Chicken is a cinch to make, and you can do pretty much anything with it. In particular, you can cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts relatively quickly, especially when you slice them thin. Whether you bake, microwave, steam, saute, stir fry, broil or grill the chicken, the only requirement is that you cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees for safety reasons. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat to check to see if it's done.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are versatile and go well with an array of other ingredients. They are low-fat, which is good but makes them prone to drying out. Cooking them in some type of sauce will help retain moisture. You can make an easy sweet-and-sour sauce from ketchup, brown sugar and pineapple juice. Pour it over the chicken and bake. Or, try a honey mustard chicken by pouring some Italian dressing over the breasts, sprinkling them with minced garlic and dried mustard, then drizzling honey over them. You can also saute the boneless, skinless chicken breasts by browning them in olive oil and butter, then adding chicken broth and ranch-flavored seasoning mix.
Rice, noodles and potatoes are all great accompaniments for your chicken. Serve the sweet-and-sour chicken over rice, the honey mustard chicken with mashed potatoes and the sauteed chicken with buttered egg noodles. Though they are not quite the same as the made-from-scratch kind, instant rice and instant mashed potatoes are viable options when time is an issue. Another quick idea is to make a box of stuffing to go with your dish. Other non-starchy foods you can serve with chicken breasts include applesauce, grilled pineapple or sauteed mushrooms and onions.
All kinds of vegetables can enhance chicken. Choose yours according to how you decide to cook the chicken and what tastes best to you and your family. You might make a salad topped with creamy dressing for one dish, broccoli for another or green beans for yet another. You can also put chopped, raw vegetables on the table, such as baby carrots, celery sticks, green onions or broccoli, along with a bowl of ranch dip. This is a good way to entice kids to eat their veggies, because many kids think everything tastes better dipped in ranch.
Because chicken can be a hearty meal, desserts should be on the lighter side. After having browned, sauteed chicken and egg noodles, a wedge of watermelon might hit the spot, especially on a warm summer night. A small dish of sherbet and gelatin with whipped cream are real kid-pleasers. And if you don’t have time to dish ice cream or make gelatin, a couple of gourmet cookies will also make a nice culmination to your meal.
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