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Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Have you ever read one of those segments in a magazine where two people who wore the same outfit get compared? It’s a “Who wore it better” segment. Don’t worry I am not turning this into a fashion blog. This is is a “who cooked it better” segement. At least for the Crispy Cheddar Chicken recipe I am sharing today.

The Hubs has been seeming interested, if only a bit, in meal planning and suggesting things to make, like Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. I came home to an amazingly delicious chicken dish one evening. I loved it. The flavors were great and it had great crunch and a tasty sauce; trifecta. While I didn’t directly ask for the recipe I did ask what was in it. He was a bit secretive but did tell me that it had crackers and cheese.

First, I started searching for something that had the type of crackers he used in combination with cheese. Eventually I found several recipes that looked like they might be what he made and a couple of weeks after he made his Crispy Cheddar Chicken I made mine. As soon as I took it out of the oven I could tell that mine was not quite the same.

Although I wanted to get everyone’s opinion I had not announced ahead of time what I was making for dinner. When The Hubs came into the kitchen he looked at dinner, looked at me, and said “copycat”. At least it looked similar enough that he knew that it was Crispy Cheddar Chicken.

D4 was not home so it was just The Hubs, D3, and me. It was quite tasty. My coating was definitely not as good as his. The sauce was awesome. D3 ate hers happily. The Hubs did not say that it wasn’t as good, so finally I said it. He just grinned and kept eating.

The final verdict on “who cooked it better” came down to D3. She agreed that The Hubs, or Dad as she calls him, made a better version of the Crispy Cheddar Chicken.

The Hubs and I have different styles of cooking. While I ordinarily stay away from using processed foods like canned soups he does not. I made the recipe using the canned soup but would make my own sauce next time.

This is the recipe that I made. If I ever decide to ask for his version I will compare them. Honestly, what I should do is just ask him to make it when I want it again.

Have you ever made a dish that someone else made only to find that they made it better?

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts (butterflied)
  • 2 sleeves butter crackers (Hi-hos or Ritz)
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Sauce:
  • 1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan or casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Crush crackers in food processor or by using a rolling pin. Add salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  4. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces.
  5. Into separate shallow pans pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs.
  6. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cheese.
  7. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers.
  8. Next, press the coated chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in.
  9. Lay the chicken inside the prepared baking pan.
  10. Sprinkle the parsley over the chicken.
  11. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
  13. In a medium sized sauce pan combine the can of soup, sour cream and butter. Stir over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and heated through. Serve over the chicken.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2018 in Dinner Recipes

 

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Roasted Chicken – Slow Cooker

Roasted Chicken – Slow Cooker

As you know I have become a huge fan of slow cooker cooking over these past few months. I especially love making ahead and freezing slow cooker meals, and then popping them in the slow cooker before work; returning home to dinner ready or nearly ready. This amazing time saving Slow Cooker Roast Chicken recipe is one of the reasons I love the slow cooker.

However, I have discovered a few downfalls to the slow cooker thing. One of the downfalls is that my newest slow cooker does not cook the potatoes at the same speed that it cooks everything else. That means that I either need to change the way I cut my potatoes or always use one of the older slow cookers if there are potatoes in a recipe.

Another thing I have discovered is that cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker makes it very mushy. I love to stew whole chickens on the stove top to make other recipes with, but not so much in the slow cooker. Also, there is no way to ‘oven roast’ a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Or is there?

I had discovered a slow cooker roast chicken leg recipe several months back and started wondering if I could do that same technique with a whole chicken. I tried it last week and “voila”! It worked! Everyone in the house just loved it! Even The Hubs… it was cooked to near perfection. It was similar to a rotisserie style chicken.

I did use my new slow cooker, because it is oval and not round. The shape lent itself nicely to the shape of the chicken.

While this recipe doesn’t seem to be able to lend itself to the freezer to slow cooker idea, it does not take much time to prep before heading out the door to work, or staying in to work, or home schooling your children, or however you spend your very busy days.

I sincerely hope you try this excellent slow cooker roast chicken recipe and that you enjoy this morsel as much as we did!

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

  • 1 whole roasting chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Wash thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry with paper towel.

  2. Mix the spices together in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken. 

  3. Tuck the wings behind the chicken, and tie the legs together with cooking string. 

  4. Loosely crumple up some aluminum foil and put it on the bottom of the slow cooker. 

  5. Place the chicken on top of the foil. 

  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

  7. The chicken should not touch the bottom or sides of the slow cooker.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Recipe

 

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Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

While I have been making mostly Freezer to Slow Cooker meals, I have not given up on cooking and baking altogether. I made this Chicken Parmigiana recipe for the birthday weekend that my family celebrated the last weekend of September, and again a couple of weeks later. It was a big hit with my entire family, including my mother, Daughter Number One and her boyfriend who were all home to celebrate.

The second time I made it was a time we also had company. A friend of Daughter Number Two’s had come home from college with her for the weekend, so I made this again. She had never eaten Chicken Parmigiana before, but said this would be what she based all others on. WOW, what a compliment!

As I have said before, when I was growing up my father was a more adventurous cook than my mother.  He loved to try new recipes and one of those was Eggplant Parmigiana. I always liked it. His recipe called for cracker meal, which he made using crushed up saltine crackers, as his breading. In my previous Chicken Parmigiana recipe attempts I had used cracker meal. This time I chose a different breading and think that the change I made is the key to this amazing recipe!

When I make Italian food I typically serve it with a big green salad and green beans, too. I like to make green beans (fresh or canned) in the oven and add some almonds or pecans.

While this recipe is not hard to make it is somewhat time consuming. t’s why it works well for weekend meals, and because it makes more dirty dishes!

I have definitely found my new and permanent chicken parmigiana recipe and I hope you enjoy this morsel as much as we all did!

 

Chicken Parmigiana

  • 4 boneless (skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in halves)
  • 4-6 slices whole wheat or white bread
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2-6 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs (or 4 large egg whites, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)
  • 1 cup marinara (spaghetti sauce)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut and wash chicken breasts. If they seem thicker in some areas, pound thin. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor pulse bread until coarse, about eight 1-second pulses. Pour crumbs onto a baking pan. Add garlic, 1 Tablespoon oil. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Add in parsley.
  3. In a large low sided bowl (I use a pie pan) combine flour, salt and pepper. In another dish, beat eggs and water. Place the cooled bread crumbs in a third dish. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons oil in a large non-stick skillet. Dip one chicken breast at a time into the flour mixture, tapping to remove excess. You want a light coating, not a heavy one. Then dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture, turning to coat. Allow excess to drip off. Next dredge the chicken into the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat. Add the coated chicken breast to the hot oil in the skillet. Do this for all of the chicken. Cook until browned and turn. When both sides are browned and crisp, remove onto the baking pan you used for the bread crumbs. Place pan into the heated oven. When browning the chicken breasts in the skillet do not overcrowd. You can use multiple pans, or do this in batches. Be sure to add fresh oil between batches, and heat the oil to near smoking before adding the chicken. Do not leave the chicken in the skillet too long or it will become greasy.
  4. Top the chicken breasts on the baking pan with a few Tablespoons of marinara, a thin slice of mozzarella, and about 1/2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan. Return the chicken to the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, 7-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken onto a platter, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve over thin spaghetti

Have extra marinara available, and some crusty Italian bread!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Dinner Recipes

 

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Chicken Spaghetti – Freezer to Crockpot

Chicken Spaghetti – Freezer to Crockpot

Another of the awesome make ahead recipes I made was Chicken Spaghetti – Freezer to Crockpot. I found the recipe on  http://crockingirls.com/recipes/chicken-spaghetti/. It was simple and full of flavor. I made a few modifications to fit my cooking style, and my family’s eating style. We all really liked it. It made a bunch, so I would say make it for company, or split into 2 bags so you don’t have so much left over.

I served it with green beans, salad, and Italian bread.

The original recipe called for 2-3 cans of “Cream Of” soup. I do not like using the “Cream Of” soups because of sodium and preservatives (mostly sodium). I found a recipe for a low sodium version of dry powdered substitute that you add your own liquids or flavorings to. Below is the soup mix – made as “Cream of Chicken”. You can switch out the bouillon flavor, the broth flavor, or add other herbs and spices to change the flavor of the ‘soup’.

Blend ingredients. Store in airtight container at room temperature. When ready to use, combine 1/3 cup soup substitute mix with 1¼ cups water or broth to equal 1 can of soup.

I use this soup substitute in all of my recipes that call for “Cream Of” soup. Most of the time The Hubs is none the wiser! Occasionally he asks if I made a recipe “healthy”, although he doesn’t usually know what I’ve done.

Good luck with your own substituting and be ready for more recipes like this Chicken Spaghetti – Freezer to Crockpot. They are definitely headed your way!

 

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (in 1”-2” cubes)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 pounds 2% Velveeta (cubed)
  • 1 1/2 cups light sour cream
  • 2/3 cup soup substitute mix (recipe follows)
  • 1 7- ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked spaghetti
  1. Label a gallon freezer bag.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except spaghetti, into bag. Remove as much of the air from the bag as possible. Lay flat and freeze.
  3. The night before you want to serve it, remove from the freezer and thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. In the morning place the contents plus ½ cup water into the slow cooker (crockpot). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Turn to low, or off.
  5. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, then add into crock pot and stir thoroughly.

 

Healthy Cream Soup Substitute

  • 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium instant bouillon granules (chicken, beef, or vegetable (I use HerbOx))
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes or 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Blend ingredients. Store in airtight container at room temperature. When ready to use, combine 1/3 cup soup substitute mix with 1¼ cups water or broth to equal 1 can of soup.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Tonight’s dinner was a simple “what the heck do I do with what I have” kind of thing. I came home from work and looked at Daughter Number 2 and asked her what she wanted for dinner tonight. “Mexican”. “What kind of Mexican”, I asked. She didn’t care. She wanted Mexican food.

I noticed that the Hubs had gone to the store for “lunch” food today and come home with among other things – flour tortillas. I had cooked some extra chicken breasts last night, so I knew that whatever I made would have chicken. I went to the pantry and pulled out some random ingredients then did the same at the fridge. This is what I came up with. Everyone enjoyed it, and everyone had seconds.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 can Ro-tel tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can beans, drained and rinsed
  • Corn (I used 2 cobs that I had cooked for dinner the night before, and cut off the kernels with knife)
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk
  • ½ Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 packets sodium free Chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 package flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup nonfat sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Ranch dressing 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine chicken, tomatoes, beans and corn. In a small bowl or measuring cup mix dry milk, corn starch, bouillon, onion powder, basil, thyme, and water. Tear up flour tortillas, about 3, and place in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the tortillas. Add ½ of the chicken mixture. Top with 1/3 of the cheeses. Place another 1/3 of the tortillas, torn into pieces over the cheese. Gently pour another 1/3 of the milk mixture over the tortillas, followed by the remainder of the chicken mixture, 1/3 more of the cheese. Place the remainder of the tortillas, torn into pieces over the cheese, followed by the remainder of the cheese and milk mixture. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. While this is baking mix together the sour cream and ranch dressing. With 5 minutes left, remove the aluminum foil and spoon the sour cream mixture over the top. Bake uncovered for the remaining five minutes.

This was such a great use for the leftover chicken and corn from the night before. The biggest change I would make is instead of the kidney beans that I used (what I had on hand) I would use black beans. I might also omit the Ranch dressing from the topping. It didn’t add as much as I had hoped. 

All in all it was a good show, and I will be adding it to the “make again” pile. Not only because of how much it was liked, but also because of how quick and easy it was to make. Winner winner…

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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