Sautéed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions

Sautéed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions

I think that this is the perfect fast and easy fall meal. It comes together quickly, so you can definitely it after a busy day with very little effort. I was a bit wary of the grapes combined with everything else, but they worked very well with the dish and gave a nice sweetness that was balanced out by the onions and balsamic vinegar. I served mine with bur make nt extra crispy, roasted brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes. I think goat cheese polenta or mashed sweet potatoes would also be a great accompaniment to the main dish. Any type of sausage can be used, I just happen to prefer chicken. I definitely recommend using pre-cooked sausages to cut down on cooking time. I used chicken sausages and I feel like most of the brands I buy, the chicken sausages are usually pre-cooked.

Sautéed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions

Sautéed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions
From Fine Cooking

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 links cooked sweet Italian chicken sausage (about 1-3/4 lb.), pricked with a fork
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 20 seedless red grapes, halved
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat until it’s shimmering. Add the sausages and cook, turning every couple minutes, until they’re browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
  2. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil and the onion to the pot, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens completely and starts to turn light brown, about 7 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to incorporate any browned bits.
  3. Reduce to a gentle simmer (medium-low or low depending on your stovetop). Add the sausages and grapes, cover the pot with the lid ajar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausages are heated through. Serve immediately.

Dijon Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Dijon Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

I have been really into sweet potatoes lately. I believe it stems from my fruitless quest to make fall happen. There are something about sweet potatoes to that seem particularly autumnal. Autumnal also happens to be one of my favorite words, so I plan on using it as often as possible.

I am a major fan of this meal. Fast, easy and it only uses one dish. It already sounds like a winner in my book. The sweet potatoes and onions cook up with this delicious, slightly caramelized flavor. I happen to really like mustard, sweet potatoes and onions, so I didn’t think twice about combining them. They turned out perfectly. The other great thing, was the amount of leftovers for lunch the next day. Next time, I might start cooking the sweet potatoes and onions before the chicken so they get a little crisper/more caramelized. Some of the vegetables that were directly under the chicken, didn’t get as crispy as I would have liked. Cooking them in a separate or bigger dish might help this as well. I also think you could easily substitute squash or regular potatoes as well, but I think the sweet potatoes complement the rest of the meal’s flavors that any substitute might.

Dijon Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Dijon Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 Tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1½-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
  2. Combine mustard, thyme, 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl; spread the mixture evenly on chicken.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes and onion in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the vegetables on it. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
  4. Return the pan to the oven and roast, stirring the vegetables once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a chicken thigh registers 165°F, 30 to 35 minutes.

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

This is one of the best meals I’ve had recently. We’re talking wishing licking the plate was socially acceptable good. Roasting the tomatoes really brought out their sweetness, which was balanced out by the tangy vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. One of the reasons it’s so good, is how fast and easy it was to make. Definitely added to the enjoyment. It’s also a great way to use up late summer tomatoes. My only very minor complaint was the lack of sauce in the end result. I used nearly double the amount of tomatoes (I had two big bunches to use up), so it wasn’t as noticeable, but if there were a lot of tomatoes I think the end of the dish would just be sad, plain chicken. Next time I would probably double the liquid ingredients and use double the tomatoes again.

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce
From Epicurious

  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes on the vine
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet until oil shimmers. Carefully add tomatoes to pan (oil may spatter). Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Meanwhile, season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; add tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice chicken; divide among plates. Spoon tomatoes and sauce over; garnish with herbs.

Chicken Salad With Grapes and Blue Cheese

Chicken Salad With Grapes and Blue Cheese

This is another great hot weather meal. You can grill the chicken outside or skip the cooking all together and use rotisserie chicken from the store. The salad has a lot of flavor and is a nice blend of sweet and tangy. It’s also very light, which is perfect for a hot night

Chicken Salad With Grapes and Blue Cheese
Adapted from Real Simple

  • 2 small heads Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (about 1/4 pound) green grapes, halved
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced or rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced
  1. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, onion, grapes, and blue cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Divide the salad and chicken among plates. Serve with the vinaigrette.

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Southwestern Chicken Salad

It’s been a while. There have been many deterrents to blogging (and cooking) in the last few weeks, including, but not limited to: chopped off fingers, emergency room visits, a sick dog, two well dogs, another sick dog, summer school, party planning, and other assorted things. But enough of all that.

Let’s get back to business.

This salad is wonderful. It comes together quickly and is great for a summertime meal. It’s light, tasty and requires minimal effort, which makes it close to perfect in my book.  I also think that you could toss this into a tortilla and you would get a great, light(er) burrito or taco. If you left the chicken out, it would be even easier to prepare. I think it would make a great starter or side salad for a Mexican meal as well. I thought that lime juice and a bit of olive oil made for the perfect dressing. You really don’t need to add anything more to it. The dressing was even better when it mixed with the spices from the chicken. They blended together perfectly.

Southwestern Chicken Salad (adapted from Real Simple)

For the Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • chipotle or cayenne pepper powder, to taste
  • olive oil

For the Salad

  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cut from 1 to 2 ears, or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper

For the Chicken

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken breasts with garlic powered and chipotle to taste. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook until done, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. Slice into pieces.

For the Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, corn, avocados, beans, onion, and cilantro.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Add chicken.
  4. Drizzle dressing over the salad and gently toss.

Almond & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

Almond & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

This recipe looks like a lot more work than it is. Seriously, it’s super easy and will take 25 minutes at the most. The chicken smelled amazing while it was cooking. The almonds and rosemary are a really great combination. I like rosemary, but if you don’t, you might want to ease off on the whole amount. It’s really strong in this recipe. I really liked the buttermilk and Dijon mixture. I think it was a lot more flavorful than the traditional egg/flour coating. I definitely plan on making this again. I think it would be perfect on a salad and light vinaigrette.

Almond & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko Style Crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds (or walnuts) (I used almond meal from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Rosemary leaves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, with the Parmesan, rosemary and black pepper  in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
  4. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13-18 minutes or until chicken is done (it really depends on how thick your chicken is). Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

The other week I sad that this was my all-time favorite salad. I take it back. My life has totally changed.  I was much younger and very naïve then. I was a lost soul and totally misguided because I had yet to have this salad. This salad is definitely the best salads I have ever had. I’m not quite sure where to start. Everything in this dish is perfect. I probably enjoyed this so much because it’s basically all of my favorite flavors and ingredients combine. The dressing was flavorful and really complemented all of the fresh ingredients. If I had a ripe avocado on hand, I definitely would have thrown it in as well. You could also substitute shrimp or steak for the chicken or leave the meat out all together for a great vegetarian meal. This recipe makes a lot of salad, be hungry, or save the rest for leftovers. If you want leftovers, don’t toss the whole salad in the dressing all at once; add the dressing to your individual servings to prevent soggy lettuce.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
Serves 4 

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup light sour cream or greek yogurt (or a combination of the two)
  • 1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili or chipotle powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. To prepare dressing: combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and well mixed.

Salad:

  • 4 cups shredded lettuce (I used 1 head of ‘live’ butter lettuce)
  • 2 chopped grilled skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or you can use rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced with seeds discarded
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) can large black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • crushed tortilla chips
  1. To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients, except for the tortilla chips, in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Top with tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

Lemon & Caper Chicken Salad

Lemon Caper & Chicken Salad

Chicken piccata is one of my favorite dishes. The only thing I don’t like about it, is how long it can take to make. There are a lot of dishes and pans and dredging and other stuff involved. Definitely not a fast meal. This is kind of like a chicken piccata salad. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. It’s got all the delicious parts of a traditional chicken piccata; capers, garlic, lemon, yum. It will be ready in 15 minutes, which makes it a winner in my book. This is an easy and tasty weeknight, or any time, meal.

Lemon, Caper & Chicken Salad

Lemon & Caper Chicken Salad
Serves 2

  • olive oil
  •  2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • mixed salad greens to serve
  • white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan until sizzling. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Add in garlic when chicken is almost cooked and cook until golden.
  2. Throw in the capers and lemon juice and stir until warmed through. Serve on salad leaves. Lightly drizzle white wine vinegar over salad and add freshly ground pepper to taste.

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad

Everyone loves a Cobb salad. It’s always been one of my favorites. It’s probably not a salad many make at home. Around these parts there seem to be some variation of the salad on just about every restaurant menu. I realized I had all the ingredients I like in the salad on hand, so I decided to make it for lunch one day. There are hardboiled eggs in the original, I however, do not like hardboiled eggs. So I left them out. One of the benefits of making things at home, is you get to decided exactly what goes in and what stays out of a meal.

Cobb Salad for Two

  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 bag of mixed salad greens
  • 1 large cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C. Place a small cooling rack on a baking sheet. Put prosciutto on the rack. When oven is heated, place prosciutto in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until crispy.
  2. Rinse the salad greens and dry. Divide the salad between two bowls or plates.
  3. Divide the rest of the ingredients and add to the salad bowls.
  4. Serve with ranch or a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Gluten Free Oven-Fried Chicken

Oven-Fried Chicken

I’ve been on a bit of a buttermilk kick lately. Well not so much a kick, more of a I had to use 2 tablespoons of buttermilk in a cake recipe and now I have to use up the rest of the carton before it goes off type of situation. I know it’s super easy to make a buttermilk substitute, but it’s never quite as good as the real thing, so I attempt to stockpile a couple recipes that all call for buttermilk and go on a spree. Or  you could just sell it in smaller cartons dairy people. But that would probably be too easy.

So in my feverish attempt to use up my buttermilk I decided to make oven-fried chicken. It was an excellent decision. I let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk for about 2 hours and I was really impressed with how tender and juicy it stayed despite cooking for nearly an hour. I did find the coating to be a little bland though. Next time I would definitely add some more hot sauce and paprika and probably throw in some garlic and onion powder.

Gluten Free Oven-Fried Chicken (adapted from Eating Well)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces/chunks
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  1. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in a shallow glass dish until well blended. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk flour, sesame seeds, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the flour mixture in a paper bag or large sealable plastic bag. Shaking off excess marinade, place one or two pieces of chicken at a time in the bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place the chicken on the prepared rack. (Discard any leftover flour mixture and marinade.) Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray.
  4. Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.