Posts Tagged ‘fast and easy chicken dinners’

chick jill abovechicken jill close


My neighbor recommended this dish, mainly because we’re both busy moms and this dish is insanely easy to prepare, bursting with flavor and kid-friendly. I wanted to call it “My neighbor’s tomato basil chicken,” but that just seemed like a mouthful. It’s similar to my Caprese chicken recipe, but even easier to make, and juicier if you’re using chicken thighs instead of breasts.

This dish takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and approximately 30 to cook. Last week, I served it to the kids over a little gluten-free quinoa pasta (which they loved), and ate it myself over a bed of arugula. I ate the leftovers the next day, and the dish was even tastier. I think that’s simply because the flavors had longer to soak in and blend. In fact, my neighbor says she regularly makes this dish in the morning, cooks it most of the way, places it in the fridge and simply reheats it just before supper.



1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs*

1 pint ripe, cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1 handful fresh basil leaves, loosely torn or shredded

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse-ground sea salt

Fresh-ground pepper

*Note: If your family eats more than 1 lb of chicken for dinner, simply up all the amounts accordingly. You needn’t worry about being terribly precise. You can also use bone-in, skin on thighs, but you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly, and you’ll want to crisp the skin at the end (using the broiler).


chick jill make



Preheat the oven to 375F.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a baking dish (whatever size dish accommodates your meat so that the pieces fit snugly without overlapping). Lay down the chicken pieces. Sprinkle the cut tomatoes, torn basil and garlic over the chicken. Drizzle with more oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the meat is just cooked through.

Serve immediately over rice, pasta or another grain or greens if you’re Paleo or just looking for extra nutrition.



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orange chicken

This dish* is tasty, comforting and easily made in 30 minutes. I also like that it seems suitable for just about any time of year–except maybe the hottest weeks when you’d rather not turn on your oven or stovetop. I even made this dish while traveling abroad. We were visiting friends in Paris, and since both of them work, I thought I’d help out by making dinner. Parisienne kitchens aren’t known for being particularly spacious, which made this dish a good choice. You basically need one skillet and one cooking board.

I’ve prepared this dish twice in the past two months since it uses green or spring onions, and I’ve been picking the most sweet and tender spring onions from my favorite U-pick farm where I live, Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma, Calif.

spring onions


1 chicken (roughly 3 lbs) cut into 10 pieces

Sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 big handful of scallions halved crosswise or spring onions, trimmed and halved lengthwise

3/4 cup halved, pitted green olives

zest strips from 1 orange, plus 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice


Preheat oven to 450F. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until hot, approximately 1 minute. Season chicken with salt. Swirl oil in skillet until the bottom is evenly coated. Working in batches if needed, add chicken, skin side down, and brown, about 5-7 minutes. Depending on how you feel about animal fat, you can either proceed to the next step or take a minute to pour off some of the fat that accumulated during the browning process.

Turn chicken so the skin side faces up. Add onions, olives, orange zest and juice to skillet. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Serve warm as a complete dish or with roasted potatoes and a fresh green salad.


*Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine

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