It’s been awhile since I’ve added a new chicken recipe to my dinner repertoire.
But chicken is such an easy weeknight choice.
I always keep a few pounds of frozen chicken in the freezer for dinner emergencies.
It can be baked from frozen, or defrosted and quickly added to curries, stir fries, pasta dishes, or anything, really! You can even plop frozen chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water, cook until no longer pink, and then shred the meat for easy salad mix-ins or protein for wraps.
For this recipe, you better bet I utilized my frozen chicken stash.
Once the chicken is defrosted, this meal comes together in just 45 minutes.
Simply dredge the chicken in flour, pan sear until golden, toss in some mushrooms and garlic, then balsamic, broth, and herbs. Cook down into a sauce & finish with a pat of butter.
Easy. Delicious. Yummy.
This meal is comfort food in one pan.
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms
- 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 12 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Season the chicken breasts on both sides with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.
Spread the flour out on a large plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. One at a time, dip the chicken breasts in the flour, turning to coat. Shake lightly to remove any excess, then set the chicken breast aside on a clean plate. Repeat with all 4 chicken breasts.
Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan, and cook on one side for about 6 minutes, until nicely golden brown.
Turn the chicken breasts over and add the garlic cloves and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the mushrooms and garlic while they cook.
Add the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme to the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, turning the chicken breasts halfway through.
Uncover the pan and remove the chicken breasts to a plate. You can lightly tent them with foil to keep them warm.
Let the balsamic-mushroom sauce continue to cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or so, until reduced to a sauce consistency. Stir in the butter and cook for another 2 minutes or so until melted and combined with the rest of the sauce.
Remove the bay leaf, then plate each chicken breast and spoon the mushroom sauce over the top. Enjoy!
Summertime produce is HERE, in all its glory.
Juicy, sweet, bright red tomatoes.
An ABUNDANCE of summer squash – the gift that keeps on giving.
Stone fruit everywhere, so ripe and succulent, the juices dribble down your chin with every bite.
Bundles of fragrant herbs, growing like weeds, ready to be tossed into salads, soups, and pestos.
Can you tell I LOVE summer??
One of the easiest ways to use up a TON of summer tomatoes and squash is with a gratin.
Simply slice all the veggies nice and thin, arrange in pretty layers, and top with olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, fresh herbs, and cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes, then serve!
It’s an impressive side dish that lets the flavors of the vegetables take center stage.
If you really want this dish to wow you, take the extra time to pick up some produce from your local farmers market. You won’t regret it!
Tomato, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash Gratin
- 1 pound cocktail tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pound zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pound yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2/3 cup shredded Romano cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Get out a large 4.5 quart pyrex baking dish. Working in rows, alternately layer the slices of zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato. Prop the slices up a little bit so that the start of each row is leaning against the edge of the pyrex dish at an angle (this makes it easier to layer the slices).
Once you have filled the baking dish, drizzle each row with a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil (this will help prevent the gratin from drying out).
Next, sprinkle the whole dish with the minced garlic and thyme. Season generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper, then sprinkle the Romano cheese over the top.
Place the whole dish in the oven, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
One of my favorite traditions growing up was choosing dinner on your birthday 🙂
We started this tradition at a really young age, as far back as I can remember in elementary school.
When you knew your birthday was coming up, you got to pick what your parents made for dinner that night!
As a kid, I had two favorite meals:
- Pepperoni pizza from the local pizza joint, Mission Pizza
- Homemade lemon chicken & fried rice
Like, I could eat those 2 meals all day every day and be 100% happy.
So, every year, on my birthday in February, I would special request lemon chicken & fried rice, with my favorite strawberry shortcake for dessert 😉
(I know, I was clearly skilled at menu pairing from a young age…)
Over the years, I’ve tweaked the classic fried rice recipe a bit.
I doubled the amount of egg and green onion (because let’s be honest, that’s the best part), and added a cup of frozen mixed veggies to give it a little pop of freshness.
This has become my favorite way to use up leftover white rice from Chinese, Thai, or Indian food takeout.
It’s soooooo easy!
Since the rice is already cooked, the recipe comes together in just minutes.
(If you don’t have any leftover rice, you can also just cook some earlier in the day & let it cool uncovered in the fridge until dinner. The goal is to have it be slightly dried out before stir frying.)
Simply scramble some eggs in peanut oil (cooking them extra long so they get nice and golden and crispy), then stir fry the rice and green onion together. Stir in some frozen veggies, chicken broth, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil, and you’re done!
Easy Egg Fried Rice
- 4 tablespoons unrefined peanut oil, divided
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 5 1/2 cups cooked, cold, preferably day old, medium grain white or brown rice
- 2 cups chopped green onion
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a small bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and beat with a fork or whisk until well mixed.
Pour the egg into the warm wok or skillet and cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, for 5 or 6 minutes, until the egg is broken up into small pieces and is crispy and golden. Remove the egg from the pan and set aside for later.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the wok or skillet and keep the heat on high. Add the rice and green onion and stir fry for about 10 minutes until the green onion is cooked.
Next add the peas and carrots, chicken broth, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and soy sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until hot and well mixed. Add the cooked egg, ground black pepper, and sesame oil, stir to mix well, and remove from heat. Enjoy while hot. (Although it makes great leftovers too!)