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Chicken – Easy Recipe Ideas for Fast and Easy Dinners

Chicken: Easy Recipe Ideas to The Rescue.

Easy Chicken Recipe Ideas:

Chicken can be an easy and quick meal when properly done. A chicken breast, thigh, or leg can be quickly pan cooked and then served with a variety of sauces. Boneless chicken cooks very quickly, but bone in pieces can still be a reasonably quick meal. You can also use chicken tenders, precooked chicken, rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken. Try these ideas to get you started.

Honey Chicken
Honey Chicken (Photo credit: barron)

Start with a sauteed chicken breast or thigh:

Basic Sauteed Chicken

1 or more chicken breast, halved, boneless and skinless
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  2. Optional: Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until they are browned, approximately 3 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter.  Make one of the sauces below.
  6. Serve immediately with sauce.  Serves 2 per whole chicken breast.

Sauces to Jazz up your Chicken:

Orange Sauce:

1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange liqueur, (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned

Directions (see note below):

  1. Pour off the fat from the pan after cooking the chicken.
  2. Combine the cornstarch, orange peel and salt and add to the 1/2 cup of orange juice. Stir the orange juice mixture into the pan and stir to loosen the browned bits (called fond) on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Stir in the orange liqueur and honey.
  4. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
  5. Add the orange sections and heat through. Serve over chicken. This makes enough for 4 chicken breasts. If serving more, increase recipe.

NOTE: I like to use the fond (browned bits) in the bottom of the pan to add flavor to the sauce, however, if you want your sauce to be perfectly clear and orange, without any brown, then start the sauce in a new, clean saucepan.

Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce:

  • For 2 chicken breast halves:
    ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons hot-pepper jelly
  1. Combine the pepper jelly and the mustard, set aside .
  2. Pour off most of the fat after cooking the chicken.  Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir to loosen the browned bits on the bottom. Return the chicken to the pan.
  3. Add the jelly mixture and the lemon juice and shake to coat the chicken with the sauce.
  4. Cook until the sauce is reduced to a glaze, about 20-40 seconds.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter. Serve immediately.

Marsala Sauce

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala Wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

While chicken cooks, heat butter or oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and the wine. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream to the pan and boil until a sauce like consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon Marsala Sauce over cooked chicken and serve.

Chicken and Pasta with Peanut Sauce

  • 1 package (8 ounce size) angel hair pasta, cooked
  • 4 chicken breast halves, cooked and diced.
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
    1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    4 green onions, chopped

Saute bell pepper, green onion, and bean sprouts until tender-crispy. Set aside.

Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, and ginger in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add chicken broth. sauteed vegetables. Heat through and toss with chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.


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