Nowadays, chicken becomes a boring alternative for pork. The fried and grilled ways of cooking chicken have been overused so many times, that more and more people are already switching to seafood to answer their nutritional needs, as well as to satisfy their taste buds.
It cannot be denied that chicken packs good nutrients in its meat minus the skin. Thus, it still stands a chance to become a favorite again in the dinner table. That is why some people are trying to restore the popularity of the chicken by thinking of ways to serve them with sophistication. Home cooks will be able to produce restaurant- worthy chicken meals with these recipes:
Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce
- 4 breast halves about 6 ounces, skinless and boneless
- ½ fat- free, less sodium chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened apple cider
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ fresh onion, minced
- 2 bacon slices, chopped
- Prepare a heavy plastic wrap and place each of the halves between two sheets. Using a rolling pin or a meat mallet, flatten the skinless, boneless chicken breasts until it reaches ½ inch thick.
- Get the salt and pepper and spread them evenly on the chicken.
- In a nonstick skillet, fry bacon at a medium heat. Turn the heat off when the bacon is crisp enough. Remove them immediately.
- Transfer the chicken to the pan and cook each side for at least 6 minutes. After cooking, remove the chicken breasts but keep them warm.
- In the pan, place the onions and cook them for two minutes. Do not forget to stir occasionally.
- Pour broth and cider into the pan and boil them. Loosen brown bits in the pan by scraping. For 5 minutes, cook the broth until it is reduced to half a cup.
- Stir the mixture well and gradually put bacon.
- Serve the chicken with the sauce made from the mixture.
Swiss Chicken Bundles
- 8 dried lasagna noodles, packaged
- 1 ½ cups process Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cps ricotta cheese or cream-style cottage cheese, drained
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup cooked chicken, about 8 ounces, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ fresh tarragon or basil, snipped OR ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon or basil, crushed
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
- Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)
- Paprika or snipped parsley (optional)
- Follow the package instructions in cooking dried lasagna noodles. Drain the excess liquid. Pour cold water in the noodles and drain again.
- Mix egg, cream cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, chicken and 1 ½ teaspoons of tarragon and basil in a stirring bowl. This will be for the filling of the chicken bundles.
- Spread the lasagna noodles and pour 1/3 cup of the filling over them. Starting atthe short end, roll the noodles and secure sides into seams.
- Prepare a 2 quart baking dish and carefully lay the bundles, seam-side down. Leave them for a while.
- The margarine or butter should be melted in a saucepan to create the sauce. Pour flour, pepper, salt and mustard, and stir them well.
- Pour milk in the mixture while stirring. Wait until the sauce is bubbly and thick before adding cheese.
- Drip the sauce on the chicken bundles and be careful not to waste any of them.
- Using foil, cover the chicken bundles securely.
- Put the dish into the oven and bake them. The suggested temperature would be 375 degree Farenheit. Leave the dish for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove the dish in the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes at maximum.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the bundles and sprinkle with parsley or sprigs if desired.
Herbed Chicken and Dumplings
- Cooking Spray
- ¼ cup 1% low fat milk
- 8 ounces boneless and skinless chicken thighs, bite-sized pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ¾ cup celery, diagonally cut into ¼ inch
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- ½ cup carrots, diagonally cut into ¼ inch
- 2.25 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 parsley sprigs
- 3 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Prepare a saucepan and turn it on medium heat. Coat the inside with a cooking spray.
- Cook the chicken for 4 minutes, making sure that all sides are brown.
- Keep the chicken warm after removing them from the pan.
- Put celery, carrots, onion, thyme, parsley sprigs and the bay leaf in the pan. For 5 minutes, saute these ingredients or until onion is tender.
- Retrieve the cooked chicken and carefully placed them in the pan. Let the heat set for 1 minute before pouring the chicken broth and boiling them together.
- Reduce the heat as you cover the pan. Wait for 30 minutes for everything to simmer down.
- Pour an appropriate amount of flour in a dry measuring cup for the dumplings.
- Prepare a medium bowl and place the following inside: flour, salt, baking powder and chopped parsley. Pour milk and stir constantly.
- After getting a moist mixture, use a teaspoon to add little balls of it in the broth.
- Again, cover the pan and give another 30 minutes to simmer.
- Discard the bay leaf and parsley sprigs when the dumplings are done.
Cooking sophisticated meals at home do not need the use of complicated and expensive materials and ingredients. With the rise of professional home cooks who share their discoveries in serving elegant meals at home, there’s also a chance for foodies at heart to serve 5 –star meals to the family.