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Creamy chicken skillet

Recipes from Christy Jordan's "Come Home to Supper"

Creamy Chicken Skillet
Serves 4
I could eat this every day of my life and be happy as a lark. It's one of those meals that just makes your stomach feel good when you eat it, so I hope you'll try it soon. My son was feeling under the weather when I made it one day, and I took him a plate and said, "Here, baby, just try to eat this." He saw what it was and said, "Don't you worry one bit, Ma, I'll sure be eating all of that!" Apparently, it is also a miracle cure!
1 package (16 ounces) egg noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 recipe Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup (page 282) or 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup plus 1/2 cup milk
1 packet (1 ounce) dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup chopped broccoli (see Note)
1 cup sliced yellow squash or zucchini (see Note)
2 carrots, thinly sliced (see Note)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the egg noodles, and cook according to package directions. Drain the noodles and set them aside. 2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning as needed, until browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes.3. Add the soup and ranch dressing mix to the skillet. Stir well and turn the chicken to coat it. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer. Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.4. Uncover the skillet and stir in the broccoli, yellow squash, and carrots. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.5. Place the egg noodles on a platter and spoon the chicken and vegetables over the top. Serve hot.
Note: You may substitute a 16-ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables, or an equivalent amount of the vegetables of your choice.

Cat Head Biscuits
Makes 10 to 12 biscuits
These drop biscuits are big and fluffy with a delicious, delicate crunch on the outside. The story goes that they got their name because when baked they are the color of a marmalade cat and are about the size of its head. The secret is baking them with a very light coating of vegetable oil that heats in the oven while you mix up the dough. You drop the dough-really more like a batter-onto the hot oiled baking sheet, spoon a little hot oil on top (or just give the biscuits a quick misting of cooking spray), and bake. No fuss, no muss, but lots of delicious bread!
These are especially good served with apple butter but are certainly tasty enough to eat on their own, too.
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups self-rising flour (see page 287)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup milk, plus a bit more if needed
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil onto a large rimmed baking sheet and tilt it to cover the bottom with a very thin layer (add more if needed). Place the pan in the oven to heat.2. Place the flour in a large bowl and cut in the shortening with a dinner fork until crumbly. Pour in the milk and stir until combined, adding a little more milk if needed (the dough will be wet and a little lumpy).3. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the pan, leaving about 1 inch between each biscuit, then carefully spoon a bit of the hot oil from the pan over each one. 4. Bake the biscuits until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Variation: You can bake this as a single loaf of bread. Although it takes a little longer to cook, there is not as much prep work as for biscuits. Use an 8- or 9-inch metal cake pan in place of the rimmed baking sheet and coat it with the lesser amount of oil. Pour the batter into the pan, coat it with cooking spray and bake until browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve.

Loaded Baked Potatoes
Makes 14 servings
Whenever I have company over for supper, I love to serve this go-to dish. It is a great way to round out the meal without taking too much additional prep time, since I make them up a few days ahead and keep them in the freezer. Then all I have to do is heat them up in the oven or, if I'm really pressed for time, the microwave.
To freeze these, simply place the baked, assembled loaded potatoes on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about an hour until they're partially frozen. Transfer the taters to a couple of large ziplock bags and store them in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat them, follow the directions in the Notes on the following page or pop them in a microwave at 100 percent heat for 11/2 to 2 minutes.
7 medium-size russet potatoes (about 4 pounds), washed, unpeeled, and pierced with a fork
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 scallions, chopped
8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (see Notes)
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.2. Place the potatoes on a plate and microwave them on 100 percent power for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a baking sheet and bake until a fork pierces them easily, about 1 hour. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool enough to handle; turn the oven down to 350°F.3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the pulp into a large bowl, leaving enough for the skins to retain their shape. Set the skins aside on a clean baking sheet.4. Add the butter and sour cream to the potato pulp and mash together to combine well. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the salt, pepper, garlic powder, scallions, and bacon until well combined. Spoon the filling into the reserved potato skins.5. Top the potatoes with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until they are heated through and the cheese has melted, 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Notes: You can use 1 cup chopped ham or smoked pork chops in place of the bacon.
To reheat frozen potatoes, bake them for 30 minutes, then top them with the cheese and return them to the oven until the cheese has melted, 5 minutes more.

Apple Scoop Pie
Serves 4 to 6
This apple scoop pie offers an easy way to fill your house and tummy when you're longing for the smells and tastes of fall. Baked in a pie plate with no crust to contend with, apples mingle with juicy raisins and spices to provide the perfect dessert (or even a side dish!). My mother said that developing this recipe was one of my greatest accomplishments in life-I'm pretty sure that's a good thing!
This pie is also good served over ice cream, and leftovers keep well in the refrigerator, so you can stir them into oatmeal the next morning.
5 to 6 medium-size sweet crisp apples, such as Gala
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Core the apples and cut them into bite-size pieces (don't peel them). Place them in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and stir until well combined. 3. Pour the apple mixture into a deep-dish 10-inch pie plate, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the apples are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve warm.

GDA Cooking - November 5, 2013

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