Monday, March 14, 2011

Russian Chicken!

Let’s see if we can get better with these posts… So the other day we were trying to figure out what to make. Jesse and I are kinda in a slump, we can’t come up with original ideas for dinner – especially something relatively easy, cheap and fast. But, I raided the recipe box I got for one of my bridal showers to find a recipe (Side Note: It was so sweet, the recipe cards were sent out in the invites and all these sweet ladies that are friends of my grandmother’s wrote down some of their favorite recipes, so we have some good Southern ones). Admittedly, this recipe did not come from the shower, but from my mother-in-law Susan. It’s one of Jesse’s favorites from his childhood – Russian Chicken. I’d made it before, but not following Susan’s recipe, so this time I followed hers. Apparently Jesse and I are moving around the world here for food. Tacos, Korean BBQ, and now Russian Chicken. What next? Or moreover, whereto next?

First, though, we had to go to the grocery store. We didn’t have any food at all in the house! So we headed to Ingles by way of Target. But here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

2-4 cooked chicken breasts

1 bottle of Russian dressing

1 package of onion soup mix (dry)

2-3 cups of cooked rice

We almost had a mini-crisis when I realized we hadn’t bought any onion soup mix. But then I looked in the pantry and we had one packet left from the last time I made meatloaf.

So to make this, the first step is to cook the rice. I opted not to cook the chicken first, but to let it cook on top of the rice. Screw Board of Health suggestions… J Oh, and of course I had to preheat the oven. The recipe calls for preheating at 325°, but I chose to set it to 350° since I would be cooking the chicken in the oven. I started by making 3 cups of rice in the rice maker. Or, at least according to the bag of rice, 3 cups. When that was done, I started to put it in the bottom of the lightly greased casserole dish. But then I realized there wasn’t enough rice! Yikes, I had to make MORE rice. Let’s just say this set us back a few minutes… So I then set about to make a whole ‘nother serving of rice (yes, I know that technically ‘nother is not a word. I don’t care so deal with it!). Eventually I was back on track and the rice completely covered the bottom of the casserole dish.


The next step was pretty easy, place chicken on top of the rice. So I did. And just a quick note from the refrigerator of the Wades: we have started only buying non-hormone added, organic chicken. There are too many 12 year olds walking around with boobs bigger than me, and that’s not normal. Sure it happens to some, but a lot of it is because of all this extra crap added to food. I know it’s not just in chicken and that we should try to eat healthier on all things. We’re working on it, one at a time. All I know is that our kids won’t be eating chicken raised with hormones (Booo GMO’s!) in our house. Sorry future daughters. Ok, end rant. Sorry, I’ll step off the soap box and get on with this.

Yeah, so I put the chicken on top of the cooked rice. Then, I mixed together the onion soup mix and the Russian dressing in a large measuring cup. Once those were mixed, I poured that over the chicken and the rice.



I then covered the dish with aluminum foil and put this in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I took the foil off and put the chicken in for another 10 minutes. It actually needed to stay in for some extra time, seeing as how the chicken breasts were pretty large (which made me question the hormone-free chicken…).

This wasn’t the only thing we ate, though. We decided to have a green vegetable, a non-starch as it is. Jesse had the brilliant idea to sautée zucchini. We love zucchini at Japanese restaurants, so why have we never eaten it at home? Good question. One for which we have no answer. So we bought two puny looking zucchinis at the store. Sunday afternoon/evenings are never a good time to go grocery shopping. We tend to forget that. Oh well. Then, Jesse did his thing with the zucchini. I’ll let him tell you all about it.

So the hardest part about cooking the zucchini was figuring out if I wanted to cut it up into round disk slices, or if I wanted to cut them in long little wedges likes they do at the Hibachi store. I went with the latter. While I was doing this, I already had a skillet heating on medium heat with some olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, and sea salt. Once the zucchini were cut, the pan was hot enough to add ‘em in.



Now I like my zucchini a little soggy, yet with a little crispness. So really, cook them as long or short as you want. When they were about 50% done, I added some pepper and about 1sb butter and turning the fire up to high for about 3 minutes. After that, I used a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl to cool.




All in all, a pretty easy and tasty meal.

Ratings:

Sarah:

Preparation: 5 out of 5. Seriously, this was really easy to make. Next time I just need to remember to make more rice, that was pretty much the only snafu to this prep. Oh, I also think next time I’ll either buy chicken strips or cut the chicken into smaller pieces. That way it will cook faster and more evenly.

Taste: 4.5 out of 5. The zucchini gets a 5 out of 5. Maybe even a 6 out of 5. It was just that good. Like, amazing. Like, I called Jesse right before he left work today to practically beg him to buy more zucchini on his way home and make some more tonight (it’s true, she totally did. So I did. Like, totally.). The chicken is pretty good too. The Russian dressing adds a nice tangy taste to everything. It’s a change from our usual Asian or Mexican influenced foods. It’s nothing to die for, but it’s still good. Sometimes, on bites where there’s too much dressing, my taste buds feel a little overwhelmed. (Not underwhelmed or just whelmed…) Overall, good meal. Definitely a keeper, too.

Pickiness Factor: 4.5 out of 5. I think this one is a pretty good choice for picky eaters. Maybe not the zucchini. I know for years I didn’t like squash because I didn’t like how watery it was and then how mushy the insides were. But the chicken and rice part is a given. For the longest time I only ever ate things like chicken and rice. And the Russian dressing is a good flavoring to add. So I think this is a pretty good one for the picky eaters in your life.

Jesse:

Preparation: 5 out of 5. Cutting zucchini is super easy! Well, maybe unless you don’t have hands =(

Taste: 4.0 out of 5. I’ve always really liked this, but it’s not something you’d want to have all the time. I’m sure it’s also nostalgia from when my Grandma Price made it when I was little. Adding the zucchini was a nice touch…or any vegetable for that matter too.

Cost: 4 out of 5. Chicken can be expensive. Especially if you are homeless.

Average Ratings: 4.5 out of 5!

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I love zucchini. (The more you know.)

    ReplyDelete