Poultry

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Monday! This week I’m kicking it off with an easy and healthy dinner recipe – zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) and chicken sausage in vodka sauce! This was the very first recipe I made with my KitchenAid spiralizer attachment. Currently, this is the most used attachment I have for my mixer. I love noodling vegetables! Firstly, because this thing cranks out the veggie noodles so fast. Secondly, something about the noodle shape makes me want to eat all the veggies. Probably because I have a noodle obsession.

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve made curly-q potatoes, beet noodles, sweet potato noodles and even apple curly-q’s, but zucchini noodles are the ones I go back to time and time again. The best part of this veggie noodle craze is that even if you don’t have a spiralizer I’ve seen prepared spiralized veggies in every grocery store I’ve been in, from Whole Foods to Market Basket to Stop & Shop. So convenient! However, as with most prepared foods, they are pricier than buying the veggies whole and preparing them yourself so I would highly recommend getting a spiralizer, whether it’s a hand held one or the KitchenAid attachment.

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

This dish is a great weeknight meal especially because it is made all in one pan. Check out this handy how-to graphic I made!

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

First, the zoodles get sautéed with some seasoning. It only takes a few minutes because they’re so thin and noodly. After you take the zucchini noodles out, you sauté some sliced chicken sausage, add the vodka sauce to warm it up, toss with the zucchini noodles and serve. Done! After sprinkling with Parmesan, of course.

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I promise that even the least experienced cook out there can nail this. I love cooking, but most weeknights I want dinner to be done as quickly as possible so Matt and I can have the rest of the night to get stuff done and relax. This meal is one of our go-to dinner recipes for a reason! Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Zucchini Noodles & Chicken Sausage in Vodka Sauce
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 medium zucchinis, ends removed
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 chicken sausages (I use Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage)
  • ¾ - 1 cup vodka sauce or preferred marinara sauce, depending on how saucy you like it
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
Directions
  1. Wash and dry the zucchinis then spiralize them using your desired method. Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini noodles and season with the garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the zoodles until cooked through, but still al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove the zoodles from the pan.
  2. Drain and wipe any liquid from the pan then return it to medium heat with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Slice the chicken sausages and add to the pan. Cook until lightly browned. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the vodka sauce. Stir and let warm then add the zucchini noodles. Toss to coat then divide between two bowls. Top with the Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Notes
Zucchinis retain a lot of water so if you have leftovers they will most likely be watery when you reheat them. These are best eaten right after being prepared.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have huge news to share with you today. Huge! Among my overflowing collection of cookbooks, this chicken cordon bleu recipe from Cook This, Not That! is my absolute favorite. There may certainly be recipes I have that I crave more or that are more awe-inducing (cue my large dessert cookbook category), but when you compare those to a delicious, healthy, looks-fancy-but-only-took-me-30-minutes dinner? Game over, chicken cordon bleu for the win.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Gooey melted cheese, savory ham, moist chicken, crunchy breadcrumb coating, and creamy honey mustard sauce all work together to create weeknight meal perfection.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

When you make this dish your family and friends will think, “Wow, such a fancy meal! Such technique! He/she really pulled out all the stops for me!” When what you actually did was secretly quite simple.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

First, you pounded out the boneless skinless chicken breasts until they were about ¼ inch thick. Think about that aggravating e-mail you got at work or that jerk that cut you off right before the stoplight and whack away with your meat mallet! If you want to save a little bit of time this step could be done the night before. Then layer two slices of ham and one slice of Swiss cheese on the cutlet.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Completely roll up the chicken from the short end. It’s okay if some cheese or ham is poking out. Then dredge the whole rolled chicken in flour, then beaten egg, then panko bread crumbs. This part sounds bizarre and complicated, but just make sure you hold the chicken roll tight and you’ll be just fine. Bake the breaded chicken roll for 18 minutes and you’re done!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Well as soon as you smother it in easy homemade honey mustard sauce… jeez Louise, pass me a fork!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chicken cordon bleu
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 thin slices deli ham
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
for the honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Directions
for the chicken cordon bleu
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside. Place the flour, egg and panko each in their own bowl and set aside.
  2. Place 1 chicken breast on a cutting board and cover the chicken with plastic wrap. Pound the chicken until ¼” thick with a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Repeat for the remaining 3 chicken breasts.
  3. Layer 2 slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each chicken cutlet. Working one at a time, carefully roll up the cutlet from short end to short end. It’s okay if some of the ham and cheese is sticking out. Holding on tight to the rolled up cutlet, dip it in the flour bowl until completely coated, making sure to get the ends as well. Then dip in the egg mixture to completely coat, make sure the excess egg drips off. Finally, completely coat the rolled chicken in the panko bowl. I usually use my other hand to help coat and press the panko onto the chicken. Place the breaded chicken seam side down on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the cutlets.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the breading is golden. Serve hot with the honey mustard sauce.
for the honey mustard
  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice and dijon mustard then adjust according to personal taste.
Notes
If you want the bottom of your chicken cordon bleu to be crispy as well, you can spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray then place on top of the baking sheet. I normally don’t do this, but I thought I would mention it.

Recipe slightly adapted from Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals.

New England Classic Quesadilla

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m going to jump right to the point here with this post. It is the last post in my apple series and I wanted a recipe that would blow your socks off. My alma mater, Boston College, has some unbelievable sandwiches. They spark constant debates, long lines and even extensive blog posts.

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, there is no denying that the New England Classic Panini is among the top contributions to society that this New England college has ever shared. Turkey breast, slices of Granny Smith apple, creamy honey mustard and sharp cheddar cheese come together in sandwich perfection. The sandwich is pressed until the cheese is gooey, which is of course the best way cheese can be consumed.

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boston College’s version, and the reason it is so remarkable, is the special cranberry-apple bread they serve it on. I do not have their amazing bread so instead of trying to completely replicate the New England Classic I decided to make my own spin on it. This quesadilla brought me right back to the dining hall and I was so absorbed in how delicious it tasted I devoured it with unusual speed.

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

The crispy fried tortilla envelopes the turkey, apple, honey mustard and cheddar cheese perfectly. Tartness from the Granny Smith, saltiness from the cheddar and creaminess from the honey mustard come together in sweet lip-smackin’ harmony. If you really want to get fancy with it you could grab some cranberry sauce for dipping. Okay fellow Eagles, it’s your turn:  what do you crave the most from BC dining?

New England Classic Quesadilla  |  Lemon & Mocha

New England Classic Quesadilla
 
Yield: 1 quesadilla
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard, plus more if desired
  • ⅓ cup shredded yellow extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices deli turkey
  • ¼ Granny Smith Apple, peeled & thinly sliced
Directions
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat.
  2. Spread the honey mustard all over one side of the tortilla then place in the skillet, honey mustard side up. Evenly sprinkle the cheese all over the honey mustard so it’s completely covering the tortilla. Place a lid or splatter screen over the skillet to help the cheese melt.
  3. Once the cheese is melted evenly place the turkey slices so they are covering the whole tortilla. Evenly place the apple slices on one half of the tortilla. Carefully use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high to crisp the exterior of the quesadilla. Watch carefully, this should only take a minute or two. Once browned, flip the quesadilla to crisp up the other side. When the quesadilla is browned on both sides remove from the heat. Let sit for a minute or two then cut into sections before serving.
Notes
To make your own honey mustard mix together 1 tablespoon honey, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons dijon mustard. Adjust honey-mayo-mustard ratio according to taste.

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember my Uncle Rob from the filet tailgate sandwiches with whiskey marinade? Well he is a multi-talented man. In addition to grilling up delicious tailgate eats he also harvests honey! As in he has bees in the backyard and a complete beekeeper’s suit. “Rob’s Love Nectar”- check it out! I may be afraid of the bees, but I certainly love their honey.

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings  |  Lemon & Mocha

Recently Uncle Rob mailed me a big bottle of his honey so I decided to make a series of honey posts out of it. These sticky and sweet honey baked wings are the first of four honey installments and are definitely the best way to kick off this series.

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was am will-always-be obsessed with these wings. The marinade consists of honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and rice wine vinegar to create a balanced flavor profile. The honey caramelizes while the wings are baking in the oven and makes these bad boys incredibly addictive. Finger-lickin’-can’t-breathe-too-busy-eating addictive.

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings  |  Lemon & Mocha

They are also extremely low maintenance as you can just stick them in the oven and let the magic happen. I was very nervous to break down the wings myself, but after a couple snips with a pair of kitchen shears I had the process down.

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings  |  Lemon & Mocha

Currently Rob’s Love Nectar is only available through personal gifting, but shop local honey and support your neighboring beekeepers! Also honey pollinated from bees local to your area is said to help with seasonal allergies so that’s another reason to source your honey locally.

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 pounds chicken wings & drumettes
  • 1 scallion, chopped, for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9" x 13" with nonstick tin foil and set aside.
  2. Combine the soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan with a whisk. Bring the honey mixture to a boil then simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place the split chicken wings in the prepared pan. Pour the heated honey mixture over the wings then toss to coat.
  4. Bake the chicken wings for about 1 hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the skin has darkened. Garnish wings with scallions and sesame seeds before serving.
Notes
To break down the wings follow the steps below:
*Clip off the wing tip at the knuckle using a pair of kitchen shears. Dispose the wing tip or save for homemade chicken stock.
*Make a small snip in the fat between the wing and the drumette so it's easier to get to the joint.
*Cut the knuckle between the wing and the drumette to separate them.
*Cut off any excess fat.

Recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck.

Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms and Artichokes

I am shocked and I hope you are utterly disappointed in me. This is only the third pasta recipe that has been posted on Lemon & Mocha. The nerve of me! Pasta is one of my all-time favorite foods. I certainly can’t pick a single favorite because that would be like choosing between children or classic Nickelodeon shows, but pasta is way high up there on the list. So it is only fitting that this post featuring Lemon & Mocha’s second ever pasta recipe is also commemorating another special day: Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and I wanted to do something special. I am a firm believer in thinking positive, looking for the good in the bad and trusting life’s course. So I can only say that I am both lucky and blessed to have, and have had, three amazing mothers in my life.

Today I am posting this savory linguine with chicken, mushrooms and artichokes dish to celebrate my wonderful stepmom. As you learned back on her birthday, many of my favorite foods and ingredients are the result of my stepmom and her determination to have me eat something other than macaroni and fish sticks for the rest of my life.

This dish is my interpretation of one she used to make to get us to try new things. I know you probably think I’m being ridiculous, but my dad, brother and I were not initially familiar with shredded chicken in pasta and mushrooms on our plate. The original dish had olives, but I substituted artichokes, another food my stepmom opened my eyes to. I am so thankful to have such a great supporter, caring person and friend in my life. Sometimes the best mothers in your life are the ones that don’t go by “mom”, but love you just the same.

Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms and Artichokes
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound split skinless chicken breasts, bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 12 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 26-ounce jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, about 4 leaves
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • ½ pound cooked linguine
Directions
  1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown it, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium on the stockpot and add the remaining olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Push the mushrooms to the side so that there’s room on the bottom of the stockpot and return the chicken to the pot.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and sugar. Lightly stir then bring the pot to a boil before covering and reducing to a simmer on medium-low heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  4. Keeping the sauce warm, remove the chicken, shred off the bone with 2 forks, then return to the sauce. Add the artichokes, basil and Parmesan to the sauce. Add the linguine and stir to coat. Serve topped with fresh Parmesan, if desired.