Copycat Bombay House Chicken Tikka Masala

Ever since Ezra was born I have craved curries and other spicy dishes. This recipe has become a staple at our house. We love it, but you do have to be careful of making it too spicy. I always put the full two cups of heavy whipping cream in the sauce and try to be cautious of including too much of the marinade in the sauce as well. But, this all really does depend on your spice tolerance. Enjoy! It is delicious and the recipe makes a lot!

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  • 3 lbs chicken breast, uncooked, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 c cilantro (optional)

Marinade:

  • 2 c plain yogurt
  • 4 Tbs lemon juice
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp red pepper
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger

Sauce:

  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (make sure you where gloves – I cannot stress the importance enough)
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala (in the spice aisle – some stores don’t have it, but Walmart usually does)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1-2 c heavy whipping cream, depending on spice preference

Put the chicken in a bowl or large ziploc bag, and add all of the marinade ingredients. Stir until chicken is coated. Let marinade in the fridge for 1-2 hours, then discard the marinade.

Grill or cook the chicken in a high sided skillet until cooked through.

For the sauce, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, sauteing for 1 minute. Add coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt. Stir until combined. Stir in tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes to allow thickening.

Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and stir in the cream according to taste. Serve with white rice and naan bread, garnishing with cilantro, if desired.

Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups

These lasagna roll-ups made for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, and they were good to boot. I served them with some sauteed asparagus. (Picture below is pre-cooking)

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  • 3 c diced chicken, cooked
  • 1 c Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 c of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, cheeses, milk, and pepper. Spread 1/8 of the mixture on each lasagna noodle and roll up. In a 13 by 9-in baking dish, spread 1 cup of your spaghetti sauce. Place each lasagna roll in the baking dish seam-side down. Top with the last 1 cup of spaghetti sauce and cover with foil.

Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Shredded Zucchini Chicken

Zucchini Chicken
Cooking Zucchini Chicken
Ingredients:
Zucchini
Chicken Breasts
Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Quinoa
Spinach and/or Spring Salad Mix

Directions:
Shred 1-2 Zucchini per Chicken Breast. Cook Chicken Breast(s) on stove with olive oil and salt and pepper. After chicken is almost completely cooked add the shredded zucchini to pan to cook with it. Add diced tomatoes last of all. Meanwhile, heat up Quinoa in a different pan on the stove. Arrange spinach or spring mix on plate, put zucchini chicken on top of it and quinoa close by. *Hot sauce may be a great addition to this meal.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
This is a simple healthy recipe if you are good at grilling chicken. It was my first time grilling chicken myself, so I am sure I can use some more practice.

*** Recipe requires an overnight marinade

Ingredients:
4 small boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C sun-dried tomato salad dressing
2 tomatos finely chopped
1/2 C part-skim mozzarella cheese (I recommend shredded)
1/4 C fresh chopped basil or 1 Tsp dired basil

Instructions:
Place chicken (I recommend slicing them smaller) in resealable plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup dressing and seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 minutes (I marinate it all day if I remember in time). Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.

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Grill chicken for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil. Turn the chicken over and place cooked-side up, on the grill. Top with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill 8 minutes or until chicken is done.

*Can add a splash of balsalmic vinegar to give it a bit more zip.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the chicken pot pie recipe I’ve been searching for all of my life. Flashback to my childhood. Hot, humid summer days. We practically lived in the pool and when we came home for dinner my mom would have hot savory chicken pot pie fresh out of the oven. It was just the frozen kind from Costco, but it was our favorite. I’m talking eat the whole pan and lick it clean kind of favorite. Fast-forward a few years and Costco doesn’t carry it anymore. Whichever brand made it had gone out of business. All of us kids were up in arms – we begged my mom to make it over and over again, but they just didn’t carry it anymore.

Years later I’m in my 20’s and me and my siblings still talk about how delicious that pot pie was; nothing could compare. Then one day, a summer miracle happened! The stars aligned and heaven smiled down upon us. My mother, in all her wisdom, found and altered a recipe to make it taste just like the glorious pot pie of our childhood. Can I talk it up enough? I don’t know if it’s all the memories that go with the taste or if it’s really just that good! (Although, I do know that I associate good memories more often with taste than smell). Here it is:

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Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 c. onions, chopped
  • 1 c. carrots, sliced
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. half & half cream
  • 4 c. chicken, cooked and diced
  • 2 Tbs. chicken base
  • Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 350 F. Saute first 3 ingredients in butter for 10 minutes or until nearly cooked. Add flour to vegetables. Stir in broth and cream, stirring until it boils and is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add chicken and base.

In a 9×11 baking dish shape the bottom pie crust to fit and then cook for about 6-8 minutes. Pour filling on top of cooked crust and cover with more crust on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until pie is heated through and top crust is done.

Chicken Roll-Ups

This recipe is a family favorite. I think I asked my mom to make these with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy for every one of my birthdays growing up. Now I make them for Joe and he loves them too. The secret is the dough recipe – my mom is famous for her rolls back home and she uses the same recipe for making chicken roll ups and kolaches. Yum! I’ve heard that you can make these a lot quicker by substituting the dough for canned crescent rolls, however, I’ve never been able to bring myself to try it. Why change a good thing, right?

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ChickenRollUp1

Chicken Roll-Ups

Dough or “Mom’s Rolls:”

  • 1 pkg yeast or 2-1/4 tsp.
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-1/2 c. flour (I typically use about 3 c. of white flour and 1-1/2 c. of wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp. salt

Combine yeast, 1/4 c. of warm water, and 1 Tbs. sugar in a small bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly. In a microwave safe bowl or big glass measuring cup combine milk and butter and microwave until butter is mostly melted and milk is warm. After removing milk and butter combo from the microwave add 1/2 c. sugar and eggs. In a large bowl combine flour and salt and then add the milk combo to the flour and mix it in. If the yeast is done sitting mix that in as well, but make sure the milk mixture isn’t too hot. Now make sure the dough is all mixed and that you have it at the right consistency by adding pinches of flour when needed. Grease another bowl, we use Crisco, and place dough in the bowl. Cover and let sit for 30-45 minutes or until double in size.

While the dough is rising you will want to make the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 green onion stalks, chopped
  • 2 c. chicken, cooked and chopped (I like to season the chicken before it’s cooked with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt for extra flavor)
  • Dash of salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Preheat oven to 375 F.  Once dough is done rising use flour and a rolling pin to roll out small sections of dough. Flattened, they should be about the size of your open hand, depending on how big you want them. Place a spoonful of filling in each and fold up the edges to seal them. Place each roll-up on a greased cookie sheet and cover. Let rise for another 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size (To be honest, I almost always skip this step and they still turn out great). Bake for 10-15 minutes or until dough is golden on top and cooked through. Once removed from the oven spread a little bit of butter on top of each roll. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, and mixed veggies. Enjoy!

Chicken Flautas

A Sears family favorite – fattening, fried, and delicious. Like most Mexican foods it goes wonderfully with refried beans, guacamole, and sour cream. Some day I will work on a modified version of this recipe which does not need to be fried, but until then I will enjoy the extra calories.

Chicken Flautas

  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 3 Tbs margarine
  • ½ c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 ½ c. diced chicken
  • Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbs. parsley
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated onion
  • Dash of paprika, nutmeg, and pepper

Dip tortillas in hot oil to soften and set aside. Melt butter and blend in flour and salt. Add broth. Cook and stir until mixture thickens. Add parsley, lemon juice, onion and other spices. Stir in chicken and let cool slightly. Place one spoonful of chicken mixture in center of each tortilla. Roll up tightly and secure with toothpick. Fry in oil until crispy and golden brown, about 2 min. From here place each cooked flauta on some paper towels (I usually line a casserole dish with them) until time to serve. If finished early you can keep the flautas in the oven at a low temperature to keep hot.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Delicious, but next time I would make biscuits to go along with this. The crust has always been my favorite part of Chicken Pot Pie and I couldn’t help but miss it.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 2 chicken bouillons
  • Ground pepper
  • Dash of thyme
  • 10 oz frozen classic mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced
  • Salt
  • Baby Spinach, as much or little as you would like

Combine 1/2 cup of cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, chicken bullion, thyme, pepper, frozen vegetables and continue to boil. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

Remove lid, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and spinach, and slowly whisk in the water and flour mixture, stirring well as it’s added. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 4 Tbs. flour
  • 1 quart half & half
  • 1/2 c. celery, finely diced
  • 1 c. onion, finely diced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth
  • 1 c. carrots, shredded
  • 1-2 c. chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 c. of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for a minute or so before adding the half and half. Add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. Let the mixture thicken again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning; simmer until soup is heated through and serve.

what to do with a huge leftover bag of lettuce: PF Changs style lettuce wraps

leftoverlettuce

After throwing an event where we had sub sandwiches I was left with this HUGE bag of lettuce.  My solution for how to use it was: lettuce wraps. And if I do say so myself I think they turned out pretty well. The following recipe was found online. It is supposedly PF Chang style lettuce wraps.

Serving Size: 6 people

Ingredients:
7 1/2 tablespoons oil
5 boneless chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups water chestnuts
1 2/3 cups mushrooms
7 1/2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-12 1/2 leaves iceberg lettuce leaves (or sub walmart sub sandwich bag style)

Special Sauce:
5/8 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup water
5 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
5 tablespoons ketchup
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons hot mustard
2 1/2 – 5 teaspoons garlic and red chile pepper paste

Stir Fry Sauce:
5 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

lettuce wraps

Directions:

  1. mix all the special sauce ingredients together. refrigerate.
  2. bring oil to a high heat in either a large frying pan or a wok
  3. saute Chicken breast till fully cooked. this should take about 10 minutes.
  4. remove chicken from pan to cool. leave oil in pan and keep it hot.
  5. mince water chestnuts, mushrooms, and chicken to roughly the size of a small pea.
  6. prepare stir fry sauce in a bowl by adding all stir fry sauce ingredients.
  7. add another Tbsp oil to pan and saute water chestnuts, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and chicken in the stir fry sauce. about 4 minutes.
  8. serve over lettuce “cups” and top with special sauce.

Note:  Lettuce wraps can be very messy to eat.  It might be easier to cut lettuce up and eat like a salad. Use the Special Sauce as your dressing.