How do you know if it's fast? When the words, "I think I'll make..." and "Honey, it's ready!" are spoken at almost the same moment.
Yes. It's Friday. And just like that, your week is over. 7 more days behind you, kaput, whooshing by without even an adios. Your To-Do List on Monday hardly dented, the weekend looming with chores. What do you do?
Well, when it comes to dinner, I believe you can still have taste and beauty on a plate without spending hours prepping. The secret is seasoning, fresh herbs, and some good pre-packaged food. And....a trip to the store for cooked chicken breast. Yes, pre-cooked.
There's a huge difference, though, between good chicken and bad chicken at many supermarkets, so I encourage you to do some testing to find the one that fits your needs. I find that Trader Joe's has one of the best pre-cooked chicken breast strips out there. One package is enough to feed 4 people these two delicious recipes. (If you're ravenous, you might need a bit more chicken!)
This salad can all be made in one bowl, and packs a big punch in the flavor department. Served as a side or main course, you'll be satisfied and amazed at the complexity of this dish with so little fuss.
Chicken, Apple and Broccoli Slaw with Cherries, and a Pomegranate Vinaigrette
This recipe serves 2, but is easily doubled / Click here to download printable version
2 C cooked chicken breast, such as Trader Joe’s brand, cut into small cubes
3 C packaged broccoli slaw
1 sweet apple, cubed
¼ C Montmorency dried cherries or Craisins
Zest from one lemon
½ t coriander powder
3 T lite oil
3 T pomegranate balsamic
2 t honey
1 ½ t salt, ½ t pepper
2 t chopped fresh basil
Add all ingredients. Season to taste. Serve with a basil sprig and a light dusting of the coriander powder. If you don't feel confident about ratios when making your own vinaigrette, just mix the dressing in a separate bowl, taste to make sure you like it, and then toss with other ingredients. Simply double ingredients to feed 4 people.
I am always amazing how any photo I post made with pasta gets everyone's attention. Even the words is comforting, "Past-aahhhhhh!" This dish is no exception, which benefits from the smack of yellow mustard to amp up the flavors.
Make sure you prep all your ingredients first. When you start cooking, this thing moves fast. Fast, remember? Fast!
Chicken with Mushrooms and Shallots in a Mustard Caper Cream Sauce over Egg Noodles
Serves 4 / Click here for printable version
2 C cooked chicken breast strips, like Trader Joe’s brand, cut into small cubes
1 one lb. package egg noodles (I ended up using about ¾ of the noodles when cooked.)
¾ pint baby bells mushrooms, sliced
½ large shallot, thinly sliced
10 ounces plain Greek yogurt
4 T plain yellow mustard
2 heaping T bottled capers, drained
2 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ C white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc. Can substitute chicken broth.
3 t fresh thyme
4+ T light oil
1/3 C grated fresh parmigiana reggiano
½ t coriander powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add noodles at about the time the mushrooms are ready for stock. See below.*
This recipe takes no time at all, so you have to have everything ready: Cut the chicken into cubes, set aside. Slice the mushrooms and shallot and set aside. Grate the cheese, pull leaves off thyme, squeeze lemon juice and set all aside. Mix the yogurt, capers and mustard and set aside.
Bring a large sauté pan to high heat, and add about 1 – 2 T oil. Add the mushrooms and shallots, about 1 t of salt and ½ t pepper, and the coriander powder and sauté until the mushrooms are browned and the shallots have wilted. Now cook pasta.* While pasta is cooking, add the chicken, and stir just until chicken is very hot. You don’t want to cook the chicken any more than it is or it will dry out. Then add the wine and lemon juice to deglaze, and let reduce by half. About 4 minutes. Then stir and add the yogurt caper mustard sauce. Which will have thickened greatly. Blend everything and let simmer on low for about 2 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
Now drain the pasta and add about ¾ of the noodles directly to the sauté pan, then add the parmesan cheese, and stir to melt. Drizzle with another 2 T of the oil to moisten. Serve with a sprig of thyme.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.