Pat’s Pantry: Jazzed-up chicken

In our home we eat a lot of chicken, so I’m on the lookout for good chicken recipes. Not only is chicken good for you, but I have also discovered that I can get by putting green vegetables in some of them. The stuffed alfredo chicken was a great hit with my grandkids. – Pat

Stuffed alfredo chicken

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts
8 ounces mild ground Italian pork sausage
1 (1.25 oz) envelope alfredo sauce mix
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
2 plum tomatoes, diced

Place chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Set aside. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink, drain and set aside. Prepare alfredo sauce according to package directions; set aside. Combine shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Stir together sausage, spinach, ricotta cheese, and 1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese mixture. Spoon mixture evenly down center of each chicken breast, and roll up, jellyroll fashion. Arrange chicken rolls, seam side down, in a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Pour alfredo sauce over chicken, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until chicken is done. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut chicken rolls into slices. Serve with sauce; sprinkle evenly with diced tomatoes just before serving. Yields: 4 servings.

Light king ranch
chicken casserole

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
vegetable cooking spray
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 (10 oz) can fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 oz) can fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 oz) can diced tomato and green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
12 (6-in) corn tortillas
1 (8 oz) block reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Sauté onion and bell pepper in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients; remove from heat. Tear tortillas into1-in pieces; layer one-third tortilla pieces in a 13 x 9 x 2-in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with one-third chicken mixture and one-third cheese. Repeat layers twice. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 8 servings.

Chicken Parmesan

4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1-3/4 cups spaghetti sauce
1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-in thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dip chicken in egg; dredge in crumbs. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Top with cheeses. Cover; simmer 5 minutes or until mozzarella melts. Yield: 4 servings.

• If you go to a buffet and take a serving of mashed potatoes, you will probably have little or no nutrient value left. After approximately 45 minutes, it’s all gone. Best to get them when they are first put out.
• To test whether hot oil is still usable, drop a piece of white bread into the pan. If the bread develops dark specs, the oil is deteriorating.

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