Finding the motivation to cook dinner on hot, sunny days is tough. In my new reality, finding the motivation when you’ve got a beautiful pool in the backyard is damn near impossible.
Life’s tough, ain’t it? I can just hear ya’ll right now: “Quit yer bitchin! You got a pool!” I know, I know, and believe me, I am grateful this is all I have to complain about. I am also grateful to have a friend like Shirl, my longtime volleyball teammate and doubles partner, with whom I seem to share a brain (the poor girl). Despite the 60 miles between us, she sensed my need and out-of-the-blue sent along a great recipe — and thus motivation to cook! Shirl saved the day
Let’s get right to it. Shirl’s Swiss Chicken was great. I fiddled with the original recipe a bit, unsure whether I would like it topped with the stuffing mix that was called for. So, I did half the pan with the stuffing mix/melted butter and the other half with panko breadcrumbs mixed with chicken broth. They both worked well, but hands down the panko breadcrumbs were the favorite.
I also made, for the first time, roasted broccoli! This was also yummy, and logistically it worked out great as I just added it to the oven in the last 15 minutes, when it was time to remove the foil from the chicken.
A note about preparing chicken breasts: there are a few ways you can do this. You can buy chicken cutlets and not have to do a thing to them ‘cept throw them in the pan. Or, you can buy boneless/skinless chicken breasts and use them as is (might have to cook them a bit longer). Or, you can take those boneless/skinless breasts, trim the rib meat off, and pound them to about 1/4″ thickness with whatever you have handy.
Most people use a meat tenderizer or kitchen mallet to pound chicken. That’s for sissies. I use a 10-pound dumbbell.
I get a nice flat chicken breast AND some great bicep definition. Fitness while you flatten stuff! Now that’s Juggling with Julia, folks.
Shirl’s Swiss Chicken
adapted from recipe by Cheryl Van Allen
1.5 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts
4-6 slices reduced fat Swiss cheese (like Finlandia Lacey Swiss)
1-10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell’s Healthy Request)
1/2 c. dry white wine
2 c. panko bread crumbs
4 T. chicken broth
1 package baby spinach (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray bottom of 9×13 baking pan with pan spray.
2) Lay prepared chicken breasts evenly in bottom of pan. (If using spinach, spread it in pan first).
3) Lay the slices of cheese across the tops of the chicken so all pieces are covered.
4) Whisk together the soup and white wine. Pour evenly over chicken/ cheese.
5) Mix panko crumbs with chicken broth until evenly moistened. Spread evenly over the top.
6) Cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more. Chicken should reach an internal temp of 165 and/or no longer be pink in the middle.
1) Rinse 3 cups of broccoli florets. Cut largest ones in half so that they all cook fairly evenly.
2) Toss with about 1 1/2 T. olive oil and 1 T. parmesan cheese
3) Place in small roasting pan (I used a metal pie plate) and cook in oven for 15 minutes. Broccoli will be crunchy-tender.