For some reason, I made a lot of New Year’s Resolutions this year. So many, in fact, that I can’t remember them all. There are four that are sticking out. One I’m screwing up completely, one that kind of happened by accident, but I like it so I’m keeping it, and two that I’m determined to complete. The first is (of course) to lose 20 pounds and get my cholesterol and triglycerides back down to normal. But for fun, I’m going to try 52 new recipes this year. (It started out as one a week, but you know how that went…)
Despite being a culinary school graduate, I’m not a very inventive chef. This is especially true during the week, when every meal that wasn’t purchased frozen is considered a “WIN!” in my book. I had one of those bridal showers where everyone brings a recipe. I also got a boatload of cookbooks, so I’ll say I’m well-prepared for this challenge. Out of the 5 recipes I’ve tried, all have turned out great except one.
Here they are in order:
Stuffed Chicken Saltimbocca: This was a case of “I have these things in the house. What can I cook before they go bad?” Luckily, this was right after Christmas so I had some tasty things lying around. I love to order chicken saltimbocca at Italian restaurants, so this was easy for me to fall in love with. I had a little too much spinach for the two of us (I didn’t know that was possible either) but it was still good. I am pretty good with stuffed chicken, but I don’t think you’d have to stuff it if you didn’t want to. You could probably saute all the parts together and then plate them in order and it would be just as good. Stuffed chicken can be a little tricky for the two of us because one chicken breast is really two servings. So we end up splitting it and then everything leaks out. It’s not a bad problem to have. One whole stuffed chicken breast is about 700 calories and 35 grams of fat (which is why we ate half).
Chicken Kiev: This Russian chicken dish sounds fancier than it is. It just sounds so swanky! It’s a chicken breast stuffed with butter and garlic. What’s not to like? I got this recipe for my shower (Thanks Diana!) and morphed it with Alton Brown’s recipe. I liked the spices in Alton’s recipe, but that one didn’t include garlic. I don’t see us making this one too frequently because half of one chicken breast is 25 grams of fat, but it was quite tasty.
Slow Cooked Orange Chicken: I shouldn’t even put this in here, but in the spirit of full disclosure, here it is. I made this so you don’t have to. I have a hard time with chicken in the slow cooker because I don’t like dark meat. Most slow cooker chicken recipes are for chicken thighs and it’s not so easy to just substitute breasts. But I don’t think that was my whole problem here. If you’ve ever looked at a hockey puck and said, “I wonder what it would taste like if I dipped that in orange juice and took a bite,” then this recipe is for you. The sauce boiled down faster than the 8 hours of slow cooking time would dictate so the chicken pieces were sitting out of the sauce for too long. There is nothing more disappointing than thinking that you’re going to come home to a cooked dinner and have it be inedible.
Greek Yogurt marinated Chicken: Honestly, this is kind of a stretch. I really like greek yogurt for breakfast. I’ve been reading about the health benefits of greek yogurt and, it turns out, people are using it to marinate chicken. That’s something I can get behind! I tried this recipe during a snowstorm, so I was limited to what was in my kitchen. I searched online to see what people were putting into their marinades and kind of made my own. I mixed 3oz of fat-free greek yogurt (I prefer Fage), 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp minced garlic (about one clove) and a squirt of lemon juice. Cover a chicken breast with it and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours. I cooked the chicken on the George Foreman and it came out so moist! I was really impressed. It only added about 50 calories to the chicken.
Tangy Glazed Chicken: This is a really fun recipe. It doesn’t require much prep time, which makes it perfect for a week night. This recipe is perfect for two people. You are supposed to use bone-in chicken breasts. I don’t even know where to find bone-in chicken breasts, so I used regular chicken breasts and reduced the cooking time by 10 minutes. I don’t think the sauce really needed 30 minutes to cook anyway. I was surprised at how fast everything was ready. Half the recipe is only 650 calories and 16 grams of fat. It wasn’t too sweet for me, but was maybe a little for Mr. Wonderful. Some of the suggestions online were to add soy sauce or a little white wine to cut the sweetness. I was thinking of adding a little more orange juice next time. I figure that the acid would take the sweetness down a little bit and bring out the citrus flavor a little bit. I’ll let you know when we try this one again.
I know I’m three recipes behind and I know they’ve all been chicken. I have big plans for a pork dish this weekend. This has been the most fun resolution yet!