The Science Nerd

Tag: chicken

Oven Baked Chicken

February 28, 2012

Last night’s meal was not anything fancy, but it sure was tasty.  Oven roasted chicken, parmesan mashed potatoes and green beans.  Here is the recipe – perfect for those evenings when you don’t feel like cooking, but are too hungry for cereal.



  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • Take one large chicken breast and cut in in half (which makes the perfect portion size for us).
  • Then I covered both sides of chicken with rotisserie seasoning.
  • While working on this, heat 1 Tbs oil in a oven proof skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Place the chicken in the skillet, allow one side to brown (2- 3 minutes), then flip.
  • Brown the other side and then place skillet (and chicken) in the oven.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees.

While chicken is cooking, work on the side dishes

  • Peel and cube potatoes.
  • Boil on the stove until soft.
  • Drain, add milk, cream cheese and 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese.
  • Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency.

And I just heated up some canned green beans (french cut) to keep it simple, you certainly could pair this with any vegetable or salad that fit your tastes.

So, the whole meal took about 40 minutes to prepare and cook, but it certainly wasn’t an intense time of prep work.


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Chicken & Dumplings Redux

February 18, 2012

A few weeks ago I made chicken & dumplings in the crock pot and while they were very good, they weren’t great.  So, Thursday was another cold rainy day and we decided to have them again with a few changes.  Check out the original post here.

I made sure to buy some Cream of Chicken soup and used that instead of the Cream of Celery.  I also omitted the onions.  The plan was to dice them much smaller because in the first batch they were just too big, but I was lazy and just decided to leave them out altogether.  They were not missed.

The Cream of Chicken soup gave a much better taste to the dish and as I said above, neither of us missed the onions.  I might leave them out in the future as well.

Of course, when making this dish, you could add anything you wanted – peas, carrots, mushrooms, celery, corn, onions….whatever makes you happy, and I’m sure it would still be good.


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Happy National Pie Day

January 23, 2012

For National Pie Day, I decided to go all out and fix two different pies.  The first was Individual Chicken Pot Pies for dinner and the second was a Chocolate Silk Pie for dessert.

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

The pot pie came from a recipe here.  One thing I learned while searching for a chicken pot pie recipe is that there are as many different recipes as there are people.  So, if this one is missing things that you would like, or has things that you don’t, it’s easy to add or subtract items to personalize your dinner.

• 5-6 sheets phyllo dough
• 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
• 2 tbsp. salted butter
• 1 chicken stock cube
• 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
• 2 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup peas (frozen or canned)
• 2 cups cooked chicken
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place the potatoes in a saucepan filled with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender but not soft. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the chicken stock cube. Use a wooden spoon to break up the cube. When the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth, add the flour, stirring to form a smooth paste. Cook over low heat for a minute. Remove from the heat and add the milk, stirring constantly. When the mixture is smooth, cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the cooked potatoes, peas, and chicken, and season with pepper. Spoon into ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 375°F

Create tops by layering 5-6 layers of phyllo dough with cooking spray, oil or melted butter between each layer.  Using a pizza cutter, scissors ro a knife, cut circles the same size as your ramekins from the layers of  dough.  Place on top of ramekins that have been filled with chicken mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is hot and the crust is golden brown.

They turned out really good.  I ended up cooking the potatoes too long, they were somewhat mushy, so I will cook them less next time.  I also will add more pepper, the filling was a bit bland.  I had enough filling to fill 4 10-oz ramekins, but we only ate two.  The other two will be lunch someday soon.


Chocolate Silk Pie

The second course of our Pie Day meal was a Chocolate Silk Pie.  It was incredibly easy to make, and very tasty.

• 8-10 sheets phyllo dough
• 1 box chocolate pudding

• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1 8-oz container of Cool Whip


Preheat oven to 450F.

Layer 8-10 sheets of phyllo dough, spraying cooking spray in between each layer.  Place the layers in a pie plate, cut off the excess around the edges.  Place in oven and cook for 4-6 minutes or until crust is light brown.  Allow to cool.

Combine pudding and milk and mix well.  Place 1/2 the pudding  in the pie plate containing the crust.

Mix the remaining pudding with 1/2 the Cool Whip and layer on top of pudding.

Layer remaining Cool Whip on top of pie.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder, or chocolate shavings, or chocolate chips, or whatever suits you.  (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder)

Chill for at least three hours.

We were very happy with the results of both the National Pie day experiments.  I can easily see them becoming a part of the rotation.




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Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

January 11, 2012

I have attempted Chicken & Dumplings on two separate occasions, and neither time turned out that great.  In fact, they were both pretty awful.  So, I was a bit trepidatious about trying a third time.  But, as they say, “Third time’s a charm.”

The recipe I worked with was found on  I made a few changes, but not many.  Here’s my take on Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of celery soup (I didn’t have cream of chicken soup)
1 can chicken broth
1/2 onion diced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 cup milk
1 can Grands Jr. flaky refrigerator biscuits



Place chicken in crock pot
Add butter, cream of *WHATEVER* soup, chicken broth, and onion
Cook on high for 4 hours
Remove chicken and break into pieces with a fork, return to crock pot
Put cornstarch in a bowl and mix with milk, add to crock pot and stir well
Cut each biscuit into fourths and place in pot
Cook an additional 30 minutes




I used Cream of Celery soup, but next time I will stick to Cream of Chicken.  The celery flavor didn’t quite fit with our idea of Chicken & Dumplings.  I also will dice the onion very fine.  The pieces were too large and didn’t blend in well.  I added the cornstarch to thicken the broth, but if you wanted your dish more like soup, you could leave it out.  You could also add in whatever you wanted to make it yours – mushrooms, peas, corn, etc.


This dish will also be put in the rotation.  It was easy and tasted great.  It was especially good on this rainy blustery day.


UPDATE (2/16/12) – We had this for dinner again and I made some changes, check them out here.


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Anything wrapped in bacon is great. But stuff it with blue cheese (or any cheese, for that matter)as well, and it becomes downright divine! Tonight’s dinner did not disappoint. The recipe was a slight variation on Rachel Ray’s recipe found here. Since I didn’t have spinach or arugula, here is how the prep went for me:

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in half
Black pepper
4 to 5 ounces blue cheese crumbles
4 slices bacon
1 large potato
1 can french cut green beans
1 cup chicken stock


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a small sharp knife cut into the thick end of the chicken and make an incision reaching 2/3 the way down the breast. Loosen up the incision with your fingers to make a hole. Season the chicken with pepper. Stuff chicken breasts with blue cheese. Spiral-wrap the breasts with the bacon tightly to cover the meat evenly. Place chicken on a nonstick baking sheet and roast 20 to 22 minutes until bacon is crispy and chicken is firm. I also placed a meat thermometer in one of the breasts and removed the chicken when the internal temperature was 175 degrees F. (I think 165 F is the recommended temperature, but it didn’t hurt anything to cook them a bit longer.)

I also peeled and diced my potato, then cooked the pieces in the chicken broth for some additional flavor. The can of beans was opened, the beans put in a saucepan, a tablespoon of oil was added and they were cooked until done.

The meal was a huge hit. Everything tasted great, and the prep was not too difficult. We will definitely be having this one again.

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