Why did the chicken cross the road? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch! He was low in the pecking order. I’m feeling all cooped up. My goodness, I didn’t realize chickens were so embedded in the English vernacular until I got three of my own! 


They are a metaphor for life, clearly. Perhaps this is why they were my pandemic project alongside thousands of other Americans. Special shout out to The Joplin Globe’s own Amanda Stone, for mentoring me in this addiction. She’s the Mother Hen, and my Rosie, Bella, and Pepper are better birds because of her! 


Chicken is a blank canvas. Not inherently full of flavor, they take on your favorite spices and marinades like champs. And they are super affordable compared to other meats. Following are two delicious chicken meals that are easy to prepare and pack a punch. Teriyaki is classic, and the creamy Tuscan chicken looks long, but is simple. Just take your time. Don’t get your feathers ruffled! Both have incredible sauces for the chicken to swim in. Wait, do chickens swim? Have a good dinner.


Teriyaki Chicken


Serves 4




4 chicken fillets or boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/4 cup olive oil


Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce 

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cornstarch


Garnish (optional)

green onions

sesame seeds

Asian chili sauce




Whisk together all of the Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add 1/2 (eye ball it) to a large freezer bag and whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add chicken and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Refrigerate remaining Teriyaki Sauce (will become your Sauce) separately.


When ready to cook, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

Marinate chicken for 30 minutes at room temperature while you prep your veggies.  Discard marinade and pat chicken dry.


Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken and desired vegetables and stir fry until golden, but not cooked through. Add sauce and continue to cook until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through.


Spoon over your favorite cooked rice or noodles.




Creamy Tuscan Chicken


Serves 4





4 thin sliced chicken breasts

3 tablespoons flour

1 tsp each salt, garlic powder, onion powder

1/2 tsp each paprika, pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoon olive oil


Sauce & Potatoes

1 pound baby potatoes halved (quartered if large)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes

1 can quartered, drained artichokes

1 shallot or small onion, minced or diced

4 garlic cloves minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk + 1 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil (or 1 tablespoon each fresh)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper




Place potatoes and 1/3 cup water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes (potatoes should barely be fork tender). Drain and pat dry; set aside.


Pat the breasts dry. Whisk the flour and all chicken seasoning together in a shallow dish. Dredge each breast in the mixture, shake off any excess, then transfer to a dry surface.

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook for 4-5 (depending on thickness) per side until golden and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate, don't wipe out skillet.


Reduce heat to medium and add one tablespoon oil. Once hot, add tomatoes, artichokes, shallots and potatoes; sauté until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low and stir in heavy cream; mix chicken broth with cornstarch and add to the skillet. Stir in all of the sauce seasonings. 

Bring sauce to a simmer while scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan; simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency, stirring often. 


Once thickened, reduce heat to medium-low. Push potatoes to the side of the pan and stir in Parmesan cheese. Cook, while stirring until melted, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Add chicken and warm through to soak up the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.


-Both recipes adapted from Carlsbad Cravings