Dilled Chicken and Potato Salad

I’ve had this recipe marked to make for a long time.  It has chicken, potatoes, and dill.  What could go wrong?

Ingredient List with pre-poached chicken
DCPS_Ingredients

I poached the chicken ahead of time.  I still ended up chopping it a little smaller

Next, you mix the oil and vinegar while the potatoes are boiling.  I took a picture because it was a cool color 🙂
DCPS_OilVinegar

Next, put the potatoes in the mix.  This is where I think the recipe goes wrong.  I think all of the seasoning should go in with the oil and vinegar so the hot potatoes can soak all of them up
DCPS_Potatoes

After it soaks for a bit, you add the dill, salt, pepper, and chicken.  I put some paprika on top because I’m cool like that!
DCPS_Finished

I had it for lunch today.  It was a few days after making it, but it was very underwhelming.  It was almost bland.  That’s why I make the note up top with the seasonings.  Now, the problem is how to doctor up the rest of the servings so I can actually eat it.  Do I add mayo?  Do I heat it up?  Shit, I don’t even know what to serve it with.  I still think the recipe has potential, though.  I am definitely going to revisit this one.

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Um….how many boxes of pasta???

I was doing a little cleaning up and I noticed an unusual amount of pasta boxes.  I counted and ended up with 14 – FOURTEEN boxes of pasta!  And that doesn’t count the stuff I have in other containers!  I think I have a sickness.  Is there a meeting for pasta buyers anonymous?

So, I decided that I need to start cooking some pasta.  It’s getting chilly and it’s the perfect meal to be able to heat up the house.  Bear Creek makes a Creamy Chicken pasta mix that I just could eat the WHOLE thing easy.  I was going to go and buy it, but I thought “Huh.  I wonder if I could make it”.  I have never tried to recreate a recipe like this.  The only way I have ever tried was with another recipe – lol.  I didn’t take many pictures because I wasn’t sure it would turn out.  I do have some pictures for you and even something close to a recipe.

I had to think through how I wanted to make this and how I would get it the way closest to what the package is.

I started with a roux.  I added garlic to the butter to get some flavor.  The yellow glob is my version of bouillon.  I added that to kinf of ramp up the chicken flavor.
CCN_Butter

I added flour, but I couldn’t get a picture.  Next, I added the chicken broth VERY slowly.  I would add a little bit, wait for it to thicken up, add a little more, then wait, etc.
CCN_BrothAdded

I wanted to add some milk, but mine went bad.  I used powdered milk instead.  It is gross to drink, but I didn’t notice anything off when cooking with it.  I added the seasonings at this point too.  Parsley, salt and pepper went into the sauce.  I let it boil a bit on and off, but I was constantly stirring to make sure it didn’t burn.  I wanted a really thick sauce and this helped.
CCN_Milk

The original had carrots in it, so I took some of the pre-shredded ones I always have, cut them a little smaller and threw them in to cook.  I  turned down the heat and let it simmer slowly while I finished up the pasta.

See, because I made about 4 ounces of the mini pasta by Barilla, looked at my sauce and went, “Yea……that’s so not enough”.  I had to mix two different shapes which I hate doing.  BUT, I knocked out two boxes of pasta!  WOOHOO!
CNN_Done

Plated (with frozen fish)
CNN

Okay – verdict (drumroll please!!).  It was pretty good.  I couldn’t get the salt correct, but that was a small piece of it.  I actually liked the two different pastas in this.  I liked the carrots, but I should have put them in sooner so they had time to soften up a bit more.  I didn’t add nearly enough garlic.  I think there is something missing, but I can’t put my finger on it.  I think the base recipe is fine, but the seasonings still need tweaking.

Recipe: Creamy Chicken Noodles
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp Chicken Soup Base (I use Penzey’s)
Garlic cloves – I used about 1-2 tsp of garlic from Penzey’s2 tbsp flour
1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
7 ounces dry mini pasta.  If a bigger pasta is used, you may not need as much
Seasonings:
salt, pepper, parsley

Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package and set aside

Melt the butter, garlic, and soup base in a medium potAdd the flour and saute.  Cook for a couple minutes
SLOWLY add the chicken broth
Stir after every addition and wait until thick to add more
After the last of it is added, let it thicken a bit more and add the milk the same way
Taste and season accordingly.  I didn’t actually measure the salt, pepper or parsley.  I just dumped some in and tested, dumped some in and tasted
Let the sauce come to a boil to thicken up even more
Add the noodles and mix

Optional
I added in some shredded carrots.  Other vegetables may be good, too.  I would think broccoli would work well.

Easy Spicy Chicken

When I was looking through this recipe, I clicked on the link and scanned the Baked Sweet and Sour chicken.  I assumed the that they would be oven baked chicken.  I should have read both the recipes more thoroughly.  The chicken was still fried on the stove and then baked for an hour.  Not something that I can conceivably do after work during the week.

Ingredients
FCC_Ingredients

All mixed up in a glass measuring cup – because I am cool like that
FCC_Mixed

Confession time.  I did the above a few days ago, before I realized that the chicken I was going to use went bad.  No biggie, I just threw it in the fridge.  I cut up two chicken breasts (about a pound), nuked the sauce and poured it over the chicken.  I baked it in the oven at about 350-375 (how ever my oven was feeling today).

This is it after 15 minutes.  I stirred it and put it back in for another 15 minutes
FCC_FirstBake

After another 15
FCC_SecondBake

And this was my dinner
FCC_Plated

As you can see, the sauce was thin.  At first, I wasn’t a fan, but the more I ate it, the more I liked it.  I think there is a little off about the ratios.  I could taste the wing sauce more than anything.  Maybe a little more vinegar or sugar.  Maybe cut down on the sauce.  I do think that the next time, I will be making it in a pot on the stove and letting it thicken up some more before adding it to the chicken.

It is worth making again.  With the changes I made, it only took a half hour to cook.  The sauce was simple to make, too.  This could very easily be a weeknight dinner.  The original post is correct – it is not as spicy as you would thing.  There was no lasting heat, just a hint of it.

 

Chicken Parmish Type Casserole

I REALLY wanted to like this recipe.  I love Chicken Parmesan and this seemed like an easy way to get the same taste  with less calories.  There are 3 different recipes that are pinned to my board on Pinterest, but they are all basically the same.  This is the one I followed the closest.

Ingredients
CPC_Ingredients

Cut up the chicken into pieces and put in the bottom of the casserole.  Top with sauce.
CPC_Sauce

Top THAT with mozzarella cheese
CPC_Cheese

I took the croutons, added some parm cheese and garlic and crushed them up
CPC_Croutons

Topped the casserole with them
CPC_Crust

Baked for 35 minutes at 350ish
CPC_Baked

It looks good, right?  It was surprisingly bland.  It was definitely missing something.  I had an inkling to put pasta in the bottom of the dish, but I didn’t.  Bad move.  It was really watery .  That would have been absorbed by the pasta if it was cooked to just under al dente.  Even the topping ended up getting wet after I took it out of the oven.  No one likes wet croutons unless they are freshly dressed on a salad

This was really disappointing.  It definitely didn’t have enough seasoning.  Even the Italian Seasoning that I added wasn’t included in any of the original recipes didn’t help.  I don’t think I will be making this again.  If I do, there’s gonna be a lot more seasoning added directly to the sauce before topping the chicken AND there will be pasta on the bottom.

Title Forgotten….almost

Potatoes, chicken, cheese and bacon – what’s not to love??  I was gonna make just potatoes, then I realized that this recipe had chicken in it, too.  It is a bit spicy, so Ranch is not a suggestion here, it’s a requirement.  It wasn’t a difficult recipe, but it did require a lot of attention.

Ingredients
BCP_Ingredients

Mixing the potatoes up
BCP_PotatoMixed

Ready to bake the potatoes
BCP_PotatoToBake

Baked!  Look how quick that was – not really though.  it took about 45 minutes with turning every 15 minutes
BCP_PotatoesBaked

I added the chicken and topped the chicken with cheese, bacon and green onions.  I don’t have the full amount of the onions, just enough.  I chopped until it felt weird, you know?  Like, why am I still chopping?  This thing is hollow and mushing in my hands.
BCP_FinalBaking

After baking.  You can’t see, but it wasn’t baked enough for the chicken to be completely cooked.  But, the topping (as you can see) was done.
BCP_Done

I cut up the chicken and nuked it until the chicken was completely cooked.
BCP_Plated

This was only HALF the recipe and it is plenty to feed me for the week.  I am thinking of calling a friend to help out, too.  It was good, but I am going to be cutting down on the hot sauce the next time I make it.  I want to combine this recipe with one for ranch potatoes and leave the chicken with the Buffalo seasoning.  I think it would be more balanced and I probably wouldn’t need the ranch on the side.  I wonder how it would taste with BBQ chicken on top.  This would be a great dish to make in the winter since it is baked at a high temperature.  I recommend it if you like hot sauce.

Cooky Pleasing Chicken

Some people just slay me.  This is a very popular recipe on Pinterest.  I pinned it because it looked really good.  I went to the site and started to read through the comments and did so many facepalms that I think I broke my nose.  People complaining because they don’t like mustard and syrup, but still made the recipe – look at the MAIN two ingredients!?!  Seriously???  Ugh.  Someone else complained because it was called “Man-Pleasing Chicken”.  OMG – just be thankful she posted the recipe in the first place!!

Ok, rant over.

I am not the biggest fan of mustard and syrup, but I do have a few recipes that use dijon mustard and I really like them.  I figured I would give it a try.  I don’t eat thighs, so I used breasts.

Ingredients.  Seriously, this is it.  Plus your chicken
MPC_Ingredients

Mix it up (forgot to take a picture mixed)
MPC_Measured

Pour it over your chicken
MPC_ReadytoBake

and Bake!  That’s it!  Pretty simple.
MPC_Baked

Seriously, though, why do my finished dishes NEVER look like the ones posted??  *SIGH*

I think I could add another chicken breast to this and still be fine.  That middle space?  Empty.  I cooked it for about 45 minutes because I was trying to get the yummy brown bits on the original picture.  No such luck.  I over cooked a bit, but that was my fault.  It would be fine probably at 30 or 40 minutes.

Regardless, it still tasted really good.  It smelled strongly of mustard, but didn’t taste only of that.  It was a bit tangy and a bit sweet.  I forgot to use some sauce on the plated dinner, but I stored the cooked chicken in it for leftovers.  It was so simple that I would definitely make this again.  I think would would also be good as a marinade for grilling.  Marinade over night, then grill and baste.

Dinner all plated.  Pilaf from Near East and a small Caesar salad.  Looking forward to lunch tomorrow 🙂
MPC_Dinner

Spicy Chicken Rub

I saved this recipe mostly for the shape of the chicken in it.  Chicken Rings – whaaaaat?  I was decidedly lazy and didn’t actually make the rings.  I was so surprised by how much I LOVED the seasoning mix, that I had to make a single post for it instead of tacking it on to the one where the side was made.

Seasonings.  I swapped the Lemon Pepper for Shallot Pepper.  I am not a huge fan of lemon pepper and thought it might be good.
SC_Ingredients

All measured out (Can you tell what is what?  lol)
SC_Measured

Chicken skewered
SC_ReadyToCook

Can you tell why I couldn’t cook it like this?  The sticks were over the lip of the grill pan – no heat getting to the ends of the chicken pieces.
SC_First

I moved them this way instead.  Better, but not great.  I still ended up having to take them off the sticks – sad face
SC_Rearranged

Done up close
SC_UpClose

Zoomed out a bit
SC_ChickenDone

When I was cooking this, it kind of smelled like Indian food.  I could not believe how good it was.  I am considering mixing some up so I can have it on hand at all times.  I might cut the salt down a bit, though, but I am afraid it will thrown off the balance.  If you like tasty spicy, but not burn your mouth spicy, make this.  I think you would be able to control it with the type of Chili Powder used.  I don’t know the difference of the sweet paprika vs smoky paprika, so that might be something that controls the heat, too.  I liked it with the sweet paprika just fine.  This is a HIGHLY recommended blend.  All I know is that I want to go back and finish all of the chicken, but I want it in a salad tomorrow for lunch more.  Can you imagine?  A salad topped with spicy chicken and ranch……maybe I will have it now 🙂