Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

6 Feb
Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Finding creative ways to use leftover deli rotisserie chicken (or even home-roasted for that matter) can sometimes be a challenge. I was pretty stoked when this recipe for chicken croquettes showed up in my WP reader board for a unique and delicious way to use up some leftover cooked chicken. (Thank you Fabulous Fare Sisters for making my day!)

My local grocery just started offering rotisserie chicken breasts pieces for sale instead of the whole chicken. OMG what??? I am not a huge fan of dark meat (although I know it is juicier, but I let hubby always take care of that part of the chicken.) But wow, it was so nice to get some deli-roasted chicken *knowing* all the leftovers would be used up before freezing it and turning it into chicken stock. Yes, that is a nice feeling indeed…

These tasty croquettes were not that hard at all to make, and delivered on taste and were not dry at all. We were all very impressed! The adapted recipe version I am giving you made 5 croquettes, so now I have two in the freezer for an easy future meal for just the hubs and I when daughter isn’t home for dinner. Hooray!

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes
Adapted from Chicken Parmesan Croquettes at Fabulous Fare Sisters

2 1/2 to 3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (I used my Ninja food processor)
1 large egg
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (homemade are good!)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth (low sodium or homemade)
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano (from our garden!)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup marinara sauce, heated through
Shredded Mozzarella cheese for topping the croquettes
Dried or fresh basil, for garnish

Cooked Chicken in Ninja Processor

Cooked Chicken in Ninja Processor

Finely chop/mince the cooked chicken, either with a knife or in a food processor.

In a large mixing bowl, add the first 8 ingredients and combine together using your hands until blended well.

Croquette Ingredients

Croquette Ingredients

Form mixture into patty size of choice — we ended up with 5.  Add oil to skillet over medium heat, then cook on each side until golden, about 3 minutes each side (remember the chicken is already cooked).  Add more breadcrumbs on top (if you have more) when you flip over for extra flavor.

Frying the Croquettes

Frying the Croquettes

Preheat broiler in oven or toaster oven.

Croquettes Ready for Broiling

Croquettes Ready for Broiling

Top each croquette with a couple of tablespoons of heated marinara sauce of choice, then Mozzarella, and broil until cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Broiled Croquettes

Broiled Croquettes

Garnish with dried or fresh chopped basil. We served this over cooked pasta, but you can serve with any grain or pasta and a salad.

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Wildcard Contest Winner ~ Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

4 Feb
Wildcard Winner Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

Wildcard Winner Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

What better way to lead into the Mardis Gras celebrations than with a surprise Wildcard Contest Winner Cajun recipe over at Food52 website??? I’ve never been a finalist and contest winner with prizes, but at least with a Wildcard Win you get braggin’ rights, yes? I actually got awarded this three days ago, but have been so busy only just found out today. YAY! (With a wildcard win you get a nice note from the editors of the website on the recipe why they picked it.) :)

Linky to the recipe here ———–>  Cajun Roasted Chickpeas

We’ll see you again this weekend with a new recipe!

Quick Background Update

31 Jan

Just a quickie post to change my blinding green background. Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief? :D

It’s been long overdue. When I chose the other background several years ago it was from my crappy laptop monitor, but when I finally saw it on a real calibrated monitor, my eyes went wide open. And then, I just kept putting it off.

Happy Sunday Y’all!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

30 Jan
BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

I rarely try to do copycat recipes as they never come up to snuff to what you expect, but this one scored in my house. Now, probably 99.9999% of my readers don’t even live in my small town nor either close to it, so we’ll just leave it at that I was able to surpass the taste of this amazing shrimp appetizer dish at a local trendy restaurant.

It probably doesn’t even taste the same, since I never bought their expensive $16 bottle of the sauce to compare it to. (Who buys a $16 bottle of BBQ sauce, what??) All I know is that it exceeded our expectations of how it would turn out. I’m in LOVE! My husband swooned! (OK he didn’t literally, but he loved it too so I had to say it.)

I tried searching for the copycat recipe from our local restaurant (Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails), but all it ever came up with was a copycat recipe for Zydeco 5, which is apparently in the Midwest or thereabouts. So, I googled for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Whoa! Too much information. However, what I gleaned from it all is that there were two camps in how to prepare it. Either marinating for a long time then oven cooking, or cooking quickly in a cast-iron skillet. I chose the former after my research.

I printed out several of the recipes that went in both camps, then combined all the ingredients into one full recipe. I got a little confuzzled at one point when I scratched out on one and then switched to the other then went back to the other. OY!

Instead of making grits or polenta cakes from scratch (for time reasons), I went with an organic refrigerated garlic and basil polenta tube from a local grocery. Trader Joe’s sells a similar tube of this product.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Note: I’ve offered to bring this to Super Bowl next week as an appetizer, and THEN make it again a few weeks later as the main course for a dinner party. Am I nuts??? LOL. But will be glad to do it.

Second note: I have a high heat/spice tolerance, so adjust seasoning amounts as needed.

This recipe serves two people, adjust amounts if serving more. On to the recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
3 tablespoons Worcesterhire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used Stubb’s)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cajun (Creole) seasoning
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried spicy oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Generous amounts of ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepared refrigerated polenta
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients through to the ground pepper. You may want to add the spicy spices a little at a time until the spice level suits your tastes.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s reduced just a tad. Add the shrimp to a casserole dish, then pour the sauce over it, stirring around to coat. Spread the shrimp around so they’re in a single layer.

Marinating the Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 4 hours or overnight.

About a half hour before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When preheated, place shrimp dish uncovered in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the polenta into 1/2-inch or so cakes (I wasn’t very precise in that case). Add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the polenta cakes on each side until slightly browned.

Fried Polenta Cakes

Fried Polenta Cakes

Place two polenta cakes in a bowl, then add desired amount of shrimp over the cakes, pouring generous amounts of the BBQ sauce over it. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and green onion. Serve with a crusty bread, for sopping up all the sauce. Try not to fight over who gets to mop up the last of the sauce out of the casserole dish.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Coq Au Vin ~ Rare Recipe Challenge

24 Jan
Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

I recently joined in with a group of fun foodie blogger to participate in a recipe challenge. Lina over at Lin’s Recipes “challenged” us to choose from a list of exotic recipes from around the world we had never made before so that we could all expand our food horizon’s beyond our own country. I read through the list then sheepishly asked if I could use a post from a couple of years ago, because hey, at that time it WAS new to me! She graciously agreed. Thank you Lina!
Rare Recipe Challenge

Head on over to the Rare Recipe Challenge to see what others have made!  The cooks have a week to add their entry, so check back often to see new recipes added throughout the week.

Thank you Lina for creating this fun challenge for the month of January (new year, new recipes!), and a great big thanks to Jhuls for judging the entries. She can be found over at thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com .

So without further adieu, I bring to you my story of cooking the French dish Coq au Vin!

__________________________________________________

After feeding our foreign exchange student a healthy (or unhealthy you might say) dose of American food, I decided to surprise her one night with a traditional French dish. She walked into the kitchen and I motioned her over to the crock pot. I lifted the lid and said, “Tah Da! I made you Coq au Vin!” She had a very puzzled look on her face. I said it again nice and slow, like this: “COKE UHH VEEEEEN.” Blank look. “You know, chicken in wine!”

“Ohhhh, yes, yes. It’s Coh ah Vah,” she replied. There is barely a hint of the k and n sound, but I could not seem to quite get that part right and we had a few giggles at my poor attempts. So after I thoroughly corrupted the French pronunciation, I was hoping I didn’t do the same to the meal. For one, I couldn’t find a true Burgundy wine at the store, so settled on a Pinot Noir. I also knew my daughter wouldn’t eat the mushrooms in it, so added some baby carrots. I did, however, ask Caroline what the French typically served the dish over — potatoes or noodles? She said potatoes, so then I asked her if they were boiled or mashed? Another puzzled look from her then had me pantomiming round circles for boiled and banging my fist on the table to simulate mashing. Ahh, the second one, mashed potatoes!

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

After her bowl was filled twice and mopped dry with thick slices of French bread, I can say that the meal was a success! This dish is typically made with skin-on chicken thighs and legs, but all I had were large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. So I lopped them in half, and hoped they wouldn’t come out too dry. I think using a slow cooker helped retain some of the juiciness but I think next time I would cook them only about 3 hours on high instead of 4 hours. But I was very satisfied with the results, and now I know how to properly pronounce this lovely meal even if I can’t actually say it right.

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken, skin on or skinless
1/4 cup flour, divided
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
8 ounces frozen pearl onions, thawed
8 ounces small button mushrooms
2 cups whole baby carrots
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Fresh parsley, chopped
Mashed potatoes and French bread, for serving

Vegetable Medley

Vegetable Medley

Cook the bacon in a large skillet, remove from heat, and drain bacon on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet, or if you used lean bacon then add some vegetable oil to make up for it. Season the chicken with pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Dust the chicken pieces with 1/8 cup flour, reserving the rest, and add the chicken to the skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken for several minutes on each side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Chicken Vegetables and Bacon

Chicken, Vegetables, and Bacon

Add the tablespoon of oil to the skillet over medium heat, stir in the rest of the flour, then add in the pearl onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the baby carrots, then return skillet to heat. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken broth, scraping up all the yummy brown bits.

Wine Mixture

Wine Mixture

Whisk in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes and turn off heat. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the crock pot, add the bacon on top, then pour the wine mixture over all. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low 6 to 8 hours.

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Make your mashed potatoes in the last half hour or so of cooking and keep over low heat until ready to serve. Spoon mashed potatoes into bowls, top with the chicken and vegetables plus juices, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Have lots of thick-sliced French bread for sopping up all the savory juices. Enjoy!

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

23 Jan
One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

This is a recipe I have made since college repeatedly. Surprisingly, I have never posted it as it is just “one of those meals” in my rotation. When both hubs and I stare at each other after a long day at work with those glazed eyes and say “what’s for dinner,” this recipe is usually one that comes up in the replies.

Back in the college days (and even early married days) I used to make this with that canned “cream of” soup. Any flavor I pretty much had on hand. After the hubby got diagnosed with high blood pressure, that was the first thing out the door. So I learned how to make my own “cream of” soups, and it is surprisingly simple! (And certainly healthier too but it does have butter and flour.) But never mind that. It just TASTES better too! It’s a plate full of comfort, I tell you! We typically serve with a small salad or steamed green veggie on the side.

This can make enough for anywhere from 2 to 6 people, if you have a large enough skillet. I had some huge pork chops, so depending on your family’s eating habits you’ll have leftovers, or not. Don’t worry about the amount of “soup” you end up with, there’s always enough creamy sauce for the amount of meat, potatoes and onions, even if it looks sketchy at best at first. No lie!

p.s. I originally called this simple and easy, but after looking at all the steps after writing it up, I realized I only “think” of it that way, as I swear I could make this blindfolded! If you make this enough times (as I hope you will) then I think you’ll feel the same!

So here is what we have going on:

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

3 to 6 small potatoes, depending on the mouths you feed, washed and scrubbed
1/2 to 1 large yellow onion, peeled
3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of pork chops, either bone-in or not
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil
Several splashes of wine, stock, or water, for deglazing
1 recipe of “cream of” soup (ingredients and recipe to follow)
Pinches of dried or fresh herbs that you like, to taste (I prefer thyme and spicy oregano for this)

Cream of “Anything” Soup Recipe

3 to 4 tablespoons real butter
1/4 cup of finely diced “of” ingredient (mushrooms, cooked chicken, celery… you get the idea)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium stock (any kind)
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
Ground pepper and salt, or Mrs. Dash , to taste

Sliced Patooties

Sliced Patooties

First thing to do is get out the mandoline and slice up all those potatooties and onions thinly. If you don’t have a fancy (like 9.99 Walmart or Amazon) device, then slice thin with your sharpest knife. It’s OK if you don’t have a mandoline. I’m a newcomer to that game and scoffed until I bought one. I totally get it. Cut the onion rings in half with a knife (optional).

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Next season up those chops nice and good, however you want. Nobody is judging you on your spice preference.

Seasoned Pork Chops

Seasoned Pork Chops

Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a large hot skillet (that has a cover to fit) and sear the pork on each side, until nice and browned. I forget how long that takes as I just eyeball it. A few minutes each side, at least. Once browned, remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Browned Pork Chops

Browned Pork Chops

Add more oil to the skillet and toss in the sliced potatoes and onions and lower heat to medium. Season, to taste. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or so, stirring here and again.

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Meanwhile, make your “cream” of soup. The pans will be side by side, you can do it!

I had ‘shrooms on hand that day, so cream of mushroom soup it was! I also used some turkey stock from my Thanksgiving batch of carcass stock.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add your “of” ingredient (in my case the mushrooms) and cook until soft and the butter is foaming. Pre-cooked chicken is not such a big deal to worry about softening.

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Add the flour then whisk until it’s all incorporated and turns into a weird paste. That’s OK too, it’s supposed to do that.

Making Paste

Making Paste

Add the stock all at once, then whisk like a whirling dervish until it’s all incorporated and smooth and creamy. Strange how it suddenly happens, huh? You’ll know after you try it. Then add the milk and whisk some more until it’s all combined and creamy again. Once again, season to taste and stir in. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Now. Now is the time to put it all together. Deglaze the skillet of veggies with wine or more stock or water to loosen up the yummy crispy bits.

Place the browned pork on top of the potatoes and onions.Pour the cream “of” soup over the pork and spread around. Sprinkle your preferred herbs over top. Please, do not freak out at this point that you don’t have enough soup or gravy or whatever. Trust me. See my photo?

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Bring the skillet up to a slow simmer, then cover, and turn down to medium low. Then walk away. WALK AWAY! Leave it alone for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover and smoosh everything down into the gravy because OMG where did all that gravy come from??? Ha, told you so. This photo is only after 20 minutes.

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Cover the skillet again, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the pork is at least 145 or more degrees, anywhere from 10 to 20 more minutes depending on the thickness of the chops and potatoes.

Once potatoes are softened and pork is safe to eat, turn off skillet, cut pork into serving sizes and scoop amount of potatoes and onions and gravy on to your plate that you want. Serve with some kind of green veggie or salad or whatnot. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

16 Jan
Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Flavor bombs, I tell you, and it’s no joke when I say these are da’ bomb! These large puppies are not only packed with flavor, they are the size of small cannon balls. I was searching the interwebz for something to make with my half-priced pound of ground turkey I found in the Reduce for Immediate Sale bin at the grocery, and came across several recipes for ground turkey meatballs. The thing is, I didn’t have all the ingredients for any single one, so did was I always do. I printed them all out, and mish-mashed them together to come up with this.

BONUS: Earlier in the week I had made some homemade croutons from roasted garlic-infused olive oil and grated Parmesan. I used leftover bread I took home from our company party.

Making Homemade Croutons

Making Homemade Croutons

Gosh aren’t they lovely?

Homemade Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Croutons

Homemade Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Croutons

They ground up in my Ninja perfectly to use as a binder for the meatballs. Keeping the roasted garlic theme in mind, I did a quick roast of three large cloves of garlic in my toaster oven for 20 minutes.

SECOND BONUS: The night before I had made a huge batch of our favorite side dish to go with whatever the heck meat we had (See I love these so much that I can’t even remember what I ate with them as in my mind they are the star of any meal.) I had plenty of this rosemary bliss to serve with the meatballs, so of course I carried the rosemary theme through to the meatballs. Recipe here ——–> Rosemary and Butter Red Potatoes and Green Beans.

Buttered Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Buttered Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

UN-BONUS: Sometimes my math isn’t so good. I was trying to figure out how long to set the timer so I could take the meatballs out of the oven about 5 minutes before they were done to zest some Parmesan over the top of them. I usually cook meatloaf about an hour, but figured I would check them with an instant-read thermometer at 30 minutes. So. I set the timer for 40 minutes. Why? I have no clue. Slightly on the dry side, but the spinach did help a lot with keeping them from being a disaster. The pan juices in the casserole dish poured over was also a perfect remedy.

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

3 large cloves garlic, peels left on
1/4 cup bread crumbs (from flavored croutons if you have them, or make your own!)
1/4 cup finely minced onion (I used the same Ninja that I ground up the breadcrumbs in)
1 pound ground turkey
8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary (I crush the dried leaves with a mortar and pestle)
Pinch of dried thyme
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Ground black pepper, to taste

Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and roast for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven (toaster oven is more economical). Remove and let cool, then peel and mince.

Meanwhile, process the croutons into bread crumbs, remove, then process the onion into a fine mince. (Store-bought bread crumbs are fine, as well as mincing your own onion with a knife.)

Processing the Croutons into Bread Crumbs

Processing the Croutons into Bread Crumbs

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and get ready to mess up your hands. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients using both hands.

Ground Turkey Meatball Ingredients

Ground Turkey Meatball Ingredients

When completely combined, scoop out a large handful and roll around in your hands and shape into the size of a large golf ball or small tennis ball. (What is that size? A rubber squash ball?) Either way, you should end up with six fairly same-sized meatballs.

Turkey Meatballs Ready to Bake

Turkey Meatballs Ready to Bake

Place the meatballs in a small oil-sprayed baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes (not 40 please) or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Remove foil then grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over top. Cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve immediately with any sides of choice.

Baked Spinach Garlic and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach Garlic and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

13 Jan
Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

Here’s a surprise mid-week post from me! I made this for lunch a couple of days go from leftover Carne Guisada I made over the weekend. Carne Guisada is heaven. It is one of my go-to crockpot meals that just screams delicious Tex-Mex. I make this as often as I can. Get the recipe here —–> Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada Simmering

Carne Guisada Simmering

And as usual, I had leftovers. So what better way to make use of the leftovers than to plop an egg in the middle and cook to your liking?

Egg in Heaven Almost

Egg in Heaven ~ Almost

Oh man, this was so scrumptious! I let the egg white set on the bottom, then covered it with a lid for one minute to set the top.

Egg is Now In Heaven

Egg is Now In Heaven

Mind you this is a 5-inch cast-iron pan, a mini. So yes, I ate it right out of the pan. Slurp, slurp! Hardly any cleanup!

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

9 Jan
Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Some dishes are just not photogenic. I made this dish last week and the family just gobbled it up and it got raves all the way around. So when I went to take a final “plating shot” I scattered some cilantro over the top of it and thought, “you know, this is just like putting lipstick on a pig.” HA! But mind you, this slow cooker dish is just the ticket for a bowl full of creamy, cheesy, chicken-noodley goodness. You will be licking that bowl clean! (And even better, this recipe is completely versatile!)

WARNING: Unpleasant food photos ahead. Really, there is nothing very appetizing to look at while making this dish. But the taste…! And yes, I am making fun of my photography, because sometimes it just works out that way. ;)

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (mine was 12 ounces, and frozen!)
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or otherwise, with liquid)
1 roasted Hatch chile, peeled, seeded, and diced (or sub with 2 tablespoons of canned diced green chiles)
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or sub low-sodium store-bought broth)
4 ounces spaghetti noodles, uncooked
2 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, any kind (I used half Gruyere and half sharp cheddar)
1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder (or regular)
1 teaspoon lime juice
Cilantro, for garnish (the lipstick on the pig!)

Season the chicken breast with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper, to taste, then add to the crockpot. I actually added mine in frozen, no need to defrost — really!

Peeled and Seeded Roasted Hatch Chile Pepper

Peeled and Seeded Roasted Hatch Chile Pepper ~ Hmmm, how exciting.

Chop up the onion and peel and dice that roasted pepper. Wait, you don’t have a roasted Hatch chile pepper sitting around? Canned is fine.

Veggies and Chicken

Veggies and Chicken ~ Can’t see the raw chicken? You don’t want to. Trust me.

Toss in the onions, tomatoes, chiles and chicken stock/broth. (And I used turkey stock, see how I am?) Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Remove chicken breast and cover with foil until cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken with a fork and add back to the crockpot.

Shredding the Chicken

Shredding the Chicken ~ Hey, let’s take a really close up shot of the shredded chicken so you can even see the tomato bits stuck to it!

Grate your cheeses. No, don’t grate the cream cheese.

Grated Cheeses

Grated Cheeses ~ Finally, something tolerable to view. But it’s just cheese.

Break the uncooked noodles in half and add to the pot along with with the cheeses, chile powder and lime juice.

Adding the Dried Spaghetti

Adding the Dried Spaghetti ~ Really Kathryn? That’s just ick.

Stir around as best you can, then cover and cook for another half hour to an hour until the noodles are done. Give it one final stir to incorporate well, then serve in bowls garnished with lipstick, um, cilantro. :D

Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Texas Chicken Spaghetti ~ Because putting a really old crockpot in the background with half-spent cilantro makes it look better, right?

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Classic French Onion Soup

2 Jan
Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

I put onions on the shopping list, and good ol’ hubby came home with a 5-pound bag of them! I typically buy two or three at a time, sometimes a couple of sweet and a yellow, sometimes a red. But 5-pounds of yellow onions?! So of course, I had to make some French Onion Soup.

I have made this soup before, but the results were less than satisfying. So I printed out my handy-dandy PDF copy, then went to work at scratching out items and modifying amounts and ingredients. I was extremely pleased with this version of the Classic French Onion Soup. WAY better than the last one. I hope you think so too!

Classic French Onion Soup

1 1/2 pounds medium yellow onions
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry sherry (the good stuff, not cooking sherry!)
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups homemade beef stock, or low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste, if needed
Thick slices French bread
Butter for bread
Grated Gruyere cheese, enough for topping

Sliced Onions

Sliced Onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, slice the onions thin. This is a piece of cake if you have a mandoline slicer, and I adore mine! Next, add the butter to a soup pot or Dutch oven that has an oven-proof lid and melt it over medium heat.

Buttered Onions

Buttered Onions

Add the onions to the melted butter, stirring around to coat. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Uncover and give the onions a good stir, then recover and add the pot to the oven, leaving a crack in the lid. After 30 minutes, uncover the pot and give the onions another good stir.

Onions Halfway Cooked

Onions Halfway Cooked

Leaving uncovered, cook for another 45 minutes, stirring them every 10 or 15 minutes, until they are caramel brown.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Once the onions are brown and caramelized, take the pot out of the oven and place on the stove over medium heat. Add the sherry and deglaze the pot, including scraping all the brown bits from the edges. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the sherry reduces about half. Add the thyme sprig, bay leaf, and beef or chicken broth. If you don’t have homemade beef stock, I have read the soup will come out much better using a good quality store-bought chicken broth rather than beef.

Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, then finish it off with the cider vinegar. Take a sip, and season to taste with salt and/or pepper. I found it only needed just a pinch of salt, but I always use a lot of pepper.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, slice enough French bread to top the amount of individual ramekins you will be cooking. Butter the tops of the slices, then place them in the oven or toaster oven on broil for a few minutes, until browned and crispy.

Soup Ready for Broiling

Soup Ready for Broiling

Ladle soup into the ramekins, top with a slice of crispy bread, then top with a good amount of grated Gruyere cheese. Broil for several minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove carefully from oven, and serve immediately.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup ~ Please forgive my horribly focused shot!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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