On Monday, when I was supposed to be making a meal of Sesame Chicken and rice (as my MPM post suggested), I busily made the dish (above). I blame Facebook. I had just posted Monday’s post with the meal plan, and I was checking Facebook to make sure it had posted on Facebook, as well. Well, I found a suggested post from Lil Luna for Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake. It looked easy (In fact, she advertised it as prep in five minutes), so I decided to give it a try (plus, I had defrosted chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs for the sesame chicken).
But as I can’t seem to make things directly as directed in the recipe, I had to change things. First of all, I was out of Swiss cheese and had very little Parmesan (and the few tablespoons I did have were a blend of parm and mozza). Have no fear! I had plenty of mozzarella (which she suggested as a substitution for the Swiss) and plenty of sharp cheddar (I’m sure you get where I’m going on this) to substitute for the Parmesan.
While I’m on the subject, do you say “supper” or “dinner”? Muffin and I are having an ongoing
argument debate about the name of the third meal of the day. In fact, I’m not sure where “dinner” came from; my mom refers to it as supper, as well. (Plus, supper is alliterative with two days of the week, whereas dinner is alliterative with exactly…none.)
I decided to serve it with the fresh green beans that I had purchased with some real bacon bits and dried minced onion rehydrated in some water that the beans were boiled in. Very tasty! And sort of true to the original meal’s intent. We had chicken and green beans; they just weren’t sesame chicken and stir-fried green beans. We even had rice to go along with it.
Although I served this on a Monday, this variation of smothered chicken would make an excellent Sunday Supper.
Creamy “Swiss” Chicken Bake
(Adapted from Lil Luna)
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used three humongous chicken breasts from Albertsons and cut each into three pieces)
shredded mozzarella (I used about 1 1/2 cups probably) or 6-8 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or parm-mozza blend)
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
cooked rice or mashed potatoes, to serve (She says the rice is optional, but a serving platform for the chicken and sauce is so completely not optional!)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 glass or Pyrex pan with nonstick cooking spray. After the fumes have subsided, take a deep breath of reverence for the perfection of 9×13 pans. They are completely the unsung (or at least not sung enough) heroes of the kitchen. Place chicken in a single layer in the pan. Cover the chicken with the slices of Swiss or shredded mozza. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients (except rice), reserving some of the cheddar cheese. If you feel the need to use reduced fat mayo and sour cream, no problem. I used reduced fat sour cream because that’s what we had.
Spread the sauce over the chicken breasts (if you use shredded cheese, this is a more interesting venture). Next time, I will probably thin the sauce with a bit of dry white wine. Since dry white wine tastes wretched, I may not, but it seems to be a sauce that screams dry white wine. Or dijon mustard, just a bit.
Cover with remaining cheddar (or Parm) cheese.
Bake at 375 for an hour. Resist the urge to fall face-first into the pan, trust me. Serve chicken and sauce atop rice or mashed potatoes.
Verdict: I loved loved loved this, and it was Muffin Approved (although Muffin wanted to skip supper and any activity that stalled his going to Vacation Bible School). I might add something else, maybe even a sprinkling of caramelized onions (or French-fried onions) next time. I know; I’ve got to stop the tweaking. Or, was that twerking?!? No, seriously. This girl can’t twerk. There would be a me-sized dent in the floor if I tried. This girl ain’t got no rhythm.
Fresh Green Beans with Bacon and Onion
(If I adapted it from somewhere, it wasn’t intentional. To the best of my knowledge, this is an original of mine.)
1 pound fresh green beans, give or take a quarter pound, ends removed and cut into “canned cut green beans sized lengths”
2-3 tablespoons real bacon bits (I used Kroger brand)
1-3 tablespoons dried minced onion
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prep green beans as instructed above. Place them in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with bacon and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cover by a centimeter or so with water (maybe 1/2 inch). Set the stove to high until the water boils, then reduce to 5 for 40 minutes or so until much of the water is evaporated. (Note: If the green beans turn grey, you’ve gone too far!) They need to be tender, not mush. Yes, I’m denigrating canned “green” beans here. The first word of that descriptor (green) is how the beans should still be. Reduce to low if the chicken is not done. Serve alongside chicken and rice/potatoes (or any other equally yummy main dish that needs a green veg to make it complete).
Verdict: Muffin loves green beans, and these were no exception.