Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken Pillows (Packaged Food Free)

Rating: 5 stars
Prep time: Easy

The original recipe I had posted for this called for storebought crescent rolls and cream of chicken soup. Over the years, we've cut pretty much all packaged foods out of our diet, and so I've modified this recipe to suit our new way of eating.

6 oz. cream cheese
2 T butter
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 batches of your favorite 8 or 9" pie crust
1/4 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup milk

Soften butter and cream cheese. Mix in salt, pepper, and chicken. Roll out pie crust and cut into squares or rectangles; spoon filling into center and fold corners together to make a pillow. Cook at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve over rice.

For gravy: in small saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly, then stir in milk and cook for another minute (will thicken very fast). Add chicken stock and let cook, stirring frequently, for another 2-5 minutes or so or until gravy has thickened.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Like Panera

Rating: 5 stars
Prep time: Easy

I love the broccoli cheddar soup from Panera bread. I found a copycat recipe on the internet, and made a few alterations. Now I like it just as much as Panera's! (Recipe updated with a few more alterations, as of 1/30/13)

1/4 cup butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream, or 2 cups half-and-half substitute)
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 head to 1 full head broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1/4 t nutmeg

Saute onion and garlic in butter; add flour and mix well. Cook until bubbly. Slowly add stock, continuing to stir. Add broccoli and carrots and bring soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat and add half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat until the veggies are tender (20-40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and purée at least half of the soup with a stick blender, or in batches in a regular blender (if you want to keep some of your veggies chunky, leave half the soup as-is).

Remove soup from heat. Add cheese, and stir until fully melted. Add nutmeg and serve immediately.

Alfredo Pasta

Rating: 5 stars
Prep time: Easy

8 oz. Fettucine or Penne pasta
3 T butter
1 T flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. black pepper
1 c. whole milk
2 oz cream cheese
1/3 c. fresh grated Parmesan

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring continually. Cook until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and stir constantly, until the cheeses melt. (An additional 1/4 c. milk may be added if needed.) Add sauce to prepared noodles and serve garnished with parmesan cheese. Makes 2 generous servings.