Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts


Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Herb and Cheese Biscuit Toppers

 After an amazingly warm September and October, I'm sitting at my kitchen counter and the snow is beginning to fall.  Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate cold weather dish, and this update on the classic will get you in the mood for the winter weather coming. Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Herb and Cheese Biscuit Toppers are filled with comfort food goodness!

I've given two ways to make this dish: a busy-day canned soup variety that takes a few minutes to dump and bake and then a from scratch recipe for those who have a little more time. Either way, this dish is hearty and will make even the pickiest eater happy! 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Herb and Cheese Biscuit Toppers
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 carrots ( or about 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut up)
1 cup of celery, chopped (or more carrots if you aren't a fan)
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped I like sweet onions but white or yellow work as well
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken (or rotisserie chicken, cut up)
1 tablespoon dried tarragon, optional 

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sifted flour
2 teaspoons chicken stock concentrate*
1-2 cups water or milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can milk

Cream Biscuit Topper
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon  baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 c cream
3 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or other herbs, about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup cheese, grated

Prepare the biscuits (directions below) and set aside.
Pre heat the oven to 375 and set rack in middle of oven. 

Saute carrots, celery, onion and tarragon together in a large stockpot for about about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat add chopped broccoli, place lid on pan and let sit for 5 minutes.
In another pan, over medium heat melt 6 tablespoons butter and add 1/2 cup sifted flour. Whisk until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper each and 2 teaspoons chicken stock concentrate. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour 1 1/2 cups water or milk into pan whisking until smooth and bubbly. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little more milk or water. The mixture should be the consistency of gravy. Pour this mixture over the cooked vegetables.
If you are using the soup method, add the soup and can of milk directly to the vegetable mixture after the vegetables are finished sitting for 5 minutes covered. Mix until the soup and milk are blended into the vegetables. Do not add salt to this mixture until you taste, the soup usually has enough salt included. 
Add cooked, chopped chicken to the vegetable/gravy mixture. 
Place ramekins on a cookie sheet.
Fill greased ramekins (about 8) or a 9x13 pan with vegetable, chicken and gravy mixture. Top each with a biscuit. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until mixture is bubble and biscuits are golden. 

prepare biscuits:
Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add cream all at once, fold until dry mixture is absorbed. Fold in herbs and cheese.  If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of additional cream. Pat out on floured surface to about 3/4 inch thick. Cut with round biscuit cutter or glass. The biscuit recipe usually makes about 12- 2 1/2 inch biscuits. 

-*Stock concentrate is sold in many forms. It enhances the flavor of the gravy. Knorr and Swanson both sell stock concentrate. Knorr is sold in a little "cup" about 4 cups to a package the little cups are equal to about 1 tablespoon of flavoring ( one of the cups will be perfect in this recipe) . Swanson sells their product "Flavor Boost" in a box with 8 liquid packets included. You can also buy stock concentrate in jars at food specialty stores. These are usually sold in 2 cup (actual 2 cup measurement) jars that need to be refrigerated after opening. I always look for products that are MSG free. A crumbled bullion cube will also work.
-The biscuit can be made without the herb and cheese added. I used Smoked Gouda, but any cheese will work.
-You may use any combination of veggies. I strongly suggest using onions because of flavor, but green beans, peas, corn may be substituted for the other veggies.
-I frozen the leftovers by placing the entire ramekin in a Ziplock bag in the freezer. To use, let sit on counter for about one hour. Heat, covered for about 45 minutes at 350.
-To make this "quick and easy", use a can of soup and milk and a can of biscuits in place of the roux and cream biscuits. 


Smashed Potatoes and Buttermilk Fried Chicken

What says comfort more than fried chicken? This dinner takes just a few minutes to cook after the chicken soaks in buttermilk. I usually place the chicken in the buttermilk early in the day (If the chicken is frozen, I just plop it in the buttermilk as-is.

If you are a little skeptical about cooking fried chicken you're going to love this recipe. It's easy to put together and you can fry batches and then place the cooked chicken in the oven to keep warm. I put the potatoes in the oven about an hour before eating dinner. Then just steam the veggies while you're saying a blessing. What could be easier than this? Ok, besides KFC.

And the leftovers (if you have any)?
You might be tempted to give up your firstborn for a piece of this cold leftover fried chicken.
I'm serious.

Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Smashed Potatoes
original recipe adapted from Mad Hungry  originally posted here

1 quart buttermilk or milk
2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
about 4-6 chicken breast halves
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus a little more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Smashed Potatoes:
12 small red potatoes, or white will also work
olive oil
coarse ground salt
ground pepper

For potatoes:
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and dry all potatoes, remove any eyes from potatoes with paring knife. 
Grease a 9x13 or jelly roll pan with cooking spray. 
Rub each potato with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Place pan in oven and bake potatoes for about 1 hour  or until knife inserted in center of potato easily goes through potato. 
Remove and Smash each potato with a fork. Sprinkle each potato with a little more salt and pepper. Drizzle with additional olive oil. If desired, spoon about a teaspoon of butter on each potato, top with Parmesan cheese, grated cheddar, chopped green onions if desired. Or just serve with olive oil and salt! Keep warm in 200 oven until ready to serve. 
-Use whatever amount you need for this recipe. Usually, about 2-3 small potatoes per person. 

Early in day:
In a 9x13 baking dish or gallon sized Ziplock bag, stir together the buttermilk and Tabasco. Place the chicken in the liquid mixture and leave as long as possible. (I soaked the chicken overnight. Place in refrigerator.)

When ready to cook chicken:
In a plastic or paper bag combine the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Shake the chicken pieces two to three at a time, in the flour. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
In a skillet heat one half inch of oil over medium high heat. Test with a tiny bit of chicken. If it bubbles immediately, it is hot enough.
Place the chicken into hot oil. Distribute as many pieces as will fit in a single layer in the pan, leaving one half inch between pieces. Leave to fry undisturbed for about seven minutes. Lower the heat as necessary to prevent excess browning. The oil should continue to bubble steadily. Turn the pieces and cook for an additional seven to ten minutes.
Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat process to cook remaining chicken. To keep first batch warm, place on a rimmed baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.

-The original recipe calls for two cups of oil. I used about a quarter to a half inch of oil in the bottom of the pan.
-I used 4-5 boneless chicken breast halves. 
-This was delicious served cold as a leftover the next day.


Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers

Have you planned your Superbowl menu yet?
I thought it would be fun to create another recipe in honor of the Seahawks going to the big game. Again.
Last year, I posted an original recipe for Seahawk Sliders, a grilled salmon slider, complete with Sriracha mayo and my history with the Seahawks :) .  It was the hit of our party! We loved the Sriracha sauce so much, I decided to incorporate it into this dish as well.
This year, I'm sharing a recipe for a super simple chicken skewer. They are best when marinated for 24 hours, and then grilled on the bbq or on the stove. It takes less than 5 minutes to cook, then drizzle with some extra sauce, garnish and serve.
So simple and so very tasty. I'm predicting this will be our favorite appetizer at this year's Superbowl party.
You know what I'm going to say now.
Say it.  For all of my Seattle family and friend fans.
Seeeeeeaaaaa Haaaaaaaaawwwwwks! 

Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

about 2-2 1/2 lbs chicken, boneless, skinless*

marinade ingredients:
1 cup Cola, not sugar free
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Aji- Mirin (Sweet Rice Vinegar)
1 cup prepared Teriyaki Sauce, I used Yoshida's or Very Teriyaki
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Sriracha Sauce (more if you like it hotter)
3-4 tablespoons honey

wood skewers about 12-24
for garnish:
Sesame seeds, toasted
chopped green onions, about 2-3

6-24 hours before serving:
Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl with whisk. Remove 1 cup of sauce from bowl, set aside in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Slice the chicken into one inch wide strips. If the breast meat is thick, you may slice the breast in half, then slice again the opposite way in long thin strips. The strips should be about 1" wide by 4-6 inches long, and about 1/2 inch thick.
Place the remaining sauce (that has not been saved for serving) in a Ziplock bag or a shallow pan with the chicken. Seal and refrigerate at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours. Move the chicken around a couple of times during marinating to insure all pieces are covered with sauce.
When ready to cook, discard sauce that was used to marinate chicken.
Thread the chicken onto the wood skewers and place on a baking sheet or a 9x13 pan.
Place the remaining reserved sauce in a small saucepan and heat for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until reduced and thickened a bit. Turn off heat.
Chop the green onion for garnish.
Heat a griddle or barbecue and grease lightly.
Cook the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side at about 400 degrees, or until cooked through. Do not overcook, or the meat will dry out very quickly.
Place the cooked meat onto a tray. Drizzle with reduced sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with chopped green onions.
Serve immediately, or keep warm by covering with foil. Or refrigerate and serve cold. Do not garnish until ready to serve.

-* I used boneless chicken breasts, boneless thigh pieces are also delicious.
-Before heating the sauce to drizzle on top of the chicken, I add about 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar for color and flavor. I like the way it adds a little more intense flavor to the sauce.
-If you would like to make this dish ahead, it's easy to do so!
Marinate the chicken. Follow directions for cooking. When the chicken is cooked, carefully place the skewers in a 9x13 pan and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator, let sit on counter for about 30 minutes. If serving warm, heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat uncovered on a cookie sheet in a single layer for about 3-5 minutes. Remove, and drizzle with sauce, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.


Orange Glazed Chicken

On the last post I talked about  my experience eating Creme Brulee French Toast at Cheesecake Factory. What I didn't mention was, while I ordered the french toast, Jake ordered Orange Chicken.
For breakfast.
I know.
I tried to talk him into a breakfast/brunch item, but he wanted Orange Chicken. Jake and his friend Tanner LOVE,  Panda Express. Oh my.  I'm just going to leave it at that.
What's better than Orange Chicken at Panda? How about Orange Chicken at home! Way better.
I looked up recipes for Panda Orange Chicken (which btw is their #1 ordered menu item). I played with a few ideas and came up with my own (able to pronounce every ingredient) version.
Grant, Stephen and I thought this was delicious.
Jake still likes Panda's better.
Heavy sigh.

Orange Glazed Chicken
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 lbs chicken breast, cut in to bite size pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1/3  cup cold water

2 cups oil, canola or vegetable for frying

Orange Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
zest of one orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Glaze for cooked chicken:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 bunch green onions, divided 2/3 for glaze, 1/3 for garnish
1/4 cup water

Mix the egg, salt, cornstarch, flour and cold water together in a bowl with a whisk. The batter should be smooth and about the consistency of pancake batter.
Place the chicken pieces in the batter all at once. Mix thoroughly.
Set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees for warming chicken.
Heat the oil in a wok or other deep pan on medium high heat, or about 350-375 degrees. When the oil is hot, cook chicken in batches (about 4 batches total) place chicken in pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until cooked through and light golden. Drain onto a pan lined with paper towels.
Place in oven to keep warm.
In another pan, make the orange sauce. Heat soy sauce, sugar, cider vinegar and orange zest together in saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce heat. Whisk o.j. and cornstarch together in a cup. Pour into hot vinegar mixture. Cook until thickened. Thin a bit with oj if needed. Turn off heat, leave pan on burner.
Using a frying pan, heat the sesame oil, ginger, minced garlic and red pepper flakes over medium high heat. Cook for about one minute or until fragrant. Add rice vinegar, green onions, and water. Add cooked chicken pieces all at once. Cook just until chicken is coated. Remove from heat.
Serve chicken with orange glaze over sticky rice. Garnish with remaining green onions.
Serves 4-6


Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100

Salad for 100, anyone?
Last summer, I made this salad three times, in two months, for groups of 100 or more.
Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad is one of my all-time favorite pasta salad recipes. Here's why:  It sits well at a gathering (no mayo in the dressing). Perfect for weddings, funerals, missionary farewells and homecomings, Girl's Camp, family reunions, church parties and school events.  It's easy to make in large quantities.  Even though it looks summery it can be made year-round. AND last, but not least, everyone loves it.
The original 12-15 serving recipe is posted here . I've had oodles of requests over the years for a large quantity recipe, so I decided it would be best to re-post the recipe with directions to feed 100.
Make sure to read my tips short story (below the recipe) for all of the info you'll ever need (or want) to make pasta salad for the masses.
Happy salad making, my friends.

Got Chicken?

First three layers. 

Starting to look like something I'm interested in eating...

This was taken at Girl's Camp. I think we served 300 with these salads.
It was like the loaves and fishes. Kind of. 

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted from Favorites cookbook
print recipe

5 lbs Bowtie pasta

Salad dressing:
2 2/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 1/3 cups Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, shaken
2 2/3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Salad ingredients (veggies and fruit) :
4 Costco tubs of Spinach ( 1 lb each)
8- 8 oz cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped into matchstick pieces
6 bunches green onions, chopped
48 oz - (1 large bag) Craisins 
12 cans mandarin oranges, drained well
2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
48 oz honey roasted peanuts or cashews

15 lbs chicken breasts, marinated (ingredients below), cooked, cooled and sliced

Teriyaki marinade for chicken:
6 cups soy sauce
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon or about 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix teriyaki marinade for chicken. 
Marinate chicken overnight, or at least 6 hours. Place the chicken in Ziplock bags and mix the marinade in a bowl, then pour into the bags over the chicken. The chicken may be taken directly from the freezer and set in the refrigerator in marinade for up to two days before cooking. 
After the chicken is marinated, place the drained chicken on baking sheets and broil the chicken for about 7-10 minutes (about 2-3 inches from element), or bake at 350 for about 45  minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Cool completely, trim off any fat and cut into slices. Set in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad. The chicken may be cooked up to three days before serving salad.
Discard any leftover marinade, DO NOT use the marinade in the salad dressing. 

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, rinse quickly with cold water and toss with a tablespoon olive or canola oil  or a little of the Veri Teriyaki sauce and place in refrigerator in covered containers (I use gallon Ziplock bags) until ready to assemble salad. May be cooked up to three days before serving.

Blend the salad dressing ingredients together using large bowl or blender. Mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

May be done early in the day, or the day before serving.
Using two large containers, layer the ingredients to the salad in the following order (see photos)
Pasta, chicken, spinach, chopped water chestnuts, chopped green onions and Craisins. Make sure the water chestnuts are drained well.
Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, add the following to the top of salad:
Drained mandarin oranges, toasted sesame seeds, honey roasted peanuts.
Mix the prepared salad dressing well, pour about 2 cups onto each container of salad, tossing gently so the mandarin oranges do not break apart. Add more salad dressing, sparingly, as needed.
Serve individually onto plates, or in a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and nuts if desired.

-This salad may be prepared in advance. When I'm making salads in large quantities, I usually start the day (or two) ahead with any of the steps that can be done early. Read this recipe carefully for instruction on make ahead.
-If you are serving this with a main dish, say at a barbecue, you may leave out the chicken. Or half the chicken (and marinade).
-This salad is a hearty serving of a main dish salad. It will yield 100 generous lunch size portions of salad. If served with a roll and dessert, it should satisfy most appetites. If you are serving the salad on a buffet, with other salads or sides, this should serve up to 150 as a side dish. 
-For the chicken, I buy Costco 10 lb bags of frozen- boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Usually the Tyson or Foster Farms brands. They are generally trimmed of most fat so the prep work is minimal regarding trimming the chicken. I use the chicken right out of the freezer, no thawing needed.
If you are trying to cut costs, use less chicken. This recipe may be adjusted to serve 100 with 10 lbs of chicken (instead of 15). Cut the teriyaki marinade for the chicken in half as well.
-Teriyaki Sauce for dressing on the salad- I like  Soy-Vay "Veri Veri Teriyaki"  for this recipe. It is highly concentrated, so you will use less than when using another brand. It can usually be purchased at most grocery stores and Walmart or Costco. I've also seen it online at Amazon.  Make sure to shake the bottle before using.
- Purchase Honey Roasted Planters Peanuts at Walmart in large size containers compared to the containers sold at the grocery, they are quite a bit less expensive. I love this recipe made with honey roasted cashews, but they cost quite a bit more than peanuts, so I usually stick with peanuts when making a large quantity.
-Less is more with regard to salad dressing. Use less dressing than you think you need initially. Let it sit for a few minutes and see how much has soaked into the pasta, and how much has settled to the bottom of the serving bowl. Add more dressing if needed. I rarely use all of the dressing.
-Purchase sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery in the health food aisle or in the Asian section of the grocery. The cost is significantly less than if purchased in the spice section.
-Toss the peanuts and the sesame seeds last onto the salad to preserve the crunch of the nuts.


Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

We are now two weeks into the new school year.
Adjustment time. As in- get my act together and figure out what I'm making for dinner before 6 pm.  I'm always looking for quick-fix dinner ideas. This recipe takes a little thought ahead of time, but you're set when the "What's for dinner??" question surfaces. It's simple and a complete meal when served with a dish of stir fried veggies.
The leftovers would be perfect for lunch served over some greens tossed with a little Balsamic dressing.
Lunch for Momma.
That's what I'm talking about.

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
Adapted from LDS Living Magazine online
print recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen*
1/2 cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup diced onion
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup water
Sesame seeds

In slow cooker, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, pepper flakes and pepper. Place chicken in cooker, turn to cover with sauce. 
Cook on low 3 to 4 hours or just until chicken is cooked through. 
Remove chicken from slow cooker, leaving sauce in ceramic insert. 
Turn heat to high on slow cooker.
Whisk cornstarch into water and pour into slow cooker. Whisk to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high 10 more minutes or until slightly thickened.
Shred chicken, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired and serve with rice.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
-*I usually just throw chicken into the slow cooker frozen. It cooks in 3-4 hours on low. No thawing needed!


BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start to Summer. Summer. Summer.
It's been a long Spring here in Utah. One of those keep 4 blankets,boots,hat,gloves,scarf and portable heater at all times in your car for the baseball game seasons. So glad it is finally warming up.
Summer means salads. I've been looking for an excuse to try out this recipe I Pinned a while back.
Verdict? Loved it. My new favorite.
I think there is a similar salad at CPK? This salad comes from the blog Erin's Food Files. She adapted the recipe from Mel at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but added her own twist, by throwing in some roasted sweet potatoes and succotash (a dish consisting of corn and any type of beans cooked together).
Hello Summer. So glad you're almost here.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing
Adapted from Erins Food Files and Mel's Kitchen

Chicken* early in the day, or day before prepare chicken in marinade:
4 chicken breast halves, any fat trimmed off
3/4 cup of barbecue sauce to marinate chicken

1 large head romaine
12 cups lettuce Spring Mix or Spinach (about 1/2 of a Costco box of Spring Mix)
2 sweet potatoes, baked or grilled on bbq  just until soft
olive oil for brushing on sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed ( I like S&W brand regular or organic)
3 cups corn, frozen
1 teaspoon each sea salt & pepper

1 1/3 cup mayonnaise, light or regular, I used light Best Foods
2/3 cup buttermilk, sour cream, or nonfat greek yogurt, I used light sour cream
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
few generous dashes fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (you may use either home made or bottled) and additional for drizzling on salad
2-3 tablespoons milk, if needed for thinning dressing

The day before serving salad or early in the day:

Marinate chicken in BBQ sauce at least 6 hours. I like to use a large Ziplock bag. After marinating, preheat grill, and cook chicken until done.  Barbecue the chicken on low heat for about 8-9 minutes per side, depending on thickness of meat. Remove from heat, check for doneness. If cooked through, let rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice after cooled.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add beans & corn, season with salt & pepper. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. I used a blender and pulsed the ingredients.

Place lettuce on platter or large bowl. Layer on top of lettuce with black bean & corn succotash, sweet potatoes, and chicken. Drizzle with additional BBQ sauce, followed by the Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing.

-Great dish for make-ahead. I made the entire salad the night before and bagged all of the ingredients separately. Then in the afternoon, took to a luncheon and assembled it in just a few minutes.
-You may use any combo of ingredients for the succotash. It would be delicious with red or yellow peppers, chopped onion (red, yellow or white) or tomatoes. I added  small grape tomatoes and loved the color and flavor.
-This serves about 20 as a side dish, and is easily halved.
-I like to make my own bbq sauce (recipe found here), but didn't have any on hand, so I used 'Sweet Baby Rays" bottled sauce in this dressing, and for the marinade.
-For the sweet potatoes, I wrapped the potatoes in foil and grilled them on my bbq (350 degrees) for about an hour. After they were softened, I cut them into about 3/4 inch slices, brushed both sides with olive oil and grilled them just until they were cooked a bit more and had grill marks on the outside of the potatoes.
You can eliminate the step of wrapping in foil and baking the potatoes. Simply place the peeled, sliced potato onto a greased baking sheet and bake or broil until softened. Or grill pieces on the bbq grill.
After the potatoes are cooked, gently chop.
-If you are a cheese lover, grate some cheese on top - Monterrey Jack would work well. I don't think this salad needs cheese, there are lots of flavors in the salad, and with the creamy dressing, I think cheese is a little overkill. Just my two cents :)


Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette

Here's a recipe for a fresh and simple salad, perfect for brunch. I served this at a gathering last week and it was a hit. Inspired by one of my favorite salads at Plates and Palates in Btown. They serve something similar, without the pasta. It's a great make-ahead salad if you are looking for a recipe you can throw together just before serving.
Happy Easter weekend!

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

3 chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped about 3-4 cups total
3/4 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions any shape
bottled poppy seed dressing, optional (such as Brianna's brand)
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed, sliced and drained*
green onions, chopped, optional
8-12 cups fresh spinach or a mixture of spinach and greens, washed and dried
1 cup dried cherries or Craisins
1 cup salted cashews

Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white balsamic or cider vinegar 
1 fresh lemon, juiced, about 1/3 cup
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

The night before or early in the day before serving:
Cook the chicken breasts, trim off any fat, chop and set aside. I like the chicken to be in 1/2 inch chunks.
Cook the pasta and drain. Let cool. If desired, pour about 1 cup poppy seed dressing over pasta and store in fridge until ready to assemble salad.
Prepare the strawberries and layer in a pan, such as a 9x13 cake pan, to prevent the berries from bleeding onto each other or the salad. This method will insure the berries are completely dry before assembling the salad.
Chop green onions, set aside.
Make the dressing:
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a blender or in a bowl using an immersion blender or whisk. Set in fridge until ready to use. When ready to assemble, whisk again, just before pouring.
To assemble salad:
Place spinach in bowl or platter, or assemble on individual plates. Layer the following on top of greens:
Pasta (you may toss with additional poppy seed dressing if the pasta has soaked up most of the dressing),  chicken, strawberries, green onions and dressing. Top with cashews and dried cherries.

-*Making sure the strawberries are washed, sliced and drained is essential. If the strawberries are not drained, they will bleed onto the chicken and pasta, giving off the appearance of red chicken or pasta with red or pink spots. Trust me :o
-I made this recipe up without any cheese, but if would be yummy with a little blue, Gorgonzola or goat cheese sprinkled on top.
-If you would like the dressing to be thicker, add about 1/4 cup of mayo (light or regular) to the recipe.
-You may also substitute honey for the sugar in the dressing recipe.


Buffalo Wing Dip

Super Bowl. Get on your apron and fire up the deep fryer.
If I had one, (a deep fryer) that's what I'd do. Baking works for me.
Today's appetizer has become a family favorite. Nothing says testosterone like Buffalo Wings. Every time I make this it gets Raven reviews. ha. Rave reviews. Especially from the fist pumping crowd.

Buffalo Wing Dip
originally posted here

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 chicken breasts halves, cooked and chopped, or one rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/2 bottle Franks Hot Sauce
1/2 cup grated cheddar/jack mix or pepper jack cheese
1 cup Mozzarella, grated or chopped if using fresh
1 bottle Roka Blue Cheese Dressing

Spread the cream cheese in a 9 x 13 pan. In a bowl combine chopped chicken, hot sauce and 1/2 cup each of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Dump this mixture over the cream cheese. Drizzle the Blue Cheese dressing over top. Top with grated mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or baguette slices.

- I spread this into two 9 inch round baking dishes.
-I used about 1/2 bottle of the Blue Cheese dressing.
In the photo above, we drizzled the dressing over the top of the baked dish and sprinkled with a little blue cheese. 


Family Favorite Chicken Enchiladas


Years ago my dear friend Tessa gave me her recipe for Chicken Enchiladas.  It's been our family "go-to" recipe since. I promised to post this recipe last year when I made Cream Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas, and I'm just now getting around to it.
I've made these for everything from Sunday dinners to team dinners. One of those tried and true, never disappoint recipes. What makes these different from the hundreds of other enchilada recipes out there? The secret ingredient: coriander. It gives the sauce a distinct, but subtle flavor. Tessa's recipe comes out of the BH&G red checkered cookbook - you have one in your kitchen, right? 
This is a recipe that's sure to become your fam favorite too.
Stay warm and have a great weekend.

Family Favorite Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from Better Homes and Garden cookbook
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8 flour tortillas, regular, not burrito size* at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion, I like sweet onions such as Walla Walla or Vidalia
1 teaspoon coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
ground pepper
3 tablespoons flour
8 oz sour cream regular or low or non fat
2 cups chicken broth
1-4 oz can chopped green chilies, not drained
3 cups grated colby-jack cheese, divided
3 cups chopped chicken
olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onion optional, for topping enchiladas

Prepare Sauce:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Place onion and coriander to melted butter and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Lower heat to medium and add minced garlic.  Cook for an additional minute until fragrant. Be careful to not burn garlic. Add pepper.
Stir flour into sour cream and add to onion mixture in pan. Stir in broth and green chilies and continue to cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of grated cheese.

Filling and Assembly:
Put about 1/2 cup of sauce into a 9x13 greased pan, using a spatula spread sauce over bottom of pan.
Stir 1/2 cup of sauce into chopped chicken in bowl. Place about 1/4-1/3 cup filling onto each tortilla and spread filling to cover length of tortilla, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of grated cheese. Roll up tortilla and place in prepared dish, seam side down. After all tortillas are filled and rolled, top with remaining sauce. Cover pan with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Remove foil and top with remaining grated cheese.
Bake for about 5-10 additional minutes, or until heated through.
Let sit for 10 minutes before serving to allow cheese and sauce to set up.

-Do not purchase no-fat tortillas. They will not roll well and will break apart in assembly.  It is best to have tortillas at room temperature and not refrigerated for easiest assembly.
-I have made this recipe using non-fat and low-fat sour cream with great results.
-I usually prepare the chicken the day before. I place seasoned (salt and pepper)  chicken breasts in a crock pot on low for 4 hours. Pour a bottle of  green chili salsa (about 8-10 oz) over the chicken before cooking. When I make the sauce for the enchiladas above, I use the juice from the cooked chicken breasts instead of the chicken broth called for in the recipe.
-If you double this recipe, it fits well into a jelly roll pan.
-This recipe also freezes well. Make up to the point of baking and freeze, covered tightly with foil. When ready to bake, do not thaw, bake at 325 for about 1 hour 15 minutes, covered in foil. Proceed with last step of removing foil and covering in additional cheese, bake for 5-10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Honey Lime Enchiladas

Just finished watching the Utes get beat by Utah State.
Oh well. Maybe drowning myself in Honey Lime Enchiladas will help.
Think so?
Me neither. But it couldn't hurt.
If you are looking for a twist on the same old enchilada recipe for Sunday dinner, give these a try.
They won't disappoint.
PS-I would double this recipe if I were you. If you don't, you'll wish you would have.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1-2 limes)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound chicken, cooked* and shredded , about 2-3 large chicken breast halves
8-10 medium flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce**
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken.Place ingredients into a Ziploc bag and let marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably 6-8 hours in refrigerator.
Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a greased 9X13 baking pan.
Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with half and half, cream and leftover marinade.
Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.
Serves 6

* For the chicken, I placed 6 large frozen chicken breast halves in a crock pot on low heat for about 4-5 hours. Salt and pepper generously. Add about 1 cup of water, chicken broth or green chili salsa. Shred when chicken is cooked. It is best to do this early in the day, or the day before you want to use the chicken in a recipe. 
-**I made my own green enchilada sauce here's a link to the recipe.


Thai Chicken Pizza

Love this recipe for Thai Chicken Pizza. It's based off of the CPK restaurant recipe.  I love the flavors in this pizza. The original recipe calls for Thai Sate sauce only, but I like to mix it up a bit and add some other flavors.  If you love specialty pizza but have been afraid to try it at home, now is your chance to take a leap of faith! This recipe is really simple, and fun to make. It's just a matter of buying sauce, some fresh ingredients and chopping. The crust recipe comes from John Spottiswood of Cook, Eat, Share (a recipe website that connects bloggers, chefs and cooks together and catalogs all of their recipes in one location). The dough is perfect for traditional pizza or specialty pizza.  John's pizza dough really deserves a post of its own!
You're going to love this dish.

Thai Chicken Pizza
adapted from California Pizza Kitchen
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Dough for pizza, recipe below- best prepared one day or at least 8 hours in advance

Pizza topping:
1 cups chicken, cooked, chopped
1 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup Thai Sate Sauce
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce, optional
1/4 cup Chili Garlic sauce, optional
1 1/4 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated and divided
2 green onions, chopped
2-3 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, divided
1/3 cup bean sprouts, fresh, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup fresh chopped carrots

If you have a pizza stone, place in the oven on bottom rack.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Roll out one ball of dough into a 12-14 inch circle.  Place onto a 14 inch pizza pan that has been coated lightly with cornmeal or cooking spray. You should have two balls of dough remaining for future use.
Toss the chicken with one tablespoon of Thai Sate Sauce, if desired. Or you may skip this step. Set aside.
Mix the sauces together (Sate, Hoisin and Chili Garlic) and spread sauce on top of the rolled out dough.
Spread one cup of cheese evenly on top of sauce.
Sprinkle chicken, green onions, chopped peanuts, 1/4 cup of the cilantro,  sprout and carrots on top of the cheese.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake the pizza for about 8 minutes or until the pizza starts to set up. At this point, I use a pizza peel to slide the pizza directly onto the pizza stone. Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the pizza is golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of the fresh cilantro. Cut and serve immediately.
Serves 2-4

New York Style Pizza Dough
John Spottiswood, Cook, Eat, Share

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/4 cups ice cold water
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt or 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 1/2 cups unbleached bread or high-gluten flour, plus flour for dusting

In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water with a fork. Set aside to let the yeast dissolve for about 5 minutes.
In another small bowl combine the cold water, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Stir to dissolve.
To make the dough by hand, place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and stir in the yeast and the cold water mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough thoroughly. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until soft and elastic, about 10-12 minutes. It will still be tacky but should no longer stick to your hands.
To make the dough with a mixer (highly recommended), fit a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Place the flour in a large mixer bowl and add the yeast and cold water mixture. Mix on low speed for about 4 minutes. Push dough off the hook and let it rest for 2 minutes. Then mix again on low speed for about 6 more minutes. Push down the hook if dough rises too high and threatens to get in the motor. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board and and knead for a minute or two until it forms a smooth ball.
To prepare the dough for rising, cut the dough into thirds. With floured hands pick up one portion of dough and pull the opposite edges together, wrapping them underneath towards the center to form a tight ball. Pinch the edge to seal. Repeat with the other two sections. Place each portion in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag. Squeeze our any excess air and seal the bags. Refrigerate for at least 10 hours or up to 2 days (longer is better). Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before using so the dough can come to room temperature.
This dough freezes well.
Yield 3- 14-16 inch thin crust or three medium thickness 12 inch crusts.

- Pizza- I combined the three sauces mentioned, because I don't like the heavy peanut flavor of the Sate Sauce alone. I prefer a more tangy and sweet combo with a hint of the peanut flavor sauce. Experiment to see what you like best.
You may also make the pizza as directed leaving all of the veggies off until after baking, and then placing all on top of the sauce, chicken and cheese that has been baked. This produces more of a fresh looking and tasting pizza.
-Dough- I love this dough. I kept it in the fridge for about a week the first time I made it. Really wonderful texture. It freezes well. When ready to use, take out of freezer and place on counter for about 4 hours or until thawed and no longer cold. It rolls out easily and is very easy to work.

-For specialty pizzas (such as Thai Chicken, and BBQ Chicken), I prefer to roll the crust thin, so the toppings can be center stage.


Cream Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas

 One of our family favorites for dinner is chicken enchiladas. I've been making a tried-and-true recipe for years, but decided to give this recipe I found on Mel's Kitchen Cafe a whirl. The reviews ranged from "best enchiladas you've made" to absolutely no leftovers. The filling is a hard to resist combo of  chicken, cream cheese and black beans. Topped with Jack cheese and cilantro, this recipe includes several of my favorite ingredients.
I served this dish with a fun couscous dish that has a Mexican flair. Jake wasn't crazy about that, but what 15 year old boy loves couscous?

Cream Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas
adapted slightly from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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3 cups cooked, chopped chicken* (about 3 breast halves)
1 (4 oz.) can of green chilies, lightly drained
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese**, cubed
1 can white or black beans, rinsed and drained or small white beans

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 can (7 ounce) green chili enchilada sauce
½ cup sour cream**

8-10 ounces (about 2-3 cups) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 medium (soft taco size) flour tortillas
chopped fresh cilantro, tomatoes, olives for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and green chiles. Mix well. Add the chicken and black beans. Mix to combine. Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. As you whisk and the mixture cooks, the flour will get less lumpy around the onions and the mixture will become smooth. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the enchilada sauce and sour cream.

Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the dish. Fill each tortilla with about ½ cup of the chicken/cream cheese filling. Top with a small handful of shredded cheese, a couple tablespoonfuls for each enchilada. Save at least 1/2 cup cheese for the top of the enchiladas. Roll the tortillas up and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling enchiladas until the dish is full (I can easily fit 8 enchiladas in one pan).

Pour the sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the enchiladas are bubbling, hot and lightly browned. Just before serving, top with fresh chopped cilantro, tomatoes, olives, etc.

-*You may cook chicken as you usually do for recipes that call for cooked chicken, here is my method: Place  4-6 boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breast halves into the crock pot for about 4 hours on low. Add about 1/4 cup water, an undrained 4 oz can of chopped green chilies, garlic salt , pepper and a half of a chopped onion.  Or if I'm in a hurry, I season the chicken and dump some prepared green chili salsa over the top (about 1 cup).  If you are using frozen chicken, use the same method, and cook for about 5-6 hours on low. Every crock pot is different, mine cooks at a higher temperature than most, so I adjust the time on the lower side.  I have also used this method cooking in the oven at about 275 for 4 hours. When the chicken is done, shred with fork and add to recipe. I add a little of the juice as well. If you don't use the whole amount of chicken you have cooked, place in Ziplock bags, label and freeze for later use. 

-**On the second go around, I tried this dish using low fat sour cream and low fat cream cheese. The taste result was notably different. The texture of the dish did not change much. I would recommend using both regular sour cream and cream cheese in this dish. 

-Great make ahead dish- Make the filling and sauce the day before or assemble up to two days in advance. Cover dish with foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray on the side facing the enchiladas.  Refrigerate. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 375 covered, then remove foil and cook for additional 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbly.