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Author Archives: nina in the kitchen

Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Gumbo sprinkled with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

This recipe is from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook. We’ve added shrimp to this, but it’s also good without it. Or you can omit the chicken and use sausage and shrimp.

For a big crowd we double the recipe. One recipe makes about 3- 4 quarts. We enjoy it either with or without the traditional rice.

The most unusual part of this recipe is making the roux. You can purchase roux at some grocery stores or specialty shops. Making it is not difficult, but it is surprising. The first time I made it I was certain I made a mistake and threw it out! The real flavor of gumbo comes from the roux. It is a pungent flavor on its own, but combined with the seasonings and other ingredients it’s divine!

This gumbo has a lot of broth that is not thick. It is full of flavor and is a dark color. You can make your own homemade chicken stock or broth. Or you can use store bought chicken stock. Or you can make a stock using a concentrate like Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Stock base. These store versions can be salty, so limit your added salt if you use these types.

If you have the shrimp shells, simmer them in about 2-3 cups of water or so for 30 minutes. Strain the shells through a fine mesh strainer. Use this as part of your 7 cups of stock

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp with shells reserved
  • 6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus another 1-2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 7 cups chicken stock ( including 2 cups of shrimp shell stock)
  • 1/2 pound andouille smoked sausage, cut into 1/4- 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Hot rice, optional
  • Sliced green onion
  • Tony Chachere’s Original Cajun Seasoning, optional

Directions

  1. Remove excess fat from chicken. Rub a generous amount of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne on both sides of each piece, making sure each piece is evenly covered. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine onion, green pepper and celery. Set aside.
  3. In a paper or plastic bag combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add the chicken pieces and shake until the chicken is well coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of the seasoned flour.
  4. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil until very hot (375-400F). Fry the chicken until the crust is browned and the meat is cooked, about 5-8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Carefully pour the hot oil into a glass measuring cup, leaving as many browned particles in the skillet as possible. Scrape the pan with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck particles. Return 1/2 cup of the hot oil to the skillet.
  6. Making the roux: Place the pan over high heat. BE VERY CAREFUL! This burns if it splashes on your skin! Using a long handled metal whisk gradually stir in the reserved 1/2 cup seasoned flour. Whisk constantly until the roux turns a dark red-brown to black color. This is where I thought I made a mistake! It isn’t though. Do this cooking with a fan in a well ventilated area. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the brown color.
  7. Remove from heat when you’ve reached the right dark chocolate brown color. Immediately add the vegetables, stirring constantly until the roux stops getting darker. Return pan to low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom well. You may even use a metal spatula to do this scraping.
  8. Meanwhile place the stock in an 8 quart stock pot and bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Return to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan bottom often.
  9. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the garlic and andouille. Simmer uncovered about 45 minutes, stirring often toward the end of cooking. Add as an option 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder and cook another 30 minutes to mellow the flavor.
  10. While the gumbo is simmering, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. When the gumbo is cooked add the chicken. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder.
  11. To serve ladle 1 1/4 cups gumbo into a large soup bowl. Then using a scoop or mold place a rounded 1/3 cup of cooked rice in the center of the gumbo. Garnish with sliced green onion and a sprinkling of a cayenne pepper seasoning mix like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
Seasoned Chicken Thighs
The Cajun Trilogy: Celery, Green Pepper & Onion
Diced Vegetables
Coat seasoned chicken in seasoned flour
Fry Chicken in Oil
Drain Fried Chicken on Paper Towels
Scrape and Keep Bits of Breading in Skillet as You Add 1/2 Cup Oil
Add 1/2 cup Seasoned Flour, Scrape and Stir Carefully Till Dark Brown
Light Rouxs
Dark Roux is Best for Gumbo
Andouille, Chicken and Vegetables Ready to Add to Gumbo
Adding Vegetables to Roux (I Used Red Pepper too)
Veggies Cooking in Roux
Add Roux to Simmering Broth
Add Andouille and Garlic to Simmering Gumbo
Add Chicken to Gumbo
Add Shrimp to Simmering Gumbo
Gumbo! Voila

Shrimp Arrabbiata

Spicy Saucy Shrimp Arrabbiata

Sip and Feast posted this fantastic recipe which was perfect for our love of spicy foods! I didn’t have the hot pickled peppers, so I substituted jarred roasted red peppers. Also I didn’t have fresh basil so I used dry. I didn’t have canned plum tomatoes so I used smaller cans of diced tomatoes and hot fire roasted tomatoes. All worked well!

Arrabbiata is an Italian word meaning angry and refers to the spiciness of the chili peppers. This sauce is usually made of garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. It’s served with pasta or in this case shrimp and crusty Italian bread. Dave and I are limiting our carbs, so we ate the shrimp and sauce with a green salad! Perfecto!

Here’s his recipe. It’s heavenly!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra large shrimp
  • 1 28 ounce can plum tomatoes or a 14.5 can of fire roasted tomatoes and a 14.5 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium pickled hot cherry peppers or 1/2 cup roasted red pepper pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cherry pepper vinegar from pepper jar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or more
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Crusty Italian bread if desired or pasta!

Directions

  1. Pat dry with toweling thawed shrimp and place in bowl with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Place in fridge.
  2. Chop garlic cloves in half. Chop cherry peppers in bite size pieces. Julienne the basil. Break plum tomatoes apart with hands.
  3. In a saucepan heat 4 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat and sauté the garlic 2-3 minutes or just until beginning to turn golden. Add the cherry peppers and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the tomato paste and break up with a wooden spoon.
  4. After about 5 minutes the paste will start to break down, add the plum tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Mix throughly and let the sauce cook covered or partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t burn or overcook!
  5. In a clean sauté pan heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat and sauté shrimp 3-4 minutes until pink and cooked through. Add 1 cup of sauce to the shrimp and cook for 1 minute mixing well.
  6. Taste the sauce and the shrimp. Add extra spices as you like.
  7. Remove the Shrimp Arrabbiata from the heat and add the basil. Serve the extra sauce with the shrimp and with crusty Italian bread or pasta.
Thank you to Sip and Feast!

Chaffle: Cheese and Waffle

This super easy fun waffle recipe is from HummingbirdHigh.com

She has amazing recipes!

The cheese and egg waffle called Chaffle!
Mozzarella cheese and egg are all you need
Grate the mozzarella
Add eggs
Combine egg and mozzarella
Pour Batter into hot Belgium style waffle maker
Close the lid and wait till the light turns green
Crispy Chaffle!

Ingredients

  • This recipe makes 2 Chaffles
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (4-8 ounces)
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Place grated mozzarella in a small bowl. The original recipe from HummingbirdHigh.com uses 4 ounces cheese and 1 egg. I found less cheese works great too
  2. Add eggs and mix with a spoon
  3. Pour batter onto hot Belgium waffle iron. Mine is a nonstick surface. You may need to coat it with a tiny bit of oil first
  4. I set mine on my usual low setting for waffles and waiting till the light turned green. They were perfect!
Voila! My beautiful delicious Chaffle!
Thank you Michelle from HummingbirdHigh.com

Salsa Verde and Citrus with Walleye

Salsa Verde and Blood Oranges with Walleye

This isn’t a salsa I’d like with chips, but I love it with fish! It’s fresh, flavorful, spicy and colorful!

My husband doesn’t like fish and he loves lots of spice and flavor. This salsa has made eating fish enjoyable for him!

The Original Dish developed this recipe using grapefruit and parsley. She’s one of my favorite sources for recipes and food ideas.

My husband can’t eat grapefruit so I used blood oranges and lime juice instead. Also we both love cilantro which I used instead of parsley.

Ingredients

  • 1 large whitefish, walleye or halibut fillet (4 servings)
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 cups fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño or more
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh peeled and segmented grapefruit, blood oranges, or oranges

Directions

1. In a small bowl place the peeled and segmented fruit and any juice that follows.

2. In another small bowl combine the cilantro, chives, jalapeño, lime juice and olive oil. Season with some salt. Add 2 tablespoons of the citrus juice if you like.

Here is a quick an easy way to prepare your fish. You can follow my recipe for Flash Baked Salmon. Here is the link

https://ninainthekitchen.com/2016/02/12/flash-baked-salmon/

After you flash bake the fish, divide into 4 pieces. Place each piece on a dinner plate. Spoon the Salsa Verde over and around each fillet. Gently spoon the citrus fruit over the fish and around the plate too.

Voila!

Creamy Baked Chicken

Creamy Baked Chicken, Yummy Sauce, Smashed Potatoes & Asparagus

Comfort food from the 1960s! My mom made this recipe for decades and so have I! Everyone loves it! My kids continue to make it! It’s simple, requires very few ingredients and has some flexibility too!

Basic steps to get this in your tummy!

Melt butter in a glass baking pan. Glass looks better for serving, but not essential
Coat the chicken on both sides with melted butter
Bake chicken for 30-45 minutes
In a bowl combine Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup, milk and sherry. Use the empty can as your measuring tool. 1/2 can milk and 1/2 can sherry is my proportion. The original is 1/4 can sherry and 3/4 can milk. Or use a full can milk and no sherry. Or use another white wine variety!
Pour the soup sauce over the baked chicken. I use 5-6 skinless chicken thighs with the bone. The bone helps keep the shape of the chicken so it doesn’t fall apart. If you want less sauce, add more chicken
Bake another 30 minutes until it starts browning, and even longer to get a really dark brown crust! The sauce evaporates more the longer you cook it.

Ingredients

  • 5- 6 chicken thighs, with bone, skinless
  • 1-10.5 ounce can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
  • About 5 oz milk, measure 1/2 can
  • About 5 oz sherry, measure 1/2 can
  • 1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained OPTIONAL
  • 3 tablespoons butter Or 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter in glass baking pan in the oven. I used an 8×12 baking pan.

2. Place chicken in butter and turn pieces over so all sides are coated

3. Bake 30-45 minutes

4. In a medium bowl whisk together Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup, milk and sherry. Add canned mushrooms too if you like which were part of the original recipe.

5. Pour the sauce over the baked chicken. Bake another 30-45 minutes, depending how brown you like it.

6. Mashed potatoes of some sort is essential. I like smashed yellow potatoes with their skins! Wide egg noodles also work.

7. Unless you really brown the chicken and sauce it’s a pretty bland color, so add a colorful vegetable and or sprinkle with paprika, another mid century culinary trick!

Voila!

Chocolate Salami

Sliced Chocolate Salami ready to eat!

My new favorite cookie! No baking needed and it’s full of antioxidants! It looks like an Italian salami but it’s made with chocolate, chewy dried cherries, crunchy pistachios and plain cookies.

My Italian friend Giovanna Nebuloni from Milan Italy first introduced Chocolate Salami to me. She called it Salame di Cioccolato. Her recipe was much different than this, but the concept is the same. Pieces of cookie chunks resembling salami fat in a dark chocolate cookie, rolled in a light colored ingredient resembling the white powdery dusting of benign mold.

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen cookbook The Perfect Cookie. I soaked the chopped dried cherries in whiskey instead of Grand Mariner. Also I think more lady fingers are needed. It’s a forgiving recipe, so you can easily add more cookie crumbs. I kept it at 3/4 cup cookie crumbs, but 1 cup would work too. I used Stella D’oro Margherite cookies because they are dried ladyfingers and taste yummy, but vanilla wafers or savoiardi would work too, or any biscuit like cookie.

Here’s all your ingredients plus a little powdered sugar
Melt chocolate and heavy cream in microwave
Slice ladyfingers into 1/2 inch chunks
Process some of the cookie pieces into crumbs
Mix crumbs into melted chocolate
Sir in the pistachios, cherries and cookie pieces
Divide cookie dough in half
Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll into 6-7 inch logs. Twist ends
After chilling, roll in powdered sugar and slice.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped coarse

2 tablespoons whiskey, bourbon or Grand Marnier

6-8 ounces dried lady fingers (Stella D’oro Margherite cookies)

1 cup/6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

Pinch or more salt

2/3 cup pistachios, toasted

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

1. In a small bowl combine cherries and whiskey. Microwave 30 seconds. Cool

2. Slice lady fingers into 1/2 inch pieces with a bread knife. Reserve 1 cup of the biggest chunks. Process the remaining lady fingers so you have 3/4 cup or so.

3. In a medium bowl microwave chocolate and heavy cream just until melted and smooth, about 30 seconds or so.

4. Add salt and ladyfinger crumbs to chocolate and mix well.

5. Add cherry mixture, pistachios and ladyfinger chunks. Stir until thick dough forms.

6. Divide dough in half and place each piece on a sheet of plastic wrap.

7. Use the plastic to roll each piece into a 6-7 inch log. Twist the ends tight. Refrigerate about 3 hours until firm, but check them to re-roll and insure their shape during that time.

8. When ready to serve, place confectioners sugar in a shallow dish. Unwrap the logs and roll until well coated. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Serve chilled.

Voila!

Blueberry Coconut Granola Bars

Wholefoodbellies.com shared this recipe and we love it! It’s quick to put together and does not require complicated baking skills. I changed it up a bit by adding blueberry preserves in between 2 layers of batter. Also I substituted cashew butter for the applesauce. It would also be tasty to add some shredded coconut to the mix!

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup cashew butter or applesauce ( I used cashew butter…yum)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup blueberry preserves (homemade or Bonne Maman brand)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an 8×8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray or coconut oil.
    In a large bowl combine oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
    In another bowl whisk together yogurt, milk, cashew butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and eggs
    Add the wet mix to the dry until just blended. Fold in dried blueberries
    Pour half of the batter into the baking pan. Smooth out evenly
    Spread the preserves over the batter evenly
    Pour remaining batter over preserves in spoonfuls. Spread out evenly
    Bake about 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool another 30 minutes or so
    Store in the frig or freezer for a later time or cut into squares after cooling
    28 rectangular bars are a nice size. They cut especially well if very cold or frozen

Voila! Enjoy this easy healthy snack or breakfast bar!

Russian Roasted Pork Sausage

This is the sausage my Russian grandparents would make several times a year. It was served at every family gathering. They were from a small village outside of Minsk in Belarus. Preparing this phenomenal sausage today for our family and friends is a wonderful way to carry on traditions through the generations.

This sausage is not made with ground pork. Hand cut 1 inch pieces of pork butt or pork shoulder are used. The leaner cuts do not work. We tried. It needs to be fatty.

The meat is mixed with a special combination of spices and garlic. Then it is marinated a day. Fresh crushed spices and fresh minced garlic are more flavorful than ground spices or jarred garlic.

The meat mix is stuffed into casings and then simmered in lots of water. The final step is roasting and browning the sausage in the oven

Make sure not to boil or roast too long. This is a moist fatty sausage.

My family always made double this recipe which is for 20 pounds of meat. Our family today is smaller so 10 pounds is enough for us.

Ingredients

10 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder

Hog casings, soaked in water and then rinsed inside and out

Spice and seasoning mixture:

1 tablespoon sugar

10 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

5 large cloves garlic, or more, minced

1 tablespoon dill seed, crushed

1 teaspoon ground allspice or 20 seeds, crushed

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or 2 whole cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon ground coriander or 20 seeds, crushed

1/2 bay leaf, crumbled fine

1 teaspoon ground mustard powder or 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or 1 dried hot red cayenne pepper, crushed

3/4 cup water

Steps

  • The spices that need to be crushed can be combined and broken into tiny pieces with a mortar and pestle or use a small bowl and the bottom of a small glass. Grinding these whole fresh spices give you better flavor than the ground spices.
  • Combine the dry seasonings in a small bowl, reserving 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Mince the garlic and add 1 teaspoon of the salt to it and mash it with the knife side
  • Cut the pork shoulder or butt into 1 inches pieces. Place in a very large ceramic or glass bowl
  • Add the water, garlic and seasonings to pork and mix well with your hands
  • Cover and refrigerate 1 day
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Make sure the hog casings are rinsed thoroughly under running cold water. Allow the water to run through the interior of the casings and look for holes. Cut out the sections with holes.
  • Tie a knot in the end of the casing.
  • Using an automatic sausage stuffer, slip the casing over the stuffing tube. I have an attachment to my Kitchen Aid stand mixer
  • Twist the links every 8-12 inches. You can keep the links connected or you can break off and separate each link from the stuffing tube. Twist the ends. Set the sausage links aside. Continue until all the meat is in the casings
  • Bring 1 or 2 large pots of water to a boil. Leave room for the sausage
  • Add the sausage to the water. Poke a few holes in each length. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. Skim any scum that rises to the surface.
  • Drain most of the water from the cooking pots but reserve some.
  • Remove sausage from the pot and place on shallow baking sheets. Maintain about 1/2 to 1 cup of water from the cooking pot in the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover with foil and roast about 15 minutes
  • Remove foil and roast till browned on each side, turning once, about 15 minutes on each side. Add and maintain the 1/2-1 cup cooking water to the roasting pans too. Sausage should be cooked till browned and tender. Do not overcook or it will be dry!
  • Serve the sausage links on a large platter. You can cut into pieces about 3 inches long if you like.

Here are some photos of the process

Gather your seasoning ingredients

Crush the whole spices with a mortar and pestle. You can make your own using a small bowl and small glass

Marinate the meat & seasoning mixture one day & stuff it into the hog casings the net day

Boil the sausage in a large pot of water

Roast the sausage on shallow baking pans in a 350 F oven

.

Voila! Enjoy our familiar taste of Russia!

Curried Chicken Salad

This salad can be presented in many forms. Add things like grapes, walnuts, pecans, dried cherries or celery slices. Add pasta or cooked rice, spread it on bread as a sandwich or on crackers or Naan. Or just make the dressing and dip in fresh veggies!

Poaching the chicken is the first step

  • Place 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, in a large cooking pot of boiling water with 1 quartered onion, 1 bay leaf and several black peppercorns.
  • Once it’s boiling again turn the heat off and cover. Or place on an extremely low flame. The remaining heat of an electric cooktop works well
  • Using an instant read thermometer check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast after 10 minutes. Once each piece reaches 155 F remove it from the water and cool. It’s temperature will rise to 165 F as it rests on a platter or in a colander.
  • When cool either shred the chicken or cut into bite size cubes. Your choice. I prefer shredded!!

Dressing

In a large bowl mix together

1 cup light Hellman’s mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon Madras style curry powder

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Add chicken to dressing. Serve cold

This curry dressing is the same recipe as the curry dip we made at Strongbow’s Turkey Inn which is located in Valparaiso Indiana. Serve as a dressing or dip for fresh veggies like we did at Strongbow’s!

Voila! I hope you enjoy this as we have!

Cowboy Casserole Light

Cowboy themed foods are traditionally very hearty and full of calories and fat. Not this one! You’ll find here a lower calorie, low fat and low carb “Cowboy Casserole” which was a hit at the recent potluck dinner hosted by The Children’s Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Jeanne, one of the parents brought this casserole and it was devoured!

Here is the recipe and it’s many versions she shared with me. Thank you Jeanne!

Cowboy Casserole is a very quick and easy one dish meal to prepare. It’s as good reheated as it is fresh from the oven too!

Basically it’s a layering of mashed potatoes, shredded chicken, bacon bits, grated cheese and BBQ sauce! I used puréed cauliflower in place of the potatoes for fewer carbs and an even lighter taste. Mashed or puréed are good

Other options are to use instant potatoes or adding flavoring packets to your mashed potatoes such as Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix or Caesar Salad Dressing Mix.

I used grated sharp cheddar cheese. You may prefer another cheese like white cheddar or Parmesan. If you prefer more meat add more. Add more or less bacon. Use your favorite BBQ sauce. I like Sweet Baby Rays or Billy Bones.

Poach your own chicken in water with onion and celery, bay leaf and black peppercorns My method is quick and easy. Cover the chicken with cold water. Add 1 unpeeled onion, quartered. Add 2 stalks celery, 1 bay leaf and 7 peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Cover and place on the lowest heat possible for 20 minutes. Voila!

Or buy a rotisserie chicken

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower or 2-3 pounds potatoes cooked and mashed or puréed or a large package of instant potatoes or a large package of frozen or premade mashed potatoes or cauliflower

Ranch Seasoning mix optional

Butter for lining a baking dish

Foil

2 -3 large chicken breasts or 1/2 to 1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded

1/3 cup real bacon bits or pieces of leftover cooked bacon

1 cup grated or shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup or so BBQ sauce

Here’s the Steps

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish
  • Spread the pureed or mashed cauliflower or potatoes in bottom of baking dish
  • Place shredded chicken over potatoes
  • Sprinkle bacon over chicken
  • Sprinkle cheese over bacon
  • Squirt or spoon BBQ sauce over cheese to cover in s striped pattern
  • Cover with foil
  • Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until bubbly
  • Remove foil and bake about 15-20 minutes until browned and slightly crispy
  • It’s best served with a large flat spatula so the layers remain intact on the dinner plate
  • Reheat as needed
  • Voila!

Spread puréed cauliflower in buttered baking pan

Sprinkle on shredded chicken

Sprinkle on bacon pieces

Sprinkle on shredded cheese

Squirt or spoon on BBQ sauce

Cover and bake

Remove foil and bake till browned

Here’s how to poach your chicken. Don’t cook them too long! Chicken breasts are easy to over cook and dry out

Place chicken breasts of equal size in a large cooking pot. Cover with water by 1 inch. Add an unpeeled onion, quartered, 2 celery sticks, 1 bay leaf and 5 peppercorns Also salt if you like.

Bring mix to a boil. Then reduce heat to lowest level to barely a simmer for 15 minutes. Check temperature of chicken with an instant read thermometer. Remove chicken from water at 155F degrees and set aside 10 minutes. The chicken will reach 165 degrees while resting at room temperature.

To make some wonderful stock, continue simmering the broth uncovered until it’s reduced by half. Pour through a fine sieve and ladle into jars or freezer containers. Store in the frig or freezer

Puréed Cauliflower

Cut up 1 head of cauliflower into large pieces and place in a large saucepan with at least 2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered 15 minutes or until very fork tender. Drain and mash with a bit of added butter and milk

Enjoy!