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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: September is National Chicken Month

By Sherrie Norris

While most of us enjoy chicken, in some form or fashion nearly every week, if not every day, throughout the year, the chicken industry celebrates National Chicken Month every September. 

In recognition of this observance, chicken producers and grocery retailers have come together to offer additional promotions, partner with brands that are a great complement to chicken, and showcase delicious recipes. So join the celebration – it’s one of the easiest and most versatile food items we use – and healthy, too, if you prepare it the “right” way.

Loaded Chicken

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. paprika

4 large chicken breasts, skinless and boneless

4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided


2 cups broccoli, chopped

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.

Place chicken breasts on a plate and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil.

Rub seasoning mixture on olive oil-drizzled chicken and coat entirely.

Carefully cut out a wide pocket on side of each chicken breast, being sure not to cut all the way through.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cheese, cream cheese, garlic and remaining salt and pepper.

Stuff each chicken breast with cream cheese mixture filling.

In large oven-safe skillet, over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil.

Sear stuffed chicken breasts on each side, but don’t cook through. Depending on size of chicken pieces, two batches may be necessary for this step. Place seared breasts in skillet; transfer skillet to oven.

Bake chicken breasts until cooked through, about 25-35 minutes, and thermometer inserted in center reads 165 degrees F.

Crispy Herb Baked Chicken

2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

¾ -1 tsp. garlic salt

1 (3 to 3 ½ lb.) cut-up frying chicken, skinned if desired

1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease or line with foil and grease large baking pan. In medium bowl, combine potato flakes, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; stir until well mixed. Dip chicken pieces into margarine; roll in potato flake mixture to coat. Place in greased pan. Bake at 375°F. for 45 to 60 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear. Makes 4 to 5 servings

Chicken Piccata 

12 boneless, skinless medium-sized chicken breasts

1 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

4 Tbsp. olive oil

¾ cup fresh lemon juice

¾ cup white wine

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Cut chicken into strips. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Coat chicken strips in flour mixture. Use a large skillet to brown chicken strips for approximately 3 to 5 minutes in olive oil. Best to brown small amount of chicken at a time and then remove to a dish. After all chicken is browned, replace in skillet and sprinkle with lemon juice, wine, pepper and parsley. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Do not over cook. Serves 12.

Quick Company Chicken

¼ cup melted margarine

1 cup cracker crumbs

2 cups diced cooked chicken

1 cup sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

¼ cup broth or milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine margarine and cracker crumbs; blend well. Spoon half the crumbs into shallow 2-quart casserole; cover with chicken. Combine sour cream, soup, broth, salt and pepper; blend well. Pour over chicken; top with remaining crumbs. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Balsamic and Garlic Chicken Breasts

6 to 8 (4-5 oz. each) boneless chicken breasts 

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. olive oil

12 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed

½ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup chicken broth

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp. thyme

1 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. butter 

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Dredge in mixture of salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp. flour.

Brown chicken on one side in oil (in skillet) for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn chicken. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is brown. Stir in balsamic vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cook, covered over medium heat for 10 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to serving platter, keep warm. Stir 1 Tbsp. flour and butter into broth mixture. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Discard bay leaf. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve with wild rice.