10-Minute Chicken & Melt-in-Your-Mouth Magic Bars

by Shannon Hembree on September 1, 2011

​Are you looking for a quick and easy meal that seems gourmet, but isn’t? This chicken dish is a great go-to recipe for those occasions. Magic bars are another fan favorite in our house. Do you long to be the mom who brings the unique and delicious homemade cookies, but you don’t like to bake? Try this magic bar recipe. It is super easy and never fails to impress. Because as I always remind people, if I can make these recipes (Yes, me – the one who has set fire to steaks in my oven), anyone can. 


Three to five chicken breasts
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 container of fat-free feta cheese
1 large tomato
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of Italian seasonings (nothing to mix here – you can buy Italian seasonings in a spice container in the store). I usually add more than one teaspoon, so find what works for you.
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I confess…I do not use fresh garlic, I use the minced garlic from the container you buy at the store). If you are a huge garlic fan, you can use more (can you ever have too much garlic?).
2 to 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Grease the bottom of a baking pan. Cut chicken breasts into one inch by one inch cubes (use all necessary food safety precautions). This, of course, does not need to be exact. It’s just how I like it. Place cubes in baking dish (side by side, not on top of each other).

Chop tomato into small cubes (bite-sized chunks are ideal) and put in large bowl. I discard the gooey seedy part of the tomato that falls out when you cut it.

Drain the artichoke hearts and cut into bite-sized chunks. Toss into large bowl with tomato chunks.

Pour feta cheese into bowl with tomato and artichoke hearts. I love feta, so I tend to go overboard on how much I use, but you can do as much or as little as you like. I usually use one full container (small container). Break up larger feta chunks when you are stirring it in with the other ingredients.

In separate bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and Italian seasonings. Wisk or stir vigorously with fork until well blended. Taste and see if you like. Some days I add more vinegar or garlic and some days I don’t. Do what you like.

Pour olive oil mixture in bowl with the artichokes, etc. and mix well. If you are going to wait an hour or two before baking, you can pour this mixture over the chicken chunks, cover and refrigerate. Side note, if you don’t have chicken, the refrigerated salad is also yummy (must be the feta…).

Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. I usually cover it for the first twenty minutes and leave it uncovered for the last ten or 15 minutes. I like it when the artichokes are starting to look a little brown on the top.

As with any recipe, do what tastes good to you. For example, I sense that onions would be good in this, but haven’t tried that yet.



1.5 to 1.75 packages of graham crackers (wrapped packages, not boxes)
1 stick of melted butter
¾ bag of milk chocolate chips
¾ bag of butterscotch chips
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
¼ to ½ bag of coconut (both shredded and flaked are okay)

Crush graham crackers into fine powder (there is some leeway with this, although the larger chunks don’t stick as well when making the crust). This is a good job for kids – put the graham crackers into a ziplock bag and let them crush them with a can of soup, rolling pin, or anything else that works.

Mix crushed graham crackers with one stick of melted butter. Mix thoroughly with fork so that all graham crackers are coated. I start with 1.5 packages of graham crackers and check consistency when combined with butter. I add more graham cracker crumbs if needed. You want the crust to be saturated enough with butter that it holds its shape when pressed, but not so greasy it is dark brown and wet.

Press graham cracker mix firmly into entire bottom of cookie sheet. When you press down, the mix should form solid crust. Do not leave any holes or thin parts.

Once the crust is firmly in place, spread chocolate chips and butterscotch chips on top of the crust. This is another good job for small children. We usually use about ¾ of each bag for an even mix, but you can do to taste. For example, if you like butterscotch more than chocolate, heavy up on the former. You can also reduce the number of chocolate/butterscotch chips, but I’m not sure why you would…

Once the chips are in place, sprinkle coconut over the top of the chips. It should be spread evenly over the entire cookie sheet, particularly in the corners. There should be enough to cover the chips, but you don’t have to put so much on that the chips are invisible entirely. I like coconut, so I do use a lot. If you do not like coconut, you can go a little lighter on it, but there needs to be enough to bind the cookies together. You can experiment with amounts and figure out what works for you.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the entire cookie sheet in thin ribbons. Make sure you get the corners and edges. The key to this step is to cover as much of the coconut as possible.

Bake at 350 degrees until it is a light brown on top (12-18 minutes). I have found that cook times vary with ovens, so keep a close eye on the cookies.

Cool, cut and eat. This is another good step for small children – usually their favorite.

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