Break out the slow cooker to make INCREDIBLE shredded chicken! This is one of my go-to recipes when I need a hassle-free recipe that feeds a crowd (especially around the holidays). Throw a few ingredients into your slow cooker, set it, and forget it (do you remember those infomercials?) Then I usually whip up a quick gravy to finish it all off. Your loved ones will thank you for making this for them.
There are many shredded chicken recipes out there, but this recipe calls for beer and butter. It’s worth repeating – Beer AND Butter! What do they say? Butta’ (and beer) make everything betta’. Or something like that.
When it comes to beer, there are a million styles and varieties to choose from, but for this recipe I think it’s best to use any type of light beer. We typically use a can of Miller Lite, but any light lager will do. Don’t be afraid. The beer adds a nice dimension to the meat that’s mild yet tasty. So don’t skip this step! Then we get to glorious, glorious butter. Butter adds a silky richness to the chicken. It’s a scrumptious combination. Trust me, I’m from Wisconsin. I know my beer and butter.
Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or use a liner. Place chicken breast in 5 quart slow cooker. Add the beer, chicken stock, butter and soup mix. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 6-7 hours until meat is tender and shreddable. Shred meat and keep warm while you prepare the gravy.
Melt 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a small pot. Add flour and whisk, cooking for 1-2 minutes (it should be paste-like). Use 1 cup of chicken stock from the slow cooker mixture (or your own) and slowly incorporate it into the flour/butter roux while continuously whisking. After all of the liquid is incorporated and no lumps remain, raise the heat to medium/medium high until the gravy simmers. Add pepper, salt, and cayenne. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the gravy thickens. Add gravy to chicken in slow cooker, mix, and serve on hot, tasted rolls.
It’s a show on the Food Network where esteemed chefs are given a basket of ingredients. The goal is to transform the ingredients into an unforgettable dish. The ingredients range anywhere from oysters to peanut butter.
I feel like I play this game often. Granted, not for a grand prize of $10,000, but still… I play the “What’s in the pantry?” game.
Tonight the ingredients included chicken breast, cheese, and broccoli. I noticed I had breadcrumbs as well (I had panko but regular breadcrumbs work better for this recipe if you can help it) so I opted to make stuffed chicken breasts. If I didn’t have breadcrumbs, I would have went the chicken, broccoli, rice casserole path.
But this way, everything’s all wrapped up into a deliciously golden package. Yes please.
Anywho, make this some time. This recipe is super easy and rather versatile. You roll things into a slab of chicken, bake, and bam – tasty dinner! It’s almost magic. Almost.
3 large chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise (you'll have 6 thin cutlets total)
1 large egg
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets
6 slices cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cook broccoli according to package directions.
Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a separate shallow bowl.
Lay the chicken cutlets out on a flat surface. Salt and pepper each side of the cutlets. Add one slice of cheese over the chicken and top cheese with 4-5 broccoli florets. Wrap up the sides of the chicken over the filling and secure with toothpicks.
Dip the chicken rolls in the egg. Let excess drip off. Then dip in the breadcrumbs and roll to coat entirely. Place coated chicken on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165. Remove the toothpicks and serve.
You can use any type or any combination of ground meat that tickles your fancy. The fattier your meat, the more tender your meatballs will be. I chose to use turkey because I enjoy leaner meals. If you use turkey like I did in this recipe, your meatballs will cook a bit quicker. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.
When I followed the recipe in the Tasty video, I found that my meatballs were very wet. I recommend dialing down the whole milk amount by 1/4-cup (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of liquid). You can always add more if your mixture seems too dry. However, be mindful not to overwork your mixture.
A very important part of making a good meatball is to treat your meat gently. Man, that sounds weird, but believe me, it makes a difference. If you cook like I cook, once you get in that bowl with your bare hands, you want to keep mixing until the end of time. Be mindful – you want your mixture combined but if you mix for too long, your meatballs will be tough.
So try to show some restraint, will ya?
We gobbled these up for National Meatball Day. What a wonderful, glorious (random) holiday. Don’t wait until any sort of national day to make these. They’re awesome and you should make these immediately! This recipe makes about a couple dozen meatballs and fed us for multiple nights.
Slow Cooker Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 lb Italian Sausage
8-ounces Fresh Mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 cup Italian-Flavored Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Parsley
64-ounces Tomato Sauce
Cut Mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
Using your hands (this is a requirement!, mix all ingredients together except for the Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and Pasta.
Line the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of tomato sauce.
Form meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs. Stuff each meatball with a cube of mozzarella, reform into a ball, then place in the slow cooker. After you have made a layer of meatballs in your slow cooker, top with tomato sauce and repeat until all meatballs are formed and tomato sauce is used up.
Cook on high for 2 hours. Check meatballs for doneness. Continue cooking for up to 30 more minutes until cooked.
Okay, I didn’t quite fly over the sea, but I did fly a plane today. I had a lot of help from my instructor, but he let me take off and land the plane on my own. He even commented that most people don’t turn as quickly or as sharply as I did on their first flight. I think I’m a natural. He probably thought I was crazy.
Either way, I’m hooked. I will get my pilot’s certificate. And then maybe my glider pilot license. I can see myself soaring through the air without the noise of an engine – just peaceful, serene, and practically weightless flight.
Heroes Reborn is premiering on television right now. I am so excited for this show! I watched the original and was practically heartbroken when it went off the air (mid-season too)! Seems good so far. I guess we’ll see.
Save the cheerleader. Save the world.
Anywho, my grandparents are settled in their new home and my mom and I have been sorting through their things. We’ve found some pretty interesting stuff already. It’s amazing what Polacks in their 90’s have held onto over the years. For example, I found an opened Pillsbury crust mix box that read, “New! 6¢.”
Made me smile.
Lots of updates in one post. I’ll write again soon. For now, I leave you with this easy, one-pan meal. Chicken, tomatoes, broccoli and lemon. Shove it all into a cake pan, bake for 20-25 minutes, and inhale. Chewing is optional.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 5 oz.
4 oz. cherry or whole tomatoes, halved or cut into small pieces
8 oz. broccoli tops, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lemon, cut into 8 thin slices
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking dish with 2 tsp. of the olive oil.
Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap until each piece of chicken is the same thickness, about 1/2-inch thick. Place the chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes, and broccoli around the chicken. Drizzle everything with the vinegar and 2 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Top each chicken breast with 2 lemon slices. Drizzle the remaining 2 tsp. olive oil over everything.
Bake until the chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.
Summer always makes me think of the fair. The sights and sounds of the ferris wheel, classic rock concerts and food stands galore! There is always an astounding variety of foods – wrapped in foil, served on a stick and deep-fried every which way. My favorites range from funnel cake to corn on the cob, but sometimes I just want to sink my teeth into a big hunk of meat and gnaw at a tasty bone. Here’s a recipe you can make at home for your own roasted turkey legs. This way you can get turkey and seasoning all over your hands and face and be in the vicinity of a sink.
In a pot, combine water with the salt, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon seasoning blend, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool, then pour into a large container or bowl filled with ice. When mixture is cold, submerge turkey in the brine. Cover the container and brine in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, more if you have time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry rub ingredients. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry. Rub the dry rub all over the turkey legs, getting under the skin when you can.
Roast on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and roast for another 30-60 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through and the internal temperature is 180 degrees F. Baste occasionally with juices.
Remove them from oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!
I’m pretty much a fan of mini anything. Mini corn dogs, mini burgers, mini pizzas, mini cheesecakes, mini chocolate chips, etc. etc. I admit, I’m the person near the food table at parties, happily talking in between handfuls of bite-sized foods.
Mini tacos in wonton shells make tiny crispy, crunchy, spicy, Mexicany, chickeny, cheesy, tasty (yep, I ran out of adjectives that end in ‘y’) finger foods. These are easy to make as an appetizer for guests or to enjoy as an entree for taco night served along side some Spanish Rice.
taco toppings (we had shredded cheddar and fresh pico de gallo, yum!)
Place the chicken in a slow cooker. Add the salsa, green chiles, seasoning, lime juice and add enough water to cover the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender. Once the chicken is cooked, shred the meat with two forks in the pot. Set the slow cooker to warm and set aside.
In the mean time, make the taco shells. You can bake your shells or deep fry them. To bake them, brush the wonton wrappers lightly with olive oil. Drape them over a wide edged baking sheet to create a taco shape. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes or until the shells are golden brown. Deep frying the shells can be tricky. Your goal is to get a basic shape of a taco shell. I used my tongs and fried one wonton wrapper at a time. I gently fried one side for about 5 seconds, then used my tongs to fold one corner across to the other corner while leaving an opening and frying the other side of the shell. You'll have to work quickly but you'll get it! Drip dry the fried wonton shells on a paper towel.
To assemble the tacos, take a shell and add a bit of chicken (doing your best to drain the chicken as you do so). Add a bit of cheese and pico de gallo (or whatever you like to eat on tacos), then devour!!
Lettuce wraps are a favorite appetizer of many at restaurants. They are a light and refreshing way to enjoy a variety of fillings. I just can’t help but wrap my fingers around them!
I wanted to do something with ground turkey because of the lighter fat content, but I didn’t want to sacrifice any flavor. Because ground turkey is so lean, it can be very bland when cooked. I got this recipe idea off of a friend of mine (who’s baby just turned 1!). She made cheeseburger lettuce wraps that looked super delicious. I wanted to add an Asian/Hawaiian flare to mine, so I packed the turkey with loads of garlic, ginger, soy and hoisin to start then I added the big players: cilantro, green onion, sweet pineapple and some peanuts for texture.
This recipe is perfect for those of you who order lettuce wraps as an appetizer at restaurants but want a lighter version at home. I love the flavor profile that came out of this boring ground turkey, but feel free to come up with your own combination. Perhaps you’d like to try this with tofu instead of ground turkey. Let me know if you find a combination you fall in love with!
2-3 teaspoons chopped unsalted cashews (or peanuts) as topping
Mix cooked ground turkey with all ingredients except the pineapple, cucumber and nuts. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (if it needs more salt, add more soy, if it isn't sweet enough, add a bit more hoisin, etc). Remove from heat and fold in the the pineapple and cucumber bits.
Spoon onto romaine leaves (you may need to double yours up so they don't fall apart)
I don’t know what to make of it. Either I’m dating a Mister who has the typing skills of an 8th grader or I have a very smart cat who can control humans and thus eventually take over the world.
It makes a girl wonder.
So does the mention of cocoa and chili… that makes a girl wonder too. Now the secret is out, folks have added cocoa into their crock pots of chili for ages now (although nobody will admit to it). Don’t worry, if the concept of adding CHOCOLATE to chili grosses you out, don’t think too much about it. You can’t taste the chocolate per se. Adding unsweetened chocolate to chili is like adding another layer of flavor to a 7-layer dip (which would make it an 8-layer dip, obviously). It makes that medley of meat, beans, and spices have a deeper, richer flavor instead of making everything taste like dessert.
So I figured, why not take that cocoa/chili idea and apply it to some chicken? So I did. And as the Mister (and teh kitteh) have already explained above, I, “put some cocoa on them chicken parts,” and, “put em in oven.” Lo and behold, a new favorite rub for chicken was born. I know this crust would be great on chicken tenders too. Maybe BBQ too? *lick*
Preheat oven to 475°. Mix together all ingredients except for the chicken and oil. Pat chicken dry and season all sides with cocoa-chili mixture. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Being unemployed has left me with a lot of free time. At first it was great – like a stay at home vacation. I got to sleep in, chill out, do whatever I wanted to do. But that got old really fast, once I realized that the things I wanted to do with my free time cost money and I could only watch the movies I already owned for so long. Netflix has become my new cheap best friend.
I reunited myself with old Nickelodeon cartoons for a few weeks. That was nostalgic. I blew through a few documentaries, movies, and then moved onto tv series. Now I am hooked, heck, I am completely addicted to Breaking Bad. Have you watched this show? It’s about a chemistry teacher who begins cooking meth. This show has everything – great characters, memorable lines, awesome music, and it’s packed with drama, action and bits of comedic relief too. Anywho, I will be sad when I get to the end of this series, but I am excited to indulge in another, just as addicting show. I was thinking about watching Mad Men next. Any other suggestions out there?
Anywho, I hate to admit it, but I’ve been more of a couch potato than anything recently. Mister made some beautiful pesto this week so I thought it might be a good opportunity to try this Skinny Taste Chicken Pesto Bake. This dish is light, easy and so flavorful – perfect for those days when I just don’t feel like exercising. 🙂 I added mushrooms to my dish, but you obviously do not have to if you don’t like fungus. I also added more pesto than Gina, because it’s delicious.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment for easy clean up. Wash and dry chicken with a paper towel. Slice chicken breast horizontally to create 4 thin cutlets. You can skip this step if you are using chicken breast tenders. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
While the chicken is baking, heat a small pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the oven and spread a tablespoon of pesto on each cutlet. Line each cutlet with the sauteed mushrooms, a layer of tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. You could also place the chicken under a broiler on high for 1-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Corned Beef and Cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day, give this recipe a try. This Shepherd’s Pie is lighter in fat than your average pie and jam packed with tender vegetables. The heaviest (and most unhealthy) part of this meal is the potato topping. You can lighten the fat content even more so by using butter or milk substitutes or even sweet potatoes as a topping instead.
I would make this dish any time of year, but it seemed appropriate given the Irish holiday that is right around the corner. To me, Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort food. Every bite is filled with meat and potatoes – everything a growing Irishperson needs. Let’s just pretend you and I are Irish for a moment. Thank you for your cooperation. Plus you’ll need something delicious to soak up all of the whiskey you’ll be drinking on St. Patty’s Day.
1 large tomato, seeded and diced (you can use some canned tomatoes too)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Boil the potatoes in salted water and cook until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the same hot pot. Add the butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mash. Add the milk and mix gently until creamy. Add more milk if necessary. Taste for seasoning then set aside.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil and the ground turkey. Crumble and cook the turkey until browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Remove all fat from the pan and add a bit more olive oil. Add the carrots and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the celery and onion and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the peas, corn, and flour, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the cooked turkey, Worcestershire, soy sauce, paprika, thyme, rosemary, tomato and broth, combine and bring to a low simmer. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Once the mixture is slightly thickened, pour the turkey mixture into a casserole dish (9x13 for a thinner casserole, or an 8-inch square for a thicker casserole). Top with potatoes and decorate if you'd like (some people scrape a fork across the top, others pipe their potatoes on. I personally just slather it on.) Sprinkle some paprika on top of the potatoes and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.
To freeze: Follow directions up until baking, then cover tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil. To reheat a frozen casserole: Thaw completely and bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking.
It’s been snowing outside for the last couple of days – big, fluffy, Hollywood-perfect snowflakes. It snowed eight inches here overnight. This is the most snowfall we’ve gotten at one time this winter and let me just say, it’s about time!
I love winter. Not necessarily the parts where it’s too cold to snow and your nostrils freeze with every inhale. But the parts of winter where you have beautiful snowfalls like this one and warm, crackling wood fires, and cozy meals to warm your soul. Those moments make my heart smile.
It is definitely soup weather.
This chicken soup recipe has been in my family for years. My family keeps this soup very simple – using chicken parts with skin and keeping everything on the bone (we eat our soup with a spoon AND a fork for this very reason) and keeping the seasonings very mild, adding salt to our individual bowls to meet each of our needs. This is my version of their recipe. If I have stock on hand, I use low-fat chicken breast meat, plenty of seasonings and boost the nutritional content by adding spinach to the dumplings. Tne thing that hasn’t changed (and will never change) is the addition of allspice. Polish people love their allspice, and this soup isn’t any different. In my humble Pollock opinion, the allspice makes this soup!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Stay warm out there!
Fresh parsley or celery leaves, chopped, for garnish
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder for the dumplings in a medium sized bowl. Add the spinach and eggs and combine. Slowly add the cream and mix until the dough is moist (you may or may not use all of the 1/4 cup of liquid). Set aside.
In a large stockpot, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 3 more minutes, then add the chicken broth, seasonings and salt and pepper. Place the bay leaves and whole allspice into a teaball or cheese cloth and add them to the pot as well. Add the chicken breasts, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
Remove the bay leaves and allspice. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the broth to a low boil and drop your dough into the broth by heaping teaspoonfuls. Do this as quick as possible so your dumplings will cook evenly. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 more minutes.
While the dumplings are cooking, shred the chicken breasts with two forks. When the dumplings are cooked (they will puff up and float to the top of your soup), remove the pot from the heat and add the shredded chicken. Mix and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. The soup will be VERY hot! Garnish and serve.
This soup is great to make if you have scraps of leftovers from Mexican night. It’s even better on extra cold nights (especially if you make it a little spicier too). And it’s absolutely the best when it is shared with loved ones.
I used our Cantina Bowl leftovers to create this divine soup goodness. Even if you don’t have leftovers, this soup is easy to recreate. Just please (please) don’t skimp on the toppings. Those are the best part! All of the crunchy tortilla chips, fresh avocado, cheese, sour cream, onion… and whatever else you decide to add on there. We even made cornbread muffins to dunk/dump in our bowls. I wouldn’t be opposed to some bacon in my soup also, but that’s just me.
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes (fresh work too)
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (or you can buy a rotisserie chicken from the store)
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Toppings! (tortilla strips or broken tortilla chips, diced avocado, shredded cheese, red or green onion, sour cream, cornbread, etc.)
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and jalapenos and cook for another minute. Pour the broth, tomatoes and beans into the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to simmer and add your chicken (if using uncooked chicken). Cook the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked remove from the pot. When cool, shred the chicken and set it aside. Add the shredded chicken, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the pot. Serve hot, with toppings.