Tag Archives: chicken

Jessie’s Creamy Chicken Lasagna

A few weeks ago my brother called me from the grocery store to ask me some questions about ingredients in my lasagna recipe. I thought he was referring to my sauteed mushroom and onion lasagna but no… he called it Jessie’s Creamy Chicken Lasagna and said he makes it all the time. I don’t have a very good memory (I know. My husband is very lucky) so I didn’t know what he was referring to. Long story short, I got the recipe from him and he told me to post it here. He said it is a go-to of his when he is looking for that comforting, warm, cheesy, creamy indulgent meal. So here it is. I have no idea when I came up with this. I’m guessing at least 6 or 7 years ago. Maybe longer.

I hope it’s as awesome as my big brother says it is! I can’t wait to try it. Because apparently I can’t remember it from the first time around.

***update***

I made it!! It started to come back to me as I was whisking the milk into the soups and adding the herbs. It was great. It was creamy and decadent. The fruit salad was a great side-dish because it helped cut the richness of the lasagna. Josie even ate a few bites after I explained to her that the lasagna tasted like cheese crackers and chicken nuggets. Thanks big brother for bringing this one back!

creamy chicken lasagna with a little bowl of fresh fruit salad. The fruit salad is great because it cuts the richness of the lasagna.

creamy chicken lasagna with a little bowl of fresh fruit salad. The fruit salad is great because it cuts the richness of the lasagna.

Jessie’s Creamy Chicken Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. container small curd low fat cottage cheese (cottage cheese melts and blends right in but it’s MUCH cheaper than ricotta. Try it. You’ll thank me for saving you the bucks AND still giving you the smooth, mellow, cheesy, creaminess you need.
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken – a rotisserie chicken is a great choice for this if you are in a hurry. Just pick it up at the grocery store along with the rest of the ingredients.
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • hot pepper chili flakes to taste if you like that touch of heat.

Preheat oven to 350F

Stir the soups, milk, and herbs, s&p and chili flakes in a large bowl.

Spray bottom and sides of 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Assembly instructions:

Coat the bottom of the baking dish with a big spoonful or two of the soup mixture. Place noodles on top of the soup mixture. Top with about 1 cup of soup mixture, half of the cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups of chicken, 2/3 cup Mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup cheddar cheese. Repeat layers once. Place another layer of noodles on top and cover with remaining soup mixture, Mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese.

Cover with foil (spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the cheese from ripping off the top of the lasagna when you remove the foil) and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove foil and bake until golden and bubbly.

Enjoy the simplicity of this lasagna! It freezes well and it is great to give to friends or family or neighbors that need a hearty meal.

Spicy Southern Style Stew

Years ago I found a recipe on All Recipes called Sunday Gumbo. I never made it exactly as it was written because I never had the right spices and I didn’t use okra. But it helped guide me when I was venturing out to bigger and better one-pot meals. I have written a recipe all my own but I am not calling it Gumbo or Jambalaya. I’m calling it a stew. Spicy Southern Style Stew… because I don’t want to insult anyone by calling it something it is not.

Spicy Southern Style Stew

Boom! Spicy Southern Style Stew!

Boom! Spicy Southern Style Stew!

  • 1 pound package of sweet Italian sausage links
  • one small sweet onion
  • 2 Cups of chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  •  2 T Ketchup
  •  1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  •  1/2 tsp cumin
  •  1 tsp red pepper flakes
  •  1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 small bay leaves or one large leaf
  • 1/2 C uncooked instant brown rice
  • 1 Cup peeled, thawed shrimp

Before you start, if you have frozen shrimp with the shells on, place about 1 cup of shrimp in a single layer on a plate with cool water. It will thaw by the time you need it.

1 pound package of sweet Italian sausage links  cut into bite size pieces and browned in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven or just a heavy bottomed pan. (You can use hot Italian sausage if you’d like even MORE spice)

Remove the sausage from the pan and drain most of the fat.

Add one small sweet onion, diced, to the pan.

Place sausage back in the pan with the onion and sautee and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add 2 Cups of chopped cooked chicken and toss around with the sausage and onions. (If your chicken is raw cook it with the sausage and onions. I just happened to have leftover cooked chicken.)

Here comes the flavor:  1 T Worcestershire sauce, 2 T Ketchup, 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves,  1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder

stir to coat the chicken, sausage and onions with these flavors

now add 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 small bay leaves or one large leaf

Add 1/2 C uncooked instant brown rice and stir.

cooking the stew BEFORE adding the shrimp

cooking the stew BEFORE adding the shrimp

Turn your attention to the shrimp. If you have cheesecloth you can place the shrimp shells in the cheesecloth and tie it up and place it in the stew. It adds flavor! If you don’t have cheesecloth, it’s no big deal to just skip this step.

shrimp shells in cheese cloth allow the flavor to permeate the stew.

shrimp shells in cheese cloth allow the flavor to permeate the stew.

Add the 1 Cup peeled, thawed shrimp to the stew and push down into the broth to cook. It will only take about 5 minutes.

raw shrimp added

raw shrimp added

It doesn’t take long for the shrimp to turn pink. You don’t want to overcook the shrimp so go. Eat some. Eat some now.

shrimp are done!

shrimp are done!

Remove the cheesecloth and squeeze it out to get all the yummy shrimpy broth out of it. Then put the leftovers in a container and put it in the fridge and eat it again tomorrow. It’ll be even better!!!

Mexican Lasagna

The tortillas in this dish take on many different textures. The one on the bottom gets soft from all the broth and turns into a sort of giant lasagna noodle while the top tortilla gets crunchy and sort of turns into a cheese cracker. Also, this dish is fairly inexpensive to make. It has the lasagna-esque layers but doesn’t require expensive ground beef, expensive cheeses, and cooking lasagna noodles. Again, I can’t decide which layer I liked best in this Mexican Lasagna; the soft, flavor-filled bottom layer or the crunchy, cheesy top layer? Either way, it was so yummy I wished I had taken pictures throughout so I could do this justice. Alas, all I have is the picture I took with my phone.

Update: I made this recipe again but used ground chicken instead of chicken breast. Delicious. Also, I made it in my Pampered Chef Rock Croc instead of a spring-form pan. I cooked all the ‘filling’ in the Rock Croc and then removed it to a mixing bowl. Then sprayed the pan with non-stick cooking spray and started making my layers. It worked perfectly! (While you may not have a special pan like this from Pampered Chef, you just need to know – any round casserole dish will do.)

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 tsp cooking oil

2 small chicken breasts or 1 large, salt and pepper, garlic powder

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained

1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, DO NOT DRAIN

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2-3 T smoky Chipotle pepper sauce (I recommend using 1 Tablespoon and allowing it to simmer for a while and then add more if you like more heat.)

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed in your palms before added

1 1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese

4 8 inch flour tortillas

1/4 C sour cream

Directions:

Place teaspoon of cooking oil in sautee pan and bring to medium high heat. Add chicken breast that have been sprinkled with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Brown lightly and then add drained beans and un-drained tomatoes. Put a lid on the dish and allow the chicken to simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred or chop the chicken and place it back in with the beans and tomatoes. Now add Worcestershire and chipotle pepper sauce. Add the thyme and allow to simmer another couple minutes. Taste the sauce now and see if it needs anything. Salt? Pepper? More hot pepper sauce?

Prepare a pan that can hold 8 inch tortillas with a little space around the edge. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray. (I used a spring form pan lined with foil. Which was convenient because I just popped the spring form pan open and removed the lasagna via the foil.)

Place a tortilla in the bottom. Place one ladle (with juice) atop the tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese over the chicken mixture. Top with another tortilla, another ladle of chicken mixture with juice, cheese and continue until you’ve layered four tortillas. Top the last tortilla with cheese and any remaining broth (not chicken and beans – just the broth – that’s left in the pot).

Place pan in preheated 325º F oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Using a pie server is helpful in removing it from the pan. I have this recipe written as 4 large wedges but it could easily be sliced into 6 wedges to feed 6 adults with a nice salad to complete the meal. ENJOY!

 

 

Slow Cooker: chicken and apples

Autumn. I have a love-hate relationship with you. My son and I have birthdays that wrap around the autumnal equinox (9/22 and 9/23). You bring cooler weather — I like wearing jeans after 3 months in bathing suits. I love your warm colors — I enjoy farmers’ markets and picking up pumpkins and mums to decorate my stoop. But I don’t like the dreary stark months that follow you — No matter how much sleep I get I still feel tired waking up when it’s dark.

It’s been raining here for 7 days straight. This Nor’Easter has been sitting over us for a week. But today is football Sunday so I must press on. I got the kids set up with art supplies at the table and Daddy has The Beatles playing until kick-off.

I just got out the crock pot and grabbed some frozen chicken breasts from the freezer. I looked around and my eyes landed on a fruit-bowl full of Red Delicious apples that the kids promised they would eat. Yeah right.

So I think some apples and onions and chicken in the crock pot would be a great fall dish. Alas, no onions. And since I don’t own a kayak I’m not going to the store for an onion. Hmm.. what else can I do? Think Jessie. Think. Here is the dish. It rocked, if I do say so myself.

Slow Cooker: chicken and apples

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken – thighs or breasts (frozen is fine)
  • 1 can French Onion Soup – 18.5 ounce (I used Progressive. If you have an onion and 2 cups of beef stock… by all means… that’s what I would RATHER use. But I don’t have it so a can of French Onion Soup is it.)
  • 3 Red Delicious apples – cored and peeled (I didn’t worry too much about getting ALL the peels off. You’ll learn that I hate peeling things. Apples, potatoes, husking corn… ugh. Someone poke me in the eye.)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 T chipotle pepper sauce (or any hot sauce you like)
  • 1/8 C balsamic vinegar
  • Add salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 C honey bbq sauce (or whatever your favorite bbq sauce is)

 

Chicken, bbq sauce, spices, apples, soup - because I didn't have fresh onions

Chicken, bbq sauce, spices, apples, soup – (because I didn’t have fresh onions) – not pictured is S&P, chipotle sauce and balsamic vinegar

toss apples and chicken in soup and spices and BBQ sauce

toss apples and chicken to coat

Now, if you use the slow-cooker bags you can twist the top up (tightly!) and toss all the ingredients making sure to coat all the apples. (this helps to keep them from turning brown)

Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours until the chicken is done. You can shred it and eat it over egg noodles or rice*. Or slice it and eat it with a salad and crusty bread.

 

pulled chicken, on another plate, added 1 cup white rice to broth, put chicken back in and continued to cook until rice was done.

I pulled the chicken on another plate and placed back into the broth.

*I added 2 cups cooked white rice directly to the slow cooker once the chicken was finished cooking and I shred it. But serving the barbecue chicken and apples with the rice as a base would also be very pretty.

Autumn… today, you’re alright.