I really enjoy a good food challenge. I was asked to create a dish for a family of 4 for under $10. The only way I could do this was by shopping at ALDI. They have very affordable produce that allowed me to conquer this challenge. They also don’t provide shopping bags which is perfect because phew I always bring my own when I shop 🙂
This recipe is my take on caprese chicken though if the challenge allowed for a few more dollars, I would have added a basil balsamic drizzle. I like making chicken thighs every once in a while since it has a higher fat content compared to chicken breast. The fat content allows for juicy meat though you can still achieve this with chicken breast when marinating or brining.
The combo of juicy meat, salty smooth mozzarella and tangy sweet tomatoes is the perfect mix. The spinach is the best green addition. I always try to add a green veggie to all of my meals for my customers and myself. I hope your family loves this dish as much as mine does!
Mozzarella Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes with Garlic Spinach
The combo of juicy meat, salty smooth mozzarella and tangy sweet tomatoes is the perfect mix.
Preheat oven to 350. Empty washed cherry tomatoes onto a foil lined sheet pan.
Toss with 2T oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until blistered.
Place chicken thighs onto foil lined baking sheet, toss with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake 15-20 or until instant thermometer reads 165.
Thaw spinach according to packaging. Squeeze out remaining water and transfer to a skillet with 1T oil. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Squeeze half of a lemon on top, set aside.
Slice thin pieces of mozzarella. Place 1 piece on each chicken thigh. Bake for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Arrange a bed of spinach on a platter then add the chicken cascading onto the next piece. Then sprinkle the blistered tomatoes on top. Viola! You have dinner for 4 under $10!
The other day I did a little cooking lesson with Julie from the blog, From Prosecco to Plaid. I absolutely loved teaching her some basics in the kitchen. We started out with which knife to use and how to use it. Then we moved onto her oven setting and how I love to use the convection setting and why. This was my first experience teaching someone in the kitchen and I really had so much fun doing it with Julie.
I chose to teach one of my favorite recipes, lemon garlic chicken, because anyone can make it, really, anyone!
If I can give any advice in the kitchen it’s to be clean and organized. If you aren’t, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Always be careful when cutting, you never want to chop a nail or finger off.
Keep all of your ingredients organized and separated. Julie did a particularly great job at this 🙂
Pour the wine, shallot and garlic mix over the chicken.
Bake for 30 minutes on convection and voile! Dinner is served!
Lemon Garlic Chicken
Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Adapted by Ina Garten's recipe
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn't browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
You can check out Julie's must see blog, From Prosecco to Plaid. I've gotten some pretty helpful tips and tricks from fashion to hair suggestions.
I have never actually tried making chicken and dumplings — ever. I guess it’s because I grew up on matzo ball soup and it was good enough. There was no need to learn how to make other dumpling soups.
The other day I was watching my favorite channel, The Cooking Channel; It’s pretty much where I get a lot of my inspiration from. It was my second time watching the show Little Paris Kitchen and this one recipe caught my eye. It stars an adorable girl, Rachel Khoo who makes really easy delicious French style food. She made a take on chicken dumplings without the “and.” It’s practically a rich chicken broth with veggies and dumplings made with chicken. I never knew a concoction like this would be so delicate and tasty.
The last time I made quenelles was in pastry school so it was fun practicing again!
I’m not going to type out the entire recipe because this blog, Eat Little Bird does it oh too well. Her pictures are really wonderful too. My only changes were that I sautéed a minced shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 leeks, diced carrots, and celery. I cooked all of these ingredients until wilted and soft to touch. Other than that, follow her recipe. Oh and this is a “meat and potatoes” boyfriend approved recipe.