Tender Chicken Dishes for Fast Week Night Cooking

Balsamic ChickenChicken is by far the most popular protein. It’s very versatile, spanning all cultures and cuisines, well liked and diet friendly. Home cooks tend to overcook chicken, so in today’s post I’m going to tell you about one of the easiest ways to cook chicken properly.

The cooking technique is the same for each of the four quick cooking chicken dishes listed, so once you master it you can try all the sauces to add delicious variety to your dinner table.

1. Balsamic

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup cubed fresh mozzarella or bite sized mozzarella balls

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 2 minutes per side until brown. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the white wine and balsamic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes scrapping up any bits sticking inside the pan.
4. Return the chicken to the pan, along with the cherry tomatoes and add the chicken stock. Cook 1 minute more, turning once until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with basil and top with the mozzarella cubes or balls . Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (1 chicken breast with sauce and tomatoes): 457 calories, 47 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat (6 g saturated), 130 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g fiber, 679 mg sodium.

Weight Watcher Plus Points: 11

2. Piccata

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from two medium lemons)
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1. Season chicken with the pepper. Dredge in flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 2 minutes per side until brown. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers and bring to a simmer, scrapping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Return the chicken to the pan and cook 1 minute more, turning once until the chicken is cooked through. Add the butter and margarine, and stir to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (1 chicken breast with sauce): 379 calories, 39 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat (5 g saturated), 125 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 553 mg sodium.

Weight Watcher Plus Points: 10

3. Marsala

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter or trans-fat free margarine
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 2 minutes per side until brown. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the mushrooms and the butter or margarine. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften. Add the Marsala and bring to a simmer, scrapping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Return the chicken to the pan and add the chicken stock. Cook 1 minute more, turning once until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (1 chicken breast with sauce and mushrooms): 409 calories, 40 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat (5 g saturated), 125 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 434 mg sodium.

Weight Watcher Plus Points: 10

4. Curry

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cup broccoli florets
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons half and half

1. Season chicken with salt and half the curry powder. Dredge in flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 2 minutes per side until brown. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the broccoli and tomatoes and cook 1 to 2 minutes scrapping up any bits sticking inside the pan as the tomatoes release their liquid.
4. Return the chicken to the pan and add the chicken stock. Cook 1 minute more, turning once until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in half and half and serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (1 chicken breast with sauce, broccoli, tomatoes): 380 calories, 42 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (3 g saturated), 115 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 538 mg sodium.

Weight Watcher Plus Points: 9

Why Organic, Is It Worth It?

In this economy, many people are watching every penny, so the price tag for organic ingredients can be intimidating. But if you do have a little wiggle room in your budget I highly recommend shopping for organic chickens for many reasons, the first being they taste and smell so much better!

Organic chickens are raised under strict conditions compared to their non-organic relatives. They are fed all-natural, organic feed and not given any growth hormones, pesticides, and absolutely no feed produced from animal by-products. Be sure to look for the organic seal, the word “natural” is not the same and has little or no guarantee on the quality of the meat.

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