Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quick meal: Chicken Parm Arancini

While I'm not one of those people who gripes much about the time change, I must say it makes for horrible lighting conditions when you decide you're going to take an impromptu photo session as you're making dinner.

I'm not the Pioneer Woman or some other blogger with the resources to carefully light each and every shot because this is real life yo.  Not that her life isn't real but yeah, I don't have a ranch with huge windows to let in natural light.  I have a two butt kitchen with one average sized window in the kitchen and a boob light as my other source of illumination after dark.

So if you'll excuse the newbie looking pics, I can show you a super quick recipe for..



I should've just named this Trader Joe's Italian Dish because everything I typically use for it is all procured at the Joe of Traders.


For dinner for two, you'll need:

8 ounces of chicken (either one breast or several tenderloins)
1 cup of TJ's Organic No Salt Added Marinara Sauce
1 box of TJ's Arancini Bites
2 tablespoons of TJ's Parmesan, Romano and Asiago shaved cheese
Various no salt spices

You get 12 arancini's per box.


If you don't know what arancini balls are, they are little balls of rice with fontina cheese in the middle with a breading on the outside.  Baked balls o' heaven.

If you're into recycling like me, the tray they come in are perfect for small gatherings to serve something like cake balls or buckeyes.  Just wash it up, maybe wrap a strip of pretty scrapbooking paper around the edges...DONE.


I like to put them on a rack when I bake them but you don't have to if you don't have one.


I had one whole chicken breast left from another dinner so I used it instead of the tenderloins but I usually use 2-3 of those for this recipe.  I butterflied the chicken breast in half so it was 4 ounces each and added some fresh ground pepper, rosemary and garlic powder.


Then it was time to slap 'em in the skillet.  That's a technical term.


While that was cooking, I was getting the sauce ready.  While I love their low salt marinara, it lacks on the flavor front a bit.  So I add 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning and 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper.


I mix it up and microwave it for about a minute.

The chicken is almost ready for another guest to the party.


I add the sauce to the chicken skillet and turn the heat down to medium low for 5 minutes.


When the arancini is done baking according to manufacturers instruction, arrange half of them in a little triangle.


This isn't just for presentation but to give the chicken a good base to sit on.

Add your chicken breast to the top.


Split the sauce and top the chicken and arancini.


Add a tablespoon of the parm mix to the top and around the edges for garnish.


Add scallions or parsley as well if you want to get fancy pants.  I didn't have any.  *kicks pebble*

Enjoy the cheesy Italian goodness in no more than 20 minutes!


Delicious, filling and at under 550 calories, it totally feels naughty but it's nice!

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15 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorites and I like that it's pretty fast for you so you don't have to spend much time but it's still yummy and healthy. If anyone is unsure about arancini, just get the bites at TJ's - you'll be very happy that you did!

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    1. One of my faves too! So easy, so yummy and I feel like we're at a good Italian restaurant!

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  2. Oooh cool! My son will love this.

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  3. That looks so yummy. I've never heard of those arancini balls but I'll have to look for them.

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  4. Looks delicious. I see a trip to Trader Joe's in my future.

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  5. Looks so delicious! I've never heard of those arancini balls either, but I'd love to try them. Not much chance of finding that in Newfoundland though, lol. Costco possibly??

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    1. I'm going to try to make them myself so when I perfect the recipe, I'll post it! I'm thinking they could be great to make in batches and have available for parties! Plus I'm cheap!

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  6. Um, YUMMY. I wish I could hire you to cook for me at all times! :)

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    1. LOL, well luckily this is so quick, you'd barely notice the time to prepare it!

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  7. This looks really yummy! Chicken parm is one of my top 5 favorite dishes of all time. Delish!

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  8. Saw your link to this older post on FB. Love this idea -- we don't eat much meat these days, but I can totally see it with mushrooms or even white beans in the sauce. Yum! Did you ever come up with a homemade version of the arancini? Thanks for sharing your walk with us - you and your hubs are so encouraging to me and mine!

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    1. Absolutely! Lots of ways to make this baby meatless! I have not yet mastered homemade arancini but it's on the to do list for sure! Thanks so much for the kind words!

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