Sunday, October 19, 2014

Grilled Chicken Soup

3-4 med. potatoes, cut into cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 cup charcoal grilled chicken, chopped
corn starch
salt & pepper

In a large pot boil celery and onion in 2 cups of water until tender.  Add potatoes and enough water to cover (about 2 -3 more cups).  Cook until tender.  Add chicken, salt & pepper to taste.  Mix 1 Tbsp. corn starch with 1/4 cup of water.  Add to soup and bring to a boil to thicken.  Serves 6-8.

Martha:  I had cooked chicken breasts on a charcoal smoker the day before making this soup and had some left over.  When I tried to come up with a ideas to use this chicken I thought about soup.  Since celery takes longer to soften than potatoes, that is why I cooked it first, which worked perfectly.  The smoked flavor from the charcoal made this soup some of the best I've ever had.  Yes, you can make this with baked, boiled, and gas grilled but the smoky flavor is the best.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Orzo Chicken

1 cup uncooked orzo
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheese
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

Panko & another 1/4 cup of shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook orzo according to package and drain.  Combine all ingredients (except panko and extra 1/4 cup of cheese) in a large bowl, and spoon into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Top with 1/4 cup of cheese and enough Panko to cover dish.  Bake another 5 minutes or until Panko has browned slightly and cheese has melted.

Martha:  I found a recipe for broccoli and rice that sounded good but it called for instant rice.  I spotted the box of Orzo and thought why not.  I did cook the orzo and cut down the amount of broccoli called for in the recipe, which was 2 frozen packages.  And of course I added the chicken.  I baked 3 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts using enough to make a cup and also used the drippings as my broth.  If you don't have a full 1/4 cup of drippings, add a little water.  The balance of the chicken I ground and have made a 'Chicken Cheese Ball' that I'll post later.  This dish really turned out great!  It's simple to make and very tasty.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

2 lbs. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
½ lb Ham chopped into thin chunks Very Thinly Sliced Black Forest Ham, Rough Chopped
6-8 slices Sliced Swiss Cheese

4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Flour
3 cups Heavy Cream
4 oz Seasoned Parmesan Cheese (jar type)
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp.  Paprika

Panko Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.  Put shredded chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with chopped ham. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.

Melt butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a lump-free roux. When roux begins to heat and slight bubble, slowly pour in heavy cream and whisk until smooth.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in garlic. Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper, and paprika. Stirring constantly bring sauce just back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole.

Top with enough Panko to evenly cover the dish.  Bake casserole uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes until hot and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot over egg noodles.

Martha:  I watched a Chef on a local TV show make Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole.  I waited for her to give the recipe measurements but instead she said to go to her site.  Well I did but there had been nothing published on her site since 2012 so I went searching with only a partial list of her ingredients to go by.  I found several recipes but none that were like hers so I had to do a lot of guessing and this is what I came up with.  I doubt that I got 'her' recipe correct but I did come up with a pretty good dish.  I do believe she used shredded Parmesan cheese but I also know how easily it will lump when melting so I decided to use the jar type which worked great.  I also used the seasoned type to give it added flavor.  She served her dish over noodles but my sauce was thick enough that I decided to serve mine without noodles.  I will be making this dish again!

Food Tester Carol:  Moist strips of chicken breast baked in a cream and cheese sauce with diced ham and a hearty covering of Parmesan are a delight.  This is a delicious main dish and served as the evening meal, lifts everyone’s spirits!  I like this better than the traditional chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese, which can be a bit heavy.  The casserole variation with pieces of chicken breast covered in the sauce is, to me, a more pleasing meal.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Broccoli Chicken Cheese Soup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cut into bite size pieces
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
2 med. onions, chopped
5 Tbsp. butter or margarine
7 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Place broccoli in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Let boil about 2 minutes or until tender crunchy.  Drain and set aside.  In a large sauce pan melt 3 Tbsp. of butter.  Add onions and simmer about 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups broth and oregano;  simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  In another sauce pan melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter.  Stir in flour and cook until bubbly.  Stir in mustard and pepper.  Add to onion mixture and whisk until smooth.  Add remaining 4 cups of broth.  Heat to simmer, stirring frequently.  Add milk and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.  Stir in broccoli and chicken.  Serves 8

Martha:  The original recipe came from a cookbook dating in the 90's.  I did, of course, make changes to fit my own taste.  The 1st change was the addition of the chicken.   That wasn't in the recipe.  The original recipe called for the onion mixture to be processed in a blender until smooth.  I omitted that.  I've made this change in other soup recipes and like having the bits of onion.  This soup turned out perfect.  I can't wait to make it again this winter.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chicken Paprika - from old cookbook

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked (about 1 1/2 lb.), cut into chunks
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter

1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
4 tsp. paprika
1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. poppy seed
2 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. egg noodles

Melt 1/2 stick butter in skillet.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Blend in flour and salt.  Remove form heat.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.  Stir 1/4 cup of sauce into egg yolks.  Stir into remaining sauce and return to heat.  Cook over med. heat until mixture thickens stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low and stir in paprika.  Add mushrooms and chicken.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Stir in sour cream and heat just until sauce is hot.  Cook noodles according to package.  Drain and add 2 Tbsp. butter and poppy seeds.  Serve chicken and sauce over noodles.  Serves 6

Martha:  This recipe came form an old Swif Food Guide cookbook.  I have no idea as to how old this book is but I would guess around the 60-70s.  I've never eaten this dish before now and found it really delicious, especially the sauce.  When I took some to one of my food testers she was so excited.  Apparently she hasn't had this dish in years.  For future making of this dish I will eliminate the poppy seeds.  They didn't seem to add anything to the flavor and I found myself having to brush my teeth twice to get them out.  I also want to try serving this over rice, especially wild rice and maybe even a rice mixture.  This is a dish that is not only easy to make but I think everyone that tastes it will love it.