Lemon Greek Chicken

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I am a jet-lag fighter. I like to think that I can go from one time zone to another with out missing a wink. I fully expected to come back from China and need about a day or two to adjust and then be fine. HA! I think the fact that I fell asleep on the couch by 8 pm 4 out of 5 nights this week proves otherwise.

I was exhausted this week, which was a huge bummer because I had a lot of plans to jump right back into my kitchen and make dinner every night. The night I made lasagna was a huge personal accomplishment and utterly wore me out. To the point that the next night we just had sushi. By Thursday I needed something simple. This one-dish meal (well one dish and a measuring cup) was just what the doctor ordered.

Besides being fast and easy to throw together, this meal is light but filling at the same time. The lemon really brightens the potatoes and chicken. Jesse liked to take each bite and rub it into his lemon slice. Flavor wise this is the perfect summer meal and in San Diego, where there is a breeze and the temperature is in the mid-70’s, I don’t mind turning my oven to 400 degrees. But, if you’re in the part of the country that is over 100 degrees you may want to wait until it cools down a little!

Lemon Greek Chicken
(Adapted from The Pampered Chef Stoneware Inspirations)

Ingredients
2 lemons, divided
1/4 olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs chicken breast (I used boneless, but it originally called for bone-in split breast)
8 small potatoes cut into fourths *
1 medium onion, cut into 1 inch wedges
1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips **
8 ounces whole mushrooms **

*I found a package of red, yukon gold, and purple potatoes at Trader Joes
**Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, there are no peppers or mushrooms in the picture. 15 minutes into roasting I realized I had forgotten to add these, but I’m including them in the ingredients because I know they will be great.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Zest then juice one lemon into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to the cup and mix well. Slice the second lemon into thin slices

In a large oval baking dish, or a bar pan with at least 1 inch tall sides, lay out the onions, potatoes, peppers, mushrooms. Pour 1/2 of the lemon juice over the vegetables and use (clean) hands to evenly coat. Add the chicken and lemon slices to the dish and arrange so the vegetables are surrounding the chicken. Pour the remaining lemon juice mixture over the chicken and use a pastry brush to evenly coat. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes then remove the cover and bake for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until the juices of the chicken run clear and the potatoes are fork tender. Occasionally baste the chicken and vegetables with the pan juices.

Chicken Philly Hoagy

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Hoagies are a staple in our meal rotation. I like them because they are so versatile and usually very quick to throw together. I make steak hoagies, chicken hoagies, meatball hoagies… you name it, we’ve probably put it on a hoagy roll for dinner. Now, one day, I will get around to making my own rolls but for now the LaRosa’s kind work perfectly. (LaRosa’s is a popular Cincinnati pizza restaurant and they sell these rolls in our local grocery store) For tonight’s dinner I went the Chicken Philly route.

Chicken Philly Hoagy

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I like to cook mine in a grill pan with a seasoning blend I have, along the same lines of Nature’s Seasoning)
1/2 onion cut into thin strips
8-10 button mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
2-3 tbsp butter or olive oil spread
salt and pepper to taste
Mayonnaise
Sliced cheese, I like provolone, swiss or white american
Hoagy Rolls

Directions
Pre-heat an oven to 375 degrees

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted drop in the onions, mushrooms and peppers. Reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook until the onions start to turn gold brown about 10 minutes. Stir often. Half way through add the salt and pepper.

When the vegetables are done add the shredded chicken and cook for an additional minute. While that is cooking open the hoagy rolls and spread the mayonnaise on the inside (For Jesse I put a little on the bottom half and the top half, for mine I only put some on the top half)

Spoon the chicken/vegetable mixture onto the bottom half of the hoagy roll. Lay the cheese on top of the meat and then put the top half of the hoagy roll back on.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Serve with chips or oven fries.

Cooking Tip!

This recipe will make enough filling for 3-4 hoagy rolls. I usually only make 2 and save the rest of the filling. Later in the week I’ll heat the filling up in a skillet, add some chicken broth, garlic, cream and a few other spices and toss with pasta. Voila, two meals from one nights prep!

Garlic Herb Chicken

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

We really love chicken. I think we could probably eat chicken every night and be perfectly fine. Actually, once I was making a weekly meal plan to grocery shop and I realized that every single meal I had planned used chicken. Sometimes though, I feel like I run out of fun ways to use it. You can only have chicken parmesan, chicken calzones, and chicken pasta so many times. That’s why I was so excited to see this recipe in my friend Amber’s blog. It’s such a simple concept and yet I have not made anything similar, at least in a long time. Amber said that she wanted to tweak the sauce a little bit so I made a few changes of my own. With this chicken I served roasted Yukon gold potatoes and peas.

Garlic Herb Chicken
Source: Amber’s Delectable Delights
This version is with my changes, Amber’s original recipe can be found here

Ingredients
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken I used vegetable because that’s all I had)
1.5 teaspoon parsley
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Pound chicken breasts so they are thin and even. Mix together flour, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breast in the flour

Preheat sauté pan to medium heat and add in olive oil and garlic. Add chicken to pan and cook until done. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate, tent with foil to keep warm. Sprinkle some of the left over flour into the pan and cook for a minute to dissolve flour. Add the broth and deglaze the pan. Simmer until thickened. Add in remaining seasonings and stir to mix. Drizzle the garlic herb sauce over the chicken and potatoes.

The best mac and cheese you’ll ever put in your mouth….

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Was that title too long? 🙂 LOL. In all seriousness, this is really the best mac and cheese I have ever had. I found it on one of my all time favorite blogs Pioneer Woman Cooks. I’ll admit, I’m in love with Ree. Her blog is full of witty commentary and informative cooking entries, plus she has the cutest family ever. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing her blog before please go check it out, you’ll be hooked!

PW’s Spicy Mac and Cheese
(source: Pioneer Woman Cooks, my changes are noted in bold)

Ingredients
4 cups cooked macaroni or cavatappi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 finely diced red onion
Equal amount diced red bell pepper
1 finely diced jalapeno
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup half and half
1 generous cup grated Pepperjack cheese (I sometimes use half pepperjack and half mild cheddar)
2 Tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper

Directions

Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in canned chilies and stir around, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At the end, add 2 tablespoons butter and stir again. Check seasonings and serve.