Categories
Featured Main Dishes Michael's Favorites Recipes

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from www.jasonscooking.com

BackgroundBackground

We just got back from Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM) and it was great! Orlando is anything but frozen in the dead of summer so we went from hot to cold to hot to cold a lot over the weekend. As a result of this, Michael got sick almost immediately upon returning home. I think his sickness was caused by an abrupt separation from Walt Disney World but whatever…

Everyone knows that chicken soup is not only good for soothing a sore throat, but it’s also good for curing all kinds of ailments. With that in mind, I decided to pull out the soup pot a bit early this year and make a big batch of soup to put him on the road to recovery. Normally I would have saved this post for a little later in the fall but needs must when the devil drives.

Also – just the mention of Elsa’s name elicits screams and cheers from a large gathering of people. Anna gets polite applause but Elsa gets Michael-Jackson-in-the-80’s screams. Well played Disney. Well played indeed.

The RecipeRecipe
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 6 - 8
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 – 5 Ribs Celery, Chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 4 – 5 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • ½ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 lb Cooked Chicken Meat, Shredded (1 whole roasted chicken or 4 breasts)
  • 6 Cups Chicken Stock, divided
  • ½ Cup Half and Half (optional)
  • 4.5 oz Package of Wild Rice with Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 - 3 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the butter and cook until it melts completely. Once the butter has melted, pour in the flour and mix well. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.
  4. Add the chicken, 6 cups of stock, and half and half to the pot and bring just to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the carrots start to soften.
  5. Add the Wild Rice with seasoning and cook for another 20 – 25 minutes until the rice has softened.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

If your soup is too thick when you’re ready to dig in, add some more stock. Similarly, add stock or water when reheating to get to your desired consistency.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

Soups like this freeze beautifully in a zip-top bag. To reheat, simply put the frozen soup in a pot and slowly cook until it gets hot. Make sure you stir and flip the ice block frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the pot.

Fun FactsFun Facts

The classic combination of chopped onions, celery and carrots is called a mirepoix and is the jumping-off point for many soups and stews.

Categories
Breakfast Featured Michael's Favorites Side Dishes

Creamy Cheese Grits

TemperatureN/ATime10 min

cheese grits

BackgroundBackground

Grits are a southern staple and if you haven’t tried them you definitely should. These grits are creamy and cheesy and make the perfect side dish for your southern brunch or dinner. They’re a perfect base for a lot of different dishes and can also be enjoyed alone as the ultimate comfort food.

The RecipeRecipe
Creamy Cheese Grits
 
Cook time
Total time
 
These quick and easy creamy cheese grits are the ultimate southern comfort food.
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 3 Tbs Butter
  • 1 ¼ Cup Quick Grits
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 ½ Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring milk, water, chicken stock, and butter to a boil over medium high heat. The milk will overflow the pot when it boils if you let it so keep an eye on it and use a 3 quart pot for this.
  2. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, add the grits, salt, and pepper and reduce heat to medium low.
  3. Stir the grits pretty much constantly until they are thick and creamy – about 5 – 7 minutes. The grits will thicken more when you add cheese and as they cool.
  4. Once the grits are thick and creamy remove from heat and add half of the cheese.
  5. Stir the cheese into the grits until it melts fully and then repeat with the remaining cheese.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Keep stirring those grits while they’re cooking. The constant stirring develops the starches in the grain and gives it that creamy consistency.

Feed the FreezerDon’t Feed the Freezer

Grits don’t reheat very well so keep them out of the freezer and make a fresh batch when you need your fix.

Fun FactsFun Facts

Stone Ground, Regular and Quick Grits are all the same thing, the names just refer to the size of the grind. Instant grits have been cooked, cooled and dehydrated into a powder. That’s why you only have to add water – you’re not cooking them, you’re reconstituting them.

Categories
Featured Main Dishes Michael's Favorites

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Temperature375°Time35 mins

main_chickenparmplated_062614

BackgroundI love chicken parmesan!

I love chicken parmesan!  It’s the thing I get most when we go to Italian restaurants and is surprisingly easy to make at home.  If you cook it in the oven, it’s even not too bad for you!  This recipe is one of my go-to it-seems-fancier-than-it-really-is recipes that I make when company comes over AND one of my go-to comfort-food recipes – that’s called killing two birds with multitasking!

The RecipeRecipe

Baked Chicken Parmesan
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken Cutlets, thin
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt, divided
  • 1 tsp Pepper, divided
  • 2 Eggs
  • Splash of Water
  • 1 Cup Japanese (Panko) Breadcrumbs
  • ½ Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • ½ - ¾ Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
Instructions
Set up Breading Station
Plate 1 - Mix flour with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper
Plate 2 - In a small bowl, beat eggs with splash of water and pour onto plate
Plate 3 - Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, and remaining salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Coat chicken in flour and shake off excess
  3. Coat floured chicken in egg mixture and shake off excess
  4. Coat floured, egged chicken in the breadcrumb mixture and don't shake off excess! The more the merrier!
  5. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray and put breaded chicken on the pan.
  6. Spray the top of the chicken with non-stick cooking spray an cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, flip the chicken, spray and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

  1. Turn on the broiler
  2. Top each cutlet with some of the mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese melts - maybe 5 minutes.
  3. Serve with spaghetti and marinara sauce.

Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

This recipe also works really well as a sandwich, either on its own or using the leftovers. Grill a couple slices of your favorite bread and place the baked chicken parmesan and some marinara sauce in between them.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

You can freeze these…but it’s probably better to just eat ALL THE CHICKEN PARM!!  Pop these guys in the freezer after coating with the breading for up to 6 months.  When ready to eat, cook from frozen at 375 for  30ish minutes or until the internal temperature is 160.  After it’s done, move on to the topping and broiling steps!

Fun FactsFun Facts

I made this for a family gathering once as a way to impress my future in-laws and when I took the cutlets out of the oven to put cheese on them for the broiling step, I spun around too quickly and slung a couple of them off of the pan.  Oops.