Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Smothered Chicken


This is one of my all time favorite recipes! It was one of the first things I made when I started cooking. I used to make it for my family when I was in high school and they loved it! It was always a favorite, especially of my younger brother. I got the recipe from Cooking Live on Food Network, does anyone remember that show? I miss the days when Food Network actually had cooking on it. *Le sigh* 

Some of the reviews mentioned this dish was bland, and that took me by surprise, because I never thought it was bland at all! Then I realized the directions for the recipe does leave a lot to the imagination, it wasn't very well written. If you're not a regular cook like myself, you would follow it step by step and then I can see it could be bland. I wanted to re-write it the way I make it, so no one has to risk having bland smothered chicken! I also lighten it up by using light sour cream instead of full fat and use less oil than the original recipe calls for. But, you can go all in if you want to! This is also great made with bone-in chicken breasts or thighs. If you try this recipe, leave a message in the comments and let me know how you liked it! 

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbs oil (I use light olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts

Method: 

Rinse chicken and dry well. In a shallow baking dish, combine the flour, cayenne, paprika, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture on both sides to coat. Shake off any excess flour. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron) heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until brown, about 2-3 more minutes. Remove chicken from the pan, place on a plate and set aside. 


Add chopped onions and garlic to the same pan, sauteing about 5 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. 


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, chicken stock, green onions, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well. 


Transfer chicken and any accumulated juices back to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Pour sour cream mixture over chicken and stir to coat chicken.


 Cover and cook on medium/low heat for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done. Taste for seasonings, if desired, add more salt and pepper. 


Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes! 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Truffle Mac and Cheese




I made this originally with chicken and a special truffle white cheddar cheese I got from Trader Joe's in my White Cheddar Truffle Mac and Cheese back in 2014. I have since made this several times, adjusting it each time and found this one that uses ingredients easily accessible to everyone is just as delicious and less expensive! You can buy truffle oil anywhere, usually next to the olive oils and vinegar's at your local grocery store. It can be pricey, but one small bottle should last you a year or so. This is definitely my most requested dish at every event we go to, especially on my fiance's side. I hope you try it, and and let me know what you think! :) 

Ingredients: 

  • 12 oz box macaroni or cavatappi 
  • 1 small onion, or half a large, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3.5 cups 2% milk 
  • 4 cups sharp white cheddar (I used Craker Barrel Sharp White Cheddar)
  • 4 tbs truffle oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Italian panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Method: 

Heat oven to 350°.

Boil noodles in salted water until al dente. Do not overcook, they will finish cooking in the oven! Drain, do not rinse, and set aside. 



In a large dutch oven, add the butter, melt, then add onions and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes until translucent. 



Add in the flour, stir to combine with the butter mixture. Cook for 1 minute to get rid of any raw flour taste. Slowly add your milk, whisking to combine with the flour mixture as you add. 


Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and let cook 5 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat, add 2 tbs of the truffle oil, and the cheese. 



Stir to combine everything until the cheese is melted. Add in your cooked pasta and pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.



In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and the additional 2 tbs of truffle oil. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly on top of the pasta. 



Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. If you want a more golden top, pop under the broiler for 5 minutes after cooking. 




Friday, May 6, 2016

Paleo Chick Fil A Style Nuggets


I recently completed a Whole30 Challenge, and in the process, tried a lot of new recipes. For those of you who aren't familiar with Whole30, it is 3o days of clean eating. 30 days without sugar, sugar substitutes, grains, dairy or alcohol. So what the heck is there left to eat, right!? That's the first thing most people think. But, let me tell you, there's a lot you CAN eat; not just meat and veggies. There's a whole new world that opens up when you start cutting out processed junk, and I loved it. Well, I didn't love all days. When everyone around me was eating pie or desserts, or breads and having wine, I wanted to throw in the towel, and strangle them at the same time. It was really hard some days, and I almost quit about 4 times. I'm so glad I saw it through though, because my relationship with food has completely changed. I now read all my labels, and don't buy food that comes in a box. I have control over what I eat, and think about every single thing I put in my body. Is it realistic to eat this way every single day, every single meal? No, not for me at least. But, I am keeping my at home meals clean and processed free going forward. If I want to splurge when I go out, then I will. 

Anyway, back to the nuggets, the main reason for this post. Of the many recipes I made while on Whole30, this was one of my favorites. You definitely don't feel like your missing anything here, and this entire meal is free of sugar, grains & dairy. AMAZING! 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks (about 3 large breasts) 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tbs pickle juice (read your labels!) 
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup nutirional yeast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder 
  • 1/2 - 1 cup light olive oil 

Method: 
Season chicken with salt & pepper. 

Beat egg with pickle juice in shallow bowl or dish. 

In a large Ziploc bag, mix almond flour, nutritional yeast and salt, pepper + garlic powder to taste. 

Heat a large, preferably cast iron, skillet over medium high heat with 1/2 cup olive oil. 

Dredge chicken in egg mixture, shaking excess off, then transfer to Ziploc bag and shake. 


Shake off excess flour mixture and add chicken to the skillet, careful not to over crowd. I did mine in 3 batches total. Cook each side 2-3 minutes until golden brown, flip and cook the other side an additional 2-3 minutes. 

Once cooked, transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. I like to keep mine warm in a 170° while I cook the additional batches. Repeat the same method until all chicken is cooked. 


Serve 'em up with your favorite sauce! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Yum Yum Sauce


If you've ever been to a Japanese restaurant, chances are, you have had this sauce! They usually serve it with shrimp, so it's also sometimes called Shrimp Sauce. This is my version of the popular Yum Yum sauce, with a kick! I added red wine vinegar and chili powder for some extra oomph. I served mine with tortilla crusted shrimp, so it was the prefect compliment. Don't be fooled by this also being called "shrimp sauce," you can and should put it on everything! It's great on chicken, steak, veggies, and my personal favorite, french fries! I'm starting Whole30 in a week and a half (God help me), and you can totally make this sauce Whole30 compliant by using your own approved mayo and ketchup. I will more than likely be putting it on everything! Its quick, tasty, and lasts in the fridge for about a week. Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste level. Some people may like it more or less spicy, more garlicky, etc. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (light or Whole30 works fine)
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Splenda (omit if doing Whole30) 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Siracha (omit for Whole30 or use compliant hot sauce) 
  • 1 tsp water (more or less depending on the consistency you like) 


Method:

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste to see if you want to add more garlic, hot sauce, etc. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. That's it! Easy peasy. 



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crock-Pot Chicken and Gravy



Before this year, I maybe used my crock pot once. When I lived alone, it just didn't make much sense to me. Little did I know, it would have been so time saving! I love using my crock pot, it's like having a personal chef cooking for you! You don't have to worry about dinner and can do whatever you want all day! 


This is probably the easiest recipe ever, it can hardly be called a recipe. Throw some chicken in the crock pot with some stock, can of soup, herbs, an onion and thicken it all up. The result? The moistest most delicious chicken and gravy you've ever had! 

Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 4 tbs cornstarch 
  • Several springs fresh thyme
  • 1 chopped onion (optional) 
Method

Mix chicken stock and cream of chicken soup in crock pot. Add chicken, top with thyme and onion if using. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7. 

Once cooked, remove chicken and shred. 

Take 1/2 cup liquid out of crock pot and mix with cornstarch. Whisk with a fork until no longer lumpy. Add back to crock pot, mix with other liquid and cook on high for about 10-15 minutes, or until thickened.

Add back in shredded chicken, stir to warm and serve. I like to have mine over mashed potatoes but it is equally good over cauliflower mash or stuffing. 




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken & Stuffing



If you're like me and love Thanksgiving, this meal can give you Thanksgiving all year-round, whenever you want it! It's also pretty good for you and not super heavy like a Thanksgiving meal, but definitely hits the comfort food spot. You can add any veggies you want, I just happen to like green beans and carrots. You could also add in some potatoes if you wanted. This is good served as it, or over mashed potatoes! 

Ingredients: 
  • 4 large chicken breasts 
  • 8 oz stuffing - I used Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned 
  • 10.5 oz can healthy request cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag frozen green beans
  • half bag fresh baby carrots 

Method:

Add chicken breasts to the bottom of crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. 


Combine stuffing, soup, sour cream and 1/2 cup water. Pour over chicken on one side of crock pot. Add green beans/carrots to the other side. 


Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 6-7. Add the additional half cup water about halfway through cooking time to create a gravy. If you are leaving for the day, you can add the water over the chicken and veggies at the beginning of cooking. You may need to add a bit more when you get home to create a sauce. Stir stuffing if desired halfway through to make it fluffier. Serve as is or over mashed potatoes! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cheesy Spaghetti


 This is one of my favorite childhood recipes. I think it's actually called Harvest Casserole and it's from a Kraft cookbook published in 1979, before I was even born. I remember eating it all the time when I was little and I think we called it cheesy spaghetti because it was more fun! Kids want to eat anything cheesy, right? It's super simple to make, you only need a lot of processed things (hah). The main thing that makes the taste irreplaceable is Kraft Tangy Italian boxed dinner. I know it's weird, but trust me, it works. I used 2% Velveeta to make it a little more figure friendly, it's actually only 7 weight watchers points for 1/8 or 9 points for 1/6 of the casserole. Definitely worth having the 9, believe me! If you aren't watching your weight you can of course go ham on some full fat cheese. 

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz chicken, cooked & shredded (1.5 cups)
  • 12 oz 2% Velveeta
  • 2 tbs margarine (I use Country Crock)
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 box Kraft Tangy Italian Spaghetti Dinner

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°

This is the box you need:


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and set aside. 

Melt the margarine in a large pot. Add the green pepper and cook until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. 


Add the tomatoes (with juice), water, seasoning packets from the mix, chicken, pasta and cheese. Stir to combine. 


Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with the additional 2 oz of cheese (slices are better but I didn't have a slicer at the time, so I just cut small pieces) and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 


Ta da! Amazingness. 


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