Chicken Wrapped Asparagus

The other day I was rummaging around my freezer figuring out what to make for dinner. I found a tray of thin chicken breasts that were like scallopini. I remembered I bought them on sale for less than $4 (when I see sales like that I stock up and vacuum seal them). I also had a fresh bunch of asparagus sitting in the fridge. I knew I wanted to make something that incorporated both ingredients and then I remembered I also had some low fat old cheddar cheese (not old as in time spent in my fridge but old as in flavour ūüėČ )

I thought “how about wrapping the asparagus in the chicken lined with some cheese for extra flavour!”

Defrosting the chicken didn’t take long and here is how it turned out. ¬†I got 4 wrapped pieces which is 4 meals along with a salad. ¬†Not bad for a total of about $6 -$7 dollars. They looked great and where tasty too.

chicken wrapped asparagus

Ingredients:

2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced and pounded (or buy them this way as I did)

¬Ĺ – 1 lb of asparagus

Old cheddar cheese thinly sliced (or any cheese of your liking – goat cheese would work well too – I just used what I had on hand – use 1-2 slices per roll – it will leak out a bit but who doesn’t like melted cheese?)

Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Lay a slice of chicken breast flat on a plate or piece of parchment or any type of sheet/board – I have a bunch of those thin plastic cutting boards. Lay down 1-2 slices of cheese (or spread goat cheese) per piece of chicken. Place about 4-5 stalks of asparagus trimmed (it can stick out the bottom and top) and roll the chicken and cheese around the asparagus. Hold together with a toothpick or two – remember to remove these before serving.

Place roll in heated frying pan with the olive oil an sear all around. Once chicken is lightly browned or cooked outside all around, place pan in oven at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes. This will finish the cooking and make sure the asparagus is also cooked nicely. Remember ovens vary so if you need a few minutes longer then leave it in for about 20 minutes – shouldn’t need any longer though.

Remove from the pan and serve. ¬†This whole dish took 30 minutes from start to finish. Now thats what I call “Cheap and Cheerful”!

Advertisements

Chicken and Pasta Prima Vera

This recipe started out as pasta prima vera but I thought “why not add some protein to it”? Turned out to be quite yummy and when a group of friends wound up back at my house all hungry I happened to have a big bowl left over from a food order I had just filled so was able to get everyone fed and happy in a very short period of time.

IMG_1200

Ingredients – serves 6-8:

Olive oil Рenough to sauté vegetables

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small bite size pieces

4 cloves minced garlic

1 red and 1 yellow  pepper cut into thin strips

2 large handfuls of chopped raw kale

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half

1.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup fat free evaporated milk

2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, dissolved in 6 tablespoons water

Pepper to taste

1 large carrot peeled and sliced into strips with a peeler

Fettucini or linguini – enough for 6-8 people

3/4 – 1 cup grated Parmesan

A large handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped

1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

Salt to taste if you want to (I don’t usually cook with salt)

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and kale and cook until softened about another 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and stir into other vegetables. Stir in flour/water combination and mix throughly with vegetables. Add stock, evaporated milk and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. If liquid does not thicken enough add another tsp of flour and water mixture and stir through.

While the vegetables are cooking, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Cook pasta until it is al dente. Drain pasta and combine and toss  with vegetables and sauce. Serve garnished with Parmesan, parsley and basil.

Note: sauce thickens even more by the next day.

Dijon Maple Chicken

This is a very simple meal to make that has a lot of impact.  You can use whatever side dish you like РOnce again I was using up things in my fridge as I really hate wasting and throwing out food.   Recipe is simple and delicious (I even cut some small pieces up for my cat who devoured them.)

chicken dinner

Chicken ingredients – serves 4 minimum

4 Chicken breasts (you can use thighs if you wish)

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

Ground pepper to taste

Directions

In a sealable plastic bag Рadd all the ingredients minus the chicken.  Mix the ingredients together by just rubbing the bag a bit.  Throw in the chicken and massage around in the sauce (with the bag sealed).  Put in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.  I often do this the day before so cooking time is cut right down.

Use a cast iron pan if you have Рif not then use a sauté pan you can put in the oven. Heat a small amount of olive oil (just enough to moisten the pan).  When fairly hot Рplace the chicken in the pan making sure not to overlap. When browned slightly on one side, flip over and cook for several minutes on the other side.  Pop the pan into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes (less time needed if you are using very small chicken breasts).

When finished cooking take the pan out and remove the breasts to a plate and cover lightly with foil to let the chicken rest and retain their juices.  Meantime in the pan (which is very hot so remember to use gloves) add half a cup of chicken broth, 1 tsp of dijon mustard and 1 tsp butter.  Whisk the juice around picking up the bits left from the chicken pieces.  You can also use some white wine if you have it handy (half chicken broth and half wine works).  Bring liquid to a boil and let it reduce slightly while stirring (the little bits left from the chicken and sauce in the pan provide all the flavour.  You can either strain this juice or use it as is with the little pieces in it.  Pour over chicken and/or side dish and you are done!

Side Dish

I had  some brown rice with a bit of grated parmesan cheese in it left over and some broccoli and mushrooms.  I sautéed the mushrooms and broccoli for a few minutes in a touch of olive oil then added chicken brother to the pan and covered for a few minutes.  I threw in the rice with the veg and stirred it around and covered till heated.

Put a few grape tomatoes in for colour and dinner was served.