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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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 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

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!

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Strips

I think this is one of the meals that nearly everyone has their own recipe, and is an easy, go-to meal that is very family and budget friendly. This is my version, and it has never let me down. The chicken comes out crispy on the outside, yet moist and tender on the inside. It also pairs well with any number of sides, whether a vegetable, starch, etc.

On the croutons, we have found our new favorite to use for a variety of recipes. These Texas Toast seasoned croutons are absolutely delicious. I also love the irony that they are “New York Brand” Original Texas Toast Croutons. Ha! Can’t wait to find “Texas Brand” Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese.

A couple of shortcuts you can use on this recipe are 1) Instead of buying croutons and processing them, just buy seasoned breadcrumbs. 2) By the chicken already cut into strips, or tenders.

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Crispy Parmesan Chicken Strips

Ingredients

1 ½ cups seasoned croutons, crushed

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon water

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, halved then cut into strips

½ tablespoon canola oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

Mix croutons (now breadcrumbs), cheese, parsley and garlic salt in a shallow dish. Whisk egg and water in a second shallow dish.

Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture, then into breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside. Serve with ranch dressing, barbeque sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

This is a simple, tasty take on the classically loved chicken parmesan. There are no overbearing flavors so it is a very kid friendly meal as well. If you need to cut out all the red pepper flakes as well, that would be okay, as well as if you needed to increase them a little bit.

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Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta

Directions

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups water

1 – 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

12 oz. pasta shapes (ziti, penne, etc)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp minced fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp dried)

1 lb. cooked chicken tenders, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

Cook the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, 1 cup of the broth, and the pasta.  Bring to a vigorous simmer, cover, and cook until pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, oregano, and the chopped chicken.  Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.  If the pasta seems dry, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth.  Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.  Bake 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Adapted from Pink Parsley

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Despite the 100+ degree weather in TX right now, we decided to grill tonight for dinner. The final result of this delicious chicken, which then turned into rice bowls was well worth the short time of suffering outside over a grill during the heat of the day. You can also do this just as easily on a grill pan on the stove.

If you have any apprehensions of the chicken tasting like beer, do not worry at all! I haven’t had a beer in probably 15 years as I absolutely cannot stand the taste of it, but I LOVE this marinade and how tasty this chicken comes out. There is zero beer taste after being grilled.

I mentioned above, and you can see from the picture, 9 times out of 10 we use this chicken recipe to make rice bowls. I slice the chicken into thin strips after being grilled. I make a simple cilantro lime rice, portion that into bowls, then top with whatever we want that day. I typically stick  with rice, chicken, cheese, lettuce, and then add a little salsa as I eat it. My wife will add beans, sour cream, guac, corn, or whatever else suits her fancy.

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Grilled Marinated Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

 

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

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions

In a large sealable bag, add the first six ingredients, mixing well. Add chicken breasts to bag, seal, and work the pieces to make sure the marinade as coated all the chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to a couple of hours, flipping the bag halfway through.

Grill over medium high heat until internal temperature has reached 165˚ F. Try not to turn the chicken more than once or twice.

Note: I recommend pounding out the chicken breasts into thin, uniform sizes before marinating. For these pictured above, I actually sliced the breasts in half width wise, then pounded them. It started at 2 pretty good sized breasts, and ended as four perfectly sized portions.