My family's journey down the road less traveled....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

I love to cook and I hate to cook.  I'm contrary like that.  I enjoy creating meals and having people rave about how amazing it tastes.  Despite my lack of social life, I love the thrill of planning a menu and cooking for crowds.  It's the whining I encounter round about 6pm when the Oompas as the dreaded question of, "what's for dinner" and they don't like the answer.  Ugh, that again!?!?  Yes, you impertinent little monkey, we're having that, again.  It's the again that's killing us.

I'll let you all in on a secret.  Ready??  Here goes...Mr. Awesome© is a creature of habit.  You name a restaurant in the central Ohio region and I'll tell you exactly what he would order.
Olive Garden: Chicken Alfredo (he'll then proceed to have the waiter grind 2lbs of Parmesan cheese on top)
Max & Erma's: Loaded Skins off the appetizer menu
El Campisino: Beef Taco Salad, extra cheese
Taco Bell: Burrito Supreme no red sauce, extra sour cream and a chili cheese burrito, extra cheese
Wendy's: Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, add cheese and guacamole
Frisch's: 2 plates of chili spaghetti (al a carte) and 4 dinner rolls.  He has NEVER in his life ordered anything but chili spaghetti.  No Big Boys for him!

You get the point.  If he planned our weekly menu it would read: chili, loaded skins, baked nachos, spaghetti, pizza.  Repeating over and over and over again!

I got adventurous this week and *shock and horror*, tried two new recipes I found over on One Hundred Dollars a Month.  Thanks Mavis!!  Of course, he's worked late, very late, every night this week and ended up stopping on the way home for takeout.  At least the kids liked the new dishes!

Curry Chicken

2 chicken boneless chicken breasts cut in bite sized pieces (original recipe uses precooked chicken)
1 large onion, chopped
Several cups assorted veggies (snap peas, broccoli, peppers, carrots-not included in original recipe)
3 tablespoons sesame oil (original recipe calls for olive oil)
5 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cups chicken broth
**I have had horrible experiences adding flour to recipes like this as it got all lumpy.  In this case I added a cup or so of the broth to the bowl with all my flour and spices then mixed well to make a slurry.  Make for a smooth sauce**

In a heavy pan saute chicken in sesame oil till cooked.  Add vegetables and cook on medium-high till tender. Add chicken broth, honey, and soy sauce, to the pan and stir. **Slowly whisk in flour, curry, ginger, and salt until there are no lumps.  Reduce heat, and let simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until all the flavors are combined and the sauce has reduced a bit. Serve over a bed of warm rice.

Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken

2 or 3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup lime juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can {1 1/2 cups} black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low or 4- 6 hours on high until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve over rice or with tortillas and all the fixings.

What's nice about this meal is that you can dump everything into a freezer bag for busy days. Just pull out of the freezer the night before to thaw, dump in your Crock Pot and presto...dinner!!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

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