I had the day off today...actually I have every Monday off. Not many people want their houses cleaned on Mondays. Most of my customers prefer Thursdays or Fridays. Me? If I had someone to clean my house (I wish!), I would be quite happy to have it cleaned on Mondays. Then it would be clean for most of the week. But, I am getting off track. (I do that a lot.)(In fact, my daughter and I both do that a lot, and when we are together, keeping up with us is like listening to a ping pong match...no, Mexican jumping beans! Yeah, that's more like how we jump from topic to topic) Where was I? Oh yeah...
So, anyway, I had today off. And, after I washed and dried a load of clothes, took the dog for a walk, worked on my taxes (got them done and e-filed!), made pie crust for an apple pie (which I will post about on March 21), cleaned up the kitchen and made a fresh pot of coffee, I started thinking about what to fix for dinner. I had already taken out a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, so I knew we were having chicken. But, what way? I decided to check out "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" recipes for chicken ideas.
I found 4 or 5 that sounded delicious. Chicken tenders, chicken baked using yogurt and panko crumbs, chicken spaghetti casserole (I will be trying that one soon!) and one called Ranch Style Chicken. It looked delicious. Not a low-calorie meal for sure. Bacon, cheese, chicken. Yup. Nothing low calorie here. :) But, it looked so good in the pictures she has posted that I was caught. hook. line. and sinker. It helped (or hurt, depending on your view) that I had all the ingredients I needed to make it on hand.
Pretty easy to throw together. The marinade was simple to make and smelled delicious. My hubby was in the livingroom while I was fixing this and he yelled into the kitchen that whatever I was making sure smelled great, and how soon was dinner? I didn't have any potatoes to serve with the dish, so I made cheddar cheese polenta. Thought the polenta with cheddar would go well with the cheddar on the chicken. It was okay, but I think potatoes would have been better, especially baked potatoes. But, the polenta worked. I also served a nice tossed salad on the side. I can say the dish was every bit as delicious as the pictures portrayed it to be. And, it was every bit as delicious as it smelled while I was cooking it. By the time I brought the plates to the table, the dog and the cat were waiting for me, along with my hubby. The flavor of the chicken with the bacon and cheddar cheese was wonderful . You could detect the flavors of the honey and mustard from the marinade. And, tender? Lord the chicken was fork tender. Moist, flavorful, delicious!! My hubby loved it! Said "This is really good! When you going to make it again? Tomorrow??" :D I made three breasts and he is going to take the third one to work tomorrow for lunch, on a bun with mayo. And, I think if I did make the same dish tomorrow night, he would be happy as a pig in...well, you know. You gotta' try this one folks!
I am going to link this one to Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman. The next round up is March 8th and the category is "Main Dishes". Perfect!
Ree's recipe serves 6. I kept the marinade recipe the same, but only used 3 chicken breasts for the hubby and me.
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Crushed red pepper (optional to taste - I used garlic pepper instead)
6 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound thick cut bacon (I used 6 slices)
Sharp cheddar cheese, to taste
To begin, make the marinade. In a large bowl mix together the mustard, honey, lemon juice, paprika and salt. Whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like things a little spicy. Set aside.
Next, rinse the chicken breasts and place between two sheets of waxed paper and pound to about 1/2" - 3/4" thick with a mallet. Add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade, cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.
While the chicken marinates, fry up some bacon. When finished cooking, reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease and clean out the skillet.
When the chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off the excess marinade. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of canola oil in the clean skillet over medium-high heat. When the grease is nice and hot, add two or three pieces of chicken to it. Cook until brownish/blackish, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a large baking sheet. If cooking many peices of chicken, repeat skillet process and remove finished chicken to baking sheet. Place chicken in preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.