Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Chicken Salads

This past weekend I roasted a whole chicken for the sole purpose to make chicken salad!  I was on a mission to change up our normal lunch routine with something new and exciting.  This was the perfect choice!  We have enjoyed this so much I am definitely going to do this at least once a month.  Plus, I reserved the chicken bones to use for homemade chicken stock – stay tuned for that post coming soon.

I have made this chicken salad recipe many times and it is always so good! I like the combination of yogurt and mayonnaise it makes it super moist without being totally drenched with mayo.  I hope you enjoy this version chicken salad and who knows with this new tradition I am sure it will spark my creative side.  I think next time I may try Buffalo chicken salad! Yum!

Ingredients

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 rib of celery, finely diced
2 tbsp. shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup plain greek or  non-fat yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Directions
In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients.  Mix well.  Taste for seasonings.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days.
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Skillet Rotel Chicken

Chicken Main Dishes Quick Weeknight Meals Quick Weeknight Meals
 

If you are looking for a quick and delicious meal you can make in 30 minutes…well, my friends…this is it!  I have tons of other things to blog about but this just leaped over all those!  I am almost ashamed to tell you the backstory on this dish but here it is:  About a million years ago, one of Gabe’s co-workers gave him a recipe for Rotel Chicken.  Gabe surprised me by making it for dinner one night.  He may have made it one other time as well.  It was a great meal and we both liked it a lot, but for some reason, we just forgot about it.  I did not make it to the grocery store this weekend so we have been pantry eating all week.  Yesterday I was brainstorming like crazy to come up with a meal for tonight when this recipe came to mind.  I knew I had all the ingredients on hand.  There was one problem, though.  Since Gabe made it, he could not remember the recipe, so here is my own personal version of Rotel!

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

Chicken Main Dishes Pizza Quick Weeknight Meals
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  Now that all the hustle and bustle has come to an end it’s back to reality!  As we reflect on the year that is about to pass, I can’t help but think how quickly it goes by.  I start thinking about the year ahead and how I can change and improve different elements in my life.  One of the main things that I will be working on is organization!  I am naturally a free-spirit and have never really lived by the confines of a regimen, having a daily schedule or to-do list is something a bit foreign to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have made lists before as well as to-do list, but I have never made a to-do list for my to-do list or really stuck to it!  This is something I am about to change!  I am actually excited in many ways.  One of the main reasons for this new found organization is to not let things sneak up on me at the last minute then scuffle to get it all together, I have done this all year – not cool.  What are some things that you will try to improve upon in the coming year? 
 
 
Now to the pizza!  I make pizza at least once every two-week if not every week.  I always have my favorite pizza dough on hand in the freezer.  I love BBQ chicken pizza it’s one of my very favorites!  Aside from my Chicken Ranch Pizza this one comes in at a close second!  I like to use homemade bbq sauce for this pizza but any will do.  I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we do!
 

Ingredients

2/3 cup chicken, cooked and chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
 
Directions
Place a baking stone on the lower rack of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 30  minutes.
 
Shape the pizza dough into a 12-inch round shape.  Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper.  Spread the bbq sauce evenly over the bottom of the pizza crust.  Evenly layer the chicken, red onions and cheese.  Using the back of a cutting board or a pizza peel carefully transfer the parchment paper onto the baking stone.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let the pizza cool for a minute or two before slicing.
 
Recipe Source:
Me
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Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Chicken Main Dishes Quick Weeknight Meals Quick Weeknight Meals
 
 

I don’t make many casseroles.  I have a few that I really like, and that’s about it.  I have just never been a huge fan.  I know, I know for a busy mom, like me, I should be making one at least once a week.  I have to be honest I am just not a fan of cream of whatever soup.  Yes, I have and will use them on occasion but I just don’t like to use them very often.  I try really hard to eliminate as many processed food as I possibly can I am no saint but I can say I do make a very conscience effort!  I stumbled upon this recipe on Pink Parsley’s  blog while looking for the chicken tortilla soup  recipe I made a few weeks ago and I knew I had to try it!  I am so glad I did because it is delicious!  I used the same ingredients but I changed up the prep a little to suite my busy day!  I hope you try this recipe soon!

Ingredients

2 Bone-in chicken breast, cooked, cooled and shredded
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 to 2 chipotle in adobo, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
5 cups crushed tortilla chips
2/3 to 1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 tsp. chopped cilantro, optional
 
Directions
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small sautee pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions, shallot and garlic.  Sautee until fragrant about 4-5 minutes.  Set aside.
 
In a medium sized casserole dish cover the bottom with 1/2 the tortilla chips.  Add the chicken, onions and garlic, chipotle in adobo, tomatoes, cilantro and 1/2 of each cheese.  Mix until combined  Add the chicken broth until it comes halfway up the casserole dish. Top the casserole with the remaining tortilla chips.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days  Freeze the leftover for up to 2 months.
 
 
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Main Dishes Soups & Stews
 
One of my favorite things to do is turn my leftovers into something spectacular!  I try to do this a lot.  I really don’t care for leftovers at all, but I also hate to waste food – so therefore, I have to be creative.  If my leftovers go past 2 days (which is my limit for eating the same dish), I have to try to make them into something different.  On Sunday, I roasted a chicken, and it was delicious!  There are so many things you can do with leftover chicken.  Some of my favorites include:  Baked Chicken Taquitos, Chicken Ranch Pizza, Chicken Noodle Soup, and one of my very favorites, Chicken Tortilla Soup!!  The list goes on and on.  I don’t stop at using just the chicken when I make a roasted chicken. You can also use the carcass for homemade chicken stock – more on that later!  This soup is “oh, so good” and soothing, especially on a cold night like we are forecasted to have here in Tennessee.  I will say that simmering this soup for an hour is quite a bit of time for a busy mom, so that’s why I make it the night before.  When I get home the following night, I just heat it up on the stove, and if I have enough time, I make some jalapeno cheddar corn bread. Hmmm, I see yet another recipe in my blog’s future!
 

Ingredients

1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes*
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 chipotle pepper, diced**
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
3 ears of corn, or 1 (8 oz.) package frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions
In a large stock pot or dutch oven on medium-high heat.  Add olive oil.  Wait until olive oil has had time to heat (about 4 minutes).  Add the onions, garlic and red bell pepper.  Saute until the onion is translucent and the bell pepper is softened.  
 
While the onions, garlic and peppers are cooking.  Add the 2 cans of tomatoes to a blender or food processor.  Blend well.  Set aside.
 
Add the chipotle pepper, ground cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper to the pot and stir.  Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, corn, black beans and chicken to the pot.  Mix until combined.  
 
Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 1 hour.  Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream!
 
*The original recipe asks you to roast roma tomatoes   I did not have time for this step and decided to substitute with Fire Roasted Tomatoes instead.  
 
**You can find canned Chipotle Chili Peppers in Adobo sauce in your local grocery store usually in the Mexican Food isle.  Although the recipe only calls for 1 pepper, I freeze the remaining peppers for future use.  They freeze very well.  When I use them for a future recipe I usually don’t even thaw it out, I just remove it from the freezer bag and chop it up.
 
Recipe Source: Pink Parsley
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Herb Roasted Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

Chicken Main Dishes
 
 

This is the PERFECT Sunday dinner!  I try to make roasted chicken as often as I can.  It is one of the easiest things you can make, and if you add potatoes to it like I did, you will have the perfect one pot meal.  If you are intimidated about roasting a whole chicken please don’t be – it’s one of the easiest meals you can make!  In this post I will give you step-by-step instructions to roasting a perfect chicken!

Ingredients

1 5-6 lb. whole chicken
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 springs fresh rosemary
3 springs fresh thyme
2 cloves plus one whole head of garlic that has been cut in half
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1 large onion, quartered
1 can chicken broth
1 small bag of small assorted potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

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