The Best Baked Chicken Breasts… Quick, Easy and sooo good!

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Ina Garten’s recipe for baked chicken is the easiest and the tastiest that I’ve found. To smell that chicken in the oven, ahhhh… whip up some mashed potatoes, or some sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice or just some veggies and you have yourself a meal fit for a king! It gets deeply brown like fried chicken. The skin gets crispy… Ina says she bakes the chicken on the bone and WITH the skin, then peels the skin off before eating (which is mighty hard to do, let me  tell you!).

This is all you do.

Buy however many chicken breasts you want (or other parts, but time may be different).

Put heavy duty foil on a cookie sheet (something with a rim to catch the grease).

Olive oil on the chicken, rub it around, coat both sides.

rub the chicken with olive oil

Salt and pepper.

Oven at 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes to an hour OR until the temperature of the chicken reaches 180 degrees. If they’re small it could take about 30 minutes. Ours are usually close to a pound each (I KNOW!)… hefty for sure!

The. Best. Ever!

YUM!

Shown above with sweet potatoes… recipe coming soon! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Parmesan Chicken (with salad) – Ina Garten

Ina Garten's Chicken on Salad

Oh do I have a tasty treat for you today! If you haven’t made Ina Garten’s (aka, Barefoot Contessa) Parmesan Chicken I encourage you do so… you will be oh so thrilled. The chicken coated in parmesan has SUCH fabulous flavor. I like how she puts the salad on top, I usually put the chicken on top of the salad… the light and fresh tasting lemon vinaigrette compliments this nicely. Tasty without being overpowering!

Click HERE to print this recipe!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup unbleached flour

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 egg

1/2 tablespoon water

1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

Unsalted butter

Good olive oil

Salad greens for 2, washed and spun dry

1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil in a large non-stick sauté pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemons)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Yield: 2 servings

Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup… my version!

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My version of Ina Garten’s MEXICAN CHICKEN SOUP

We all want to be remembered for something when we’re gone… I would like to be remembered as a great artist. Wait. I need to paint A LOT more before that can happen. OK… I would like to think that people will remember me for being a nice person, caring about others and that I was always willing to help. (People don’t always ask for help, so keep an eye out for a neighbor that looks like they may need assistance. It never hurts to ask. Sometimes people get frustrated because they want to do it themselves, but you never know, so just ask)! However, it wouldn’t be so bad to be remembered as a great cook, hee hee… I’m including a recipe that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! This is my version of Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) Mexican Chicken soup. I’ve added a few things and slightly altered it. A recipe is merely a guide, add more of what you like and less of what you don’t (unless you’re baking, then it’s more of an exact science)…  Enjoy! Until tomorrow…

Mexican Chicken Soup (adapted from Ina Garten)

2-4 chicken breasts (with bone and skin, more or less depending on how much chicken you like, I use 2-3 large)

olive oil

salt and pepper

2 medium onions

2-3 stalks celery

1 bunch carrots with greens (cut off greens)

2 cloves garlic

2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics if not homemade)

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced, no seeds (unless you like HOT)

1 teaspoon cumin

6 white corn tortillas

1/2 bag frozen white sweet corn

1 can black beans rinsed and drained

Serve with: grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I put foil down on a baking sheet to make clean up easy. Place chicken on baking sheet skin side up. Drizzle with olive oil, rub it in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 35-50 minutes or until done. Once cooled, pull off the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.

Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil in large pot or dutch oven. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes or until onions just begin to brown. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock (start with 2 qts, then when it cooks down some, add more stock). Add tomatoes, jalapenos, cumin, black beans, salt and pepper. Cut the tortillas in half and then cut then into 1/2 inch strips, add to the soup. They will dissolve in the soup giving it a wonderful taste and aroma!. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer at least 25 minutes. About 20-25 minutes before you are going to serve this soup add the frozen corn. About 5 – 10 minutes later add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the hot soup with grated cheddar, a dallop of sour cream and a handful of crushed tortilla chips. This makes a big pot of soup and is great frozen and reheated!

Also see http://almostdailypic.wordpress.com for my photo blog… Have a good day!