Chicken Enchilada Ring

For anyone that likes Tex-Mex food, you must try this Chicken Enchilada Ring. This recipe is one of my wife’s that she has been making us for years, and it absolutely never gets old. One of the things that makes this so good, is that I have never seen another rendition quite like this. I trust there is somewhere out there, I just haven’t run across it.

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I do wish I would have done it better justice by taking a few more pictures, especially of the process, and better ones definitely of the end result. But these few pictures should get the point across on what it should look like, and how you need to lay out the crescent rolls to start.

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Definitely give this one a try for something different, and if you do, I really think you will enjoy it. When we make this, I normally make queso and drizzle it on top of our portions once it id plated, and my wife likes hers with salsa and sour cream on top.

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Chicken Enchilada Ring

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 4-oz can chopped green chilis, un-drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp southwestern seasoning mix

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

Juice from 1/2 lime

2/3 cups crushed tortilla chips

2 packages crescent rolls

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together chopped chicken, cheese, chilis, mayo and seasoning mix. Add tomato, lime juice, and chips to the mixture.

Separate crescent roll pieces and arrange to look like a sun, with the flat bases towards the center, and the skinny points facing out. Spoon mixture onto the fatter base parts, all the way around the circle. Fold tips of the pieces back over the mixture, pressing down on the tip to secure it to the base.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Orange Chicken (w/ GF option)

I have gone through no less than a handful of Orange Chicken recipes, all with decent results. Even posted one on here that I thought was definitely worth making from the Pioneer Woman, who has never steered me wrong. But alas, she has to move to the side on this one, and I have now deleted that version and am replacing it with this one. It is hands down the best one I have made, and much better than what I can get from a take-out Chinese restaurant.

From the base recipe (linked below), I only made two minor changes. One, as the La Choy Orange Ginger sauce already has red pepper flakes in it, I omitted the extra addition of them to the sauce, but that is purely a personal preference as my family tends to lean towards the less spicy dishes. I have made it with the extra red pepper flakes, and it is still excellent. Second, instead of the gluten free white rice flour, I use GF all-purpose flour (Trader Joe’s brand works awesome!). I have also made this with regular all-purpose flour and it is just as good. I serve this over simple Jasmine rice.

Enjoy!

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Orange Chicken

Ingredients

One pound of boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces

½ cup cornstarch

½ cup all-purpose flour (or GF all-purpose flour)

2 eggs

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Orange Sauce-

1½ Cups of La Choy Orange Ginger sauce

1½ teaspoons of garlic powder

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1½ teaspoons San-J Teriyaki Sauce

Optional- sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Instructions

Crack eggs in shallow dish or bowl and break yolks/lightly scramble. Mix together cornstarch and rice flour on a separate shallow dish.

Dip chicken pieces into egg let any excess drip off then dredge into the flour mixture and coat pieces of chicken. Heat oil for deep frying in wok or deep fryer to 375°F.

While oil is heating stir together orange sauce and garlic power in saucepan. Heat thoroughly then add sesame oil and stir together. Turn sauce to low.

Once oil is heated fry in batches about 3-4 minutes until a golden crisp and chicken is 165° internally.

Add chicken to orange sauce and stir together, coating the chicken in the sauce. Add chopped green onions and sesame seeds for garnish. Serve immediately.

The original recipe can be found at Rolling Out Dough here.

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Chicken Chilaquiles

Chicken Chilaquiles! Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, as I have not the faintest idea! For someone who never had even a bite of Mexican food growing up, I sure have not come to love it! Love it in as it is on the menu at least 2-3 times a week, in some form or fashion. The latest attempt was not only the first time making this dish, it was a first time eating this dish. I had come to notice it more and more on Tex-Mex restaurant menu’s, and while I never ordered it, it definitely intrigued me. And I honestly, the only reason I didn’t order it was it looked so simple, I couldn’t justify spending money to have someone else make it for me.

At the end of the day, it was as easy as it looked, and just as tasty. If you have someone on a gluten free diet in your house, this dish is perfect for you. Many restaurants serve this as a brunch item, but I really cant picture this, especially paired with eggs. We enjoy this at dinner. My wife tops her plate of chilaquiles with sour cream and cut-up avocado.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients

1 28oz can whole tomatoes

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons chilies in adobo, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves, garlic, chopped

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1/2 bag of tortilla chips

1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded (option: switch half of cheddar with Monterey Jack)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large food processor or blender, add in tomatoes, jalapenos, chilies, broth, and salt. Pulse until it is smooth. Set-aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add cooked chicken pieces and stir in evenly.

Using a 9×13” casserole dish, layer tortilla chips in the bottom until they are even, and fill up approximately half of the dish. Pour sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle cheese over the sauce. Bake until the cheese is melted, approximately 5-8 minutes.

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Just in case you don’t have enough diet busting meals to eat heading in to the holiday season, here is one more to add to the list. Fettuccine Alfredo has been a long time favorite of mine, but for some unknown reason only when eating out. I never attempted to make it from scratch (the sauce, not the fettuccine noodles), and the jarred stuff in the grocery store is pretty much inedible to me. Low and behold, this has to be one of the EASIEST meals to make, and so delicious! The taste does however come with a heavy price, in the realm of probably a weeks worth of recommended calories consumed in one meal! But hey, you only live once, right!

When I make this dish, I use half the quantities listed below. That works best for our house of two adults and two little people. If you are serving more folks, use what it listed. Also, if you have some left over chicken to use up, definitely throw it on top. This time I had a couple of cooked chicken breasts left over from the night before, so I sliced them up, and reheated them in a skillet with a little olive oil and threw the chicken on top.

The recipe is Ree Drummond’s, minus the nutmeg part. I noticed nutmeg used in a few other alfredo recipes I researched and decided to add it. Very happy I did!

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

1 pound fettuccine noodles

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

In a saucepan or skillet over low heat, warm the butter and cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Place half of the parmesan cheese in a large serving bowl. Pour the warm butter/cream mixture over the top. Drain the pasta (reserving some water) and immediately pour it into the bowl. Toss a couple of times, and then sprinkle in the other half of the parmesan. Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken quesadillas are such as simple, delicious, yet under appreciated dinner. They are absolutely easy to make at home, but most times lacking that special something.

For the longest time, I couldn’t quite grasp how my quesadillas weren’t near as good as ones I order from my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. But finally I realized, they slather them in butter, generating quite a bit of flavor. I personally can’t bring myself to use as much butter as they do, which is basically sautéing the quesadillas in it. So, after many attempts with different fillings to make up for it, I have finally found the answer, and a quite simple one at that. Diced green chilies. With chilies added along with the cheese and chicken, it gave the quesadillas a special pop, adding tremendous flavor, creating in my mind the most delicious quesadillas I have ever eaten. And to boot, I take the easy way out and buy a small can of green chilies instead of buying hole and doing the dicing, saving some time. And an added benefit to the cans is, you can go mild or hot, depending on your tastes.

The marinade I use on these is simple as well and utterly amazing. It is the same I use on these marinated grilled chicken breasts. The chicken can be grilled (or cooked on the stove) ahead of time, as it will reheat once you are cooking the quesadilla. You can also substitute the chicken for beef. I would recommend flank or skirt steak, with a simple salt and pepper rub verse any additional marinade. I typically serve these with salsa and chips and queso.

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Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Flour tortillas

2 chicken breasts, marinated (marinade recipe below), cooked, and chopped or shredded

2 cups of shredded cheese (I use 50/50 cheddar and Monterey Jack)

1 small can of diced green chilies

Butter

Directions:

Spread a very fine layer of butter on one side of two tortillas. Lay one on a hot skillet, then top with 1/4 cup of cheese, 1/4 cup of chicken, and 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) of chilies. Sprinkle a few more pieces of cheese on top. Place the second tortilla butter side up. Once cheese has started to melt and the bottom tortilla is slightly browned, flip and continue to cook until the second tortilla is browned and the cheese is completely melted. Remove from pan and cut into fourths.

Repeat the above process until you reach the desired amount of quesadillas. Many people choose to do the half-moon method, of adding ingredients to one side of the tortilla and then folding over. This is fine, just adjust the amount of filling accordingly in half for each.

Ingredients for marinade:

¾ cup Mexican beer, such as Dos Equis

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ tablespoon canola oil

½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1-2 garlic gloves, minced

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Chicken Parmesan

Hands down, this in one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made. Through the years, I have attempted chicken parm but could never quite get it right. Everything from the chicken being dry, breading not crispy, chewy cheese, you name it, I have had the issue. So when I saw America’s Test Kitchen version, I knew I had to try it. As usual, they came through with an incredible and fool proof recipe. I felt like I was eating chicken parm from the best restaurant in town. The chicken turned out perfect, the cheese was a perfect blend, and the sauce is really good!

I am already thinking how I can incorporate different techniques learned in this recipe for new dishes! But for now, here is the perfect chicken parmesan recipe, brought to you from ATK! One note is, whenever I dry or wet brine chicken, I find it better to rinse off the chicken after the brine step to ensure you don’t end up with too salty chicken. That is not captured below, just a personal preference of mine.

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Coated and fried.

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Fixing to go into the oven, set-on broil for a few minutes.

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Plated, and served with penne pasta, utilizing the extra sauce from the recipe.

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt and pepper

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes

¼ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil

 

Chicken

2 (6-8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally and pounded ½ inch thick

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)

2 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)

1 large egg

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 ½ ounces parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

½ cup panko bread crumbs

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup vegetable oil

¼ cup torn fresh basil

 

Instructions

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, oregano, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.

FOR THE CHICKEN: Sprinkle each side of each cutlet with 1/8 teaspoon salt and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Combine mozzarella and fontina in bowl; set aside.

Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Whisk egg and flour together in shallow dish or pie plate until smooth. Combine Parmesan, panko, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper in second shallow dish or pie plate. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge cutlet in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides in Parmesan mixture, pressing gently so crumbs adhere. Transfer cutlet to large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully place 2 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until bottoms are crispy and deep golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip cutlets and cook on second side until deep golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. Transfer cutlets to paper towel–lined plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

Place cutlets on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over cutlets, covering as much surface area as possible. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter and top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce separately.

Chipotle Chicken Kabobs with an Avocado Cream Sauce

This recipe came from one of my favorite food blogs to read, Annie’s Eats. She has so many great recipes, this being one of my favorites, and I can say we have tried quite a few of them.

It is a simple meal to put together, and besides a little bit of marinating time for the chicken, it whips together pretty fast on a grill due to the small pieces of chicken. And whatever you do, do not forego the Avocado Cream Sauce! It is super easy and super delicious! We make this sauce pretty much anytime we make Mexican food now, whether fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, etc. It is my wife’s favorite dip.

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Dip

The oh-so-good dip!

Plate

We generally serve the chicken with a cilantro-lime rice, but it would be good with refried beans as well.

Enjoy!

Chipotle Chicken Kebabs with an Avocado Cream Sauce

Chicken

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup canola oil

½ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp paprika

¼ tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ tsp light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp minced chipotle in adobo (seeds removed)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

Avocado Cream Sauce

1 avocado

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

Directions

Whisk together all Chicken ingredients minus chicken. Put marinade in a ziplock bag along with the chicken for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling, flipping halfway.

Heat grill to medium, medium high heat. Thread chicken on to skewers (throwing away any remaining marinade). Cook kebabs on the grill, turning every few minutes until chicken temperature reaches 160 F.

Meanwhile, make the avocado sauce. Split the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl of a food processor along with the yogurt, garlic, and lime juice. Process until the sauce is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in a Tomato Cream Sauce

A very kid friendly meal, incorporating many of their favorite flavors in to one dish; chicken, spaghetti sauce (sort of), and cheese! It is hard to explain how good these are, and exactly what they taste like. They are meatballs, but don’ taste like beef, or chicken for that matter, they are just darn good! A definite must try. My wife and boys ate theirs with some penne pasta, but I just ate the meatballs so I could eat more of them, without filling up on pasta! Priorities, right!?!

And as always, pardon the poor quality photo! I am not a photographer by any means, and I think I had my fork halfway to the plate to dig in while I was taking these pictures, so you are lucky to at least get a couple!

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So there is a slight chance I added a little more cheese than what is called for! Darn! One mistake worth making time and time again.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce

Ingredients

For the Sauce

1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes, liquid reserved

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup heavy cream

For the meatballs

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 gloves garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

I pound ground chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

To finish

4 ounces shredded mozzarella

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

2-3 tablespoons minced fresh basil (optional)

Directions

To make the sauce, add the tomatoes to a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth, adding a bit of the reserved liquid if necessary to smooth the mixture out.  Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook about 1 minute, until it begins to soften.  Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes and mix just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato mixture, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about 5-8 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.  Set aside.

To make the meatballs, combine the panko, grated onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and egg.  Stir together with a fork just until blended.  Mix in the ground chicken and knead together gently until evenly combined.  Form the mixture into meatballs about 1½-inch in diameter.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the meatballs to the pan in a single layer (two batches may be necessary if you don’t have enough surface area.)  Let cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned.

Once all of the meatballs are browned, place them in the pan with the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the mozzarella and additional Parmesan over the top.  Bake until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and garnish with the fresh basil.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Skillet

If you all are like me, you are always searching for good chicken recipes. Specifically, ones where the chicken is not dried out or bland tasting. If so, this is the perfect dish for you. It is easy, also a one pot meal, and very adaptable to a variety of tastes. I use thyme as the primary flavor add, but if you prefer a different flavor, such as rosemary, that would work just as well. Even just salt and pepper is enough with the mushroom base and gravy that this dish makes.

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Halfway through cooking. Doesn’t it already look awesome!?!

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So I have an almost identical picture, just missing the little hand and finger. But my 5 year old was adamant that he be a part of the picture. I served the chicken with a very simple side of Jasmine rice. It was a great combination.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Skillet

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

½ flour seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces cremini mushrooms

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dry)

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ cup cream

Directions:

In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil on medium high heat. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour and sauté in butter/olive oil mixture until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Sauté for a few minutes until mushrooms are slightly limp. Add chicken broth and thyme, scraping up all the bits in the bottom of the pan. Add chicken back to pan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan. Add cream, cheese, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken back to pan to reheat and serve!

Adapted from The Laughing Spatula.

Chicken Soup, Tex-Mex Style (Updated)

This is one of the easiest, and most tasty recipes I make. And I make it fairly often. The soup is delicious, especially if you like Tex-Mex flavors. The best thing about it is, you don’t even have to remember to thaw out your chicken prior to cooking it. Just throw it in frozen (or thawed works great too) and it does just fine.

I make a cilantro lime rice, putting it in a bowl and then serving the soup on top of the rice. If you do not do rice with cilantro, chop some up and throw it on top of the soup when you portion it out in to bowls.

 

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The ingredients, minus the Chili Powder which I forgot to throw in the picture. (I always forget something!)

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Everything dumped in the crockpot and stirred around.

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Voila, 4 hours later, this is what you have.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb chicken breast, thawed or frozen

1 can chicken broth

1 (14oz) can of diced tomatoes

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 jar of roasted red peppers

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

Directions:

Throw all the ingredients in the crockpot, mix it around, and cook on low for 4-5 hours. About 30 minutes before wanting to eat, pull the chicken out, shred, and add back to the crockpot. Enjoy!