Darren Chiacchia | Photo Copyright Brant Gamma
Here are two one of my favorite quick dishes. I like to keep the ingredients on hand.
Pesto Chicken Pasta
I keep Knorr pesto sauce available at all times in case I can't make fresh or get fresh from a store. Keeping several boxes or bags of frozen peas available for several recipes is also very handy. I think peas are the best of the frozen vegetables.
I bring a pasta pot to a boil. While water is heating I slice 2-3 chicken breasts into small chunks, (easier while still frozen). Then I saut? the chicken in a fry pan or wok in olive oil; this takes about the same time as cooking the pasta.
Add 1 lb. pasta of choice (I like wagon wheel or bow-ties) to boiling water. While it's cooking, I start warming the pesto sauce on stove top or microwave--it just takes a couple of minutes. When the pasta is 2-3 minutes from being done, I add the frozen peas in with the pasta, which saves one pan to clean. You may also add some sliced garlic to the pasta; I add several cloves. When pasta is done, drain and place in a large bowl or back in the pot, add pesto and stir.
Now pour the sauted chicken chunks over the pasta, and you're ready to go.
Optional additions: one chopped red pepper and one can of sliced black olives, which also add color and give the dish a very appealing look.
Next is a simple chicken dish:
Baked Chicken Over Rice or Potatoes
1 whole chicken cut up and extra chicken pieces of your choice, legs, thighs, etc
long-cooking rice or
frozen peas, baby carrots (optional)
Place 2-3 cups water in bottom of large baking dish or two smaller dishes
Add 2-3 cups rice to bottom of dish(es}, or 3-4 sliced potatoes; you may also add peas and/or a bag of baby carrots to make this a complete one-dish meal.
Add sliced onion and or garlic to your liking
Place chicken parts over top
Drizzle or brush a little olive oil on top. I use a sprayer
Season with salt and pepper or seasoning of your choice. Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, then take top off for 10 minutes to brown.
Both of theses recipes are inexpensive to prepare and require few pots and pans; they're well-balanced meals that taste great and give you handy leftovers.