Monday, February 28, 2011

Creamy Italian Chicken

My friend with whom this recipe originated calls this Chicken Tetrazzini.  While it meets some of the criteria for a tetrazzini, ("chicken prepared in a cream sauce with mushrooms and served over pasta; usually topped with cheese") it's probably more descriptive to call it Creamy Italian Chicken.

You could certainly add mushrooms to this recipe (making it more tetrazzini-like), but honestly I haven't tried it.  The kids like it just fine as it is, and I'm afraid adding mushrooms may result in a mutiny. 

Creamy Italian Chicken

 8 oz. cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. Italian dressing mix 
1/2 c. water 
2-4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken
1 lb. angel hair pasta, prepared

1.  Place chicken in slow cooker.
2.  Cover chicken with Italian seasoning and water.
3. Combine soup and cheese in a med. saucepan.
4.  Warm over med. heat until cheese is melted and blended with soup.
5.  Pour over chicken, cover, and cook for 4 hours on high.
6.  Serve over angel hair pasta.

source:  Clarissa G.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I had this ready in the crock pot when my husband got home last night.  He had dinner with the kids while I was out running errands.  He texted me while I was out to say "This chicken has my seal of approval."  That's his way of saying he really liked it!

What I like best about this recipe is that it includes only ingredients that I pretty much always have on hand.  We like it served with rice or noodles and a side of steamed vegetables. The leftovers make a great addition to a salad the next day.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lbs. boneless-skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. water
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (I used chicken soup base, since I had some on hand)
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley (I only had dried, so I used it, but added it at the beginning.)

1.  Combine oregano, salt, and pepper.  Rub all of the mixture onto the chicken.
2.  Brown chicken in butter in skillet.  Transfer to slow cooker.
3.  Place water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon in skillet.  Bring to a boil, loosening browned bits from skillet.  Pour over chicken.
4.  Cover.  Cook on high 2-2 1/2 hours or Low 4-5 hours.  Add fresh parsley and baste chicken.  Cook on high 15-30 minutes.  Serve.
I didn't get a good shot of it the night we made it, but here it is on my salad the next day.  Yum!
Source:  Erin P.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chicken Lime Fajitas

This recipe is a new, but permanent, addition to our family's meal rotation.  It comes from my good friend whose food blog, a new nothing with a speckled handle, is a new source of inspiration for me.  I have a feeling more good recipes from her site will be making their way to Not Leftovers Again! very soon.

I happen to have a grill pan, but if you don't, this recipe could be done on the grill or broiler.  You could also vary the vegetables to put anything you like on the fajitas.  I had green pepper and onion, so that's what I used. The original recipe called for corn tortillas, which most of my family doesn't care for, so we used flour tortillas instead.  

Chicken Lime Fajitas

6 - 8 chicken tenders (could also use breasts)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
juice and pulp of one lime
a few pinches of salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bell pepper, (any color) sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
Monterrey Jack cheese (or cheddar, or both!)
toppings:  sour cream, avacado/guacamole, fresh salsa, etc.

1.  Add all ingredients to resealable plastic bag, or tupperware container. Shake to coat all chicken. Marinate for several hours, preferably overnight.
2. Preheat grill pan over medium to high heat. drizzle pan with olive oil. place chicken in hot pan.  Do not flip or move until the chicken looks cooked at least halfway through. (this allows for carmelization, that's where you get your grill marks and your flavor!) Turn over and cook through entirely until juices run clear or chicken reaches 170 - 180 degrees.  Set aside to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
3. In a med. skilliet, melt butter over med-high heat.  Add veggies to the pan. Cook until tender and lightly carmelized.

4.  To assemble fajitas, heat a tortilla over a dry pan for a few seconds.  Sprinkle a little cheese on the tortilla and let it melt.  Top with sliced chicken and vegetables, and whatever toppings you like.  (We used sour cream and sliced avocado.)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Parmesan Corn Chowder

I like to use fancy words when making this soup.  Words like, aromatics and roux.  Really, it's just a creamy, cheesy vegetable soup.  It's excellent with hot rolls or crackers.

Parmesan Corn Chowder

2 c. chopped, peeled potato
1/2 c. thinly sliced carrot
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cans creamed corn
Bacon, cooked & crumbled  (I would say that this is optional, but for me, bacon is never optional.)

1.  In a large pot, stir together 2 c. water, potato, carrot, celery, onion, and pepper.
2.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter, whisk in the flour.
4.  Add milk all at once and cook for 1 more minute.
5.  Add the cheese, stirring until melted.
6.  Carefully add the cheese mixture to the vegetable mixture.
7.  Stir in the corn, and continue to heat through, stirring occasionally.  DO NOT BOIL.
8.  Stir in the bacon or sprinkle over individual servings.

source:  Erin P.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Biscuits and Gravy

I never ate biscuits & gravy growing up.  In fact, the very idea of eating a biscuit in some kind of milky, white gravy was fairly disgusting to me.  As an adult I've often celebrated holidays with my step-family.  My step grandmother makes the best down-home southern-style breakfast you've ever had.  It was there I realized that  biscuits & gravy is not only delicious, but it's pretty easy to make.

Biscuits & Gravy

You can make biscuits with the standard Bisquick Recipe or you can dress them up with the following:
2 1/2 c. Bisquick
1/4 c. cold butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 egg & 1 Tbsp. water

1.  Combine Bisquick with butter using a pastry cutter.
2.  Add sugar and buttermilk and combine.  Knead thoroughly in bowl
3.  Pat on table into 1 in. thick dough. Cut with biscuit cutter (or juice can, 2 in. glass etc).
4.  Brush tops with beaten egg mixed with water.
5.  Bake at 450 for 12 minutes.

For my family of 6, I need to double the following recipe:
1-2 sausage patties
1 Tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
salt & pepper to taste

1.  Crumble sausage in a skillet and cook until nicely browned.
2.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
3.  Add milk and salt & pepper (I usually do about 1/4 tsp of each).  Cook over med heat until thickened (just a few minutes)
4.  Serve over hot biscuits.

source:  Jim J. &

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Taco Casserole

This is a nice variation to the traditional "taco night."  It's meant to be eaten in a bowl, though you can certainly try wrapping it up in the tortilla of your choice if you wish.

Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 c. tomato juice or water
2 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 can chili beans in sauce
8 oz. corn chips

garnish options:
chopped onion, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, black olives, sour cream

1.  Brown ground beef.  Add onion and garlic, and drain excess fat.
2.  Stir in tomato sauce, oregano, tomato juice or water, and chili powder.  Simmer a few minutes to let flavors combine.
3.  In a greased 2 qt. casserole dish, layer meat mixture, chili beans, and corn chips.
4. Cover and bake at 350 for 450 minutes.
5.  Serve topped with garnishes of your choice.

source:  Erin P.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Swiss Chicken Casserole

This is admittedly not a fancy dish.  Casseroles rarely are.  But just because it isn't fancy, doesn't mean it isn't tasty.

Swiss Chicken Casserole

6 pcs. chicken (I usually use 3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut in half)
6 slices swiss cheese
1 box (2 c.) stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. butter or margarine

1.  Place chicken in the bottom of a slow-cooker prepared with cooking spray.
2.  Place a slice of cheese on top of each slice of chicken.
3.  Combine milk and cream of chicken soup.  Pour over chicken.
4.  Sprinkle stuffing over the top of the chicken.  Place pats of butter over the stuffing.
5.  Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
*  This can also be layered in a 9x13 pan, and cooked at 350 for 45 min - 1 hour or until chicken is done.

source:  James B.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sticky Wings

This is a good recipe for entertaining as the bulk of the preparation is done beforehand.

A couple of tips:  When you finish with step 4, be sure to remove the wings from the slow cooker and leave the liquid behind.  Otherwise, when it cools, you will have a large congealed mass of wings & fat.   Also, be sure not to skimp on the sugar.  I was doing a few other things while preparing my final sauce last night and ended up accidentally leaving out about 1/4 c. sugar.  While the wings were still good, they didn't have enough sugar to make that perfect, crisp, sticky char under the broiler. 

Sticky Wings

1 (3in.) piece fresh ginger, peeled & chopped, or 3 tsp. fresh ground ginger
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar (divided)
1/4 c. soy sauce (divided)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (divided)
4 lbs. chicken wings, (halved at joined and wingtips removed)
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. tomato paste

1.  Place chicken in slow cooker.
2.  Make a rub by pulsing ginger, garlic, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp. cayenne together in food processor until finely ground.
3.  Add rub to chicken and toss until combined.
4.  Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.
5. Remove chicken from slow cooker using a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl.  Let cool 20 min or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
6.  Whisk together water, tomato paste, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp. cayenne.  Add half of the sauce to the bowl with the chicken and toss gently.
7. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a wire rack.  Spray with cooking spray.  Place chicken on prepared rack.
8.  Broil 10-15 minutes.  Flip wings and brush with remaining sauce.  Broil for another 3 minutes, or until well caramelized and lightly charred.  Serve.
With the proper amount of sugar, these will have a slight char to them.

source:  Cook's Country

Glazed Meatballs

These are perfect for bringing to a potluck or other occasion when you might want to bring a hot appetizer.

Glazed Meatballs

1-1/2 lbs. prepared meatballs (frozen is fine)
1 1/2 c. grape jelly
1 c. barbeque sauce

1.  In large saucepan, combine jelly and barbeque sauce.  Stir over med. heat until jelly melts.
2.  Add meatballs.  Heat 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through and glazed, stirring occasionally.
2.  Place meatballs in slow cooker.  Pour sauce over meatballs, tossing gently to coat.  Cook on low 2-4 hours, or until meatballs are heated through and glazed.

source: Sunday paper coupon insert

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fresh Salsa

My dear friend makes this salsa and gives it out at Christmastime.  It has become quite legendary.  One Christmas she delivered it while I was home alone.  Within half an hour I had devoured the whole jar.  It's that good.  

Fresh Salsa 

6 Roma tomatoes (about 1 lb.), juiced and drained 
2 cans Rotel tomatoes, drained (I use the kind with green chilies) 
½ c. sweet onion 
1 bunch cilantro 
1 jalapeno pepper, or to taste (seeds removed for less heat)
2-3 garlic cloves 
1 tsp. salt 
1 lime juiced 

1.  In a food processor, chop together the onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and garlic.  Empty mixture into a bowl. 
2.  Coarsely chop the Roma tomatoes in the food processor.  Add to the onion mixture in the bowl. 
3.  Coarsely chop the canned tomatoes in the food processor.  Add to the onion and tomato mixture in the bowl.  Stir in salt and lime juice.  Serve with tortilla chips. 
* This recipe can be made in the blender, but the resulting salsa will be more pureed. 
** To easily juice and seed the Roma, I cut them in half and squeeze the insides into the trash

source:  Cari C.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Apricot Chicken

My sister makes this, and serves it with garlic mashed potatoes.  I prefer it served over rice.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this dish.  It was gobbled up too quickly!

Some versions of this recipe include curry but we have never tried it that way because some of my family members absolutely hate curry. 

Apricot Chicken

8 chicken pieces (we used boneless, but you can use bone-in if you extend the cooking time.)
1 c. Russian salad dressing*
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 c. apricot jam

1. Place chicken in 9 x 13 pan.
2.  Mix dressing, jam, dressing, and onion soup mix together in small bowl.  Pour over chicken.
3.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is done.

*If you don't have Russian dressing, you can mix together the following:
1 c. ketchup
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1/3 c. oil

source:  Erin P.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is one of those recipes gets passed down from generation to generation and never gets written down.  I'll make an attempt, however.

The best way to start is by cooking a whole chicken in a stockpot on the stove, taking the chicken out, letting it cool, deboning it, putting the chicken back into the stock, etc. While this yields the best result it isn't quick enough for your average weeknight dinner.  Instead, I'll often make it with precooked chicken, or cut up chicken breasts and thighs.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. cut up chicken breasts or thighs (or some of each) OR 2 c. cubed cooked chicken
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
8 c. chicken stock
1/2 bag wide egg noodles

*up to 1 Tbsp. chicken base (optional)

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot.  Add chicken and cook until nicely browned.  (skip this step if using precooked chicken.)
2.  Add vegetables, thyme, pepper, parsley.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften.
3.  Add broth and bring to a boil. *Add chicken base.
4.  Add noodles and cook 8-10 minutes until noodles are done.

*Chicken base is NOT the same as bouillon.  A good chicken base will have the first ingredient listed as "chicken."  You may want to use it if you have a very weak flavored broth...such as a low sodium, low fat variety.  Taste the broth first (before it is boiling) and if it doesn't have enough good chicken flavor, then add the base while the stock is boiling.  It will dissolve best that way.
Remember that a little goes a long way.

source:  Mom

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cheesy Hash Skillet

This tasty concoction is perfect as a "breakfast for dinner" meal.  It takes more time that I usually spend on breakfast, but less than I usually spend on dinner.

The original recipe doesn't call for salt, but I find that unless your brand of bacon grease is particularly salty, you may want to add a little salt & pepper to the potatoes.

Cheesy Hash Skillet

6 slices bacon
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 lb. frozen Southern-style hash browns
1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
salt & pepper

1. Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, reserving drippings. Drain bacon on paper towels.

2. Add onions and potatoes to skillet with drippings.  Cover and cook on medium-high heat 14 min. or until potatoes are browned, stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in cheese.

3. With a spoon, make 6 small wells in potato mixture; crack an egg into each one. Top with bacon; cook 3 to 4 min.(covered) or just until eggs are set.