Tuscan Lemon Chicken

If you live in Seattle, it appears summer has left the building. Before it is totally gone and with Labor Day weekend coming up, I wanted to share my favorite grilled chicken recipe of the summer. Backing up a little, I wasn’t always the master griller I am today. Four short months ago I had never operated a grill on my own and was completely intimidated. I thought this was a guy job. I don’t currently have one of those. I decided it was about time to change my status – my grilling status. For Mother’s Day, my parents got me a Weber grill and it has been the best gift ever! I grill everything now! Steaks, chicken, lots of hotdogs for Oliver, veggies, salmon. Obsessed.

My first grilling project was Ina’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken. It is so delicious. I’ve probably made it six times this summer and it is just really good. I have made this a few ways, a whole chicken flattened as is in the recipe or cut up into eight pieces. The latter is the easier method and much less mess.  Read More

Easy Weeknight Dinner – Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

How do you guys feel about the end of support for Windows XP? Do you want to hear my thoughts on getting people to migrate to Windows 8? Oh, wait, you don’t care about that because it’s not interesting. At all. Well, actually it is to me, but that’s because I’m a geek. And it’s my job. Right now, that’s what’s taking up my head space. That and when will I be able to stop stressing about my new house/move?! I haven’t had a ton of time to cook, but decided I needed to make something last night and found this little beauty of a recipe. This dinner took 30 minutes from start to finish.

I am a huge fan of parmesan chicken strips, I’ve tried several recipes. This one was new to me, but super easy and delish, the difference was coating the chicken in buttermilk and letting it sit. I served with sautéed asparagus and roasted kale – I am trying to do 2 veggies instead of 1 veggie and 1 starch, at least sometimes. I made 2lbs of the chicken tenders, thinking Oliver would love it. He ate one bite. Now I have 1.5lbs of chicken to get through in 2 days. Anyone want to come for dinner? I’m serving leftovers! I have been thinking of creative ways to use and think it would make for a really good kale chicken Caesar salad. I think I’ll do that for dinner tomorrow.

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

modified slightly from Giada De Laurentiis recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (about 18)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated  Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup Panko

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  3. Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs, S & P in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the baking sheets, I used parchment paper to cover the sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  4. Transfer the chicken tenders to a platter and serve.

Salmon with Fennel Baked in Parchment

I had my adorable cousins Jillian and Hillary over for dinner tonight and was tasked with making a healthy dinner. I have been making salmon in parchment paper for years, but wanted to add some fennel and found this fantastic recipe on Simply Recipes for Salmon with Fennel Baked in Parchment. You bake the salmon in cute little individual pouches (salmon en papillote in cooking speak), it’s pretty and healthy! I served with roasted broccoli and cauliflower, both tossed with olive oil, lemon, salt, red pepper flakes. It was lovely. Plus these 2 gals are as funny as they come, so lucky to have fantastic family!

Assembling fennel, salmon, lemon
Assembling fennel, salmon, lemon
Salmon en papillote
Salmon en papillote

Salmon with Fennel Baked in Parchment – courtesy of Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced paper thin (a mandoline helps for this)
  • 4 6-ounce portions of fresh salmon fillets (skinless is best)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • 12 very thin slices of whole lemon (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • Several sprigs of fresh fennel fronds
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4 12×18-inch pieces of parchment paper (can sub aluminum foil if you don’t have parchment paper)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Lay down a square of parchment paper on a flat surface. Fold the parchment in half to create a crease, then open it up again. Place several slices of fennel bulb below the crease of the parchment paper in a mound, and sprinkle with salt. Place one fillet of salmon on top of the fennel bulb slices. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salmon (anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon, or to taste). Sprinkle the salmon generously with salt and pepper. Lay sprigs of fennel fronds over the salmon. Lay 3 thin slices of lemon over the fennel fronds and salmon (more if you want). Or you could put the lemon sliced down first and top with the fronds, your choice. I think the slices on top look better. Dot the top with butter.
  3. Fold the parchment over the salmon and secure close. There are several way that you can accomplish this. One easy and particularly attractive way is to fold a corner near the folded edge of the parchment paper into a triangle. Then about halfway down that triangle, fold another triangle over the previous triangle.  Working down and around the parchment edges, you can create folds all around the edges. When you come to the last folded edge, tuck the corner under the parchment.  There is an excellent video available that shows this technique here: How to Wrap Fish in Parchment. This technique works well with individual portions.You may find it easier to wrap a large (multi serving) fillet in the following way. Arrange the fillet so that its long side is facing you, and the two shorter ends are to the left and right. Then lift up the parchment edges closest to you, and furthest from you, bring them together, and fold them over a few times.  Then tuck the left and right edges under the fillet.  
  4. Place on a roasting pan or baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Serve immediately. To serve, you can either carefully transfer each salmon fillet and mound of fennel slices to individual plates, or you can serve the salmon in the pouch itself, on a plate. To eat, you can either unwrap the pouch, or cut through the top with a sharp knife to expose the salmon inside.