Friday, February 28, 2014

Dijon Chicken

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup self rising flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup evaporated milk or half & half
1 bouillon cube, crushed
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

In a large frying pan over med. heat melt butter.  In a shallow bowl mix flour and pepper together.  Using the flat side of a meat mallet, lightly pound chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until about 1/4" thick.  Dip each piece in flour and coat well.  Place in melted butter.  Fry on med heat for about 6 minutes on each side or until juice runs clear.  Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same pan add onions.  Saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes depending on their size.  Mix crushed bouillon in hot water to dissolve.  Pour cream, bouillon and mustard in with the onions.  Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and slightly thickened.  Return chicken to pan.  Serve chicken over rice with sauce drizzled over.

Martha:  This dish is delicious.  It came from a recipe called Chicken Dijonnaise but of course I made my own changes.  I changed the flour to self-rising because that happened to be what I had on hand.  I used chopped onions instead of green onions, again for the same reason.  As well as changing from whipping cream to evaporated milk.  And I did use bouillon instead of wine.  But my Dijon mustard did have a red wine as an ingredient.  With these changes I made this dish a little cheaper to make but still came out with a totally delicious dish.

Tip:  Want to check your egg for freshness?  Pit it (in its shell) in a large bowl of room-temperature water.  As the egg ages, it loses moisture, and the air sac inside the large end of the egg shell enlarges.  The swelling of the air sac increases the egg's buoyancy.  So, the older the egg, the higher it floats. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chicken Eugenie

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 slices ham sliced about ¼” thick
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tsp. minced, dried onions
1 cup evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  “Butterfly” chicken breasts.  Cut the rest of the way through creating 2 pieces from each.  In a large frying pan melt butter over med. high heat.  Salt and pepper chicken to taste.  Brown chicken on both sides.  Cover frying pan with lid and let cook until chicken is done, about 20 minutes depending upon the thickness.  Spray a 9 x 12 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Place the 4 pieces of ham in the dish.  Top each piece of ham with chicken.  In a large bowl mix soup, celery, onions and evaporated milk until well blended.  Pour over chicken.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly in the center.  Serves 4.

Martha:  I found a version of this recipe in a 1960’s cookbook.  It had no front cover but the back cover said Pilot International Building Macon, Georgia and copyright MCMLXVI (1966).  The recipes themselves are even older.  This dish called for “top milk” which if I remember correctly is the actual cream that forms on fresh milk after the cow has been milked.  I, of course had no “top milk” so I used evaporated milk.  Guess you could also use half and half or heavy cream.  I also changed the cooking just a bit.  The original called for whole chicken breasts which I changed to boneless, skinless and sliced it into 2 pieces.  It had the chicken just browned and not cooked completely in the frying pan.  It’s cooking was done in the oven.  I like my chicken to be cooked before adding the other ingredients so I cooked mine thoroughly in the pan.  As for the ham, I used a large slice and cut it into 4 even pieces.  Go easy on the salt you might add to the chicken.  The ham gives out a good bit so salt lightly.  As for this dish, it was delicious.  I served it over brown and wild rice with a salad and roll making this a complete and delicious dish.  The name of the dish is exactly the way it was listed in the book.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chicken Mac & Cheese

2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite size piece
1/2 pound pasta noodles of your choice, cooked and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheese (set 1/2 cup aside)
1/2 cup Panko

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl combine chicken, noodles, both soups and 1 1/2 cups cheese.  Pour into pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over top.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts and is bubbly.  Sprinkle with Panko and return to oven for 5 minutes.  Watch so the Panko doesn't burn.  Serves 6

Martha:  I can't say enough about this dish.  The original recipe called for bacon which omitted.  It called for 2 cans of cream of chicken, I made the change of 1 chicken and 1 mushroom.  It used Monterrey jack cheese but I decided to use cheddar which gave it a wonderful taste and I also added the Panko bread crumbs as an added texture.  This dish turned out so good that I've had 2 of my food testers, that don't cook, ask if they brought me the ingredients, would I please make it up for them. 

Lillian:  Oh, what a treat this is!  The slight crunch of the Panko is just the right touch, Martha.  We love mushrooms, like you, and I will also be omitting the bacon.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chicken & Squash Casserole

4 med. sized yellow squash
1 med. size onion

Peel and slice squash.  Place in a boiler.  Slice onion and add to squash.  Add enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer.  Cook until squash and onions are tender.  Drain and pour into a large bowl.

1 cup chopped, cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg (14 oz.) stuffing mix
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth

Add all to the bowl with the squash and onions.  Mix well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Evenly spread mixture in pan.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly in center. 

Martha:  This is a great dish to trick the kids into eating their squash.  It's also a good dish to get me to eat my squash, since I'm not a fan.  This I could eat until someone rolled me away from the table.  It's moist, there is a slight taste of cheese, onion, chicken, and yes squash.  Combine all of those flavors with the stuffing mix and oh so good!  Add a salad and you have a great meal. 

Lillian:  I do love squash, raw or cooked.   This dish is one more to enjoy when the squash are in season and plentiful.  Squash has such a mild taste and the other ingredients here just boost the flavor.   A real treat here!

Tip:  Want to make quick work of cutting up your chicken?  Buy a pair of pruning shears for your kitchen.  They are perfect for cutting up chicken, especially whole birds.  The soft handles are comfortable and the shears are strong enough to slice through the toughest joints with ease.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chicken Marsala

4 chicken cutlets
flour, salt & pepper
4 Tbsp. butter

Dredge the cutlets in seasoned flour.  In a frying pan melt butter and saute the chicken until cooked and brown.  Remove from heat to a heated platter and keep warm.

To the frying pan saute
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup beef broth

Cook over high heat a 2-3 minutes.  Pour over chicken

Lillian:  This recipe was given to me by my late sister, Lois, who was such an outstanding cook.  I don't know where she found the recipe but I'm certainly glad that she shared it with me.  She made this one day when another sister came for dinner and it was a real hit!  This is so good served over noodles or rice, or served on the side with mashed or baked potatoes.  It lends itself to anything.

Martha:  Sis, as you can see from the picture I used bone-in chicken breasts to make this dish.  Why?  They were on sale so I stocked my freezer up and had plenty on hand.  Anyway, I dredged my chicken in the flour and then placed them on a rack with a pan under it to catch the drippings.  After that I followed the recipe.  For my mushrooms I used Shaiitake which next to Portabella are my favorite.  This dish was wonderful!  My Food Testers all wanted more.

Tip:  I like to add apples to not just my chicken salads but to others as well.  At times my apple turned brown before I was able to serve my guests.  No more.  After doing some research I found that the Golden Delicious variety doesn't oxidize and turn brown the way the other varieties do and its sweetness and texture are perfect for a great salad.