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Recipe Recommendation: Chicken Rigatoni and Cheesy Bread Sticks (Pioneer Woman)

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment

So today is New Year’s Eve, and it’s cold and rainy outside. On the downside: It’s cold and rainy. On the upside: My neighbors can’t party all night and keep my dog up whining about the fireworks.

As the new year and resolutions start tomorrow, I decided to try out one last recipe before I go on the wagon food-wise. So here ya go, Chicken Rigatoni and Garlic Cheese Bread sticks from Ree Drummond’s show on Food Network called The Pioneer Woman. Photos below:

Rigatoni with Chicken Thighs

Fresh Mozzarella makes the difference, big time.

Fresh Mozzarella makes the difference, big time.

What I liked about the recipe is that the sauce ended up really thick. I think it’s because the chicken broth was reduced with the onion and was a thicker base for the crushed tomatoes. Overall, very tasty and I’m definitely keeping the sauce in my file for other marinara-based recipes.

Have a Happy and safe New Year everyone and I’ll see you again in 2014 🙂

Really easy chicken recipe for the crockpot… honey garlic chicken

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Set it and forget it… that’s my mantra. And, the great thing is you don’t even have to defrost the chicken, so long as you can get it out of the package.

Ingredients:

  • chicken parts (thighs, legs, or breast work well)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. place chicken in crockpot
  2. mix all remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over chicken
  3. set on low for 6 hours

Super simple. You can either shred the chicken with the sauce, or take it out in whole pieces. It’s very moist and tender, compared to oven baked chicken.

Enjoy 🙂

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (recipe included)

June 2, 2012 Leave a comment

In my opinion, one of the drawbacks to making enchiladas from scratch would most definitely be burning my fingers. I usually dip a corn tortilla into a pan of hot oil for a couple seconds each side before rolling it up with filling. That does tend to hurt the fingertips. But, they’re so darn good and I get requests for them so often I endure the pain. Like a warrior, right? 😉 Sure, I could not dip them into the oil, but where’s the fun in that?

Last night I came up with my own version of chicken enchilada casserole just to mix things up a bit. My husband and I both enjoyed it. That equals success in my book 🙂 So, I decided to post it up. Enjoy!

With regards to the enchilada sauce, you can use whichever brand you like or can be found in your local grocery store. My personal favorite is Bolner’s Fiesta Brand Enchilada seasoning:

Bolner’s Fiesta Brand Enchilada Seasoning

I used the recipe located on the label of the bottle to make the sauce:

Recipe on bottle

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Bolner’s Fiesta Brand Enchilada Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 1/2 cups water

Directions for sauce:

  1. Heat up oil in a saucepan (medium heat)
  2. Add enchilada seasoning, stir, and then let cook for a minute or so until the mix starts to turn a darker brown
  3. Add in water, stir again, and heat up to boil. Lower heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Now that the sauce has been prepared, let’s get going on the casserole 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb raw chicken breast, cut up into small pieces (can also use ground beef if you prefer)
  • 8 corn tortillas (cut up into small squares and divided in half
  • 1 cup of your favorite cheese, shredded (I like colby jack or cheddar)
  • prepared enchilada sauce
  • 1 TB cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat up oil in a pan. Add chicken pieces and let cook until juices run clear. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/4 cup of the prepared sauce.
  3. In a 9 x 11 inch baking pan, ladle out about 1/4 cup of the prepared sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread it around.
  4. Add one layer of tortilla pieces, then a layer of sauce (about 1/2 cup), then chicken, then cheese.  Add the last layer of tortillas, the rest of the sauce, and the remaining cheese.
  5. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Here is the result:

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

If you want to use the brand I posted here and live in Texas, you’re in luck. Go down to HEB and you’ll find it in the cake and spice aisle. If you’re outside of Texas, Bolner’s has an online store where you can purchase a bottle (or two or three :)):

Chicken pasta primavera (a basic recipe)

April 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Over the weekend I was experimenting with different recipes. Now, different people like different types of seasoning for the pasta. I’d imagine folks can use anything from full on Alfredo sauce to Ranch, Italian, or perhaps a balsamic dressing. It’s entirely up to your tastes.

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up into small pieces
  • olive or canola oil
  • some sort of pasta (your choice) – I used penne (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut up into thin slices
  • 1 zucchini , cut up into thin slices
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Seasoning/dressing

Directions:

  1. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Throw in chicken and and cook until the juices are no longer pink. Toss in vegetables and cook for another four minutes or so until the spinach wilts and the other veggies are tender.
  2. As the chicken is cooking, boil up the pasta according to package directions.
  3. Once both parties are done, toss together in a big bowl and add your seasoning/dressing.

 

Voilá! A fast, easy, tasty meal with good vegetables and protein 🙂

Recipe Recommendation: Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I found this version online at AllRecipes.com today and decided to try it out, with some revisions. Namely, I completely forgot to buy an onion when my husband and I were at the grocery store buying the ingredients. He wasn’t overly sad with the exclusion of onion because he’s not really big on it. Also, I used drumsticks and thighs for this version. I think they tend to keep the flavor better than breasts when cooking Paprikash.

When it comes to paprika, I’ll add it to anything. Tuna, chicken salad, eggs (they wouldn’t be deviled without it in my opinion), it all works with paprika. I think it’s an addiction by this point, I may need treatment. Well, after eating this dish anyway… I’ll think about it.

Note about the dumplings: Don’t overcook them. 10 minutes in rapidly boiling water, and make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Chicken Paprikash Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, with skin (I used thighs and drumsticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions (modified)

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Gradually stir in 2 1/2 cups of flour to make a stiff batter. Using two spoons, scoop out some batter with one spoon and use the second to scrap off the spoonful of batter into the boiling water. Repeat until several dumplings are cooking. Cook dumplings for 10 minutes or until they float to the top; then lift from the water and drain in a colander or sieve. Rinse with warm water.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add chicken; cook until lightly browned, turning once. Cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water, and season with paprika, salt, and pepper; cook 10 minutes more, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  3. Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into sour cream; then slowly stir it into the sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened.
  4. To serve, add dumplings to the sauce, then spoon onto dinner plates adding a piece of chicken.

 

Chicken salad recipe using oven roasted chicken breast

August 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve re-discovered oven bags. Saves time on clean-up and makes roasting chicken so much easier.

Lately my supermarket has been running a special on split chicken breasts. They’re cool because you can buy three packages, and freeze two to use later. I used them for chicken salad, and it makes so much difference in taste, quality, and dryness avoidance (common problem with chicken). One package can hold three or four breasts with skin and bone, but I only used two largish chicken breasts in this recipe (about two cups chopped).

Season the breasts on both sides with all purpose seasoning, put in the oven bag, tie up, and put in a baking pan. Make sure to poke a couple of holes into the bag. Into the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 375 degrees and you’re ready to rock and roll. Cut all the meat off the bones (take off the skin if you like) and chop up the chicken. It’s so much easier to chop up oven roasted than boiled, that’s for sure. Yes, my mother would boil it. I didn’t say it was the right thing to do, now 😛

Jen’s Easy Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • chopped up chicken (about two cups)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (an alternative could be 0% Greek Yogurt if you want to decrease the fat content).
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced grapes
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • Paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup B Lloyd’s Almond and Pecan Dried Fruit Mix – I found this at my local supermarket in the salad dressing aisle. Perfect addition to chicken salad. Here’s a pic:

Instructions: combine everything and store in the fridge. Easy peasy 🙂

Leftovers are great the next day, which helps me when I don’t get home until late and don’t really want to cook after my kickboxing class, but the spousal unit and I are hungry as hungry can be. Tons of protein, good fats, good for you carbs (multi grain bread makes a great sandwich) and fiber.

Perfect with deviled eggs. Protein, protein, protein.

Recipe: Grilled Tuscan Chicken

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Delicious! Tender and juicy, even on the grill.

Here’s the marinade tested today:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • A couple of sprigs of rosemary
  • Kosher Salt and pepper
  • A couple of cloves of garlic, chopped

Directions:

  • Chop up the Rosemary and put in a bowl along with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of the chicken.
  • Put chicken in a baking dish, cover in marinade, and top with plastic wrap. Into the fridge it goes  for at least 4 hours (or overnight like I did):

 

Set to marinade for the entire night

My husband wanted to grill some meat, so the chicken took its place on the grill:

 

Grilling away... photo courtesy of griller extraordinaire husband

Very enjoyable chicken, I must say. The marinade is going into the files for future use.

Also did a batch of Crockpot Charro Beans for the occasion. Mighty tasty also.

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