A full month of eating boneless skinless chicken breasts without a single repeat meal! What could be better! Just in case we don’t have fresh fish, I have my freezer stuffed full of boneless skinless chicken breasts. We don’t eat them every night, but if we had to, I don’t want every meal to taste the same.
Friends laughed at me cruising the Western Caribbean trying to find boneless skinless chicken breasts. Occasionally I had to de-bone and skin them myself – it not only saves room in the freezer, but makes them healthier. Don’t know now to de-bone chicken? Click here for my Boat Galley Cookbook co-author, Carolyn’s The Boat Galley website post on how to de-bone a chicken breast.
Larger chicken breasts will take longer to cook than smaller chicken breasts. Also, if you use chicken with the bone in, it will add to the cooking time. Using an instant read cooking thermometer, the correct temperature for chicken is 165 degrees.
1. Salsa Chicken. The Boat Galley Cookbook, page 284. Put 2 chicken breasts in a ziploc baggie with a packet of taco seasoning mix and shake. Spray or olive oil a baking dish and place the chicken on the bottom, covered with a jar of salsa and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 375 degrees – longer for larger pieces, shorter for smaller. We serve ours with chopped green onion – you can also add a dollop of sour cream or guacamole if you prefer.
2. Grilled Chicken. Sprinkle chicken breasts with your choice of seasonings, we like Tony’s Cajun Seasoning, garlic powder and cracked pepper. Grill 5 minutes on each side until done.
3. Chicken and Rice Casserole. Spread 1/2 to 1 cup uncooked rice (I like longgrain and wild rice) in a greased baking dish. Top with 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Sprinkle with dry Onion Soup Mix. Top with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and 2 cups of water. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice tender. This isn’t exactly healthy, but it’s one of my favorite comfort foods.
4. Shredded Chicken Tacos. Saute chicken, let cool and shred with fork. Add salsa to shredded chicken and warm over the stove. Or if you prefer, you can add part of an envelope of taco seasoning and salsa. Chop your favorite taco accompaniments – diced onions, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar or mexi-cheese, chopped lettuce and serve with warm hard or soft taco shells.
5. Parmesan Chicken. Combine a half cup of Hellman’s Mayo (I use light) and a half cup Kraft-style Parmesan cheese and spread over chicken breasts in a greased baking pan. Top with Italian Bread Crumbs and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees (check for doneness with instant read thermometer).
6. Tuxedo Soup. Saute, cool and shred two chicken breasts (or use a can of white meat shredded chicken). Combine chicken, undrained cans of black and white beans (2 cans), half a chopped green pepper, a small diced onion, a dash of hot sauce and salt/pepper to taste and simmer until heated through. Stir in a tablespoon or so of Parmesan cheese for extra flavor (or butter if you prefer) and serve with crusty bread. We like to top ours with chopped green onions.
7. Southwest Easy Chicken Soup. Combine 1 jar of salsa verde (or red salsa if you prefer), 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts, 1 can of drained and rinsed beans – I use cannelloni or whatever I have – 1 diced onion, 1 tsp cumin, 2 minced garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve topped with chopped green onions, a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips around the edges.
8. Shortcut Chicken Scampi. Cook angel hair pasta and chicken ahead of time. Thinly slice the chicken. Then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add 1/2 chopped green pepper, a small diced onion, some fresh sliced mushrooms, the chicken, a finely diced small tomato (I use a Roma), 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 2 teaspoons italian seasoning and a dash of red pepper flakes. Add a can of condensed mushroom soup and a soup can of water. Serve over the angel hair pasta with crusty bread.
9. Grilled Veggie & Chicken Packets. Lightly spray or olive oil a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Place a chicken breast on the foil and add your veggies – we use zucchini, yellow squash, onion, grape tomatoes and colorful peppers. Then drizzle with olive oil, wrap up securely in foil and either bake or grill until done.
9. Simple Chicken Jambalaya. Saute 2 chicken breasts in olive oil in a large pan until lightly browned, then cool and cut into bite size pieces. Chop one onion, 1 rib celery, 1 green pepper, 2 garlic cloves and add to olive oil. Saute until soft, then add 1/2 tsp onion powder, a dash of cayenne pepper (according to taste), salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of rice – we like brown rice, but it takes longer and more liquid to cook. Add 4 cups of chicken broth and a bay leaf. Simmer until the rice is cooked (depends on the type of rice), watching to make sure you don’t need to add liquid. Just before serving add a healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
10. Jerk Chicken Kabobs. Marinade chicken in bottled jerk marinade – or make your own, The Boat Galley Cookbook, page 334-335. Cut the chicken breasts into 1″ cubes and marinade 1 hour to overnight in the refrigerator, reserving some jerk sauce to baste the kabobs while cooking. Remove the chicken, discard the marinade and skewer with your favorite kabob veggies – we use onion wedges, tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms. If using wooden kabob sticks be sure to soak in water for an hour before using them to keep them from burning.
11. Italian Chicken Breasts. Marinade chicken breasts in italian dressing in a freezer ziploc bag for 1/2 hour to 1/2 day – or overnight in the fridge. Grill or saute as normal.
12. Chicken Fajitas. Season the chicken breasts with Tony’s Cajun Seasoning or any type of blackening seasoning and saute in olive oil. Remove, cool and thinly slice diagonally. Slice thin slivers of green peppers, red peppers, red onions and any other veggies you like in your fajitas – I like slivers of zucchini and saute the veggies with taco seasoning until still crunchy. Serve with chopped lettuce, warm soft tortilla shells, sour cream or guacamole and refried black beans
13. Chicken in Red Wine Sauce. Heat a splash of olive oil into a skillet and saute a teaspoon of minced garlic with 2 chicken breasts. Cook about 5 minutes on each side until the chicken is done (longer for larger pieces, shorter for smaller pieces). Drain the oil, sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar, a dash of paprika and 1/2 cup red wine over the chicken. Cover and simmer until the wine sauce cooks down, basting the chicken every few minutes – maybe 15 minutes-ish. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
14. Asian BBQ Chicken. Page 281, The Boat Galley Cookbook. Drizzle olive oil in a skillet and add chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces. Brown chicken and remove. Add to pan: 1 clove garlic, minced; 1/4 tsp ginger, 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less depending on taste), 1/4 cup apple juice, 2 tablespoons ketsup, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup soy sauce. Simmer and stir until sugar dissolves then put chicken back in pan and let simmer about 15 more minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve over rice.
15. Simple Sauteed Chicken. Season chicken according to your preference, we use garlic powder and cracked black pepper. Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet and saute the chicken – turning every 5 minutes until it’s done.
16. Ranch Chicken. Dip chicken in ranch dressing and then in prepared bread crumbs – your choice on flavored or not. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.
17. Teriyaki Chicken and Quinoa Pilaf. Marinade chicken in prepared teriyaki marinade for 30 minutes to longer (or make your own, The Boat Galley Cookbook, page 220). Save some unused marinade to dip chicken in later. Discard used marinade. Place on greased aluminum foil and cover with slivered onions and green peppers. Grill for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Make quinoa as per directions on package (I usually substitute vegetable broth for the water) and add chopped onion, green pepper, grape tomatoes and season with your favorite seasonings.
18. Simple Chicken Gumbo. Saute 2 chicken breasts in olive oil. Remove the chicken from the pan, let cool and then shred. Add a teaspoon of flour and stir until well mixed with the oil. Then saute a chopped onion, a chopped red and green pepper, garlic, chopped green onions and a clove of minced garlic. Add the shredded chicken and a can of okra and approximately 2 cups of chicken broth. Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste and simmer until thickening. Serve over rice, or as a tasty soup.
19. Chicken, Rice & Beans Hash. Saute 2 chicken breasts, cool and shred. Chop an onion, green pepper and garlic and saute in olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 can drained kidney beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 small can chopped green chilis, 1 small can corn, drained, 1 small can sliced mushrooms, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Heat through and serve.
20. Couscous Chicken. Saute the chicken breasts, cool and shred. Bring one cup of chicken broth to a boil then add 2/3 cup couscous. Cover and turn off the heat. In a separate pan combine the shredded chicken, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, salt & pepper to taste and heat to boiling. Serve the chicken mixture over the couscous.
21. BBQ Chicken. Buy your favorite bbq sauce — or make your own from our selection of nine different regional bbq sauce recipes only in The Boat Galley Cookbook — marinade the chicken breasts for an hour to overnight. Discard the marinade sauce. Baste chicken on grill with fresh bbq sauce and serve with extra for dipping.
22. Chicken Surprise. It’s Thanksgiving and you can’t find a turkey — let alone bake it in a tiny boat oven? No problem, substitute Chicken Surprise and enjoy the aromas of a homemade Thanksgiving aboard! It’s a bit more complex than the rest of these suggestions, but worth it. Boil 2-3 chicken breasts and chop into bite size chunks or shred. Tear 3/4 loaf of bread into chunks and let sit out overnight to dry. Grease a baking dish and put the chicken in it. Mix 2 cups chicken broth, 1 can sliced mushrooms, 1 can sliced water chestnuts, condensed mushroom soup and flour in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Saute 1 cup diced celery and 2 tablespoons chopped onion. Combine the dried bread, 4 cups of chicken broth, 2 beaten eggs and a healthy dash of sage to taste. Pour over the chicken mixture in the baking dish and bake for 1 hour.
23. Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Breasts. Mix 1 cup pineapple juice with one tablespoon each worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and soy sauce. Set aside some of the marinade to baste the chicken while grilling. Marinade the chicken breasts in the rest for 1 hour to overnight. Discard the used marinade and grill 5 minutes each side, basting with more marinade. Serve with fresh pineapple.
24. Baked Fried Chicken. Rub the chicken breasts with your favorite spices. Dip in flour (we use whole wheat), then in beaten egg – we use egg whites, then in Panko Bread Crumbs. Put on baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.
25. Curry Chicken. Saute a chopped onion in olive oil with a couple tablespoons of curry powder (or to taste) – saute slowly to make sure the curry powder doesn’t burn. Then cut the chicken into slivers and simmer in the curried olive oil and onions until done. Serve over rice.
26. Cumin Turmeric Rub Grilled Chicken. Rub the chicken breasts with a 50/50 mixture of cumin and turmeric with a dash of salt. Grill as usual. Warning, this can be spicy!
27. Stir Fry Chicken. Back in the good ole USA, buy a package of stir fry fresh veggies, a bottle of stir fry sauce, saute the chicken in a bit of stir fry sauce, then cool and slice into slivers. Use a bit of olive oil to saute the fresh veggies, mix in a bit of stir fry sauce and the chicken and simmer. Throw some chopped green onions on the top and yum.
28. Chicken n Mushrooms. Dip chicken breasts into beaten egg and then into seasoned bread crumbs. Put one cup of sliced mushrooms in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Saute chicken breasts in olive oil in a skillet until lightly browned on both sides. Place chicken over the mushrooms in baking dish. Cover chicken with more sliced mushrooms and top with mozzarella cheese – as much as you like. Pour 1/3 – 1/2 cup of chicken broth over the entire pan and bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes +/- until chicken is done
29. Stuffed Baked Chicken. Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizing mallet until it’s thin enough to roll. “Stuff” it with your choice of toppings – a slice of deli ham, shredded cheddar cheese, and cracked pepper – are some of our favorites, but you can use anything you want. Roll up the stuffings inside the tenderized thin chicken breast and secure it with a toothpick. Put on a greased baking sheet and bake until the instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.
30. Thai Chicken Breasts. Combine 1 tablespoon each grated fresh ginger and minced garlic with a dash of red pepper flakes and set aside. Saute chicken in olive oil until cooked then remove chicken. Add ginger garlic mixture and 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup each brown sugar and white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Place chicken back in pan and simmer until sauce thickens and has a chance to permeate the chicken.
ENJOY! Surely there’s something in this list that will tempt your taste buds. Anyone have another chicken breast recipe I missed? Please leave a comment and share your favorite way to prepare the somewhat boring, potentially dry boneless skinless chicken breasts that fill my freezer. Cheers! Jan