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Butter Chicken Recipe by Leah

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Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani) is a really popular dish in Indian Restaurants and with good reason.  It’s a full-flavored dish with a lovely, mildly spiced curry sauce.  Though traditionally made with bone-in chicken I choose the easy route of boneless, skinless chicken thighs every time.  We like to serve it with naan and raita.





Butter Chicken

Yield: 6 servings



2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp curry powder

1 Tbsp curry paste

1/4 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

2 tsp tandoori masala

1 tsp garam masala

1 6oz can tomato paste

15 green cardamom pods *

1 14oz can coconut milk

1 cup plain yogurt

salt, to taste

1 bunch cilantro**

basmati rice, prepared


  1. Melt the butter and vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the chicken, onion and garlic.  Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the curry powder, curry paste, chili powder, fenugreek, tandoori masala, garam masala, and tomato paste.  Stir until no lumps remain.
  3. Add the cardamom pods and coconut milk, stir.
  4. Put the yogurt in a medium bowl. Very slowly add about 2 cups of the tomato sauce, stirring continuously.  Then, pour the entire thing back into the skillet.  Season to taste with salt and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove and discard cardamom pods.  Place butter chicken into serving dishes, add a side of basmati rice, and top with cilantro.

*Take a needle and thread, pierce the needle through the top of the cardamom pod.  Continue with all the pods and tie the ends together.  It makes it much easier to remove them when the butter chicken is done.

**Georgia’s Nerdy Note: If you are unable to eat cilantro, you can swap parsley for it.  Some people have the same genes, OR6A2, which cause cilantro to taste like soap due to picking up other scents that those without the gene set detect.  Parsley is an easy swap, so you don’t miss out!

Pressure Cooker Chicken Breasts

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When you’re looking for maximum juiciness in meat you use your Instant Pot or Power Pressure Cooker XL, and though I’ve only had mine about a year, it has gotten a ton of use.  I love to use it to make whole roasted chickens, but sometimes you need sliced or chopped chicken for a recipe.  On those occasions this is the chicken I usually turn to.



Chicken Breast



Pressure Cooker Chicken Breasts



2 Tbsp olive oil

4 chicken breasts

1 Tbsp granulated garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

1 Tbsp sea salt

1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chicken stock


  1. Combine spices and set aside.
  2. Preheat the saute function on the electric pressure cooker at the highest setting, adding oil to the pot.
  3. Season the chicken and brown in your pressure cooker 2 at a time, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. When all the chicken is browned place it in the pot and add the chicken stock.
  5. Lock the lid and cook on high for 3 minutes.
  6. Allow chicken to naturally release for 5 minutes, and then quick release.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Note: These instructions are based on using an electric Power Pressure Cooker XL, so buttons and times may vary slightly when using a different brand.  Do not use an old fashioned pressure cooker for this recipe.

Barbecue Chicken Wrap Recipe by Leah

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Red Robin’s Whiskey River Barbecue Chicken Wrap© is wildly popular.  It’s certainly one of my favorite things to eat there and we long ago started making them at home.  They’re not complicated at all, which is exactly my kind of meal.  The only cooking required is the chicken, and if you happen to already have some chicken on hand, then you’re already set.  Remember my Everything Chicken?  Now is the perfect time to use it. My 10 year old always asks me if I’ll make extra so she’ll have a few to pack in her lunchbox.  You might want to make a few extra too 🙂




Barbecue Chicken Wrap

yield: 4 wraps



4 spinach or flour tortillas

4 thighs of Everything Chicken (or grilled chicken), cut into strips

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup ranch dressing

tortilla strips

2 cups shredded lettuce



  1. If you’re chicken is cold from the refrigerator warm it.  Then, place the chicken in a medium-size bowl and toss with the barbecue sauce.
  2. Lay out your tortillas.  Divide the chicken among the 4 tortillas and place in a row down the center of the tortilla.
  3. Do the same with the cheese, covering the chicken.  Add the ranch, tortilla strips, and finally the lettuce.
  4. Fold down the edges at the top and the bottom of the row.  Then roll the other edges to form your wrap.

Everything Chicken Recipe by Leah

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If I was choosing recipes to share with you based on frequency of use this chicken would have been one of the first.  I make it all the time.  Most often I use it for lunchtime salads with lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and ranch dressing.  I serve it as is with some tasty sides like mashed potatoes; I use it in tacos, wraps, quesadillas, pastas, and more!  It is almost always in my fridge.  This chicken is basically my go to and it’s so simple it’s embarrassing.

We call it Everything Chicken because we put it on…EVERYTHING!  I know, I know.  It’s not that creative but it was named by accident when my husband was asking where the chicken was as he dug through the fridge.  I asked what chicken he was talking about and his response was “You know. That chicken we put on everything.”  Thus the name was born.


Everything Chicken



Everything Chicken 



canola oil

boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Red Robin seasoning© (Yes, the seasoning from the restaurant.  You can buy it from the restaurant, order online, and even occasionally find it in your local grocery)



  1. Heat a couple Tablepoons of oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Depending on how much chicken you’re making you may need to add more oil to the pot as you cook the chicken pieces.
  2. Lay your chicken out and sprinkle generously on both sides with Red Robin Seasoning©.
  3. Place the chicken gently into the pan to avoid splashing the hot oil.
  4. Allow the chicken to cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove the chicken and allow to rest about 5 minutes before slicing.

Simple Honey Baked Chicken Recipe by Leah

Simple Honey Baked Chicken

This chicken dish is the very first thing I cooked for my husband as a young bride.  We’d come home from our honeymoon in the beautiful coastal town of Pacific Grove, California.  My husband had to go to work and I remember kissing him goodbye and standing there in our very 1st apartment, not yet fully moved in, and wondering where to start.  “What would a wife do next?”, I thought to myself.  Very happy but a little uncertain I decided to unpack. I opened the first box and there on top was a cookbook, gifted from a family friend in Canada.  She was a member of the Eastern Star organization and her local group of women had collected their favorite recipes and turned it into a cookbook.  What a treasure!  Favorite recipes from experienced women and wives!  This is what a wife does!  I found this recipe, went to the grocery store and made my husband his first home cooked meal as a husband.  It all sounds so sweetly naive now and yet, the day was a precious one, filled with love for my husband and the life we wanted to create together.  There have been many meals since then: some fancy, some simple, some delivered or picked up, some eaten out.  Meals have been shared with friends and family, prepared together, prepared separately and all of these – every single one – have been a demonstration of love and an opportunity to connect as we sit and eat together.  Love is shared in the simple act of preparing a meal to nourish those you love.

This simple chicken dish will always hold a special place in my heart for the memories it brings.  By the way, it tastes good too. ☺

Simple Honey Baked Chicken


2 broiler-fryers or 2 lbs of whatever chicken is on hand

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp curry powder


  1. Place chicken pieces in shallow baking pan, skin side up.
  2. Combine butter, honey, mustard, salt and curry powder.  Mix and pour over chicken.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 1/4 hours (I find 45 minutes to be long enough) until chicken is tender and nicely browned.

We serve over rice and with whatever green happens to be in season.

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Chicken Lazone Recipe by Leah

chicken lazone.jpg


“Brennan’s” in New Orleans published their popular recipe for Chicken Lazone and it has definitely been a hit in our house.  I wanted more sauce to serve over pasta so I upped the amount of spices to our taste and added more cream.  This tasty dish comes together quickly.  People are always surprised at how easy it is when I share the recipe with them.


Chicken Lazone

Yield: 6 servings



1 tsp salt

3 tsp chili powder

3 tsp onion powder

4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3 lbs chicken thighs

1/4 cup butter, divided

2 cups heavy cream

1 lb linguine, cooked according to box directions



  1. Combine salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.  Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken.
  2. In a large saute pan, melt half of the butter over medium-high heat.  Cook the chicken until done, about 8 minutes.
  3. Pour the cream and remaining butter into the skillet.  Lower heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Serve chicken and sauce over prepared pasta.




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Shredded Barbecue Chicken Over Grits

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Shredded Barbecue Chicken Over Grits


This recipe is one my sister gave me.  She saw it in a Taste of Home magazine, knew I’d like it, brought me the recipe, and volunteered to taste-test it when I made it.  She was right.  I did like it – so did she, my husband, my kids, and my parents.  The grits have a wonderful flavor.  You can tell something has been added but no one could guess it was pumpkin.  

When I served the chicken I was generous with the sauce and still had a lot leftover.  Next time I’ll make 2 lbs of chicken for that amount of sauce rather than 1 lb.  The leftover chicken would make great tacos.


Shredded Barbecue Chicken Over Grits

Prep:20 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 6 servings



1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can (14 1/2 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce

1/4 cup molasses

1 Tbsp ground ancho chili pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 1/4 cups water

1 cup quick-cooking grits

1 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

6 Tbsp sour cream

2 green oinons, chopped

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced



  1. Sprinkle chicken with pepper; place in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup broth, barbecue sauce, molasses, chili pepper and cinnamon; pour over the chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F.  Shred meat with 2 forks and return to skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring water and remaining broth to a boil.. Slowly stir in grits and pumpkin.  Reduce heat; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in cheese until melted.
  4. Divide grits among 6 serving bowls; top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture.  Serve with tomato, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.




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Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

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Chicken Mustard Cream Sauce & Bacon Pear Berry Sa


When I have time I love to prepare a big meal.  You know the kind – a Thanksgiving type of meal where something is roasting in the oven throughout the day and you’re putting together sides, rolls, and ending it all with a delicious dessert.  I enjoy the process and it brings a wonderful sense of satisfaction when you see everyone savoring their dinner.  But who can make meals like that on a week night!? We need quick meals but we don’t want to sacrifice flavor and the sense of fulfillment.  This meal definitely qualifies. It’s fast enough for a week-night meal, good enough for company, and most importantly – eaten by kids (aged 2-14) without a single complaint. Serve with a salad and your meal is complete.  

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce



4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts – cut in thirds

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

3 shallots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp coarse/grainy mustard

1 tsp dried tarragon

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb angel hair pasta



  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts and pound them to an even thickness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Over medium heat, melt olive oil and butter in a skillet (preferably non-stick so the chicken browns well).  
  3. In a large pot start begin boiling well-salted water for your pasta.
  4. When your oil and butter are shimmering add the chicken pieces to the skillet.  Don’t move the chicken until it lifts easily and has a brown coating.  Brown the other side until the chicken is just barely cooked through.  Be careful not to overcook as the chicken will continue to cook as it rests.  Remove chicken, set aside and cover with foil.
  5. Add garlic and shallot to the hot pan and stir into the brown bits for about 30 seconds.  Deglaze with wine and chicken broth.  Boil rapidly and reduce for about 5 minutes.
  6. If your pasta water is ready add the pasta and cook according to pkg directions.
  7. To your skillet add cream, mustards, and tarragon.  Stir together and add the chicken breast back to the pan.  Let it simmer gently until just heated through and then serve over pasta.




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Super Easy Roasted/Baked Chicken

If you’ve been following my blog for the last few months, then you know I’m on a frozen meal prep kick and learning how to come up with energy saving ingredients that allow me to still cook a meal on my bad health days. One ingredient I had trouble with for months was basic diced chicken (in bulk). My crock pot chicken always came out tender, but always shredded instead of holding up to being diced, and I really wanted some diced chicken that I could freeze into portions that didn’t cost an outrageous amount (really grocery stores?!  That has to be a massive profit margin!). I tried a lot of variations until I finally came across a post via Pinterest that explained how to get flavorful roasted chicken without being super intimidating. The original post is at Roasted Chicken Breasts and I urge you to read through it if you haven’t mastered chicken yet. 

I followed the instructions on the site, although I used Daddy Hinkle’s dry marinade since I have a lot of that on hand (we get a combo pack with the original liquid marinade since that’s the only way it’s available around here and go through the liquid WAY faster lol). I bought a big package of chicken “tenderloins” for a great price at Sam’s Club and it took three batches to cook them all. Oddly enough I had to cook the tenderloins just a bit longer than the breasts in the instructions, but it gave me a time frame to start checking with my meat thermometer.  They came out mouthwateringly gorgeous. 

While each batch cooked I cooled the previous batch and then diced them up, after I performed some quality control checks. It took eating three before I actually declared this a success.  You know, you can’t rush quality control.  We all have to fall on our sword sometimes. *grin*

Anyway, one bulk package from Sam’s took about an hour and a half with prep, baking, and cutting, and filled three freezer zip bags, as well as a bag of some solid tenders for lunches in the refrigerator. 

These have been SO handy too!  I thawed a bag and used half of them in the Frito Supreme dish I previously blogged here.  I was able to just warm the pieces up with the wet ingredients and the meal was ready for plating within ten minutes!  

I never realized until I read the roasting instructions that I had mostly been over cooking the chicken, which was why I couldn’t get that store bought tenderness when I tried baking. I always use my thermometer, but I was testing WAY too late. Doh!  She made a great point about needing to season the chicken, too. I’ve always seasoned the dishes themselves, but it never dawned on me to use the Hinkle’s directly on the chicken in this capacity until I read that post (for shredded crock pot I just do a few bouillon cubes and water, plus a little poultry seasoning, usually).  I love that I can use whatever I can tolerate at the moment, too, since I can’t always tolerate the same spices!  Bonus: the sliced pieces have been flavorful enough as is to make a healthy topping for Larry’s salad “lunch” at work (what do you call meal break when it’s in the evening, yet not dinner, anyway?). I had never baked meat on parchment paper either and I think that was much better than the usual foil versions I had tried before. It also seems a lot healthier with a better texture, to us at least. 

I really wanted to share this information since there are so many other variations out there and this is the first that truly worked for me. This helped us save quite a bit of money, keeps cooked chicken on hand for quick meals, and was so easy that I was able to do it on one of my not-so-good days. A few days later I cooked up a huge package of lean ground beef, unseasoned, that I throughly drained, broke up into pretty small pieces, and froze, too.  Having precooked proteins on hand has made cooking during my worst point of the day a lot less daunting, not to mention a lot more cost effective, since I can get some great bulk prices. *happy dance* I can’t just pop on down to the market when I decide to cook, so having things on hand is essential, but can get expensive when you buy them in handy packages at the store. I’m absolutely tickled!

Are you interested in hearing about other hacks that I try?  Do you have any other meal “hacks” that have made things easier for you that you wouldn’t mind sharing?  My next hack attempt is going to be freezing blueberries. I’ll be able to have them for smoothies even when it’s hard to get good ones at a decent price out in The Midwest. I just love life hacks! 🙂   

Chicken Frito Supreme

Chicken Frito Supreme

Hi there!  In honor of Serve It Sunday I want to share a new recipe that I found on Pinterest that will become part of our regular meal rotation.  The original recipe is at, although mine has a few changes plus a little tip.  This meal comes together without a whole lot of work, especially if you all ready have some trimmed chicken breasts ready.

We used:

2 trimmed chicken breasts, diced

1 cup salsa (due to my sensitivities I used extra mild picante instead, but it’s totally whatever you prefer, and I only had the one cup of salsa, so that’s why I went with some Ro-tel.  If you have a full jar of salsa, then use the original 2.5 cups of salsa and omit the Ro-tel)

1 can mild Ro-tel

1 can of chicken broth

5 tbsp. cornstarch (original calls for 3; if you use a picante or Ro-tel, then you will also need more cornstarch)

Grated cheddar cheese

Fritos chips

2 cups Instant Rice

Sautee the chicken until it’s cooked through (we went with two breasts because we didn’t want it as meaty, while the original recipe calls for 4), and then add the salsa/Ro-tel, broth, and cornstarch to the chicken.

ChickenFrito1 ChickenFrito2

Here’s where I take a detour from the original recipe.  It says to “let simmer while rice cooks”.  Most of the time cornstarch needs some heat to become active, just like when you make gravy, so after I stirred the mixture together (and added the extra cornstarch beyond the original recipe) and let it simmer for a while, I finally realized why the mixture was still thin and increased the heat to medium high just until it came to a boil. I then turned it down and let the mixture simmer, stirring frequently, and it thickened up well.  I cooked the instant rice with hot water as the package indicated.

(My feet have been excruciating for the past few days, so I was sitting on my knees on my walker to cook today.  I stepped down to rinse a measuring cup and when I turned back I discovered that Abby had taken advantage of my walker to check on the meal.  *laugh*  Apparently it smelled good, because she really didn’t want to get back down to the floor! *grin*)


Look how yummy the sauce looks once it thickens:


Once everything is cooked, layer rice, chicken sauce mixture, shredded cheese, and fritos on each person’s plate.

Chicken Frito Supreme

Chicken Frito Supreme

It is SO good and surprisingly hearty.  I only ate half of the plate of food.  We love cheddar, so we were pretty generous with the cheese, and I love how gooey it got after sitting on the hot chicken sauce mixture for a few minutes.  You can change up the chips, but I agree with the original blogger that Fritos really makes this dish pop.  I think it’s because of the corn flavor rounding out the almost Mexican food flavors.  If you like a meatier dish, then you can totally add more chicken.  The two breasts turned out to be the perfect amount for our preference (which is ironic, since Larry is very much a “meat and potatoes” man).  I like that the recipe is a good start that allows for a lot of versatility.  I really want to stress though that if your sauce mixture doesn’t seem to be thickening, then you need to bring it up to a boil and then let the mixture simmer, just like you would with a cornstarch based gravy.  It makes a world of difference.  If you have a really thick and hearty salsa, then I’d start with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and add as needed, if needed.  We’re going to make this again next week and we’re going to add some sliced black olives when layering.  Mmmm.  I hope you give this recipe a try.  You serve right from the two pans, and no baking needed, so it’s a great meal for a busy day in my opinion.

If you try it, I’d love to hear about your experience and especially any tweaks you made.  Until tomorrow 🙂

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