Weeknight Chicken Caprese

Last night, the weather here was absolutely beautiful. After a week of 100° days and evening thunderstorms, the weather finally broke, and we experienced the 80s again. Gotta love Maryland! 

It was so great to finally be able to eat outside! People don’t realize how crazy the weather is in this state. You literally can experience all 4 seasons in the same week. Wednesday felt like summer in the tropics. Last night felt like Autumn.

To take advantage of this gorgeous opportunity, I decided to make Chicken Caprese and dish it on a bed of garlic spaghetti (spaghetti aglio e olio for those of your who aren’t familiar with the Italian-American term), presented in a gorgeous plate I got for my wedding from Williams-Sonoma.

Chicken Caprese

Minimum effort for maximum deliciousness. You seriously cannot get any easier than this. I found it on Pinterest, then made it my own. The only thing I should have done differently is remove the foil for the last few minutes to brown the top a little. Also, it would probably go very well with spaghetti squash, if you’re trying to be good.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, filleted so there are 4 thin pieces
  • 2-4 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced thin
  • 1 handful shredded mozzarella
  • a few fresh basil leaves if you have them on hand

 

What you do:

Spread pesto on top of chicken. Top with tomato slices, cheese, and basil leaves. Cover and bake in 375°F oven for 20 minutes.

 

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How to Teach a Man to Cook

Before I met him, James’s cooking expertise extended to frozen pizzas and scrambled eggs. Yesterday, I came home to the sweet comforting smell of a whole chicken simmering in the slow cooker. I took a deep breath and thanked God for giving me such an awesome man to marry. He made it all by himself, and it was perfect.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been emailing him 4-step directions for making barbecue chicken thighs, tilapia, and baked salmon. He’s done an awesome job with all of them. A+.

That’s the secret really. Clear and direct directions. Don’t blabber. Tell him where the pans are located. Draw a picture of which way the chicken is supposed to face. And let him do it.

I’m so excited. Either tonight or tomorrow, we’re making chicken soup. And soon, maybe even tonight, I’ll teach him how to sauté. I can’t wait to see him this evening! Amazing how the level of my happiness is directly related to the amount of time I spend in cooking-related activities. It’s going to be an awesome weekend!

Chicken Carbonara

I’m a huge fan of pasta carbonara, especially when done right. If you’ve never had it, it’s basically pasta and bacon with a creamy egg-based sauce coating the pasta. In other words, heaven.

Last night, I was out of bacon, but I had 2 big chicken breasts and 4 people eating dinner, so I decided to make it with chicken, and it was AWESOME!! Here’s what I did:

Cook 1 lb pasta (thin spaghetti works best) according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, drizzle about 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Add about 1 clove fresh minced garlic. Throw in a tbsp of butter if you really want it to be delicious. Chop 2 chicken breasts into bite size pieces, and add to pan. Saute together until chicken is cooked but not tough.

In a separate bowl, whip 4 eggs until completely smooth. We don’t want ANY egg clumps. Whip in a few tbsp heavy cream if you have it. Add about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pan. Add chicken and some of the juice of the frying pan to the pasta.

Now here’s the tricky part, read carefully:

Add egg mixture to pasta, stirring quickly and constantly. The goal here is for the egg to coat the pasta before the hot pasta cooks the egg. The last thing we want are egg clumps. We want a nice, shiny coating. Don’t worry, you can do it. Just do it quickly.

I hope you like it!