Cooking

Wicked chicken

I know there is a big push these days to eliminate all pre-made, processed foods from one’s diet. I get it. Pre-made stuff is just not as healthy or good for us. Le sigh. . .

But sometimes you just want a meal that you can throw together that doesn’t take all night and dirty up every pan in the kitchen.

A good friend of mine and her amazing friends have spent the last four years putting together a cookbook in honor of their high school class. You can read all about the Starmount Class of 1970 and their cookbook Ramalicious here. 

DSC_0514There are some complicated, dirty-up-all-dishes-in-the-kitchen recipes in Ramalicious, but there are also tons of super easy, quick and totally delicious recipes as well.

On Sunday night my husband and I spent at least an hour in the grocery store and by the time we got home in the cold and the dark, we certainly didn’t want to spend all night in the kitchen.

Enter the Ramalicious cookbook and one of my new favorite recipes Wicked Chicken.DSC_0526

Holy cow, y’all. This recipe is so simple, but the best thing about it is, it is delicious and flavorful!

Wicked Chicken

From the Ramalicious Cookbook by the Ladies of Starmount’s Class of 1970

Ingredients

• 4 skinless chicken breasts

• 1/2 box any shape pasta

• 1 jar Classico Alfredo sauce or regular Alfredo with 1 can green chilies

• Salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste

Directions

Cook and drain pasta. Salt, pepper and garlic powder the chicken breasts to taste and brown in a skillet for 3 minutes on each side until brown. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. In a casserole dish, layer the pasta and the chicken. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the chicken pasta mixture and then mix for all to combine. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I used a jar of Alfredo sauce and a jar of hot green chilies. I also added just a bit of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning on the chicken. If you want a milder version, leave out the red pepper flakes and green chilies or be sure to get mild green chilies. I also used chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts. And I topped mine with a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese and served it with a salad. Yummy!

DSC_0552We also enjoyed this dish with a wonderful Pinot Noir.

Cooking

Baked chicken jambalaya

Baked Chicken Jambalaya

When I’m feeling domestic and have enough time, I like to sit down and make out a menu and grocery list for an entire week. Some weeks I don’t have the wherewithal to figure out on a Sunday what I think I’ll want to eat the following Thursday, but when the mood strikes me to make a menu in advance it does seem to make life easier.

I like to get in my favorite chair, preferably with a glass of wine or a mimosa if I’m doing it in the morning, and surround myself with cookbooks and my recent pins from Pinterest and come up with a menu for the week.

Last week I was in such a mood and so I did manage to do some advance planning. One of the recipes I prepared this week was from one of my Mamma’s old cookbooks, actually one I had given her as a Christmas gift some years ago.

The cookbook is from famed Cajun cook Justin Wilson and it’s fun to read because he often includes little stories with the recipes.

As I often do, I put my own little spin on his recipe entitled Baked Chicken on a Sunday, cooked on a Tuesday ala Walter Guitreau. I made mine on a Wednesday so I guess now it’s  Baked Chicken on a Sunday, cooked on a Tuesday ala Walter Guitrea, actually cooked on a Wednesday by Kitsey. Whew, say that 10 times fast!

The recipe is essentially a baked jambalaya. Now, I’m going to warn you, this is a super simple recipe and yes, don’t judge, it does use canned soup. I know some of you (my fiance included) are snobbish about such recipes, but I’m not. They are easy to do, especially for mid-week meals.

Justin used bone-in chicken, but I cheated and chopped up some boneless chicken tenders for mine.

Combine 2 cups uncooked rice, diced chicken, a can of cream of mushroom, a can of cream of celery, two soup cans of milk and a package of dried onion soup mix in a 9×12 casserole dish.  I added a pinch or two of salt and a couple of healthy dashes of Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning as well. Mix it all up real good, cover with foil and bake for about an hour on 350. I like to take the foil off for about the last five minutes or so. I recommend buttering the bottom of the dish a bit too. I didn’t do that and mine got a little stuck in the bottom.

This would be great served with a nice green salad, but we just ate ours by itself and it was delish.