Buttermilk Baked Panko Chicken Tenders

8 slices bread  or 1 ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 cup of buttermilk

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 pound Chicken breast tenders

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously rub a baking sheet with oil. In a food processor, pulse the bread until it turns to coarse crumbs.

In a large bowl, stir together the buttermilk, hot-pepper sauce, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs or panko, parmesan, thyme and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, turning to coat evenly. Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the liquid, letting the excess drip back into the bowl; dredge in the breadcrumb or panko mixture, turning to coat evenly. Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Leave enough space between the chicken pieces so that they crisp evenly all the way around.

Bake until golden – about 30 minutes.


Chicken & Vegetables in a Cream Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon seasoning of your choice (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, paprika…) I like to use Bouquet Garni, an all-purpose herb blend

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup chopped green bell peppers

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup all purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups whole milk

1 cup frozen green peas

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Place in a mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper ,and other seasonings of your choice.

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.

Carefully add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, bell peppers, celery, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and milk. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the peas and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Serve on top of rice, egg noodles, or biscuits!


Chicken Stir Fry with Snow Peas

Serves 4

½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾ inch pieces
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
½ pound snow peas, trimmed
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
6 green onions, white parts only, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ pound bean sprouts
1/3 cup chipped fresh cilantro
freshly ground pepper to taste

Sprinkle the salt evenly over the chicken and set aside. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the stock to dissolve. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the snow peas and stir gently. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the snow peas to a bowl and set aside.

Add the chicken to the pan, raise the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces over, re-cover, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the bowl holding the snow peas.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the pan. Add the ginger, green onions, and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Quickly stir the cornstarch mixture, then stir it into the pan with the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Bring to a gentle boil and boil, stirring, for a minute or two to thicken the pan sauce. Return the chicken and snow peas to the pan, stir well, and reheat to serving temperature, 30 to 45 seconds.

Remove from the heat and mix in the bean sprouts. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the cilantro. Grind a little pepper over the top. Serve immediately with the rice.


Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Serves 8

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
coarse salt and pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 can ( 14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
¼ cup hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
8 hamburger buns

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until meat is golden brown – about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a slow cooker, leaving oil behind. Repeat with chicken breasts.

To a skillet, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water. Stir, scraping browned bits from skillet, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the slow cooker.

To the slow cooker add crushed tomatoes, hot pepper sauce, worcestershire sauce, mustard and molasses. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high until chicken is very tender, @ 4 hours.

Shred chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve on buns.

This can also be done in an oven.
Times and temperature vary but should be @ 2 hours at 300 degrees.


Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Mustard-Dill Dipping Sauce

Serves 4

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
3 cups pretzels (not low-sodium)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb.)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Put the flour in a wide, shallow bowl. In another wide, shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs and 1 Tbs. of the mustard. Process the pretzels in a food processor until a coarse flour forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer the pretzel flour to a third wide, shallow bowl. Line up the flour, egg, and pretzel bowls in that order.

Put the chicken on a cutting board, and holding your knife parallel to the board, split each breast in half horizontally. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken lightly with pepper. Dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour, then the egg, and then the pretzel flour, coating well and shaking off the excess. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup mustard with the mayonnaise, dill, honey, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper; set aside.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add three of the chicken breast pieces. Cook until the first side is dark brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the second side is golden-brown, about 2 minutes more; if the chicken seems to be browning too fast, reduce the heat to medium. Transfer to a clean cutting board and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Slice the chicken on the diagonal. Divide the slices among four dinner plates and serve with the dipping sauce.


Greek Chicken with Mixed Greens and Vegetables

Have you ever used za’atar? Until last night,I had not! I purchased some at Neomonde, a mediterranean store in Raleigh, and made this delicious Greek chicken dish last night. It will not be the last time I use Za’atar! It was a hit!

Za’atar,the spice blend, is a mixture of dried herbs, sesame seeds, and sumac, and often salt, a centuries-old mixture dating back to the 13th century.

Za’atar is most frequently used as a table condiment, dusted on food on its own, or stirred into some olive oil as a dip for soft flatbreads. That spread is often applied to the bread before baking, which lends incredible depth of flavor to the herbs and sesame seeds. Za’atar also makes a superb dry rub for roast chicken or lamb, as well as on firm or starchy vegetables like cauliflower or potatoes.

Try it!
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
¾ cup za’atar
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob
2 cups canned fava beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh shallots
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 cups mixed baby greens

Sprinkle the chicken with 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir the za’atar and 3 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl to blend. Rub the herb mixture all over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or up to one day.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about four minutes per side. Set the chicken aside and cool. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch-thick strips.

Toss the corn kernels, fava beans, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers and shallots in a large bowl. Whisk the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper in a small bowl to blend. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Toss the mixed greens with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in another large bowl. Place a bed of the mixed greens on each plate. Mound the vegetable mixture on top of the greens. Top with the sliced chicken pieces and serve.