Hey, Mom… What’s for dinner?
Has this ever happened to you?
You’ve got so many things you’re trying to compress into one little tiny day, and just when you think you may be able to take a 30 minute break…
…you realize you have to make dinner….. or the small army that you created will accuse you of starving them, and rebel?
When my boys were young, they were pretty good eaters. Well, except the older one would starve before he would touch cheese. Or cooked carrots. And the younger one never wanted to eat non-green beans. Or avocado. Or pie. And both believed that all salad dressings, white sauces and meatloaf were toxic. They’re obviously aliens, but that’s another blog entirely.
So what’s a mom to do?
I initially made this recipe out of the desperation of finding something my boys would both eat, that I would like as well. Through the years I changed a little here and there, and today it’s a dish they still ask for. Go figure! So, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s either tasty, or they are no longer aliens.
What are you, Chicken?
Chicken breasts are one of those foods that seem to be a staple on the American dinner table. It seems we can do virtually anything with them, and they can be made into everything from soup to a casserole. They can be fried, crusted, grilled, stuffed, and roasted. However, with all these ideas available, it seems that a common question I see pop up on food forums is the old, “I’ve got chicken breasts in my fridge… what can I make for dinner tonight?”
Is this something I can make on a weeknight?
Yes! The process is very simplistic: everything is cooked in one large pot or kettle, and it can be eaten with a variety of starches. I’ve served it over pasta (Angel hair, Penne, Fusilli), potatoes (plain mash, garlic smash, pan-roasted cubes), quinoa, and rice. Just use whatever you have handy. Today I’m serving it over yummy garlicky smashed fingerling potatoes.
But wait… there’s more!
Not only is this a go-to recipe for me, it’s also a “no thinking” meal… which means I like to make a double or triple recipe (before it cooks) and freeze meal-sized portions. That way, if you’ve had more than a long day, or if you get that call to remind you that you volunteered to bring a hot dish to your friend’s potluck… you’re all set.
On the recipe’s amounts, I’ll show the regular amount on the left, and on the right side, the double amount in blue and the triple amount in green.
In a nutshell, you’ll start with a few good basics, and add a little tangy kick…throw in some chicken and cook till done 🙂
Note: I really recommend “Homade” (pictured below), and I can’t say that this will be as tasty if you go with another brand.
⅓ c. chopped curly parsley, ⅔ c. 1 c.
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley for garnish 2 Tbsp 3 Tbsp
1 Tbsp. finely minced garlic 2 Tbsp 3 Tbsp
¼ c. Meyer lemon juice ½ c. ¾ c.
½ c. white wine 1 c. 1½ c.
¼ c. olive oil ½ c. ¾ c.
½ tsp. salt 1 tsp 1½ tsp
pepper to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder 2 tsp 1 Tbsp
1½ – 2 Tbsp. dried oregano 3-4 Tbsp 4½-6 Tbsp (yes TBSP)
1 (6oz.) tin tomato paste 12 oz 18 oz
1½ – 2 (12oz) jars “Homade Chili Sauce” 3-4 jars 4½-6 jars
2 Organic boneless chicken breasts with rib meat attached 4 6
Small block of Parmesan to grate for garnish
*Note: if you are freezing any portions, do not cook first! Just put all ingredients into one freezer bag and seal well. When you need to use it, either place it in the fridge the night before, or thaw in a sink full of water till pliable. Cook in pot according to directions below.
Put all ingredients except chicken and garnishes into large pot.
Cook on low. Meanwhile, cut fat off of chicken and cut remaining meat into bite sized pieces.
Add to pot and cook on medium until it begins to boil, stirring occasionally.
Let cook at least a half hour (or more!) till sauce thickens a bit.
(If you’d like to thicken sauce more, a Tbsp. of arrowroot works well)
Serve over pasta, potatoes, rice, or quinoa.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and freshly fine-grated parmesan.
And now for a little boneless chicken humor… one of my favorites from Gary Larson:
Thanks so much for hanging out with me again this week.
I hope you like this recipe, and I’d love to hear if you try it out!
In the meantime, I really like it when you leave comments.
It makes me realize that my mom isn’t the only reader of my little blog…. (that’s a hint)….