Keeping perfectly proportioned chicken breasts on hand helps make dinner quick and easy, especially with recipes like Grilled Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts and Key West Chicken, with a Creamy Pear Pie for dessert.


Somehow planning dinner menus seem to have become more and more of a challenge for me. I just want an eye-appealing plate of aromatic food to appear magically before me when I’m hungry … no frantic searching for ingredients that I thought that I had (and didn’t), no messy kitchen to be cleaned … just a memorable meal ready to be savored.

I have discovered that by keeping a supply of Perdue’s Perfectly Portioned boneless chicken breasts in the freezer and a minimum of ingredients in the pantry, we really can have flavorful, creative meals that don’t require hours spent slaving over a hot stove. The two recipes that I share with you today can be prepared early in the day and cooked quickly over a grill when you want a quick meal. The individually wrapped and sealed breasts (five per sealed bag) are usually available either in the refrigerated chicken section of the supermarket or available frozen (nine in a cardboard box). These individual portions have been carefully trimmed and require only a quick rinse and pat dry with a paper towel before using.

Most boneless chicken breasts, especially Perdue’s perfectly portioned chicken breasts, will grill in a total of 12 to 15 minutes on a medium hot grill and little clean up is required. (After 12 minutes on the grill, test for doneness by plunging the tines of a fork into the thickest portion of the meat. If the juices run clear, the chicken is ready to eat. Don’t overcook.) The real “trick” (if you want to call it that) is to be sure that you have two toothpicks for each chicken breast for the Bacon Wrapped Breasts because you’ll definitely need them.

The two chicken recipes in this column come, as usual, from www.allrecipes.com, and we have thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them and I’ve placed them on my serve-to-company list, too. The Creamy Pear Pie recipe comes from the same source and it too can be quickly prepared and will add a pleasantly surprising end to your easily prepared meal. A delicious reward for your hard work in the kitchen! I made a few changes in the original recipe that I think you’ll enjoy.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts
(www.allrecipes.com)
1 cup good-quality dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons good-quality Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 slices of bacon for each chicken breast
2 toothpicks for each chicken breast

Combine wine, olive oil, mustard and black pepper in a re-sealable plastic bag or glass bowl and mix well. Add the chicken breasts and seal the bag. Toss bag so that breasts are well covered with marinade. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the breasts from the marinade and wrap strips of bacon around each breast trying not to overlap bacon and securing the bacon with the toothpicks. Place the chicken on the heated grill and discard the marinade. Turn the chicken pieces several times during the 12 to 15 minutes that it should take to cook them until the juices from the pierced chicken run clear. Bacon should be crisp but not burned. Rice and a salad or green vegetable can quickly complete this meal.

Key West Chicken
4 or 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice

In a shallow glass or ceramic container (or a resealable plastic bag), blend soy sauce, honey, oil and lime juice together. Place chicken breast halves into the mixture and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade and grill chicken for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Creamy Pear Pie
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
6 ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. In a large bowl toss pears with 1/3 cup brown sugar and 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Combine sour cream and extracts and gently fold into the pear mixture, mixing well. Pour into the unbaked pie shell. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over pears mixture. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350-degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes more or until the pears are tender. Keep an eye on the pie crust to be sure that it doesn’t become overly browned, adding a pie shield or aluminum strips of foil if needed. Cool to room temperature before cutting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.