Lemony Roast Chicken

Oh hello, you gorgeous roast chicken, you.

Lemony Roasted Chicken

It’s freakin’ COLD here in New York/New Jersey lately, and I’m looking for every excuse I can get to turn on our oven and crank up the heat. Comfort food is the name of the game around here- This week alone we’ve made lentil soup, mac ‘n cheese, homemade pizza, and this here beautiful lemony roast chicken.

Think tender, perfectly moist chicken, scented with lemon from the inside out, with a crisp, crackling skin. This chicken takes about 15 minutes of prep work and is perfect to make on a weekend with plenty of leftovers to last you into the week.

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Stew + a GIVEAWAY

Pretty pumped to share this recipe with you all today. As you may have guessed slow cooking is kind of my jam, and I love coming up with new and fun ways to use one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. This recipe is a total keeper and is chockful of great flavors.

Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

This slow cooker stew is loaded with white meat chicken, sweet potatoes, and a nice kick from a jalapeno pepper, salsa verde, and cayenne. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter’s night!
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Mayo-Free Chicken Salad

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad

Have I ever introduced you to my amazing cat, Meebo? Let me preface this all by saying that in general, I am NOT a cat person. Other than my little girl, cats just kinda weird me out! Meebo is the bomb, but I’m just not one of those “give me all teh catz!!!” people.

My Meebs is a real lady though. Plus, she’s just too dang cute!

Meebo

 When she’s not busy photobombing my food shots, her interests include chasing laser pointers, eating, sleeping on my lap when I’m trying to eat, sleeping on my stomach when I’m trying to sleep, and all around being awesome. We adopted Meebo from the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City almost 3 years ago, and she is a much-loved member of our little family. I just wanted to share a little light from my life with you all!

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad

Something else I have a lot of love for is chicken salad. What I DON’T love is mayo, though. While I’m okay with it mixed in with things from time to time, it does give me the creeps and I’m not sure why. So when I decided I wanted to make my own chicken salad, I knew I wanted to try a different (and hopefully healthier) alternative to mayo. Enter the delicious, creamy avocado!

Ripe avocados are what make this mayo-free chicken salad have such a lovely texture and taste. Crunchy celery and one of my favorite herbs, dill, add texture and a bit of a flavor kick to the mix. I personally hate fruit in chicken salad, and raisins give me nightmares in general, but if you are into that kind of thing, feel free to stir in some raisins or other dried fruit as well!

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced into Cs
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • salt

Instructions
  1. Cut your avocados in half, and scoop the insides into a medium bowl. Mash with a fork or spoon until somewhat creamy. Add chicken, lemon juice, celery, dill and salt, and mix together until combined. Use on sandwiches, in wraps, or enjoy on it’s own!

Mayo-Free Chicken Salad

This is a great recipe to make for kids’ lunches, and even for a grownup lunch too!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Sauteed Chicken with Mustard Dill Sauce

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YOU GUYS! I have had an amazing past few days. On Saturday, my bridesmaids, friends and family threw me the most EPIC surprise bridal shower! Best of all, it was Total Noms themed!

That’s right, an entire event catered with Total Noms recipes- from Hummus Crusted Chicken and Quinoa Tabbouleh, to Grilled Zucchini Salad and Simple Sesame Noodles (and more!), I couldn’t believe how thoughtful and DELICIOUS everything was. Every detail was perfection- the setting in a gorgeous old house on the Hudson River, beautiful printed recipe cards for everyone, fresh potted herbs as favors, and best of all, a cupcake decorating contest at the end! 🙂

BridalShower

Honestly, the entire day was one of the best of my whole life. It was so sweet and wonderful having all my friends and family there as I start my new life with my future husband. I felt like a princess (did I mention there was a tiara, too?) and enjoyed every second. My bridesmaid Morgan was the resident photographer for the afternoon and is putting together a photo album from the day, so once I have those I will hopefully be able to post a link here.

Of course one of the greatest things about getting married is filling up that registry, and getting all the amazing kitchen gadgets that I have been pining for! I can’t thank my family and friends enough for making my kitchen even more stuffed with awesome pots, pans, plates, knives, bowls, and mixer attachments! Get excited, there’s a lot of fun stuff to come here now that I have all these goodies (can anyone say, “donut pan”?)!

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So about this chicken. What a knockout meal for a quick weeknight dinner. A rich mustard sauce spiked with dill and garlic + beautiful browned chicken makes for a happy couple at our house. I am a big fan of anything dijon mustard, and lately have been on a huge dill kick (blame it on those pickle chips I smuggled in from Canada last month!), so pairing the two was a foregone conclusion for me.

And side note- A few weeks back, Pompeian sent me a few bottles of delicious oils and vinegars to sample and try. I’ve been obsessed with this Pompeian Olivextra Premium Mediterranean Blend (not an affiliate link)- it’s actually a combo of olive oil and grapeseed oil. It is the perfect high-heat, all purpose cooking oil and it also works great blended with salad dressings. I used this to brown the chicken for the recipe, and highly recommend trying to find some for your own kitchen!

Sauteed Chicken with Mustard Dill Sauce
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp good quality cooking oil (I use Pompeian Olivextra Olive + Grapeseed Oil blend)
  • 4 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 2 regular chicken breasts, each butterflied)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200. In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and allow to heat up. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and salt and pepper both sides. Carefully place the chicken in the pan and allow to brown, flipping after 3-4 minutes. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until cooked through, then remove to an oven-proof dish while you make the sauce. You may need to cook the chicken in 2 batches. When you are done sauteeing, transfer the ovenproof dish with the chicken in it to the preheated oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
  2. Keeping the same skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp butter and allow to melt. Add the minced garlic and allow to cook briefly, about 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown but not burn. Add the white wine to the pan and deglaze, using a spatula to scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and remaining 1 tbsp butter, and stir until sauce becomes uniform. Finally, add the dill and stir again. Turn off heat and remove the chicken from the oven.
  3. Serve chicken topped with the mustard dill sauce. Enjoy!

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Whats your favorite go-to quick chicken dinner for weeknights?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (PF Chang’s Copycat)

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So, hi, it will be August by the end of this week. Where the heck has this summer  run off to? Are we seriously in the second half of 2013? Am I seriously getting married in two-and-a-half months? What is going on here, people?

While I calm down from my panic attack here, let’s talk summer suppers.

Mm, the crunchy, sweet and sour chicken lettuce wrap. I think these are the perfect evening meal for summer- light, cool, and crisp, with minimal cook time and maximum flavor. If you have ever been to a PF Changs, this is one of their famous appetizers- and I think this copycat recipe does a great job imitating their classic flavor.

What an easy and fun recipe this is – and I guarantee it will please even the carb-lovers and vegetable-haters in your family. My nutritionally-challenged fiance actually requested I make these lettuce wraps for him, lettuce and all!

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You will notice I suggest grinding the chicken in the food processor before cooking. You can absolutely feel free to buy pre-ground chicken from the store- I just get paranoid about what is actually in the ground meat, so lately I’ve taken to buying fresh organic chicken and grinding it myself. Whatever floats your boat, though!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (PF Chang’s Copycat)
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the “special sauce”:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
For the filling:
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders, breasts, or thighs (your choice), or, 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
For the stir-fry sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
For the wraps:
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Hot mustard
  • Sriracha

Instructions
  1. Make the “special sauce”: Mix together sugar, water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil in a bowl until combined. Store in the fridge while you make the chicken filling.
  2. Prepare stir-fry sauce: Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil in a measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside.
  3. If you are using ground chicken, skip this step. Otherwise, in a food processor, add your chicken of choice and pulse 10 times to grind up the chicken, or until all unmanageably large pieces are gone. You want somewhere between chopped and total mush- so just take a look at the consistency after each pulse and stop at your liking.
  4. In a pan, heat up oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5-6 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. To the pan, add the onions and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms, water chestnuts and chicken and stir to combine. Add the stir fry sauce and stir, and allow to cook for 2 minutes more.
  6. Serve in iceberg lettuce leaves, and top with “special sauce” and other toppings as desired. Enjoy!

Adapted from Food.com.

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What else is new with you all? This Friday, I have off so I am going with my mom to test out getting my hair done for the wedding! I really can’t wait. I will have to start pinning up a storm of hairstyle ideas that I like. I’m also working on setting up my appointment for something I’ve been looking forward to since we got engaged- Wedding cake tasting!!! YAY!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally