Baked Pretzel Coated Chicken Strips with Honey Dijon Sauce

I came across a recipe on Pinterest for Fried Pretzel Coated Chicken with Honey Dijon Sauce. Now I’m from Philly and we have an unhealthy love for soft pretzels in this city. But we also have a love Hard Pretzels as well. And I love Chicken. So it just seemed like a no-brainer for me to try this. However, I opted to bake the chicken instead of fry it. Trust me, I wanted to fry the chicken. But I’m trying to cut down on calories and make some healthier choices (a girl has to save her calories for cupcakes!) so I decided to bake them and see how they turned out.

I made these Baked Pretzel Coated Chicken Strips before going to Orlando, FL for Food Blog Forum Orlando.  There were so many other fabulous food bloggers there and I had the opportunity to meet Angie of Eclectic Recipes!  It was a pleasant surprise since I didn’t even realize she’d be in attendance.  It was so nice to meet her and I look forward to trying out many more of her recipes in the future!

So back to the Pretzel Chicken…let’s do it!

(I used this recipe and made a few changes to it)

INGREDIENTS

Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Breading

  • 2 cups pretzels, ground in the food processor (until they are the consistency of bread crumbs)

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine mustard and honey for sauce. Mix well and set aside.

Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees. Combine eggs with spices in a large bowl. Whisk together until everything is incorporated and it looks like scrambled eggs (before you would cook it!).

Using a food processor or Vitamix, turn the Pretzels into crumbs. I think next time I’d probably make them a bit finer, but it still worked well the way mine turned out,.

Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, and then place them into the pretzel crumbs. Make sure that you coat all sides of the chicken in the pretzel crumbs. I like the press down on all sides to make sure it sticks.

Place the pretzel breaded chicken on a greased baking sheet leaving a little room between each strip. I like to cover my baking sheet with foil to make for an easier clean-up!


Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature is at 165 degrees.


Remove from the oven and enjoy!


I thought these were pretty good! I would also like to try them fried (how Eleclectic Recipes made them) to see how the baked strips compare, but I thought they were quite tasty for being a lower fat option. I think they’d be a little crunchier if they were fried, but we still enjoyed them. The Honey Dijon Sauce was a lovely addition! I want to try some of these in a wrap with some cheddar cheese, lettuce and ranch!

 

 

 

Country Club Chicken

Whenever I see a recipe that involves bacon, I immediately know that I need to make it. Bacon is one of my favorite foods. I don’t think I’ve ever come across something with bacon in it (aside from a Bacon Martini) that I didn’t like. So when I came across Country Club Chicken I immediately put it on our menu. It has chicken, bacon, cheese, and it’s creamy. What’s not to like?

[adapted from the original recipe located here]

INGREDIENTS

  • spaghetti or another kind of pasta
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 5)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 package mushrooms (about 10 medium)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 or 5 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar
  • 1 apple (I used a gala apple)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cook the bacon in your favorite cast iron skillet. After the bacon is done cooking, don’t clean out the pan. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides in the cast iron skillet. You may or may not have to take out some of the bacon grease. It all depends on what kind of bacon you used (Center Cut?) and how much grease accumulated in there.

Transfer them to a plate and set aside.

 Cook the onion for about 4-5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and the garlic. After about 4 minutes or so add in your minced apple and cook it for another 4-5 minutes.

Season everything with some salt & pepper, if desired. Pour in the white wine and make sure all of the flavorful bits come off the bottom of the pan.  Add in the cream of mushroom soup and the sour cream. Add in all but ¼ cup of the cheese. Mix it altogether and let it cook for a few minutes.

While that’s cooking, place the chicken in a casserole dish. Crumble up the bacon and place some bacon on top of each piece of chicken. I did it this way so that everyone was sure to get some bacon!

After the soup mixture cooks for a few minutes, pour it over the chicken.

Put the casserole dish in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes. While the casserole is in the oven you can cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the package.

 
Serve!

I have to say this was pretty delicious! It was packed full of flavor and I loved the creaminess of it. The apple gave it some sweetness and it really added to the dish. I loved the apple in it so much that the next time I may add in some more.

I know some people don’t like cooking with wine, but I think the wine is a key ingredient here. You could substitute chicken broth for the wine, but I don’t think you’d end up with the same flavor. The wine took it up a notch, if you ask me.

I made a few changes from the original recipe, and I’m glad I did. Although the next time I make it I think I’m going to omit the cheese that’s inside the dish and just put 1/2 cup of cheese on top before baking. That would cut the calories a bit, which is always good.  This would also be very good with some boneless pork chops! I think I’m going to try to turn this into a crock pot meal!

Kraft Fresh Take & Homestyle Hearty Four Cheese Macaroni & Cheese [Product Review + Coupon]

I love to cook and so I use any opportunity I can get to play around in the kitchen. I try to make dinner every night, and I try my best to make everything myself and not use a lot of pre-packaged foods.  For instance, I’d rather make my own macaroni and cheese than buy a box of it; I’d rather make my own au gratin potatoes than buy a box; I’d rather season up some panko bread crumbs myself and bread chicken that way. But sometimes I don’t have the time to do it, especially if it’s during the week.

Last night was one of those evenings where I had some things to do after work so I was short on time. But I didn’t want to go out for dinner or get take-out. So I tried a few of Kraft’s new products.

I had some boneless skinless chicken breasts that were thawed so I got that new Kraft product called Fresh Take. It’s a special blend of Kraft Natural Cheeses and seasonings that can dress up your chicken, fish, pork, beef, pasta, vegetables, etc. It sounds like the possibilities are endless – there were ideas on the packet for chicken, meatballs and even baked potatoes!

They have several different flavors – Chili Lime & Panko, Southwest Three Cheese, Italian Parmesan, Cheddar Jack & Bacon, Savory Four Cheese and Rosemary & Roasted Garlic. I picked up the Cheddar Jack & Bacon because I love anything with bacon in it! You can find this in the Dairy aisle.

It comes in a large ziploc type bag that separates the cheese and the seasonings. When you open it up you pull apart the separation and mix the two things together. I just coated my chicken breasts in the mixture and baked them for 25 minutes. They turned out really good! This isn’t something that I’ll do all of the time, but it’s nice for something quick, easy and flavorful!

Click here to print out a $1 coupon!

 

I also decided to give the new Kraft Homestyle Hearty Four Cheese Macaroni & Cheese a whirl as well. I thought it was pretty good! it was quite easy – you boil the macaroni for about 7 minutes and drain it. Then you melt a few tablespoons of butter in the saucepan and add a seasoning packet. This also has a thickening agent in it. Once you incorporate the seasoning packet with the butter, you stir in some milk and let it thicken. Once that’s thickened a bit you add in the cheese sauce (which is quite thick) and whisk it together until it’s creamy & smooth. I added in the macaroni and combined them together. They also provide a bread crumb topping if you’d like to use that.  I thought this macaroni and cheese was good – much better than the blue box!

***I WAS NOT COMPENSATED AT ALL FOR THIS POST. I PURCHASED THE PRODUCTS MYSELF AND FORMULATED MY OWN OPINIONS.***

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Ever since I got my new Wolfgang Puck Multi-Cooker that you can brown/sear in, I’ve been in heaven. That thing is wonderful! I love that I don’t have to dirty any extra dishes. Everything can be made in 1 pot! I don’t have to pour anything into a saucepan so that I can thicken it on the stove. I can do it right in the crock pot. I’ve definitely been using my crock pot more because of this.  So this recipe is AWESOME if you have a Multi-Cooker, but if you don’t you can still make it in a regular crock pot.

A friend posted a recipe for Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken on Pinterest and it sounded wonderful! I knew I needed to add it to my long list of recipes to try. And what made it even better is that I had everything on hand to make it already. Don’t you love that?

(Adapted from Six Sisters Stuff)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water
  • Sesame seeds (Penzeys, of course!)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat crock pot to the sear setting if you have a Multi-Cooker. If you don’t, you can skip the browning step OR you can brown the chicken in a pan on the stove. That’s totally up to you. Season both sides of chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add in 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil.  Brown the chicken.

In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil and garlic. Pour over chicken.

Cook on low for about 4 hours or just until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from crock pot. Turn the crock pot setting to “Sear” and let it heat up. Shred the chicken.


Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce.  It should thicken up pretty quickly. If you don’t have a crock pot that will heat up quickly to allow you to thicken the sauce, you can try one of two things. Once you add in the cornstarch mixture you could replace the lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened (I would think that it would take longer than 10 minutes, but this is what they had in the Six Sisters Stuff recipe so I’m guessing it works?); OR you could transfer the sauce to a saucepan and thicken it that way. It’s totally up to you. As you can see below, the sauce is bubbling away and thickening very nicely.

After the sauce has thickened, add the shredded chicken back into the crock pot and toss with the sauce before serving.


Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

MY NOTES

As usual I usually change or tweak a few things. So this is the part where I tell you what changes I made from the original recipe I saw. To start, I used 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken because I wanted leftovers! This worked out well because we got a few more days out of this meal. Perfect for lunch!

Since I used my handy dandy Multi-Cooker, I decided to brown the chicken first. So what I did was I put 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the crock pot and browned the chicken in that.  I did not use the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil that the recipe called for. I thought the sesame oil gave it some great flavor.  If I wasn’t going to brown the chicken first I probably wouldn’t even add in the oil.

I’m usually a “double the sauce” kind of girl when it comes to recipe. I feel that some recipes skimp on the sauce. But not this one! There is no reason at all to to double the sauce – you get plenty, trust me!

Instead of serving the chicken in chunks, I decided to shred it. I thought this was a great idea – the sauce gets mixed in and it’s nice and sticky – goes well with the rice!

And we don’t like heat, so I didn’t add in the red pepper flakes. But if you like heat I’m sure you can add in however much you want! :)

Roasted Chicken, Potato Medley and Maple Gravy

I was in the mood for some Comfort Food. But I didn’t want the usual – which is usually a heavy casserole, Macaroni & Cheese, etc. Do you ever get tired of making the same things week after week? I do! So I decided that I’d Roast some Chicken and Potatoes but put a Maple twist to it! I didn’t really have a set plan before getting into the kitchen. I just kind of went with it, which is why there really aren’t exact measurements to this recipe. It’s one of those recipes where you just “eye ball” it.

  • 4 Chicken Leg Quarters (or Split Chicken Breasts)
  • Butter
  • About 8  Baby White Potatoes
  • 1 medium sized Sweet Potato
  • Maple Syrup
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 1/4 cup Water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the Chicken thoroughly, and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the bottom of each piece of chicken and place skin side up in a large baking dish. Make a small slit in the skin and stuff a small slice of butter under the skin. Repeat for each piece of chicken. Lay a small slice of butter on top of each piece.

Season with salt and pepper.

Wash the Baby Potatoes and the Sweet Potato. Cut up into bite sized chunks (make sure they are all about the same size so they cook evenly).

Arrange the Potatoes around the chicken. Season the Potatoes with salt.

Drizzle the Potatoes and the chicken with Maple Syrup. I didn’t put an exact measurement because you should use your judgement. Don’t drench everything with the Maple Syrup – remember that it’s sweet stuff!

Roast in the oven for about an hour. After about 30 minutes I took it out of the oven and mixed up the potatoes a bit. I also drizzled a little bit more Maple Syrup on everything. Make sure the Chicken is at least 160 degrees (use your thermometer!) and when it’s done take it out of the oven. I scooped the potatoes out of the baking dish and put them in a bowl.

Strain the juice/gravy into a measuring glass. You want to make sure you get the chicken bits, etc out of the liquid. Remove the fat off of the top. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and heat under medium heat. Mix the cornstarch and water together. Add to the saucepan. Let it come to a boil. This will thicken it into a nice gravy.

Place the Chicken on a serving platter.

Plate it, and enjoy! The Maple Gravy is delicious on both the Chicken and on the Potatoes!