Emily’s Chicken Marinade

Something crazy happened this past weekend.  Dave and I went food shopping together.  OMG!

As you’d probably imagine, food shopping is one of my happy things to do… I love it!  Dave on the other hand loves to eat the food but hates to walk around a market with ME.  Walking up and down every aisle would probably make him have a nervous breakdown.

I have been telling him since we moved that I’ve gotten a lot better and he should come with me.  I tell him I make lists now, that I am faster, and don’t even go in the middle sometimes!!  It’s a constant back and forth that usually ends with me up and down every aisle on my own.

After spending our Sunday afternoon at the movies (we saw Olympus Has Fallen… SO MUCH FUN AND SOOOOO GOOD), it just made sense to both go.  Without Dave knowing and obviously to prove my newly found shopping skills, I set a timer.

Who doesn't love two hours of THIS with 1783972497 person body count?!?!

Who doesn’t love two hours of THIS with 1783972497 person body count?!?!

We completed our entire shop in just under 50 minutes… and I’m talking picking up to dropping off shopping cart.  Pretty impressive, right?!  I felt like I was on a gameshow.  Oye.

BAM!  Great shop.

BAM! Great shop.

Anyway, the recipe I am sharing with you today is such a great one!  It is a creation of my friend Emily or EMKA as I have called her for the past ten years.    I came to Emily for some post-work night dinner inspirations, the other day and this is the first I’ve tried.

It’s like, ridiculously easy… and amazing.

Emily’s Chicken Marinade

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Light Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Some Chopped Garlic (for you, I’ll say I used 5 cloves, smashed and sliced)

1.5 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard (I used Mild & Creamy Grey Poupon)

Fresh Rosemary (about 2-3 sprigs)

Black Pepper and Sea Salt

Directions:

Mix ingredients.  Pour over chicken and seal in either a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container.  Let marinate overnight or while you are at work.  Bake in the oven at 350.  YUM**.

(**EMKA’s finishing note on the recipe is so true)

Finished product, yum!  Served with Roasted Asparagus and Locatelli and Crushed Pepper Orzo.  Delish.

Finished product, yum! Served with Roasted Asparagus and Locatelli and Crushed Pepper Orzo. Delish.

I sliced up a package of the really thick kind of chicken, slicing the breasts in half to make them thinner, then in half to make them smaller.  The recipe made enough for the entire package.

The chicken baked for probably about 10 minutes extra (UGH!  So frustrating!  Whoops!  Probably only needed 15 minutes), which would make for a completely dried out chicken normally… but the marinade made the meat so tender and juicy that it was still just perfect.  I couldn’t believe it!

Emily suggests making a little extra sauce to keep aside and to use for dipping.

So easy... just a few ingredients.

So easy… just a few ingredients.

This is what the chicken looked like after I shook it up and let it sit overnight and while I was at work.  I couldn't believe how creamy it got.... yummm

This is what the chicken looked like after I shook it up and let it sit overnight and while I was at work. I couldn’t believe how creamy it got…. yummm

OH, and check out this amazing purchase from the Italian Market… a bag of spinach bigger than Dave’s head for $7… omg!

SPINACH!!!!!!!!!  (and fresh garlic)

SPINACH!!!!!!!!! (and fresh garlic)

Leftovers

Healthier

“New” Chicken Parmesan

I was looking for an easy but delicious recipe that would be good to make for four instead of my typical two.  I had friends over for dinner… friends who love food like I do… so something boring or ordering pizza was not gonna happen.

After about an hour of searching through my saved recipes on the internet, I remembered a really super simple recipe I saw in a Bon Appetit recently that I thought would be perfect:  “New” Chicken Parm.  I recalled that the chicken was not fried and then cooked in sauce, resulting in a healthier chicken parm… AND a potentially sauce-free dish for one of my guests who doesn’t like sauce (he’s crazy, right?).

Those two points sold me, and have the potential to give this dish a permanent spot in my repertoire.  I love finding classic comfort food recipes with new twists and tricks to make them healthier.

New Chicken Parm

Modified from:  Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of Thin-Sliced Chicken Breast (8 breasts)

1/4 cup EVOO 

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Mix

1 12-oz container of Grape Tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 cup +1/4 cup (divided) Parmesan Cheese, grated (I used Reduced Fat) 

1 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (again, I used Reduced Fat)

1 jar Prepared Tomato Sauce

Fresh Basil, chopped or torn

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 500.  Whisk the oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning mix into a large bowl.  Dump the tomatoes into the bowl and stir to coat the tomatoes with the oil mixture.  Remove the tomatoes reserving the oil mixture, spreading the tomatoes out onto a foil-covered baking sheet and put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring about halfway through.  Remove them once they are starting to brown.

2.  Prepare a large baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs onto a plate.  Place a chicken breast into the garlic-oil bowl and mix around.  Let drip off and then dredge into the bread crumb-parm mixture.  Coat completely, then carefully place in the baking dish.  Do this for every piece of chicken breast.  Your tomatoes should be done by now too- remove them and place aside.

3.  Cook chicken for about 8-12 minutes, then remove the baking dish to sprinkle on the crushed red pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1 cup Mozzarella.  (I kept my cheese on the lighter side).  Place back in the oven and cook until the chicken is done (firm to touch), about 2-3 more minutes depending on thickness.  If the cheese is starting to cook too fast, place aluminum foil on top.

4.  Remove the chicken and plate with a side of tomato sauce, the roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil.

Besides the fact that this chicken turned out to be sooo delicious, there are a few things I really liked about it:

1.  Chicken is dredged in flavored olive oil (and not a lot of it) instead of egg.  The bread crumbs still stuck on really nicely.  It made the chicken light and crispy.  

2.  The chicken is not fried like in most Chicken Parmesan recipes.  

3.  Tomato Sauce is not added on in the baking process, preventing the chicken from getting soggy.  

4.  Roasted tomatoes.  Nom nom nom.

I served the “new” Chicken Parm with a side of whole wheat Spaghetti, sauteed Green Beans, and a sliced baguette with spiced olive oil & Whipped Ricotta.  The four of us had one seriously tasty feast!

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Chicken has baked once and is now cheesed- ready to go back in for a nice melt.

Chicken has baked once and is now cheesed- ready to go back in for a nice melt.

Here's that amazing Whipped Feta with a few roasted tomatoes ontop... click for the recipe!

Here’s that amazing Whipped Feta with a few roasted tomatoes ontop… click for the recipe!

I told you it was a feast :)

I told you it was a feast 🙂

Closeup of one delicious meal.

Closeup of one delicious meal.

Even Stella was tired after such a meal!  :)

Even Stella was tired after such a meal! 🙂

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