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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.
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{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

One Pot Sausage Jambalaya

Everybody runs their kitchens a little bit differently. It’s just one of those places that is immune to the laws and natural orders of the world and is totally unique to it’s user. And every cook is unique from their specific processes right on down to their individual food philosophies. We each have our favorite tricks of the trade and are partial to certain tools and certain methods. Be that as it may, there are certain things you’ll find in any well-stocked, well-used kitchen. They’re kitchen must-haves, and often their little multi-purpose, miracle working, border-line magical devices. Take the trusty dutch oven for example.

<Pardon the pause. I’ll be able to move on and find my train of thought again when the sons stop sniggering over my shoulder. Yes! I said Dutch oven. Now, moving right along …>

 Sausage Jambalaya

Its my my favorite one stop, one pot ‘thing’ in my entire kitchen.

Along with one pot recipes. Little one pot wonders. All cooked up in this bad boy right here. It even cooks up a perfect loaf of artisan style bread. See? Magic! If you don’t own a dutch oven, I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend investing in one. And if you’re thinking (like the hubs) that being limited on space as it is with X amount of people + Y amount of square cabinet space and = no more possible storage space for yet another kitchen gadget his crazy cook of a wife brings home, then you stop that right now. This instant. A dutch oven can do so many things you can potentially consolidate space. If not, then it’s definitely going to be a dirty dishes saver. And worst case scenario, you store that sucker in your oven. Out of sight, out of mind right? And for those days when you forget to check inside it before you turn it on, it’s oven safe 😉

And let me just mention again that this bad boy bakes. bread. Flawless, fool proof bread.

So, if you don’t have one … get one. Oh, and let’s add a nice little kick to our week night meal with the Cajun flavors of this jambalaya in a quick one pot meal that is also fool proof. And simple. Brown your meat, boil your rice, and mix everything together to finish cooking in the oven, all in one fantastic pot.

One Pot Sausage Jambalaya

Sausage Jambalaya 2

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 packages kielbasa, or andoullie, sausage, thinly sliced
1 onion, roughly diced
1/2- 1 whole bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups long grain rice
2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth, or stock

Directions

1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and once it’s good and hot, add in the oil and butter. Add in the sausage and allow it to brown a bit on both sides and caramelize. Remove the sausage to a bowl or a plate and set aside.
2. Next reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and add the onion, pepper, celery, and garlic to the sausage drippings in the dutch oven. Sprinkle the dry seasonings (paprika, garlic & onion powder, cumin, Cajun & Italian seasoning) over the veggies. Add the bay leaves and salt & pepper, as desired. Add in the tomato paste and let everything saute for a few minutes.
3. Add in the rice, stirring to make sure it’s evenly incorporated and well coated. Continue sauteing everything until the vegetables are just tender.
4. Add in the chicken broth and the tomato sauce, and return the sausage to the pot. Stir everything together, and salt and pepper again (if needed) to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Turn off the heat, immediately cover the dutch oven with it’s lid, and transfer the dutch oven to an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
6. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, fear not, you can still enjoy this meal at home. Follow steps 1-4 in a large pot or even a skillet. For step 5, transfer everything to a 9×13 casserole dish. Cover tightly with aluminum oil and bake as directed. You may need to add 45-10 minutes to the cook time to allow the rice to absorb all the liquid. Just keep an eye on it after the 30 minute mark.

Philly Cheesesteak Stew

Do you ever get an intense craving for a good philly cheesesteak sub? Like an, ‘I know I’m not pregnant or anything, but I have got to have one right. now’ kind of craving? (Come on, I know I can’t be the only one!) But then there’s all these impossible obstacles in the way, like not wanting to go to the sub shop, or the store, or perhaps maybe you don’t have bread in the house, or you don’t want a bunch of carbs, or you don’t want to chew a lot… guess what? I have a solution! Philly Cheesesteak Stew. I’ll admit we’ve never been to Philly…maybe someday….but we sure do like their sandwiches. And, I figured if their sandwiches were good, then a soup would be, too! Boy, was I right!!

If you like the philly cheesesteak sandwich, then you got to try this soup. All the flavors of the famous sandwich you love come together here in a thick, and hearty stew that is sure to satisfy any level of cheesesteak craving. See? We’ve got you covered.

Philly Cheesesteak Stew

 Philly Cheesesteak Stew

recipe adapted from Lady MeLady

1 1/2 lb top sirloin or ribeye, cut in thin slices
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp flour, divided
2 onions, quartered and cut into thin slices
1/2 – 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups beef broth, 2 if you want a really thick stew
1-2 sweet bell pepper; thinly sliced
4 large buns; hollowed out (the recipe called for sourdough buns, I couldn’t find any so I used crusty Kaiser rolls)
12 round slices provolone cheese

Directions

1. In a large bowl, toss the steak strips with the salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and toss again, making sure the slices are well coated.
2. Sear the steak, in two batches, over medium-high heat, so that both sides brown, only about 1-2 minutes per side. At this stage we still want the centers pink. Once browned, set aside.
3. Next, add the onions and mushrooms to the same skillet and brown for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Now, add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and the last 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir to ensure the onions are coated with flour.
4. Add in the beef broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition so that it thickens, until it’s finally fully incorporated to avoid lumps. Allow to thicken and bring to a bubble, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Add in the peppers in the last 10 minutes of simmering. Add beef after the 30 minutes and let simmer, about 5 minutes, so that it’s heated through.
6. Cut a circle in the top of each bun and remove most of the insides. Set on either a foil covered pan, a pan with a non-stick baking mat, or a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add one slice of provolone to the inside of each bread bowl. Carefully spoon stew into each bread bowl over top of the cheese, and then top the stew in each bread bowl with two slices of provolone.
7. Place the pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and begins to turn a golden-brown.
8. Serve hot with the removed pieces for dipping.

{One Pot Wonder} Dirty Rice

For years, we bought the box mix and simply added ground beef to it. We were in heaven. It was divine. It tasted great and it was quick. Everything we ever needed or wanted in our dirty rice dinners. Or so I thought. Sometimes I have readers send me links to recipes they think will tickle my fancy or that they want an opinion on before venturing into uncharted territory. THAT’ is how this recipe fell into my lap, err inbox, late last year, and I can’t say thank you enough!

I wanted to share this with you all sooner. I really did. You see, I first made this late last year, and we loved it. But I don’t typically take pictures until the next time I make something. I mean, I’ve gotta make sure it’s son approve and all. So then there was the second time we made this, and all I had was a crappy picture that really didn’t do it justice, and this meal deserved better than that. So I used that as the perfect excuse to make it again. And it seemed that every time I got around to making it again, and again, we were all in so much of a hurry to dig into this dish that the only photo I could get was using the hub’s cell phone! Clearly you can see where our priorities lie. 😉 So this time around, about 9 months later, give or take a month or so, I didn’t tell anyone what was for dinner and wouldn’t let anyone near the kitchen until I’d managed to get at least one decent shot with my camera. Once I snapped it, that was it, the troops were all over it. It was a lot like what I’d imagine feeding a pack of ravenous wolves might be like. [End tangent]

So. Dirty Rice. If you’re from the South, especially the deep south and any ‘bayou’ regions, you’ve probably grown up on the stuff. For those of you not from the deep south, a fun fact about ‘dirty’ rice.  The traditional Cajun dish get it’s name from the white rice it calls for that turns a ‘dirty’ color when cooked with small pieces of chicken livers. Yeah. I didn’t like liver when I was little, and it’s still a no-go now. I know, I know, your palette can change as you age, but I’m not chancing it. No liver for this Mama. I get my rice pleeeenty dirty using good ol’ ground beef. Don’t like beef? Chicken sausage or pork sausage both work great in this meal. If you’ve got one pot, and one 25-minute window of time, you’ve got this amazing dinner that will leave you with only ONE dish to clean. Priceless, right?!

Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice

recipe adapted from Southern Plate

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 tbsp dried
1-3 tbsp creole seasoning, depending on how spicy you’d like it
5 cups cooked rice
 
Directions
 
1. In a large skillet, heat up the oil, over medium heat.
2. Add the ground beef, celery, pepper, garlic, and onion and cook, breaking up the beef while stirring, until the ground beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
3. Add the parsley and creole seasoning, starting on the low end with 1 tbsp and tasting before leaving it or increasing the amount as desired, stirring to combine.
4. Then stir in the cooked rice, and saute for 5 minutes, or until heated through, over medium heat.
 
 
Like the idea of a one pot meal and a less-mess dinner? Check out these other one pot wonders:
4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice
Mexican Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta
Pizza Pasta
4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein
Chicken Lo Mein
 

{One Pot Wonder} Mexican Chicken & Rice

The great thing about this dish? (I mean besides the incredibly tasty flavors) It can all be made in one pot. All of it. Rice and all. It’s like magic. Dinner magic. One pot to dirty, one pot to clean, one delicious meal to consume. And if I haven’t convinced you yet… it’s quick. Super quick. Less than 30 minutes quick. Don’t believe me? Here, let me walk you through it.

Cook chicken –> stir everything else in –> let cook 20 minutes –>DONE. Piece. of. chicken & rice. cake.

{One Pot Wonder} Mexican Chicken & Rice

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice

recipe adapted from Yellow Bliss Road

Directions

1. Cut chicken into one inch pieces and season with salt & pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add chicken. Cook until just barely browned, but not cooked through.
2. Add one cup of long grain white rice and saute for one minute. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy. If there is still liquid in the pan, uncover and simmer until the liquid is reduced.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice 2

Buen provecho!

{One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

Over the years I’ve learned I can’t ask the sons to spot clean the living room or to clean in general without supervision. Otherwise everything ends up in the toy box. Day old, dirty socks, sippy cups, Dad’s tools, remotes, candy wrappers. You name it, if I can’t find it and they’ve cleaned recently, it’s in the toy box . While it’s frustrating to no end, I do understand the urge. Shoot, even as an adult I have the urge to do things as simply as possible. Their motivator for doing the bare minimum to get by? Usually, the great outdoors is calling their name, or their video games. Mine? Supply and demand. Some days there are just too many things needing my attention, and there’s only one of me with a limited number of hours in the day.

Enter the wonderful world of one pot meals. I simply cannot express the love I have for them. The pleasure I get from knowing I literally just threw a bunch of stuff into a pot and it turned into a delicious meal everyone loves is addicting. I just can’t keep it all to myself. I’ve got to share the love, or in this case, the recipe. Be careful though, the one pot meal craze is contagious!

{One Pot Wonder} Pizza Pasta

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

recipe originally from Yellow Bliss Road’

1 5 oz package pepperoni

1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced green peppers
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 jar pizza sauce + 1 jar water
1 2 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
3 cups small, dry pasta (penne, wheels, macaroni, etc.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. In a 5 quart pot, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute until soft, about five minutes. Add garlic and saute one minute.
2. Add Italian sausage and pepperoni and cook until sausage is no longer pink.
3. Add pasta, beef broth, tomato paste, pizza sauce, water and seasonings. Stir and bring to a boil.
4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring at least once, .
5. Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese, reserving 1/4 cup for sprinkling on the top. Replace the cover and let sit for five minutes. Garnish with diced green peppers and shredded Parmesan, if desired.

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