Buffalo Chicken Dip

Are you ready for some football?! Yeah, whatever. Any excuse to make party food is reason enough for me to get excited! I like the Super Bowl for the commercials, half time performances, and as I said…the food. Buffalo Chicken Dip is probably going to make an appearance on many a table on game day. Because it’s AWESOME. It’s creamy, spicy, cheesy and I could (and sometimes do) make a meal of it!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Okay, so it’s not the prettiest thing in the world. Especially with my non-photography skillzzzz. But it’s super yummy all the same. Here, take a bite.
Buffalo Dip and Chip

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:16]

Recipe source: Just Us Four
If you are a buffalo chicken fan, you might also want to check out:
What will you be eating on Super Bowl Sunday? 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Y’all know I love my casseroles, and this Chicken Cordon Bleu is great for ‘repurposing’ those leftovers. Got leftover chicken? Leftover turkey? Ham? You can use any and all of them in this casserole! I cooked a turkey for New Year’s Day dinner. Not just any turkey, but a 15 lb turkey. And it was just the 5 of us…4 considering my son ate about one ounce of turkey. So…needless to say, there were leftovers. I knew I needed to come up with some creative ways of using it up, b/c my kids wouldn’t go for the usual ‘turkey hash’ or turkey sandwiches. I decided on this casserole, and just swapped the chicken for the turkey.

My family didn’t even realize I pulled a switcher-roo. They enjoyed the casserole, and I was able to repurpose some leftovers!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

l  lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (or 2-3 cups chopped turkey)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell’s Healthy Request)
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard (I was out, so used 1 tsp mustard powder)
2 cups chopped ham
6 slices Swiss Cheese
2 cups cubed stuffing mix
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Mix soup and mustard powder in medium bowl; stir in chicken and ham.
  • Spoon into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray;
  • Top with cheese and sprinkle with stuffing mix. (Alternately, stuffing can be prepared and placed on top to bake)
  • Bake 35 to 40 min. or until heated through. Cover with aluminum foil the last 10 minutes if it starts to brown to much.

recipe adapted from Kraft

What do you do with leftovers? Do you have super picky kids to feed? I can’t say anything, I pretty much despise eating leftovers myself, so whenever I can turn them into a completely different dish it’s a good thing.

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest

Oven Fried Chicken

Do you love the taste of fried chicken but hate to fry chicken? All that grease and splatter and standing over it….no, thanks. Since I rarely fry food, I’m not very good at it. I have no idea about proper oil temperature, the best kind of oil to use, when it’s done…so, I found a solution – oven fried chicken!

A crispy coated chicken dinner, without all the fuss (and mess) of frying. Having the chicken cook in the oven frees you up to do other things while getting dinner ready, like opening a can of green beans to stick in the microwave – b/c I get all fancy with my sides like that. OR, now that it’s back-to-school time (boo!), helping the kids with homework. Ughhhh. Nothing makes you feel dumber than being unable to do your kid’s homework. At least not being able to do it the “new way”. Because apparently every method I learned is prehistoric and no longer used. According to my children.
Well, I can ‘fry’ chicken up a new way.
{Even though I must say there is nothing better than my Grandma’s fried chicken. Cooked up in a cast iron skillet…super crispy on the outside, but juicy inside, nice and salty…served up with some cornbread or biscuits…yummm. I sure do miss her!}
Oven Fried Chicken
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (I used breast and thigh)
buttermilk (or milk with a tablespoon of vinegar added), enough to cover chicken
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon seasoned salt (I used Mrs. Dash original blend)
2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or also to taste)

*Soak chicken in buttermilk for 20 to 30 minutes.

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
*While oven is preheating, melt butter in a 9×13-inch baking dish in the oven. For extra flavor, let your butter brown (but not burn)
*Place flour, seasoned salt, paprika, pepper, and salt into a gallon size plastic baggie.
*After chicken has soaked 20-30 minutes, place chicken pieces into plastic baggie with flour mixture. Allow excess milk to drip off chicken before adding to bag.
*Place in baking dish with browned butter, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for another 20 minutes, or until done. (cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces)
And the best part – if you have leftovers (or maybe cook extra so that you do!), you can take your chicken, add some barbecue sauce, cooked bacon, and cheese and have a new meal of Monterey Chicken Sandwiches; b/c we know everything is mo’betta with a little bacon and cheese!
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Wilderness WifeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts LatelyThe Girl Creative (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet ConfessionsWho Needs a Cape?Sweet 2 Eat Baking;

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I know I have had a lot of sponsored posts as of late, and not as many recipes, but things have been a little crazy around here.  My 5 year old has been sick for over 2 weeks now, and I just haven’t had the time to do  the blog planning, menu planning, or cooking that I had been doing before.  My little one had been dealing with allergies, and was getting along pretty well, but then got a virus that went straight to his chest and caused  the worst asthma flare-up he has ever had.  We ended up in the ER for the first time ever.  Can I just say…NOT. FUN. As he was trying to get over all that, he has gotten a sinus infection on top of it. AND ‘pink eye’…in both eyes. He is really having a hard time, and his poor little immune system can’t take much more! So, say a little prayer for his health, and my sanity. He was up and down all night last night due to the fever and discomfort. Needless to say, mama is tired!  It’s days like this when I love the ease (and comfort!) of a casserole.

I have seen a version of this recipe from numerous sources on Pinterest, and the first time I made it, I followed the directions and used raw chicken in the casserole…letting it all cook at one time.  The flavor was really good, but the casserole had a lot of “liquid” in it.  All I could think of is…’ewwww, chicken juice!’  The idea of my casserole floating in chicken fat just kind of grossed me out. However, I love Chicken Parmesan and decided to give the casserole another shot, but pre-cooking my chicken.
This is definitely my preferred method. Yes, it is an extra step, but it eliminates all the extra liquid.  I actually cooked my chicken in the crock pot, so all I had to do was shred the chicken when I was ready to prepare my casserole. However, I think I would prefer chunks of chicken in this, so next time I will just boil it. (I know, I’m picky right?!)
Chicken Parmesan Casserole

adapted from: Emily Bites

2 lbs cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (shredded or cubed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
2 cups favorite pasta sauce 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 oz Parmesan cheese, divided (I didn’t actually measure this, I just sprinkled some on!)
3.5-5 oz bag of croutons, roughly crushed (I used a garlic and cheese flavor)


*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
*Spread the cubed chicken across the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (lightly sprayed with cooking spray) in a single layer. 
*Sprinkle the garlic, red pepper flakes and basil evenly over the chicken. 
*Top chicken with the pasta sauce in an even layer.
*Sprinkle 1 cup of the Mozzarella and one ounce of the Parmesan evenly across the top. 
*Add the crushed croutons, then remaining cheese.
*Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 mins or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.


I am linking this recipe up at (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!, Huckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home (Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 

Yay! This recipe has been featured at Nap Time Creations and the Weekend Potluck!

nap-time creations

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

I’ll admit, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with copycat recipes of late. I’m not sure if it is because I live so far from restaurants now, or because I just want to see if I can replicate restaurant food at home. I imagine it’s a little of both! This particular salad is my husband’s favorite thing from Applebee’s Restaurant, so I wanted to give it a try. There are several versions of the recipe on line, but I based mine off of one from Mandy’s Recipe Box.Looks good, right?!  What’s even better…it is very easy to put together with some pre-packaged items from the grocery store.

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Dressing – 
3 Tablespoons honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise (*I use Hellman’s with Olive Oil)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
 
Salad – 
6 crispy chicken strips, cooked
Pre-packaged salad mix (w/romaine lettuce, carrots, and cabbage)
Pre-packaged coleslaw mix
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (I used toasted sesame seeds instead)
1 cup Chow Mein noodles
 
  • For the Dressing 
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Refrigerate while preparing salad.
 
  • For the Salad 
Cut chicken strips into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Mix together about half the bag of each of the pre-packaged salad and coleslaw mixes.
Top with cut up chicken, almonds & Chow Mein noodles. 
Drizzle the dressing on top, to taste.
Makes approx. 3 large salads
You can make as much or as little as you want by altering the amounts of salad used.  The amount of dressing used per salad is such an individual preference, so you may need more or less.  The amount listed was enough for 3 salads (a dinner sized salad entree) for us, but my husband said he would have liked more dressing (he likes a lot, where I like just a little!)
I added mandarin oranges to my salad, and I used toasted sesame seeds in the place of almonds, just because I love them! This was a convenient, filling and delicious salad, and I can’t wait to tackle my next copycat recipe!  So far, I’ve tried Copycat Chick-fil-a ChickenOlive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, and Chili’s Monterey Chicken.
Have you got a restaurant favorite that you make at home? I’d love to hear about it!
I’m linking up this recipe over at – (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeBloom DesignsCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home, A Peek Into My Paradise (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 
Yay! This recipe was featured at The Better Baker and The Best Blog Recipes!

The Best Blog Recipes

Dorito Chicken Taco Bake

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, and our love of Doritos, here is another casserole with a Mexican flair….covered in Doritos, of course.

Unlike the Chipotle Taco Bake, this one does not use crescent rolls and has chicken instead of beef.

Dorito Chicken Taco Bake

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded 
2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese (divided)
1 can cream of chicken soup (10 oz)  I used this homemade version
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes, drained
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 large bag Doritos, coarsly crushed
 
Toppings (optional) – lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole
 
  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl mix together chicken, 1 cup of cheese, cream of chicken, milk, yogurt, Ro-tel tomatoes, and taco seasoning.
  • In a lightly sprayed 2-quart casserole dish, add a layer of crushed Doritos across the bottom. Top with half of chicken mixture. Add another layer of crushed Doritos, followed by the rest of the chicken mixture. Top with remaining cheese and Doritos.
  • Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling.
 
Remove from oven and top with toppings of choice, if desired.
Verdict? We love Doritos, so this was pretty good. However, I was not crazy about the Doritos on the bottom and middle of the casserole.  They got kind of soggy and tasted like corn tortillas (which I don’t like).  Next time, I will bake it in a 9×13 casserole dish, and just put the Doritos on top.  That is just a personal preference. I also think it would be fine to use the whole packet of taco seasoning instead of half.
If your family loves Doritos too, you may want to check out ‘Ghetto Tacos‘ – my kids love this…it’s basically a deconstructed taco that you eat with Doritos instead of a shell.
And for the perfect Cinco de Mayo dessert –
Margarita Cake of course!
(If it is cold and rainy where you are, like it is here, then you may be interested in something more along the lines of this Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup! It’s MAY, where is my Spring weather?!)

Monterey Chicken {Chili’s Copycat recipe}

Cheese. Chicken. Bacon. Barbecue Sauce. You know it’s gonna be good.  Unfortunately, I took the pics when I was in a huge rush to get the kids out the door to volleyball practice, and the lighting was terrible, soooo….don’t judge the recipe by the picture! This blob of cheesiness was pretty darn tasty (and see The Recipe Critic for a much better picture). Monterey Chicken used to be a popular sandwich at Chili’s Restaurant, (and may still be, haven’t been in a while!) and contains some of my favorite things. I served mine on a plate with sides, but plan on trying it on a nice toasty bun one day soon.  Either way, it’s delish.

Monterey Chicken
source – The Recipe Critic  my changes in italics

Marinade:
3 T. Honey
3 T. reduced sodium Soy Sauce
3 T. Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. sea salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Topping:
8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese
8 slices bacon (I used pre-cooked)
8 T. barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s)

* Marinate the chicken in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and salt for at least an hour (but can be marinated overnight.)
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour a little of the marinade in the bottom of a large baking pan and place chicken on top. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 30 minutes or until the center is no longer pink and juices run clear. (Cook time will depend on the size of your chicken breasts).
* While chicken is cooking, fry up the bacon and set aside – or use pre-cooked bacon as I did.
* After chicken is cooked through, spread with barbecue sauce, top with bacon and cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly.

Now, I have a little cheat for you – I had pre-cooked chicken breasts from the freezer (thawed), so I placed the cooked chicken in the marinade for a couple of hours (or could be done in the morning before work), then placed my chicken on a baking sheet, covered with barbecue sauce and baked until it was warmed throughout. Then I topped with my pre-cooked bacon and cheese stuck it under the broiler until the cheese was nice and melt-y. It took 15-20 mins at the most (start to finish).  The pre-cooked chicken absorbed the marinade well, and it was a time saver since we had to be out the door pretty quickly for the kids’ practices.  We had baked potatoes (cooked in the microwave in steamer bags) and a salad as quick and easy sides.

This recipe is a keeper!

I am linking this recipe up at (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!My Favorite Finds, Beyer Beware (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box33 Shades of GreenBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeBloom DesignsCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

(updated pics – 6/1/13)
This is one of those dishes that the picture does not capture its awesomeness.  I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Being a Southern girl and all, being brought up eating traditional chicken and pastry/chicken and dumplings, I did not think this would be all that great.  I was WRONG!  This was delicious – comfort food at its best.  My husband and I ate the entire thing, minus one little portion.
I think one of the reasons it was so delicious is that I made a little boo-boo in melting my butter, and actually browned my butter instead.  Best mistake I ever made! Browned butter is really awesome. Like, awesome x 10.  This dish had so much yummy, buttery flavor, that I think the amount of butter could be reduced and it would still be the bomb.
Chicken and Dumpling Casserole 
adapted from Plain Chicken

3-4 cups of cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted browned butter
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup (I’ve also made with Cream of Mushroom) 
         *I use this homemade Cream of Chicken recipe

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Place butter in a 9×13 pan and put in oven while it is preheating, to melt and brown. Once butter is melted, watch for it to start turning brown. You will also probably start to smell it.  It would be good to stir it a couple of times while it is browning, but I didn’t (b/c I forgot all about the butter being in the oven until I started smelling it!) You can also brown the butter on the stove, which will give you more control over even browning, and prevent burning. Once the butter has browned, remove from oven – be careful, it will spatter! You will see some little brown bits from the browned butter, this is okay.
  • Shred the chicken and spread it on top of the butter.
  • Whisk together the milk, flour, baking powder and salt.  Pour over the chicken, but do not stir.
  • Whisk together chicken broth and cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup. 
  • Pour over the top of casserole, again, do not stir.  

Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes. It will start to brown in spots, and look thick and bubbly.

This is definitely going to make a regular appearance on our dinner table.  As a matter of fact, I think I am going to make it again this week since I have some leftover crockpot beer chicken from last week. (update – I did, and it was delicious! The more flavorful your chicken, the better this dish is!)

Speaking of this week’s menu….we have 3 nights of volleyball games, un-solidified birthday plans (Number One is turning 12!) and now my little one has a terrible cold…so it will be interesting…and probably not in a good way. Wish me luck! You can check out the menu here.

I am linking this recipe up at (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a Dime,Delightfully DowlingSkip to my LouProject InspireMaking the World CuterMrs. Happy HomemakerI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!My Favorite Finds (Tuesday) Snappee TurtleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxPocket Change Gourmet,  33 Shades of GreenBlessed with GraceZentmrs. & The Mr., Memories By the MileHun…What’s for Dinner?Inside BruCrew Life (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeBloom DesignsCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffSweet as Sugar Cookies (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 

**I have had some people inquire about my casserole dish…it came from The Polka-Dot Palm 🙂

Bourbon Chicken

This is called Bourbon Chicken, but I made a few small changes in the recipe, and it tasted just like General Tso’s Chicken to me. Since I’ve never actually ordered Bourbon Chicken, I left the name, b/c who knows, maybe they taste the same.  Whatever you want to call it, you can also call it delicious!  This was SO good, and the closest I have come to restaurant flavor at home.  The best part…it’s not FRIED!
I prepared mine in my cast iron skillet, but I think it could be made in any frying pan.

 Bourbon (or General Tso’s!) Chicken 

adapted from Bigoven.com – my changes are in italics
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts – cut into bite size chunks
1 T. olive oil
3/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar & Stevia blend
2 T. ketchup
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
Notes: I mixed my brown sugar with Stevia in the Raw to decrease the sugar a little, but you can use all brown sugar if desired. I also used orange juice instead of apple (b/c that’s what I had on hand), and I used fresh ginger and rice wine vinegar since I had them. You could use ground ginger and apple cider vinegar as per original recipe instead. Also, this is spicy so adjust the red pepper accordingly. I used a generous 3/4 tsp and thought it was delicious, but it was too hot for the rest of the fam. (I left some plain cooked chicken out for the kids.)
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  
  • Add red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds.  
  • Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.  
  • Remove chicken from pan and add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.  
  • Add chicken back into pan with sauce and bring to a hard boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered.
I served mine over brown rice, with green onions and sesame seeds. If you like Chinese food, I would recommend giving this a try!

Loaded Baked Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole

You may have seen this one floating around Pinterest.  I have had it pinned for a while, but I had kind of dismissed it since it contained the words “buffalo chicken”.  Those of you that read my blog regularly know that my family can’t take any heat, whereas I love some schpice.  However, I decided to take a closer look at the recipe and realized I could make a couple of simple changes and make it work.  I just reduced the hot sauce, added in a ranch type dip, and cut back the green onion a bit.  Wowza! This was GOOD!

Loaded Baked Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole

adapted from Cook Lisa Cook
my changes are in italics
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8-10 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. fresh ground pepper
1 T. paprika
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
3 T. buffalo wing sauce
3 T. Loaded Baked Potato Dip*
*Could use Ranch dip or salad dressing in the place of the dip I used or skip it altogether and use 6 T. hot sauce.  Depends on the level of heat you like. Or, you could use all ranch or other sauce in the place of the hot sauce.
Topping:
2 cups cheese of choice (I used 1 1/2 c. reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1/2 cup Gorgonzola)
1/2-3/4 cup real bacon bits
1/2 cup diced green onion
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. (It’s gotta be hot to cook those taters!)  In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, buffalo sauce and dip/dressing.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat.  Pour potatoes into a sprayed 9 x 13 baking dish, reserving as much sauce as possible for the chicken.  (There will not be a lot left, but should be enough to coat the chicken).  Bake the potatoes at 500 degrees for 45-50 mins, stirring every 10-15 mins (I did 15), until potatoes are cooked through and crispy & browned on the outside.  While the potatoes are cooking, add the chicken to the bowl with the remaining sauce.  Stir to coat.  Once potatoes are done, remove from oven and lower oven temp to 400 degrees. Add the chicken to the top of the cooked potatoes.  (I know, raw chicken on top of cooked potatoes seems a little weird, but it all heats back up and cooks through.)  Cover raw chicken with cheese, bacon bits and green onions in an even layer.  Place assembled casserole in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
You can serve this with extra hot sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressing if desired.  I topped mine with a little extra wing sauce, and some plain yogurt (instead of sour cream), and additional green onions.
Verdict?  Fantastic!  This is like combining my favorite appetizers into one glorious dish – loaded potato skins and buffalo wings!  The recipe can be adapted to suit your family’s taste buds, and would be great to serve for a crowd on game day.  It seems like there is some big football game coming up sometime soon?  You know, the one with all the cool commercials 😉  The only drawback is the time it takes to cut up all the potatoes and chicken, but that could be easily done ahead of time. My plan is to pre-cook some chicken breasts, chop them up, and freeze for when I make this again, and this recipe is definitely a keeper and will be made again!