, but can we all agree that absent some very serious spice and attention, the lowly boneless, skinless chicken breast is, well, boring.  The Southern Sisters have been giving a little TLC to chicken breasts this week.  Our goal? To transform an ugly duckling into a swan.  Take Cinderella to the ball.  It's not difficult.  Just Breathe. (Did you get that reference to Drew Barrymore in Ever After?)  You get the picture.

For your enjoyment, we present Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Roulade, Saucy Garlic Chicken, and Honey Mustard Breaded Chicken.  No need to hold your applause.  They're fabulous.  Whip them up and be a rock star, y'all.

 

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

2 T. honey

4 T. olive oil, divided in half

3 cups grape tomatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. cracked black pepper

2 T. balsamic glaze    (This is so easy to create and great to have around the house.  I store mine in a squeeze bottle.  Simply bring some balsamic vinegar to a low boil and cook until reduced by half.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a bowl, toss the grape tomatoes with the honey and 2 T. olive oil.  Transfer to a greased baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes.  

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2" thickness, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a skillet with the remaining 2 T. oil.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, until no longer pink inside.  Plate the chicken, spoon the tomato mixture on top and drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Makes 4 servings

 

Chicken Roulade

2 T.+ olive oil

4 boneless, chicken chicken breasts

salt and pepper

4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

2 T. oregano

4 cloves minced garlic

1 T. lemon zest

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Pound the chicken breasts to 1/8" thickness.  Drizzle both sides with olive oil.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Spread each breast with 1 ounce feta, 1/2 T. oregano, and one-fourth of the lemon zest.  Take care to stay away from the edges so the filling does not fall out.  Beginning at the narrow end, roll up each breast and secure well with toothpicks or kitchen twine.  

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium high heat.  Brown the chicken roulades on all sides for about 10 mintues.  Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. 

Remove the chicken to a plate and return the skillet to the stove.  Add the wine, broth and lemon juice to the skillet.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Remove the toothpicks from the chicken roulades and spoon the wine sauce on top.  Makes 4 servings

 

Saucy Garlic Chicken

4 whole garlic bulbs

2 T. olive oil, divided in half

1 (9 oz) package fresh spinach

salt and pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 T. butter, cut up

6 T. all-purpose flour

3 cups milk (whole or 2%)

2 cups + 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cooked pasta like spaghetti or linguini

Optional: chopped tomatoes and basil

Preheat oven 425 degrees.  Remove the outer skin from the garlic bulbs but do not remove the clove skins or separate them.  Slice off the tops of the bulbs.  Drizzle with 1 T. olive oil.  Wrap each bulb separately in aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes, until softened.  Cool.

Place the spinach in a 9x13 baking pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

In a skillet, brown both sides of the chicken in 1 T. oil.  Place over the spinach.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour until smooth.  Gradually, whisk in the milk.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, until thickened.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese and a bit more salt and pepper.

The fun part:  Transfer the mixture to a blender.  Squeeze the softened garlic into the blender.  Process until smooth.

Place the chicken atop the pasta on individual plates.  Pour the garlic cream over the chicken.  Top with cracked black pepper, diced tomatoes and chopped basil.  Makes 6 servings

 

Honey-Mustard Breaded Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup bread crumbs

2 1/2 T. Dijon mustard

3 T. honey

3 T. butter

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/4" thickness.  In a shallow pan, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 T. of the Dijon.  In a separate shallow pan, combine the honey and remaining 2 T. Dijon.  Dip each chicken breast in the honey mixture then coat with the bread crumbs. 

In a large skillet, melt the butter.  Add the chicken and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes per side, until no longer pink.  Makes 4 servings



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