9/6/19 Jessica’s Favorite! Curried Coconut Chicken

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flaked coconut
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz each)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup apricot preserves, warmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place butter in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the coconut and curry powder.  Dip chicken in butter, then coat with coconut mixture.
Place in a greased 13×9 inch baking dish; sprinkle with the salt.
Bake, uncovered 30-35 minutes or until internal temp of chicken is 165 degrees F and juices run clear.
Serve with preserves over cooked rice or couscous.
Serves 4
From prep to table 45 minutes

Indian-Style Grilled Chicken Breasts

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
fresh lemon or lime wedges to serve
Fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish (optional)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 ½ teaspoons tomato puree
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
½ cup plain yogurt

Preheat grill to high heat.  Lightly oil the grill grate to prevent sticking.  In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt marinade ingredients.  Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken breasts, reserving about ½ cup for basting.
Score 2 slits on each side of each chicken breast.  Place in the marinade, turning to coat and rubbing marinade into slits.  Place in refrigerator, turning a couple of times – marinade at least 30 minutes.  Remove chicken from marinade – discard marinade.
Cook chicken breasts for 12 to 15 minutes, turning and basting with reserved marinade, until juices run clear, internal temp 165 degrees.  Marinade should look slightly charred.
Transfer chicken breasts to a serving plate.  Add lemon wedges and garnish with cilantro sprigs (optional).
Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Marinade time
Grill time 15 minutes

Buttermilk Grilled Boneless Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves  – slice in half horizontally,
Making 12 pieces
1 ½ cups buttermilk
4 fresh thyme springs or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
4 garlic cloves, halved
½ teaspoon salt

Place buttermilk, thyme, garlic & salt in a large bowl or shallow dish.  Add the 12 pieces of halved chicken breast and turn to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Drain chicken, discarding the marinade.  Allow to get to room temperature.
Preheat grill to medium heat.  Lightly oil grates to prevent sticking.
Grill the breasts, covered, until internal temperature is 165 degrees F, turning once.
Rest breasts for 4 to 5 minutes before serving
Serves 6 to 12
Prep time 10 minutes plus marinating time
Grill time 10 to 12 minutes

Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Easy Dinner

4 boneless skinless breasts, cut into strips
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
4 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium sweet onion, julienned
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup packed brown sugar
hot cooked rice (optional)
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
sliced green onions (optional)

In a heavy skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken strips in 2 tablespoons oil until cooked through, 6-8 minutes.  Remove chicken and set aside.
In the same skillet, stir-fry carrots in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil for 2 minutes.  Add julienned onion; stir-fry until vegetables are tender, 2-4 minutes longer.
Combine soy sauce & brown sugar; add to skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Return chicken to skillet.  Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Serve with rice.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
Serves 4
From prep to table 30 minutes (includes rice cooking time)

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets – Easy Dinner

¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place butter in a shallow bowl.  Combine the bread crumbs, cheese and salt in another shallow bowl.
Dip chicken in butter, then roll in crumbs.
Place chicken in a single layer on two baking pans.  Bake 15-18 minutes until no longer pink, turning once.  Serve with marinara sauce or ranch dressing if desired.
Serves 8
From prep to table 30 to 40 minutes

Honey-Mustard Chicken Strips

½ cup dijon, whole grain or spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
2 to 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove excess fat, silver skin and tendons from chicken breast.  Cut trimmed chicken into desired sizes of strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, tarragon, salt and cayenne pepper.  Add chicken, tossing to coat.
Put Panko bread crumbs in bowl or on parchment paper.  Dip chicken in the crumbs, pressing to coat.
Transfer chicken strips to lightly greased (or sprayed) baking tray and drizzle with the oil.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is set and golden brown and chicken is cooked through.
Serve hot.  (Optional – you can mix more of the honey mustard coating for dipping.)
Serves 6
From prep to table 25 to 30 minutes

Shirley’s Chicken Surprise

Three or four boneless skinless chicken breasts
One can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup
¼ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 ounces shredded medium or sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 box (10 oz) frz broccoli cuts
2/3 cup mayonnaise
salt & ground black pepper to taste

Trim chicken breast, removing fat and silver skins. Cut or pound breasts so that they are the same thickness so that they bake uniformly.
Place the frozen broccoli cuts in a 8×8 square glass baking dish, evenly spread them out
Next place the chicken breast on the broccoli.
Mix the can of cream of chicken soup (do not add milk nor water), mayonnaise, curry powder and lemon juice, salt & pepper.  Spread over the chicken breast.
Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the creamed mixture.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese.  Lightly shake the baking pan so that the bread crumbs filter down into the cheese.
Bake covered at 400 degrees until the chicken is tender.  Usually  40 to 60 minutes.  To test chicken doneness, a paring knife should easily cut through one of the fillets to the bottom of the baking dish.
Remove the aluminum foil and allow the chicken surprise to rest for about 5 minutes.
Cut into the desired serving sizes and serve immediately.
This chicken dish is excellent served with your favorite rice side dish.
Serves 4 easily
From prep to table 80-90 minutes

About Cooking a Fresh Thanksgiving Turkey

We get questions every day about cooking a fresh turkey versus a frozen turkey. There is a huge difference between a frozen turkey and a fresh turkey, both in quality and in price, but there isn’t much difference in cooking a fresh turkey and a frozen (thawed before cooking) turkey. Following is an easy “recipe” for cooking a plain fresh turkey. We’ll leave the fixin’s to you.

Remove the giblet pack from the neck cavity. To add a lot of flavor to your gravy, add the giblets and cook thoroughly.
Wash the turkey cavity and the outside of the bird – pat dry.
Allow the turkey to get to room temperature.
If you are stuffing the turkey – always stuff it loosely – about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey in the cavity. Tie the drumsticks together if you are using stuffing.
Spread unmelted butter under the skin, next to the flesh of the turkey. Gently pull the skin away from the meat and find areas that you can get to the meat to spread the unmelted butter. (Best to use salted butter for this task.) You can add flavorings to the butter if you wish – mix the room temperature butter with your favorite spices or herbs before spreading under the skin. You can also add sliced mushrooms to the mixture.
Brush the skin with melted butter. If you use spices or herbs to the butter for under the skin, we suggest that you put the same herbs or spices in your melted butter.
Now is the time to make a decision on whether you want a beautiful turkey or a delicous, moist turkey. If you want a beautiful turkey, you will cook it breast up (whatever part is up will brown while cooking). If you want a delicious, moist turkey, you will cook it breast down (cooking with the breast down will allow the juices that naturally flow with gravity to flow into the breast, keeping it moist).
Preheat your oven no more than 300 to 325 degrees F. Remember that low and slow is the preferred method to cooking most meats in the oven.
Place the bird on a rack (you don’t want it resting in the liquid that it will create while cooking) in a roasting pan and into the preheated oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body and should not touch the bone.
Bake until the skin is a light golden color and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but helps promote even browning. Use melted butter if you want to baste.
All turkeys will cook much faster if you don’t stuff it. So if you have a deadline, then you can cook the stuffing in a casserole dish and that will speed up the process of cooking the bird (there are new “instant pots” that cook the outside crispy, which would be great for the stuffing – frees up some oven space).
The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thigh.
Most turkey labels have a cooking time chart. Mert’s suggests the following chart be considered, but always use a meat thermometer to determine whether your turkey is cooked sufficiently.
10 to 18 pounds unstuffed 3.5 to 4 hours stuffed 4.5 to 5 hours
18 to 22 pounds unstuffed 4 to 4.5 hours stuffed 5 to 5.5 hours
22 to 24 pounds unstuffed 4.5 to 5 hours stuffed 5.5 to 6 hours
24 to 29 pounds unstuffed 5.5 to 6 hours stuffed 6.25 to 6.75 hours
Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Garlic Chicken with Herbs

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breast) about 1 pound
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
10 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 cup chicken broth
Hot cooked rice of your choice, or mashed potatoes

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.  In a large skillet, heat butter over medium high heat; brown chicken on both sides.  Remove from pan, reserving drippings.
In the same skillet, sauté garlic in drippings over medium-high heat until light golden brown.  Add wine and herbs; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.  Cook until the mixture is almost evaporated.  Add broth and chicken; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads at least 170 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.
To serve, spoon pan juices over chicken.
Serve with cooked, hot rice.
Serves 4
From prep to table 30 minutes

Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

1 ½ lb potatoes, peeled (optional) and cut into large chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised (mashed, but still in one piece)
¼ cup half & half creamer
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons real butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a saucepan of boiling water, cook potatoes and garlic cloves until tender; drain.  With a potato masher, mash potatoes, garlic, cream and ½ teaspoon of the salt until smooth; set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large frying pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes, or until soft.  Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until tender.  Add chicken and sauté for 4 minutes, or until no longer pink.
Sprinkle flour over chicken mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until no streaks of flour remain.  Gradually add stock and remaining salt – bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir in peas and parsley.
Spoon mixture into a deep dish pie dish (9 inch).  Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until potato topping is golden brown and crusty.  Serve hot.
Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking/baking time 1 hour

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