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    Entries in winner winner chicken dinner (6)

    Friday
    Aug302013

    Am-ish Chicken

    I came across a recipe online recently for something called Amish Chicken.  I don’t remember where it was or what was in it, but the principle caught my attention.  Chicken that creates its own gravy as it cooks.  Sounds fabulous, right?  So I took that little nugget, and created my own version, so I’m calling it Am-ish Chicken. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 medium onion
    • ⅓ cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 2 teaspoons dried herb mix
    • ½ teaspoon onion power
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 cup water 

    The dried herb mix I’m using is called bouquet garni.  It's a blend of lots of different herbs.  You can really use whatever medley of herbs you like, though, totaling 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon of parsley.

    The first thing you want to do is put the flour in a large zip top bag. 

    Add the all of the herbs and spices. 

    Then seal it up and give it a shake until everything is evenly distributed. 

    Set that aside, and cut your chicken into bite size pieces.  I like to use scissors for this task.  You’ll also notice the paper plate.  That’s one less raw meat contamination I have to worry about.  It can just go into the garbage. 

    Next, cut the onion into chunks. 

    Place the chicken and onion into the bag with the flour. 

    Leave the last little bit open and blow air into it before sealing it completely.  Sort of like a ziplock balloon.

    Now shake until everything is evenly coated. 

    Into the slow cooker, pour 1 cup of water, and add the chicken and onions. 

    Depending on the size and shape of your crock pot, you may not be able to see the water once you’ve added all the chicken.  That’s fine. 

    Cook it on low for 4 hours.  I stirred mine once or twice during that time, but I’m not sure it’s necessary.  You can probably just stir it at the end before serving it if you’re not going to be around.  As promised, it is a chicken dish that creates its own gravy as it cooks.  I served it over rice, but it would be fabulous over potatoes, or even pasta, as well.

    Which recipes have you reconfigured into your own creations?

     

    Friday
    Jul262013

    Chicken Divine

    You’ve probably heard of a dish called chicken divan.  Unfortunately, like so many other casserole type dishes, it is almost inevitably made with canned, condensed, cream of crap soup.  Why?  Let me show you how easy it is to make a fabulous version, with no scary, jiggly, canned stuff. 

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 1 head of broccoli
    • 4 oz. cream cheese
    • ¼ cup green onion
    • 1 teaspoons fresh thyme
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 Tablespoons flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 cup grated cheese
    • 2 Tablespoons butter
    • 15 crackers
    • 1 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds

    First up, you need to cut the broccoli into florets.  Although I’m not using the stem in this dish, if your broccoli has a long stem on it like mine did, don’t waste it.  Clean it up, peeling off any rough or fibrous bits from the outside, then cut it into chunks.  Drop them into a freezer bag, and freeze them to use later for soup.

    Then just cut the top of the broccoli into roughly bite size pieces. 

    Dice your chicken breasts.  Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to a pan over medium heat and add the chicken.  Sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. 

    Cook briefly on all sides. 

    Then put a lid on and allow it to continue to cook for 7 minutes, moving it about once or twice so it doesn't burn. 

    Remove the cooked chicken and pour in 1 ½ cups chicken stock. 

    Add the broccoli and cover it, allowing it to cook for 5 minutes. 

    While you’re waiting for things to cook, go ahead and chop your green onions. 

    I happen to have fresh thyme on hand, so that’s what I used.   If you only have dried, cut it back to ¼ teaspoon or so. 

    If you’re using fresh, give it a good rinse, then remove the leaves and chop them. 

    When the broccoli has cooked for 5 minutes, it should still be green but starting to soften.  Go ahead and remove it from the pan. 

    To the remaining ½ cup chicken stock add 2 Tablespoons flour. 

    Stir that together until there are no lumps, and pour it into the pan. 

    Stir over medium heat until the mixture becomes nice and thick.

    Turn off the heat, then cut the cream cheese into pieces and add them to the pan. 

    Stir until the cream cheese is mostly incorporated.  It’s ok if you still have some small lumps. 


    Add the green onion and thyme. 

    Stir that together and add the chicken and broccoli, along with any liquid from them, back to the pan.     

    Gently stir until everything is evenly coated. 

    Pour the whole thing into a buttered casserole dish. 

    Give the pan a quick wash (or get a clean one out… your choice).  Place your crackers into a plastic bag. 

    And crush them until you all of the pieces are fairly little.  I just used my hand. 

    Melt 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat and sprinkle in the poppy seeds. 

    Add the cracker crumbs. 

    Stir until everything is combined. 

    Spread the cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar) over the top of the chicken mixture. 

    Then sprinkle on the cracker crumb mixture. 

    Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.  It should be nice and bubbly around the edges. 

    See?  Delicious, beautiful, and not difficult, even without the cans. 

    What recipe that usually calls for canned soup would you like to see upgraded?