Honey Berbere Chicken Strips

IMG_2194 I was so excited last week when my friend, Mark Deal, shared a collection of his new spice blends with me. All of them were exotic or unique and I took it as a personal challenge to use them in some new recipes that would show them off properly.
After a little research, I decided to start with the Ethiopian Berbere blend. This elaborate spice blend layers hot peppers with spices westerners commonly use in sweet foods such as cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. The fragrance is amazing and I knew it needed to be in a recipe that could focus on that layered goodness without too much distraction.
In the end, I came up with these simple Honey Berbere Chicken Strips. I served them over a green tossed salad with Vidalia sweet onion vinaigrette. Oh my heavens! It’s like a party in your mouth!
2 lbs chicken tenderloin or chicken breasts sliced in half
1/2 stick butter, sliced
2 Tbsp Berbere seasoning
1/2 cup Honey
* I added a handful of almonds on top for added crunch.

1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in the bottom of an oven safe skillet or Dutch oven.
2. Coat the chicken in the Berbere seasoning and place in the skillet.
3. Sauté until cooked on one side then turn over.
4. Drizzle honey over the top of the chicken evenly and spread remaining butter slices out evenly across the top.
5. Cover and bake at 350 for another 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes.

Helpful Hint:
Bake extra chicken and store in a freezer bag, frozen, for quick and easy meals on nights you are feeling rushed. Or, take it to work with you and eat with salad and fruit slices for a healthy meal so you aren’t tempted to grab cheap burgers on the run. Delicious!



Dinner Cheats: Balsamic Chicken

2015/01/img_2150-0.jpgTomorrow I’m teaching a private class on cooking chicken and sauces. I can’t wait to show them how easy it is to turn plain old boring chicken into something delicious. Here’s a simple dinner cheat for chicken that I use all the time!
Start with a few chicken breasts or tenderloins. Whatever you have handy will work. I actually used two chicken breasts I had left over from a “family pack” I bought for dinner the other night. It had 8 pieces in it and I only needed six. So, I threw the other two in a gallon sized ziplock bag.
Then, I added a dash or two of my favorite garlic salt blend, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar. (I may have added a little more balsamic. We love that stuff!)
Zip it up and toss it in the fridge if you’re going to cook it in the next 48 hrs. Or, you can label it with a permanent marker and toss it in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook, defrost it and dump it in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Or, if you prefer, slice it up and sautéed it in a frying pan.
This is great sliced on top of a green salad or tossed in pasta, but we’ve also had it with rice and green veggies. I like to keep it handy for those busy days when I want to eat healthy, but I’m too busy to cook. It’s even gluten and dairy free for those of you with allergies.
Happy eating!



Dinner Cheats: Pesto Chicken

Are you tired of being stressed out over dinner plans? Looking for something crazy easy, fast to prepare, and simply healthy? Of course it MUST be delicious!
Dinner Cheats is designed to save your weeknight sanity. Each week I’ll post a new recipe to help you reach your mealtime goals. This week our recipe is so simple, my 10 year old daughter could do it without any help.
Pesto Chicken
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Pesto sauce (My favorite brand is Artisan Fresh, available at Sam’s Club.)
Garlic salt

Spread pesto in the bottom of a baking dish. Lay the chicken in the pan and season with garlic salt. Then, spread another layer of pesto on the chicken. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 min. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Serving ideas:
Serve with buttered pasta.
Slice over a crisp green salad.
Top with steamed veggies and Parmesan cheese.