Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Hungry Girl's Crispy Chicken Sanwich (tastes like Chick-fil-a)

Ok...I am pretty sure that I haven't posted about this recipe. But, if I have, it totally deserves two posts. These sandwiches are AMAZING! You are going to think I am crazy, but they really do taste like Chick-fil-a's chicken sandwiches. Just get them a me!

If your chicken breasts are really thick, you will want to cut them on the horizontal to make two thin chicken breasts. I do this because thick cuts of chicken freak me out but you don't have to do it : ). If the thin sliced chicken breasts are on sale, then I buy those. Then, I cut my chicken breasts (after they have cooked) in half horizontally. So, out of every chicken breast, you will get two sandwiches. I don't like to have my chicken hanging over my bun so this is why I cut mine in half horizontally. Then, they will fit on the bun. Also, the perdue individually packed chicken breasts are the perfect thickness for this sandwich. They are pretty expensive, but sometimes you can find them on sale.

Now, for the best part! One sandwich is ONLY 283 calories and 3.75g of fat (Chick-fil-a's sandwich is 410 calories and 16g of fat!! AND, if you are going on a trip or are just in a hurry and need your dinner to go, you can wrap these in foil and take them in the car. I am telling you...these are AMAZING!

Hungry Girl's Crispy Chicken Sandwich
1 1/2 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
Dash each salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, or more to taste
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original or you can use egg whites)
1/2 to 1 pound boneless skinless lean chicken breast (depending on how many sandwiches you want to make)
fat-free mayonnaise
hamburger buns (light, if available)
tomato (optional...I usually don't use them because I like it to taste just like Chick-fil-a
dill pickles (extra for me!)
romaine lettuce (again, I don't usually use this)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Season the crumbs with as much salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder as you like, and mix well. Place crumbs in one small dish and egg substitute in another.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with a dash each of salt and pepper. Then, coat chicken on both sides—first with egg substitute, and then with seasoned crumbs.
Place chicken on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Top chicken with a light mist of nonstick spray
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Flip the chicken over, and add another light mist of nonstick spray. Cook for an additional 10–12 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and coating looks crispy.
Spread mayo on each half of the bun. On the bun bottom, place chicken, tomato, pickles, and lettuce, and then top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I posted this recipe on my other blog last year. I thought I would share it on here since it is SO yummy! My husband and I love the Alfredo Pesto Ravioli from Maggiano's. So, I thought I would try to recreate it. I had a surprise date night for him. I told him that I picked it up from Maggiano's and he totally bought it. I don't know if it is that good but give it a try and let me know what you think. Of course, a few bites in I told him that I made it : ). This would be a great meal to fix for your man as a surprise date night! I made stuffed mushrooms to go along with it.

Pesto Sauce (you can always buy store bought but i don't think the sauce will turn out as good)
In a food processor, blend:
1 cup fresh basil (or you can use cilantro...i prefer basil for this dish)
1/2 cup pecans (or you can use pine nuts but I like pecans much better in pesto)
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup asiago cheese (or parmesan)
coarse ground black pepper (about one tsp)

Gradually add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup evoo until desired consistency (thick paste). You will want to taste and add salt and pepper as you like. Then, set pesto aside.

Alfredo Sauce
2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tbsps)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice or a couple tsp. of concentrated lemon juice
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup asiago
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. white pepper
salt to taste

In a large skillet, stir together cream and lemon juice. Add the butter and turn on medium heat and stir until the butter is melted. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat until the sauce thickens. Stir constantly so it does not burn the bottom. Once it has thickened, add the pesto and heat through.

I used store bought ravioli from the refrigerated section. I bought the Buitoni mushroom kind. I really want to make my own ravioli one day. I will let you know when I do!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday dinner: Chicken Pot Pie

Chris and I took a meal to some friends, Daniel and Wendy Simmons, that just had a new baby girl. Daniel is going to be the campus pastor at the new Summit church Raleigh campus. We are so excited about it because they are a precious family! Wendy is a vegetarian so I wanted to find something that I could make for her but that I could also add some meat to for the boys. Enter...Ina Garten's chicken pot pie. I modified it some so that it has more veggies. If you like chicken pot pie, you will LOVE this! It was a wonderful evening with new friends. God is so good.

I made a double batch of this so we would have some in the freezer. A double batch will make 3 regular size pie pans and 6 mini pie pans (at our store, they are actually called "pot pie pans"). We ate one of the regular pie pans, put one in our freezer (which we ate for lunch today), and gave the other to Daniel and Wendy to put in their freezer.

Link to original recipe...

Chicken Pot pie (or leave out the chicken steps for veggie pot pie)
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
1 fennel (chopped...remove the green stems/leaves)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 cup potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1 1/2 cups frozen small/pearl whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions, fennel, potatoes, and carrots over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Check the carrots and potatoes to see if they are almost soft. If not, allow to cook on low heat for a few more minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, peas, green beans, small onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls (or 1 regular size pie pan and a few mini pie pans). Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Chicken Spedini

I have been in a grilling mood this week. I have grilled our dinner for the last 3 nights. Last night, I really wanted chicken spedini on the grill. My mom makes amazing chicken spedini on the grill. I didn't have the recipe but was having a major craving for it. So, I tried to remember it and I think I got it pretty close. I might have missed a few ingredients but it is still yummy! When I get the actual recipe, I will let you all know if you need to add an ingredient. The best thing about this is it only cost 5 to 6 dollars! Skewer up some of your favorite veggies and you have a yummy and healthy meal!

4-6 chicken breasts (cut in bite size pieces)
kabob skewers

1/2 cup evoo
kosher salt
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the ingredients together in a shallow dish and add the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or longer. I let mine sit for an hour. You can also do this step in the morning or the night before.

2-3 cups bread crumbs (I used whole wheat panko crumbs. You can also use regular panko crumbs or plain bread crumbs.)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together. Coat each piece of chicken in the breadcrumbs. Make sure to press the chicken into the crumbs to get it completely coated. Place the pieces on the skewers. You can either grill these or you can put them in the oven. If using the oven, place on a broiler pan and bake on 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden (turning once). If you are grilling, grill on medium heat. When the side that is down is golden, flip and grill until the other side is golden (about 10 minutes on each side).
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