Even though I love to eat and prepare all types of food, I am a southern girl at heart. Since the cookbook I am writing for Thomas Nelson has a southern theme, I have fallen in love with this cuisine more than ever. To me, southern food is comforting and simple, but it doesn’t always have to be heavy. This easy chicken and gravy recipe is sure to be a family favorite that will take you about 15 minutes to prepare, and even though it looks decadent it’s actually pretty light. Watch the video to see how you can make this in a snap with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen!
Quick and Easy Chicken and Golden Onion Gravy
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, pounded out or cutlets
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
2 cups 1% or 2% milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon worcestershire
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/2 tsp dried)
Salt and Pepper to taste
fresh parsley, if desired
Season the chicken on each side with the salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Heat a skillet over medium hight heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken and cook on each sir for 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
Remove the chicken and add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together the milk, flour, worcestershire, and hot sauce until there are no more lumps. Add the milk mixture to the skillet with the onions, cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the gravy reduces and thickens. Add the chicken back into the gravy to heat through and spoon the gravy over the it for a “smothered” effect. Garnish with fresh parsley or green onions if desired.
Have you ever had the lettuce wraps at PF Changs or Pei Wei?! They are my absolute favorite! I usually get them as a meal instead of an appetizer because I love them so much, and I don’t want to share Since I am such a fan of these lettuce wraps, I came up with my own version at home that literally takes about 15 minutes to make. This is actually a healthy way to eat Chinese food, but it still has all of the yummy flavor without the overload oil, sugar, and salt.
So, if you’re looking to change things up for weeknight dinners give these a try, and serve them with my Quinoa Fried Rice for a really delicious and healthy Chinese meal at home!
Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 head iceberg lettuce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cups chopped green onions
1/4 cup lightly salted peanuts, chopped
Tear the large leaves of the lettuce off of the head and place them wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator until just before serving.
Whisk together the soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, cornstarch, and sugar. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the oil, chicken, carrots, and onion. Stir to heat everything up, and then add the sauce. Stir everything to coat while the sauce is thickening. Once the sauce has thicken, toss in the peanuts.
It seems like most upscale Southern-style restaurants nowadays are doing version of down-home chicken and waffles, and who can blame them? Crispy fried chicken served over delicious waffles, and then drizzled with maple syrup, it’s just heavenly! Since the chicken and waffles craze began, my husband has taken it upon himself to become a professional taste tester of the dish; if it’s on the menu he orders it practically every time we go out! I, on the other hand, try to resist this comfort food classic because, let’s face it, carbs and deep-fried chicken aren’t exactly waistline friendly.
However, since I do love this combination, I decided to lighten it up a bit, and put a twist one of our favorite chicken and waffle dishes. I used my “go-to” baked chicken tender recipe that I have been making for years, and I gave it a Cajun kick for this recipe. I also came up with a savory waffle recipe using some sharp cheddar cheese—don’t knock it til you try it! And, of course, I do drizzle on the maple syrup because you just have to have it for this dish to really shine.
This recipe can be served for brunch or dinner. I like to pair it with something light, just some fresh watermelon for brunch or some sort of green for dinner. Even though it is a lightened-up version of the classic, it’s still very satisfying and filling. Oh, and don’t worry, Zach gave this one his seal of approval. He is a pro at chicken and waffle taste testing, after all!
LIGHT CAJUN CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
For the Chicken Tenders
1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. hot sauce
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1 ½ tsp. cajun seasoning
For the Waffles
2 cups white whole-wheat flour (may substitute all purpose)
4 teaspoon baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400˚. Place a cooking rack on top of a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Place chicken tenders in a large zip top bag along with flour, salt and pepper; shake until chicken is coated.
In a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together eggs, hot sauce and 1 tablespoon of water. In another dish, combine panko crumbs and Cajun seasoning.
Dredge the flour-coated tenders in the egg mixture, then in panko mixture (press crumbs into chicken to ensure they stick), and place on baking sheet.
Once all tenders are coated, spray them thoroughly with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, preheat the waffle iron. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, milk and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until just combined.
Lastly stir in the cheese. Spray the iron with cooking spray and cook the waffles until golden. Serve the chicken tenders over the waffles and drizzle with maple syrup.
These adorable mini meatloaves are packed with delicious flavor, and a definite family favorite. They are even easy to prepare ahead of time, just store them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them up!
Mini Meatloaf Muffins
1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Cloves garlic chopped
1/3 C sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbls Fresh Basil, chopped (you can sub 2 tsp Italian seasonings)
1/2 C Parmesan, freshly grated if possible
3/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
2/3 C Ketchup
¾ Salt and ½ Fresh Ground Pepper
Sauté onion with salt and pepper for about 6-7 minutes over medium heat
Add garlic to onion for about a minute to soften, then remove from heat
Mix together turkey, tomatoes, basil, parm, egg, bread crumbs, 1/3 C Ketchup, and Pinch of salt and pepper
Lastly, add cooled onions and garlic
Mix until combined with your hands, don’t over work it
Use a muffin pan to make 8 mini meatloaves or form one large loaf on a sheet pan. Top with remaining Ketchup.
Bake for about 25 minutes on 350 for muffins and 45 minutes for loaf
I announced this week that my husband and I are expecting a baby in early October! We are so excited, but along with this pregnancy, I ‘ve already experienced some cravings and food aversions. So this recipe is actually a product of one of my cravings, which was tacos like my mom used to make for us when we were growing up.
I recreated the recipe without a using a seasoning packet and I made a fresh guacmole topping that gives it a more grown up, fresh flavor. They turned out delicious, this will defnintely be a regular meal for us again!
Crispy Weeknight Tacos
2 teaspoons each: Chilil powder, Cumin, Paprika
1 teaspoon each: Oregano, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup water
Crispy or Soft Taco Shells
Shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack Cheese
For the Guacomole:
2 avocados, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
Pinch of Salt
Heat the taco sheels in the oven according to package directions
Combine all of the seasonings together in a bowl along with the cornstarch.
Brown and break up the beef in a large skillet, adding the onion once the beef is broken up. Cook until the all pink is gone.
Add the seasonings to the beef and the cup of water, stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cover for 5 minutes, uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.
For the guacamole, mash together the avocados, tomatoes, garlic, juice, and salt until slightly chunky, refrigerate until ready to serve.
I am thrilled to announce that my first cookbook, "The Outdoor Table," published by Thomas Nelson Published is available to purchase wherever books are sold! This beautiful book includes 175 EXCLUSIVE recipes, not found on this site, perfect for all of your outdoor entertaining! Find out more and order your copy here...
Hey Y'all! Well I'm a southern gal, raised in Tennessee, where I still live with my husband and baby boy! Creating fresh and simple recipes with a southern flare, while sharing bits of my life with y'all on camera is what this site is all about. Also, my very first cookbook with Thomas Nelson Publishers will be out Spring of 2015, and I just can't wait to share it with you all! Read more about April...