Monday, August 5

Creamy Ranch Chicken & Co.

There are some nights when I have 4 chicken breasts thawed, and I find myself standing with a blank stare in front of the spice cabinet thinking, "How exactly will
I trick my family into thinking this baked chicken will be something new and better tonight?"

Well, tonight, I managed to do it, and with ingredients I already had on hand - side dishes and all. Score!

This easy-peasy baked chicken was tender and gravy-licious, and it cooked up rather quickly. Enjoy, y'all!

- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 packet Ranch seasoning, dry 
- 3 tablespoons water or chicken broth 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9x13 glass pan with nonstick spray of choice. Whisk cream of chicken soup, dry Ranch seasoning, and water together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Slice chicken breasts into 1-inch thick strips. Combine chicken strips with your cream of ranch mixture, and mix well. Use tongs or other utensil to make sure every chicken strip is well coated. Remove chicken strips one-by-one and lay in a single layer in the 9x13 pan. Pour remaining sauce mixture evenly over the top of your strips. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes, until the chicken strip juices run clear and the tops of your strips begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5-7 minutes before serving. 

I also made some classic buttered noodles and a summer favorite of mine, sautéed squash 'n' greens.

For the buttered noodles, just bring 24-28 ozs. of chicken broth and 2 tblsp. Of butter to a rolling boil. Add 4 cups of wide egg noodles, and boil for 7-8 minutes. I added a palm-full of dried parsley the last 2-3 minutes, just to add a little flavor and color. 

The Squash 'n' Greens were just as simple: 
Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat, and melt 4 tblsp. of butter in it. Add 1 medium summer squash (quartered and sliced), 1 diced Vidalia onion, and salt, pepper, and powdered garlic to taste. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the squash softens, then add one thawed and drained box of chopped spinach. Mix until heated through. Add another tablespoon of butter, if needed, while heating the spinach through. 

The squash 'n' greens recipe also works great with zucchini added to or substituted for the yellow squash. 

I sure hope y'all enjoy!