Artichoke Pesto Chicken Pasta

Pasta is always good for my hungry crew after work, football practice, and a long day of school.  Almost as good as the flavor is the fact that I can make this Pesto Chicken Pasta in less than 30 minutes when I use rotisserie chicken and pre-made pesto sauce.  ~Tracy

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Artichoke Pesto Chicken Pasta
    Ingredients:
  • ~2 T. butter
  • ~½ c. finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • ~2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ~¼ c. flour
  • ~½ tsp. salt
  • ~½ tsp. black pepper
  • ~½ c. 1% milk
  • ~1 ½ c. chicken broth
  • ~3 T. jarred pesto (I like Barilla)
  • ~half of a 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and roughly chopped
  • ~1 ½ c. chopped white meat chicken, I use chopped chicken breast from rotisserie chickens
  • ~1 lb. pasta, cooked in salted water according to package directions (I used Campanelle pasta)
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in large, deep skillet.
  2. Add garlic and onion, sauteing for a few minutes until onions begin to become tender.
  3. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine with onions and garlic.
  4. Add milk and continue stirring until forms a thick paste with the flour.
  5. Gently stir in the chicken broth until forms a thickening sauce.
  6. Stir in jarred pesto and chopped artichoke hearts.
  7. Add chopped chicken and cooked pasta stirring to combine well.
  8. Serve topped with shredded or sliced parmesan.

WW Info.: This recipe makes about 8, one-cup servings. Each serving is 9 WW Freestyle points not accounting for parmesan cheese topping.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/10/04/artichoke-pesto-chicken-pasta/

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Creole Chicken

Ever since we watched the famed chef Justin Wilson cooking with our Pappaw (Dad’s dad) as little girls, I’ve loved Creole and Cajun foods.  I may have even done my best to narrate my cooking with that awesome accent of his now and then, but I digress.  This Creole chicken is a well flavored, mildly spicy, new family favorite.  ~Kathy

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Creole Chicken

Weight Watchers Info.: When weighed with sauce, makes 6 six-ounce servings that are 3 points each. (Count rice separately to figure points for your preferred type and quantity if serving over rice.)

    Ingredients:
  • ~4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (about 2 lbs.)
  • ~¾ c. onion, diced
  • ~1 T flour
  • ~1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • ~1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • ~1 c. shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdered kind)
  • ~2 tsp garlic powder
  • ~2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ~¼ tsp salt
  • ~⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ~½ tsp hot sauce
  • ~¼ tsp black pepper
  1. Trim fat from chicken and, if very large, cut breasts in half in order to expedite cooking.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (Note: there's no need for oil since your goal for now is to sear it anyway). Add the chicken, quickly browning on both sides (chicken will finish cooking later).
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan to a dish and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in onions, softening for about 3 minutes in the bit of chicken fat that cooked out. Then stir in flour, cooking and stirring for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and cheese. Stir in spices.
  5. Return chicken to the pan and reduce the heat, simmering for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Flip chicken over after about 12 minutes. Continue cooking until sauce has thickened a bit more and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165° F.
  6. May be served over rice or on its own.

Weight Watchers Info.: When weighed with sauce, makes 6 six-ounce servings that are 3 points each. (Count rice separately to figure points for your preferred type and quantity of rice.)

Note: If your chicken is extra, extra lean you may need about a teaspoon of olive oil when you saute the onions, but I don't normally need any to make this recipe.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/24/creole-chicken/

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

If you are anything like me you are always on the lookout for shortcuts in the kitchen.  In college, I used to religiously watch Sandra Lee on the Food Network show “Semi-Homemade.”  I loved that show!  Did anyone else watch that?  Her recipes seemed doable for the novice cook I was in my college days.  Frankly, I’m still not a pro, though I do know my away around the kitchen much more so than I did back then.  What I loved about Sandra’s cooking was that she uses some tips and tricks to make her recipes faster and with fewer ingredients.  Ain’t nobody got time to make everything from scratch.  Well, sometimes I do, but not on a school night.  “From scratch” recipes are for weekends.

Speaking of school nights, my kids started back to school recently.  Aren’t they cute?  I just love first day of school pictures!

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Coincidentally, I also started working full time at a new job the same week.  I haven’t worked full time in 10 years so this is going to be a big adjustment for our family.  One such adjustment is going to be with my meal-prep and weekday supper planning.

This is one of the recipes I have adapted to be semi-homemade.  Plus, it can be pre-prepped and thrown in the oven in minutes.  That’s my kind of week day supper!  Pop it in the oven and help the kids with homework while it cooks.  Meals like this are a life saver, I tell ya.  In the words of Sandra Lee, “Keep it simple, keep it smart, keep it semi-homemade.”   Couldn’t have said it better myself.  ~Erin

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole from Four Sisters Dish

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
    Ingredients
  • ~5-6 cups (about 6 breasts) cooked and chopped boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I boiled them.)
  • ~2 cups (12 oz.) smoked or baked ham, chopped
  • ~1 (15 oz.) jar Classico Light Alfredo
  • ~3 T. Dijon mustard
  • ~12 slices (about 4.25 oz) Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss cheese
  • ~2 c. Progresso Garlic & Herb breadcrumbs, divided
  • ~1/3 c. shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese
  • ~½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ~2 T. Land o’ Lakes Light butter, melted
  • ~Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 9”x13” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the chopped cooked chicken and ham with the alfredo sauce and mustard; stir well.
  4. Pour half the mixture into the casserole dish; spread into an even layer.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the garlic salt and melted butter; continue to work the butter into the crumbs until it resembles wet sand.
  6. Sprinkle a ½ cup of the breadcrumb mixture over the chicken/ham mixture.
  7. Top with the remaining chicken/ham mixture, a single layer of Swiss cheese slices, and the rest of the breadcrumbs.
  8. Spray the top of the breadcrumbs lightly with cooking spray to ensure even browning.
  9. Bake until bubbly and hot, about 40-45 minutes.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each serving is 9 SmartPoints on Freestyle.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/16/chicken-cordon-bleu-casserole/

Huli Huli Chicken

I’ve seen recipes floating around for Huli Huli chicken. I was intrigued by the name as much as anything else. Huli Huli Chicken is a traditional Hawaiian dish, generally grilled over mesquite wood or charcoal, basted with a slightly sweet sauce. The whole chicken is cooked on a spit over the grill.  Huli means turn, so the rotating spit is where the dish got its name.

Instead of a whole chicken (who has time to cook one of those!?) I used thighs, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded out to an even thickness) would be a great substitution.

Marinating, then basting while grilling the chicken and pineapple, provides great flavor that can’t be found elsewhere!  Now obviously I’m no Hawaiian food expert, but this recipe seems to have come straight from the islands!    ~Kathy

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Huli Huli Chicken
    Ingredients
  • ~ 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • ~ ¼ c. chicken broth
  • ~ I c. pineapple juice
  • ~ ½ c. soy sauce
  • ~ 3 T. brown sugar
  • ~ ½ tsp ginger paste (or ¼ tsp ground ginger)
  • ~ 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ~ 1 slice yellow onion, cut ½” thick
  • ~ ¼ c. Heinz chili sauce*
  • ~ ½ tsp salt
  • ~ ¼ tsp pepper
  • ~ Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • ~ 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 6 to 8 wedges
  1. In a large freezer ziptop bag, mix marinade (everything except chicken and pineapple); mix well.
  2. Reserve a ½ cup of marinade for basting; set aside.
  3. Place chicken thighs in bag and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  4. Grill chicken over medium heat, until internal temperature is 165˚F and no longer pink; baste both sides with reserved marinade while grilling. (Be sure not to contaminate marinade with raw chicken.)
  5. Cut pineapple in strips for grilling.
  6. Brush with marinade and grill over medium high heat for a few minutes per side.
  7. Can also be cooked in oven at 375˚F.
  8. Serve chicken with pineapple.

*Chili sauce is found in the condiment isle, near the ketchup.

Weight Watchers Info: This recipe makes 4 generous servings of marinated chicken thighs. Each serving is 6 points.

If boneless, skinless chicken breast is used in place of thighs, each serving is one point (for the marinade – chicken breast is zero on Freestyle).

(To figure the amount of marinade that would count toward WW points, I weighed the marinade before putting the chicken in, then weighed it again after marinating and basting, so I counted points only for the marinade that was used.)

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/07/23/huli-huli-chicken/

Chicken Nacho Mac & Cheese

I had this brainstorm at like midnight one night. Because that’s when you have your best recipe ideas…at midnight when the fridge starts calling your name. For the record, I didn’t get up and make this in the middle of the night, but I did grab my phone and add it to my notes for “recipe ideas.” Here’s how my thought process went: ‘What if two of my favorite foods, pasta & nachos, got married and had a baby? What would that be like???!!’ The answer is: AMAZING! I hopped on Pinterest to see if this already exists. Nope! Not that I could find. This is a one-of-a-kind original, people, and it’s everything I imagined. ~Erin

Chicken Nacho Mac & Cheese
    Ingredients
  • ~ 12 ounces rotini pasta
  • ~ 2 (10 oz. each) cans Mild Ro-tel tomatoes & green chilis, drained
  • ~ 1 (10 oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request cheddar soup, undiluted
  • ~ 1 c. Tostitos Salsa Con Queso (found I the chip isle)
  • ~ ¼ c. whole milk
  • ~ 1 ½ tsp. seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • ~ 1 c. 2% shredded Mexican cheese
  • ~ 2 - 4 T. chopped pickled jalapenos
  • ~ Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (one per person)
  • ~ 1 tsp. of low sodium taco seasoning per chicken breast
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Cook pasta, in salted water, according to instructions, until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, coat each side of the chicken breasts with ½ tsp. of taco seasoning (1 tsp. per breast) and grill (or cook in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray) until cooked through; set aside.
  3. Drain pasta and immediately add Ro-tel, canned cheddar soup, Tostitos Salsa Con Queso, milk, seasoned salt, and shredded Mexican cheese; stir over low heat until melted and well combined.
  4. Stir in jalapenos to taste. (I used 4 T. and it was pretty spicy – if you are sensitive to heat, leave them out completely.)
  5. Plate your desired serving size of nacho mac & cheese; slice one chicken breast per person and serve on top of the mac & cheese!

Weight Watchers info.: This mac & cheese recipe makes 12 servings of 5 ounces (about ¾ cup) each. Each serving is 6 SmartPoints. 2 servings (about 1 ½ cups) comes to 11 SmartPoints. (Crazy Weight Watchers recipe builder math 🙂 One chicken breast, including the 1 tsp. taco seasoning, is zero SmartPoints on Freestyle.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/07/12/chicken-nacho-mac-cheese/

Poppy Seed Chicken – Lightened Up

This casserole is great when you don’t have a lot of time to prep a meal.  I made this over the weekend and spent very little time in the kitchen.  I mean, I’d rather be in the kitchen than doing what I was doing, which was dusting the wooden blinds.  (Fun! – not)  How those things gather so much dust so fast is beyond me.  Anywho, I was able to boil my chicken while I dusted away.  After shredding the chicken and quickly mixing up the other ingredients, it was back in the oven while I dusted some more.  Easy for busy days.

This casserole is good comfort food for post-dusting tiredness.  Buttery Ritz topping?  Sign me up!  That’s the best part so don’t skimp on it.  My husband likes it over rice but, in my opinion, that detracts from the flavor so try it on its own first.  Pair it with some roasted veggies or a salad and BAM, you’ve got a good meal on the table.  ~Erin

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Poppy Seed Chicken – Lightened Up
    Ingredients
  • ~ 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ~ 2 cans (10.5 oz each) Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
  • ~ 1 ½ c. plain, fat free yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • ~ 1 tsp. salt
  • ~ ½ tsp. pepper
  • ~ 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ~ 2 T. poppy seeds
  • ~ 50 Ritz Crackers
  • ~ 4 T. light butter, melted (I use Land O’ Lakes Light.)
  • ~ Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Boil or bake the chicken until cooked through; shred or chop and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, yogurt, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and poppy seeds. Add chicken & stir until well combined.
  4. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray and spread chicken/soup mixture evenly in the pan.
  5. In a small bowl or a gallon zip lock baggie, crush the Ritz crackers and mix with the melted butter.
  6. Sprinkle the buttered cracker crumbs evenly over the top of the chicken & soup mixture.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until hot & bubbly and the crackers are golden brown.

Weight Watchers Info.: This makes 6 servings. Each serving is 8 SmartPoints on Freestyle.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/29/poppy-seed-chicken-lightened-up/

Curry Chicken Salad

I’ll be honest. It never would have occurred to me to make a chicken salad with curry. Then a couple of years ago the Sprouts near my office had a curry chicken salad when I was in for lunch.  The lovely golden color intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try. It was a surprisingly excellent choice, but theirs needed a little more heat, so I decided to give making my own recipe a go.  The first time I made it my middle schooler tried it with a lot of skepticism  — and loved it!

The celery and red bell pepper are both (as veggies go) a tiny bit sweet and crunchy, and they blend nicely with the warm flavors of the curry and turmeric.  Throw in cayenne pepper, or don’t depending on your spice preference, and you’ve got this beautiful curry chicken salad to share — or keep all to yourself.

This can be served on its own, but my favorite way to serve it is on a Hawaiian sweet roll as a sandwich.  It’s good on Flat Out Bread too for a healthier option, or, hey, my pre-schooler insists upon eating his chicken salads on crackers! My philosophy there as long as this picky kid is eating? “You do you, buddy!”   ~Robin

Curry Chicken Salad
    Ingredients:
  • ~2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken breast (about 7.5 oz.)
  • ~2 eggs
  • ~½ c. light mayo
  • ~⅓ c. diced red bell pepper
  • ~⅓ c. diced celery
  • ~1 tsp. curry powder
  • ~¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ~⅛ - ¼ of cayenne pepper, optional (depending on spice preference)
  1. Put 2 eggs on to boil (be sure to set a timer so you don’t forget about them as you prep other items).
  2. Wash, then dice the bell pepper and celery; set aside.
  3. Shred 2 cups of rotisserie chicken breast into a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add light mayo to chicken and mix thoroughly.
  5. Once eggs are boiled, peeled, and cooled, chop and add them to the mixture.
  6. Add curry and turmeric.
  7. Add cayenne pepper if you wish.
  8. Stir spices in well.
  9. Gently mix in celery and bell pepper

Weight Watcher’s Info: This recipe makes about four filling half-cup servings at 3 Freestyle SmartPoints each. Point total does not include bread -- or crackers.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/21/curry-chicken-salad-from-four-sisters-dish/

Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps

I love Thai food; peanut sauce is one of my favorite flavors. I mixed this Thai-style sauce up at home for a lighter version of the restaurant favorite. Served in a wrap with a slaw blend and grilled chicken, this makes a great lunch or summer supper! ~Erin

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First, mix the lime juice, honey, powdered peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger & sriracha in a small bowl.

Arrange each wrap with ½ of a sliced grilled chicken breast and about ½ a cup of slaw blend. This is the slaw mix I use but any broccoli slaw will work.

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Drizzle each with 1 T. peanut sauce and top with 5 grams (about a teaspoon) of chopped peanuts.

Wrap it up and enjoy!

Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps
    Ingredients:
  • ~ juice of one lime
  • ~ 1 T. honey
  • ~ 3 T. powdered peanut butter (I used PB2.)
  • ~ 1 T. low sodium soy sauce
  • ~ 1/8 tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger, optional (not pictured)
  • ~ A few drops of Sriracha, optional
  • ~ 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced (I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, & garlic powder.)
  • ~ Bagged slaw blend (I like the one that’s broccoli slaw, shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, carrots, and cabbage. Regular broccoli slaw would work too.)
  • ~ ¾ oz. (or 20 grams) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
  • ~ 4 wraps of choice (I use Ole Xtreme Low Carb High Fiber Wraps.)
  1. Mix lime juice, honey, powdered peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger & sriracha in a small bowl.
  2. Arrange each wrap with ½ of a sliced grilled chicken breast and about ½ a cup of slaw blend.
  3. Drizzle each with 1 T. peanut sauce and top with 5 grams (about a teaspoon) of chopped peanuts.
  4. Wrap it up and enjoy!

Weight Watchers Info: This makes 4 servings.

Peanut sauce = 2 Freestyle SmartPoints per Tablespoon. 5 grams chopped peanuts = 1 SmartPoint.

The chicken and slaw mix are both zero SmartPoints.

If you use the same wrap I did, they are 1 SmartPoint each.

Total per wrap: 4 Freestyle SmartPoints each!

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/10/thai-style-peanut-chicken-wraps/

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

Sometimes a change from the classics is a good thing.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  I LOVE a good, classic, tomato-y lasagna!  Well this is an upgraded, creamy, flavorful chicken version of lasagna.  Low-cal it is not, but it is comfort food at its finest.  I used rotisserie chicken, so this goes together in a flash.  Everyone at the table will be asking for seconds of this one!   ~Kathy

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Preheat oven to 375˚.

In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir in onion, green chilies, salsa verde and ¾ c. pepper jack cheese.  Combine well.

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In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chicken mixture.

Top with layer of lasagna noodles which have been pre-moistened with water (I just run them under a slightly running faucet).  Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture.  Spoon or pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, paying close attention not to skimp around the edges.  Drizzle about 1 ½ T. of chicken broth on each layer.  Top with a layer of shredded Mozzarella and pepper jack.

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Continue building casserole alternating between layers of dampened noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana, chicken broth and shredded cheeses.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.  Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Mexican Chicken Lasagna
    Ingredients
  • 3 c. cooked, shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 ½ c. shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (15 oz.) container Cacique Crema Mexicana (table cream)
  • 2 (7 oz.) cans fire roasted diced green chilies
  • 1 c. green taco sauce (or salsa verde)
  • 1/3 c. finely diced onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ c. chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 to 16 no-boil lasagna noodles (also called oven ready)
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚.
  2. In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in onion, green chilies, salsa verde and ¾ c. pepper jack cheese. Combine well.
  3. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chicken mixture.
  4. Top with layer of lasagna noodles which have been pre-moistened with water (I just run them under a slightly running faucet).
  5. Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture.
  6. Spoon or pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, paying close attention not to skimp around the edges.
  7. Drizzle about 1 ½ T. of chicken broth on each layer.
  8. Top with a layer of shredded Mozzarella and pepper jack.
  9. Continue building casserole alternating between layers of dampened noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana, chicken broth and shredded cheeses.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.
  12. Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/03/mexican-chicken-lasagna/

Marinated Chicken Tacos

Fire up the grill for this recipe! If you are familiar with fresh Mexican grill Costa Vida restaurant chain, this is a copycat recipe for their grilled chicken.  It is used in all their chicken entrees from burritos to salads. I absolutely LOVE their grilled chicken! This recipe is wonderful for anything you would use grilled chicken in, but my family’s favorite is tacos.  And it’s great because it is really quick to mix together; score one for me! You might even want to make a double batch, grilling and freezing some for a quick heat-up option another day!  ~Kathy

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Marinated Chicken Tacos
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 3 lbs. chicken breast
  • ~ ½ c. olive oil
  • ~ 1 heaping T. fresh garlic, finely minced
  • ~ 3 T. all purpose seasoning (I used a combo of original Mrs. Dash & Emeril’s Original Essence.)
  • ~ 1 T. kosher salt
  • ~ ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ~ ½ tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • ~ Juice of 2 lemons
  1. Pat chicken dry. Trim all fat and cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.
  2. Add all other ingredients in a large Ziplock freezer bag. Mix to combine well. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat chicken pieces completely.
  3. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; place on pre-heated, oiled grill. Grill on medium-low heat until cooked completely through. Chicken should reach 165 F. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and serve warm in a soft tortilla with your favorite taco toppings.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/26/marinated-chicken-tacos/