Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Little Summer Dinner Party

Poor bachelors eat a lot of chicken because it's cheap and lean. There are some recipes and methods of cooking that simply need not be written down on index cards and filed in a box, like baked chicken. I've experimented with various seasonings and flavors for chicken breasts, some work and some absolutely do not, mint and lime for example, gross. The worst part about screwing up the spices is that you're stuck eating it for a few days. A pack of chicken breasts is moderately priced and can feed me for a week, or come in handy for an impromptu dinner party. I like to keep them marinating in the fridge and cook them as I need them. This little combo was probably my best experiment yet. I love fennel for its slight licorice-y taste, but have no fear haters, it's not overpowering. Gives the impression of Italian sausage more than anything. 

Orange-Fennel Baked Chicken Breasts

You will need the following: 

Chicken breasts (tenderized)
1 orange
1 bulb fennel
1 large clove garlic
Italian herb blend
crushed red pepper
salt & pepper

Step 1: Pound chicken until it's tender. Once pounded, cut each breast on it's thickest side to form a pocket. Push fennel slices, orange slices and garlic slivers into pocket. 

Step 2: Store stuffed breasts in a tupperware. Dowse each breast in Italian herb blend, crushed red pepper and salt & pepper. Squeeze remaining orange slices over chicken and let marinate overnight (or a few hours if in a pinch).  

Step 3: Bake chickens in a shallow dish at 375 for 45 minutes. Covering half of the time. These can also be grilled or pan fried, but baking is better for you (and easier). 

*** While chicken bakes, sautee summer veggies (like squash or zucchini) in olive oil with remaining fennel and chopped onions. Basil, salt and pepper make a nice flavor trio for veggies. This is also an incredibly cheap and healthy side dish. 

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