Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicken with Quinoa Dinner

Do you ever get so busy you forget to think about dinner? Or forget to take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw?

That happened to me yesterday. Now what? Ah-hah! I made it work and it turned out quite delicious!

This was my husband's dinner. My son has to leave early on Monday nights for band rehearsal so he and I ate earlier.

I remembered about 2:00 to take the chicken out of the freezer. (Oops!) I let it thaw on the counter top (I know, that's a no-no) until about 4:30. It was still pretty solid so I ran it under cool water for a minute then realized that was not going to work.

I thought about an old recipe I have for sweet and sour chicken where the chicken is cut into chunks before cooking. I played on that theme.

I sliced the mostly frozen chicken into thin strips and put them in an even layer on the cutting board. I sprinkled them with salt (it's a melter, right) and let them sit for a few minutes while I started the quinoa.

I put the chicken into a skillet with enough water to cover, brought it to a boil and let it simmer (covered) for about 5 minutes.

I drained the water and put the chicken on a plate.

In the same skillet I added some olive oil, a sliced carrot (I'll add 2 or 3 next time - not baby carrots) and a small sliced onion (also wasn't enough), and sauteed them for a few minutes. I added salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme. I looked for sage to add, but I'm out.

I added the chicken and let it fry for a few minutes until it was done.

My son and I had a Caprese salad on the side, but I added the tomatoes to the quinoa for my husband.

That's it! Easy, quick and took care of the frozen chicken!

Naturally, you can add whatever veggies you like or have on hand. That's just how I cooked last night...dug to see what there was. I could've added some purple cauliflower or Brussels sprouts for better color variety, but I just didn't feel like messin' with it.

You could also do this with brown rice or baked potatoes.

And mix up the spices however you like. I might do this with more of a Mexican flair next time.

What ways do you have for preparing frozen chicken in a hurry? Any? How have you used what you have on hand to throw together a meal? I'd love to know I'm not the only one who forgets to thaw chicken!

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