More Chicken Recipes


Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs,
with Sherry, Lemon, Capers and Spinach
Baked Skinless Chicken Thighs
Topped with Seasoned Stuffing
Breaded Chicken Cutlets, Oven Fried
Chicken Thigh Rollatini...With Prosciutto and Fontina cheese, Breaded and Baked
Chicken Kiev, Oven Baked
Baked Rollatini Chicken Breasts with Flavorful Broccoli Rabe Stuffing
Thin Panko Breaded Chicken with Pizza Topping
Breaded Chicken with Parmigiana/Prosciutto Spread Topping
Chicken Roman Style, Pollo alla Romana
Turkey Breast Meatballs
    Turkey Meatballs, Version With Saltine Crackers, cream Cheese, and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
    Super Moist Turkey Meatballs, Version with Ricotta and Seasoned Breadcrumbs.
Italian Chicken or Turkey Sausage Patties, with Breadcrumbs and Parmigiana 


  

Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs,
with Sherry, Lemon, Capers and Spinach
This is a great one pot meal.  Thighs are moisture than breasts and take longer to cook.  That makes them less susceptible to accidental overcooking.  They also are more forgiving than white meat once cooked and removed from the pan while the rest of the ingredients are being prepared.  They reheat very well. 

Even if you prefer white chicken meat, give this dish and thighs another try.  You might be surprised.

The dish is served with spinach and can be accompanied with rice.              
Ingredients:
  • Peter's Garlic Oil made with 1/2 cup olive oil, 5 medium garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon Tuscany seasoning and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  See basic recipe in the third section.
Alternative: you can simply sauté garlic cloves in olive oil in the cooking pot.  Discard garlic when lightly browned.  
  • 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs  
  • Flour for dredging
  • Tuscany seasoning
  • 1 pound spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup sherry
  • 1 14.4 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 small lemon sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon capers
Rinse thighs and dry thoroughly.  Dredge them in flour and sauté them in the olive oil or Peter's flavored garlic oil.  Flip once when the bottom side browns.  When the other side browns and the thighs are just cooked through, remove them to a holding platter.  Lightly season them with Tuscany Seasoning (or sage, rosemary, and salt).

Place the spinach in the pot.  Mix until the spinach wilts and looses its juices.  Place cooked spinach onto a strainer over the pot.  Press the spinach with a spoon to release most of the liquid back into the pot.  Set the spinach aside.  Boil the liquid until mostly evaporated. 

Add the sherry and a cup of the chicken broth.  When about half of the mixture evapoates, add the lemon slices.  Set them aside after about 3 minutes.  

Stir in the butter and simmer the chicken in a single layer.  Add the remaining broth, capers and garlic from Peter's Garlic Oil.  Flip the chicken after about 3 minutes.  When heated through, move the cooked chicken towards the edges of the pan.

Place the spinach in the center of the pot to reheat.  Position the lemon slices and serve.    



              
Baked Skinless Chicken Thighs Topped with Seasoned Stuffing
Chicken thigs are frequently cooked with skin on as a way to keep them moist especially when oven baked in dry heat. 

This tasty recipe is made with skins removed, using simple techniques to ensure incredibly moist chicken.  The flavors of the finished dish are surprisingly delicious.  Super moist chicken, simple ingredients, easy assembly, flavorful; what’s not to love?

Thighs are generously brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Tuscany seasoning.  The ingredients in my Tuscany seasoning are sage, rosemary, garlic and Kosher salt; perfect for chicken.  Thighs are placed in a rimmed cookie sheet covered with non-stick aluminum foil.   

Topping is made by combining packaged seasoned stuffing mix, ricotta cheese, chicken broth and olive oil.  Thighs are equally topped with stuffing and baked. 

The cooking sheet is placed on the lowest shelf in a hot preheated oven.  The chicken is essentially oven fried, mostly cooked from the bottom up.  Non-stick aluminum foil nicely helps tan bottoms of thighs while the stuffing mix helps moisture from escaping.    
Ingredients:
  • 8 Chicken thighs
  • Olive oil for coating
  • Tuscany seasoning
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, full or low fat
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup olive oil and
  • 3 cups herb seasoned bread stuffing
Pre-heat oven to 380 degrees convection. 

Remove skins and rinse thighs.  Pat dry and place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil.  Place smooth side up.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Tuscany Seasoning.  Flip over, coat and season the other side. 

Place ricotta cheese in a bowl.  Whisk in the chicken broth then the ¼ cup of olive oil.  Add stuffing and mix by fork until just combined. 

Spoon stuffing over the thighs and place tray on the bottom shelf.  Cover stuffing with regular aluminum foil when it begins to brown (about a half hour).  Thighs will be cooked through after about 40 minutes’ or so total.  Cut thighs in their thickest part to verify cooked through.




              
Discussion: Oven cooking breaded chicken cutlets, convection vs. direct heat.
Recipes below show two different approaches for oven cooking breaded chicken.  One recommends using 425º convection, others 350º direct heat, non-convection. Convection settings, fans circulate heat resulting with food cooking quicker and evenly.  Its earliest sales pitch was being able to cook several trays of cookies evenly.  My opinion, even at higher temperatures, for me there seems to be an interesting balance.  I'm able to crisp breading quickly while thicker cutlets cook through.       

Direct heat is prone to hot spots especially when my oven automatically adjusts to temperature settings.  I like to use direct heat with a cooking tray or pan on a lower shelf when quick cooking thinner cutlets.  I find it a handy way to crisp the bottom side of cutlets similar to pan cooking.  I can flip them over, add toppings, and return to finish cooking.  It especially works well if topped with cheese.  The downside, food needs to be monitored closely to prevent bottom burning.

Note, I only use high direct heat to cook pizza and flatbreads.  Unlike cookies, I want surfaces to brown.  Nothing worse than soft spongy and limp pizza and flatbreads!      



Breaded Chicken Cutlets, Oven Fried
This variation of oven cooking breaded cutlets was born out of necessity.  It came shortly after Nancy placed a temporary ban on stove top splattering.  I offered her an analogy.  "I approach food like a Roman gladiator attacks combatants....and we all know; gladiators didn't clean up!"  What made me think she would even remotely see the humor in it?

Dry oven baking inherently tends to dry food.  Traditional water base brining can dilute flavors.  I use a mixture of a 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth with a 1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and sugar.  The resulting oven baked chicken stays moist and flavorful.  The volume of brine was more than ample for three large breasts.

Baking chicken at higher convection temperatures helps brown the crumb coating on the bottom before the chicken is cooked through.  Flipping the chicken over once browned is an opportunity to kick flavor up a notch by adding grated or shredded parmigiana cheese on top. 

The dish can also be served with your favorite sauce.  My preferred topping is mushrooms with tarragon, sherry and butter (recipe included). 

Ingredients (serves 6):
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • Olive oil or Pete's garlic oil
Brining
  • 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Coating
  • Flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • olive oil
  • Chopped parsley
  • Italian style bread crumbs
  • Grated parmigiana cheese
Finish with
  • Grated or shredded parmigiana cheese
Optional mushroom topping
  • 2 pounds' mushrooms sliced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup of sherry (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried. 
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Cut and pound the chicken breasts into half inch thick cutlets as instructed above.

Thoroughly mix brining ingredients. 

Place breasts in a flat bottom bowl.  Pour brining liquid over breasts.  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.  Remove breasts, rinse them in cold water and thoroughly dry them between paper towels.  Cut each breast into three smaller cutlets.  

For coating, prepare three flat bottom dishes in a row.  Place flour in the first dish.  Scramble the eggs with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil in the second.  Pour seasoned bread crumbs in the third and mix with additional grated parmigiana cheese.  

Please see discussion on breading above.  Lightly dust the first chicken cutlet in flour.  Shake off any excess.  Dip both sides in the egg mixture and drain excess.  Press sides and edges of the moistened breasts into the seasoned bread crumbs.  Place them single layer on wax paper for about 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425º convection. 

Coat a heavy cookie sheet that has sides with olive oil (plain or from Pete's garlic oil).  Use a pastry brush to distribute.  Add chicken cutlets in a single laser.  Place sheet in the middle of the oven.

Down side will brown in about 15 to 20 minutes (olive oil will be sizzling).   Flip cutlers over and sprinkle browned side with grated or shredded parmigiana.  Chicken will be cooked through and cheese melted in about 10 more minutes.  Check the thickest section for doneness.  Don't overcook. 

While chicken is cooking, sauté mushrooms in plain olive oil or the oil from Pete's garlic oil until all liquid from the mushrooms is released and evaporated.  Let the mushrooms brown slightly.  Add chicken broth and about half the sherry.  

Cook until 3/4 of the liquid is reduced.  If using Pete's garlic oil, add several mashed garlic cloves, tarragon, and the remaining sherry.  When most of the liquid evaporated, stir in the butter.  Serve chicken topped with in a ladle mushroom over cutlets when immediately ready to eat.   
               
Option:  Convert mushroom topping to a sauce.  When adding the remaining sherry, add butter, and 4 oz. cream cheese.  Add more sherry and/or chicken broth to reach desired consistency.


                    
Chicken Thigh Rollatini...
With Prosciutto and Fontina cheese, Breaded and Baked
Ever consider chicken thighs as an alternative for stuffed, rolled or folded chicken?

Their higher fat content is monounsaturated and helps thighs retain more moisture especially when cooked with dry heat, broiled or baked.

Purchased boneless and skinless, one butterfly cut partially through the larger and thicker side, flattened and pounded, thighs are made into cutlets.

Thighs are drizzled with olive oil, are topped with thinly sliced prosciutto and favorite Italian melting cheese, Fontina, Asiago, Bel Paese; shredded Fontina pictured.  

Thighs are rolled and set on a tray seam down. No need to tie. Rolls are easily breaded using the Italian three step process, flour, egg mixture and seasoned crumbs and rested in the refrigerator at least a half hour.

Rollatini are baked on a coated cookie sheet.

Side dish, I like to serve with moist Orzo Cooked with Chicken Broth.  Please see "Vegetables & Other Side Dishes" Tab for recipe.

Ingredients:
  •  6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  •  3 thin slices prosciutto
  •  ¾ cup shredded or peeled quality Italian melting cheese (or equivalent, sliced)
Coating
  •  Flour
  •  3 eggs
  •  1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  •  Olive oil
  •  1-cup seasoned bread crumbs
  •  2-tablespoon grated parmigiana cheese
Remove any residual fat from Thighs. Spread thighs on a cutting board, solid side down. Butterfly the larger thick section from the centers outward. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Cover each with wax paper and pound flat without breaking through.

Cut Prosciutto in half lengthwise. Lightly drizzle thighs with olive oil.

Top each with a slice of prosciutto. Equally distribute cheese on top. Roll in towards the butterflied edge, the long side and place each on a platter, seam side down.

Place the 3 flat bottom dishes left to right in a row. Add flour in the first; eggs whisked with parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil in the second. Fill the last with seasoned bread mixed with additional grated cheese. Throughout the coating process, carefully keep the sealed edge closed.

Lightly dust the first breast with flour all around. Shake off excess. Coat with the egg mixture all over, letting excess egg mixture drain off. Roll and press the breasts in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Place coated chicken on a platter, single layer. Refrigerate at least a half hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 375° convection.

Place rollatini is a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil. Place in the middle of the oven. Rotate them after about 15 minutes. Continue cooking until 165° in their center and coating is browned, about 25-30 minutes.

Note:  Although cooked through to proper temperature, chicken meat can have a pink hue often caused by a “heat-related chemical reaction”.

“Safely cooked poultry can vary in color from white to pink to tan. For safety when cooking poultry, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature. For a whole chicken or turkey, check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. All the meat-including any that remains pink—is safe to eat as soon as all parts reach at least 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.”

For further details:



Chicken Kiev, Oven Baked
Russia is e credited with this very but special chicken dish (although that's been challenged).  Chicken is stuffed with herbed butter and breaded.  It is frequently made with half chicken breasts, each with a pocket cut to hold the herbed butter mixture. 
Ingredients:
  • 6-8 Chicken cutlets, each about 1.4 inch thick
Tarragon butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat Italian parsley
  • 1 medium garlic clove finely chopped (or 2 large cloves from Peter's garlic oil)
Coating
  • Flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Italian style bread crumbs or Panko
Melted butter



Combine tarragon butter ingredients.  Mash the mixture until well combined.

Spread tarragon butter equally in the center of each cutlet up to about a quarter inch of the edges all around.  Fold cutlets tucking the edges inward.  Press edges down to seal as best as you can.

For coating, prepare three flat bottom dishes in a row.  Place flour in the first dish.  Scramble the eggs with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil in the second.  Pour seasoned bread crumbs or Panko in the third and mix with additional grated parmigiana cheese. 

Please see discussion on breading above.  Lightly dust the first chicken cutlet in flour.  Shake off any excess.  Dip both sides in the egg mixture and drain excess.  Press sides and edges of the moistened breasts into the seasoned bread crumbs.  Place them single layer on wax paper for about 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425º convection

Lightly coat the bottom of a heavy cookie sheet with olive oil.  Place cutlets in a single layer and cook until browned.  While cooking, lightly drizzle the cutlets with melted butter.         
Baked Chicken Breast Rollatini with Flavorful Broccoli Rabe Stuffing
Filling includes turkey sausage, spices and a variety of Italian cheeses.  Stuffing can be made, chicken prepared, and rollatini assembled all well ahead, refrigerated until ready to bake.

Rollatini can either be made like a jelly roll; stuffing spread over butterflied and flattened chicken and rolled in a spiral pattern.  Another way is to place an ample amount of stuffing in the center and wrap the chicken around it like a sausage casing with seams just touching or slightly overlapped.

Although the difference seems insignificant, when baked, larger spiraled rollatini takes longer to safely cook through to their center, perhaps because it's harder for the heat to penetrate layers of dense chicken.  The outermost layer of chicken risks over cooking while center is reaching temperature.     

Important, when using the casing technique, although the stuffing is precooked, the broccoli rabe mixture is exposed to raw chicken and needs to cook thoroughly through to the same safe inside temperature as the chicken.                     

Rolls are finished with the traditional three step breading process (flour, eggs and seasoned bread crumbs).  Resting the rolls in the refrigerator seam sides down after stuffing makes them easier to bread without tying.     

As shown, the dish pairs nicely with “Sautéed Mushrooms, Sherry, Butter and Tarragon” recipe under the "vegetables" tab.

Using this recipe with one bunch of rabe produces enough stuffing to generously fill 7 or 8 rolls (half breasts).  Scale down for less.

This recipe was created to be red meat free (chicken is usually considered white meat).  You certainly can substitute pork sausages, pancetta, etc. for poultry sausages.       
Ingredients:
Chicken and brining
  • 7 or 8 half breasts
  • 13.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Stuffing
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 13.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 3 turkey sausages, mild Italian style, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 8 oz. shredded Italian cheeses (2 cups)
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup graded parmigiana cheese
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
Breading
  • Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Chopped parsley  
  • 3 cups seasoned bread crumbs
Rinse and dry chicken breasts. 

Please see “Cutting Chicken Breasts into Scaloppini and Cutlets” above, third picture. 

Butterfly and pound chicken between sheets of wax paper trying as best as you can to stretch the chicken into a rectangular shape but not too thin, preventing breaking through.

Odd pieces can be trimmed or tucked around stuffing, covered with overlapping chicken seam.

Place chicken cutlets in a bowl.  Cover chicken with the broth mixed with kosher salt.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Stuffing:  
Remove about 1 1/2 inch of the rough rabe stems and any wilted leaves.  Chop rabe into 1 ½ inch pieces.

Place chicken broth in a pot large enough to comfortable hold all of the ingredients.  Once it reaches a boil add the rabe until the thicker stems start to become tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove the rabe with a slotted spoon. 

Mash chicken sausages and add to the remaining hot chicken broth.  Break the meat apart further with a spatula while cooking.  When the chicken broth evaporates, add garlic and olive oil.  Lower heat and sauté for about a minute longer while stirring.           

Add rabe, shredded cheeses, ricotta, parmigiana and red pepper flakes.  Mix well until cheeses melt and all ingredients combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble:
Remove cutlets from brine.  Rinse and pat dry.       

Place cutlet on wax paper.  Using surgical gloves, mound the stuffing proportionately on the center of each cutlet.  Form stuffing into a tubular shape about an inch away from each end.  Wrap chicken around the stuffing and over both ends.  Place them on a holding tray, seam side down; chill. 

Use the traditional three-station method to bread the rollatini; wax paper with flour left, dish with whisked eggs and parsley center, dish with seasoned breadcrumbs right (see picture to the left.) 

Dredge the first rollatini in the flour, coat in the egg mixture, draining  extra, and roll in the breadcrumbs.  Refrigerate them until ready to bake.

Set them in on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper seam side down.  Bake in a preheated 350º oven.   After about a half hour, test with a quick read oven thermometer.  Remove from thr oven When they reach a safe temperature, 165º recommended.  Rest them for a few minutes.
before serving.     

          

Panko Breaded Chicken with Pizza Toppings
Pizza made on a "Crust" of Breaded Chicken

See Below for a Gluten Free Alternative*
Here's a creative way to make your favorite pizza, and it is delicious.  Chicken breasts are butterflied and pounded thin between wax paper.  The flattened chicken breasts are breaded with Panko crumbs and crusted by oven frying.  Load them with your favorite pizza topping.  Return to the oven for final cooking.  Why Panko?  Panko Bread crumbs are delicate and they crisp well. 

Don't limit yourself to traditional pizza toppings.  Since they will be eaten with knives and folks, also pile them high.     

Shown is a simple Margaretta pizza topping using quality roasted can tomatoes and non-fat shredded mozzarella cheese.  Add all your favorites, sausages, peppers, other meats, vegetables and cheeses.  Chicken can be prepared, breaded and refrigerated well ahead.    

Serving quantities, four average size half breasts should be adequate for six.  The recipe below is for 2 or 3 chicken breast halves.             
Ingredients:
  • Boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • Flour for dusting (regular or Gluten Free*)
  • 2 eggs
  • Chopped parsley
  • Panko bread (or Gluten Free bread crumbs*)
  • Olive oil
Topping
  • Coarsely ground roasted tomatoes
  • Grated parmigiana cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 


Please see the discussion above "Cutting Chicken Breasts...."  Place the breasts rounded side down on a cutting board and butterfly the sides as shown in the third illustration.  Place the breast between two sheets of wax paper.  Pound breasts until thin trying not to make holes in the breasts

Place enough flour on wax paper to dust chicken breasts.  Next to the flour, add eggs, parsley, salt and pepper into a shallow bowl wide enough to coat the chicken breasts.  Beat mixture with a folk.  In a platter or another sheet of wax paper, add Panko bread crumbs.

Dust both sides of a chicken breast and shake off any excess.  Coat both sides of the chicken with the egg wash, allowing a little time for excess egg to run off.  Place onto the Panko bread crumbs and lightly press down.  Flip the breasts over and generously coat the other side. Place on a holding plate with wax paper.  Cover that breast with more wax paper.  Repeat with all chicken breasts, separating each with wax paper and a sheet on top of the last piece.   Place in the refrigerator for at least a half hour.

If using additional toppings like sausages, mushrooms, peppers, prep and pre-cook them.

Preheat oven to 350º not convection.  Coat the bottom of a sided cookie sheet well with olive oil.  Place as many of the coated chicken breasts the pan will hold in a single layer.

Place on a lower oven shelf.  The bottom side should be crusted within about 10 or 12 minutes.    Remove from oven.  Flip chicken over.  Spread tomato on the chicken without getting any on the sheet.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, grated parmigiana cheese, salt and pepper.  Cover with mozzarella.  Add additional other topping and drizzle with olive oil.  Once toppings are added, place chicken, place tray on a middle oven shelf until cheese is melted and all other ingredients are hot, and the chicken is cooked through.       
*Gluten Free Version:
Dredge chicken breasts with gluten free flour (i.e. Red Mill) and replace Panko crumbs with gluten free crumbs.  4C Plain or Seasoned Gluten Free Crumbs are my favorite.  Make sure all added toppings and any other ingredients are also gluten free.  I especially enjoy making the gluten free version with my homemade sun dried tomatoes slow cooked overnight with plenty of olive oil and garlic (please see "Tomato Sauce" tab).  Top tomatoes with small balls of fresh mozzarella.  Sprinkle with coarsely chopped fresh basil as they come out hot out of the oven.       

This creative alternative can be an especially welcoming treat for pizza lovers that are gluten intolerant.



Breaded Chicken with Parmigiana/Prosciutto Spread Topping.
Made with Traditional or or Gluten Free Ingredients.
This is a variation of the basic Panko Breaded recipe above.  This recipe can be made with panko or traditional Italian style bread crumbs.  As above, can easily be made Gluten Free. 

Chicken breasts are butterflied and pounded thin between wax paper.  Flattened breasts are breaded using the traditional three step coating process, flour, egg mixture and crumbs.  Chicken is oven baked and finished with an intensely delicious parmigiana and prosciutto topping.

Ingredients will make 4 large half breasts will serve up to six.  Each breast can be sliced in halves or thirds before serving.       
Traditional Ingredients:
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • Chopped parsley
  • Panko or Italian Seasoned style bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
Parmigiana/Prosciutto spread
  • 1 cup lite Gluten Free mayonnaise*
  • 6 oz. finely shredded parmigiana cheese
  • ¼ pound finely cubed Prosciutto slices
Place a sheet of wax paper to the left topped with all purpose flour.  Have a shallow bowl with eggs beaten with parsley, salt and pepper.  To the right, another shallow bowl with Panko or Italian style breadcrumbs.  
Gluten Free Ingredients:
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Gluten Free flour for dusting, i.e. Red Mill
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • Chopped parsley
  • Gluten Free bread crumbs, i.e. 4C plain or Italian seasoned
  • Olive oil
Parmigiana/Prosciutto spread
  • 1 cup lite Gluten Free mayonnaise*
  • 6 oz. finely shredded parmigiana cheese
  • ¼ pound finely cubed Prosciutto
Place a sheet of wax paper to the left topped with Gluten Free flour.  Have a shallow bowl with eggs beaten with parsley, salt and pepper.  To the right, another shallow bowl with Gluten Free 4c plain or Italian style breadcrumbs.  
Note:  Although ingredient labels on several brands of light mayonnaise do not specifically list ingredients with Gluten, Hellman’s labels theirs Gluten free. 
  
Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.  Dip in egg mixture and let excess drain back in the egg bowl.  Coat both sides of the chicken with breadcrumbs, pressing down firmly against the crumbs to embed them.  Place on a holding plate and cover them with wax paper.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Prepare the Parmigiana/Prosciutto spread simply by combining all three ingredients in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 350° direct heat, not convection.  Coat the bottom of a sided cookie sheet well with olive oil.  Place chicken in a single layer. 

Place on a low oven shelf.  The bottom crust is lightly browned, in about 10 to 12 minutes, remove from oven.  Flip chicken over and spread the parmigiana/prosciutto spread on their tops.  Place tray back in the center of the oven until chicken is cooked through and topping has browned (adjust shelf height if needed.  Serve immediately.




Chicken Roman Style
Pollo alla Romana
This dish is traditionally made with whole chicken pieces.  Each is browned in olive oil and simmered in tomatoes and roasted peppers. 

The advantage of using a whole chicken is flavor.  Think of it like making a stock with lots of bones, parts and fat.  I prefer the convenience of using the sections I like best, thighs and chicken breasts cut in hunks.  I also remove skin and most visible fat, replacing rendered fat with flavored olive oil.        

Garlic and olive oil are almost universal in so many Italian dishes.  I frequently start by making a pot of Pete’s Garlic and Oil; garlic pan roasted in olive oil with sage, rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes.  Garlic becomes mild and sweet like oven roasted while olive oil is garlic and herb infused.  It makes a great flavor base for many dishes.      

Chicken is simply browned in the infused oil from Pete’s garlic olive oil then simmered in tomato, roasted bell peppers and remaining contents of Pete’s Garlic and Oil until tender.  Serve with lots of artisan bread for dipping.    
Ingredients:
  • Pot of Pete’s garlic oil
    1. 5 large garlic cloves
    2. ¾ cup Olive Oil
    3. 1 teaspoon Tuscany seasoning*
    4. Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers peeled, seeds removed.  Retain all their juices.
  • 1 28 oz. can imported whole Italian plum or roasted tomatoes
  • 6-8 chicken thighs skinned and two small breasts cut into chunks.  
  • Salt and pepper to taste
* You can replace Tuscany Seasoning with ½ teaspoon each dried sage and rosemary and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Earlier in the day cut rough tips from garlic cloves and slice each in half lengthwise.  Do not remove skin.

Place garlic cloves, olive oil, Tuscany seasoning and red pepper flakes in a stainless-steel butter melting pot.  Place over a medium high burner.  When oil begins to simmer reduce heat low enough to continue a gentile simmer.  Pete’s garlic pol is ready when garlic tans and becomes very tender.  Remove skins from the pot.

Char peppers on all sides either in the oven or grill.  Core, peel, and remove seeds.  Save all juices.  Cut peppers into strips lengthwise and place in a bowl with their reserved juice. 

Brown chicken all around with the oil from Pete’s garlic oil in a pot large enough to hold all ingredients. 

Add tomatoes (If using whole tomatoes, squish them by hand), to the pot along with the juices from the peppers and the remaining contents of the olive oil pot (oil and garlic).  Simmer stovetop for about 30 minutes until chicken is tender.  Add pepper strips.  When peppers are warmed and tender but not overly soft dish is ready.  Adjust for seasoning and serve.



Turkey Breast Meatballs
Even among other poultry, turkey breast is high on the list of healthy proteins.  That suggests most people eat ground turkey breast because of those qualities.  It's not because of a food passion, like the desire for a huge hunk of medium rare NY sirloin floating on a huge puddle of rich au jus!  That in mind, I think it's important to use a recipe that doesn't violate its healthy qualities too badly.  I relate it to seeing someone finding their way to a salad bar only to load their healthy greens with massive globs of bacon blue cheese dressing.

Because of its low fat content, it is important to prepare ground breasts in a way to keep the finished meatballs moist yet flavorful. 


Turkey Meatballs
Version with Saltine Crackers, cream Cheese, and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto 
This recipe is reasonably light, has minimal ingredients, quick to prepare and cook. 

It uses saltine crackers with unsalted tops instead of heavier bread crumbs.   

Moisture is aided with low fat cream cheese and chicken broth and is additionally flavored with parmigiana cheese, sun-dried tomato pesto, and Italian seasonings. 
  
When young, I got the idea of using saltine crackers from a talented Italian cook who used them in her traditional beef meatballs. 

I also was surprised to see a picture of crab cakes and a list of other suggestions for using saltines on my box of store brand saltine crackers with unsalted tops.
Ingredients for about 15 meatballs, each about 1 3/4 to 2 inches in diameter:
  • 1 sleeve, 1/4 pound saltines with unsalted tops
  • 1/3 cup grated parmigiana cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt preferably home style
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or two tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat parsley
  • 20 oz. ground turkey breast
  • 3 Tablespoons Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, i.e. DI CAPRI Classico
  • 4 oz. low fat cream cheese
  • chicken broth as needed (about 1/2 cup)
  • Olive oil for cooking   
Place crackers, grated parmigiana, and garlic salt in a food processer.  Pulse mixture into slightly coarse crumbs (can be done by hand in a plastic storage bag).  Place in a large mixing bowl. 

Add ground turkey breast, tomato pesto, Italian seasoning or parsley, cream cheese, and about 1/4 cup of chicken broth.  Using surgical gloves, mix thoroughly by hand.  Add more chicken broth a little at a time until the mixture is moist but can easily be shaped into meatballs.

Place olive oil in a large pot.  Form meatballs into balls by hand.  Place them in the pan, single layer and cook over medium heat.  Rotate to brown all around.  Test one of the smallest ones for doneness.  Poultry needs to be cooked through but if overcooked, they will dry.  Serve immediately.

Note:  You can flatten the formed meatballs for ease and to hasten cooking times but reduce heat and cover to prevent the flat sides from burning before cooked through.

Options, you can add olive oil before mixing to add fat to the lean turkey breast.  You can also use more sun dried tomato pesto and parmigiana cheese to intensify flavor. 



Super Moist Turkey Meatballs
Version with Ricotta and Seasoned Breadcrumbs

We all have those simple go-to meals that find their way onto regular rotation.  Ground turkey (or chicken) is simply mixed with a base of ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, broth and seasonings. 

Formed meatballs are rolled is additional seasoned breadcrumbs and sautéed in olive oil in a covered pan to allow them to cook through while adding a nice crunch on their exterior.
 
Because of poultry’s low-fat content and somewhat bland flavors, the challenge is to create meatballs that are pleasingly moist and flavorful.  Helped with ricotta’s natural cheese fat, and chicken broth, and a drizzle of olive oil, result in super moist meatballs.  Seasonings provide extra flavors.
 
Best part, ingredients are combined in minutes and slower cooked with occasional turning.  Serve with vegetables, carbs (rice, potato or beans) and a side salad for a satisfying meal.             
Base Ingredients:
  • 1-pound ground turkey
  • 1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup Italian Style seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1-teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1-teaspoon Tuscan seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • 1-tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Drizzle of olive oil
Crispy Coating
  • Dried Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for dredging
  • Olive oil for sautéing   
Hand mix all “Base Ingredients” in a large bowl until well incorporated.  I like using a sturdy wooden spoon.

Add about a cup of seasoned bread crumbs in a dish with sides.  Form into 2-inch diameter meatballs, expect about 15.  Roll in breadcrumb to coat and rest them in a platter for at least 20 minutes.

Brown them in a covered sauté pan over medium heat.  Rotate until mostly browned and slightly crisped all over.  Cut through to verify they are just cooked through, about 25 minutes.  That will ensure finished meatballs that are super moist.

We usually serve them with oven fried potatoes, rice, or beans  and choice of vegetable.



Italian Chicken or Turkey Sausage Patties
with Breadcrumbs and Parmigiana
Easy Eats
Ground chicken (or turkey) sausage without casing flavored and mixed with traditional seasoned breadcrumbs, grated parmigiana cheese, chopped flat Italian parsley, freshly ground black pepper, and a touch of olive oil. 

Simply pan fried, grilled, or even cook in an air fryer; create incredibly moist and flavorful burgers. They also can be topped with any of your favorite Italian cheese.

Shown served with oven roasted potatoes.

Leftover patties microwaved for a minute or so are surprisingly moist, tender, and just as delicious.
Ingredients:
  • 1-pound chicken sausage without casing 
  • ¾ cup Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiana cheese
  • drizzle olive oil, more for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • Black pepper

Using surgical gloves, combine all ingredients well by hand.

Form into 4 to 6 patties. If pan frying, sear one side in oil over medium-high heat while lightly covered.

Flip and char the second side and cook through, recommended internal temperature 165°F.