Smothered Chicken

Otherwise known as the dish that was so awesome that I scarfed down all of the servings (well, and the rest of the family did, as well) before I could snap a pic.  I found the recipe at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms.

To me, this comes under the variety of recipes that Outback Steakhouse’s Alice Springs Chicken and Chili’s Monterey Chicken, that is, chicken seared or grilled, slathered with a sauce or dressing (in Alice Springs Chicken it’s honey mustard, Monterey Chicken has BBQ sauce, and this recipe has Caesar salad dressing–I used the creamy Caesar dressing), topped with cheese and usually bacon with onions of some kind and possibly tomato.

And the best part?!?!  I almost followed the recipe exactly.

Yes.

Almost.

I bought a cheddar-Monterey Jack blend and used that.  Then, I poured extra Caesar dressing in the bottom of the pan and sprinkled some of the extra toppings to make a complex “gravy” for the mashed potatoes I served with them.

The first time I made this recipe, I fell in love.

I didn’t have anywhere for the extra “gravy” to go, so I made sure to serve them with mashed potatoes this time.  And I mean the real thing.  Take the vegetable peeler, peel the potatoes, dice the potatoes, boil the potatoes, drain the potatoes, and mash the potatoes showing no mercy for the potatoes, milk, or butter that melted delightfully in the steaming vat of potato-ey goodness.

The first time I made this recipe, I had intended for the leftovers to be sent to my dad while we kidnapped my mom for a weekend of fun in Dallas.  Umm, there weren’t any leftovers available that time.

So, I made it yesterday and decided to take the meal to my parents’ house.

They both liked it.  Muffin loved the sauce on the potatoes, although he made me leave the green onions off of his.

Smothered Chicken

Mostly Followed from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

4-5 chicken breasts (split in half lengthwise if the breasts were humongous like the only ones I can find)

Montreal chicken seasoning (Until this recipe, I was unaware of any Montreal seasoning other than steak)

salt

cheddar-jack blend cheese

2 large ripe Roma tomatoes, petite diced

5 thick-sliced slices of bacon (I used Brookshire’s brand), cooked using your preferred method and crumbled into small pieces or 1/2 of one package of real bacon bits

1 small bunch of green onions, sliced very thinly (including greens)

creamy Caesar salad dressing

olive oil or bacon grease

Prepare chicken breasts for the fridge by halving (if necessary), sprinkling copiously with chicken seasoning and salt, and placing in a bowel to marinate for at least one hour-overnight.  Both times now I have forgotten this step until almost too late, so the marinating time is usually closer to an hour for me.

After the marinating time, preheat a pan (preferably cast iron) to setting 7 with bacon grease or olive oil puddling in the bottom of the pan.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  When the pan is hot, sear both sides of each piece of chicken for 3-5 minutes per side.  Place the completed pieces (browned and caramelized but not cooked all the way through) on a foil-lined half sheet pan.  Once all pieces are seared, drizzle Caesar salad dressing over each breast.  Using a pastry brush (preferably with silicone bristles), spread the dressing on each breast.  Add more dressing, if necessary, to coat completely each breast.  Drizzle some more around the chicken in the pan.

Sprinkle with cheese (I tend to go fairly heavy on the cheese–the top surface needs to be coated) and then the bacon and the green onion.  Any bacon or green onion leftovers need to be sprinkled in the “empty” areas of the pan.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, sprinkle with tomatoes.  Bake an additional 10 minutes.  Serve chicken alongside rice or mashed potatoes topped with the “gravy” you made.

This recipe is Muffin Approved!

Muffin Approved

This meal would also make an excellent Sunday Supper!

Tip Tuesday: Compile a List of Lunch Choices for Your School Aged Child’s Lunches

Tip Tuesday

Years ago, I think even before I was prego with Muffin, I made a list of kid-friendly lunch choices.  I can imagine the eye rolling now (particularly from family members who know how far in advance I like to plan things).  It was a very complete list.  And then I lost the list.

In cleaning the house for the preparation for my in-laws’ visit (Did I mention how much I HATE cleaning?), I came across several of my notebooks, including the one that had the list.

I am sharing that list now for two reasons 1) to be helpful and because I really had no clue for this Tip Tuesday post and 2) because I don’t want to lose the list in the next few months before Muffin starts kindergarten.

Mains

homemade lunchable

sandwich in fun shape

sushi (not with raw fish but with krab with a k)

pinwheel sandwiches

cold leftovers

cold pasta salad

kebabs on pretzels/toothpicks

mini pizzas on tortillas/crackers

chilled veg/cream soup with croutons

lettuce-less salad

lettuce wrap

mini bagel sandwiches

mini pancake/waffle sandwiches

grilled cheese/cream cheese sandwiches

cracker sandwiches

quesadillas and salsa

meatloaf/savory muffins

meatballs

hard boiled egg–decorated

falafel

deconstructed gyro

sausage

croissant sandwich

roll sandwich

mini burger/veggie burger

deconstructed sushi salad

pancakes (breakfast)

taco

mini hoagie

beans and rice

nachos

mini meatball sandwiches

pizza slice

chicken fingers with dip

chicken nuggets and dip

baked cheese sticks with marinara

sandwich bites

French toast sticks

French toast sandwiches

pizza rollups

tuna/chicken/salmon salad-stuffed veggies

stir fry/rice

fried rice

snail sandwiches (I cited this as from Family Fun magazine, but this is pre-Pinterest for me, and I’ve seen it on Pinterest since)

pigs in blankets

BBQ parfait

enchilada

mini Mexican pizzas

mini omelettes (or omelette muffins)

biscuit sandwiches

Sandwich Fillings

nut butter (won’t be able to do this one…his school is nut free)

jam/preserves

bananas

cream cheese

strawberries

nutella/sprinkles

meat/cheese

smoked salmon

tuna/chicken/salmon salad (Muffin loves tuna)

pimiento cheese

flavored cream cheese

brie/apple

mozzarella, basil, tomato

grilled cheese

bbq/pulled chicken or pork

avocado

BLT

muffaletta filling

tea sandwich filling

Sides

ants on a log

whole fruit

fruit pieces

jello with fruit

fruit salad

olives

veg/fruit kebab

berries

veggies/dip

pita chips/hummus

Italian salad pieces

applesauce

chips–baked

goldfish crackers

yogurt (with accompaniments)

babybel cheese

roasted potatoes/vegetables

mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad

cottage cheese (with accompaniments)

veggie chips/carrot curls/kale chips!  (Now, you know I made this list a LONG time ago!)

grilled onion

melon and berries

crackers with filling

dried fruits/veggies

cole slaw

potato salad

cucumber-tomato salad

guacamole and dippers

fruit and nut butter dip (probably going to be more cream-cheese-based)

potato pancakes with applesauce or sour cream

mashed sweet potatoes

garlic bread

string cheese

pickle/pickle slices

Beverages

green tea with juice

tomato juice

water

club soda

diet ginger ale

club soda with juice

capri sun

juice box

milk

yogurt juice

Sunny Delight

green tea and ginger ale

Treats

cake

candy

cookie

pudding

jello

piece of pie

yogurt parfait

baked flour tortillas sprinkled with cinnamon sugar dipped in fruit salsa

I even came up with a weekly theme idea:

Meatless Monday

To Go Tuesday (or where anything goes)

Worldwide Wednesday

Think Sandwiches Thursday

Fun Friday

What do you think?