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Wine, Lemon, & Herb Broiled Chicken

Wine, Lemon, & Herb Broiled Chicken

When I was a kid, my mom used to make this dish quite often.  It has simple ingredients and tastes yummy.  However, since we didn’t keep regular wine in the house, she always made it with cooking wine.  Since that stuff is full of salt and preservatives, I defintely recommend not using cooking wine and instead using a plain white wine, something inexpensive but drinkable.  If you do have to use cooking wine, then don’t salt the chicken or use any other salt in the dish. 

I had part of a bottle of leftover white wine that had been sitting in my kitchen, so that is what I used.  The alcohol cooks off, so this dish is safe for kids.  Oddly, because growing up we were a family of teetotalling Baptists and wine rarely made an appearance in our house, we always just called this dish “Wine Chicken”.  🙂

Wine, Lemon, & Herb Broiled Chicken

  • 3-4 lb. chicken pieces (including bones and skin), I used a whole cut-up fryer chickenWine, Lemon, & Herb Broiled Chicken - Ingredients
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp. dried marjoram leaves
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon (or 2 Tbsp. lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (preferred), water, or chicken broth
  1. Place chicken in shallow baking pan and season both sides with salt and pepper.  Mix together thyme, marjoram, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil.  Pour mixture over chicken and turn chicken in mixture to cover both sides. Place skin side down and let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, turning twice during that period. Wine, Lemon, & Herb Broiled Chicken - Marinading
  2. Place the baking pan with chicken and marinade in it into the oven under the broiler.  Broil chicken skin side down for 8-10 minutes in oven until brown.  Turn chicken and broil on the other side (skin side up) another 6-8 minutes until brown.  Bake at 350 F until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-25 minutes until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165°F and the thighs 170°. During that time, when pan gets dry, add ¼ cup of white wine, water, or chicken broth and shake pan to mix.
  3. When done, transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.  Place the original baking pan on top of the stove.  Add about 1/4 cup additional white wine, water, or chicken broth and dissolve particles.  Cook down until it is a “sauce” consistency.  Serve sauce with the chicken.Wine, Lemon, & Herb Broiled Chicken - happy kid

I served this with steamed white fingerling potatoes and steamed asparagus that my friend brought me from her garden.  Everyone enjoyed this dish, especially the lemony-herby crispy skin.

– Stacey

Cooking with Kids plus a kid-friendly recipe

Girls thumbs up at Platt My PlateI think it is important that you include your kids as much as possible in actually planning, shopping for, and preparing the family meals.  If they are a part of that process, they are more likely to try and even enjoy healthier foods that you prepare. 

Also, many people today are lacking in basic cooking skills and that leads to a reliance on fast food and microwave processed foods, neither of which is healthy.  I believe that unless you are wealthy enough to have a personal chef, you have to be able to cook in order to eat healthy.  So, I try to include at least one or two of the girls when I cook.

Last weekend, the girls and I attended an event in Oklahoma City called “Platt My Plate, a hands-on cooking expo for families”, that was co-sponsored by Platt College’s Culinary Institute and the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition

The Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition is a statewide initiative to improve the overall health and well-being of Oklahoma youth and families by reducing childhood obesity. From their press release about the event:

” The goal of the Platt My Plate event is to get people moving and to teach them to cook a healthy meal based on the USDA “My Plate” guidelines.  In Oklahoma, one in three children are overweight or obese, we rank last in fruit and vegetable consumption and we’re on track to be the most obese state in the nation by 2018.”

By the way, “My Plate” replaces the USDA food pyramid with new nutritional information and encourages all families to choose to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables at every meal.

Girls talking to a chef at Platt My PlateAt the event, we had an opportunity to work together as a family to cook one “My Plate” meal under the direction of a presenting chef, who was Christine Dowd, Owner and Executive Chef of Trattoria Il Centro and Aunt Pitty Pats. Plus, the event was free. There was a great turnout and every cooking station in all three time slots seemed to be taken.

Girls cooking food at Platt my plate

The students from Platt College had already prepped all the ingredients for the families, so it only took a few minutes to cook our food and we didn’t have to use any knives.  The kids had a lot of fun making the  “Sautéed Chicken with Cider Sauce and Squash Noodles” and were very excited to take half of it home for Daddy and tell him that they made it.  They also enjoyed eating the other half themselves.

-Stacey

 

Girls eating food they cooked

Here is a link to what the finished dish looks like  and below is the recipe we made:

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken

Crockpot Balsamic ChickenLast week, I posted on my Facebook page that I tried this recipe from CrockPot Girls.  It is apparently pretty common on the web since I found the same recipe lots of other places and they admitted that someone had given it to them; they did not develop it.  So, I don’t really know who to “give credit” to for the basic recipe.  I changed a few things, so made it my own anyway.

What I like most about it is that it can be made in the crockpot, so you throw everything in and come back 3-6 hours later to find a meal ready.  But, there are lots of crock-pot recipes that are made with suspect foods such as “cream of… soup” so that is not enough for us to add it to our menu.  More importantly, this recipe uses real food such as chicken, tomatoes, onions, and vinegar.  It is your choice what to serve it with and we chose 100% whole wheat angel hair pasta.  But, brown rice or even whole wheat couscous would be good.

I was a little confused by the quantity of chicken specified in the original recipe as it said “4-6 boneless breasts”.  Sometimes, more so recently, people use “breast” to mean half of the chicken’s breast, sometimes called breast halves, or split breasts, meaning that each chicken has two of them.  But, I think traditionally, when recipes specified a “breast” they meant the entire breast, meaning a chicken only has one.  When I read this recipe, I thought the 4-6 breasts referred to split breasts.  I had a package with 9 split breast in it, so I had assumed I would be doubling everything.  But, that was way to much liquid for just the 9 split breasts, so I ended up not using as much of the tomatoes, etc.

The original recipe called for four different dried spices, but I have been using the Tone’s Italian Seasoning you can get at Sam’s Club which is a blend of oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and sage and it has no salt or MSG in it.  So, unlike the original recipe, mine did have some sage in it.  The other thing I changed was adding the olives and capers.  I recommend the Lindsay “Naturals” olives, as they only have a few ingredients: olives, water, and sea salt.  The canned tomatoes I chose to use were the Muir Glen fire-roasted ones; they add something to any dish you make with them.  Last thing is that you can put the garlic cloves in whole after peeling if you want to, but I chose to smash mine.  Actually, that is the result of how I peel them.  🙂

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients, not pictured are the olives and capers

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken
(make 8-16 servings depending on number of adults, kids, dieters, etc.)

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8-10 boneless, skinless, split chicken breasts halves (about 3.5 lbs total of chicken)
  • ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp of salt-free “Italian seasonings” (or 2 tsp each: dried oregano,basil, and rosemary and 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup black or green pitted olives, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp capers, drained

Pour the olive oil on bottom of  a 5-7 quart crock pot. Salt and pepper each chicken breast and then place the chicken breasts in crock pot. Put sliced onion on top of chicken. Then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves. Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes, olives, and capers.  Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 4 – 6 hours. Serve over pasta or rice.

Balsamic Chicken Process

The kids all liked this and so did Mike.  We tried putting the leftovers in their lunchbox cold and it was not as big a hit, so it is better served hot.  If you are trying to eliminate/reduce grains, gluten, or carbs from your diet, you could serve it without the pasta or rice.  You just wouldn’t have anything to “sop up” the sauce, so you might want to serve it in a bowl.

– Stacey

UPDATED TO ADD: Just thought I would mention that I used an onion similar to a Vidalia in this dish and that combined with the balsamic vinegar gave it almost a sweet flavor.  This dish is not at all spicy and should appeal to most kids because of that.

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Tapenade – Tonight’s Dinner!

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper TapenadeI bought a large pack of chicken breast the other day that I still had over half of left and also had some goat cheese in the fridge that I needed to use, so I started looking for a yummy and healthy recipe that combined them both.  Since I also wanted to include a veggie and like spinach, I threw that term into the search as well.  I came across the recipe for “Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Tapenade” at the Whole Food Market website and decided that is what is for dinner.  I had gotten some locally-grown peaches and new potatoes at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, so those are the sides.

Basically, you wilt the spinach in some olive oil, thyme (I only had dried so used a bit less), a Ready to roll up the chickenSpinach and Red Pepper Fillingschopped shallot and chopped garlic.   Then you chop and mix together the roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, capers, and some balsamic vinegar.  Pound your chicken breasts flat and then layer the spinach mixture, pepper mixture, and goat cheese inside, roll up and bake.

Here is the result after slicing:

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Tapenade on platter

I liked it a lot and so did Mike.  Three of the girls thought it was “very good”, but Leah thought it was “just OK”.  It is kind of a lot of work to make, but I will probably make it again sometime soon.

And for dessert, homemade grape juice popsicles.  I recently found a popsicle mold that makes small popsicles (only 2 oz. each) which is a good size for the kids.  Mixed 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1 1/2 cups of 100% grape juice and poured in molds.  These were kid-approved by all four!

Grape Juice Popsicle

– Stacey

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