Getting back into a regular work week is always a little tough after an especially fun weekend. And this past weekend was definitely a fun one. Eric and I had a fancy date night on Saturday night to celebrate our sixth Valentine’s Day together. This year we visited Giovanni’s Restaurant in Detroit, which features incredibly delicious and authentic Italian cuisine. Sunday morning we got brunch with some friends and spent the rest of the afternoon watching SNL reruns. So, needless to say, I was a bit sad to see such a relaxing weekend end. But one of the ways I’ve learned to combat the Monday blues is to plan at least one special weeknight meal for the week ahead. It’s fun for me to spend a little more time in the kitchen, and it’s fun for Eric because he gets something a little more special than our typical grilled chicken. One of our new favorites is this Pepperoni Chicken. I had some leftover cheese and pepperoni from a homemade pizza and decided to get a little creative. It made my pizza obsessed husband pretty happy, and I thought it was pretty delicious myself. Enjoy!
Ingredients: Makes 3 servings
- 3 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1/4 shredded mozzarella
- 6-8 pepperonis
- To prepare the chicken, use a meat mallet to beat chicken until each chicken breast is approximately 1 inch thick, set aside
- Set up “breading station” by placing flour in a dish or paper plate. Next mix the beaten egg with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Next place Italian breadcrumbs in a 2nd dish or paper plate
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
- To bread chicken, place in the flour dish first, covering chicken completely with flour. Shake off excess flour.
- Next, place floured chicken breast in egg mixture until completely coated. Shake off excess egg.
- Finally, place chicken in breadcrumbs until completely coated. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts
- Place chicken breasts on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Spray each breast with cooking spray
- Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees
- Remove chicken from oven, and top each chicken breast with 1-2 tablespoons of marinara, 2-3 pepperonis, and 2-3 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes additional cooking time, or until cheese has melted.
When Eric and I moved into our “Snow Cottage” together, I was a little nervous about the fact that our new home did not come equipped with a dishwasher. With all of the time I spend in the kitchen (and all the dishes I use) I thought life without a dishwasher would be very difficult. However, after a few weeks passed, washing dishes by hand didn’t seem as daunting as it once did. This may be because my wonderful husband came up with the idea of “one person cooks, and the other does the dishes”. And since cooking is kind of my forte, Eric ends up doing the dishes almost every night. What a guy. So I try to be mindful of this, and typically choose recipes that will result in the least amount of dishes possible. But every now and then, I find a recipe that is worth the extra pan or two…and this Honey Garlic Chicken is one of those recipes. I was growing tired of all my normal weeknight dinners, so I decided to peruse the recipe mecca called Pinterest. Now, if a recipe is pinned over and over again, I take that as a good sign. And the idea of a healthy “fried” chicken that you bake in the oven sounded like something Eric and I both would love. So when I found this recipe on RockRecipes.com, I decided to give it a whirl. It takes about 45 minutes to put together, but the result is an incredibly decadent tasting dinner. If you follow the recipe carefully, you will end up with a crispy chicken breast topped with an amazing sweet & salty sauce. It tastes just like Chinese take out, but won’t leave you feeling stuffed and horrible. I cut the portions down a bit to make 3 servings but the original recipe can be found here and is made for 4. Enjoy!
Ingredients: Makes 3 servings
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning (cayenne pepper works fine too)
- 3 eggs
- 7 tablespoons water
- cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablepoons brown sugar
- Start by placing a cookie sheet lined with tin foil in the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. (It is important to pre-heat the pan if you want a crispy crust on your chicken)
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until breasts are about 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the next 8 ingredients (flour through jerk seasoning)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and water
- Season the chicken with salt & pepper to taste
- Dip the chicken breasts in the flour mixture until they are coated evenly, and no “bare spots” remain.
- Next, dip coated chicken breasts in egg mixture until coated evenly
- Next, return the chicken breasts to the flour mixture and make sure they are evenly coated in flour mixture
- Repeat with all 3 chicken breasts and set aside
- Take heated pan out of the oven, and evenly coat with cooking spray (I used canola oil Pam)
- Quickly place the chicken breasts on the hot pan and coat the chicken breasts evenly with cooking spray. You want to make sure the chicken breasts are at least 1 inch apart from each other, because if they touch during the cooking process, you will end up with a soggy crust
- Place pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 425. Do not open the oven at all during cooking
- After 15 minutes has passed, flip the chicken breasts over, and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
- Place the finely minced garlic cloves into the saucepan and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Make sure the garlic does not brown
- Add the soy sauce, honey and brown sugar to the saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- To serve, drizzle the sauce onto the chicken breasts