Basil Pesto Chicken with garlic tomato pasta

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I can NOT wait until we can start planting our garden this year. We have such a short growing season here that you really need to appreciate that couple of months you get to grow your own food. There is something so special about it! My tomatoes last year were UNREAL. I had 5 tomato plants in pots (yes I have all my garden goodies in pots, and they’ve been doing better and better each year) and I got an unreal amount of tomatoes. I had batches on batches of salsa, stewed tomatoes and sauces. This year, I’m going to try doing passata as well!

Anyways, this dish is inspired by my excitement for my tomato season and basil season, and obviously my all time ever lasting love for pasta. Here is a delicious supper full of tomato, basil pesto and perfectly seasoned chicken. If you want this to be vegan, use kabocha squash or chickpeas in place of chicken. this will change your cooking process.

 

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded so they’re even for cooking
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5c grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2c veggie or chicken stock
  • 1/2c or more of smoked mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4c basil pesto homemade or store bought (I always make this one)
  • linguini, fettuccine or spaghetti work well for this dish.

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Add EVOO to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken. let it brown on one side for a couple minutes then flip it over and brown it on the other side. this might take anywhere from 4-6 minutes per side depending on the size of your breasts. if your chicken is a nice golden brown then it’s safe to flip it over.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate.
  5. Turn your heat down to medium. Toss your tomatoes, onions and garlic into the skillet. De-glaze with your veggie stock, and stir often until your tomatoes start to burst. if they’re not bursting fast enough for your liking, use a potato masher and do it yourself. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  6. Add your chicken back to the skillet and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160F. add your pesto on to the chicken breasts and sprinkle them with cheese. Put a large lid over your pan and let the cheese melt for a minute.
  7. Remove the chicken to dinner plates. Toss your cooked pasta with the tomato mixture and serve! Sprinkling more cheese on top is also never a bad idea.

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Sesame chicken with sweet harissa sauce

sesamechickenharissasauce

I love lazy supper days. I ate this right off this plate. By myself. Because I was alone with my two little babe’s who don’t want to eat harissa sauce. So they get to eat plain old sesame chicken!!!! Anyways, without marinading the chicken, this recipe takes next to no time and very VERY little prep.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed in to 1/2″ pieces
  • 1C Buttermilk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3c tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • fresh ground sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes

Harissa sauce:

  • 3/4c Harissa sauce from a can
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 tsp onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, add your chicken, buttermilk, garlic cloves, tahini, lemon, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Marinate 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  2. Discard marinade. In a bowl, add your chicken, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion flakes. Toss to coat.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add your sesame oil. Once hot, add your chicken and start to cook.
  4. In a separate sauce pan, add your harissa sauce ingredients over medium heat. Don’t have your heat too high, you don’t want the honey to burn. mix ingredients together. bring to a small boil, then reduce to simmer until your chicken is done cooking.
  5. Once your chicken is done cooking, remove from heat. serve with cucumber tomato salad, or in taco’s and top with your sweet and spicy harissa sauce.

Juicy Chicken with a lime and cilantro sauce

My favourite dinners are the ones that are easy to make, but also fresh, healthy, and light. It’s officially grilling season, so I don’t need to dirty any pans in the kitchen for this bad boy! Lime and cilantro marinated chicken breast, topped with a fresh herb sauce – it doesn’t get much better than this!

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper

Marinade:

  • 2 small limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • 1C loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 1/2 TSP dried lemon grass, or 1″ fresh lemon grass
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 of a shallot, about 1.5-2 tbsp rough chopped
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1/2 of a large bunch of cilantro, rough chopped (some stems okay!)
  • 1 fat TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP China lily soy sauce
  • dash of fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a ziplock freezer bag or small bowl, add your chicken breasts, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper, cilantro and EVOO. Let your chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat.
  3. Remove chicken from the marinade, and pat it completely dry with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place your chicken on the grill. cook on one side for about 7 minutes. The chicken will not stick to the grill once it is ready to flip. Once it is ready to flip, flip it over and continue cooking until your internal temp reaches 165F.
  5. While your chicken is cooking, get your sauce ingredients ready.
  6. In a small blender or food processor add all sauce ingredients and blend until you get a chunky or smooth consistency. Whether it is a little chunky or smooth is up to you.
  7. Remove your chicken from the grill and smother it with the sauce. Enjoy!!!

10 Spice Beer Can Chicken

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It was 29 degrees today. WOW. What an ABSOLUTELY beautiful day!!! But on super hot days like today, I don’t really feel like heating up my house any more than it already is – so I decided to BBQ outside! Tonights dinner is a super simple, yet delicious (moist) beer can chicken!!!! If you have never tried something like this, I suggest you do. Serve it up with some BBQ’D sweet potatoes, and BBQ’D whole carrots, and a home made Caesar salad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 3-4LB whole chicken
  • 1/3c EVOO
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP coriander
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 can of your favourite beer

Directions:

  1. Wash your bird thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and your evoo.
  3. Place your chicken in a LARGE bowl. Rub your seasoning paste all over the bird.
  4. Heat your outdoor grill to LOW on one side, and MEDIUM on the other side.
  5. Make sure to use some kind of drip tray safe for a BBQ to place your chicken on. Put the beer can in the chickens cavity, place standing up on the drip tray and put it on the LOW heat side of the BBQ. Close the lid. If the brown sugar on your chicken is getting black within the first 10-20 minutes of being on the grill, turn the heat down a little lower.
  6. Set a kitchen timer for 1 hour. This can take up to 90 minutes depending on the efficiency of your grill. My 4lb chicken only took about 1 hour.
  7. Once the thickest part of the chicken reads 165F, it is ready to come off the grill.
  8. Place chicken on a cutting board, let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Once the chicken is well rested, carve and serve!

Juicy chicken with a dijon sauce

This is a recipe that has been on my blog for about a year now, and it needed some serious TLC. It was good before, but this is a much better version of it. Juicy BBQ’D chicken with a white wine dijon sauce. Make this alcohol free by using low sodium chicken stock in place of wine. Did I mention that this is a super quick cooking meal? It is!

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 6-8oz chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • fresh ground sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, rough chopped (optional.)

For the sauce:

  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1c of your favourite white wine
  • 1 heaping TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping TBSP grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven or outdoor grill. (oven to 425.)
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and brown them. Once your onions are browned, add your garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Once your garlic is fragrant (1-2 min) deglaze your skillet with your white wine, stirring the mixture. Let the liquid reduce a little.
  4. Add in your dijon mustards (both kinds! if you only have one, then thats fine. add 2 tbsp of one kind.) and add in your butter. Once mixed, add in your cornstarch dissolved in water, and turn your heat down to low.
  5.  Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place on your BBQ on a medium heat. Because the chicken is pounded nice and thin, it will take literally only minutes to cook. Cook for a few minutes on one side, and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes or so. I suggest using a meat thermometer and checking the internal temp of the chicken (165.)
  6. if you’re using the oven – season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. in a skillet on just over medium heat, add EVOO. Once your oil is hot, add your chicken. Brown it on both sides. Throw it into the 425 oven for 10-15 minutes.
  7. remove chicken from the grill and top with your dijon sauce. Sprinkle some fresh parsley over it if you like!

Herb buttered chicken and a white bean puree

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened to less than 1/2″

-salt + pepper + red pepper flakes (enough to coat both sides of chicken)

-EVOO

-3 tbsp butter

-2 tbsp each minced garlic, parsley and oregano

For the white bean puree:

-Immersion hand blender or regular blender

-1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

-1 cup chicken stock

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-1 red onion, rough chopped

-salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

-1 large handful of arugula

-1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard

-1 tbsp red wine vinegar

-1/2 tsp honey

Directions:

Season both sides of pounded chicken with salt pepper and red pepper flakes. In a little bowl, add butter, garlic, parsley and oregano.

In a skillet over medium heat, add your EVOO. Once the pan is hot, add your chicken breast. Do not move the chicken, let it sit in the pan to brown and cook. After about 6-7 minutes, flip your chicken breasts and cook on the other side for another 6-7 minutes. Add your herbed butter, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. This cooking time depends fully on how flat you’ve pounded your breasts. If you’re unsure of the doneness of your chicken, i suggest a kitchen thermometer. Chicken should be 160F.

In a medium sauce pan over just under medium heat, ands your onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are slightly translucent. Once they are, add your white kidney beans. Cook for another minute or two. Add your 1 cup of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. let these flavours boil and cook together for at least 7-10 minutes. After that, puree your mixture with a hand blender. (Or transfer to a regular blender.) Once blended, turn the heat to low and keep warm.

In a medium bowl, add your dijon, red wine vinegar and honey. whisk to mix together. Throw your arugula on top, and toss with your hands to coat the arugula with the dressing.

When ready, serve your chicken on top of your puree with your salad on the side.

This meal tastes best when you eat the puree , salad and chicken in one bite. Yummy!!


Herb Stuffed Chicken with a white wine sauce

Herb stuffed chicken with a white wine sauce

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Ingredients:

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened

-4 slices of prosciutto

-2 tbsp each of fresh oregano, thyme, parsley, and chives coarsely chopped

-6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 FAT tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-1 tbsp each of: oregano,thyme,parsley

-1.5c white wine

-1 tsp flour mixed in to 5 fl oz cream

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Once you butterfly your chicken, use a pan or a tenderizer to flatten your breasts to the same thickness. You want them decently thin so you can stuff and roll them.

Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper. Place your mozza and fresh herbs on your chicken breasts. Roll up nice and tight. Wrap the chicken with 2 slices of prosciutto de parma.

In a skillet over med-high heat, add your EVOO. brown chicken on ALL sides. place in the oven and cook for 17-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Once the chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven. Place chicken on a plate. Put your pan back on the stove on medium heat. (I always use frying pans that can go in the oven.) Add your garlic cloves to the chicken drippings. Saute for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add in your herbs, sauté. Add your white wine, and cook until it is reduced by almost half. Slowly whisk in your cream+flour mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over the chicken.