July 24, 2007

Sesame Chicken and Chopped Salad

Ive made this so many times over the years and theres so many ways to use this that I just had to put it here. Its called Sesame Chicken. It has just a few ingredients and is baked but its good hot or cold.

SESAME CHICKEN6-8 boneless chicken breasts
1 stick of butter or margarine
1/2c. lemon juice
1/2c. breadcrumbs
1/2c. grated parmesan cheese
sesame seeds

You will be making two mixtures to dip the chicken in . First melt the butter, then add the lemon juice. The next mixture is the breadcrumbs and cheese in another bowl. Dip each breast in the butter/lemon mix then into the crumb/cheese mix and put in a 13 x 9in pan. When all chicken is dipped pour the rest of the butter mix thats left over it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and dust with paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1hr.

Thats it. This is good hot or cold so altho theres only two of us I make the whole batch to have leftovers. I have a lemon tree in my yard (Ill miss that the most when I move to Oregon) and I use fresh lemons in mine but anything will do. I use it the next day cold in a sandwich or salad. Its really good cut up and put in a ceasar salad for lunch the next day. Its awesome because it complements the dressing so well. I show another salad in that pic and its good leftover in that too ( recipe follows).

When Ive gone to church potlucks Ive cut the chicken in smaller pieces and I swear theres never any left. You know how at potlucks folks pile up there plates so why waste a good chicken breast by giving them ones too big to finish. Ive also made this into chicken tenders and baked. I served that with a homemade oriental plum sauce as an appetizer. My boyfriend likes this with a dijonaise sauce he makes just before dinner. I like it as it is. Make sure if your eating it hot to scoop up some of the juice if there is some. Most times it evaporates but whats there is delish. I tend to use frozen chicken breasts cuz I always forget to thaw stuff but I find if I do that they come out juicier too. If you use thawed breasts Id watch the time on these....check at 30min , then again at 45min. I find sometimes 1hr with thawed dries them out way too much. (BTW I use this recipe so much that I just make a big batch of the breadcrumb mix and put it in a bag in my freezer. You can add herbs and such to it and use it for breaded pork chops and things like that)

Ok now the salad I made last nite is one of my favorites. I swear to God I can eat this every day of my life. (and I have for lunch at the restaurant I worked at too!) We used to call it Chopped Salad there but its really a Greek Salad. I will give ingredients but its really up to you how much of anything you use.


green onions or regular onion
Kalamata Olives (greek olives) pitted is the best but either is fine
Lotsa feta cheese
fresh garlic
mint and parsley
S & P
Extra Virgin olive oil
lemons for juicing

First thing, dice tomatoes, cucumbers in equal parts. I either use reg. cukes and peel em or buy those hydroponic ones that dont need peeling. Those make the salad look nicer but I just buy whats cheapest. You do want the best tomatoes you can find for this. In summer I use up alot of my garden ones in it. You need that fresh taste so the ones they sell in the stores on the vine are what I use otherwise. I will chop up about 4-6 green onions or 1/4 of a reg. onion and toss that in. Finely mince a lg. clove of fresh garlic. (You can use more if you love garlic but not too much or thats all you will taste and if you feel adventurous ,a finely minced jalapeno or two, with seeds removed is yummy too.)You want fresh everything here, thats the key to the taste. Mix it all tog. with some S & P and Olive oil. It must be Extra virgin. You want that flavor. Now juice some lemons for a small batch 1 or 2 lemons is fine, strain it tho or take out the seeds after juicing. This is all to taste so dont worry you can adjust it later. Stir it all and set aside while you do the rest.

Take a nice handful of mint leaves, only the leaves and a nice handful of parsley leaves, only leaves there too. Chop it till fine and toss in the bowl. Yes its alot but thats what makes it so yummy. BTW if you have fresh mint, I have found I dont like peppermint in it.....I use spearmint, that gives the best taste.

Mix it all and top with lots of crumbled feta cheese and olives. I can eat this just like that but as u you see I ripped some lettuce leaves apart and put it around the edge so it doesnt get soggy till I need it then served it. You can take some lettuce and top it with the veggies or just mix it all up. If you make some cracked wheat (bulgur) this becomes tabbouli salad another fav of mine. I make my bulgur in chicken stock for more flavor and then it becomes a whole vegetarian meal. (Yea I know chicken stock isnt vegan but my point is, its a meal with no meat, just grains and veggies, not strict vegan. You could use veggie stock tho if you are vegan.) Ive made that for parties and OMG theres never any left. Leftovers store well (without the lettuce) so you can have it the next day for lunch. Today tho Im gonna eat the leftover chicken chopped up in it for lunch Also this tastes best at room temperature. And the longer it sits the better the flavor.

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