Chopped in Zesty’s Kitchen

by zesty on April 28, 2010 · 15 comments

Welcome to my kitchen for a little mid week Wednesday fun! Do you ever watch the show chopped on the Food Network – I happen to LOVE it. Here is the premise if you are not familiar.

“Chopped” the Show

The series challenges four up-and-coming chefs to turn a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal. After each course, a contestant gets “chopped” until the last man or woman left standing claims victory. Each week, a rotating panel of culinary elite judges decide whose dishes shine the brightest and award the winner $10,000.

Here is my spin on the whole version of mystery basket of ingredients and a 45 minute time frame to complete the entree.


  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup slivered almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Warm a large saute pan over medium heat and add oil, tomatoes and garlic – cook down for about 5 minutes
  3. Add basil and remove from heat.
  4. Lay the chicken on parchment/wax paper and another piece on top and hammer the chicken using a heavy blunt object. I chose a big pan.
  5. Once flattened to your desired consistency, start adding the filling and rolling/folding the chicken over. Once complete, you can top with the almonds or roll your chicken in them depending on how tight your roll is…. mine was kind of loose. I was rushing for the time clock.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan and sear on both sides until brown.
  7. Add chicken to a oven safe baking pan and complete the cooking process; about 20 minutes.
  8. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: I really feel the key to this dish is searing the chicken prior to roasting it in the oven. The tomato and garlic combination as well as the almonds create a flavor on the outside. The last thing you want is to have a dry flavorless chicken which can easily happen.

Well there you have it! A super fun game to play in your kitchen and really focus on keeping it simple but not sacrificing flavor. Overall, What is your favorite food to cook of all time? I am going to dedicate an entire post to this but I just wanted to throw the question out there. Have a super Wednesday and I will see you

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all on Friday for yet another salad post by zesty. Can you believe this health kick I am on? – I am loving it!

Take care


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 brandi

I love Chopped! Such a fun show.


2 Danica

Ha ~ I LOVE Chopped, but, you didn’t give yourself a Mystery funky ingredient :D I participated in a Blogger Chopped Challenge Last Summer and it was so fun. I had to use Filet Mignon, Egg Noodles and Strawberries in one dish.

Here is what I made – it turned out surprisingly good!

You should host a CHOPPED EVENT challenge and feature some of your readers – that would be FUN :D

Ok…rambling…Your chicken looks AMAZING and HEALTHY…I have to agree – it’s all about the sear and sometimes the grill marks before roasting. I really think that caramelizes the flavors.

Great dish Z!

P.S. I Like your new Favicon :D


3 ZestyCook

Thanks Dani,
That would be a good idea with the CHOPPED EVENT.


4 Kalynskitchen

I’d say this turned out really well!


5 ZestyCook

Thanks Kalyn… it did taste good!


6 Liz

Recipe looks great — what temperature did you put your oven at for baking?


7 ZestyCook

Liz – 350 degrees.


8 Faraz

looks amazing. can’t wait to try it out.


9 Naomi (onefitfoodie)

i LOVE how simple this is! i am always on the lookout for new chicken recipes that are delicious and EASY!! thank you! :)


10 RhodeyGirl

Looks delicious! Am LOVING the health kick!


11 Earl

Looks great. Some good stuff left in that pan. What about deglazing the pan with chicken stock [corn starch?] and a bit of white wine [cooked down] to pour over chicken?


12 ZestyCook

Earl, I do agree with de-glazing the pan but for this particular instance I was looking to reduce the fat in the dish and keep it lean.


13 katklaw777

My fave food to cook of all time would have to be chili…it’s such a everything but the kitchen sink recipe and I have never, never made it the same way twice.
It always has a comb of different beans and clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry ingredients. It’s comfort food and can be topped so many ways, or be put on top of so many things. Luv it!
Second fave would have to be omelets for all the same reasons as above, it’s so versatile.
Chicken looks delish, great pics.


14 Jenny

I noticed in the directions you mention basil but it’s not on the list of ingredients. How much, fresh, chopped, whole? Thanks Zesty!


15 ZestyCook

Jenny, sorry about that – I just went with some fresh basil pulled apart with my fingers – maybe about two leaves.


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