Easiest, Fool-Proof, Perfect Chicken Marinade

Is an intro really necessary with a title like that?? Probably not. So I’ll keep it simple. This is a seriously delicious marinade. Most of the ingredients you likely have on hand anyway. You can whip it up in a flash and you can make it ahead for a longer marinating time or throw it together after a bust work day and let your chicken sit for just a half hour. Regardless of how much time it sits in and soaks this up, you will end up with juicy, flavorful chicken. Seriously, I don’t call it fool-proof for nothing! Here you go.

for about 1.5lbs chicken
* 1/4C olive oil
* 1/4C balsamic vinegar
* 1/8C soy sauce
* 1/8C Worcestershire sauce
* 1/2 a lemon, juiced
* 1/4C brown sugar
* 1t dried rosemary
* 1T grainy Dijon mustard
* 1t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 1t garlic powder

Add all of the ingredients to a large zip-top bag. Close it up and get most of the air out and mix it up so that all the ingredients combine. Then add your chicken, reseal and move the bag around to ensure the contents are well covered. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight and then grill up your chicken and enjoy!

Chicken Nacho Skillet Dinner

It’s another one-pan wonder for ya with this magical combination, though if you need convincing that a nacho meal is magical, then I’m not sure we speak the same language. I served this one in individual bowls, but it could easily be placed in the middle of the table with everyone digging right into the pan itself, which would be like next level one pan wonder, right? Like, you literally have a single dish to wash! Up to you. Anyway, here you go. 

* olive oil
* 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
* 1 sweet onion, diced
* 3t minced garlic
* 1C long grain or basmati rice
* 1-1 1/2C water
* 10oz can diced tomatoes
* 1C frozen sweet or roasted corn kernels
* 1/4t cumin
* 1/4t chili powder
* 1/4t kosher salt
* 1/4t black pepper
* 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
* 12oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
* 1C (or thereabouts… maybe more…) shredded cheddar jack cheese
* tortilla chips

for garnish
* 1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 1/2-1 ripe avocado, diced
* handful fresh cilantro, chopped
* Greek yogurt
* fresh lime wedges

Heat a few glugs (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in a large soillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces, onion, and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes, allowing the aromatics to release and the chicken to cook through and begin to brown.

Add the rice and cook just 2 minutes or so to let it start to toast a bit. Then add the water and diced tomatoes and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add the corn and seasonings and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 minutes.

Add the black beans and stir to combine, then cook 5 minutes. Add the roasted red peppers and cook just a minute more to warm it up.

Remove from heat and add the cheese over the whole skillet. Let it melt and serve immediately with a pile of tortilla chips and all the garnishes.


Summer Salad with Grilled Peaches, Grilled Chicken, and Burrata

This dinner salad is basically summer on a plate. It’s full of light and fresh goodness and hits all the best flavors and sensations of the season: sweet, bright, tangy, acidic, ripe, and GRILLED! Plus, I throw in a bonus perfect simple honey balsamic vinaigrette! Here you go. 

* 1 bag butter lettuce
* 1/2 an English cucumber, cut into chunks
* handful of sunburst tomatoes (the little golden cherry-sized ones), quartered
* 1 avocado, cut into chunks
* 1C corn kernels (approximately 2 ears), roasted or grilled
* 1lb chicken, grilled and sliced
* 3 large peaches, grilled and cut into chunks
* 1 ball burrata cheese
* 1T olive oil
* 3T white balsamic vinegar
* 1T honey
* salt
* pepper

Place the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, and corn in a large salad bowl.

Grill and slice the chicken and peaches.

Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the salad bowl and toss well to combine.

To serve, pile a few large scoops of the salad on a plate and top with sliced chicken and peaches. Finish with a big chunk of creamy cold burrata cheese, close your eyes, and enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Today was My Tiny Sous Chef’s fifth birthday! I was prepared to make her whatever she wanted – when your tiny kid loves trying grown-up food and knows unusual ingredients, you may think they sky’s the limit, right? But when I asked what she wanted for her birthday dinner, her response was perfectly 5 years old: chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I was, admittedly, a little disappointed. But then I decided to *make* her requested meal from scratch to help “special” it up. I made a version of this mac (the basic recipe with spinach), and then I made homemade chicken nuggets. You can bake or fry these up, but we decided to fry them tonight because, BIRTHDAY. Here you go.

* 1lb boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, cut into chunks
* 1C flour
* 2t paprika
* 2t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4C Panko breadcrumbs + 1/4C Italian seasoned regular breadcrumbs, plus extra just in case
* oil for frying or nonstick spray for baking (we like to use vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil)

If baking, preheat the oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

Prepare three bowls or shallow dishes. Mix together flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in one; beat the eggs in a second; combine the breadcrumbs in the third.

Coat your chicken chunks first in the flour mixture, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs.

If baking, place the coated chicken pieces onto your prepared baking sheet, spray the tops with the nonstick spray, and bake 20 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes.

If frying, heat about an inch-and-a-half to two inches depth of oil in a deep pot until glistening. Carefully place your coated breaded chicken pieces into the hot oil in batches, and fry 3-4 minutes per batch.

Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey, or honey mustard for dipping. Bon apetit!