Tag Archives: broccoli

Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Broccoli Foil Packets

We’ve had a bit of a change in my house and I’ve been making dinner at midnight or so most nights.  I can’t really spend hours cooking, well actually I guess I could, but I don’t really want to at that time of night, so I’ve been hunting for hearty, quick and easy to prepare meals.  I found a recipe for a Chicken & Broccoli Foil Packet Meal that I loved so much I had to pin it to Pinterest.

This recipe reminded me of a fantastic recipe that my grandmother “created” called Chicken Thing.  It is not the same as Chicken Thing, but it does have the same homey meal feeling that I remember from my childhood.  The foils packets are also much easier to prepare, which is a big plus at 11:30pm.  I gathered all of the ingredients: 1 package Chicken Flavor Stuffing mix, 1 1/4 cup of water, 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4 cups of broccoli, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 4 slices cooked bacon, and 4 tablespoons of Ranch Dressing (I accidentally left this out).

Chicken Broccoli Foil Packets Ingredients

First I cut the foil to size and sprayed each piece with cooking spray.

Prep the Foil

Then I mixed the stuffing and water together.  Once it was combined well, I scooped some stuffing onto each piece of foil.

combine stuffing mix and water start building your food pyramid with stuffing

Next I trimmed the chicken and laid half a boneless skinless breast on each pile of stuffing.

Layer 2 Chicken Breast

After the chicken I added some broccoli.  The original recipe gave actual amounts to use.  I didn’t pay any attention to the measurements.  I went by sight and what my family will eat.

layer 3 broccoli

Then 1 crumbled strip of bacon gets added to each packet along with some shredded cheddar cheese.

Layer 4 Cheese  Layer 5 Crumbled Bacon

This is where I was supposed to add the ranch dressing and forgot all about it.  I blame the omission on the time of day I was making the meal.  Once the stuff was all stacked, I closed the packets (leaving enough room for air to circulate inside each one).  I placed the sealed packets on a jelly roll pan and stuck them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Foil Packets Ready to Bake

They were ridiculously good, and I will totally be making these again, and I may even have to break out the Chicken Thing recipe and give it a whirl.

Chicken & Broccoli Foil Packets


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Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

Last week I made a batch of pizza dough, because I was craving a taste of New York food.  Which lead me to search Pinterest to find alternative types of pizza.  I found a few options, the most appealing one was for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza.

Given my food preferences, I was really looking forward to trying out this recipe.  The only thing that gave me pause was the use of jarred Alfredo sauce, but I moved beyond that quickly.  I gathered the necessary ingredients:  pizza dough, chicken breast, chopped broccoli, a jar of Alfredo sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza Ingredients

Once I had everything together, I cooked the chicken.  I cut it up and grilled it in a pan with a bit of olive oil and minced garlic.  While I was doing that, I defrosted the frozen broccoli in the microwave.

Cooking the Chicken

When all of the components were ready, I stretched the pizza dough out on a jelly roll pan.  Then started layering on the ingredients.  First came the Alfredo sauce (which I spread out evenly across the entire pizza), then I added the broccoli, then the chicken, and finally the mozzarella cheese.

streched dough  Add the Alfredo Sauce  Cover all of the dough  Next Broccoli  Then the Chicken  Top it with the Cheese

It took the oven ready pizza and baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  The recipe suggest baking for 15-20 minutes, but, as Ive learned, my oven is a bit wonky, so I adjusted the cooking time.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

It was every bit as good as I had hoped, but it still wasn’t New York pizza.  I guess I’m just going to have to go visit soon…

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Tasty Tuesday – “Copy Cat” Broccoli Cheese Soup

It’s amazing!  I actually found this week’s Tasty Tuesday Recipe someplace other than Pinterest!  I found it in an old issue of Food Network Magazine (Jan./Feb. 2010).  What on earth was I doing going through old magazines?  Well, as you know, we just recently moved and I’m in the middle of setting up our new house.  I’m currently working on the Craft Room/Office and that’s where I keep all of my supplies and reference materials.  (I should really look for bookcase ideas on Pinterest…)  Ahh, but I digress, I have a huge pile of old magazines that I’ve been meaning to go through and clip some idea, recipe, or article out of, and now seemed like the right time to actually complete that project.  It was quite successful.  I went from a 4 foot stack of magazines (that’s 4 boxes if anyone’s wondering) to a much more manageable 6 inch pile of clippings.  Next step is to put away the clippings, but that can wait until the rest of the room is set up.  What was I talking about?  Oh, yeah where I found this week’s recipe…  It was in that pile of clippings that Gwen say the recipe and asked me to make it…  So this week I made a homemade version of Panera‘s Broccoli-Cheese Soup!

This recipe did require a bit of shopping, but not much.  I gathered my ingredients: 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 small onion, 1/4 cup flour, 2 cups half-and-half, 3 cups chicken broth, 2 bay leaves ( I left these out), 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I use a microplane and a whole nut, but you can substitute dried), 4 cups of fresh broccoli florets, a handful of baby carrots, 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (the recipe only calls for 2 1/2 cups, but I added a bunch more), salt and pepper.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Ingredients

Start by making a roue.  To do this melt the butter in your soup pot, then add the onions and soften them.  Next whisk in the flour.  Once that’s combined completely (it looks almost like a paste) gradually whisk in the half-and-half until everything smooths out and it looks silky.

melt the butter  soften the onions  whisk in the flour  now the half-and-half

Once the cream sauce (I think that’s what constitutes a Bechamel sauce) is smooth and well combined, add in the chicken broth, nutmeg, bay leaves, salt & pepper.  Let it come up to temperature and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes or until it’s really thick and creamy.

add the chicken broth  grate in the nutmeg

After the base is ready, it’s time to add the veggies.  While you are letting the soup thicken, cut up the broccoli and carrots, so that they can just go right in the pot when it’s time.  Add them to the pot and let them simmer for about 20 minutes or until they are tender.

add the carrots  now add the broccoli

After the broccoli is nice and soft comes the fun part.  You get to blend the soup.  There are several ways to do this, but I love my immersion blender and look for any reason to use it.  You could also take the soup out of the pot and run it through a food processor or the blender.

liquify the broccoli

Once the broccoli is pretty well smoothed out (no large chunks, just those yummy green floaties), it’s time to melt in the cheese!  (oh, on a side not, next time I’m going to reserve a couple of pieces of the softened broccoli to add back in, so that they are in the finished soup.)  Add in the cheese, whisking to melt it completely over medium heat.  The recipe says you can add up to 3/4 cup of water if it’s too thick, but I didn’t have that issue.

Cheesey Goodness!

Time to serve!  I ladled it into a regular sized soup bowl and had enough for 5 servings.  I also garnished it with some shredded cheese and served it with a crusty baguette on the side.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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