Session 4 – Juicy Chicken, Dill Carrots, and Cherry Crisp

This session’s recipes feature a Meier classic from Granny Ruth Meier – Juicy Chicken! If you mention juicy chicken to anyone in the Meier family, you will be met with a simultaneous cringe, smile, and shake of the head. This was Granny’s favorite. I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point growing up this became What Was For Dinner. Holiday, lunch, dinner, weekday, weekend – it was all juicy chicken. Now, don’t get me wrong. Juicy chicken is most DEFINITELY amazing (as long as you are not lactose intolerant). But it became somewhat of an eye-rolling inside joke of the family. I present to you, the secret ingredients:

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Oh yeah. How could you go wrong?

The process is simple – combine equal parts soup with sour cream, pour over chicken breasts, add bacon, bake forever. I wanted to go for a more mushroom base than we typically did, in which case pour mushrooms over the bacon. Now, if my memory serves me correctly, Granny usually just picked ONE of these amazing soups, which didn’t yield much extra sauce after baking, and the cream of celery on it’s own is bland. So I added both pictured here, and did half the dish with sauteed mushrooms.

I made up some dill carrots (from the recipe box) and wild rice to serve the meal with. For dessert I made a Rubright favorite – my mom’s go-to dessert for parties: Cherry Crisp. Simplest dessert ever. All you need is a can of cherry filling and some yellow cake mix. Pour out the cherry filling in a pie dish or glass baking dish, coat generously with cake mix and melted butter, and bake. I served the crisp with some plain old vanilla ice cream, but it’s really delicious just on it’s own.

THE PANELISTS

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Left to Right: Randy and Cousins Dan and Nancy of the Blayney tribe. They were more than happy to be guinea pigs for this cooking session!

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THE RESULTS

Everything was a hit! Especially the bacon. Nancy and Randy preferred the non-mushroom side, but Dan (who doesn’t even like mushrooms!) preferred the dish with mushrooms. I’m seeing a trend here, Dan! The carrots were a really great compliment to the wild rice, and the cherry crisp was also a huge hit. These recipes are definitely here to stay! I only wish there was a way to vegan-ize the chicken so that James could enjoy Juicy Chicken once again  🙂 .

THE RECIPES

Juicy Chicken

Ingredients – serves 4 to 5

(1) 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
(1) 10.5 oz can cream of celery soup
(1) 16 oz container light sour cream
4 lbs boneless chicken breasts
thick cut bacon
crushed black pepper & parmesan to taste

optional
(2) 8 oz cartons of sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP red wine
dash onion powder
dash garlic powder
cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine soups and sour cream in a large bowl, set aside.

For mushrooms: In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sautee for 2 minutes, stirring. Add remaining ingredients and sautee for additional 3 minutes, stirring. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until mushrooms are about 2/3rds their original size.

Arrange chicken breasts in a large glass baking dish. Cover them with the sour cream mixture. Cut bacon strips into thirds and cover the chicken. Pour mushrooms (and its juices) over top; sprinkle crushed black pepper and parmesan over entire dish. Bake in oven for 2 hours. Serve warm over wild rice.

ProTips: Mushrooms in this dish are completely optional. It tastes amazing without, and the cream of mushroom soup won’t give a mushroom taste believe it or not. The number of chicken breasts you use will be dependent on the size you buy – it may or may not be “4 lbs” worth. Just buy a flat of them, keeping in mind how many people you will be serving.

 

Dill Buttered Carrots

Ingredients – serves 4 to 6

(2) lb bags baby carrots
1/4 C butter
1 tsp dill weed
dash onion powder
salt to taste

Directions

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender.

ProTips: You can just use 1 bag of carrots and a bit less butter if you are cooking for less people.

Vegan ProTips: Swap out Vegan butter!

 

Cherry Crisp

Ingredients – serves 4 to 5

(1) 21 oz can Lucky Leaf cherry pie filling
1 C yellow cake mix
1/4 C butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spoon out cherries into pie dish, spreading evenly. Cover evenly with cake mix; pour melted butter n a spiral to coat most of the cake mix (it will not be perfect, this is OK!). Bake for 30 minutes, serve warm.

ProTips: Don’t be afraid to be liberal with the cake mix. Serving with ice cream is delicious.

Vegan ProTips: Swap out Vegan butter, make sure the cake mix is vegan (which it should be!).

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