Today, I’ve got 2 recipes for you that are incredibly easy to make, but look like they took a lot of time and effort. Honestly, this first one is so simple that I really debated on whether or not I should even keep the recipe. In the end, I kept it because my hubby was such a BIG fan. He just loved it! I figured if he liked it that much, maybe someone else would too, and I should share it with y’all. The only downside to this recipe is that I don’t know where it originated; if you know where it came from, please let me know so I can link back to the original source.
Apricot Chicken (unknown source)
4 6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. Bisquick
1 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tbsp. veggie oil
1/4 c. apricot preserves (I know it’s called apricot chicken, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy a jar of preserves for just 1 recipe. I used orange marmalade [which I like to have on hand], and we thought it was very tasty.)
2 tbsp. orange juice
- Flatten the chicken to 1/4 inch thickness; set aside. Pour 5 tbsp. of butter in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix together the Bisquick and parsley. Dip the chicken in the butter, then coat it in the Bisquick mix.
- In a large skillet, cook the chicken in the oil and remaining tbsp. of butter over medium heat for 9-10 minutes on each side or til the juices run clear.
- In a small bowl, mix together the preserves and orange juice. Cover and microwave on high for 30-40 seconds or til the preserves are melted; stir to combine. Drizzle over the chicken in the pan and cook 1-2 minutes, or til heated through. (I poured it on top of the chicken right before serving.)
This next recipe is equally easy and worthy of a stay-in date night. It came together so fast, but had plenty of flavor. I did feel that the original recipe made it a little harder than it had to be. I’ll give you the original directions, but also include my preferred way of doing things in italics.
Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (from Julia’s Album)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 3-4 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil (You’ll see why below, but I chopped mine.)
1 lb. chicken breast tenders (I prefer not needing to keep a knife on the side to eat this, so I cut mine into bite-size chunks before cooking.)
1 c. half and half
1 c. shredded mozzarella
8 oz. penne pasta (Mine certainly would’ve looked fancier if I’d used this, but I had elbows on hand, so that’s what I used.)
1 tbsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- Drain the tomatoes, reserving 2 tbsp. of the oil they’re packed in. Heat a large pan with the oil in it over high heat. Saute the garlic and tomatoes for 1 minutes, or til fragrant. Remove the tomatoes from the pan, add the chicken, and season it with salt and paprika. Cook 1 minute on each side, then remove from the heat. (To my mind, it’s a lot easier to cook the chicken first, then add the garlic and [chopped] tomatoes once you flip it. You dirty less dishes, and it’s a bit quicker this way.)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
- Slice the tomatoes, then add them back to the skillet. (If you’re following my italicized version, this has already been done for you, and you can proceed with making the sauce as soon as the chicken’s cooked.) Add in the half and half and mozzarella and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, til melted and creamy. Add in the pasta, basil, and red pepper and stir to combine.
- Add in the reserved pasta water a bit at a time til the sauce reaches your preferred consistency. Season with salt and let simmer a couple of minutes for the flavors to meld.
Do you like to stay in or go out for date night? Honestly, we like both, but staying in is definitely more affordable. 😉