Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole

Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole

Chicken casseroleI’m not even going to try to lie about how this  dish came to be!  I made this Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole because a while back during a Costco shopping trip I sample a dip that was made with Lawry’s Carne Asada Seasoning.  Of course I had to buy the large industrial sized bottle of this seasoning!  I seemed like a good idea at the time!

Then the bottle of seasoning sat in my kitchen cabinet along with a shelf full of other spices for months.  It seemed to taunt me every time I opened the cupboard to grab a bottle of spice.  It said “use me I dare you!”  So I just had to find a way, other than the dip, to use this tasty seasoning.  That’s how I came up with this Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole!  (Well having my fridge go on the blink with a big bag of Costco chicken thighs and shredded cheddar made me super creative!)

But seriously I whipped up a tray of this Chicken Casserole and my family absolutely loved it!  There was barely any left overs.  In fact they were practically fighting over the 2 left over pieces the next day!

chicken casseroleAnd best of all it’s super easy to make!  It literally is dumped into a baking dish and baked for about an hour and it’s done!  I served it with some Mexican rice, trust me it really was a big hit! They can’t wait til I make it again!  At this rate I’m going to have to go back to Costco for another bottle of that seasoning.

So here it is, my awesome Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole!


 

Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole
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Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place chicken thighs in a large shallow baking dish
  2. Sprinkle Carne Asada Seasoning over chicken and let sit covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator for about an hour
  3. Mix cream cheese, salsa, whipping cream, and sour cream together in a bowl and pour over chicken. Make sure you cover all the pieces.
  4. Spread shredded cheddar over all.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until chicken is fully cooked and cheese is completely melted.
  6. Serve hot.
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Asian Fried Chicken

Asian Fried Chicken

Asian fried chickenOne of my favorite chicken dishes at our local restaurants here in Hawaii is a dish called “Tasty Chicken”, “Garlic Chicken”, and “Korean Fried Chicken” depending on which restaurant you go to.  I like to call it Asian Fried Chicken!

What exactly is Asian Fried Chicken?  Well they’re crispy fried chicken nuggets that are marinated in a soy sauce based sauce.  It’s a little bit sweet, salty, and just a tiny bit spicy at the same time.  In short it’s delish!

asian friend chickenWe serve it with steamed white rice for a very satisfying meal.  I make enough for 12 people just so we can have left overs for lunch or dinner the next day.  Yes we love Asian Fried Chicken that much!

I must admit that making Asian Fried Chicken seems a bit tedious with all that dredging, frying, and tossing; but believe me it’s so worth the trouble!

 

Here’s my recipe for Asian Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into cubes

Sauce/Marinade

1 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Cup Water

2 Cups Sugar

1/2 Cup minced garlic

1/2 Cup Green onions chopped

2 Tbs. Sesame Oil

1 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper

Coating

2 Cups flour

3/4 Cup Corn Starch

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp each salt & pepper

Oil for frying

Proceedure

Sauce/Marinade:

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium size sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until all the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens a bit.

Set aside to cool.

Cut chicken into cubes and place in a large bowl or ziplock bag.

Pour 1/2 of the cooled sauce/marinade over chicken.  Cover bowl or seal bag.

Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours.

Combine dry coating ingredients in a large pan.

Heat about 1 – 1 1/2″ of oil in a large frying pan.

Dredge each piece of marinated chicken in flour mixture and fry until golden brown. Discard any left over marinade – do not use as sauce for cooked chicken!

Drain on paper towels until all the chicken nuggets are cooked

Toss cooked chicken nuggets in remaining sauce.

Serve with rice for a delicious meal!

Love this recipe?  Try my Salt & Pepper Shrimp recipe it’s wonderful!

 

 

asian fried chicken
Asian Fried Chicken
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asian fried chicken
Asian Fried Chicken
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Guilt-free Turkey Pot Pie

Guilt-free Turkey Pot Pie

This is such a delicious and decadent tasting food formula for christmas. you’ll simply use chicken instead. Besides the turkey, it’s loaded with veggies, potatoes and butternut squash. every skinny serving has 266 calories, six grams of fat and seven Weight Watchers race SmartPoints Your family can love, love, love this fabulous Turkey Pot Pie.It freezes nice too!


Try this Guilt-free Turkey Pot Pie recipe.

Ingredients

3½ cups Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

2 cups butternut squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (½ inch cubes)

1½ cups potatoes, peeled and cubed (½ inch cubes)

1½ cups onions, chopped

1½ cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1½ cups celery, sliced

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

3 cups turkey breast or chicken, cooked and diced, see shopping tips

¾ cup frozen peas (un-defrosted)

½ cup reduced-fat milk

⅓ cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sage

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 pkg. Pillsbury Golden Layer Flaky Biscuits (100 calories for each biscuit), see shopping tips

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large pan, add 2¾ cups chicken broth, butternut squash, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes, until soft. Add diced turkey and frozen peas, breaking them up. Bring back to a boil, turn heat to simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Place a colander into a large bowl. Pour turkey, vegetables and broth into the colander. Add the strained broth back to the pan. Set aside the bowl of turkey and vegetables.

3. In separate small bowl, add flour. Gradually add milk to flour, stirring with a whisk, until well blended.

4. Increase heat to the pan of broth to medium and stir in remaining broth. Using a whisk or fork, stir in milk and flour mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until thicken. Stir often.

5. Add back the turkey and vegetables. Mix in thyme, sage and black pepper. Mix well. Pour turkey stew into the 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil.

6. Open the package of biscuits, separate them and place on top of turkey stew. Line them evenly over the top.

7. Place the pot pie back in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 14-16 more minutes until the biscuits are golden brown.

8. To serve, spoon about 1 cup into each bowl and top with 1 biscuit. You’ll have 2 extra biscuits!

Serves 8 (each serving ⅛ of recipe, 1 biscuit and about 1 cup turkey stew)

Guilt-free Turkey Pot Pie
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Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing

Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing

Boneless turkey breast pounded skinny and filled with breadcrumbs, mushrooms, dried cranberries and sage, rolled and tied and cooked. My father jogged my memory the opposite day that Thanksgiving turkey ought not to be a full bird. If your gathering is just few individuals, and you don’t wish to own many weeks of turkey leftovers, there’s no have to be compelled to roast a fifteen avoirdupois unit gobbler. You could roast simply some turkey legs if you wish meat or if you favor white, stuff and roll a turkey breast.

The following formula is for simply that, a turkey breast, pounded skinny, unfolds with a stuffing of breadcrumbs, bacon, porcini, shallots and dried cranberries, and rolled up into a roulade and cooked.

Now, the sole issue I see with preparation simply the turkey breast is that you just find yourself with scant drippings for gravy. If you wish gravy the maximum amount as I do, I like to recommend adding a fatty wing to the cooking pan, and victimization those drippings for your gravy.

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Click here for Turkey Breast with Bacon recipe.

Even if you end up not eating the skin, it’s important to wrap it around the turkey roll for roasting. It will bathe the turkey in flavor and will keep the breast from drying out.

INGREDIENTS

1 boneless turkey breast (about 2 lbs)
Butter, olive oil, OR bacon fat
Salt
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 thick slice of bacon*
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
1 teaspoon minced sage
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 Tbsp turkey or chicken stock (can sub water)
1 turkey wing (optional)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Poultry seasoning
*If you don’t eat bacon, you can skip, just use a generous tablespoon of butter instead, to sauté the shallots.

METHOD

1 Rehydrate and chop the dried porcini mushrooms: Place dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit for 15 minutes or so while the bacon in the next step is cooking. Once rehydrated, then chop.

2 Cook then chop the bacon: Slowly cook the bacon in a medium frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Once cool enough to touch, chop. You should have at least a tablespoon of fat in the pan. (If not, add butter or olive oil to make up the difference.)

3 Make the stuffing: Heat the same pan on medium (do not drain the fat rendered out of the bacon), add the minced shallots and cook until the shallots begin to brown. Add the chopped dried cranberries, minced sage and chopped mushrooms. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the breadcrumbs, the parsley, chopped bacon, and the turkey or chicken stock and stir well. You want a rough paste, something that will stick to itself. Remove from the heat and allow the stuffing to cool.

4 Remove the skin, then pound turkey breast to even thickness: To make the stuffed turkey breast, remove the skin from the turkey in one piece and reserve.

Put the turkey breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet until it is about 1/4 inch thick. (It may be easier to butterfly the breast first, depending on how big the breast is.)

5 Spread stuffing over turkey breast, then roll up: Trim the pounded breast until it is roughly a rectangle. Spread a thin layer of the stuffing over the breast, leaving about 3/4 inch border around all sides.

Starting with one of the shorter ends of the turkey rectangle, roll up the turkey breast.

Lay the skin over the top of the rolled breast and tuck any under the edges.

6 Tie up the turkey breast: Tie the rolled turkey breast tightly with kitchen string (cotton, not nylon!) and set it on a roasting pan. Paint it with olive oil, or smear butter or bacon fat over it and sprinkle with salt. If you want more drippings for gravy, place pieces of a turkey wing on the roasting pan as well.

7 Roast: Roast at 400°F for 20 minutes, then drop the heat to 325° and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the breast reads about 155° on a meat thermometer.

8 Rest: Once the turkey reaches that temperature remove it from the roasting pan and tent it loosely with foil. Let it rest at least 10 minutes, and up to 25 minutes.

9 Make gravy with pan drippings: While the turkey breast is resting, if you want, you may be able to make a little gravy with the drippings. If you are only cooking the breast, and not the optional turkey wing as well, you may not have much to work with. But even a little bit of drippings can flavor a gravy. (If you really don’t have much fat to work with, you can melt two tablespoons of butter into the roasting pan.)

Take the roasting pan with drippings and place over two burners on the stove-top on medium (if using turkey wing, remove first). Sprinkle with flour and stir until the flour is incorporated into the drippings.

Slowly add stock, whisking constantly, until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning or ground sage or thyme. Let simmer on the stove until thickened to your preference.

Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing
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Traditional honey-glazed gammon

Traditional honey-glazed gammon

 

Since Christmas season is well under way and this particular holiday brings about such tasty dishes, Traditional honey-glazed gammon is one in every of our incomparable favorite meals of the year. Completely excellent for Christmas, or the other special dinner you would like to share with loved ones. They say that the honey-glazed ham is at its perfection once it melts in your mouth. The key to a delicious and tender honey-glazed gammon is in guaranteeing the meat is recent. The longer it’s marinated; This menu can have everybody licking their plates.

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Click here for Traditional honey-glazed gammon recipe

Ingredients

For cooking the gammon
2kg/4lb 8oz unsmoked boneless gammon joint, tied
2 onions, halved
2 carrots, unpeeled, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
4 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
small handful cloves
For the glaze
4 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp English mustard

Method

Method

1. Place the gammon joint into a large lidded saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Drain the water from the saucepan, add fresh cold water, the onions, carrots, celery, bay and peppercorns and bring to the boil once more. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer the gammon and vegetables gently for 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz. (If your pan is not quite large enough to cover the joint completely, turn the gammon over halfway through the cooking time.)

2. Remove the gammon from the water and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. (The cooking liquid can be strained and reserved for making soup for another time.)

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and line a large roasting tin with kitchen foil.

4. Use a small knife to remove the rind from the gammon joint, leaving as much of the fat intact as possible. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, and push a clove into the centre of each ‘X’.

5. Place the gammon into the foil-lined roasting tray, ensuring that the sides of the foil come halfway up the joint to contain any roasting juices.

6. For the glaze, mix the honey and mustard together and brush half of it evenly over the gammon, including one side of the joint. Roast in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, then take the joint out and brush the top and remaining side with the rest of the glaze. Return the gammon to the oven for a further 10– 15 minutes, rotating the tin so that the opposite side of the gammon faces the back of the oven.

Traditional honey-glazed gammon
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Traditional honey-glazed gammon
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Roasting the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Roasting the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

This time of year I get hungry for a juicy turkey dinner!  It’s no wonder, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  It’s about the only time of year that I roast a whole turkey.

I still remember my first time roasting a turkey, I had no idea what to do.  Over the years I’ve perfected it, and my family expects a Thanksgiving feast every year.

In recent years deep frying turkeys have been real popular.  I’ve heard deep fried turkeys are delicious, but in our family you don’t experiment on a Thanksgiving turkey.  So I’ve always roasted my turkey in the oven using the brown bag method.  I’ve been roasting my turkeys this way for over 30 years.

It’s easy, no basting involved. You just place the turkey, roasting pan, and rack, in to a brown paper bag, slide it in to the oven and roast for the required time. You tear off the bag about 30 minutes before it’s done to get the nice golden brown color.  When the timer rings take the turkey out of the oven and let rest for 15 – 30 minutes before carving.

Trust me you’ll end up with a delicious juicy turkey everytime.  You’re family will love it!

Here are instructions for Savvy Nana’s Brown Bag Roasted Turkey!  Psst!  There’s a roasting chart on that post too!  Believe me it will come in handy!

My 24 pound bird last year.  Perfect!

Last year’s Thanksgiving feast at my house.

Thanksgiving at my daughter’s house in Colorado.  Smaller bird cooked the same way, perfect every time!