Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Rice

The goal was Creamy Chicken and Rice from Debbie Harman's "Slow-Cooker Cookbook" on page 49. The recipe is simple enough and I thought with my experience in the kitchen as a mom, that it would be a piece of cake.

I could not have been more wrong!

We have a habit of eating dinner around 5 o'clock because of various sports practices since our oldest was, I dunno, six or seven. IMHO (in my humble opinion) evenings are crazy anyway, but why would you have practice AT dinnertime? Then again, why do we put our kids in these extracurricular activities?

I've said this before, I'll say it again, my crockpot is my best friend in the kitchen! But the dish that was supposed to take three hours on HIGH ended up taking five hours on HIGH!

After three hours the rice wasn't cooked. Nothing worse than uncooked rice in a meal that has rice! (There are probably worse things in life, but at the moment, there's nothing worse!)

So luckily I had made some jam-filled muffins using the Blueberry Muffin recipe on page 122 in my "Hummingbird Bakery" cookbook. Delish! (and another post) And I had some leftovers that I directed the older kids to heat up and serve while I was gone visiting teaching (sharing an uplifting message and checking on ladies I have been assigned to each month -- a church assignment).

I turned the crockpot back on for an hour and added more water, and left. This is after I had already let it go over an hour the original time.
*SIGH* the verdict: edible, but not my best creation in the kitchen. While not the worst, I will have to think about doing that one again.

My version of Creamy Chicken and Rice

4 small chicken breasts
1-1/2 C rice (uncooked)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lg can cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 C sour cream
2 C milk
16 oz frozen broccoli

And then I also added Pampered Chef's Jamaican Rub seasoning... I like that flavor...

Spray crock insert with olive oil. Place chicken in crock. Pour uncooked rice over chicken breasts. Sprinkle salt over rice. Spread soups, sour cream and milk over the top. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 hours or LOW 6 hours. Stir chicken to break into smaller parts. The original recipe says to add the broccoli afterwards and cook on HIGH for 30 more minutes. (That may be where my folly lies. I added the broccoli with everything else.)

Anyway, once I finally had COOKED rice I served it with sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

My husband liked it! Or at least, he said it was yummy. Next time I will follow the directions to a T.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Cure My Family

I am making homemade chicken noodle soup to boot out these sick germs that we've been hosting for a week or so. I realize that my friends have had it much worse, but I just can't deal with it any longer. I work full time at home being a mom and transcribing insurance claim interviews.

And I haven't gotten the hang of taking pictures to document my moves yet, so this is another one without pictures.

I chopped 2 onions using my mandolin slicer. I peeled the dry skins off and then sliced the onions almost the whole way down in one direction. Then, using the guard, I pushed the onion across the mandolin with the "chopping" blade so that it cut little squarish pieces. VOILA! And hardly any tears from onions!

Next I threw in a bag of frozen carrots. I think I may have had some carrots in the fridge, and I try to use the frozen stuff for emergencies, but I was just not in the mood to slice carrots this morning.

I added some really thick chicken gravy leftovers from the fridge, just to use it up, and added 6 cups of water. I will probably end up putting in some "better than bouillon" chicken-flavored paste later.

Threw in 4 smallish frozen chicken breasts (I am cooking this on high).

Added some fresh cracked pepper, enough to see that I had added it; about 1 tsp red pepper flakes; 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper; about 4 sprigs of dried rosemary crushed in my hands after pulling the leaves off the twig (that was actually kind of fun/therapeutic); 1/2 tsp cumin; and a little bit of grated nutmeg as I had no allspice (my friend gave me a real nutmeg and I used my grater/zester that I got for Christmas and haven't ever used!).

*Don't forget the noodles! Time allowing, I will make a quick batch of homemade noodles to drop in at the end. They taste so much better than store-bought egg noodles! I'll let you know a recipe if I do that...

Set the crockpot on high and timer for 4 hours! Here it almost 30 minutes later and I'm already starting to get the first smells wafting through my house! So excited!

I did adapt this recipe from "Best Chicken Soup for Colds and Flu" found at GroupRecipes.com Best Chicken Soup for Colds and Flu.

I'll be serving this with homemade French bread not made by me. But I'm going to see if I can find the recipe she used!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dinner Experiment with HONEY

I started with:

1/2 pkg bacon and cut it into little strips so that it would brown more quickly and crumble perfectly, took the bacon out and placed it on napkins (I didn't have any paper towels) to drain the excess fat;
1# ground turkey browned in the bacon grease - it pretty much sopped it all up,but the flavor was great!
1/2 pkg mushrooms washed and I separated the stems from the buttons and tossed them into the *turkey;
Worcestershire sauce drizzled over the meat until the aroma pierced my nose (love Worcestershire, so this is a taste thing, I would guess);
Honey drizzled across the top of the meat, but sparingly, I didn't want it to be too sweet;
Rosemary (from the co-op that dried by itself in my pantry!) leaves off 2 "twigs" and crumbled them over the meat and then added the bacon back in.

I just let it simmer in the sauce and served with white rice that was steamed in with green onions in chicken broth.  I used my amazing rice cooker that keeps the rice warm after it's done cooking, it even has a timer! So easy!

*Side note: My oldest claims to really NOT like mushrooms, like his Aunt Bob, but guess what! Even he liked these mushrooms that sat in the Worcestershire sauce! HA!

Okay, so my kids are not normal. They like Brussels sprouts over green beans! They've been bugging me to get asparagus. Got some from co-op this last time, so I set out to find something yummy... Well, I decided I would use the "Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts" recipe but used the asparagus instead, and then I drizzled again! HONEY! I was in the mood for honey, I guess.


So here it is:

1 pound asparagus, washed and the(very small) woody ends chopped off, but leave the leaves sauteed in olive oil (I feel like I need to call it "EVOO" like Rachel Ray!);
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper (here I would have used coarse sea salt if I had had some, but I was out, so I used table sea salt);
And at the end, drizzled the honey and "tossed" all the asparagus so it was all covered.

Kids ate everything on their plates, so I deem this experiment a SUCCESS!