Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Crazy for chicken

 Meal prep for a week at a time can be so blah and boring. My work weeks have been long and since I am physically challenged at work, and hitting the gym on my break I am trying to prepare fuel rather than just something to fill my stomach. I am a chicken girl, and it does not make me feel gross on a 5 show day. Here are a few of my successful chicken creations that have fed me for the week and reheated nicely :) ( sorry for my lack of fancy photographed food, as I am just here to share the straight up basics, which is all you need to create your own yummy greatness)
 Chicken and veggie bake:
Here is what you need:
-Boneless skinless chicken breast (4)
-Red potatoes
-Baby carrots
-Snow peas
-1/2 yellow onion
-1 full garlic clove
-1 stick butter
 This is my ultimate favorite tasting, and most basic recipe yet! What you will need to do is cut a handful of red potatoes (I kind of sliced them rather than cubing them so they can line the pan). You will then want to dice up the garlic and onion to your liking. I then line half the pan with the potatoes and sprinkle some of the onion and garlic over the potatoes. Next you will lay the chicken (spiced however you like) on top of the potatoes, and in the center of the pan. You should now have extra room on each side of the chicken. I place the remaining potatoes on one side of the pan, and my veggies on the other side ( feel free to really pack them in there). You can really use any type of veggie you like for this dish! I then sprinkle the remaining garlic and onion blend over the entire dish. Next you melt 1 stick of butter and pour over everything. ( I found a garlic herb butter which was AMAZING!) Cover with foil and cook on 350 for one hour. The juices from the carrots and chicken will basically steam the chicken and it is the most soft and juicy meal I have ever eaten! 20 mins to prep and can feed the entire family :)

Ritz Bacon crusted chicken:
Here is what you need:
-Boneless skinless chicken breast
-1 egg
-1 full panel of bacon Ritz crackers
-Minced garlic
First I took one row of crackers, put them still wrapped in a zip lock baggie, and then pushed down from top to bottom to crush them finely. I removed the packaging and poured the crumbs into a bowl I can dip the chicken into later
Next I dipped the chicken into the egg (which I had added my spices that I like to use mixed into it)
Then I put the chicken into the crumb bowl and really coated it well with the crackers on both the top and the bottom of the breast

I did this one by one in my own little assembly line until each breast was coated and on my pan

I then added my minced garlic to each piece of chicken (I like garlic so I didn't go to sparingly) 

Put in the oven on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cooking time varies depending on how thick your breasts are. I prepared my other sides while my chicken was in the oven, todays sides were sautéed Kale and quinoa. Once the chicken was ready and plated I had a last minute decision to squirt just a little bit of honey on top of my chicken...... which I think made the dish! 

Garlic Lemon whole roasted chicken
What you will need:

-One whole chicken
-3 lemons
-1 full garlic
-seasoning of your choice

 What I did was first make sure the chicken was cleaned out and ready to go. I melted 1/2 stick butter, added whatever spices and my minced garlic  to the butter, squeezed in some lemon juice,  and pulled off some thyme leaves from the stem and mixed all together. I then lifted the skin from the chicken and poured my mixture underneath so the flavoring could really sink in. I layered the bottom of my crockpot with a full sliced lemon and some minced garlic and thyme stems. I then stuffed the chicken with a 1/2 lemon and a handful of thyme stems. I then placed the chicken into the crockpot and seasoned the top to my liking, added just a few more thinly sliced lemon slices and a bit more thyme. put on low and cooked for 7 hours.

 I enjoy cooking a full chicken because you get both the light and dark meat and it really does feed 2 people for quite some time, plus it is very cost effective! :)

Shredded Orange Chicken
What you will need:
-5 boneless skinless chicken breats
-1 jar of orange marmalade
-1 cup BBQ sauce
- 5 tbl spoons soy sauce
This one was super easy and may have been my favorite. First I layed all 5 pieces of chicken (plain) into the crock pot and cooked for 3 1/2 hours on high) I then removed them and drained the liquid from the crockpot and returned them back in. to shred all you need is a fork and a knife and it shreds very easily. I then added almost 1 full jar of the orange marmalade, 1 cup BBQ sauce, you could use spicy and it would be a good fit ( I just hate spicy food so I went original), 5 TBL spoons soy sauce, and I sprinkled in some garlic salt, mixed all together and continued cooking on high 30 more minutes. Its that simple, and boy was it yummy!!!

BBQ Garlic chicken
What you will need:
-Boneless skinless chicken breasts
-Minced garlic
-BBQ sauce
-Spices of your choice
Here comes another very basic dish. all I did was spice the breasts to my liking ( I use a random all spice mixture from the store for almost everything I cook) I let the chicken marinate in the BBQ sauce for about an hour. Placed it on the pan and added a nice amount of minced garlic. No need to measure anything as you can just make this to your preference. I LOVE garlic so I loaded it up. Set your oven to 350 degrees and cook for 25ish minutes. I always cut through and check it so it doesn't become dry, as soon as its not pink I take it out and call it a day. Simple yet so good. This is the easiest to pair up with different side dishes to take as leftovers.

Garlic and brown sugar glazed apple chicken
What you will need:
-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-2 apples (cubed)
-4 tbl spoons brown sugar
-2 tbl spoons olive oil
-minced garlic
Place the chicken on the pan and arrange the cubed apples onto the pan surrounding the chicken so that all the pieces will absorb the flavor. I used Gala Apples, but it really just is preference. In a small sauce pan mix the olive oil, brown sugar, and garlic on medium heat until it all blends into a smooth liquid consistency. Spice the chicken however you like (I again went with my all spice medly) then pour the liquid evenly over all the meat. I went to each apple and sprinkled on a bit of pure cinnamon as a last minute decision which was a great life choice. Depending on how much you like garlic you can add more to top off each breast if you like, again it really is just preference as to how much you add on. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes ( or until cooked through depending on how thick your chicken breasts are) and bam it is SO GOOD!

 I feel like you could double the liquid  if you like to give the chicken more flavor, but it may make it to sweet in my opinion.
As for my sides I just go with whatever looks appealing to me at the store while shopping for the week. I most always choose a kale, with greens ( my go to are asparagus, celery, peas, and green beans) and I usually accompany it with some quinoa blend. I take 1/2 breast to work with me with a scoop of the greens and it keeps me running, and healthy.

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