This one is simple, tasty, comfort food. Start out with your basic soup fixin’s: carrots, onions, celery, water, boullion. I added shredded chicken to mine, but I used vegetable broth so it would have been vegetarian otherwise. Chop up and saute whatever veggies you’re going to use.
The important part of this recipe is using a pot that can go in the oven, meaning metal handle, not plastic. If you want a more vegetable-heavy soup, you can add turnips, sweet potatoes, and turnip or mustard greens. Leeks might be good too, but I haven’t tried it.
After sauteing your veggies until they are slightly golden, add broth or your water and boullion. I threw in my chicken also, since it was fully cooked. If you have some cooked beans or barley that would be good at this point. I added my usual spices: cumin, garlic salt, chili powder, and made sure the broth was delicious.
I then turned off the soup and let it cool for a bit. I turned the oven on to 400, which is the biscuit cooking temperature.
I used the HEB “Texas Style” biscuits, which is a misnomer, because they are actually kind of small. I layered them on top of the soup, and put the extras on a cookie sheet to bake at the same time. I baked all of this together for 15 minutes, or whatever the package says.
I want more of this now that I saw this picture.
The biscuits soak up quite a bit of the broth, so it ended up making less than I thought it would. My solution next time would be to double the veggies and meat, and add a little extra broth. I was worried about the biscuits overflowing from the pan, but I think there could have been a lot more in the pan before they would do that.
So, definitely not low carb, and those biscuits are definitely full of fat and other bad things. Another way to make this would be to use bisquick, or something similar, make biscuit dough, but then just spread it over the top as a crust, rather than as individual biscuits. This type of thing is great for winter days though.
Since you got a bonus post yesterday, which you undoubtedly utilized today for your Thanksgiving feast, and you’re probably about to slip into a carb-coma, (and I’m probably not far behind), and the frights of the holiday shopping season are not quite upon us all yet, I decided to write a little post. The end.
Just kidding! As I’m sitting here, Hubby is begging me to go make some chicken salad. Yes, MY Hubby that hates all poultry loves my chicken salad. It’s one of the recipes I like because it’s easy, and has laziness built in. I’m going to get it started, then come back and pass my wonderfulness onto you minions. I swear, you must be the luckiest minions ever to exist.
I start off with chicken breasts. I don’t get the boneless, skinless ones, because they cost way more. It only takes a minute to rip the skin off, and since we’re making shredded chicken, the bones don’t matter. I did a very early post about shredding chicken, and making soup, but I’ll just reiterate here. Since my only goal is to make chicken salad, this will be a bit simpler. Remove the skin from the chicken, put it in a pot of boiling water, cook until you can easily pull the meat off the bones with a fork, of course playing video games in the meantime. Once you can pull the meat from the bones easily, take the chicken out of the water and set it on a plate to cool. Play more video games.
Once the meat has cooled, I rip the big chunks off the bones, and use a knife to cut it into smaller pieces. I personally don’t like cubed chicken in my chicken salad, but whatever floats your boat. I do put cubed chicken into soups, because it’s less labor-intensive than shredding everything by hand. For this, I take the smaller cubes and shred them into a tupperware.
**At that second, I heard my pot boiling over and raced into the kitchen to prevent a mess. Obviously, I was way too late, and the water had put out the gas burner, plus coated the stove. I turned off the burner, and scooped out about 4 cups of chicken water. Let that be a lesson to you all not to over-fill the pot, especially if you plan to be 40 feet away from the stove while it’s cooking. This thing is called “My ATTEMPTS at Cleverness” for a reason, people.**
The other day, I was shredding a bunch of chicken at once, and decided not to make the chicken salad right then, but I didn’t want the shredded chicken to dry out. I stirred mayo and ranch dressing into it, and put it into the fridge that way, planning to add the other ingredients later. It worked out well, because the chicken soaked up a lot of the dressing, and was flavorful, and moist, even though it’s all breast meat.
Once you have your chicken shredded, chop up some celery and mix it in with the chicken, ranch and mayo. Ranch dressing gives this stuff more flavor than plain mayo. You can add some garlic salt and dill as well. The other thing I like to add is cooked frozen peas. They make it even tastier. I usually just eyeball the amounts on all of the ingredients, and taste it several times along the way. If you can, add the celery and peas at the last minute. This will help the celery stay crisp, and prevent the chicken salad from getting watery.
**Yep, just had to race into the kitchen again, swearing the whole way. You’d think taking about half the water out of the pot would help, but no. Now I have the lid off and the heat down some. I’ll be heading in there to read at the kitchen table in a minute so I can keep a closer eye on the death-chicken.**
This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. You can eat it by itself, in a sandwich, in lettuce wraps, or on top of a salad. While the chicken is boiling, I have one chicken breast in the oven for myself, and a butternut squash for dinner. If it weren’t for all my overflow issues just now, I would be one smug chick, with all this multitasking going on. The dryer is going, and I even gave the dog a bath today! I am awesome, other than the chicken water coating my stove, making the whole house smell like cat food a bit. And I was feeling so clever, too.
Yes, because there is still chicken in the fridge. This week I’m going to attempt a few new recipes, because I got a whole chicken on sale for $0.79 per pound. One of my favorite inventions is Mexican Chicken Soup. It’s great because it’s very hearty, and a great way to use white meat, which can be dry otherwise. Chicken is very unpopular in my house, so I have to dress it up various ways when I want some or need to use it up.
You will need: chicken (hopefully already cooked and shredded as per my earlier post), refried beans, corn, and Rotel or canned tomatoes, beans (pinto or black).
Optional ingredients: rice, bell peppers, other peppers, onions, jalepenos (pronounced hall-ah-PEN-yos for you Yankees), leftover salsa, cilantro and whatever else your little heart desires.
Start off with a can of refried beans and some water or chicken broth. This will be your broth, which makes the soup really thick and gives it a smoky flavor. You could even leave the chicken out of this recipe to make a great vegetarian soup, assuming you use vegetarian beans as well. Mix the water or broth and refried beans in a pot on the stove. You may need to squish the beans around a little with a spatula to help them liquefy.
Once you have your broth add your cooked chicken, beans, raw onions, rice, Rotel or canned tomatoes (don’t drain the tomatoes), corn, and whatever other ingredients you have planned to throw in. Stir everything around and let it cook together for about half an hour on medium. It doesn’t actually matter how long or what temp you cook it at, as long as you don’t burn it and everything gets hot. When you are using pre-cooked ingredients everything becomes a lot simpler.
Now spice to taste. I generally use garlic salt, chili powder, and ground cumin. You can also try paprika, dried onion, onion powder, Tony Chachere’s, garlic powder, whatever you enjoy and have laying around.
If you are working with an unfamiliar spice, taste a bit with your finger, or dish up a tiny bit of soup and mix some in, then taste it. It would suck to try and be adventurous, only to find that you hate curry, and have ruined the whole batch of soup, or whatever you’re making.
This soup can be made as spicy or mild as you prefer, and easily vegetarian or vegan. It is great with a bit of tortilla chip crumbs or sour cream on top, or with chips and guacamole. Yummers!
This recipe is much beloved around my house, both for its simplicity and tastiness. Any leftovers are also delicious reheated. It’s cheesy and slightly spicy.
You will need: about one to two cups cooked, shredded or chopped chicken; one jar cheez wiz; one can Rotel tomatoes (whatever spiciness you prefer), one can cream of mushroom soup, one package about 16 oz. or so of pasta (I use spaghetti noodles, but elbow macaroni works great also). I explained how to make the shredded chicken in a previous post.
Basically cook and drain your pasta. Mix all the ingredients in the same pot so you don’t get extra dishes dirty. Ta da! That’s chicken spaghetti. You can heat it up on the stove for a bit if the ingredients aren’t hot enough. You can also add some diced onions or *shudder* bell peppers if you want.
If you’ve planned ahead and had chicken already cook and shredded this is a snap. Perfect for a busy night. You can also adjust the proportion of chicken to pasta whichever way you prefer. Enjoy!
How do you play what’s in the freezer? Well, simple enough. Look in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, and make food from what’s there. It can be a challenge, but fortunately I had a chicken breast, which is almost all you need for chicken soup.
Chicken soup from scratch is super easy, and cheap. It takes very little chicken, and whatever vegetables you have laying around. I had one chicken breast on the bone (which is cheaper than de-boned) which I had skinned myself (which also makes it cheaper). The basic process to de-bone chicken is very easy:
Put the chicken piece(s) in a pot with enough water to cover them. (This is a good opportunity to cook a bunch of chicken at once, to use later in the week and save you time). You can use any parts of the chicken for this, or even other kinds of meat. Add some salt, and start the pot boiling. Go do something entertaining for a while (read this blog, for example!). Test the chicken by pulling at it with a fork. If the meat pulls away from the bones easily, you’re done. It should be white all the way through.
Lift out the chicken and put it on a plate to cool. Don’t pour out your water. This is the perfect start for your soup broth. Start adding whatever ingredients you want, starting with those that take the longest to cook. I wanted some brown rice in mine, and that has to boil for about 45 minutes. I threw in a handful of rice, kept the water boiling and started chopping vegetables. To mine I added carrots, a potato, onion, a can of corn, and some frozen peas. Usually there would be celery in there also, but I was out, so meh. Chopped spinach, or any kind of greens are really good in this also.
While the other stuff is cooking, it’s back to the chicken. Tear big chunks off the bones so it will cool faster. I cut the big chunks into smaller pieces, then use my fingers to shred the chicken into tiny bits. Breast meat can be very dry, so I like smaller pieces that can reabsorb some of the broth.
Add as much of the chicken as you plan to use back into the soup. I put half in my soup, and half is for Chicken Spaghetti tonight, which I will post later. When the soup is almost done (meaning the rice and veggies are almost cooked) is a good time to add pasta, bulgar wheat, quinoa, or textured vegetable protein, or anything that doesn’t take long to cook. I added about a 1/4 cup of refried beans to thicken the broth, and add a nice smoky flavor.
Seasonings: I like to use powered (not cubed) chicken bullion. That way I can add as much as I want and not wait for it to dissolve. I also add garlic salt, chili powder, and ground cumin. Celery salt is good with chicken broth too, but make sure not to over-salt.
Using this same basic recipe concept, you can use beef short ribs, or any tough cuts of meat, or meat on the bone. I would use beef broth for other meats though.
You can easily turn this into chicken and dumplings. Dumplings are a pain to make so I take the easy way out: buy a can of biscuits (like pillsbury or whatever off-brand is good) and tear a couple into small pieces, and drop into your broth. Do this at the very end when everything is basically done, and make sure the soup is boiling. Cooking for just me and hubby, I usually cook half the biscuits in the oven for breakfast the next day, and only put half into the pot of soup. Don’t get the biscuits that have giant chunks of fake butter in them. You will end up with and orange skin of fat over your whole pot of soup.
More chicken recipes to come, since I bought all that chicken Saturday for my sister in law. So far I still have a pound and a half to use, so I hope you like chicken! The original chicken post is my tortilla chip chicken.