Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: casserole

Chicken & Rice

 

I have made and eaten a number of different versions of Chicken and Rice.  Some I’ve loved and some I’ve never made again. 

After trying so many different versions of this dish, I finally came up with a version of my own that I fell in love with and that my family enjoys as well.   It’s a perfect dish to throw together when you are pressed for time, and is versatile enough that you can add anything else to it you may like.  I’ve made it in both the oven as a casserole and in a slow cooker.  Both turn out a great result.

CHICKEN & RICE:

  • 3 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed.
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Uncooked White Rice (not instant)
  • 2 – 14.5 oz. Cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 – 7 oz. Can Chopped Green Chilis
  • 3 Tbsp. Goya Sofrito (tomato based cooking sauce found in the ethnic food section)
  • 2 packets Goya Sazon (I use the one in the orange & yellow box)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cut up chicken and place in a large bowl.  Add all dry ingredients, including 1 packet of the Goya Sazon to the chicken and stir well.  Transfer to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.

When ready to assemble, remove chicken from the refrigerator.  In a large sauté pan, add the butter and allow to melt.  Add the chicken to the pan and allow to brown for a few minutes, stirring often so chicken does not burn.  Once done, remove chicken to a clean and large mixing bowl. 

Add olive oil to the sauté pan along with the onion and garlic.  Saute just until translucent. 

Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, chilis, chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro, rice and the second packet of Goya Sazon to the bowl.  Stir together well.

If you are planning to cook this in the oven, add the mixture to a 13″ x 9″ greased baking dish.  I just spray the baking dish with some butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.

If you prefer to make this in the slow cooker, follow the above instructions and add this to your slow cooker, set on low.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the rice is tender.

Serve up and enjoy!

I shared this recipe in the Saturday Swap over at Kim’s blog, Quit Eating Out

  

Baked Stuffed Shells

 This is just one of my oldest son’s most favorite meals to eat.  And it’s simple since you can throw it together early in the day, or even the day before, and then pop it in the oven to bake for a bit when you need a quick dinner on the table.

I’m not going to go nuts about giving precise measurements for this dish because I don’t really have any.  I can give hints of how much of this and that I’ve used, but in all honesty, it’s really just something you can throw together without worrying about being exact with the amounts.  Most of how I cook is really me throwing this and that in together and seeing how it comes out.  If there were one area of my blog I could say I struggle with its coming up with precise measurements for recipes.  While sometimes I’m able to provide that easily, I can’t say it always works out that way.  Sometimes I just need to make something a second or third time before I publish it so that I can really focus on exactly how much of an ingredient I’m using. 

With that being said, use this as a general guideline of ingredients and measuring and don’t make yourself crazy about how much of each you use.  It’s food, folks.  We are meant to enjoy it, not stress over it.

BAKED STUFFED SHELLS:

  • 1 – Box Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 1 – 24 oz. Container Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 – 16 oz. Block mozzarella Cheese, freshly grated
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Freshly Made or Store Bought Tomato/Pasta Sauce (roughly 4 – 5 cups)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

If you are making your own homemade tomato sauce, good for you.  There is nothing else in the world like it.  But, if you aren’t, use whatever brand you prefer.

In a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, spoon some sauce across the bottom.

Cook your pasta shells for half the amount of time listed on the box.  You don’t want them aldente for this dish.  You only want to partially cook these since they will continue to cook while you bake the dish in the oven.  Make sure to salt the water well before cooking the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, add the ricotta, 3/4 of the shredded mozzarella, chopped parsley, grate parmesan and salt and pepper.  Stir together well and then spoon into a large Ziploc bag.  You may want to only spoon in half the mixture to work with and then refill it with the rest when you’re done.  It makes the bag easier to manage while you are filling the shells.

Once the pasta is done, strain it and rinse with cold water.  Once cool to the touch, begin filling each pasta shell with the ricotta mixture.  You don’t want to over fill the shell’s, but put just enough in each shell so that you can easily fold the shell so that each open end meets.

As you fill and fold each shell, place them seam side down in the baking dish.  Continue repeating until you have filled the dish. 

Spoon on some tomato sauce, followed by a sprinkling of the shredded mozzarella. 

At this point you can either place them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them, or throw them into the oven and bake them right away.

Place them, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven and bake until heated through and bubbly and the cheese has completely melted.

Enjoy with a salad and some garlic bread!

Note:  I ended up with about 38 cooked and stuff shells.  I was able to fit 27 of them on the first layer of the baking dish.  I covered those with sauce and mozzarella and then added the remaining stuffed shells to the top of them, spaced out as evenly as possible, and topping those with sauce and shredded mozzarella as well.  You can do it this way with the extra shells that don’t fit into a single layer in the baking dish, or you can just make a smaller batch in a smaller baking dish.  Your choice.  Either way, nothing goes to waste.

 

 

 

Sausage and Potatoes

 

Growing up, my parents made this dish often.  As a kid, I never appreciated it.  In fact I would roll my eyes when I asked what was for dinner and the response was “Sausage and Potatoes”.  As an adult, I appreciate this dish for what it truly is; delicious. 

Now I make this and my children roll their eyes when I tell them what’s for dinner.  See, it’s not a cheeseburger and fries so they can’t appreciate it.  I tell them, “Hey, there are people starving all over the world.  We are in a recession.  You are lucky you got the sausage in this dish!”

Then I have to continue with the infamous, ” Back in Grandma and Grandpa’s day, they had to walk twenty miles through the snow just to buy one sausage link.  Then they brought it home and had to split it between eighteen other people, while they took off their shoes with the holes in the soles…”

By now I’ve lost them and they are no longer listening.   It’s fun to do this though.  Don’t you remember your parents telling you when you were kids,

“You kids today don’t know how lucky you have it!”

So true, Dad.  So very, very true.

My mother told me her mother made this when she was growing up as an easy way to stretch a meal.  Times were tough, meat was expensive and not easy to fit into your budget.  You had to make the most with what you had.  Who knew that so many years later many of those money-saving-meals mothers made to stretch their meat, and their dollar, would turn out to be completely delicious comfort foods.

It’s simple, it’s flavorful, and it’s an entire meal in one big dish. 

SAUSAGE AND POTATOES:

  • 8 – 10 Sweet (or Hot) Italian Sausage Links
  • 4 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning Blend (Salt Free)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash potatoes and leave the skins on.  Cut into large, equal sized chunks, and place them in a large mixing bowl.  Slice the onion thickly, separate and place them in the bowl as well. 

Add all of your dry ingredients, along with the olive oil, and give it a good mixing to evenly distribute everything together.

Cut each sausage link into thirds and place in the bowl with the potatoes and onions.  From here, I mix this all together with my hands.  (Please make sure they are clean first, cause if they aren’t that would be really gross!)  Gently mix the sausage into the potatoe and onion mixture trying not to break apart the sausage as you do this.

Dump this all into a 13 x 9 baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. 

Place in the oven and allow this to cook for a minimum of one hour.  After an hour turn the oven up to 400 degrees, remove the foil and place back in the oven until the sausage is nicely brown, stirring every few minutes so all the sausage gets some equal browning space.   Make sure you watch this closely after returning to the oven so your potatoes and sausage don’t burn.

This is perfect:

I serve this with either a vegetable or tossed salad on the side.  It’s a complete meal in itself and super easy to make on a busy day.

The potatoes come out soft and they absorb all that delicious flavor from the sausage and the onions they simmered away with.  And the sausage.  Nice and browned and full of flavor.  Try this!

%d bloggers like this: