Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chicken? Again??

Chicken remains by far the most versatile and available protein sources around. That being said, why do we keep complaining about how boring it is? We've probably been stuck inside our comfy little squares, with little inspiration or motivation to dream up something new.
Well here ya go- motivation, inspiration, and creativity. Oh yea, and they're healthy too. Pretty amazing, I know.

Chicken and Mushroom Tacos
Cooking spray

1 3/4 cups thinly vertically sliced onion
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 cups presliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 cup Madeira wine or dry sherry
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add jalapeño; sauté 2 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over onion mixture; sauté 1 minute. Remove onion mixture from pan.Yield: 4 servings
2. Return pan to heat; recoat with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add Madeira to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Uncover; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Stir in onion mixture and chicken; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
3. Warm tortillas according to package instructions. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla.

CALORIES 310 (10% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 5.6g,mono 2.8g,poly 1.3g); IRON 1.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 40mg; CALCIUM 200mg; CARBOHYDRATE 36.3g; SODIUM 389mg; PROTEIN 25g; FIBER 4g
Balsamic Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold running water. Pat it dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, mince together the rosemary and garlic. Loosen the chicken skin from the flesh, and rub the flesh with olive oil and then the herb mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper. Put 2 rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken.
Place the chicken into a roasting pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes per pound, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Whole chicken should cook to an internal temperature of 180 F. Baste frequently with pan juices. When browned and juices run clear, transfer the chicken to a serving platter.
In a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Heat until warmed but don't boil.
Carve the chicken and remove the skin. Top the pieces with the vinegar mixture. Garnish with the remaining rosemary sprigs and serve immediately.
Yields 4 servings
CALORIES 290; PROTEIN 44g; CARBOHYDRATE 4g; FAT 11g (3g saturated); SODIUM 108mg; CHOLESTEROL 127mg

Mom's Spicy Chicken Soup
Water, enough to cover chicken & provide quantity of liquid you want.

(seasoning qty listed for appx 2 qts water; adj spices to your quantity)
1-1/2 pound chicken breast, skin removed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup chicken broth (brand with 430 sodium per serving)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed in bite size pieces
3 medium carrots, sliced (don’t peel)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1/4” or larger)
2 fresh whole hot peppers (your favorite – mine is Serrano), cut lengthwise thinly and then finely chopped. BEWARE – 2 peppers will make this dish VERY HOT, just the way I like it – adjust as you wish.

In a large pot over high heat combine water, chicken, onion, garlic, garlic salt, black pepper, basil, oregano, chicken broth, and hot peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
Add celery and carrots to the pot.
Add sweet potato to the pot 5 minutes after.
Cook over medium heat until meat is tender & vegetables are done.
Let cool. Enjoy!
*Note: I advise to add the sweet potatoes after the celery and carrots because it cooks a little faster. Many people think sweet potatoes and yams are the same, but they are not. If you use yams (the darker version) they take longer to cook so switch steps 2 and 3.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Nutritional Information:

A serving is 1 cup. Makes 10 Servings.
Nutritional Value Per Serving: Calories: 149; Total Fat: 6.16g; Cholesterol: 54mg; Carbohydrates: 8.9g; Protein: 14.6g; Sodium 236mg

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