a little of each

A family's cookbook

Summer Chicken Salad July 26, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes,Sandwiches — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:54 pm
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Crunchy, tender, sweet, savory, and other opposites.

Crunchy, tender, sweet, savory, and other opposites.

I strive for peace on Friday around dinnertime.  I strive, and I hope, and sometimes it’s a big, fat failure with bickering or takeout pizza (sins of equal weight somehow). And tonight, the mister was still at work, and I had no meal planned after just arriving home at the time I’d prefer to be blissfully blessing the wine and gazing at my dressed and brushed children over a lovingly prepared meal that they’d eat with the gusto reserved for macaroni and cheese.  The only saving grace was I knew I had some frozen challah.

So, yeah, it was a bust already, right?  So me and my what-the-hell attitude rummaged in the kitchen. And I came up with a practically defiant chicken salad.  My ladies have never seen chicken salad before, but it’s a trifecta of pickiness – a (1) mixture of ingredients (2) touching each other (3) in a sauce.  Oh lord.  To the table, I added the challah, a plate of grapes, and cheese sticks so that when faces recoiled in disgust, I couldn’t be accused of starving my children.

Hands washed, hairs unbrushed, still in summer camp clothes, we lit the candles, we blessed the bread, and you know what?  They didn’t recoil in disgust when they saw their plates.  The big one ate her challah, some grapes, and then she gingerly tried a bite.  She said, you’ll never guess, “Mmmm.”  I said, “I’m so glad you like it.  I hoped you would.”  And then she tried a piece of chicken with a grape, and then a piece of cucumber with a grape, and then chicken and celery, and with each combination, she exclaimed, “I didn’t think I’d like this, but it’s so yummy.”  And then the kicker, “And I love how it looks so fancy on the lettuce all spread out.  You should make it again, and soon!”

Now the little one gave a good college try of two solid bites, and only one slight gag.  I call that a homerun.

We watched the candles standing tall with only a very occasional flicker, we talked about the giant pile of garbage floating in the Pacific, and we laughed at the little one’s potty jokes.  Just as Shabbat is meant to be.

Go easy on the dressing, and don’t leave out that brown sugar – it’s a definite secret ingredient sort of enhancement.

Ingredients
Half of a rotisserie chicken, skin removed and diced
Half of a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
Half of one celery stalk, chopped small
One cup of red grapes, cut in half
Romaine lettuce leaves

Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 mayonnaise
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl brown sugar

Directions
Whisk together ingredients for the dressing. In a separate bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Add half of the dressing, stirring gently, and then add more to your taste, careful not to oversaturate the salad. Lay some Romaine leaves on a plate, and serve a scoop of the salad in the center.  The leaves can be used like taco shells, and just like that, chicken salad is a finger food!

Variation
For a tropical flavor, try these ingredients:
Half of a rotisserie chicken, skin removed and diced
Half of a mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup cashews
One cup of red grapes, cut in half
Romaine lettuce leaves

Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 mayonnaise
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl coconut milk powder
1 Tbl sweet curry powder

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Chicken Divan May 16, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:31 am
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From Parade Magazine, August 5, 2012

Ingredients
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cup into 4-inch-long spears
1/2 stick unsalted butter, diced
5 Tbl all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream, well chilled
3 Tbl medium-dry sherry
Fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

Directions

1. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water cook broccoli for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside, covered.

2. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring mixture to a boil. Cook on low, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thick.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then add to flour mixture, along with the sherry and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Arrange broccoli on a flameproof platter. Top with half the sauce. Stir 1/4 cup of Parmesan into the other half of the sauce. Arrange chicken on broccoli, pour remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle mixture with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

5. Broil, about 6 inches from the heat, for about 1 minute or until sauce is golden and bubbling.

 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Rosemary

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:28 am
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Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbl fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in a shallow glass or ceramic pan. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary together in a small bowl and pour over chicken breasts. Let marinate in the refrigerator, turning once or twice, at least 4 hours.

2. Grill the chicken breasts 5 to 6 inches above the hot coals 4 to 6 minutes per side, brushing with any marinade remaining in the dish. Serve at once.

 

Cindy’s Chicken Salad Pizza April 8, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:07 pm
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Ingredients

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely snipped

2 cups torn mixed greens

1 ½ cups cooked chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces

½ cup pitted ripe olives (optional)

1/3 cup soft-style cream cheese with chive and onion

2 tsp Dijon mustard

4 tsp milk

1 ½ cups shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

1 medium avocado, sliced into thin wedges

tomato wedges

fresh sage (optional)

 

Directions

Thaw pastry. Place on a large baking sheet. Prick entire surface with fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water. Let stand two minutes and drain well. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a mixing bowl and combine with chicken, greens and olives. Toss lightly. In a small mixing bowl, stir cream cheese and mustard. Add milk and combine well. Drizzle over chicken mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle one cup of shredded cheese over baked pastry. Bake at 375 degrees for two to three minutes, or until cheese melts. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over cheese pastry. Arrange avocado slices on top of chicken mixture. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese on top. Bake for two minutes or until cheese just begins to melt. Cut into squares and serve on salad plates garnished with tomato wedges and fresh sage.

 

Tropical Chicken Boats

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:06 pm
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Ingredients

1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks

1 cup cooked chicken, chopped

½ cup almonds or pecans, sliced

½ cup celery, chopped

¼ cup sour cream

½ tsp honey

1 large ripe avocado, halved

Directions

Drain pineapple, saving ¼ cup of the juice. Combine pineapple, chicken, nuts and celery. Add sour cream, reserved pineapple juice and honey; stir well. Fill avocado halves and serve. May top with French or Catalina dressing.

 

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:05 pm
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Ingredients

6 lbs chicken, cut up

1 cup dry sherry

½ cup celery, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp curry powder

1 can cream of mushroom soup, condensed

1 cup sour cream

2 (6 oz) packages wild rice

¼ cup butter

1 lb mushrooms

 

Directions

Place chicken in a deep pot. Add two cups water, the sherry, celery, onion, salt, curry powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for one hour on until chicken is tender. Remove chicken. Strain broth and reserve. Cook rice according to package directions, but use reserved broth as liquid. Sauté mushrooms in hot butter until butter. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Blend soup and sour cream into rice. Fold in chicken and mushrooms. Bake covered for one hour. Remove from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

 

Scalloped Chicken Casserole

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:04 pm
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This recipe came from Robin’s friend Ruth Salb.

 

Ingredients

½ package stuffing

2 cups shredded chicken, or boneless, skinless pieces

¼ cup butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups chicken broth

3 eggs, slightly beaten

 

Sauce:

1 can of condensed mushroom soup

¼ cup milk

1 cup sour cream

 

Directions

Prepare the stuffing per package instructions and spread in a lightly greased casserole. Top with the chicken. In a large saucepan, melt the butter; blend in flour, salt and pepper and, adding the broth gradually, cook until thick like gravy. Stir a small amount into the eggs and then add the eggs to the hot mixture. Pour over chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before serving.