Quick and Easy Chicken Gyros

No long-winded story to weave here. This is just a total win for a busy weeknight. Seriously. It’s healthy and fresh and takes less than 30 minutes start to finish. INCLUDING a super easy homemade tzatziki sauce that you might want to put on everything! Shall we? Here you go.

quick homemade tzatziki sauce
* 1/2 a large cucumber, seeded, peeled, diced
* 4t minced garlic
* 2T dried dill
* juice of 1/2 a large lemon
* 1/2-1t salt
* 1/4t freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2C plain Greek yogurt

* 1lb thin cut chicken breasts
* Greek seasoning (Italian seasoning would work too)
* olive oil
* 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
* 1/4-1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
* pitas
* crumbled feta cheese

Make your tzatziki! Put all the tzatziki ingredients in a blender. Purée until blended. Taste and adjust salt/pepper/lemon to taste as needed.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Pay each chicken breast dry, and then sprinkle generously with Greek seasoning. Cook a few minutes per side. Thin cut breasts cook really quickly. You don’t want them to overcook and dry out, so really just 2 minutes or so per side should do it. Cut each breast into thin strips.

Assemble your gyros. Either fill your pitas or top them with a few pieces of chicken, some fresh red pepper strips, some onions, and crumbled feta. Spoon some of the tzatziki sauce on top and enjoy!

Note My Recipe: One-Pan Cashew Chicken and Veggies

Tonight’s Not My Recipe is The Salty Marshmallow‘s easy cashew chicken. I stumbled on this recipe somehow and I love it! It ticks all the boxes: easy? yep. quick? less than 30 minutes. crazy delicious? Wait until you taste the sauce! And double bonus: one-pan magic AND healthier than the original without sacrificing any flavor (see ‘crazy delicious’ above). I did make one deviation from the original recipe in my version–I didn’t realize I was out of sesame oil before I started cooking, so I left it out and then sprinkled toasted sesame seeds as a garnish for serving. Mmmmmm…

This is not my recipe, but I sure do wish it was, and I sure will be making this again and again!

Chicken Marsala over Sautéed Asparagus Ribbons

Doesn’t that sound fancy? It’s so easy, though!

The very first meal I ever cooked for my now-husband was Chicken Marsala. I remember wanting to impress him, choosing this dish because I thought it would also *sound* impressive, and then being SO stressed out trying to put it together. This was long before I started cooking regularly, and I definitely hadn’t mastered timing in the kitchen, and it was just so so so anxiety-inducing!

It does sound–and look–fancy and beautiful. But Chicken Marsala really is stupidly easy to make. My husband also really likes asparagus and I really don’t so I’ve been trying to make it a little more and play with preparation so that I can find a version that I can tolerate. This may be a winner. Also fancy sounding (asparagus ribbons) but so simple. Traditionally, Chicken Marsala is served over linguini or spaghetti, which is totally acceptable and delicious, but this is a nice twist that adds flavor and color. And this whole dish is ready in about a half hour, so. DUH. Here you go.

* 4 chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/4-1/2-in even thickness
* 1/3C + 1T flour
* olive oil
* 2T butter, divided
* 8oz white button mushrooms, sliced
* 8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
* 1 large shallot, minced
* 2t minced garlic
* 2/3C Marsala wine
* 2/3C chicken broth
* Salt and pepper to taste
* herbs for garnish, optional (parsley, or thyme, or whatever you like)
* 1lb asparagus

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a large pan over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of each pounded chicken breast, then lightly dredge each in flour, and add the chicken to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, flip, and cook another 2 minutes, letting the chicken become golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and 1 more tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the mushrooms to the plate with the chicken.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add the shallots and garlic. Saute for about a minute, then add a tablespoon of flour and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to create a roux. Pour in the Marsala wine and broth, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the chicken and mushrooms back into the pan, reduce heat to low, and cover.

Trim the asparagus ends and then carefully slice each spear into thin strips (each should give you 3-4 ribbons). Place the asparagus ribbons into a large pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Saute over medium-high heat until the strips soften and slightly brown, tossing occasionally.

Plate a helping of asparagus and top with the chicken and mushrooms. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, garnishing with fresh herbs if you want, and serve.

Baked Risotto with Chicken and Mushrooms

You know I love a shortcut. Cooking and presenting good *and* beautiful food is important to me. But it’s rare that I have lots of time to slowly work my way through a complex recipe on a normal night. So any shortcuts that allow me to still put beautiful healthy food on my family’s plates and I are instantly best friends.

Risotto is one of those dishes that you can get really wrong if you don’t get it right. Traditional risotto requires slow cooking with constant stirring, which also therefore requires really organized prep. I’ve seen all kinds of recipes that claim to get you a thick, creamy risotto without constant stirring, and I’ve tried a few, and most of them don’t deliver. But I’ve recently seen a few baked risotto recipes that looked promising, so I decided to give it a try myself. And you know what? It delivered! Traditionalists and trained chefs will raise their eyebrows and judge, but I promise you this is legit. Give it a shot and let me know if you agree. Here you go.

* 1 1/2C arborio rice
* 4C chicken broth
* 1 sweet onion, minced
* 1 pint mushrooms, quartered (I used both white button mushrooms and baby portobellas, 50/50)
* 2t minced garlic
* 1 cup hot water
* 3/4C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 4T butter
* 1t salt
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* Zest of 1 lemon
* Precooked rotisserie chicken from the store, broken down and cut into chunks
* Large handful fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F.

To a large, oven-safe pot, add the rice, broth, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. stir to combine.

Put the pan, uncovered, into the oven. Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, if the rice has absorbed more than half the liquid, cover the pot.

Remove the pot from the oven and then add the hot water, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Stir to combine.

Season with salt and pepper, and then add the lemon zest and the chicken. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.