Food and Drink

New Menu Monday: Italian Chicken and Stuffing Bake (a recipe with potential…)

italian-stuffing-chicken-LifeInTheLofthouse-e1410538520279Here’s a great recipe to try. It’s great because it is forgiving.
Italian Chicken and Stuffing Bake from the food site LifeInTheLofthouse.com

It’s perfect for illustrating all the reasons why a recipe can go wrong… like, if someone feels like swapping ingredients and decide to not follow certain/most instructions, for instance. Experienced cooks, comfortable in the kitchen, should be able to monkey around with ingredients and directions. Experienced, comfortable cooks also get to botch things up, too. Also, someone would have liked to have posted this yesterday (New Menu Monday), but someone’s son monopolized the desktop all evening for an “I swear, I’ll be done in ten minutes, mom, it’s easy” assignment.

IMG_8058Let’s take these simple ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6 oz.) package stuffing mix for Chicken
  • 1/2 cup water (or broth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup  shredded mozzarella cheese

If you decide to use four enormous whole chicken breasts, not chopped, swap a different kind of stuffing mix instead of the typical national brand, add the cheese in the wrong place and you will have to cook everything for twice as long as the directions, you might have some issues.

Oops!

But, these are good flavors that go well together which stand up to Scattered Home Chef Syndrome… something I seem to suffer from. Yep.

Here’s what I did to mess up this recipe:

1. Use waaaay too much meat.
1. Use waaaay too much meat.
2. Pesto on top, no problem here.
2. Pesto on top, no problem here.
Mix tomatoes, water, stuffing... check.
3. Mix tomatoes, garlic, water, stuffing… check. (see that cheese? Yeah, forgot to put it on the chicken at this point)
Stuffing mix on chicken...
4. Stuffing mix on chicken…
...and cheese on top. Oops.
…and cheese on top. Oops.
Try to flip the stuffing and cheese... succeed in mixing them instead.
Try to flip the stuffing and cheese… succeed in mixing them instead.
Bake 375 30 minutes. JK, bake one hour.
5. Bake 375 30 minutes …one hour. Worry that stuffing is too dry and chicken is under cooked.
Enjoy the flavors of tender, pesto chicken (not under baked), and cheesy stuffing even though it is in the wrong spot.
6. Enjoy the flavors of tender, pesto chicken (not under baked), and cheesy stuffing even though it is in the wrong spot. I would use more cheese next time.

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