French Onion Chicken Casserole

Last week on the Nest cooking board; Whats Cooking, there was a post for a a recipe swap.. for chicken.  Just ask Aarons girlfriend Corrie, we eat alot of chicken in this house.  The poor girl came over last summer alot and 8 meals in a row, had chicken.  So a chance to spice up and try a new chicken recipe was right up my alley.  So I sent my recipe for Parchment Chicken and hoped that the person had access to an olive bar.

I was so excited when I saw the highlighted email sitting in my inbox all shiny and darker than the others.  It was something new and I get so happy with new recipes to try!!!  Before I met Rob, this was a bit easier because Nik and Aaron will eat anything.  And I am not exaggerating.  Really I am not.  Once I dropped a batch of Butternut shells on the floor while taking it out of the oven, they scooped it up and ate it.  I was so upset I had ruined dinner, I let them.  Mother Of The Year here let me tell you!   Nik had mopped the floor that day, that is my reasoning and I am sticking to it!

But then there is Rob.  He is learning to try new things and that is wicked exciting but damn he can be picky.  I was worried when I saw what the recipe was.  It has alot of onions in it.  I mean alot and the bacon wouldnt be uber crispy after being in a gravy.  So it was with some concern I read the recipe.  Then I put on my bright and perky cheerleader voice and with the real excitement I was feeling for the recipe, I read the ingredients off to Rob.   I waited with bated breath as he mused it over!  I could see the battle of the old Rob who ate like 5 things, with the new Rob who has tried more things in the last year than he probably had in the 15 prior.  I am surprised he didnt look at me funny when I let out my breath explosively as he said.. “Sounds good!”

So here is my slightly changed version of French Onion Chicken Casserole.  Thanks Kylee, fellow Nestie, USA Kiwi!!  I loved it.  The kid loved it (Aaron was out tonight) and Rob picked out the bacon, and gave it to me, which made me like it better.  Then said the chicken was too juicy (there is no such thing) and ate the rest. LOL  I had to double the recipe since it was to feed 5 people so the original is slightly different.

recipe by: USA Kiwi, aka Kylee!  
Made 10 servings  5 oz of meat and 1/3 cup gravy     WW points  6
3 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, trimmed
1/4 cup flour
2 packets of onion soup mix
3 slices of bacon (the original this would be 6 slices but that is huge points wise with WW!)
1 large onion
2 1/2 cups water
S & P
(the original called for adding sour cream which Rob cant have, or plain yogurt, as you can see I was going to add greek, but forgot, next time will add the 4 tbsp of greek yogurt, I promise)

Cast of Characters

Trim the chicken and cut into 5-6 oz servings (about 10 sections).  Pound the thicker portions with a meat tenderizer to make them all the same thickness.
Put the flour and the soup packets in a shaker bag.

Chop up your onion.

Spray the heck out of a large 12 inch frying pan, heat it to medium high and shake the chicken one piece at a time, placing in the frying pan as you go.  Save the remaining flour and soup mix.

Try to not have them touch too much. 

“Fry” on each side until browned, about 3 minutes.
Lay in a casserole dish, in a single layer if possible, which unfortunately it was not for me.  LOL  Too many mouths to feed. 

Turn the frying pan down from medium high to medium and cut up the bacon into pieces with kitchen shears.

And add the onion…

And saute until the onion and bacon are both done.  The onion should be tender and the bacon should be slightly crispy.

Take the remaining flour and soup mix and add it to the water.

Pour over the onions and bacon and stir to incorporate.  Will thicken into a sauce. 

Add salt and pepper.

Pour over the chicken, cover and bake for 35-50 minutes or until the gravy is bubbly.  (If you remember the greek yogurt, you would take the chicken out and add to the gravy, and then put the chicken back in, but it is yummy without).

Plate up with noodles, rice, or potatoes.  Add your veggies and serve. 

I have to say, I liked it.   Nik loved it!! He ate two pieces in about 3 minutes.  Rob kept picking on the wobbly bacon and the amount of onions but he ate it.  Normally if something isnt palatable to him, he will push it aside and have PB&J.  He ate it, and said it was good but a bit too juicy for him!   I will be making this again.  I think I might add a couple spices but I have not decided which yet!  I am very happy I got this recipe and look forward to trying more recipe swaps!! 

Happy Cooking!!


Bacon Bites

I found this recipe when a friend of mine posted the picture on her Facebook and everyone was oohing and ahhhing over them on her picture.  She pointed me to find the recipe on yet another food blog I have since fallen in love with.  Pioneer Woman is my kind of cook; alot of simple techniques and alot of flavor!  This recipe couldnt be simpler!  Three ingredients, one of which is bacon!   I slightly varied from her recipe and used the garlicky crackers and fresh grated cheese. 

I love the play of flavors on this and the only thing I would do next time is make the bacon a bit crisper.  All in all a great recipe, flavorful and pretty easy.   I took them to my friend Emilys party for New Years Eve, and they were pretty much gone in about 10 minutes.  Robbie thought they were okay but he likes his bacon crispier and he is all chemo mouthed and nothing tastes as good as it used to.   The boys also werent overly impressed but again they like the bacon crispier.  They liked the flavor but werent wowed.  I liked them and thought the were pretty yummy.   I can admit though I did feel my arteries clogging a bit.  Haha

I made them in the morning so Aaron could have one since he had to work and wasnt going to the party with us.  When I got to Emilys I just popped them back in the oven for 10 minutes on 350.  This helped them crisp up a bit too.

yield: about 36 per pound of bacon

1 lb thin sliced bacon
1 sleeve of Keebler Club Crackers (I used the Garlic ones.. yum)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (or Asiago or any other dry cheese like that, though Pioneer Woman uses the Kraft powder stuff and hers look good too)

Preheat your oven to 250 and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack over the  cookie sheet.  Cut your bacon in half , then get your cheese grated

Then lay out your crackers and put one teaspoon of cheese on each of cracker.

Then take a picture of your dog who is practically drooling from the smell of bacon and cheese.  And tell her to go to her bed.. you dont plan on dropping anything…….

Then the fun starts, gently pick up each cracker and place the half piece of bacon at the edge and top of the cracker like this.

And wrap until the cheese is covered.  It shouldnt have exposed cheese.

 When it looks like this you are done.  Wrap them all and get them placed on the rack.

Pop into the oven for 2 hours!  Yes two hours.  They will look like this..

Here is where I deviated from her recipe the most.  Like I said Rob and the kids like the bacon crisper.  I turned my oven up to 350 and cooked them for another 5 minutes.  I think in the future when I make them I will put them in for about 10 minutes additional (that is if I was making them ahead, if I was going to serve them right then it would be more like 15 minutes).    They were so rich and smoky and I think I might try them with a maple brown sugar bacon next time.   And double it.. haha  there wasnt enough to go around for more than 4-5 people!

Happy Baking!