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Easy Casseroles To Make For Your Family

Posted on 14 November 2010 by noelskitchen

I’ve been busy filling my freezer with meals for my family in preparation of my 3-day business trip to Salt Lake City later in the week. I’ve made and frozen a couple of casseroles in baking dishes so my husband just has to pull out, thaw and bake for 30-45 minutes. Before freezing, I labeled each casserole with name and baking instructions.

Prior to freezing and baking

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole Pie

Toasted Bread Crumb Topping:

4 slices wheat sandwich bread, quartered
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pie Crust:

Ingredients: (Recipe Doubled for top crust)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water

Directions For Pie Crust:

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Roll dough out to fit  baking dish. Place crust in baking dish. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the baking dish.

Casserole Filling:

4 Tablespoons(½ stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
¼ cup all-purpose flour
6 cupschicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 can cream of celery soup
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 breasts), trimmed
1 6.9 oz.box Chicken flavored rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
ground black pepper
 
Directions:
Prepare crumb topping: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300°F. Pulse the bread, butter and Italian Seasoning in a food processor to coarse crumbs. Spread the crumbs out over a medium sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and dry, 20 to 30 minutes. Let the crumbs cool.
Melt butter in a 8-qt. Covered Stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 tsp. salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth, cream and soup.

Add chicken breasts, partially cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover completely, and cook until the thickest part of the chicken breast is no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Stir the rice and rice seasonings packet into the pot, cover and continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the rice is just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, chop it into bite-sized pieces.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken, peas and corn, and cheddar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish , top with pie crust and sprinkle with the crumb topping.

To Bake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 400°F. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and hot throughout, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the pie crust topping is golden brown and bread crumbs are crisp, 10 minutes longer.  

Cooking Tips

*To make ahead: Wrap prepared dish tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, the casserole must be thawed completely in the refrigerator before baking). Don’t forget to remove plastic wrap before baking.
**Bake half and freeze half: This recipe made enough to place in 9×13 inch baking dish, 8x8x2 square baking pan and I had 3-4 cups leftover which I put in a ziploc freezer bag to use at a later time. 

To lean more about freezing casseroles, click HERE.

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Greek Chicken and Potatoes

Posted on 10 October 2010 by noelskitchen

Add a bit of Mediterranean flair to your chicken and potatoes. You would never know that this delicious meal came from a slow cooker. It tastes like you spent the better part of the day roasting it.

Greek Chicken and Potatoes

Ingredients:

3 cups red potatoes, washed and patted dry

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 onion, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1 Tablespoon OlivExtra Plus (Canola Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

2 garlic cloves pressed

1 Tablespoon Greek Rub (Oregano, Lemon, Garlic and Mint)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Quarter potatoes and place them with the chopped onion in the bottom of slow cooker. Layer chicken breasts over the top.

In a small bowl whisk broth, oil, seasoning, garlic and lemon juice. Pour over chicken, onion and potatoes. Place lid on slow cooker. Cook 6-8 hours on low setting. Serve with a green salad. 

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Fall Meals To Fit Your Budget

Posted on 28 September 2010 by noelskitchen

Holy Trinity

 When the weather starts to change, I find myself searching recipes for comfort-style foods. This week at Noel’s Kitchen Tips, I’ll be sharing some favorite slow cooker comfort foods that are not only delicious and filling, but also easy on the grocery budget!  Today we start off with a Garlic Lime Chicken using simple ingredients found right in your pantry.

Garlic Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon water

juice of 2 limes

pinch of fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Directions:

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and pour over top of chicken. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.

 Recipe Note: You could certainly double up on this recipe depending on the size of your family. Serve chicken over rice, in tortillas, or on a salad.

Like this recipe? Try another great budget-friendly slow cooker recipe, Apples and Oatmeal.

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20-Minute Meal:Thai Chicken with Sesame Peanut Sauce

Posted on 23 July 2010 by noelskitchen

20-Minute Meal

Ever thought making a  wonderful, delicious meal for your family in 20 minutes was out of your league?  I am going to show you how to make a quick and delicious weeknight meal your whole family will love. There are times where the actually process of making dinner is not something you look forward to.  That’s why creating a meal plan is so important. It’s the perfect back-up plan for those days when you have just about had enough and your family wants dinner like yesterday.

Thai Chicken with Seasame Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (This step can be done on your meal prepping day, chicken frozen and thawed in the refrigerator)

Seasame Peanut Butter Sauce:

Exotic blends of lime, lemongrass and garlic bring out the true traditional flavors of Thai.

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon seasame oil

4 Tablespoons peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

4 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons white venegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Thai Red Curry Rub (available at www.noelskitchen.com)

1 Tablespoon water

Directions:

In a microwavable bowl, heat chicken, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oils, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, pepper, thai seasoning and water. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat with sauce. Serve on rice or noodles.

Recipe Note: This would be a great meal served on a bed of lettuce greens with green onion and julienne carrots. Sweet Chili Sauce is an optional topping we like to use.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.com.

Visit my new Amazon Kitchen Store  for some of my recommeneded appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning. For high quality kitchen tools for your kitchen, visit www. NoelsKitchen.com

Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.  

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A Recipe For Connecting With Your Kids

Posted on 13 July 2010 by noelskitchen

Do You Enjoy Reading A Good Book While On Vacation?

Our first day of our family staycation began with relaxing by the pool and enjoying a good book.  My oldest daughter and I started reading a book by young adult author Stacey Jay. I’m currently reading the sequel, “Undead Much”.  (I know, it’s far from the land of the cooking world, but it’s FUN!) The kids and I had the pleasure of meeting Stacey at the Borders in Santa Rosa, CA.  a few weeks ago while she was signing a few of her books that included ”You Are So Undead To Me” and “Undead Much”.  Stacey Jay writes about zombies. She gives us zombies and romance like Stephanie Meyer gave us Twilight with the vampires, werewolfs and romance. But the way Stacey writes, makes you laugh, is suspenseful and brings reality to what young adults experience in everyday real life. Stacey definitely connects with each and everyone of her readers.

A Recipe For Connecting With Your Kids
I Can Read! Books Become an I Can Read! Member

Stacey was kind enough to autograph the books we purchased and spend a little time chatting with us.  I have always enjoyed reading books of all types. What I enjoy even more is being able to share my reading experiences with a book with my children. As a parent sometimes we can get out of tune with our children. I find that by reading the same books on occassion, we stay connected. It’s a lot of fun reading a book and doing our own book reviews. What we liked or didn’t like. My daughter and I enjoyed the first book because even though it has zombies, the author brings experiences in the book that young adults can relate to. How they are treated by their peers, emotional feelings they experience, connections bewtween best friends, old and new. It’s all there with a little bit of humor, romance, and mystery.  So far, we’re not dissapointed with the second book. If you would like to find out more about Stacey Jay and her books, visit Amazon.com HERE.

What are some of your fun ways to connect with your kids? Share with others tips for getting kids to read during the summer and get an “I Can Read Book” HERE.

——–

The remainder of our relaxing afternoon was spent by the pool, than later we lit the tiki torches and had a poolside dinner.  Here’s my recipe for Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 (15-ounce can) tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons molasses

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6-8 hamburger buns (I make my own)

Lettuce

Tomato slices

Directions:

In a slow cooker on low setting, add the above  first 8 ingredients. Mix well. Add chicken breasts, making sure to coat the chicken breasts with the sauce completely. Cook on low setting for 8 hours. At 6 hours, with a knife, shred the chicken. Cook for the reaining 2 hours.  I like to use my Mix n Chop kitchen tool to shred the chicken. It cuts and shreds the chicken perfectly. You can find the Mix N Chop kitchen tool at www.NoelsKitchen.com.

Today is Day 2 of our family staycation. We decided to have today be “Kids Day”. This is the day where the kids get to choose what they would like to do. This is their time and is very important to them sowe’ll let them be in charge for one day.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.com.

Visit my new Amazon Kitchen Store  for some of my recommeneded appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning. For high quality kitchen tools for your kitchen, visit www. NoelsKitchen.com

Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.  

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 *“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an “I Can Read!” book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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