Cocoa Chicken and Artichokes

Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.
Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.

Cocoa Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes…40 minutes to dinner on the table!

Sooo, I’m a big fan of marinating chicken breasts. I have some serious issues with dry, flavorless chicken and refuse to put that on my family’s table. Most of the time, my solution is a good marinade, however, sometimes I don’t have time or energy to marinate all the chicken breasts I buy on sale, and it ends up in it’s original packaging in my deep freezer. (Not often, but sometimes…) Then, sometimes, I forget to take out my meat far enough in advance to defrost and marinate it for dinner that night…like a few nights ago. I had chicken that was defrosted in my fridge, but it was plain.

What to do? Check Pinterest of course. I had pinned this Italian Chicken recipe awhile ago, and it looked pretty easy, but not exactly what I was going for, with all the cheese and such. Enter…Cocoa Chicken. Why I decided to add raw cacao to my chicken dish, I don’t know…but dang it was good. Really good, like my husband was clamoring for the leftovers good! (That’s the way I know a dish is really good). My 3 year old also really enjoyed the chicken (not so much the artichokes or tomatoes, but that’s ok) portion of this dish.

I’ll totally be making this again, as it was about 5 minutes of hands on time and only about 35 minutes in the oven!

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 can of quartered artichokes (unseasoned)
1 pint cherry tomatos
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup dry white wine
3.5 Tbsp butter, cut into 7-8 pats
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder

In a 9×13 baking dish (I love my pampered chef stoneware) add the chicken – salt and pepper it liberally and mix with your hands. Top chicken with the artichokes, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper, garlic powder and oregano. (Just sprinkle liberally.)
Pour wine over.
Sift cacao and coconut flour over everything and stir a bit to coat everything.
Space pats of butter on top of everything.

Roast at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked thru.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower, if desired.


Cherry Pistachio Chicken Salad

Cherry Pistachio Chicken Salad

Cherry Pistachio Chicken Salad

So, back in the day when I could eat pecans, I used to make this chicken salad that was to die for. Seriously, it was so easy and everyone who tried it had to have the recipe and vowed to never make another kind again. It was that good. But then, I realized that pecans, walnuts and almonds don’t agree with me. Awful, I know. And so, I haven’t made said chicken salad in over a year. I have, however made this lovely avocado bacon chicken salad more recently, and it’s delicious, but just not the same.

Anywho, I seem to be able to tolerate pistachios, in small quantities, and they were on sale at the co-op earlier this week, so I got some. I had leftover grilled chicken that was staring at me every time I opened my fridge, along with a bowl of cherries that I got at the request of my 3 year old. The wheels started turning and I figured it was worth an attempt, with some updated flavors! I’m glad to say it worked. The fruit pairs so nicely with the grilled chicken and the pistachios. Plus, the balsamic vinegar just rounds everything out so nicely with a little tang and a little sweet.

3 cups cooked and diced chicken (mine was grilled)
1/3 cup cherries, pitted and diced
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped (pecans would work nicely too!)
1/3 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small red apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt*
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh)

In a large bowl, combine all of the chicken salad components, top with the mayo and vinegar. Stir well to combine. TASTE IT. *Depending on the seasoning of your leftover chicken, the saltiness of your pistachios and bacon, you may or may not need more salt. Use your judgment, you can always add more, but once you over-salt, you’re screwed!* Add the remaining spices.

Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Serve on a bed of lettuce, a 3 minute roll or simply eat out of a bowl!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole Pie

Chicken Enchilada Casserole Pie

Chicken Enchilada Casserole Pie

Chicken Enchilada Casserole Pie {low carb, gluten-free, nut-free, keto}

2 cups cooked chicken, pulled/chopped into bite size pieces
2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked, dethreaded and chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar
½ recipe Easy Peasy Enchilada Sauce (recipe below)
½ cup salsa
½ cup sour cream
l/2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper

Make enchilada sauce (Or use 1 cup of canned enchilada sauce). While thickening, chop or shred your chicken (I like to make this as a “leftover special” after I’ve made grilled or roasted chicken and spaghetti squash as stand alone meals, cut your spaghetti squash and shred your cheese.

Mix everything except 1 cup of cheese in a deep dish pie plate or 8×8 pan. Top with cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with additional salsa, cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Lemon Oregano Chicken Thighs & Sweet Potatoes w/ Chorizo

1 ½ Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp coarse black pepper
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
9-12 bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs (approximately 5 lbs)
1 roll of Spanish chorizo
1.5-2 lbs sweet potatoes

Combine spices, zest and juice in a bowl.  Trim any additional fat/hanging skin off all chicken thighs. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat on the chicken thighs. Rub spice mixture under skin, directly on the meat (about ½ tsp each thigh) and then rub remaining mixture on top of the skin.  (At this point – if you want – you can cover the meat and put it back in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.)

Fry the chorizo and break it apart as you fry it. Leave it slightly undercooked.

Cut up the sweet potato into 1.5-2 inch chunks. Layer sweet potato in the bottom of a 9×13 pan (I use stoneware, but glass or metal would work too.) Coat sweet potatoes with olive oil (approximately 2 Tbsp) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and onion powder.

 Distribute chorizo evenly over the sweet potatoes and pour any oil that remains in the pan over the potatoes as well.  Lay chicken thighs, skin side up, on the potatoes. Don’t overlap the thighs or they won’t get crispy and delicious.

Bake at 350 for 2 ½ hours. At the 2 hour mark, check the potatoes. If they are still pretty hard, remove the chicken to a separate pan, still in a single layer, skin side up, stir the potatoes and return both pans to the oven.

Delicious!  To reheat with a crispy skin – heat a non-stick frying pan over medium. Microwave the chicken for 1-2 minutes and then fry, skin side down for 2-3 minutes or until skin is crispy again.