Honey Chipotle Chicken Salad with Lime Quinoa

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Quick Post: This salad was everything I wanted it to be – sweet, spicy, smokey, tangy – perfect! The chicken soaked up all the flavors of the marinade and once grilled, it caramelized and became it’s own finger-licking-good sauce. The surprise hit for me was the lime quinoa – I cooked it in homemade chicken stock with a little salt and pepper. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa – adapted from How Sweet Eats

honey chipotle chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard (*I used this recipe*)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

salad

  • 6 cups spring greens
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (*I had Roma tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro (*the store didn’t have any*)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced

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Lime Quinoa 

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well (at least 3 times, or until the water is clear)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions –

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or Ziploc bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side.

To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve!

lime quinoa
Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Creamed Corn

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I’m all for eating healthier in January to sort of make up for all the rich foods that I made during the holidays…but sometimes it’s hard to quit the comfort. All of these recipes were delicious, but the cream corn had me swooning and will definitely be a repeat offender in this house! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Buttermilk Baked Chicken – adapted from Food Republic

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed (*I used garlic powder*)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
Directions –
To prepare the marinade, in a large mixing bowl whisk the buttermilk, mustard, hot sauce, paprika, salt, onion and garlic together to combine. Put the chicken in a plastic storage bag, add the buttermilk mixture and smoosh the chicken around to thoroughly coat in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, preferably up to 2 days.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess buttermilk, and discard. Season both sides of the chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a flat plate. Press the chicken breasts into the breadcrumbs to completely coat all sides, shaking off the excess.
Put a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, lay the chicken in the pan – you may have to do this in batches. Sear for 3 minutes on each side. Nestle the seared chicken breasts side by side in the skillet. Transfer the skillet (and chicken) to the oven and bake for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden.

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Home-Style Mashed Potatoes – adapted from Pass the Sushi

      • 2 pounds potatoes (I had Russett)
      • 2 TBSP butter
      • 1/2  cup heavy cream
      • salt

Directions –

Scrub and peel the potatoes. Dice into even 1/2″ cubes to even out cooking time. Place in a large Dutch oven with just enough water to cover. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

Drain the potatoes and return to the Dutch oven. Add the cream and using a blender or a masher, mash the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and mix until incorporated. Add more cream if needed (starch may very from potato to potato). Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to entice friends and family into extra big spoonfuls.

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Homemade Creamed Corn – adapted from Fabulously Fugal

      • 20 ounces frozen corn thawed
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 T sugar
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 2 T butter
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 2 TBS flour
      • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions –

Heat first 6 ingredients together in a large pot. In a separate small bowl, wisk separately  the 1/2 cup milk and 2 TBS of flour (this is what will help thicken the cream).

Stir into corn mixture and cook over medium heat (stir often so the cream doesn’t burn) until mixture is thickened and corn cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

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I had just enough leftover chicken to make this, plus everything else on hand to make this recipe – I love that! This was perfect for a Sunday lunch and we all enjoyed it with our favorite crescent rolls. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Creamy Chicken + Lemon Rice Soup – adapted from Simply Scratch

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium peeled carrot, diced small
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 3/4 cup white rice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping cup leftover shredded chicken

Directions –

Heat your Dutch oven over medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil.

Sauté the diced carrots and celery until they’re just starting to soften. Pour in the low sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Pour in the 3/4 cup of long grain rice. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to medium high. Cook the rice for 20 minutes; stand nearby just in case there’s a boil-over.

In a bowl, beat the two eggs and add in the lemon juice. Once the twenty minutes are up, remove the lid to the soup and gather some of the broth into a ladle. While stirring, slowly pour in the hot broth into the egg mixture. Then pour the warmed egg/broth mixture into the Dutch oven and stir.

Add in the shredded chicken and minced parsley. Taste the soup and check the seasonings, season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Citrus Brined Roasted Chicken

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Do you need a special meal for Thanksgiving, but not enough people around to warrant roasting an entire turkey? There is nothing wrong with that, and I have been in that position before. While it’s not the best scenario celebrating the holidays without extended family, making a special meal is sometimes better than going out. Our first Thanksgiving away from family was the worst on record, and I never want to experience that again. We lived in a tiny city in Texas and the only place open that day was a buffet – yuck! We had no choice because I didn’t cook back then like I do now…live and learn, right?

Roast chicken is made even better with a tad more effort; and I can’t get over how much better chicken tastes once it has been brined! My husband took a bite and was confused because of the orange flavor, because he wasn’t expecting it. It was so juicy and flavorful that I’m not sure I’ll be able to skip brining next time. I have tried one other recipe before, but I concocted this recipe myself after searching around for ratios of water to salt to weight. Citrus and chicken make a winning combination, and the idea went from there. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Citrus Brined Roast Chicken – a Mom-Makes original

  • 3-4 lb. whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/2 lemon – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
  • 1/2 orange – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

Directions –

Heat 2 quarts of water in a small pot. Once the water simmers, add your salt and sugar – stir until dissolved. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse your chicken and remove anything inside the cavity (giblets, liver, ect).  Place your chicken in a large lidded container (mine holds 6 quarts of liquid) or a heavy-duty plastic bag. Add the citrus, garlic, spices and herbs. Pour the cold water and then the dissolved salt/sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate of 8 hours or overnight.

*About an hour before roasting, take the chicken out of the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Set it on a sheet pan and place it uncovered in the refrigerator so the skin can dry out a little.

**Citrus and Herb Butter –

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • heavy pinch of kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon and orange zest
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions –

Place butter in a small bowl.  Using a fork, mash until softened.  Add salt and pepper and mash to incorporate.  Add olive oil, zest and rosemary and stir to combine.

Roasting Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the other half of lemon and orange in the cavity, and garlic or shallot if you have it. Truss chicken and coat generously with the citrus butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and place in roasting pan or a foil lined sheet pan; insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of one of the breasts. Roast the chicken until the thermometer reads 155-160 degrees, (about 70-75 minutes with my convection roast setting). Once the desired temperature is reached, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy!

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Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

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Chicken pot pie is comfort food at its finest: rich, creamy and hearty filling topped with a golden, flaky, buttery crust….yes, please! But if you’re too busy, or you’d rather not mix, chill, roll and hope it was all worth the effort; do yourself a favor and make this biscuit topping instead. These biscuits are so simple to make and you can even stir them up ahead of time and they bake up light, fluffy, and flavorful.

Verdict: So.Freaking.Good. I can’t wait to make this again; and I know I’ll have a good excuse to make it with leftover turkey next time. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie – adapted from Food.com

*6-8 generous servings*

  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1  cup half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups roasted chicken breast or turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions –

Preheat oven to 375°F. Saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for about 10 minutes. Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well. Cook one minute stirring constantly.Combine broth and half and half.Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and peas – stir to combine.Pour into one 13 x 9 casserole dish.

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For the biscuit crust – adapted from Just a Taste

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk

Directions –

*You can prepare the dough up to two days ahead of time*

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the cheeses and toss to coat. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Add the buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Drop the biscuit dough onto the pot pie filling in small mounds, leaving spaces between biscuits.

Bake at 375 degrees until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tequila Lime Chicken Club Sandwich with Jalapeno Mayo

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If you haven’t tried this marinade yet, you should! I love a good grilled chicken sandwich, but what drew me to this recipe was the addition of bacon and jalapeno mayo – how bad can that be?

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Verdict: Amazing! I will definitely make this again and especially the jalapeno mayo. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

I used this marinade again, made this mayonnaise (I didn’t have a drop in my house – luckily, it’s so easy to make!), these buns; and this guacamole.

Roasted Jalapeno Mayonnaise – adapted from Closet Cooking

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice and zest

mayo

Directions –

  1. Place the peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
  2. Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily “pinch” off.
  5. Puree everything.

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

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In an effort to make something new using yesterday’s leftovers, I made this. I had just enough chicken from this pizza to make this boring salad a meal. I also whipped up a simple buttermilk blue cheese dressing to go with it. And because wasting a perfectly good dressing would be just plain dumb; I made a batch of delicious hot wings to go with it! I haven’t made these in years, but they’re worth the extra time required. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Buffalo Chicken Salad – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • Leftover marinated and grilled chicken from this, chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP Franks Red Hot
  • 2 TSBP butter
  • Romaine lettuce
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles

Directions-

Place a skillet over medium heat; add the butter and Frank’s Red Hot. Heat just until butter has melted, then add chicken and coat with buffalo sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.
Heap tossed salad into individual bowls. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles, cucumber, sliced avocado, chicken and cherry tomatoes and top with blue cheese dressing.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing – adapted from My Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2- 4  tablespoons buttermilk (more to thin out)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled blue cheese

Directions- 

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and milk in small bowl; mix until smooth. Stir in vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended. Fold in cheese. Transfer to container with tight-fitting lid. Chill until serving time. Stir well before serving.

Tequila Lime Chicken

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Sorry for the radio silence! We recently came back home from our two-week long trip to California. I am really glad to be home again and I’m sure my kitchen missed me as much as I missed it. My husband sustained himself on one meal a day (not home cooked), and these goodies that I made for him before I left! What would he do without me? 😉 Since I’ve been back home, I have tried several new and successful recipes which I will share with you in the next few weeks.

Anyway, on to the recipe! This marinade gives the chicken amazing flavor and it’s a new family favorite. I used chicken thighs and served these tacos with pico de gallo, my fave Mexican rice and refried (in bacon grease!) pinto beans with lots of Monterey Jack cheese. I will make this again and again! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

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Tequila Lime Chicken – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (*I used grapeseed*)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (*If you have a few more pieces, this makes plenty of marinade*)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • pico de gallo

Directions –

Slice open the limes and squeeze the juice into a food processor or blender. Add the tequila, olive oil, salt, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. Blend the mixture until totally combined. Add the chicken to a large plastic bag and pour in the lime-tequila mixture. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it over medium-high heat. Rotate the chicken 45-degrees on both sides to create nice grill marks, and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, beans and rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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I have made this twice in two weeks! My picky daughter loves this dinner and can't get enough of the peppers and pineapple 🙂 This is a fairly guilt-free take-out fake-out meal when you consider that Chinese restaurants bread and then deep fry their chicken, this is stir fried instead. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken – adapted from Steamy Kitchen via The Shiksa

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 can (8 to 10 oz) pineapple chunks in juice (reserve the juice)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 pinches cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
  • 2 tbsp high heat cooking oil, divded (ex. grapeseed, peanut oil)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

Directions – 

    In a bowl, whisk together the egg white, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp of the salt. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

    Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, ginger, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1-2 pinches cayenne pepper (or more to taste–optional).

    Set a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates, pour in 1 tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat. Add the red and yellow bell pepper chunks and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the wok onto a plate. Wipe the wok or pan dry.

    Return the wok to the stove on high heat. When a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates, pour in the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and swirl to coat (be sure to fully coat the pan so the meat won’t stick). Add the chicken to the pan, spreading it out in one layer.

    Let the chicken fry, untouched, for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken will still be pinkish in the middle.

    Add the cooked bell peppers, pineapple chunks, and pineapple juice mixture to the pan. Let simmer for about 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes till the sauce thickens. Serve over Jasmine rice.

Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes

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I love a cheap, no-brainer dinner! This meal was finished in under an hour, so that makes it even more appealing to lazy people like me. Everyone enjoyed the flavor of this, and I’m not ashamed to say it – but the skin was the highlight of this meal! Normally, I would pull it off and not indulge; but it looked way to crispy to pass up. It was like a salty, chicken flavored chip! Even my picky eater happily finished her portion, and wanted everyone else’s crispy skin. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes – adapted from Epicurious

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 large chicken thighs with skin and bones (preferably organic; about 2 1/4 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 2 pounds unpeeled medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick spears
  • 2 pounds medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick spears
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions –

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Place chicken on baking sheet. Turn to coat with oil and set skin side up. Mix salt, thyme, 1½ teaspoons pepper, and nutmeg in small bowl. Sprinkle half of mixture over chicken. Roast until chicken starts to brown and some fat has rendered, about 30 minutes. Transfer thighs to medium bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, combine potatoes, carrots, 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining salt thyme mixture in large bowl. Transfer potato-carrot mixture to same baking sheet; turn to coat with drippings. Roast until vegetables soften, 30 minutes.

Place thighs on vegetables; pour accumulated juices from chicken over. Return sheet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked and vegetables brown, 15 minutes longer.

Place chicken on platter; top with chives.