Breathe new life into chicken breasts

Chicken breasts are easy cook, easy to freeze, and often on sale – qualities that make them a staple in almost any pantry. But over time, the same old recipes can get boring. To avoid this, try something new and flavorful with your next package of breasts.

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White Chicken Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 4-ounce can diced jalapeno peppers
1 4-ounce can chopped green chili peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
3 15-ounce cans white beans
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add onion; slowly cook and stir onion until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chili peppers, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

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Salsa Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts, and pour salsa over all. Bake until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear, about 25 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired, and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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Garlic Chicken

Garlic Chicken
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish. Bake until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear, about 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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Pantry Pointers

A food thermometer is the most reliable way to check any meat. For chicken breasts, the desired internal temperature is 165 degrees. As with all meats, personal preference may dictate a longer cooking time to reach the desired taste, appearance, and texture.

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