Did you go through the "red meat is bad" scare and eat nothing but chicken until you were sick to death of it? I sure did. The budget wouldn't stretch to buy fish very often, and there's only so much tuna I'm willing to eat under any circumstances, so I was pretty much stuck with chicken and cheese of one sort or another. And no, I don't eat soy anything either.
The other major drawback to this time frame was the idea that ALL fats were bad, so the chicken was skinless and as fat free as possible. Cubed sawdust comes to mind...
So it took me a while, but I eventually found and developed some new recipes to use chicken, yet give my taste buds a break. Here are a few of my favorites. I still don't eat much of the skin (unless it is really brown and crisp... and then only a little bit), but I've added fats to the recipes and do not try to remove all of the natural fat before cooking.
One day I was pouring some ranch dressing on my greens and accidentally slopped some over onto the baked chicken. Then I noticed that the chicken (bone in) was not totally done, and popped it back in the toaster oven for a bit. The results were a whole new taste for baked chicken. I experimented and tweaked it after that and came up with something marvelous.
Ranch Baked Chicken - makes one serving.
Boneless chicken breast, flattened. (The frozen ones are great for this. Thaw completely.)
In small plastic bag mix:
1 tsp. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. dry ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
Coarse ground black pepper to taste
Add chicken and shake to coat (You can use egg white or whatever first, but I don't) If you have mix left, coat potato slices and add to the baking dish with the meat.
Place coated meat in greased shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees until coating bubbles and browns - about 20 minutes. May be turned if it starts to brown too much on top. This is more a problem in a toaster oven. Test with a sharp knife. If juices still run pink, turn heat down to 250 and bake another 15 minutes or so, but don't let it dry out.
Shepherd's Chicken Pot Pie - serves up to 6 adults (Probably only 3 shepherds)
This is an old favorite family recipe, especially beloved for Sunday dinner. It can be done in a roasting pan or a crock pot, but we always liked to make it in the oven because the potatoes got nice and browned on top.
2 - 3 boneless chicken breasts, browned and chopped. (Any cuts of chicken can be used for this. Just bake covered or steam until meat falls off the bones and chop. (save broth)
Cook and mash enough potatoes with milk and lots of butter to make 4 to 6 cups. Keep hot in oven.
1 med. onion, chopped or diced
1 cup diced celery stalks and leaves
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh, shelled peas or 1 can (drained) sweet peas
1 Tbsp. chicken soup base or bullion and 1 cup water, or one large can broth (will need salt, most likely if you use canned broth)
coarse ground pepper to taste
Mix chicken and vegetables in roasting pan or crock pot and heat to very low boil. Mix 2 tsp. corn starch or white flour into 1/2 cup water or chicken broth with wire whip, then stir it into the hot meat and vegetables until thickened. Reduce heat and stir often until vegetables tender. (Hard to do in crock pot, but it can be done.)
Cover meat/veg mix with 4 to 6 cups hot mashed potatoes. Spread evenly. Brown potatoes under broiler until golden brown.
Meat and vegetables can be left slow cooking in crock pot while you are gone, and the mashed potatoes made at the last minute before mealtime. You can put them in earlier, but it tends to get all soupy.
I have lots more chicken recipes. Anyone want them? :)