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.



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)


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!

Meal Plan Monday: A Brief Revision

Meal Plan Monday

The meal plan has been altered slightly.  Friday was Muffin’s Family Night at Vacation Bible School.  The “light refreshments” resembled more a feast or a banquet than cookies and punch (yet there were cookies and punch).  So, the French bread pizzas of Friday were shelved for a bit.  Then, Saturday, my mom cooked for us (Josh helped set up her Roku and added pictures to her Picasa account), another feast of barbecued boneless ribs, potato salad, baked beans, broccoli salad, and cake.  So, the smothered chicken didn’t exactly happen.

I decided we would just push the menu up a couple of days.  So, Sunday, we should have had the French bread/mini pizzas.  Well, I also had a hankering for a BLT.  I asked Josh and Muffin which they would rather have for lunch and which for supper (out of the pizzas and BLT).  Muffin wanted the pizzas for lunch, so the BLT went on Sunday’s supper menu.

So, the smothered chicken gets moved to Monday, and the rest of the week will be re-evaluated.


Saturday:  dinner at Mom’s (yum)

Sunday:  BLT (A brief side note on the BLT:  the bread must be toasted and white–although Josh prefers wheat, both sides must have a thin slathering of mayo, on top of the mayo on both sides you must have freshly ground black pepper, on the one side of bread you must layer half pieces of Brookshire’s thick sliced bacon, followed by four to five slices of thin cut tomato and a handful of lettuce.  Then you must top with the other slice of bread and smoosh down.  The juices of the tomato and a bit of bacon grease melds delightfully with the pepper and the mayo to make a delightful dressing for the lettuce on the sandwich.) and strawberries with the world’s easiest two-ingredient fruit dip (about three-quarter cups sour cream mixed with a few tablespoons of brown sugar.  Let it stand a few minutes, and then stir it again).

Monday:   Smothered Chicken from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, veg of some kind, mashed taters (Sesame Chicken was supplanted again!)

Tuesday:  Sesame Freaking Chicken (recipe given to me by my coworker Holly…and I am bound and determined to make it this time), egg rolls, rice, fortune cookies (maybe with a stir-fried veg)

Wednesday:   Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops (recipe all over the place), rice (maybe a wild rice blend), green veg

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dogs or Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from Bread, Booze, and Bacon, salad with vinaigrette

Friday:  One Pot Pizza Pasta (Budget Savvy Diva), bread, salad

Saturday:   Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken (A Bountiful Kitchen), mashed potatoes, veg

Sunday:   Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole slow cooker (Country Cook), green veg

What’s on your menu this week?


We Plan Wednesday: The June Menu

We Plan Wednesday

This post is a bit of a cheat, as we are well into June and I posted a partial menu for my in-law’s visit that will occur toward the end of the month.  But, I decided to go ahead and fill in the post for the month.  July looms as one big question mark, as Josh may have one (or possibly even two?) weeks in Houston.

What is the advantage of monthly meal planning?  It’s one thing that you can check off of your weekly “to-do” list.  Does that mean I won’t do my Meal Plan Monday posts each week?  Uh, no.  Because if the meal plan gets shot to heck in a week, imagine what happens if I post it for the entire month!

June 1 (Monday):  Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake from Lil Luna (with alterations:  mozza instead of Swiss, cheddar instead of so much Parm), fresh green beans with onions and real bacon bits, rice

June 2 (Tuesday):  chicken tacos (from the slow cooker:  throw in a few breasts, some salsa, and taco seasoning and low until done and stir to shred)

June 3 (Wednesday):  “leftover Wednesday” in the form of chicken taco ‘topped taters

June 4 (Thursday):  something on the grill, canned veg, bread

June 5 (Friday):  mini pizzas, corn

June 6 (Saturday):  Smothered Chicken from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, veg of some kind, mashed taters

June 7 (Sunday):  Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from Bread, Booze, and Bacon, salad with vinaigrette

June 8 (Monday):  Sesame Freaking Chicken (recipe given to me by my coworker Holly…and I am bound and determined to make it this time), egg rolls, rice, fortune cookies (maybe with a stir-fried veg)

June 9 (Tuesday):  Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken (A Bountiful Kitchen), mashed potatoes, veg

June 10 (Wednesday):  Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops (recipe all over the place), rice (maybe a wild rice blend), green veg

June 11 (Thursday):  leftovers or hot dogs (In theory, Josh is off–but on-call–so maybe grilled hot dogs?)

June 12 (Friday):  One Pot Pizza Pasta (Budget Savvy Diva), bread, salad

June 13 (Saturday):  Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole slow cooker (Country Cook), green veg

June 14 (Sunday):  Chicken French (Ducks N a Row), salad, rolls

June 15 (Monday):  slow cooker red beans and rice, salad, bread

June 16 (Tuesday):  Spasagna (Country Cook), salad

June 17 (Wednesday):  Cajun Fried Chicken Po’Boys (Favorite Family Recipes), baked fries

June 18 (Thursday):  leftovers or hot dogs

June 19 (Friday):  Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza Balls (Gunny Sack), “hamburger topping” salad

June 20 (Saturday):  Muffaletta Casserole (Miz Helen’s Country Cottage), salad

June 21 (Sunday):  Baked Potato Bar (I don’t know what time the in-laws are arriving; hopefully in time for supper because the baked potato bar is always fun!)

June 22 (Monday):  Grilled Margarita Chicken (TSRI), Carol’s salsa from Messy Aprons, homemade tortillas with butter, slow cooker refried beans from Mom on Timeout

June 23 (Tuesday):  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops from Debbiedoo’s, Twice-Baked Potato Casserole from Miss Kay’s cookbook, 7-Up Biscuits from Six Sisters’ Stuff, broccoli with lemon zest

June 24 (Wednesday):  Ranch chicken enchiladas (LitL), Mexican Rice (, leftover refried beans, guacamole, chips

June 25 (Thursday):  Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce, rice, egg rolls, fortune cookies

June 26 (Friday):  Pizza Spiral Rolls from B. A. Gourmet (meat, supreme, Italian), salad, corn

June 27 (Saturday):  Bacon Cheeseburger Tatchos (Frugal Foodie Mama), “hamburger topping” salad

June 28 (Sunday):  Another Lazy Sunday Casserole (Kayotic Kitchen), green veg/salad, bread (or croutons in salad)

June 29 (Monday):  Slow Cooker Lasagna Rolls (Gunny Sack), salad, bread (a meatless Monday)

June 30 (Tuesday): Egg Roll Stir Fry (Meal Planning 101), fried rice

That’s it!  30 days in June, after all.  What’s on your meal plan for the month?

Meal Plan Monday: Vacation Bible School Week!

Meal Plan Monday

We are back home!  It’s good to be home, even though we had fun in Houston, it is really REALLY good to be back home.  With that comes a week of (hopefully) actual meal planning.

Coupled with everything this week is the fact that it is also Vacation Bible School for Muffin with my cousin Nikki!  He LOVES Nikki (She’s probably his favorite person on earth!), so he has really been looking forward to VBS at her church.

VBS at her church is held in the evenings, so Muffin will eat something beforehand.  As Josh is getting off on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday after Muffin goes to VBS, I will be making supper for Josh and me using the menu below.

Saturday:  meat/cheese board from purchases in Houston (Aldi/Central Market)

Sunday:  dinner out with Josh (Muffin had one of those Chef Boyardee meal kits with granola bar and pudding)

Monday:  Sesame chicken (recipe given to me by one of my coworkers), stir-fried green beans, rice (Muffin will probably want a hot dog before VBS and veg sticks and dip afterward.)

Tuesday:  Crock Pot Chicken Tacos (using salsa and taco seasoning) with chips (I will make Muffin a taco before we go)

Wednesday:  I know usually Thursday is leftover day, but Josh is off on Thursday, so I figure we will grill.  So, Wednesday will become the leftover day.  Muffin will probably have another taco, and we will have Stuffed Baked Potato Bar (with leftover chicken taco toppings)

Thursday:  grilled something (I will make a sandwich and veg sticks for Muffin), canned veg, bread that I hope to make if the weather is cool enough (HA!)

Friday:  mini pizzas on toast, corn (same for Muffin; I will just make his earlier)

Saturday:  Smothered Chicken from Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms (I absolutely LOVED this the last time I made it!), veg of some kind, mashed potatoes (hopefully with real potatoes) Hopefully this time I will snap a pic before scarfing it down.

Sunday:  Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from Bread, Booze, and Bacon with a nice green veg (either a salad with a light vinaigrette or a sauteed spinach or something) to detox (lots of fat in the casserole!)

I hope to have the June meal plan made out for We Plan Wednesday.

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Meal Plan Monday: A Cinco de Mayo Chipotle-Inspired Feast

Meal Plan Monday

Sunday dawned with two slow cookers percolating in the kitchen (Big Bertha sported pork loin, potatoes, and carrots for Sunday dinner; and ‘Red was filled to the brim with seared beef roast chunks and Ninja’d sauce for Chipotle Barbacoa, much cooled from the version tried last year, using only one chipotle pepper and only one teaspoon–rather than a tablespoon–of the accompanying adobo sauce).

I looked a lot more productive than I felt.  Since before spring break, we have been passing around a spring cold.  Having suffered from a sore throat since Wednesday (causing me to miss Wednesday services at church), the cold settled in my sinuses (and, sorry to be TMI, produced copious amounts of mucus that had to be blown out seemingly every second) by the weekend.

As a result, I didn’t get the tater tot casserole prepped (nor did i get all the chopping for the pico, corn salsa, or cilantro for the cilantro-lime rice).  I did something both Saturday and Sunday that I rarely do:  I took a nap.

But, here’s the meal plan for the week (thank goodness for the productivity of my slow cookers).  I told my mom that I would really like a third (or even a fourth) slow cooker; I could really have been productive while sick on Sunday if I had more.

Saturday:  Home-Alone-(the movie)-Inspired Filthy Animal Pizza from Foxes Love Lemons

Sunday:  my mom’s pork loin, potatoes, and carrots in the slow cooker (with a side of “fried” apples)

Monday:  Smothered Chicken from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, vegetable, bread

Tuesday:  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Chipotle Barbacoa, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Chipotle Corn Salsa, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole in bowls

Wednesday:  Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole from Michelle’s Tasty Creations and salad

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dogs

Friday:  Crock Pot Pizza Potatoes from Kayotic Kitchen, salad or green veg

Saturday:  Josh is off to grill!

Sunday:  Citrus grilled shrimp (recipe and pictures forthcoming) or Josh’s lasagna (recipe and pictures forthcoming)

What’s your plan for the week?