Chicken pomodoro

 
Chicken pomodoro
 

Chicken pomodoro

Can we chat about tomatoes for a second? I am currently obsessed with those mini multi-colored ones that are cropping up everywhere. They're sweet and all sorts of beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and of course, red. I've been using them in everything from a simple cucumber/tomato salad to this dish right here.

This chicken pomodoro recipe is golden brown chicken breasts cooked in a homemade tomato sauce served with delicious topping like ricotta cheese and fresh basil. It's fresh and savory, and a great go to dish for everyday luxury this summer.

Here's a tip, patience when cooking chicken is definitely needed especially if yours are really thick like mine were. I like to pound them down a bit by placing them in a gallon ziplock bag and using something heavy to pound away. Also, you don't need a meat pounder to get it done! Use the back of a wooden spoon or a heavy pan, instead. Just watch out for your fingers!

  • 3 cups dried medium shell pasta
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup boxed diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • To serve: fresh basil and ricotta cheese

Start by cooking your pasta according to the package’s instructions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain and set the pasta aside.

To prepare the chicken, pound the chicken breast down a bit and then cut it in half. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the base of the pan. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden and mostly cooked through. This can take some time depending on the thickness of your chicken, so you can definitely cut through one of the chicken breasts to check for doneness. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and set them aside on a plate. Keep the pan on the heat.

Reduce the heat to low. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, the sliced onion, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté until the onions are softened. Stir in the diced tomatoes and the reserved pasta water. 

Add the chicken (and any juices) back into the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken won’t be submerged in the sauce, so you may need to flip it once. If the liquid reduces before the chicken is cooked, feel free to add more water or diced tomatoes, but it should reduce for another 10-15 minutes or so.

Add the halved cherry tomatoes and simmer for 1 minute more to warm them through.

Serve each chicken breast with a generous scoop of pasta and the sauce. Top each serving with fresh basil and spoonfuls of ricotta cheese.

Serves 2

Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs

 
Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs
 

Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs

I'm a fan of a one pan wonder, a dinner that only requires one pan to cook everything in. Now let me introduce you to the sheet pan wonder, a dinner that only requires a sheet pan to cook multiple ingredients at once. I love a good sheet pan chicken situation, and this one is a pleaser.

Lots of us grew up dipping our carrot sticks into ranch dressing, but marinading our chicken in ranch? Ok, that's new! Trust me, it's delicious and slightly tangy, and makes the easiest marinade ever.

Ranch dressing typically contains herbs like parsley and plenty of garlic, so I added a bit more fresh parsley and garlic for even more punch. I chose cauliflower because I love a roasted cauliflower situation, plus I think it does a great job at absorbing all of that ranch flavor. 

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus more for serving)
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl combine the chicken thighs with the chopped fresh parsley, ranch dressing, and garlic. Set aside for 15 minutes or so to marinate the chicken.

Spray a foil-lined pan with cooking spray. Lay the cauliflower florets in a layer, then add the chicken thighs. Any leftover ranch or parsley used as the marinade can be added on top of the chicken thighs, or discarded. 

Bake the chicken and cauliflower in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the cauliflower softens and the chicken begins to brown.

Serve the chicken and cauliflower with a sprinkle of salt and more fresh parsley on top.

Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs

Roasted brussels sprout salad

 
Roasted brussels sprout salad
 

Roasted brussels sprout salad

Spring is in the air in New York, but of course we've bypasses spring straight into summer. And to make matters worse, your girl doesn't have AC installed quite yet. So I'm currently using a pint of ice cream to cool down my entire body, and then consuming said pint of ice cream.

I know what people say about using the oven in the summer, just don't do it. But can I convince you to turn it on once a week to roast delicious vegetables? If you do, this is the salad to make.

Roasted brussels sprouts were my favorite this winter, and I'm easily taking them with me into warmer weather days in this cool, crispy salad. The clementines, cucumber, and tomatoes are all cooling and you can't beat how easy this lemon mustard dressing is to whisk together.

Recipe is below for you to make. While you pre-heat the oven, I'll be off to eat more ice cream.

  • ~ 9oz. fresh brussels sprouts
  • 3 packed cups baby kale
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  • Optional: Clementines, grated cheese, walnuts

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Wash and quarter the brussels sprouts. Arrange them in a greased pan and drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Roast the brussels sprouts in the oven for ~35 minutes until crispy on the edges and softened. Once roasted, remove them from the oven and let cool.

Prep the rest of the ingredients by washing the baby kale and chopping the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add clementine segments, grated cheese, and walnuts, if using.

To make the dressing, first juice half a lemon. Then whisk together the lemon juice with olive oil, rice vinegar, mustard, and garlic.

Toss the salad in the dressing and enjoy right away.

Roasted brussels sprout salad

Almond roasted chicken salad

 
Almond roasted chicken salad
 

Almond roasted chicken salad

Chicken salad is underrated, but mostly because it's usually shredded af and bland. No more! Once you've had roasted chicken salad, you'll never want to go back.

This recipe is an easy go-to, plus serving it on bibb lettuce means you get to enjoy more (and mayonnaise) without too much guilt. The almonds and pomegranate seeds add crunch and texture, while the dates add some sweetness.

Once you get this recipe down, don't be afraid to switch it up. Add golden raisins instead of the dates, or try walnuts AND almonds in the chicken salad. Another fun combination would be dried cranberries and roasted turkey breast for a seasonal twist. However you dice it, this one is sure to become a new fave of yours!

  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup plain, non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 handful of almonds (roughly 16)
  • 1 handful of pitted dates (roughly 8) 
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (for taste)
  • To serve: bibb lettuce, pomegranate seeds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the chicken dry and then sprinkle each chicken breast liberally with salt and pepper. 

Place the chicken breasts on a greased and foil-lined baking sheet. Roast the chicken in the oven for ~25 minutes, flipping them halfway through roasting. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

While the chicken is cooling, make the dressing by combining the greek yogurt, olive oil, curry powder, dried cilantro, cumin, and mayonnaise, if using. Roughly chop the almonds and dates and stir them in.

To assemble the chicken salad, cube the chicken and then fold it into the dressing.

Serve the chicken salad with bibb lettuce (lettuce cups for the win!) and pomegranate seed for added crunch.

Almond roasted chicken salad

Whole roasted lemon caper chicken

 
Whole roasted lemon caper chicken
 

Whole roasted lemon caper chicken

Roasting a chicken shouldn't be a special occasion thing, but it typically is. The secret? It's pretty hands off once you get it in the oven. That means that while your dinner is cooking up, you can watch yet another episode of [insert your favorite tv show here], and it'll be ready for the end of the episode. Plus a roasted chicken typically makes for leftovers, so you have dinner plus lunch ready to go.

A great alternative if you'd rather not cook an entire chicken is to repeat this method with pieces, adjusting cooking times accordingly. Also don't skip out of the lemon caper butter! It makes this chicken more special than your typical supermarket variety.

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 whole, small chicken
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1 packed cup of parsley

Before you begin, soften your butter by allowing it to get to room temperature on your counter. All hope isn’t lost if you forget! Just zap it for around 10 seconds in your microwave.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To make the lemon caper butter, first zest the lemon and roughly chop the capers. Combine the lemon zest and capers with the softened butter. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. This is going to flavor your entire chicken, so don’t be shy with seasoning.

Add a light drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom of a roasting pan. Wash and cut the tops and ends off of the carrots and celery stalks. Lay these in the bottom of the roasting pan in one even layer.

Rinse and dry the chicken, then lay the chicken, breast-side up on top of the vegetables. Slather the chicken in the lemon caper butter, including under the skin for extra crispy skin. Cut the peeled lemon in half, and add it into the cavity of the chicken. Also add the garlic (doesn’t need to be peeled) and parsley (stems and all are fine). You may want to tie the legs together with kitchen string to keep everything together, but it's not required.

Roast the chicken until it hits an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the breast, which should take around 1 hour. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Whole roasted lemon caper chicken