Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

I'm not a good cook.

I was single for far too long, and back then I would just as soon eat a bowl of cereal and read a good book, then make a full dinner.

Having admitted that, let me add that three years ago I decided to start cooking from scratch, for both health and financial reasons.

I don't know what the term scratch means to you, but to me it means buying no boxed foods or spice packs or anything containing suspicious chemicals. I purchase whole foods and prepare them myself; I want to know where our food comes from.

This doesn't mean I always bake my own bread, make my own yogurt, sprout grains, and buy steel-cut oats, for heaven's sake.

I don't even know what a steel-cut oat is, to be honest.

I also don't can produce. For one thing, I still lack the equipment, and secondly, I'd feel better watching someone do it first. My mother wasn't domestic and only did the minimum in the kitchen, though she wasn't a bad cook, just basic.

About now I'm looking for a domestic-goddess role model with time on her hands.

Though I don't can, I do check labels carefully on canned tomato products, and I only use canned beans when there's no time to soak beans overnight.

I don't buy organic produce unless it's fairly cheap, and although pesticides scare me, I only have so much money to spend on food, and by golly, the Lord is just going to have to protect us.

I tend to cook the same things week after week, unfortunately, because when I do start hunting for new recipes, I find ingredients lists that are full of spice packets and canned soups and the like.

It's discouraging and I give up too soon, instead of hunting for ways to modify the recipes. Time is never on my side.

But. I prayed and the Lord is helping! Recently I've had better luck hunting for whole-foods recipes, so our menus will find variety in the coming weeks, and as I use the oven more I'll stop shivering, thank goodness.

Today I have an easy, tasty recipe to share, which everyone liked and some of us really loved.

Garlic Cheddar Chicken Recipe
photo credit


Garlic Cheddar Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

4 cloves garlic

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs* (Italian style or plain)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I used colby jack successfully)

1/4 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp salt

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Procedure:

Melt butter over low heat, then cook garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

In shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper and salt.

Dip chicken breasts in the garlic butter to coat, then press into the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with remaining bread crumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees in preheated oven, or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink.

*Making your own bread crumbs: Place whole pieces of bread, or torn bread, on a cookie sheet, single-layered. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let dried bread cool, and then place in plastic bag. Crush with rolling pin (kids can crush them for you). 4 slices of bread make about 1 cup of crumbs. Boxed versions are salty, have chemicals, and taste processed.

Recipe originally found here. It says to pour the remaining melted butter/garlic over the chicken breasts before baking. I skipped that step to lower the fat grams and calories, and just discarded the butter mixture.

The recipe also calls for thin breasts. Mine were rather thick in parts but they were fully done and deliciously juicy at 30 minutes.

I served with plain brown rice and steamed veggies. Enjoy!

4 comments:

Terri H said...

Sounds delicious!

Lisa said...

Looks yummy, Christine. I'm going to try this next week. Thanks for sharing :)
Much love to you!

Amber said...

Looks and sounds yummy!
I'm going to have to try this one! It sounds fairly easy too!
Thank you for sharing!

Beth said...

That looks good. I might have to try it. I make bread crumbs from the crust. It sounds like you are doing a great job cooking from scratch.