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Monday, November 25, 2013

What's Cookin' in the Country?

Oh my...I have discovered a fantastic way to cook chicken that is 
quick, simple and  so flavorful!!!!

Using my new chicken cooking method, for Sunday dinner we had,

Chicken Enchiladas 
~served with sour cream and Avocado ~
Refried Beans
Scalloped Pineapple
Tortilla chips
Pumpkin Roll



I found this delightful recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs - Once Upon a Plate.    The key to this chicken is cooking it in chicken broth and adding the homemade Taco Seasoning (so much better than the store-bought packages!).  Here's her recipe:

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon chili powder*
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons onion powder (not onion salt)
1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (I only add a tiny pinch)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt*
1/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Use about 2 Tablespoons mix to 1 pound of meat (more if you like it more flavorful)

If using to season ground beef: Brown beef in pan, drain/pour off fat. Sprinkle seasoning over meat and add 1/3 cup of water; stir. Simmer until water is absorbed, taste and adjust seasonings.

For the chicken:
Basic recipe:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
3 Tablespoons dry Taco Seasoning (Homemade or Commercially made)
1 cup chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
---Stir taco seasoning into chicken broth.  Place chicken (and onion, bay leaves and oregano) in the slow cooker container, pour broth mix over.  Cover and cook on low-setting for 6 to 8 hours.
With 2 forks or your fingers, break apart or shred chicken meat into bite-size pieces.
Use as you wish, or  ~
To freeze: Place shredded chicken meat into freezer bags, dividing juice evenly among bags. Press out as much air as possible, seal and freeze.

I used this chicken to make enchiladas.  I made the chicken several days in advance and froze it.  It made meal preparation so easy and they were so delicious and flavorful!
Chicken Enchiladas

Sunday Chicken Enchiladas
On Saturday night, I took the chicken meat out of the freezer and thawed it.  I then placed some of the meat inside a soft tortilla and rolled it up then placed it seam side down in my baking dish.  I added the cooking juices from the meat into a can of mild enchilada sauce, then poured the sauce over the tortillas.  I then topped it with cheese, covered it with syran wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

On Sunday:
Take the enchiladas out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature.  When returning home from church, pop them into a 350 oven and heat until bubbly - about 15 minutes.

We were so happy to have old friends - the Jones' visiting from my home state of Kentucky yesterday.
Todd and I have a standing joke about a time when I served him burned corn.  How does a person burn corn, anyway?  Well, I did it years ago, and can't seem to live it down.  =)
Oops!  Alli got cut out of the picture!
I told him I was NOT serving him corn for dinner because he intimidates me.  So, we had another side dish; one I haven't made in forever but is so wonderful I can't imagine why I haven't been fixing it! 
What is it?  Scalloped Pineapple!


Scalloped Pineapple is a delightful side dish.  I guess you could call it a salad, but it's hot with a topping, so it's like a casserole.  Best of all, it's delicious!

Scalloped Pineapple
Ingredients
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz) I used a sleeve of crackers.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan - (I don't use this much!)
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


For dessert I made a Pumpkin Roll; one of my old standby desserts in fall!  I'm not sure why people are afraid to make them, but this recipe from Southern Living is the best and doesn't take that much hands-on time!

Pumpkin Roll


Ready for the oven!

If you are still looking for a "wow" dessert for Thanksgiving, look no further!  You can even make this early in the week and freeze it.

Stick around for two more recipes coming your way - tomorrow and Wednesday.  Both are breakfast items - perfect for the holiday!

With love from my country kitchen,

5 comments:

Whitney said...

Haha! I forgot about the burnt corn. =)

Everything looks delish!

Lynsey said...

Yummy! :) Wish the Jones' would move back here!

Denise said...

You've forgotten, Whitney; Todd has not! =) Lynsey, I have the same prayer!!!

Jane said...

I will have to try that pineapple dish!

Denise said...

What's not to love about the pineapple - fruit, sugar, Ritz...mmmm!