Feta & Bacon Stuffed Chicken & Watermelon-Feta Arugula Salad

Well, Hello there.

It’s been a while, I know. That is what happens when I go to school, but on the brightside- I am HALF done my 5 year degree! Whoot whoot.

Since I haven’t blogged in forever, I thought I’d start back up again with an absolutely mouthwatering meal. Even thinking about it makes me hungry (& I just ate!)

One of the best things about this meal is that both parts, the chicken and the salad, use Feta so the block doesn’t sit in your fridge for a few months before you’re like “Oh crap! I forgot about the feta!” I served the feta in one block on top of the salad because that is how feta came on top of the Greek Salads in Greece, but feel free to crumble it.

 

The chicken is supossed to be stuffed, but my chicken breasts weren’t thick enough so I pounded them out some more and rolled the stuffing into them Cordon Blue style (Is it Blue or Bleu??)… anyway, they were delicious… messy to prepare, but yummy.

Before going to Greece I did not like feta at all. But with it being everywhere I had to eat it, and now I love it.

How to make it? If you really want to know…

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken with Onion Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 35 Min | Servings: 3 chicken breasts | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/8 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia®), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned but still soft. Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet, and cool the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, mix the bacon together with the feta cheese, 3 tablespoons of sour cream, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl; set aside.

 

Lay a chicken breast flat onto your work surface. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a 2-inch pocket in the chicken breast. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Spoon the bacon mixture into the pockets. Pour the flour, egg, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow dishes. Gently press the chicken breasts into the flour to coat. Dip each into the beaten egg, then press into bread crumbs.

 

Reheat the bacon grease over medium heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides in the hot fat, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan. Place the breasts on a baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink and the filling is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

 

Meanwhile, place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

 

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the onion in the remaining bacon grease over medium heat until very tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are done, mash together with the onion, butter, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sour cream. Serve the chicken breasts accompanied by the mashed potatoes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 1498 | Total Fat: 84.2g | Cholesterol: 360mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Feta-and-Bacon-Stuffed-Chicken-with-Onion-Mashed-Potatoes/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=58580727&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2011-05-09&prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipePhoto&me=1

 

You may have noticed that the recipe has a side dish with it… I just ignored that. This time. I’ll probably try it with the chicken next time… Maybe next week actually.

Instead of those potatoes I made a salad. A delicious salad. Who does not love watermelon? I think in my entire lifetime I have heard one person actually say “I don’t like watermelon,” and I didn’t know them, it was at work.

The first time I encountered a watermelon salad was at a restraunt in Sudbury called Ripe, and it was instant love. Move over Buttermilk Nectarine Salad, there’s a new guy in town. It is so SO so refreshing, I think about it sometimes, just ‘pop’ in my head when I’m hungry but watermelon and feta are, unfortunately, not items I keep on hand. Maybe I should.

The salad is supper easy to whip together, the thing that took me the longest was cutting the cucumber because I bought a normal cucumber and not a seedless one- but, if you buy the correct cucumber it would take only as long as it takes to chop up a watermelon (unless you bought it pre-sliced, which I do not advise because it is a money scheme).

Another, yes, another good thing about this salad is that the left over watermelon can be used for breakfast or lunch the next day, or for a nice refreshing after school snack for kids (or college/university students!!)

Watermelon & Feta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 Servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1⁄4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-lb piece seedless watermelon
  • 1⁄2 seedless cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the onion and let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove and discard the watermelon rind. Cut the watermelon into thin 2-in. pieces.

3. Add the watermelon, cucumber and arugula to the bowl of onions and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta.

Source: http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Watermelon-Feta-Salad-Recipe.html

So simple. So yummy, with the chicken, a great meal!!!

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Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips & Cucumber Salad

These Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips are so very yummy and easy to make. And SO much healthier than the frozen chicken strip variety. I made them once when I visited my parents.

I really enjoy going home and making dinner for my family. It’s almost like going home and saying, “Hey look what I can do!!” Looking back now that I have been out of my parents house for nearly two years there are only a few meals that my mum would make that stand out to me Monster Brains (tortelini in a creamy cheese sauce), Curry, and a few others. My family ate very generic ‘family friendly’ meals and, don’t get me wrong I loved dinner, but I enjoy having different meals week after week and trying new meals.

So now, whenever I go home I make meals that are ‘family friendly’ with a twist. A meal we had often enough when I was younger was chicken strip wraps. Frozen Chicken strips, baked, and used as the protein in wraps for dinner.

So one week when I was visiting home, I made Pecan Crusted chicken strips. They were really good, so the other week I made them for Chris.

When I made them for my family, I served them with ‘bacon fries’ I.E. French fries that have been tossed in Bacon Salt, which I saw in a food network magazine- Coarse salt mixed with crispy bacon that has been food processed to the same consistency as the salt.

When I made them for Chris I took a healthier approach to sides, and make Cucumber Salad. From Canadian Living.

These chicken strips are something I will make for my kids, when I have some, and when they think back to meals they had as kids they will remember Mum’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Strip wraps. But I won’t make then too too often, because I don’t like repeating recipes too often. I like making new things every week.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 14 mins | Servings: 6 serving | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup panko

Directions:

In shallow dish, whack together flour, 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper.

In Separate bowl, beat eggs.

In another shallow dish, place pecans, panko, and remaining chili powder.

One at a time, dip chicken strips into flour, then egg, then pecan mixture.

Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheet at 425 until golden and no longer pink inside, about 25 minutes.

 

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sesame oil, hot pepper flakes and salt. Add cucumber and mix until coated; set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve. Stir in green onion.

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

        Alright, so, what feels like forever ago Chris and I had Buffalo Chicken Burgers for dinner. We used pre-breaded chicken filet thingy’s from Janes and Dipped them in our favorite Hot Sauce. We didn’t invent the hot sauce, but we use it all the time.

How to make the hot sauce:

  • Butter
  • Hot Sauce, about 1.5X the amount of butter (We like it hot so we use a little more than that)
  • White Vinegar, just a splash

Melt butter, mix in hot sauce and white vinegar. Easy as pie.

It was a pretty easy main for dinner that night, so to dress it up a little I mixed together a Strawberry Spinach Salad with a homemade Poppyseed Dressing.

The poppyseed dressing was really yummy. Here is the recipe, I’m not sure where it comes from, I got it from Chris’s mom.

Poppyseed Dressing for Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Onion, grated
  • 1/2 Tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Poppyseeds

Combine sugar & vinegar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add grated onions, mustard & salt. Whisk in oil until well blended, then stir in poppy seeds. Pour dressing in a jar, cover & refrigerate until ready to use. Add about 1/3 dressing to salad. Excellent when chilled for about an hour.

The Salad was great and light on the side of the spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers.