Help a Mother Out

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 31, 2011 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

Like Desperate in Glen Ridge, this Help a Mother Out is about dinner ideas, but this mom-in-need wants specific help.  In this feature, we ask you, our readers and other moms and dads, to help out with your best advice in comments:

Dear Barista Kids,

I need chicken recipes! We eat a variety of meat and I have lots of great recipes my family loves, but I’m stuck on what to do with chicken. I’m getting tired of Chicken Parmesan and breaded chicken. Can you share your family’s favorite chicken recipe?


Uninspired Chick(en) in Montclair

Post your advice to Uninspired Chick(en) in Montclair in comments and Help a Mother Out.


  1. POSTED BY CMEinmontclair  |  March 31, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    I love taking lemon juice, dijon mustard, some olive oil, white wine, garlic and rosemary — salt & pepper — stir all that together, marinade chicken breasts then either grill them or bake in the oven, serve with rice. You can also add veggies in there if you want.

    I also love a chicken crockpot recipe — stir a can of cream of mushroom soup, white wine, lemon juice, chopped mushrooms, a bunch of chopped celery, lots of paprika, oregano, some chicken broth, place frozen breasts (yes frozen) in the crockpot, cover with the mixture and cook on low for 8 hours — sprinkle with fresh parsley if you have it — soo good!

  2. POSTED BY pamplemousse  |  March 31, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

    We eat a lot of chicken and are esp fond of boneless skinless chicken thighs which are cheaper than breasts, have more flavor, and are more forgiving (they dry out less easily, esp if they need to be reheated).

    Chicken salad 1: Toss chopped chicken (seared or poached) with mayo, tarragon or chives or parsley, celery or fennel, red onion, toasted pecans, raisins or dried cranberries, tart apples, s&p. Serve on salad greens or in a sandwich or stuff into a pita or wrap.

    Chicken salad 2: Grill skinless boneless chicken thighs, squeeze with some lemon juice as it comes off the heat, let it rest while you toss a salad of chopped romaine hearts, halved grape tomatoes, chunks of cukes, red onions, and olives, and maybe some feta. Toss salad with a dressing of yogurt, lots of dill or parsley, more lemon juice and zest, and s&p. Chop up chicken and toss into salad.

    Pan-roasted chicken: Remove the backbone of a whole chicken, rub the whole thing down with olive oil and season with s&p. If you want, stuff some fresh herbs and lemon zest and garlic underneath the skin. Start chicken splayed, skin-side down, in a large hot heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet, cook until skin is golden, then flip in pan and toss into a 450 degree oven until it’s cooked through, about 45 minutes. (You can also skip the pan and just put it in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheetpan, but I find you get better skin when starting it in a hot skillet.) You should be able to make some roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, couscous or a salad during the roasting time.

    Chicken soup with sour cream and avocado: Sear skinless boneless chx thighs in some oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot and set aside when golden. While they rest, cook onions in the same pot until soft, then add cubes of potatoes to the pot. Chop up chicken, return to pot with chicken broth, cooked rice, quinoa, or barley (you can also bulk it up veggie-wise with frozen corn, peas, carrots and green bean mix). Simmer until potatoes are cooked. Add parsley and s&p. Top with sour cream, chopped avocados, a squeeze of lime, and red onions. When you mix the sour cream into the soup, it makes it creamy-ish.

    Chicken stir-fry: Thinly slice chicken breast or thighs and marinate with some soy, sugar, garlic, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Saute in oil in a nonstick skillet, then set aside. Saute some broccoli florets, or asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces, or green beans, or sugar snaps, or snow peas or slices of bell peppers, etc until just crisp, then return chicken to pan. Stir together, add a little oyster sauce and sugar, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little more sesame oil and scatter with scallions. Serve with rice.

    Chicken quesadillas: Slice cooked chicken (grilled or seared) and layer it with grated monterey jack or cheddar, corn, and black beans on the bottom half of a flour tortilla. Fold top half over to make a half-circle. Grill or sear in a heavy pan or on a griddle (a little oil helps make it crisper but is not nec) and serve with regular salsa or salsa verde.

    I know it’s so easy to get into cooking ruts. I hope this helps.

  3. POSTED BY hungrymom  |  April 04, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    One of our go-to recipes is probably the easiest on the planet. Only 2 ingredients: package of chicken thighs and bbq sauce (I highly recommend one from whole foods, yellow label “barbecue sauce, made with Vermont maple syrup”)
    preheat oven to 400, cover chicken with sauce and bake for an hour (turn at least once during cooking)
    it’s delicious.
    Hope this helps!

  4. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  April 04, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    One of my fave go-to cookbooks is

    All of Chris Kimball’s products are great! I haven’t found a bad on in it. I’m especially fond of the Chicken Pot Pie, which I sometimes top with with cornbread. I usually make double and freeze a batch, so I can make it later, quicker.

    He also converted me over to “brining,” which after roasting a chicken every Sunday for years, has me now producing THE BEST tasting roasted or fried chicken I’ve ever tasted.

    His America’s Test Kitchen is a great show and magazine too.

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