Thursday, March 26, 2009

a weak moment

Trying to hold true to my New Years Resolution of actually trying recipes from my cookbooks instead of just reading about them, I think that I have found a couple of recent keepers. I also told myself that I would NOT be purchasing any new cookbooks (BUT to receive them as a gift, for example is TOTALLY OK...not that I am hinting to anyone...wink ...wink) but I did have a weak moment and found myself with a new cookbook in my hands. Before I could stop myself, I was out the door with it tucked into a cute little bag. I rationalized that I NEEDED a chicken cookbook, because as you may or may not remember...I have a problem with chicken...a chicken allergy (actually poultry in general) which both of my children find the need to remind me of several times during every chicken meal that I serve.

So I got a cookbook totally dedicated to chicken and we are well on our way out of the "chicken rut" that I have put us into. It is still hard for me to make chicken and I have to be careful on how I actually cook it- no top of the stove action for me as it sends me into an asthmatic type reaction. I rarely LOVE a recipe as written....always tweaking the "next time" for my family's specific palate, so leaving it as written and recommending it to others is always a little unnerving to me but that is my problem not yours! Maybe you can help me with the changes. My poor husband is a little tired of the 20 questions on the meal...he really just wants to eat it so please pass on the suggestions for improvement! I am counting on you for your culinary help.

Both recipes are my from my new cookbook Gooseberry Patch Our Favorite Chicken Recipes.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

boneless skinless chicken breasts, one for each person
1T chive and onion flavored cream cheese per breast
1 T butter for each breast
1 slice bacon per breast
salt, pepper
dried tarragon

Flatten each chicken breast to 1/2 inch thickness; spread 1 T cream cheese over each breast, top with 1 T butter, salt, pepper and tarragon. Roll up chicken; wrap with bacon slice and secure with toothpick. Place seam side down in lightly greased baking pan. Bake at 400 for 25 mins or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

I omitted the tarragon because I didn't have any and used thick sliced bacon which I would not recommend without precooking it some first. It never really got yummy and crispy. I served with honey mustard that I made from 2 parts honey to one part mustard and used a combo of regular and Dijon mustard. I thought that maybe you could make this with ham and cheese rolled inside. My sister Aimee tried turkey bacon and thought that she would use regular next time. She also suggested adding spinach- super idea! I flattened each chicken breast with a meat mallet between plastic wrap and it worked great. If you do not own a meat mallet you could try to flatten with a rolling pin, a heavy pan, a big can, a wine/liquor bottle or you could just save yourself a whole lot of effort and go get yourself a $4 mallet..... it is up to you!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz package herb flavored stuffing mix
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
garlic powder, dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Arrange chicken cubes in lightly greased 9X13 pan; season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. In medium bowl, combine stuffing mix, tomatoes and water. Stir til just moistened. Top chicken with stuffing mix. Bake uncovered at 400 for 25 mins until chicken is cooked through.

I used 3 breasts cubed and probably added more cheese (used an Italian blend). The family really liked it. When pressed for details, Steve said that if anything needed improvement on this one, it would be the stuffing mix. Maybe a homemade crouton instead of the stuffing mix??? That ups the hassle factor but may be worth it? I served with crispy potato wedges and veggies the first night and got lazier the second night and served it with baked potatoes the second.

Enjoy! If you try them, let me know what you think.


Liz, Nate, Sydney, Holly said...

So glad you found my blog, let me know how the "cake" turns out. Of course, it is not gourmet quality - it is made in a microwave, after all - but it's fun. These chicken dishes looks delicious, I'll try them and let you know. Also, Nate and I were impressed with your little picassos!! Cute pictures!

Stephanie said...

Always love your recipes on here! I may try a version of the bacon-wrapped chicken. I'll let you know! :)