• Apricot Chicken

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    Boy do I love finding a crockpot dish that is delicious and loved by all!  Makes for an easy dinner on busy weeknights.

    Ingredients:

    • ½ c. all-purpose flour
    • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • ⅔ c. honey barbecue sauce
    • ⅔ c. apricot preserves
    • ½ c. orange juice
    • ¼ c. soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger root (the ginger root paste is super quick and handy for this)
    • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
    Instructions:
    1. In a large gallon sized bag, place the flour inside. Add the chicken and shake to coat.
    2. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray and place the flour coated chicken in the bottom.
    3. In a large bowl, combing barbecue sauce, apricot preserves, orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, pepper flakes, and leftover flour from the bag used to coat the chicken. Pour over the top of chicken.
    4. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is tender.  Serve over rice.

    Apricot Chicken:
    5star

     

  • Lemon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli

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    This dish is a one skillet dish…yes even the pasta!  It is extremely flavorful, and we loved the bold lemony garlicky sauce.  Everyone had seconds, even Ellie, who doesn’t eat much pasta.  It’s so good, that it tasted restaurant quality…yes, it’s that good!

    Ethan proclaimed: “This is a keeper”.  There you have it.

    We will most definitely be having this dish again and again.

    Since we love garlic, lemon, and Italian seasoning, I added way more than the original recipe.  If you’re not into those bold flavors as much, reduce those amounts to your liking.

    Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 TBSP oil
    • 2 heaping TBSP of minced garlic (I use pre-minced garlic in a jar
    • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
    • 2 1/2 c. water
    • 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
    • Zest of three lemons
    • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons, use the same ones you just zested)
    • 12 ounces penne pasta (I use Barilla or Ronzoni Smart Taste)
    • 2-3 c. chopped fresh broccoli florets
    • 3/4 c. milk
    • 1 heaping TBSP cornstarch
    • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Directions:

    1. Season chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Add the chicken and saute, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate, keeping as much oil/liquid in the skillet as possible.
    2. Keep the skillet on medium heat and add another teaspoon of oil if needed (I usually don’t but you’ll want to keep an especially close eye on the garlic). Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and stir constantly for about 30 seconds. Add the water, broth, lemon juice and pasta. Stir to combine.
    3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally just to keep the pasta from sticking, for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is tender – it will cook for a few more minutes in the next step. (Depending on the type of pasta you use, your cooking time may differ, so keep an eye on the pasta so you don’t overcook it).  There will be a bit of liquid left in the skillet; that’s ok.
    4. Add the broccoli and lemon zest. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is bright green and tender. While the broccoli is cooking, whisk together the milk and cornstarch.
    5. Uncover the skillet and stir in the milk mixture along with the Parmesan cheese and reserved chicken. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 1-2 minutes.
    6. Season with additional salt and pepper (this is really important – don’t skip this step!) and serve.

    Lemon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli:
    5star

  • Jerk Chicken Sliders

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    Oh man are these sliders delicious!!!!  Everyone devoured them, and asked for more!  I love finding new recipes that everyone enjoys.  Yay!!

    We’ve made these with the pineapple mango salsa (recipe below), with the pineapple salsa (recipe below minus the mango), and with just the mango salsa (recipe below minus the pineapple).  Use what you have on hand or what you like best.  It’s all good!

    Recipe adapted from Chef in Training.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 4 dinner rolls (I used the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and you can use the leftover rolls for the Cinnamon Pull-Apart Rolls!)

    Jamaican Jerk Sauce

    • ½ bunch green onions, chopped
    • ½ c. peanut oil
    • ½ c. vinegar
    • 3 TBSP ground allspice
    • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2 limes, juiced
    • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP Ketchup
    • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon

    Pineapple Salsa

    • ¼ pineapple, peel and diced
    • ¾ mango, diced
    • ½ red onion, finely diced
    • Fresh cilantro, chopped
    • juice from 1 lime
    • salt to taste

    Directions:

    1. Mix the Jamaican Jerk Sauce ingredients until smooth.  Place the sauce in a large Ziploc bag and then add the chicken.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
    2. Prepare the Pineapple Salsa.
    3. Grill the chicken; then cut each breast in half (or smaller, if necessary).
    4. Slice each roll in half, place chicken on roll then top with Pineapple Salsa.

    Jerk Chicken Sliders:
    5star

  • Chicken Carnitas Tacos

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    My new favorite chicken tacos!!!!!!!!! These tacos have a slight kick, so if you don’t like spice reduce the chili powder.

    I prefer to cook boneless chicken in a crockpot on HIGH for 2 hours, but you can always lengthen the cooking time and cook on low (the usual cooking time conversion is when you cook on low you double the high cooking time, so in this case it would be low for 4 hours).  The original recipe call for cooking on low for 6-8 hours.

    Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
    • 3/4 c. orange juice (~2 oranges)
    • 1/4 c. lime juice (~2 limes)
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 TBSP chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 cup cilantro, torn
    • Toppings: Salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, etc.
    • Limes, cut into wedges

    Directions:

    1. Place the chicken in the crockpot.
    2. In a bowl mix the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper together and then pour over chicken.
    3. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or until tender.
    4. Remove chicken from crockpot and shred. Reserve the juices.
    5. Spread the chicken out in a single layer on a baking sheet and add 1/4 c. of juices and broil until it starts getting crispy, about 5 minutes. Mix in another 1/4 c. of the juices, mix everything up and broil for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and mix in another 1/4 c. of the juices.
    6. Assemble the tacos on the tortillas with the chicken carnitas along with the  cilantro salsa and whatever toppings you like and serve with the lime wedges.

    Chicken Carnitas Tacos:

    5star

     

  • Skillet Italian Chicken and Pasta

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    Oh my, this is so delicious and so easy…definitely company worthy.  The chicken is so moist and flavorful!  We had leftover pasta (no chicken…it was all devoured), so on another night I reheated the pasta and cooked up some chicken sausage to go along with it.  I cooked up some additional sauce to go along with the leftovers…great 2 meal dinner!

    Ingredients:

    • 12 oz. bow-tie pasta
    • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
    • 16 – 24 oz. skinless chicken breasts, sliced
    • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
    • salt to taste
    • 1 whole medium onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 c. chicken broth
    • 1 jar pasta sauce
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, if desired
    • 1/2 c. ricotta
    • 1 c. mozzarella, grated
    • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 12 basil leaves, chopped
    • Extra cheeses and basil for serving

    Directions:

    1. Prepare pasta according to directions on box.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and 1 TBSP of Italian seasoning. Add chicken to the skillet and cook until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate.
    3. Add onions and garlic to the same skillet and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add broth, then scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the bits. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to let the broth reduce.
    4. Add marinara sauce, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes (if using), then simmer for 10 minutes.
    5. Turn off the heat and add the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, cooked and drained pasta, and basil. Add the cooked chicken on top. Toss to combine, then add more of any of the above ingredients until the sauce is just how you like it.
    6. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and a little basil on top.

    Skillet Italian Chicken and Pasta:

    5star

  • Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

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    Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken is so good.  It’s sweet but not too sweet, and my kiddos loved it…even asked for seconds, which rarely happens with the pickiest eater.  Definitely going in the Crockpot rotation for busy night dinners.

    Recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic.

    Ingredients:
    • 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
    • 3/4 c. honey
    • 3/4 c. soy sauce
    • 3 TBSP ketchup
    • 1 TBSP garlic
    • 1 TBSP ginger paste
    • 1 20 oz. can pineapple drained, reserve 1/4 c. juice
    • 2 TBSP cornstarch
    • 1/4 c. reserved pineapple juice
    Directions:
    1. Add chicken to Crockpot.
    2. In a small bowl add remaining ingredients and combine, then add the sauce to the Crockpot.
    3. Cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours.
    Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken:
    5star
  • Pineapple Chicken: Stovetop or Crockpot

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    This Pineapple Chicken I’ve made 2 ways.  The first is a stovetop version and the second is a Crockpot version.  The main difference is for the Crockpot version, I coated the chicken in cornstarch and browned the meat in a skillet prior to adding to the Crockpot.  The family loved both, but they preferred the coated version.  You can easily use the coated version of the stovetop too.

    Directions for the stovetop version and the Crockpot version below.

    Stovetop Ingredients:

      • ¼ c. Heinz 57
      • ½ c. water
      • 1 8oz. can of crushed pineapple
      • 3 TBSP brown sugar
      • Olive oil
      • 2 tsp. garlic
      • Chicken breasts, cut up
      • Crushed red pepper to taste after cooking

    Directions:

    1. In a bowl, mix the Heinz 57 through brown sugar, set aside.
    2. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add garlic, then add the chicken and cook until done; then add the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
    3. Individuals can add their own crushed red pepper.

    Crockpot Ingredients:

    • ¼ c. Heinz 57
    • ½ c. water
    • 1 8oz. can of crushed pineapple
    • 3 TBSP brown sugar
    • 1/3 c. cornstarch
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • Olive oil
    • 2 tps. garlic
    • Chicken breasts, cut up
    • Crushed red pepper to taste after cooking

    Directions:

    1. In a bowl, mix the Heinz 57 through brown sugar, set aside.
    2. Put cornstarch in a shallow bowl.  In another bowl, beat eggs.
    3. Slice chicken, then dredge chicken in cornstarch and then toss chicken in egg.
    4. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add the garlic, and then add chicken and brown (chicken won’t be fully cooked).
    5. Place chicken in Crockpot and add sauce.
    6. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours.
    7. Individuals can add their own crushed red pepper.

    Pineapple Chicken:

    5star

  • Crockpot Orange Chicken

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    This Crockpot orange chicken recipe is so tasty.  I think when cooking chicken in the Crockpot it tastes better to first coat the chicken in flour and brown it in a skillet before adding to the Crockpot.  The texture of the chicken is better, and the flour acts as a thickening agent for the sauce.  A definite kid approved meal.

    Ingredients:

    • 3-4 (1.5 – 2 lbs) boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • olive oil
    • 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 3 TBSP ketchup
    • 4 TBSP (2 TBSP Splenda) brown sugar
    • 1/2 T salt
    • 1 TBSP garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

    Directions:

    1. In a bowl, mix the orange juice through ginger. Set aside.
    2. Pour the flour in a small bowl. Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess. Over medium heat, warm up the olive oil in a skillet. Brown the flour covered chicken.
    3. Place the chicken into the Crockpot and pour sauce mixture on top. Stir to coat evenly.
    4. Cook on high for 2 hours.

    Crockpot Orange Chicken:

    5star

  • Quick Chicken Cacciatore

    I really love chicken cacciatore, but it takes too long to make.  I found a recipe that reminded me of chicken cacciatore, and it took a fraction of the time to cook.  Everyone devoured their dinners.  Win, win!

    Note: the original recipe (and as pictured) called for celery, but I’ll omit the celery next time.  Add mushrooms if you’d like.

    Adapted from “Chicken Creole” from The Southern Lady Cooks.

    Ingredients:

    • Olive oil
    • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 2 zucchini, chopped
    • 6-8 mushroom, sliced (if desired)
    • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 c. chicken broth
    • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
    • Serve over egg noodles

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil and saute chicken pieces until no longer pink.  Remove and keep warm.
    2. In the same skillet, saute the onion, green pepper, and zucchini in the remaining oil until tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and seasonings.
    3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Return chicken to the pan; heat through.
    4. Serve over hot egg noodles.

    Quick Chicken Cacciatore:

     

     

  • Taco Chicken

    This taco filling is quite tasty and both kiddos really enjoyed it.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 chicken breasts
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 pack taco seasoning
    • 1 (15 oz.) can cream of onion soup (cheddar cheese soup works really well too)
    • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (16 oz.) jar of salsa

    Directions:

    1. Put chicken in Crockpot; then add the onion and sprinkle with taco seasoning.
    2. Add the soup; then the beans; then the salsa.
    3. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.   Remove chicken from Crockpot and shred then return chicken to Crockpot.
    4. Serve with tortillas and cheese.

    Taco Chicken: