Posted in Recipes for the Table, tagged chicken on August 19, 2013 |
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Looking for something a bit different to bring to the table this week? Or do you have some anger to work out? This Cajun Chicken and Cheese recipe is a good one to help with either of those! I found this recipe on facebook from a high school cheerleading friend- thanks Rebecca! She used gluten free cajun seasoning….but I just used regular.
Cajun Chicken and Cheese
Preheat oven to 350°
Flatten to about 1/4 inch thickness: (this is where the anger release comes from….just put the chicken breast on the cutting board and then I put a piece of saran wrap over the chicken and take the flat side of a meat cleaver and pound away!)
- 4 chicken breasts…you could probably get 5 filled with the following amounts but if you do more than 5 chicken breasts you will need to increase the “stuffing” mixture you prepare.
In a medium bowl combine:
- 8oz- 12oz of shredded fiesta blend cheese (or you could use shredded pepper jack if you like a bit more kick)
- 2 cups of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto each chicken breast.
Roll each chicken breast tightly and fasten the seams with several toothpicks. (I used 8 in each one so that I would know how many to take out after they were cooked….that is an important thing to know!)
Brush each chicken breast with
Sprinkle each chicken breast with
- Cajun Seasoning (I do this liberally)
Place the chicken seam-side down onto a foil-lined baking sheet (makes it easy to clean-up).
Sprinkle any remaining spinach and cheese on top of the chicken.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (160° is my “done” temp for chicken)
Remove the toothpicks before serving.
Tonight I cut up some plums and then also some carrots and that was our meal.
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Yum! This one was fairly quick to throw together and each of my family members enjoyed it….ding! ding! ding! Another winner!!!!
Now, it says “grilled chicken”. Yes, you can actually turn on the grill and grill it OR you can dump it out of a freezer bag and warm it up in the microwave! I love having a bag of Tyson’s grilled chicken in the freezer for quick quesadillas or even just as an entree for the girls on a night when I’m headed out for dinner. So tonight as the storms rolled in once again near dinner time, I opted to not send anyone out to grill but to use the freezer bag of grilled goodness.
Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle
Cook pasta according to directions: (When finished drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid)
- 16-20 ounces of farfalle (bow tie pasta)
In a large saute pan (or saucepan), heat over medium heat:
Add to the pan and stir occasionally:
Combine in a small bowl and stir with a whisk
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 Tablespoons flour
Add milk mixture to the pan and stir constantly with a whisk
Stir into the pan:
- 1/3 cup of a commercial pesto (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
Gradually add and stir constantly:
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently.
- 1 3/4 pounds of grilled chicken (You can grill you own if you want…but I used the Tyson frozen pieces)
Add to the pan:
- 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded.
Stir until the cheese melts
Add to the pesto mixture:
- Chicken (warmed and in bite-sized pieces)
- 4 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 of the cooked pasta
Pour over the rest of the pasta and toss gently
Add 1 more cup of Parmesan cheese if desired (I forgot to do this and everyone still enjoyed it!)
This would be a good one to do the day after grilling chicken for a meal. Simply grill 2 pounds more and cut it up and set it aside for this dish to make the next night.
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SCORE! I had no clue what to make for dinner tonight. I confess…I have not done any meal planning since before Mother’s Day. Life has been a wee-bit hectic! I have made it by with ground beef dishes, quesadillas, and burritos…but I needed something more substantial to prepare for my family. I flipped open a family cookbook and found “Randi’s Chicken Enchiladas”….a recipe I submitted but haven’t made in almost nine years. I checked out the ingredients and thanks to some shredded chicken in the freezer I had all the required items.
I decided to make mexican rice, a can of corn, and pull out the jello I made earlier this week. Score—-a meal without a trip to the grocery store.
Here is the recipe; It gets four smiley faces at my house.
Randi’s Chicken Enchiladas
Combine in a bowl and mix well:
- 2 to 3 cups of chopped, cooked chicken
- 3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 c shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (ok, confession I had shredded fiesta cheese and two thick slices of pepper jack which I chopped up to use for the 1 1/2 cups of cheese needed here)
- 1/3 c chopped onion
- 1/2 c sour cream
Spoon the chicken mixture onto:
- 8 medium tortillas (or 12 small ones)
Roll to enclose the filling and place seam side down in a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt in a saucepan:
Blend into saucepan:
Gradually stir in:
- 1 can chicken broth (or make your own with 14 oz water and two bullion cubes)
Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 4-oz can of diced green chilies
Cook the sauce until heated through, stirring constantly.
Pour over tortillas
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
- 1/4 c cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 c Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Bake for 5 minutes to let cheese melt.
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The absolute best thing about our house is the ability to have dinners on the deck on a gorgeous evening. Tonight was one of those evenings. The trees still aren’t green in our view but the evening was perfect nonetheless. We fired up the grill too in order to make another new recipe from the “Southern Living Ultimate Quick and Easy Cookbook” that I checked out from our library (I’m going to have to purchase one of these as I’ve rechecked it now three times and I want to copy way too many of the recipes.)
Not the best picture of our deck but this gives you a glimpse at why it is so wonderful. This was from the end of April last year. Our deck is up in the trees.
Plan Ahead- Chicken and Pineapple need to marinade for 6-8 hours.
Place in a ziploc bag:
- 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to prick my chicken with a fork to help the marinade ooze into the chicken a bit more)
- 3/4 cup of Lawry’s Santa Fe Chili Marinade with Lime and Garlic (the recipe calls for a lime and garlic marinade….this was the closest I could find!)
Seal the chicken in the ziploc bag and chill for 6 to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Cut into fourths:
- one cored fresh pineapple
Place the pineapple into a ziploc bag and pour 1/4 cup of the marinade over the pineapple. Seal and chill for 6 to 8 hours.
Ready to Grill:
Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
Drain the pineapple.
Grill chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.
Grill pineapple 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Wash and prepare:
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups of strawberries, halved
- 1 cup of raspberries
Once the grilled items are cooked as needed, cut chicken into strips and the pineapple into bite-sized pieces.
Arrange the lettuce, chicken, and fruit into bowls.
You could toss the fruit with some of the marinade before adding to to the salad or just let each person add extra marinade as desired. We just added as desired as my girls don’t really care for dressing on their salad.
This was a great dinner and easy to prepare. Everyone left the table happy….even the extra child that joined us for dinner!
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Magic Pot Alert! Yep, this one is a dump and go kind of recipe….my kind of slow cooker meal. It gets four smiley faces from my family of four. The only thing you have to plan for is to be home for the first hour of cooking as you cook on high for one hour and then reduce it to low for the next 5 hours. * I found the base for this recipe in a Southern Living Ultimate Quick and Easy Cookbook that I checked out from a local library.
Chicken Lasagna Florentine
Combine in a large bowl and stir well:
- 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
- 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry (I used frozen from Trader Joe’s and didn’t need to drain and squeeze)
- 2-3 cups of diced, cooked chicken (I used some shredded chicken that I had in the freezer, you could also use the Tyson’s diced cooked chicken)
- 8 ounces of sour cream
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 Tablespoon of Penzey’s Mural of Flavor (a mix of spices, dried shallots, onion, garlic, lemon peel, citric acid, chives, orange peel) If you don’t have this, one variation I found online has 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
- salt and pepper to taste
Place in a larger slow cooker, coated with cooking spray (or maybe one of those liners would be good)
- 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, breaking the noodles in half, to fit in the slow cooker. (will need 9 noodles in all for the layers)
Spread one third of the spinach mixture over the noodles.
Sprinkle over the mixture
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3 more noodles (breaking as needed)
- half of the remaining spinach mixture
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
Top with the remaining noodles, mixture, and cheese.
Cover and cook on High for 1 hour
Reduce to Low and cook for 5 hours or until the pasta is done (mine was fine after 5 hours)
* Note: I did search around before posting this and see that someone did this same base recipe on Low for 8 hours and said it was fine—that way you don’t have to worry about the High/Low switch.
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That is the name my girls gave to the dish I created tonight…..yes….I actually made something without any recipe—miracles DO still happen.
I am not one that likes to go-it-alone in the kitchen without a recipe because I HATE to mess up and I HATE to waste food (and messed up food is a waste!). But tonight I was stuck. Thursday nights are often quesadillas or burritos for us (Dad isn’t home for dinner). Both of those options require tortillas and I was low on tortillas. The other Thursday night option is often pancakes and I just wasn’t in the mood. So I hit the freezer. There I found some of my favorite grilled chicken strips from Tyson’s.
But what could I do with them?
Ahhh…..some noodles….but what else?
Good ole “Cream of” to the rescue….I could mix that in with some milk to thin it out.
Chicken Noodle Yum!
Boil water to prepare 3 cups of medium egg noodles.
2 cups of Tyson’s Grilled and Ready chicken
- warm the chicken in a non-stick skillet for 3 minutes
Add to chicken
- one can of cream of chicken soup
- milk…probably 1/4 cup???? The purpose was to thin out the soup- I didn’t measure as I dumped the soup in a 2 cup measuring cup and then poured milk over it until the milk was even with the dumped out soup.
- stir and pour over the chicken warming in the skillet
By this time your noodles should be done.
Drain the noodles and add to the chicken and soup mixture.
Then I seasoned with salt and pepper.
I also had some spices from Christmas from my MIL. I sprinkled the Pasta Sprinkle from Penzeys Spices over everything. Basically this is just basil, oregano, garlic and tyme in a jar!
Both of my girls ate it right up and I loved that we had a warm meal quickly after a busy afternoon.
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This is an easy one—especially if you have cooked chicken or turkey in the freezer to use up! I made use of the last bit of turkey from Thanksgiving this week when I made this recipe.
Ro-Tel Chicken (or Turkey!)
Heat in a large skillet which has a lid: (or if you have 4 cups of chicken/turkey that is already cooked and shredded, as I did from the freezer, just warm it through, season it then add the other ingredients)
- 1 T Vegetable oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Season the chicken, to taste, with
Add to the cooked chicken:
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 can Ro-Tel (I used the Great Value Brand of Ro-Tel)
- 1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
- 1 cup water—-don’t dirty another dish…just fill the 8 oz tomato sauce can with water and dump it in
- 3 green onions, sliced
Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender (mine took about 30 minutes this time)
Stir chicken and rice.
- shredded cheese (about 1 cup)
Cover and cook until the cheese melts.
This actually got four smiley faces from my family of four
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Need a fast and easy dinner? This one will do the job then. We usually have all of these ingredients minus the french bread on hand in our kitchen. The recipe says to use 2 grilled chicken breasts. I used Tyson’s frozen sliced chicken breasts- I actually had their fajita seasoned one’s in the freezer and used them. It made the dish even easier!
Chicken Fajita Melts
Slice open lengthwise:
Prepare your chicken breasts
- Either season them with a little fajita seasoning and grill OR
- Use prepared, frozen chicken and put a plate to warm in the microwave
- bell peppers- sliced (red and green)
- Onions- sliced
- season with fajita seasoning, to taste
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of salsa over the bread (I didn’t measure; I just slathered it on until it looked right!)
- Add the grilled chicken slices
- sprinkle the sauteed peppers and onions
- top with pepper jack or cheddar cheese
Place under the broiler to melt the cheese
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I’m always up for a “magic pot” recipe….you know what I mean, throw it all in, turn it on and come back later ready to eat. This is one that I found on imom.com in a recipe file on their site. It says that they are for tacos, which we did indeed eat them as with hard shells and also some flour tortillas. I thought they were great on the tortillas, not so great in the hard shells. BUT I think this is actually wonderful as a soup. We crumbled up tortilla chips in it and really liked it that way.
So here is the recipe and then after that I will tell you how you could make your own tortilla strips if you don’t have any chips on hand.
Chicken Enchilada Tacos
Combine into the slow cooker:
- 1 lb diced or shredded cooked chicken (I had 4 cups frozen in the freezer and just defrosted that—made this recipe even easier!)
- 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (we used green sauce)
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
- 1 (10 oz) package frozen Mexican corn blend (well, I couldn’t find this and wasn’t running to Trader Joes to get some so I used a can of corn that I drained of the juice)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Turn on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4.
Garnish with your favorite garnish: sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, cilantro, avocado, crisp lettuce…
You could also serve this over white rice.
Make your own tortilla strips:
Cut tortillas into 1/2 inch wide strips.
Cut those then in half crosswise.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet
Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes or until crisp and slightly browned.
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I tried really hard to mess this recipe up and it still turned out tasty! I don’t know where my brain was while I was preparing it but it wasn’t functioning for sure. I found this recipe on another blogger’s site after she liked one of my recent posts. (I thought it only right to go and see who this person was and check out what she might have on her blog! You should check her out too. I’ve linked her below)
Since I’m trying to prepare fewer red meat meals for my family, I thought this one might be a good one to try. Chicken, especially chicken breasts, often have very little flavor and I can’t stand to eat leftover chicken….BUT with this recipe, I’m looking forward to the leftovers.
So on the greengourmetbooks.com you will find:
- 3 large chicken breasts and cut them in 1″ wide strips but then cut those down to where they were nice, finger food size. This made enough for my family of four.
Then I doubled the “rub” because remember, I LOVE flavor.
So mine was:
- 2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika (Yes, they make this. If your spice jar just says “paprika” then you don’t have smoked, you have sweet. Purchase the one that says “smoked paprika” evidently there is also a “hot paprika” too)
- 4 teaspoons Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Mustard Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Of course this would be “brain blink” #1—-I forgot to put the olive oil in until I had rubbed the spice mix on half of my chicken. So then I sprayed the already rubbed chicken with cooking spray and since 1/2 of the rub was gone I then only added 1 T of Olive Oil….see what I mean by trying hard)
- Salt and Pepper to taste (This would be “brain blink” #2—I forgot this altogether. My handsome fella loves salt so I remembered about 12 minutes into the baking and pulled them out and sprinkled everything with salt and pepper.)
Lori at greengourmetbooks.com says that these are great served cold for a picnic or bagged lunch OR serve hot on a bed of rice for a family dinner. Well, that would be “brain blink” #3…I forgot to make the rice and had every intention of preparing it.
So we just ate ours with the corn-on-the-cob, Ranch Style beans, and apple slices- no rice.
This is a winner of a recipe—even my child that had been running fever all day ate some without being asked to eat. We will be having this again—maybe next time for a picnic in the park!
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