Food, recipe

Chicken Caprese Brunch

The other night I made a delicious Caprese Chicken Bake and we had a couple of leftover breasts. Not enough for a full meal and I already dinner plans for the next couple of days. So I decided to turn them into brunch. Lloyd and I firmly believe that you can turn anything into brunch with a side of bacon and eggs.

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They looked pretty good at dinner time. But by the next time and a night spent in the fridge they were decidedly unappetizing. The challenge was going to be heating them up without drying out the breasts. The oven would have dried them out so I just put them in a non-stick pan and covered them.

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See, not particularly pretty. But stay with me, it does get better! While the chicken was being reheated I put the last of my delicious Woodbury Farms bacon in the oven. I prefer to cook bacon in the oven because it’s a no muss, no fuss situation this way.

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Another little trick I like to use when making a meal with a couple of different items coming off the stove/oven at different times is heating my plates in the microwave and storing food in their while the next item is being prepared.

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Once the chicken was heated through I put that in the microwave and checked on my bacon. Poor little lonely guy all alone. Don’t worry buddy, your friends are coming.

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When it was about five minutes from being ready I started making eggs. I used my Woodbury Farms eggs. Don’t mind the straw, not washing them keeps them fresh on the counter for much longer than washed eggs will hold up in the fridge.

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Now I had bacon, eggs and a reheated chicken breast. But I still had this plate of soggy chicken juice leftover from the pan the night before. It was tasty if gooey-looking but what was I going to do with it?

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I decided to reduce it down with a healthy splash of white balsamic vinegar and use it as a sauce over my eggs. The balsamic also balances out your caprese flavors. I cranked the heat right up in my pan and added the vinegar. I use Figone’s white balsamic vinegar. If you ever find yourself in Sonoma, CA I would head to their tasting room and check them out!

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I stirred constantly because I didn’t want this to burn and in about a minute it had thickened up and was nicely sticky. Once you see these great big bubbles and your sauce has achieved a uniform color you know it’s ready.

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Now take your plate with the chicken, bacon and eggs and just spoon it on!

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To make a long story short, anything can be brunch as long as you add bacon and eggs. Remember that.

Ingredients:

  1. Last night’s chicken breasts
  2. Last night’s chicken sauce
  3. Bacon
  4. Eggs
  5. White balsamic vinegar

Recipe:

  1. Place bacon on a rack and put in cold oven set to 400 degrees fahrenheit. As the oven heats, so does the bacon given you a perfect cook on your bacon. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat chicken breasts (covered) in a non stick pan and then place on heated plates in the microwave.
  3. Cook eggs in same pan and place on plates in microwave.
  4. Reduce chicken sauce down with some white balsamic vinegar. Try to use a ratio of 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 of your sauce.
  5. Once sauce is bubbling spoon onto the eggs and add your bacon to the plate.
  6. Serve with salt, pepper and hot sauce if that’s how you roll.
Food

Crisper Raid Quiche

Do you hate having to throw away food that you bought and never got around to using before it hit the expiration date or just got plain gross? Me too! I usually end up pulling everything that’s about to go bad out of the fridge and staring at it until I come with a way to throw it all together. Today I was slightly more prepared though and had a couple of pie shells in the freezer so I could make quiche with whatever was left in the crisper. And because pie shells come in pairs I made a second quiche that I could freeze and eat next weekend.

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After today’s crisper raid I had half a red onion, a smallish red bell pepper and a box of sliced mushrooms. Plus some assorted herbs that were on their very last leg; basil, chive, and parsley. I chopped everything up and added it to the pan starting with the onions. I then added the bell pepper, mushrooms, some mince garlic and the herbs. And of course I added the mandatory trifecta of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Once things were cooked down I added in some chicken sausage that I recently discovered. I like this one because it isn’t maple flavored or apple flavored or some other sweet nonsense. It’s actually a pretty nice replacement to the fattier pork country sausage.

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I chopped up the sausage and added it to the pan and gave it good stir to coat everything and then added it to the waiting pie shells.

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It actually looks pretty good right now. My fiancé, Lloyd, would probably love it if I just turned it into a massive empanada instead of adding the eggs. Except he loves eggs. Lloyd is basically Gaston and eats five dozen eggs everyday and is roughly the size of a barge. Speaking of eggs, I made a quick egg mixture with about 8 eggs, a splash of cream, salt and pepper. My secret ingredient is about a tablespoon of corn starch. It makes the eggs extra light and fluffy when they bake.

The next step is the all important cheese and decorating step. I had a little bit of jack cheese left in the fridge and I mixed that into the filling before I added the eggs and then topped with some cheddar and sliced cherry tomatoes. It made for a pretty pre-bake picture. And an even prettier post-bake shot.

 

Serves: 1-10. Who is to say you can’t eat two whole quiches all by yourself? You do you. I will not shame you with suggested portion sizes.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients ***the veggies and herbs I used are just a suggestion, feel free to use whatever is in your fridge***

  1. Onion
  2. Bell pepper
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Herbs (chives, parsley, basil)
  5. Minced garlic
  6. Salt, pepper, garlic powder
  7. 8 Eggs
  8. 1 Tbsp Cream (optional)
  9. 1 Tbsp Cornstarch (optional)
  10. Cheese
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Frozen pie shells

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Dice veggies and chop herbs.
  3. Sautee your veggies starting with hardest and ending with softest. I did onions, bell peppers and then mushrooms.
  4. Add in your garlic, herbs and seasonings. Don’t overcook your veggies mix because it’s going to cook some more in the oven and you don’t want a big soggy mess.
  5. Chop up and add in your sausage if you are going for a non-veg quiche. I used the chicken sausage I mentioned above but you could put in whatever you happen to have in your fridge, including lunch meat you need to use up.
  6. While your veggies/sausage are cooking down you can whip your eggs. Add them to a large bowl and fold in the salt/pepper and your optional cream and cornstarch.
  7. Scoop your mixture into your pie shells and stir in some cheese.
  8. Cover your veggies/sausage with your egg mix and then top with more cheese. I added on the sliced cherry tomatoes for some color.
  9. Bake your pies on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle and the top has gotten a nice golden brown coloration.