Tag Archives: chicken

Stealing from other’s menus-Teriyaki Chicken Bowls

I am signed up for several different blogs/sites to send me their daily/weekly recipes & one of my favorites is Mommy’s Kitchen. The recipes usually meet my 3 goals:
Cheap
Easy
Tasty
I also use the monthly menu plans & various recipes to inspire our meals & get fresh ideas. In a way this could be considered stealing but then again that’s what they are meant for, so that sort of undermines the whole concept of stealing…you can’t “steal” what someone is giving you, eh?

Okay, so we recently tried:
Teriyaki Chicken Noodle Bowls & man were they good! I had gotten a huge pack of chicken leg quarters for $4, resigning myself to de-skinning/fatting/boning it all myself in order to save a few bucks (the prices on the packs of boneless skinless chicken are ridiculous!). Because of this, it took me awhile to make this but if you choose the easy route it shouldn’t take too long. This recipe is also versatile, which I like a lot; you can interchange the vegetables and/or pasta to whatever your favs are or whatever you have on hand. You can even switch out the noodles for quinoa or rice if you prefer. And let me just say…the leftovers the next day are delish! After the teriyaki sauce has had time to sink in?? Mmm-mmm! Click the Teriyaki Chicken link above (which takes you to another recipe site, not Mommy’s Kitchen, which you should still make sure to check out) for the full recipe with step-by-step instructions. Then, after you get your belly full, be sure to stop back by here & let me know your thoughts!!

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My meat prep.
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Look at that freshly deskinned shhhicken! 😉
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Saute the mushrooms & onions; what an amazing smell!
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Make sure to chop your veggies on the small side for easy eating.
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My teriyaki sauce as it is cooking.
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Almost finished!

I’m too much of a pig (& I’m compelled to eat when it’s hot) to remember to get photos of finished recipes, which is something I strive to remember but never fail to forget. No-finished-product-photo aside, just plop your noodles (or rice) in a bowl & top with the teriyaki chicken mixture, then enjoy!

Update
I just received a rare email from Kikkoman & there is a link to their version of a Teriyaki Shrimp Noodle Bowl; I thought I’d share it here because shrimp is amazing & it seems easy enough to make. You could double the teriyaki sauce you’re making, instead of using theirs. Just sayin’. Good luck!

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Ranch House Chicken…you won’t believe how easy!

This recipe is one I recently received in one of my routine “recipe emails” & I’m pleased as punch (isn’t that a cute yet annoying saying?) that it meets my Big 3 (requirements):
      *Versatile: you can cook it via the oven or the crockpot
      *Easy: I managed to reduce it to 3 steps. Oh yea.
      *Cheap: less ingredients=less money…yay!

I like to give credit where credit is due, so here is where I got the recipe from. I’d hope-however-that you’d do the right thing &take pity on me for taking the time and making the effort to compose this post, and continue where you started…nice & cozy right here. 😀

Okie doke, let’s get to it!

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Step 2: prepare your soup concoction.

Ranch House Chicken
1 pkg chicken pieces (I found a “variety pack” on sale & decided to save a couple cents by de-skinning the chicken myself; the pieces were legs & thighs; the original recipe suggests using 4-5 boneless & skinless breasts but I’m a cheapskate)

2 cans cream of mushroom/celery/potato/chicken/whatever you prefer soup

1/4 c. sour cream

1 pkg Ranch dressing mix

Oven Method:
      1-Remove skin from pieces then arrange chicken in casserole dish.

      2-In a medium bowl combine the soups, sour cream & 3/4 of the Ranch mix; stir well then pour evenly over each piece of chicken. (I ended up adding about 6 Tbsp of milk just to increase my liquid & loosen up the consistency a bit. Use your best judgement.) Sprinkle the remaining Ranch mix over all.

      3-Bake at 375° for about an hour (or until juices run clear) then serve & enjoy!

(Crockpot Method:
Everything is basically the same: put the chicken in first, then the soup mixture, etc; cook on low for 5-6 hours.)

I enjoyed the ease, overall cost & taste of this recipe…chicken is my “go-to” meat & there are gobs of chicken recipes out there. I felt like maybe next time I’ll double the Ranch mix because while it had a good taste it wasn’t necessarily a ranch taste. I didn’t include it in the recipe (hey, I’m proud of getting it down to 3 steps-I don’t wanna ruin it!) but I finely chopped some green onion & mixed it into the soup concoction; this would be totally your call…do you like green onions or not? While the original recipe suggest mashed potatoes & green beans (I think?) as sides–which does sound delish–we just had mashed potatoes so I subbed fried eggplant & cooked carrots.

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Surprise--it's eggplant, not potatoes!

I’ve been wanting to try a simple fried eggplant recipe anyway! As usual, Allrecipes didn’t disappoint & (I’ll be honest) I was surprised…fried eggplant is gggooooooddd! I know, I know…eggplant…ick–what the hell?! It can’t possibly be good because it sounds so weird.
      Except it is.
I can’t explain it: it’s almost like squash. It wasn’t what I expected but in a good way. I got a huge one for $1.34 at Walmart so you should try it…at least if you don’t like it, it won’t of cost much so you won’t lose much. One of our family sayings is “Try new things one time” & I’m proud to report each little duck took a bite. Reviews were mixed but I think that’s due more to the odd name than the subtle taste.

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Let's eat!

**Updated** Tastes like home in my mouth. And it will yours too.

Some of my tried & true recipes have been passed down from my mom’s side of the family.  Things like potato salad, sausage gravy, green beans, chicken & dumplings.  Since my paw-paw (whom they originated from), nanny, & mom are all gone now these recipes have become even more sacred to me and I’ve made a point of keeping them in rotation so my kids will grow up remembering them.  Hey, I’m kinda crazy when it comes to food okay?

So the other day I saw 2 different pins (on Pinterest, just in case you’ve been under a rock for the past year) but I believe they’re the same link/recipe.  One says something about “crock pot chicken & dumplings”, one says something about “cracker barrel chicken & dumplings”.  It looks like the same picture on both so I said what the hell & went with the crock pot one.  However my subconscious likes to stress me out so I didn’t get the urge to make it until it was too late to do in the crock pot.  Of course.  So I put my big cook panties on & decided I’d try to convert it to a stove top recipe.  The entire time I was expecting failure.  Seriously…the whole time.  And then they get done & with the first bite I knew that it would be my new go-to chicken & dumplings recipe.  I felt a twinge of guilt towards my “family tradition” but I can’t help it…these fuckers are goooooood.  They taste like home in my mouth.  So despite the fact that I’ve already posted like 65,000 blogs today, I wanted to make a post about this one before I forgot all the steps I had to convert & tinker with.  I am one of those cooks who does “pinches” & “dashes” so I’m gonna attempt to be as clear & understandable as possible but if I cause confusion please leave a comment & I’ll try to clarify.  Obviously I’m not a raging popular blog so I’ll have plenty of time to answer you.  Now, whaddya waitin’ for–get to cookin’!!

PS: all of the pics are at the end; I didn’t want to confuse things even more by interjecting photos everywhere!

Delicious Home Tasting Chicken & Dumplings from Pinterest or Cracker Barrel but who really cares because they’re so damn good

First, the HOMEMADE CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP.
You will need:
4 T. Butter
4 T. Flour
2 c. Liquid (broth, milk, water)

Throw all your butter into a saucepan or skillet over med-high heat; melt completely. Toss all the flour in then stir with a whisk to combine with the butter. It should end up resembling a pliable, soft, play-doh like mixture. Let this cook for a couple of minutes then begin to add your liquid. Now: this is the part that requires patience & concentration. You must add the liquid a little at a time. What type of liquid you add is up to you; the first time I made this I was low on milk so I did half milk/half water; the next time I did 3/4 chicken broth/1/4 milk. It’s totally up to you, just make sure it’s 2 cups. Anyway…I always add just a splash of liquid at first then whisk everything together; as you’re adding the liquid the “play-doh” is soaking it up & expanding. Splash, whisk, splash, whisk…you get the idea. Once your mess mixture starts to resemble a soupy liquid it’s generally pretty safe to dump the rest of your liquid in, whisk & cook for a few minutes. Variations on this are easy too: for cream of celery just toss some finely chopped celery in with your melting butter; for cream of mushroom add finely chopped mushroom to your butter; for a stronger chicken taste sprinkle some chicken bouillon in. You just made homemade cream of chicken soup-take that, Campbell’s!!

Alrighty…once you’ve made the soup just set it aside. If you’re more organized than myself, you could actually do this next step before making the soup but…eh, whatever.

The Chicken
You will need:
2-4 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken
(You can use any type you want, I prefer breast because you don’t have to trim the fat; also a little chicken goes a loooong way in this recipe so if you don’t have much that’s a-okay)
2 T. Butter
2 c. Cream of Chicken soup (what you just made)
1 c. Chicken broth
1 onion, diced

What you do:
Place the chicken in a pot, cover with water, dump some salt in & bring to a boil. You can move on to other tasks while the chicken is boiling but don’t forget about it…you don’t want it to start falling apart. Thoroughly cook the chicken, reserve the water (which is now homemade chicken broth!), and place the chicken aside. In another large pot combine over medium heat the 2 cups of soup you made earlier, 1 cup of chicken broth (yes that’s right: get it from the reserved “boiling” water!), the onions & butter. Whisk all ingredients until thoroughly blended, then add the chicken pieces. Cook this mixture-stirring occasionally-for about 20 minutes/while preparing dumplings to blend flavors.

The Dumplings
You have 2 options here: use Bisquick, or follow the recipe listed below. You could also cut up refrigerator biscuits if you’re crunched for time or just lazy as hell. I promise you that rolling out dough is SO SO worth it & really doesn’t take long at all. You can absolutely taste the difference over fridge biscuits & you will be super glad you took the time to do it. If you opt for Bisquick they always have their biscuit recipe on the box, just follow it & jump back in here for the rolling part. If you’re going the distance for your dough you’ll need this recipe:

You will need:
2 c. Flour
3 t. Baking powder
2 T. Sugar
1 t. Salt
1/3 c. Oil (veggie, canola)
2/3 c. Milk

What you do:
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Measure out oil & milk in separate measuring cups, then gently add milk to oil. DO NOT STIR. Add oily-milk to the bowl of dry ingredients; using your hands gently mix together. Try to get it mixed up thoroughly yet in as few moves as possible. I know this is confusing but the more dough is handled the tougher it gets. After mixing pat into a giant ball; I usually stick mine in the freezer for a few minutes just to firm it up a bit. Now for the rolling:
-Sprinkle some flour on a clean, flat surface (ie: your kitchen table).
-Place your dough ball on top then knead a couple of times, sprinkling a tiny bit of flour as needed if it has stickiness.
-Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour (this should be abbreviated to S.T.B.F., lol!) over your rolling pin & start rolling out your dough. Make it as thick or as thin as you want (mainly because I never measured my dough thickness, I just always eyeball it) but keep in mind the dough will puff up once it becomes a dumpling. In other words you don’t want dumplings the same thickness as a porterhouse. Or maybe you do. Again, your call.
-Use a pizza cutter (genius, right?!) to cut horizontal & vertical lines, forming little rectangles. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use a small cookie cutter like I did last time (a little star!). Or, you can make small strips. Your preference.
-Gather up your uncooked dumplings & place on a plate; repeat these steps until all of your dough is used.

The Final Result
Finally, you’re at the finish line! Increase the heat on the chicken/soup mixture to medium-high; remove the chicken pieces. While you’re waiting on the soup to get a little hotter shred all of your chicken & set aside. Some recipes call for you to put it back in the pot but this is my recipe & I say set it aside because it’s easier to cook your dumplings. You should be seeing the occasional heat bubble in your soup pot; when this happens start adding your dumplings one by one all around inside the pot. After you add a whole “layer” of them wait a minute then stir gently to make sure they’re not sticking. Cook for a few minutes until they’re puffed up, probably 5-6 minutes. You probably don’t have any free space to add more dumplings so remove the cooked ones (I always just dump them in with my shredded chicken) with a slotted spoon, then repeat the process until all dumplings have been cooked. Finally, gently re-add all the dumplings & chicken, stir to mix it all in with the soup, and let it cook a few minutes so the mouth watering yumminess can blend together. To be fancy like me you can sprinkle some parsley on top after dishing into serving bowls.

And wah-la, you have the best chicken & dumplings ever. After you come down from your chicken & dumpling euphoria, let me know what you think! Oh, and you’re welcome. 😉

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Fancy C&D with rectangles dumplings & parsley.
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Homemade cream of chicken soup.
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Shredded chicken.
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Dumplings as they're cooking.
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Cutesy star dumplings! They were the perfect thickness too.

Mozzarella Chicken & Rice Skillet

This recipe was passed on to me from my best friend in the world, and she found it on the Kraft website under the “1 Bag 5 Dinners” section (which I recommended to her!). I made it tonight & it turned out delicious! Give it a try…even if it doesn’t seem like your thing…it ends up being a one-pot belly-warming dish that’s excellent for chilly nights.

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Ingredients
1 T. oil (I used olive oil)
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I only had 3 on hand & I cut them into bite sized pieces)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk
2 c. fresh (or thawed frozen) broccoli
1 1/2 c. instant white rice, uncooked (I goofed here but it turned out okay…I prepared my rice according to the package but it didn’t affect the recipe at all)
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (or more to your liking if you’re a cheese lover like we are!)

What to do
Heat oil in large skillet on med-high heat. Add chicken (I also tossed in some onion powder & paprika…I’m a spice lover), cook 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove & cover to keep warm. Add soup & milk to skillet, blend well with whisk, bring to a boil. Stir in rice & broccoli; top (or stir in the pieces) with chicken. Cover & reduce heat to low (if you opted to cut your chicken into pieces occasionally stir the mixture so it doesn’t stick/burn). Cook 5 min.; sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat; let stand 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Variation
You can use whatever fresh/frozen vegetables and cheese you have on hand. Peas sound like a good choice!

Information to take note of
From: Kraft Recipes
Yield: 4 servings
Cook time: 35 minutes

Leave me a comment & let me know how you like it!

Love thy neighbor?

I have yet to put together any blog posts with actual details about our great chicken adventure, which I’ll definitely do because there is MUCH to tell(!), however I’ve found myself unable to quit thinking of the situation with our neighbors. First, a short background.

We’re not hermits or agoraphobics; we just tend to keep to ourselves. It’s a trait I developed in high school when I got tired of ridiculous bitches stabbing me in the back. We’ve also realized that it keeps the drama level set at low usually, which we need considering my husband’s family’s favorite past time is stirring the pot. We don’t have a lot of friends but the friends we do have we greatly value & know we can trust them. They’re good, lasting, solid friendships.

That being said, we’ve been friendly with the neighbors. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere that we could borrow sugar if needed (which we’ve done..and trash bags..), the kids got along well, & we had enough in common with the people to have a conversation. Luckily all of the above applies to this situation! A few weeks ago the woman even asked me if I’d be able to babysit for her for a couple hours on random days. Even though I knew it would be awkward at times I agreed; I figured a little extra money is nice & it’ll help her out. By the way, when I say a “little” extra money that’s totally what I mean..I’m giving her an amazinggg rate. I was right, there have been a couple awkward moments–hours figured differently (until I pulled my homemade time sheet out. Yep, I’m that cautious), money not being paid for awhile, money being “forgotten” about being owed..etc etc. All of these things are to be expected; they’re normal; no big deal really.

However..I’m noticing a “know it all” side coming out of both of them, literally about everything. Every time we say something about anything they “give” us the low down on it. The other major issue I’m having is the copy cat syndrome. We mentioned we were going to start a coop; they said they’d been thinking of starting one too! We bought 4 baby chicks (after doing lots of research & picking 2 breeds we really liked) & 3 grown Silkies. They ran to the tractor store the next day (no I’m not kidding) & bought 6 Rhode Island Reds, which is a standard run-of-the-mill breed. We found a fantastic deal on a chicken coop by looking on Craigslist; they whined about how they didn’t know what they were going to do, etc. (How about not try to one up your neighbors if you’re unable to buy a coop??)
We told them about our breeds when they asked, for instance we told them about how 2 of our chicks are Ameracaunas & will lay green & blue eggs. (Really?!? We should’ve got some of those!!…yah…too bad you ran out & bought the first thing you saw. *sad face*) The next day another neighbor came by to check out our coop. Thank God the neighbors were there because they were able to tell him allllll about OUR chickens. What a relief. Other copycat issues include (but are not limited to): using my idea for building a coop under the porch…exactly like I’d said. Suddenly naming her rooster the same name as mine (Mr. Roo, which I don’t believe is common. And apparently it’s the funniest shit ever because when she told me she just laughed and laughed and laughed. Seriously.). Telling us that hay caused lice & fleas but we went ahead & did it anyway because we think we’re a little smarter than them…come to find out they used hay too! Everywhere. But I guess their hay is lice-free. -_-
Tonight she told me the proper way to cook cube steak, which I’ve made several upon several times in my life. They’ve also been able to give us handy gardening tips that we already knew, match each experience of ours with one of theirs, and basically make sure we’re able to keep ourselves breathing.

I could go on and on and on, there is a plethora of examples. And yes, I’ve heard the saying “imitation is the highest form of flattery”. Well, no it’s really not for someone like myself who can’t frigging stand a copycat! And let me just say–the rooster name thing really pisses me off; I’m very attached to my Roo & there will only ever be 1 Mr. Roo! Period. I mean, it completely boggles my mind how people aren’t even embarrassed that they’re telling you to your face they’re blatantly copying you. Yoi better believe if I see an idea I want to copy I straight out ask if I can; as a matter of fact I just did a few days ago..a Scentsy sister had an adorable idea for getting her name out there so I asked if I could copycat. (She said yes! *big smile*)

Uugghh. I was just hoping that if I bitched about it a little then my mind would let go of it.

Hmm, maybe I should ask the neighbor what to do? She’d know. 😉