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Crockpot Italian Chicken

Recipe #2 for the day is, of course, a crockpot recipe.  I had found this recipe a while ago on Crock-a-doodle-do (what a great name for a blog!) and I was quite excited about trying it out.  Mike will put Italian dressing on just about anything; it seemed like it would be a major hit in this house.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 Ounce Bottle of Italian Dressing
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
Italian Seasoning
4-6 Potatoes scrubbed cut in half or wedges
1/2 bag of mini carrots
Once again, I turned to my trusty source for the ingredients for homemade Italian Seasoning:
I followed the recipe exactly, put the crockpot on low for 6 hours, and left it alone.  After 2 hours, the smell was obvious and appetizing–just what I’m looking for when I leave something cooking all day 🙂
I was actually afraid that I hadn’t used enough Italian dressing, but it turns out it was just right for Mike and a little too overpowering for my taste.  When I served dinner after 6 hours, we found the meat to be a bit tough and the potatoes to not be quite finished.  However, when Mike went back for a second serving a couple hours later (it had been cooking for 8 1/2 hours by then because I had left it on low), the meat was juicy, tender, and fell apart with the fork.
The Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 4/5 (a little too strong on the Italian dressing for me)
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5
I think when I try this again, I might lighten up on Italian seasoning, and be a little less generous with the Italian dressing–we can always add more later if it’s needed.
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Unknown Awesome Chicken

Mike had a training tonight until 7:30pm (ugh!), so I needed something I could whip together without having to do too much prep; that way, I could throw it together and wait for his go-ahead to pop it in the oven.  This was one of the first recipes I ever pinned on Pinterest; I found it on the “popular” search by Carrin Bachowski.    Imagine my utter surprise to discover it was actually HER recipe!  Bravo, Ms. Bachowski!  The recipe is written directly on the pin, so you’ll have to check the pin to get the recipe.

Recipe:
Ingredients:
4-6 raw chicken breasts
new potatoes
green beans (fresh or canned-really any green veggie would work. Broccoli is good, too).
packet of Italian dressing mix
1 cup of melted butter

I used 4 chicken breasts, 8 red potatoes (washed but not peeled) and 2 cans of cut greenbeans, and 1/2 stick of butter.  (Sorry–no picture).  I didn’t have a packet of Italian dressing mix, so I turned to my trusty Bing to give me a hand.  I found a great substitution tutorial on pPod’s Kitchen (excellent blog, by the way).

I laid the breasts in the middle of a 9×13 glass casserole dish (no Pam or spray), and then placed and built the potatoes and greenbeans around them, not really caring if some of the flavors overlapped.  I poured 1/2 stick of melted butter over the entire platter (1 stick just seemed like too much) and then sprinkled my aromatic Italian dressing substitution over the everything.  As soon as I got the go-ahead from Mike, I popped the entire pan in the over at 350 degrees and tried my best to ignore it for 60 whole minutes.

Within minutes, the entire house smelled divine, making it very difficult to concentrate on anything other than my grumbling, bumbling tummy.  Two minutes in the door, I had served two plates of this unknown awesome chicken dinner.  Devoured.  To give you a hint of how quickly this dinner disappeared, think of the poor cow in the Raptor enclosure in Jurassic Park…

Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5

Jen’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5 (if I had seen this in a restaurant, I would have ordered it.)
Ease of preparation: 5/5 (SO! easy)
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5

This is my favorite recipe I’ve found for a quick and delicious chicken dinner.  I will save this on a hard copy just in case 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Alice Springs Chicken

Outback Steakhouse is not a restaurant we visit very often; when we do go, it’s usually in a big group of people.  Every time I have dined at Outback, someone orders Alice Springs Chicken and raves about how wonderful it tastes.  When I bumped into this recipe on Kelly Jonson’s boards that she captured from The Finer Things in Life, I thought it might be worth my time in the future.  Right-o!

Recipe:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, cut in half
¼ cup regular mustard
¼ to 1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby/Jack cheese

I do not own a meat tenderizer.  Never fear!  I got a kick watching my husband teach me the “improvising” way of flattening the filets.  Wrap the filet in parchment paper (I’m sure wax would work too) and place on a wooden cutting board.  Then, very quickly and with meaning, smash another cutting board over the chicken.  Voila!  Flattened chicken breasts!

I did not change any ingredients in the recipe and I followed the steps to a T.  The bacon was a pain because I couldn’t find my screen to keep it from splattered.  I will admit, placing the chicken into the grease sent quite the sizzle through the kitchen–a little unnerving for a bacon newbie.

Before it was cooked, it looked a little sloppy and slightly resembled a wet burrito:

The final product, however, right on!  Mike was afraid he’d suffer 3rd degree burns if I asked him to check the oven more than once–the smell permeates the entire house and it smells oh-so-good!

  Served with greenbeans for some variance in color.

Verdict:
Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 5/5 (I think I would replace the French’s regular mustard with Dijon mustard to give it a slight boost)
Presentation: 5/5 (easy to serve)
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 3/5 (the grease makes washing by hand a bit of a pain–I think a dishwasher would be no problem)

This recipe is phenomenal, filling, and fun!  Highly recommended for sharing with company.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Chicken

 

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