Monday, July 7, 2008

Chicken and Veggie Stack with Cheese

I love cooking and my go-to resource for healthy and great tasting recipes is the Cooking Light bulletin board, where people who love cooking healthful meals go to review, and recommend recipes that were successful in their kitchen. Often times I will follow recipes quite closely, although I do trust my judgment to make substitutions that I feel will enhance a recipe, or allow me to use the ingredients that I have on hand.

The summer is full of experimentation in my kitchen because I have the time. Teaching summer school allows for many hours of culinary research and the slow, relaxed pace of the summer months often foster new recipes that will be repeated. Terry and I took the new puppy to the farmers market in Irvine on Saturday and we walked away with a plethora of fresh vegetables, much to my delight. (Terry is slowly coming around to eating green things, although it has taken a few years!)

I created a post on the Cooking Light BB asking for help because I was feeling less than creative on Sunday afternoon. The post stated that I had fresh green beans, tomatoes, red onions, broccoli, zucchini, and boneless skinless chicken breasts, as well as many different starches to choose from. A quick response came from Stefania4 who gave me an EXCELLENT idea, she replied “I'd consider a modified chicken parmesan; grill your chicken and caramelize a few slices of onion. Then serve the chicken with a great slice of fresh tomato, ribbons of basil if you have it, and the grilled/caramelized onion. Top with a slice of cheese and throw under the broiler for a minute or two. Green beans on the side.” This is why I love this site, what a great suggestions, I took it and ran with it!

I thought the idea of veggies hidden under cheese was great, and I thought that the addition of zucchini would enhance the dish even further. I searched for a chicken marinade that I thought would compliment the veggies that I would be working with. I found a Lemon Rosemary Marinade recipe posted by Canice from the Joy of Cooking. I used way more garlic than the marinade called for because I am a garlic fanatic, I also used dried Rosemary because I had none fresh available. Once I pulled it all together it went a little something like this:

Chicken and Veggie Stack Topped With Cheese


Two Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded ¼ inch thick, soaked in Lemon Rosemary Marinade (recipe to follow.)

Cooking spray

2 large medium slices of red onion

6 thin slices of zucchini

4 medium slices of tomato

2 handfuls of shredded Mozzarella Cheese




*Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

*Using an outdoor grill or gill pan, cook chicken until it is done, set aside.

*Spray onion and zucchini slices with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

*Grill onion slices and zucchini slices until just tender.

*Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

*Place the chicken on the baking sheet and top each piece with grilled onions, grilled zucchini and tomato slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

*Top each stack with a handful of cheese.

*Bake on the top rack of your oven until the cheese melts.

*Remove and enjoy!

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Marinade

The Joy of Cooking

1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pressed (or very finely minced) garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

I served these Chicken and Veggie Stacks with Cheese with a side of steamed green beans sprinkled with garlic and lemon and store bought Mac n’ cheese! Terry proclaimed that this was one of the best tasting meals that I have ever made for him, AND he ate the veggies! (He did skip over one piece of zucchini that he claimed, “fell off the stack.”) Cousin Timmy backed up Terry’s statement when he literally swooned over a bite that I gave him off of my plate. All in all, this is a definite repeater, and worthy of serving to company as it is not only tasty, but impressive looking.

Give this one a try, you won't be disappointed!



Joe said...

Welcome to the blogging world Heather! Hope to see more posts!

Heather Williams said...

Thanks Joe! That means so much coming from the Master!! Have a wonderful day!!


Helios said...

Welcome to blogging. Love Figgins, both the puppy and the name. What a great name for a dog!

Heather Williams said...

helios, Thank you so much! This little guy has made us so happy, and I just HAD to name him after my favorite baseball player of all time!