There's yet another storm that the weatherman is predicting to hit us hard in Baltimore. What is that going to do for your Superbowl party? Nothing. You will still host the best party out there, or bring the best dish to the party you are attending. Today we're going to focus on the lighter side of football feasts. You ask, "Is there a light side? I thought it was all pizza and beer!" If you remember from yesterday's article, we made pizza, but it was a LIGHT pizza. Today we're going to go back to one of my favorite foods, chicken, and make two absolutely delicious dishes that even your significant other can enjoy (and help you cook).
Our first dish is Shredded Chicken Pitas. I love the versatility of chicken, and how it clings to any flavor you want. I don't normally cook with onions and green peppers because of my husband's sensitive stomach, but for this dish, they are a necessity! To serve 2 people, you will need 2 whole wheat pitas (sold at your local Wal-Mart in packages of six), 1/2 of a green pepper without seeds, 1/4 of a sweet onion, and 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You will also need onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. For the dressing, you will need extra virgin olive oil, and don't forget the mozzarella cheese to top it!
The first thing that you need to do is boil the chicken breasts until they are done. While the chicken is cooking, have your significant other dice the onion and green pepper. They don’t have to be finely diced, but they do need to be pretty small. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion with the green pepper. While you are doing this, have your significant other prepare the dressing. Use 8 tablespoons of the olive oil, 4 teaspoons each garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Once the chicken is fully cooked, strain it and let it cool to the touch. Pull each breast apart until it is shredded much like the cheese, and then put it in the frying pan with the onion and green pepper. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and heat it back up. Next, preheat your oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice your pitas in half and open them up. Toss, in a separate bowl, the chicken mixture, ¾ of the oil mixture, and ¼ of a bag of mozzarella cheese. Use this mixture to fill your pitas. Once your pitas are filled, have your significant other mix together in a bowl 1 cup of cheese with 3 tablespoons oregano. If you do not have oregano, substitute it with Italian seasoning. Glaze the pitas with the rest of the olive oil mixture and top with the cheese mixture. Bake until all of the cheese has melted.
Salad is a wonderful thing. I don’t eat much salad, but when I do, I love Lemon-Pepper Chicken Salad. You need to marinate the chicken overnight, but it is worth the trouble. For the marinade, you will need the juice of 3 lemons, 1 tablespoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon white pepper, and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. Mix the ingredients together well and place in a bag. Place 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders in the bagged mixture and shake. Place the bagged mixture in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
I like to use the bagged salad, so make sure you have some of that on hand. If you have a grill, that’s perfect. If not, that’s okay. For the lemon-pepper salad dressing, mix together 2 cups lemon juice, 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil, and 3 tablespoons pepper. You can use more pepper if you would like, but keep in mind that it is already on the chicken. While you are preparing the dressing, have your significant other either grill the chicken, adding lemon juice and pepper as necessary, or you can broil it, adding lemon juice and pepper as necessary. Top each salad with 3 slices of chicken and ¼ to ½ of the salad dressing. If you would like to add cheese, toss 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend (some stores call it pizza blend) with the zest of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss the cheese into the salad prior to adding the chicken and the dressing.
My last tip today is to enjoy yourself while cooking. It is not a chore, and when you add your spouse or significant other into the mix, it becomes less of a “chore” and more enjoyable for all parties involved. You can double or triple or even quadruple any of my recipes to make them for the big day! Enjoy!