WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Got to Be Good Cooking segment using local ingredients. This month’s recipes feature fresh and delicious North Carolina chicken. North Carolina ranks second nationally in poultry and eggs. According to the N.C. Poultry Federation, the average American eats more than 90 pounds of chicken per year, more than any other meat.
This month’s recipes include individual chicken pizzas, chicken and pasta salad, chicken and asparagus salad and grilled chicken kabobs.
The first recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Lisa suggestion buying your chicken already cooked from the grocery store and mix and match your toppings to suit your family’s taste.
- 1 rotisserie chicken (meat shredded)
- 6 whole wheat pita breads (6 inch)
- 6 ounce jar of pesto
- 2 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 bunch spinach (rinsed and chopped)
- 1⁄2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chopped tomatoes on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper, let stand 10 minutes.
Spread pesto onto one side of each pita bread and place on a baking sheet. Top pitas with shredded chicken, tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella cheese; drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper. Bake until the pitas are crisp and the cheese is melted, about 12 minutes. Top with fresh basil before serving. Cut into quarters.
Next is a chicken and pasta salad recipe that “makes a lot” and can be served hot or cold. Lisa suggest using this recipe as a “great way to use up partial pasta boxes as well as leftover produce or chicken.”
- 3 cups pasta of your choice (mix and match-penne, farfalle, or rotini)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 whole chicken (boiled)
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh sugar snap peas (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 cup carrots (matchstick)
- 4-ounce jar pimento (drained and diced)
- 1 cup cucumber (seeded and diced)
- 3 green onions (sliced)
- 1⁄2 cup radishes (sliced)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- fresh basil and lemon wedges (optional)
Rinse whole chicken with water and pat dry. Discard any items in the cavity. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a large pot, add butter and cover with water. Boil until the chicken is cooked through and falls off the bone. Drain (save the broth to use for chicken stock later) and let cool. Discard the skin and bone and shred the remaining meat. Keep chicken warm or room temperature.
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Add chicken and next 3 ingredients, and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Drain and place in a large bowl. Stir cucumber, green onions and radishes into the hot pasta mixture until blended.
Whisk together the olive oil and next 7 ingredients to make the vinaigrette. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Season chicken and pasta salad with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or cover.
Asparagus is in season right now and a great addition to this “attractive and delicious spring and summertime entree.” Lisa notes that “you can change it up to use your choice of cheese and herbs.”
- 1 1⁄2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
- 2 pounds asparagus (trimmed)
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley (chopped)
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Cut 3 slits into each chicken breast. Brush chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with 1 ¼ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill chicken covered for 5 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 10 minutes; chop into bite size pieces.
Cover shallots with cold water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and grill covered 1 to 2 minutes. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
Toss together chicken, asparagus, cheese and shallots. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk together the lemon-basil vinaigrette, pour over chicken and asparagus salad and toss to combine. Top with fresh, chopped dill and parsley.
Serve grilled chicken and veggie kabobs with a salad and you have “an easy and delicious meal without all the guilt.”
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pack Zesty Italian or Garlic and Herb dry salad dressing mix
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 2 sweet onions (cut into quarters)
- 8 ounces whole white mushrooms
- 2 zucchini (cut into half rounds)
- fresh parsley, dill and lemon wedges (optional garnish)
Mix together the first five ingredients and pour into a zip lock bag. Add chicken and vegetables and marinate all day or overnight, turning occasionally. Place chicken and vegetables on metal skewers and grill until chicken is no longer pink.