OK, today there's no goofing around. No funny stories. Just an answer to that annoying question: What's for dinner?
Often it's a staple chicken breasts. But they don't have to be routine.
How about chicken in a carbonara sauce? Start by sauteing the chicken breasts to sear the outside, add a little white wine to the pan (it helps keep the chicken moist) and finish in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
While that cooks, bring water to a boil for pasta. In a saute pan, over medium heat, cook about 6 ounces roughly chopped bacon until lightly browned. Drain the fat and stir in 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Heat and then season with salt and pepper.
When the chicken breasts are cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove them from the oven and put linguine or spaghetti in the pot of boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into strips.
Place the pasta and then the chicken strips on the plate and top with the carbonara sauce.
Here are two more simple ideas from Bon Appetit magazine:
Combine 2 cups bread crumbs with 1/2 cup drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor and add 2 tablespoons of the oil from the tomatoes. Pulse the processor until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place chicken breasts thick side down and then flip to sear on both sides.
Place the chicken, thick side up, on a heavy-rimmed sheet pan, and spoon the bread crumb mixture on top of the fowl. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Serve with vegetables, potatoes or rice.
Begin the other dish by seasoning two chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and brown chicken for 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
In the same skillet, add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/4 cup each of chopped carrot and celery. Saute until brown. Place the chicken back in the pan and add 1/2 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc), 1/4 cup slivered prosciutto and 11/2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and let simmer for 6 minutes, flip the chicken, then let it simmer another 6 minutes.
And here's one more from 125 Best Microwave Recipes. In a baking dish, place 1 minced clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Microwave uncovered for 40 seconds.
Add 4 chicken breasts to the dish, and spoon sauce on top of them.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and lift one corner to vent.
Microwave at 70 percent for 5 to 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons chicken stock. Remove the chicken from the dish and pour the juices into the measuring cup. Add 2 sliced green onions. Let the chicken stand and cover it to keep it warm. Microwave the sauce, uncovered, on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring once until it's thick and smooth. Pour it over the chicken.
Dan Macdonald can be reached at email@example.com.
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