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Video: Make a tasty chicken dinner in 30 minutes

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    >>> time to take you into the kitchen and get saucy.

    >> if you're strapped for time, but want a healthy dinner, she's "prevention" magazine's contributing chef.

    >> looks so good.

    >> chicken with pears. delicious. under 30 minutes . under 350 calories.

    >> wow.

    >> beautiful pounded chicken breasts. i pounded these out. we're just going to season them with salt and pepper .

    >> how much salt?

    >> yeah.

    >> ask madeleine fernstrom.

    >> under 2,400 milligrams. don't worry.

    >> why do they use milligrams? no one even knows.

    >> she's a hell of a chef. just kidding.

    >> don't give my secrets away.

    >> a little salt.

    >> just a little .

    >> now you're all paranoid.

    >> we don't know what she was talking about.

    >> a little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper. in our hot pan, olive oil . we're going to season these up nice. four to five minutes on each side.

    >> don't overcook them. they get very dry, right?

    >> yes. over here, corn starch , low sodium chicken stock .

    >> how much salt would you say?

    >> she said low sodium. it could still have a lot of sodium.

    >> this dish has under 700 milligrams of salt.

    >> what is that in teaspoons?

    >> i don't know.

    >> you don't care either, actually, do you?

    >> not really.

    >> i do care. i do care. balsalmic vinegar . honey. these are all really, really good for you.

    >> honey is fantastic for you.

    >> it's so flavorful. what it is, you think you're not using a lot of flavor but it has really great flavor. this is mixed. the flurry in. i have pears that we've already sauteed. bosh pears, garlic. little bit of olive oil again. in goes our mixture.

    >> wow.

    >> then you put these in?

    >> no, no.

    >> okay.

    >> we're going to let this cook a little bit. actually, you can do that. you can definitely put these in while our sauce thickens up.

    >> okay.

    >> let's come around here.

    >> let this thicken. we'll come back to it.

    >> we're bringing in our good friend jared . it's his last day here. jared is going to help us cook again, kath.

    >> this is a great dish. i know you're going to love it. you can make this at home. this is a chili chicken salad . tenderloins, little chicken tenders . cumin, chili powder , salt, pepper, romaine, flaxseed, corn, dressing, green chili salsa. this is a light ranch. this is really easy. cilantro. we'll mix that all in.

    >> you feel like it's healthy, delicious. we're going to start eating. jared , we'll miss you.

TODAY recipes
updated 3/29/2011 6:50:12 PM ET 2011-03-29T22:50:12

Recipe: Chicken balsamico with pears

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Rinse the chicken in cold water. Then pat dry with paper towels. Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound the chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thick. Remove the plastic and sprinkle both sides of each breast with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning once, until it's no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the heat and transfer it to a platter. Cover it to keep it warm.

Add the garlic and turn the heat down to medium for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft. Add the pears and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears are soft and golden brown.

In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, honey and cornstarch. Pour over the pear mixture. Increase the heat to high until it comes to a boil, and then immediately lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Place the chicken on individual serving plates or on a large platter. Use a slotted spoon to mound the fruit over the top. Spoon the sauce over the fruit and around the chicken. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

4 servings

Recipe: Mediterranean chicken with orzo

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups defatted chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juice, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cups cooked orzo

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, combine the onions, 1/4 cup of the broth and the oil; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add the oregano and chicken; brown for 3 minutes, turning once. Add the tomatoes with juice and remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth; cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Bring the sauce to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until thick. Add the feta and orzo; cook and stir for 1 minute, or until the cheese melts. Top with chicken breasts and serve.

Serving Size

4 servings

Recipe: Chili-grilled chicken salad

  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup light ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup mild green salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • For the salad:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound thin chicken breast slices or chicken tenders
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, mix the ranch dressing, salsa and cilantro until blended. Cover and refrigerate.

To make the salad: Coat a barbecue grill or ridged grill pan with olive oil spray and heat to medium-hot. In a cup, mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Rub evenly on both sides of the chicken.

Grill the chicken, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Transfer to a plate. Squeeze the lime over the cooked chicken.

In a large bowl, toss the romaine with half the dressing. Divide among 4 plates.

Sprinkle the beans, corn, tomato and red onion equally over each serving and top with the grilled chicken. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Serving Size

4 servings

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