One-Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

This is adapted from Rachael Ray’s One-Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken Succotash. I love the flavors, but I prefer it without the beans. I also omitted the tomatoes & dill.

Servings:

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
4 chicken breast halves, halved crosswise to make 8 pieces total
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 pound bacon, chopped
1 pound potatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 Fresno chile pepper, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1-2 tsp hot sauce (to taste)
warm crusty bread, for serving

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the bacon to the pot and cook until crisp, then remove to a plate.
  4. Add the potatoes to the bacon drippings and lightly brown for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the corn, onions and chile pepper and brown 8 to 10 more minutes.
  6. Stir in the chicken stock. Return the chicken and bacon to the pot and simmer 10 minutes.
  7. Combine the cream cheese with the herbs and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pot and stir until well combined.
  8. Add the hot sauce.
  9. Serve with toasted English muffins or warm sourdough bread.
  • You can substitute 1 pound ground turkey for the chicken pieces. This is not quite as fancy a dish, but it is very tasty & economical.

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Southwestern Chicken Salad

The creamy, spicy sauce from Southwestern Chicken Pasta also makes a great salad. Great for hot summer days.

Servings: 4

1 cup salsa
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp chipotle pepper, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb chicken, cooked & cubed
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
salad greens – optional

  1. Combine salsa, sour cream & chipotles.
  2. Combine chicken, tomatoes, onions, cilantro & avocado.
  3. Toss salsa mixture & chicken mixture.
  4. Serve alone or over a bed of greens.
  • I usually use yogurt in place of sour cream.
  • You can reserve some of the salsa mixture to be added separately if this is too hot for some.

Southwestern Chicken Pasta

I wrote this recipe out from a magazine, but unfortunately, I did not make note of the magazine name. I love this creamy, spicy sauce with pasta.

Servings: 4

1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp chipotle pepper, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb chicken, cooked & cubed
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1 lb pasta, cooked & drained

  1. Combine salsa, sour cream & chipotles.
  2. Combine chicken, tomatoes, onions, cilantro & avocado.
  3. Toss salsa mixture, chicken mixture & pasta.
  • I usually use yogurt in place of sour cream.
  • I like to use farfalle (bow-tie) pasta for this recipe, but you can use any short pasta.
  • You can reserve some of the salsa mixture to be added separately if this is too hot for some.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom One-Pot with Puff Pastry Toppers

adapted from Rachael Ray

3 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 onions
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 potatoes, diced
1/2 lb carrots, diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced 1/2-inch thick (optional)
2 ribs celery, chopped
A few sprigs fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Splash white wine
1 rounded Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fat-free half & half
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, defrosted
1 large egg

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a pot with 1 quartered onion and 1 bay leaf. Fill the pan with just enough water to come to the top of the chicken breasts.
  2. Bring the mixture to a low boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and poach the chicken 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and dice or shred.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and puree the onion in the poaching liquid. Reserve.
  5. In the same pan, heat olive oil, a couple of turns of the pan over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and lightly brown.
  6. When the mushrooms are just tender, add 2 chopped medium onions, potatoes, parsnips, celery, sage, salt, pepper and remaining bay leaf. Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the bay leaf.
  8. Add butter, stir until melted. Add flour and stir to make a light roux.
  9. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and add reserved poaching liquid.
  10. Whisk in the mustard and 2 cups chicken stock. Stir in the half & half. Thicken to a light gravy consistency.
  11. Adjust the salt and pepper and add the chicken.
  12. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while baking the pastry tops.
  13. Cut the pastry into shapes which reflect the shape and size of the dishes or bowls you wish to serve the soup in.
  14. Beat the egg with a splash of water and arrange the cut pastry on a nonstick baking sheet or on parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush the dough with the egg wash and bake to golden at 425 F,  about 12 minutes.
  • I always hate to see the vegetables thrown out that were used in making poached meat, so I like to run them thru the blender or use an immersion blender to puree them into the stock.
  • I did not have parsnips, so I left those out, but any vegetables can be added – whatever you like in a pot pie.

A Salad to Make You Famous

adapted from The Quarter of Six Cookbook

12 oz can white meat chicken
(or 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped)
broth from canned chicken
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup strawberry halves
1 lg banana, sliced
1 avocado, cubed
¼ cup milk
¾ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp vanilla
generous dash each of nutmeg & cinnamon

Directions

  1. Mix chicken broth (if not using canned, add a little water if necessary to thin the dressing), milk, yogurt, vanilla & spices.
  2. Gently toss fruit & chicken.
  3. Serve with dressing on the side.
  • The original recipe called for buttermilk that I never have on hand, so I replaced it with ½ milk and ½ yogurt – this works in other recipes also.

Spiced Indian Grilled Chicken

adapted from Spice Goddess / Bal Arneson

1 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cayenne
Pinch salt
1 cup plain yogurt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Combine the garam masala, sugar, garlic, cardamom, cayenne, salt, yogurt, and tomato paste in a large bowl and mix well; set aside about 1/3 of the marinade for a dipping sauce. Add the chicken and coat well. Cover the bowl and let marinate in the fridge for 45 minutes to 4 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high.  Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place on the hot grill.  Cook until the chicken is done and juices run clear.
  • Garam masala varies quite a bit.  the one I had was rather sweet, and I remember Bal’s mix having a lot of cumin, so I added cumin to the recipe.
  • The recipe was supposed to include 2 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. I did not use the fenugreek leaves because I did not have them and I forgot to add the tomato paste because I was sleepy when I made it : ]
    I’ll have to try this recipe again with these flavors added.
  • Bal used legs & thighs, but I prefer white meat so I used breasts.