Posts Tagged chicken

Bruschetta Chicken and Pasta, a.k.a. garlicky goodness!

During the week I love a quick and easy meal. I figure I have a 30-45 minute window to get a meal on the table before my husband and son proclaim they are starving and start snacking. This bruschetta chicken and pasta recipe can be made within that window. There are several moving parts to this meal, but if you can multitask, then you’re in great shape. If not, it will just take you a little longer to wrap it all up.

This recipe was inspired by T.G.I. Friday’s  Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. It’s one of my favorites and since it wasn’t likely we were heading across town mid-week for supper, I came come up with my own version. That’s the fun part of being in the kitchen. . .You can be creative and duplicate many restaurant meals without leaving your home. You save money and feel accomplished all in one! T.G.I. Friday’s uses angel hair pasta and a thin marinara sauce, but I opted for linguini with garlic and olive oil. It was very flavorful and good enough that we ate the leftovers the next night.

I’d love to hear your “copycat” recipes. Feel free to leave them in the comments section.


Bruschetta Chicken & Pasta 

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces linguini
  • 1-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon basil

There are lots of moving parts to this recipe, but all parts can be done simultaneously.


In a Ziploc bag pound out three chicken breasts until evenly thin. Pour in cup olive oil, seal the bag and coat the chicken. In the meantime, warm the oven to 375 degrees. Now that the chicken is coated, generously pour over seasoning.


  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flake
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

Lay the seasoned chicken on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. You can grill the chicken if weather permits. Once cooked, slice each breast on a diagonal bias. Set aside until ready to assemble.


While the chicken is cooking put on a pot of water to cook the linguini. Once the water is boiling, add salt and linguini. Cook 10 minutes or so until cooked through. On another burner, add 1 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to a small skillet over medium-low heat. We want the garlic not to burn, but soften and flavor the oil. Once the linguini is cooked, drain and pour in the olive oil mixture to coat the noodles.

Balsamic Glaze

On a third burner, add the cup of balsamic vinegar and sugar to another small skillet. Cook over medium heat, let this reduce until thick. This should take not more than 5-10 minutes. It will be bubbly, so just stir as needed.

Tomato Mixture

Take 1 medium tomato and chopped it into small pieces, leaving the juice. Add one tablespoon basil and stir.

Now, all of the cooking parts are complete. Let’s put it all together. First lay a heap of garlic-flavored linguini on your plate. Top with sliced chicken and drizzle balsamic glaze over top of pasta and noodles. To complete the dish, top with a tablespoon of the tomato mixture.  Enjoy with a nice crusty French bread!


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Confetti Chicken, that’s what’s for dinner

Earlier this week it hit 70+ degrees here in Missouri, which needless to say was welcome and wonderful. It made me long for summer vegetables and grilled meat. I thought of making burgers for dinner, but decided against them. Ribs? Nah, too much work. Fish? I wasn’t in the mood for it. Another perk of being the cook is if you aren’t in the mood, then you don’t have to make it. So chicken it was. Confetti chicken to be exact.

Confetti chicken is easy to make and not very expensive, a great combination in my house. Two chicken breasts can feed the three of us, add in a few baked potatoes and voila, we have a meal. I find that my son will eat chicken most any way I fix it, so long as it’s not too spicy. This recipe has a nice amount of heat which is tempered by the cheese and veggies on top. I hope you’ll give this one a try, I’ll bet you’ll add it to your rotation as well.

Confetti Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 salsa
  • 1 cup colby-jack cheese, shredded
  • Tortilla strips

Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Add the jerk seasoning on both sides of the breasts. Add them to a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, add the corn, beans, red onion and salsa to a bowl.

Once cooked through, divide the cheese in half and put it over each piece of chicken. Place the chicken back in the oven for 3-5 minutes until it melts. Bring it out of the oven and place each piece on a dinner plate. Divide the corn and bean mixture, adding it to the chicken.  Garnish with tortilla strips.

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Chicken and Rice Soup, perfect on a cold day

We’ve had a lot of snow here in Mid-Missouri this winter. A lot, to say the least. Just last week we had 18 inches of snow, drifts up to 4-5 feet and several days off work and school. During these cold days, I crave comfort food like pregnant women crave pickles and ice cream. To get my fix, I usually end up with soup, stew or chili. Today, it’s soup.

With a young child, chicken noodle soup is always a safe bet. However, my husband vetoed the noodles and asked for something different. Lucky for him, I just bought a great rice blend at the grocery. It has brown and wild rice, an easy way to snazz up any meal. So, 45 minutes later (much longer than noodles would have taken) the rice was finished and I could add it to the soup.

Saltines would go great with this soup, as would a nice thick piece of banana bread for dessert. So if you have a craving for a warm, gratifying meal, give this recipe a shot.

Chicken and Rice Soup

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 cans Campbell’s chicken gravy
  • 2 (26 oz. ea.) containers chicken stock
  • 2 cups brown and wild rice blend, cooked

In a saucepan, add 2 cups chicken stock to 1 cup uncooked rice, this yields 2 cups cooked. Bring to a boil, stir and then lower the heat and add a lid. This will take about 45 minutes to cook through and absorb all the liquid. In the meantime, add the remaining chicken stock, chicken, vegetables, seasoning and gravy to a stock pot. Let this simmer while the rice cooks. By the time the rice is ready, the veggies will be soft. Once the rice is finished, add it to the soup and you’re ready to eat.

Melissa’s Notes:

I add canned gravy because it’s already seasoned and it adds body and flavor to this soup.

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Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

I really like Mexican food. It’s pretty easy to make and is usually a hit in my house, which includes a 5-year-old who thinks the world could survive on macaroni and cheese. Since I’m not willing to serve mac and cheese every night, my boy is forced to eat other meals. While making up this week’s menu, it was little surprise that chicken and black bean enchiladas made the short list.

It seems every time I go to a Mexican restaurant I order enchiladas–chicken, shrimp, cheese, beans, you name it. It’s the old standby and for good reason, they’re delicious. Here in Columbia, I think Rio Grande has some of the best ones yet. I attribute it to their sauce.  And since I probably can’t get the proprietary recipe, I had to come up with my own sauce recipe and I’m happy to share it.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 8 whole jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups enchilada sauce* (see recipe below)
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Boil the chicken in a pot of water with 6 halved jalapenos. Once the chicken is cooked, take off the heat and shred. Rinse the beans and add to a bowl with the chicken. Pour 1 cup of sauce over the chicken and beans. In a skillet, add the olive oil, onions and two diced jalapenos. Once tender, remove from heat. On each tortilla, spread the chicken and bean mixture along the center, top with onions and jalapenos, then finish off with a quarter cup of cheese. Roll up tortillas tightly.

In an 8×8 baking dish, pour one cup enchilada sauce in bottom of dish. Place four rolled up tortillas in the dish. Pour two cups of enchilada sauce over top. Add two cups of shredded cheese on the top.

 I usually put aluminum foil over top so the cheese doesn’t brown too fast. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 4 chipotles en adobo
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups chicken stock

In a large high-sided pan, add olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Once tender, add tomatoes, paste, chipotles en adobo and chicken stock. Now add the spices.

Simmer 15-20 minutes. Now add the entire mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until thick and smooth. This recipe makes 4 cups.

Melissa’s Notes:

Sometimes I double this recipe and freeze the extra in Zip-loc gallon bags. They lay flat and take up less space than containers. It’s a nice treat to have onhand when I’m feeling lazy but want something tasty to eat.

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Parmesan Chicken with Homemade Marinara, Yum!

It’s another cold Saturday here in Missouri, so what better way to warm up than a hearty plate of Parmesan Chicken with homemade marinara sauce. It takes a little time to put together, but it’s totally worth it. My family loves chicken and we’re always looking for a different way of making it, but there are some things that you really can’t improve and this IS one of them.
I would suggest starting with the marinara since it takes the longest to finish. Also, I would highly recommend not wearing clothing you truly like while making the sauce. My spotted T-shirt is proof that this red sauce loves to splatter when you lift the lid to get a whiff. And if you’re like me, that whiff has to turn into a taste. Quality assurance, right? Anyway, just be sure you let it cool a bit. If you have kids, this is a great dipping recipe, less the mozzerella. Just cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces before dredging–an Italian twist on good ol’ chicken nuggets.

Parmesan Chicken with Marinara Sauce

So let’s get started…
Marinara Sauce
  • Two (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • Two (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced  
  • 4 cloves garlic (if you use the jar kind, then remember 1/2 tsp. equals 1 clove)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. basil
  • 1 /2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. good balsamic vinegar

Finely Chopped Onions & Garlic

Wet Ingredients: Balsamic Vinegar, Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Paste







1) In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, bring olive oil to medium-low heat.

2) Add onions and garlic and cook until golden. The caramelization will make the sauce sweeter.

3) Add the dry ingredients, then wet ingredients. Stir until the tomato paste is smooth.

4) Simmer for one hour with lid ajar so steam can escape.



Parmesan Chicken

  • 4-6 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 up all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tsbp. unsalted butter
  • 16 oz. fresh mozzerella

Pound Chicken

Dredge Chicken







1) Place 1-2 chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag, get all the air out and seal. Use a kitchen mallet and pound  chicken into thin, even pieces. By doing this in a bag, clean up is easy and there’s no chance of splattering raw chicken juices.

2) In three separate dishes, place the following: a) two eggs and 1 Tbsp. water, mix together; b) flour, salt and pepper; and c) Italian bread crumbs, Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, mix.  
3) Now, take out the chicken and dredge each piece into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture, back into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place the finished piece onto a plate until you are ready to sautee the chicken.
4) In a skillet, bring the olive oil and butter up to medium heat. Once warm, place chicken in, one or two pieces at a time. Cook until golden brown.
5) Once cooked through (5-7 minutes, depending on thickness), place them on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath to drain any excess oil.
Let’s put it all together…

1) In an oven-proof  baking dish, layer each piece of chicken with a couple of tablespoons of sauce and sliced fresh mozzerella. Most grocery stores carry fresh mozzerrella in a ball or in my case, I was lucky enough to find it pre-sliced in a log. Fresh is waaayyy better than the bag of shredded, but if that’s what you have on hand, go for it.
2) Place the baking dish under the broiler and broil until the mozzerella is melted and bubbly.
3) Now, ladle some sauce onto the plate then lay a piece of chicken on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and dig in! 

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