Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

Fall is in the air. And in the grocery store. Apples, apples everywhere!

Trust me though, that is by no means a complaint. And stocked right beside all the apples sourced from several local orchards are just about every local brand of cider you could hope to find. And if you’re like us, you look forward to that taste as an integral part of any ‘Fall’ experience. But did you know that cider can be so much more?

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy 2

Betcha never thought about using it to make gravy, did ya?? Prepare to have your eyes opened wide to a wonderful new world of cider possibilities.

Apple Cider Gravy 2

This recipe allows you to easily cook up a chicken and gravy based dinner for your family, without any of the headaches or fears of making a more traditional gravy. It’s a thinner gravy, but it’s also low in fat. It’s sweet and savory and, thanks to the addition of the cider, full of Fall flavor. It’s a match made in Heaven, well I suppose I should say a match made in Autumn.

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

Pan Fried Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup fresh apple cider
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1-2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp corn starch + 1 tbsp water, stirred together, to thicken
mashed potatoes or rice, for serving the gravy over

Directions

  1. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
    2. Heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
    3. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan, and brown on each side for about 2-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the pant, and set aside.
    4. To the heated pan, add the broth, cider, parsley, and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, and use a spatula or spoon to deglaze the pan. Stir in the corn starch mixture, and reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season the gravy with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the chicken back to the skillet and remove the pan from heat. Serve the chicken with the a liberal serving of gravy poured over both the meat and over the mashed potatoes or rice.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

We love Chicken Cordon Bleu. And how could you blame us? I don’t know many people who could resist a crispy chicken breast stuffed with ham and oozing melted Swiss cheese? And while most people are familiar with at least the basic concept of the original stuffed and pan fried version, we haven’t stopped there. We love all things cordon bleu. All. The. Things.

 Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis 3

Especially our pinwheels version, and in the colder months we really enjoy turning it into a hearty bowl of soup for supper. But we can’t ever seem to stop. We’re always on the lookout for those fun new ways to enjoy old favorites. And thank goodness for it, because it’s how we stumbled onto this sandwich idea.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

This recipe is basically everything you love about Chicken Cordon Bleu and its flavor profile, stuffed into a crisp, crusty grilled panini.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis 2

1 lb chicken cutlets
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
oil, for frying
4 ciabatta rolls, or other bread (we also like thick slices of sourdough)
softened butter
dijon mustard
1/4 lb thinly sliced swiss cheese
1/4 lb sliced deli ham

Directions

  1. Preheat your panini press to high.

2. Place the flour, egg, and panko each into separate, shallow bowls. Whisk the egg slightly to blend it together.  Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper, and then coat each piece in flour, egg, and panko, in that order. Set the breaded chicken aside.

3. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and golden and crispy on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.

4. To make the panini, take the ciabatta rolls and slice them in half lengthwise. Butter the top and bottom of each roll, yes the OUTside. Next spread a little mustard on the bottom half of each roll, the inside of the bottom half. Layer on the cheese and ham by placing a slice of cheese on both the bottom and top pieces, and a piece of ham on just the bottom. Next, place a piece of chicken on the bottom half of each sandwich. Top the sandwiches and move to the panini press.

5. Pressing down on the panini press, grill until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about five minutes. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

Have you ever had a Southwestern-style egg roll? They’re so good, and for the most part they’re not too bad for you calorie-wise. Originally we had to go to our local Chilis to enjoy them, but then we began making them at home, using tiny tortillas.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips 2

But have you ever worked with egg roll or wonton wrappers? Once you’ve opened the package, you’ve got days at most to use the rest before they go bad. And y’all know how much food waste pains me, so as usual necessity was the mother of ingenuity. And it led to our own deconstructed version of southwestern egg rolls, this time turned into a dip. With an egg roll ‘chip’ replacing our typical flour tortilla.

it good. When we ran out of chips the sons were scarfing it down by the spoonful!

East meets (south)West in this funky Tex-Mex, inside out, version of an egg roll. Its simple, fun and a great way to use up leftovers, especially if you’re like us and you’ve got a half a can of black beans here,a quarter cup of diced peppers there, etc.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

1 chicken breast, cooked, then either diced or shredded
3/4 – 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced and then diced
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
package of wonton wrappers
3/4 cup ranch dressing
the juice of 1 lemon or lime, your choice
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 avocado, mashed
salt and pepper, to taste
oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, corn, beans, peppers, green onion, spinach, and cheese until roughly combined.
    2. In a separate bowl combine the ranch dressing, the lemon or lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper stirring until an evenly incorporated dressing forms.
    3. Mix the mashed avocado in with the dressing, whisking until evenly incorporated, and then pour the finished dressing over the veggie mixture.
    Heat vegetable oil in a pan over med/hi heat.
    4. Cut a stack (your desired amount) of wonton squares in half diagonally, forming triangular shaped ‘chips’. Fry the chips a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
    5. Serve the veggie/dressing mix as a dip in a bowl, with the egg roll chips on the side, or scoop out a bit of the dip onto each chip for easy grab and go bite sized snacks.

{One Pot Wonder} Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

Today we’re back with another one pot wonder. A dish that from start to finish, dirties only one pot. ONE. It’s one of the seven wonders of the weeknight kitchen world.

While we’ve got a lengthy list of other one pot recipes we love, this Balsamic Chicken accompanied by some of our favorite veggies, became an overnight star. For real

I tweaked the original recipe to what we had on hand and it was delicious! I mean, REALLY delicious.

As in I think I ate 3/4th of the entire dish. As in, it was great the first time around and great as leftovers for lunch the next day. As in, I think this is one of my new favorite go-to, all-in-one meal.

As in you need to try this right now. Like TONIGHT.

One Pot Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

This meal is new, it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s easy. How many other nights are you able to get a home cooked, form scratch meal on the table in under 20 minutes? And the flavor? With the word balsamic in the title you know it’s got to be good, right?!

Enjoy this meal as is, or fortify it with a few simple carbs in the form of a scoop of your favorite pasta or rice on the side.

One Pot Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Italian salad dressing (light versions tend to work better since they’ve a bit of a thicker consistency for coating, BUT any variety will still taste great)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the dressing, vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes until evenly combined, and set aside.
    2. In a large skillet, or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, before putting the tenderloins into the skillet. Cook the chicken about 6 – 7 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking, until chicken has cooked through (meanwhile, prepare the veggies). Add half the dressing mixture to the skillet and turn the chicken to make sure it’s evenly coated. Transfer the cooked, coated chicken to a large plate or a serving platter while leaving the sauce in the skillet. Add in the green beans and carrots, season with salt and pepper (again, to taste) and cook, stirring frequently, until still crisp, but also tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the veggies to plate or platter with chicken.
    3. Add the remaining dressing mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the cooked chicken, cooked green beans and carrots, and the tomatoes back to the pot. Toss everything to coat, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Like the sound of this recipe? Check out some our other One Pot Wonders …

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken Lo Mein

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Cheeseburger Casserole

Cheeseburger Casserole

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

Pizza Pasta

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

We’ve run the gambit on the recipe list, especially when it comes to kabobs. They’re a favorite of ours, especially in the grilling months, since they’re so, so easy to throw together. Cooking? Well, that’s a breeze. What’s not to love??

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebobs 2

These kabobs are healthy, they’re absolutely loaded with flavor, and they’re pretty easy from start to finish. Short on time? Most of the work can be done ahead of time with the marinade. And then all you’ve got left is to string them along. Me? I get an assembly line going in the kitchen, and we’re all set in less than five minutes.

these kabobs are good all by themselves, BUT if you’re looking to take the meal from just mmm, mmm, good, to flavor bending good? That’s where the homemade tzatziki sauce comes in.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs 4

It’s a must. Rich, creamy, AND healthy ( and this from the cucumber hater of our family ). Get in on this action. There isn’t much more you can ask for in a healthy dinner for the whole family to enjoy.

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebobs 3

2 lbs bonless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing the grill
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 large red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
3 small zucchini (nearly 1 lb), sliced into rounds slightly under 1/2-inch thick
1 large red onion, diced into 1 inch wedges

Tzatziki

1 medium cucumber (about 8 oz), peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 heaping cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing kebabs
1 tbspchopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the kebabs:

  1. In a bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and coriander until evenly combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.  2. Place the cubed chicken in a Large zip locking bag and pour olive the prepared marinade over the chicken amd gently squish the chicken around to evenly coat. Seal the bag, lay it flat, and refrigerate the chicken for 45 minutes, or up to 2 hours (no longer than 2 hours or the chicken will start to get mealy because of the acidic ingredients). If using wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes.
    3. Drizzle the prepped veggies with the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil and gently stir/toss to coat. I just lightly season them with salt.
    4. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Thread a red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, 2 chicken pieces on to skewer and repeat until the skewer is full (leave an inch or two free on both ends to allow for safe handling). Brush the heated grill lightly with olive oil, place the skewers on grill and grill until chicken registers 165 degrees in center, about 7 – 9 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking. Garnish the cooked skewers with parsley (optional), and serve the. warm with Tzatziki sauce.

For the Tzatziki:

  1. Place the diced cucumber in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat then allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
    2. Rinse the cucumbers and place them onto several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth). Place the cucumbers in food processor and pulse to chop fine (if there’s excess liquid drain it off).
    3. Pour the cucumbers into a mixing bowl and add in the Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything to evenly combine. 4. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers

What do you do when one of your readers asks about a specific genre of recipes? You try to accommodate, right? Any good blogger should. At the same time, when a new follower inquired as to what specific diabetic friendly recipes I offered, I was a bit embarrassed to not be able to offer any immediate suggestions. Which was even more upsetting when I consider how this has plagued my own family, more specifically, my grandmother who alongside my mom pretty much raised me in the kitchen.

Grilled Chicken Tandoori Burgers 3

Starting today, I will make an effort to provide more diabetic friendly recipes and add a specific tag for recipes more inclined to those who struggle with still wanting to eat well, but not sacrifice flavor. Grandma was one of those women. She lived food. She loved it. And each ounce of love was like a tangible thing we could taste, cooked into every bite of her meal. But as any diabetic knows, you’ve got to watch your sugar, and often that may mean sacrificing those oh-so-glorious carbs, which often break down into nothing more than simple sugars we don’t actually need.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers

Unleavened naan bread is a much more diabetic friendly option than traditional burger buns. The burgers are made from ground chicken, a much leaner meat than ground beef, with an amazing array of different spices that while seeming so different, bring their A (+) game. These ‘tandoori’ style burgers are topped with fresh veggies, and finished off with a healthy mint yogurt sauce in lieu of the traditional mayo.

So much tastier. So much yum in each bite. Calories and sugars reduced, yet every ounce of flavor is easily tripled.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers

Grilled Chicken Tandoori Burgers 4

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken breast
4 green onions, sliced thinly
3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp  lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Naan bread
cucumber, thinly sliced
cilantro leaves
red onion, thinly sliced

Mint Yogurt Sauce

1 heaping cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Put the chicken, green onions, and all of the spices in a bowl and mix well. Form into 4 patties.
2. Mix the yogurt sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Cook the Tandoori Chicken Burgers on a preheated grill over medium-medium high heat, roughly 3 minutes per side. Throw the Naan bread on the grill during the last few minutes, flipping once, to warm through.
4. Top the cooked burgers with a few sliced cucumbers, red onion, and a generous handful of cilantro.
5. Either add a healthy dollop of yogurt sauce to the top or spread it onto the insides of the naan bread.

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

Happy wife, happy life, right? Well even though it may be true in our house that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy I have found over the years that if daddy isn’t happy, then we aren’t all that happy either. And the daddy in our house loves him some Thai food, even if mama does not.

This recipe though is a mutual favorite, which a badly stained page in the family cookbook can attest to. This mama doesn’t even like coconut (the only definite exception to that rule being a Girl Scouts somoa cookie) and I love this dish.

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 medium red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 14-oz can coconut milk, light or full fat
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ginger powder
3 cups hot cooked rice

Directions

1. Cut the chicken into roughly 1 inch cubes. Place the cut chicken into a large bowl and set it aside. In a small bowl, stir together the curry, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper and chili powder. Once they’re evenly combined, sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken, then toss together until the chicken is nice and coated. Cover the chicken and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but no more than two.
2. In a large skillet stir together the onion, basil, garlic and peppers in the olive oil heated over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add in the chicken and then stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. In a separate bowl, stir the coconut milk and cornstarch together until evenly combined. Slowly pour the mixture into the skillet, stirring constantly until evenly incorporated. Continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce has slightly thickened and is gently bubbling. now stir in the ginger and let the mixture bubble for another minute or so, again stirring vigorously. Remove the skillet from heat and Serve over hot rice.

recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

There’s just something about a chicken sandwich, specifically, a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, that is just out of those world delicious. Especially in the realm of fast food. And who can blame them for the uber simple, streamlined menu. It’s hard to top perfection. And perfect the boneless, fried chicken breast they have. And for years we’ve craved that taste, paired with delicious dill pickles. And for years I’ve been angered, depressed, even sickened once by my failure to achieve anything close to it at home. Don’t get me wrong, I usually will find any reason to justify coughing up some extra cash for a pit stop at the nearest one, but sometimes this just isn’t possible. (Heeellllooo, Sundays at lunch time, every single time, when we pull in only to face palm after realizing, duh! they’re closed) And yet, the craving still demands to be satisfied. So what’s a gal to do???

 Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

She keeps right on trying, dammit!! And lo and behold, we finally have a winner folks! I kid you not, the flavor is spot on. I was even able to feed everyone, at 1 sandwich a piece with only two breasts. Two! and yes you read that right. I can’t even get over these, that’s how good they were. The hubs, the sons, everyone has asked for them repeatedly. Anytime I ask what we should have for supper, this is there answer. The hubs liked it so much he had two, two, and then stared down my sandwich every.single. bite. I took the entire meal. He even told me to name my price! Oh the things I can get that man to do for a bite of this sandwich. (cue the witchy, evil laugh) But really, that honey do-list? Totally, nonchalantly pushing it across the table…

The secret? The marinade before the seasoned breading. It’s pickle juice. And no for all the pickle haters out there, it doesn’t leave the chicken tasting pickle-y. For added authenticity, serve these on buttered, toasted hamburger buns with two pickle slices each.

Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A sandwiches 2

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (we get 3 patties er breast)
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
tiny dash of cayenne
Oil for frying (about a cup), if you’re going for authenticity use peanut oil, I usually just us vegetable oil and they still taste phenomenal
Buns (buttered and toasted)
dill pickle slices/ ‘chips’

Directions

1. Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until it’s only about ½ inch thick all around.
2. Cut the breast into two, or three, pieces, as evenly as possible.
3. Marinate the chicken in pickle juice for at least 30 minutes, and up to one hour.
4. Beat the egg with the milk in a bowl.
5. Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.
6. Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then coat in flour on both sides.
7. Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep) to about 345-350 degrees.
8. Fry each cutlet for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on the outside and cooked through.
9. Remove from the skillet onto paper towels. Blot to remove any excess oil, and serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.

Crispy Honey Chicken

One Sunday after church, when the hubs and I were dating, he decided to take me out to lunch. At the time, church and lunch were in the county where our parents all lived, which was much more rural than the subburbs I was used to. There weren’t any delivery services. and only a handful of nice retaraunts to choose from. And by nice I mean not the terrible pizza place that only gets away with charging so much because it’s the only thing out here, or the obligatory McDonalds with its tiny menu. So we settled on Chinese. And it was damn good Chinese, worth every expensive penny. To this day, what I ended up ordering is still my favorite dish. Sadly though, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find, especially in those beloved suburbs we’ve since moved back to. You’d think more restaurants, more honey chicken, right? Well, wrong. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s that not enough people realize just how delicious it really is. But it is fantastic!

Crispy Honey Chicken

It’s so sad this much deliciousness hasn’t been contagious and hasn’t already swept the Chinese restaurant nation, but there’s always hope for the future! Even though the trend hasn’t caught on, the fever sure swept through our house and the recipe has stayed strong and withstood the test of time. If you haven’t discovered the deliciousness yet, well here you go. And if you’re like us and are having a hard time scratching the honey chicken itch then here’s a perfectly easy at home version without the restaurant pricing.

Crispy Honey Chicken 2

for the sauce

1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp sesame seed oil
1 dash of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water

for the chicken

2 breasts of chicken, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup buttermilk
peanut or canola oil for frying

Directions

1. Heat a medium to large skillet over medium heat, and then add in the honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and apple cider vinegar. Whisk or stir the sauce ingredients together and bring it to a boil. In a separate, small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Once the sauce is boiling, while continuing to stir, slowly add in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then quickly turn down to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to sit for a minute to finish thickening. You only want to thicken a little bit, as too much would make it hard to toss and evenly coat the chicken.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a dutch oven, or other designated pot for frying, over medium high heat. In a shallow dish, mix the flour and spices together evenly. Toss the chicken in the spiced flour, then the buttermilk, and then back into the flour. Once the oil is nice and hot cook the chicken, turning occasionally until golden on the outside and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Drain the fried chicken on paper towels and then toss in the sauce and serve over sticky rice.

recipe adapted from Oh, Sweet Basil

Chicken & Cornbread Stuffed Peppers with a Spicy Ranch Drizzle

For years we had always made stuffed peppers. They’re a nice easy meal I can feed everybody, or make ahead of time for any kind of ‘gathering’ we may be having. And our stuffed peppers were always stuffed the same, with some sort of ground beef, rice, and sauce mixture, stuff I always am guaranteed to have on hand. But after years and years of making them, and eating them, I had to confess that I never really liked them. They were always lacking something for me. Our meal plan needed a little more excitement, and let’s be honest, if I’m making it I might as well actually want to eat it right? It was high time for a change, so I phased those boring things out and never really thought twice about it.

 Chicken & Cornbread Stuffed Peppers with a Spicy Ranch Drizzle

Or so I’d thought.

Then I heard about Poppin Chicken Pones. Don’t they just sound like a refreshing change of pace? Intrigued, I pretty much put them on the meal plan immediately. Sorry, boys. Pizza night this week is out, and a new version of stuffed peppers is in. And boy oh boy was it the right move. These things were awesome. The chicken and cornbread had a perfect tex mex type flair to it. I could have eaten it cooked up all by its lonesome, BUT the pepper flavor that absorbed into it made actually stuffing the peppers a must. Top it all off with a drizzle, a dash, or even a wet dollop of the spicy ranch and you’ve got an all new stuffed pepper recipe that will rock your little stuffed pepper world. Oh, and next time you’re having a ‘gathering’ these will leave your guests relishing every last bite.

Chicken & Cornbread Stuffed Peppers with a Spicy Ranch Drizzle

Cornbread & Chicken Stuffed Peppers with a Spicy Ranch Drizzle

recipe adapted from Poppin Chicken Pones by Kim B. of Heneger, Alabama

5 poblano chile peppers, or 4-5 green bell peppers if dialing down the heat
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning, or roughly two generous tbsp
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1/2 cup creamed corn
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (6.5-7 oz) package cornbread & muffin mix
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

Spicy Ranch Sauce

1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp lime juice

Directions

1. Slice the peppers in half length wise and remove the stems and any seeds from inside. Arrange The prepped peppers, cut side up, in a baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, taco seasoning, green chiles, diced tomatoes, creamed corn, shredded cheese, egg, milk, and cornbread mix. Stir the mixture until evenly incorporated.
3. Spoon the filling into each pepper, making sure to fill each one evenly.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the tops of the cornbread are lightly browned.
5. In a small bowl, combine ranch dressing, hot sauce, and lime juice. Drizzle over stuffed peppers before serving.

If you happen to have any leftover chicken and stuffing mix, no worries! pour it into a greased baking dish and bake at the same temperature until cooked through.