Monday, July 29, 2013

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Love chicken salad but find yourself wincing at the thought of all that mayo wrecking your diet?  Well you won't find one drop of mayo in this one!  The Greek yogurt is a great substitute for the mayo, especially when you consider that it has NO fat and TONS of protein!  The roast chicken is complimented by the zing of the sun dried tomatoes and champagne vinegar, the crunch from the pecans and celery, and the sweetness of the grapes.  This would be perfect for your brown-bag lunch for the office!

So if you are like me, and you are always looking for something healthy to bring for lunch (read - to avoid the temptation of all the drive-through's)... this one hits the spot!!

Click Here for Printable Recipe


Ingredients:  (4 - 6 servings)
  • 2 cups roasted chicken (pick up a rotisserie chicken from the market)
    • I used only the breast meat
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped chopped celery (1 stalk)
  • 2/3 cup halved red grapes
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tsp champagne vinegar
    • can substitute a good white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

If you would like more or less of any particular ingredient, go for it!  The point is to make it your own... and have a great, balanced chicken salad with lots of taste, lots of texture, that is healthy and enjoyable!


Step-by-Step:
Remove the breast meat from the rotisserie chicken.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.  
Tip - the rotisserie chickens that are in the cold box, rather than the hot "just made" chickens, are usually discounted by about $1.  Check them out, since we need a cold one, anyway!!
Mix in the remaining ingredients, chopping into small pieces as you go.  
Sun Dried tomatoes
2 - 3 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped chopped celery (1 stalk)
2/3 cup halved red grapes

Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp champagne vinegar
 Mix together and adjust seasonings.
Serve as you like it.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!  You could try it on:  a bed of mix salad greens, with crackers, with celery sticks, in a hollowed out tomato or avocado, in a pita pocket, rolled into a wrap or flat bread, on sandwich bread... YOU decide and have fun with it!
Did you enjoy this recipe?  I certainly hope so! 
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Here are some "bonus" recipes for you.  Just click the links to go there:
Crab Rangoons

Andouille Breakfast Potatoes

Quick Chicken Parmigiana Panini 

Fruit Pizza 

Honey Vanilla Bean Lemondrop Martinis (with or without alcohol) 

Skinny Mexican Pizza 


Written Method:
Remove the breasts from the rotisserie chicken and chop into bite sized pieces.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients!  Yes - it's that easy! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Prosciutto and Gruyere-Stuffed Chicken Breasts


My coworker was mentioning to me at a lunch meeting that he had stuffed some chicken breasts with prosciutto and Gruyere cheese.  I think he may have mentioned a sauce, or finishing them on the grill, or something... but my brain never got past that initial sentence.  I HAD to try this.  My version is a flattened chicken breast, covered in Italian seasonings, rolled up around the prosciutto and Gruyere, baked under a blanket of prepared vodka sauce, then garnished with fresh basil ribbons.  It's sort of an Italian version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, if you think about it.  

Why should you try this?  Well good gracious.... aren't we always looking for new ways to cook chicken?!  Something a little bit exciting?  These may look a little bit fancy, but they were NOT complicated at all.  And also, you could totally roll these up ahead of time, then cook them when you get home from work.  I also have a sneaky suspicion that after browning them, you could throw them into a crock pot with the sauce to finish them.  - and we DO like options, right?!

Click Here for Video Recipe in YouTube
    Or click directly on the video to open in this page.

  • 1 package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • thinly sliced prosciutto
    • 1 - 2 slices per chicken breast
  • Gruyere cheese
    • cut into wide sticks about 1/2 inch wide (like a large french fry)
  • Seasonings of your choice -
    • kosher salt, black pepper, dried basil and oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Jarred Vodka sauce (or pasta sauce of your choice)
  • Fresh basil for garnish


Step-by-Step:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice open the chicken breasts ALMOST to the other side.  Lie them flat and pound them out flat, as evenly as you can.  

 Tip - pounding out the chicken is a great job to let the kids help with!
Season the chicken with spices.  Go easy on the salt, as the prosciutto and the cheese are fairly salty.  Go heavier on the other seasonings.  
Kosher salt
black pepper
Italian seasoning
Roll the prosciutto around a piece of  Gruyere, then place it along one end of the breast. 
Gruyere cheese
Thinly sliced prosciutto
 

Roll the breast around the prosciutto/Gruyere, and secure with toothpicks. You may choose to also season the outside of the meat.

Add a couple of tablespoons of EVOO to a heavy skillet.  Once the oil is really hot, carefully add the chicken breasts.  It should immediately start sizzling if the oil is hot enough.  Once you place the chicken, do NOT attempt move them.  They will release once they get a beautiful, golden brown sear on them. 
1 - 2 Tbsp EVOO
 

Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
Using long handled kitchen tongs, turn the chicken to sear on all sides.  Remove from heat.
NOTE - the chicken is NOT cooked yet!!
Add some prepared sauce over the top of the chicken.  I added about 1/2 jar of Mario Batali's Vodka Sauce over mine.  
Insert a digital thermometer into the middle of the thickest breast you have, then pop them into the oven until they reach 160 degrees. 
That took about 20 minutes for my chicken - but I love using the digital thermometer that beeps when it reaches the correct temperature, because that allows me to turn my focus onto other things.  Then my chicken is cooked properly, without over baking and drying it out.  Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest.  I would say at least 5 minutes.  **Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees, but cooking them to 160 degrees and then allowing them to rest for 5 minutes allows the temperature to come up to 165 without overcooking the meat, due to the effects of carryover cooking.  This is why I place the thermometer in the largest breast.**


 
Slice into thick pinwheels and garnish with freshly chopped basil ribbons.

Serve with a little extra sauce that we baked it in from the pan.

The meat is juicy and tender.  You get the pop of unexpected flavor and texture in the middle, and all that yummy sauce!  Serve with veggies on the side, or over pasta.  YOU choose!  Have fun!!

Enjoy this? I hope so!  Just Click Here to Subscribe to MenuMusings so you won't miss a thing!

Order the Menu Musings Cookbook!
 
You can hop over to my Recipe Index for more great recipes... and here are a few more recipes for you to consider:
Baked Brie Dip with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Thyme

Beefy Mexican Cornbread 

Loaded Potato Balls 

Pasta alla Tuscana 

Coconut Lime Chicken 

Home Made Snickers Bars  

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice open the chicken breasts ALMOST to the other side.  Lie them flat and pound them out flat, as evenly as you can.  Season the chicken with spices.  Go easy on the salt, as the prosciutto and the cheese are fairly salty.  Go heavier on the other seasonings.  Roll the prosciutto around a piece of  Gruyere, then place it along one end of the breast.  Roll the breast around the prosciutto/Gruyere, and secure with toothpicks. You may choose to also season the outside of the meat.

Add a couple of tablespoons of EVOO to a heavy skillet.  Once the oil is really hot, carefully add the chicken breasts.  It should immediately start sizzling if the oil is hot enough.  Once you place the chicken, do NOT attempt move them.  They will release once they get a beautiful, golden brown sear on them.  Using long handled kitchen tongs, turn the chicken to sear on all sides.  Remove from heat.  NOTE - the chicken is NOT cooked yet!!  

Add some prepared sauce over the top of the chicken.  I added about 1/2 jar of Mario Batali's Vodka Sauce over mine.  Insert a digital thermometer into the middle of the thickest breast you have, then pop them into the oven until they reach 160 degrees.  That took about 20 minutes for my chicken - but I love using the digital thermometer that beeps when it reaches the correct temperature, because that allows me to turn my focus onto other things.  Then my chicken is cooked properly, without over baking and drying it out.  

Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest.  I would say at least 5 minutes.   Slice into thick pinwheels and garnish with freshly chopped basil ribbons.  Serve with a little extra sauce that we baked it in from the pan.

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