Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken!

More slow cooker recipes!  You asked for them, so I am trying to oblige you!  I am taking a few of our family favorites, that I never used a slow cooker for, and use the slow cooker for quicker, hearty meals that families and especially kids will love!!

This "sticky chicken" as we call it, is DELICIOUS.  I am not sure why we started calling it that, but we did, and the name has "stuck". 
Hardy har har......  
Sometimes we eat it over rice, sometimes over egg noodles.  The awesome thing about this recipe is, it will feed an army, AND the leftover options are endless.   I have taken leftovers, added more stock, carrots, celery, and whatever rice or noodles are left for soup, I have added carrots, peas, potatoes, celery and slapped it in a  pie crust for pot pie.  I have also added chili powder, cheese, and cumin, and turned it into chicken enchiladas.  I mean, you get my drift, you don't have to have the same leftovers again the next night.

On a side note.  This whole "shredding" thing, really REALLY sends me over the edge.  I know I could use my fingers however, usually I am not patient enough to let things cool enough for that.  By the way, as I type this, my mouth is watering and I have chicken skin (goose bumps) just thinking about it.  If I use two forks, and the tines get stuck in each other, it almost sends me into shock.  I am the woman who can't put silverware away in a drawer because it touches each other  (now my teeth hurt) and the sound, OMG the sound.  OK, I can't talk about it anymore.

Here is this easy recipe that is probably one of the most versatile recipes on my website as far as leftover remakes!

4lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup chicken stock
1 T. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to sprinkle on top if you choose

Place chicken breasts into your slow cooker.  In a bowl combine, soups, stock, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper.  You may want to wait on the salt since the canned soups are fairly sodium laden (hangs head in shame).  Mix ingredients until completely combined.  Pour over chicken, flip chicken around in the mixture, cover, and set your slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.  When it is done, remove chicken to a plate and shred.

When it is all shredded, add back into your creamy gravy-ish mixture and stir. 

Serve over rice or egg noodles.  We love both but did egg noodles this time!

I know this photo isn't the greatest, sometimes that just happens, but trust me when I tell you, it is comforting, filling and plain old good for the tummy!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Slow Cooker Hot Beef Sandwiches

Now, this, ladies and gentleman is going way back for me.  This is one of my favorite comfort foods EVER.  I wish they were calorie free, fat free and all that jazz, but, they aren't.  If they were I could eat them at least 3 times a week.  No joke  But let me tell you what I realized about hot beef sandwiches

Not all of these sandwiches are created the same  In fact, some people have no idea what they are.  (GASP).  I know, right?  When I become an eastie, (moved to NJ) I wanted a hot beef sandwich.  I was missing home and wanted some HOME food.  Not pizza, no cheesesteaks, just as my husband calls it, "farm food".  Well, we went to our favorite diner, (shout out to Golden Palace in Vineland, NJ) and ordered a hot roast beef sandwich.  When it arrived, it was roast beef, swimming in gravy on a toasted hoagie roll.  Ok, it wasn't what I was planning, but, hey, it was as close as I figured I would get, so I enjoyed every luscious bite!  When my husband asked what was different I said, "Where are the potatoes?  Where is the sandwich bread?"  He was not nearly as concerned as I was but, to end this story on a positive note, I did find a hot beef sandwich that slightly resembled my most coveted treat from home.  You were holding your breath, weren't you? 

Now, while I enjoy all things homemade, I have to tell you, I tend to make fake gravy for this but I do it in a "nobody can tell" way..  I use that package that you add 3 or 4 cups of water to, but you could use 3 small packages, or as I will write the recipe, how I do it when I make homemade gravy

Make sure to make a batch of mashed potatoes to serve along side of this delicious sandwich, from my childhood and from, well.......dinner tonight!

You will need
4-5 lb. roast of your choice (I like very little fat for this recipe
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. poultry seasoning (I know, just trust me)
1 tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt (if making homemade gravy, reduce to 1 if using package gravy)
1 tsp. black pepper (or to taste, or not at all)
3-4 cups of beef stock or water with bouillon cubes
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp. butter
kitchen bouquet (as desired)
ALL liquid left from your slow cooker

In your slow cooker, add your roast.  Sprinkle over onion powder, poultry seasoning, dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  Add in beef stock or water and bouillon cubes.  Place the lid on and cook on high for 6 hours.  I normally like my roast beef medium, but for this you want it well done.  Don't mess with it just let it go.

When your roast is done, remove unto a platter.  Leaving your slow cooker on high!

Now, to the stock left in your slow cooker, add in flour, butter and Kitchen Bouquet, and whisk that goodness until it is glossy, and thickened. 

(If using packages of gravy, add them right into the stock and whisk until no lumps appear)

Slice your roast beast and then slide it back into the gravy.  Place on warm until you are ready to serve.  Make a sandwich, add a side of mashed potatoes and your carb heaven has arrived!

This is perfect to make extra and freeze for later!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Bake

This is one of my favorite dishes  I think it is a popular dish, that lots of people love, but don't always feel like dealing with the whole process.  Well, I am happy to tell you I took the process out of it. 

Ok, I can't take ALL of the credit, my sister has a friend who has a friend who told her about this recipe.  I, as usual made some of my own modifications but, it will taste very much the same no matter how you do it   Originally I think the breasts were left whole, which just seemed like so much work.  If this was going to be an easy version, then it should already be cut up.  Right?  Wow, that sounded so very lazy of me.  The breasts I was working with (teehee) were huge (teehee again) and while I would use as many breasts as you have people, I used only 3 of these monsters.  Sorry, my maturity level is at an all time low lately.  Blame it on the grand littles.  HA!

You can use store bought sauce, or use your own.  We aren't having that battle tonight, I have been to busy, and don't have the strength.  I actually just laughed at that comment.  I used store bought jarred sauce for this recipe.  I could have made homemade croutons but, duh, this is supposed to be the easy version of chicken parmesan. 

Serve this over any pasta you like, I served it with rotini, and loved it.  In fact, I loved this so much, I might make it every week all summer because, I just like it that much.   Alright, that might have been a bit dramatic but I will be making this often. 

Oh wait did I mention the oven decided to stop working about 15 min after I put this in?  Yea, well, it will be fixed up soon, and I don't think 3 hours to wait was THAT long.  Do you?  HA!  Hopefully your oven isn't moody, and it will take the real amount of time!

You will need
3-4 chicken breasts, boneless skinless, cut into cubes
2 T. olive oil
1 T. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 jar of marinara (omg I can't remember the ounces)
1 can of tomato soup
1 T. sugar
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
1, 5oz bag of seasoned (garlic) croutons
Extra dried Italian seasoning

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Place chicken cubes into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Add olive oil, onion powder, salt, and Italian seasoning.  Toss the chicken to get everything seasoned up! In a bowl mix together marinara, tomato soup and sugar.  Pour over your chicken!

Now sprinkle liberally with your mozzarella cheese  Make sure to get the corners!  Don't let the corner people out!  Now top with your croutons  You could use the double the amount but trust me when I tell you this is enough even thought it may seem like it isn't.

I think this pic is upside down  Oh well, let's go with it, to change things up!

Now cover the top with parmesan cheese!  Then sprinkle on more Italian seasoning, a lot or a little the choice is yours, I did a LOT!

Now, bake this bad baby for 35-50 minutes  I know that is a large range of time but it just depends on how big your chunks of chicken are.  As soon as you are certain they are done, this is ready to eat!  If the top gets a bit, or starts to get a bit brown cover with foil for the duration of baking.  I personally am all about those really brown cheese bits.  Oh yea!

Serve with pasta of your choice or eat it alone!