CHICKEN-BISCUIT BAKE

Wonderful winter fare! The bacon in this dish adds a nice note to the chicken, peas, and carrots, and who can resist biscuits (in this case, the ultra-convenient Pillsbury)? Thumbs up again 🙂

Chicken Bacon Bake

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

6 tbsp butter

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half-and-half

3 tbsp sherry (yes, I used cooking sherry)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 can biscuits (I used Pillsbury 8-count Flaky Layers)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease large baking dish

2) In large skillet over medium-high, cook bacon 5-6 minutes until crispy; add onions, carrots, and celery and cook 5 minutes until veggies soften; remove from heat

3) Evenly spread chicken over bottom of baking dish, followed by cooked veggies and peas; set aside

4) In same large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute; gradually whisk in chicken broth and cook 4-5 minutes, whisking often, until sauce thickens; whisk in half-and-half and, whisking often, cook 3 minutes; whisk in sherry and nutmeg and remove from heat

5) Pour sauce over chicken-veggie mixture; separate biscuits horizontally into 2 layers and arrange on top of chicken-veggie mixture (I used 5 of the 8 biscuits and also halved them vertically); bake in oven 20 minutes until filling bubbles and biscuits are browned; remove from oven and serve; yum!

Servings: 6

PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED-MOZZARELLA STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

It was Junior’s first night home following his freshman year at university, so I wanted to make it special–and put a little weight on him in the process (he did not gain the “Freshman 15”). This meal was a winner all around–hearty, delicious, and easy to make. Thumbs up times four!

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 cup fresh baby spinach

6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced about 1/4″ thick

2 tbsp basil paste (or a handful of fresh basil leaves)

8 slices prosciutto

2 cups marinara sauce (jarred)

1/4 cup white wine (or cooking wine)

1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) Cut large slit in each chicken breast and assemble each as follows, dividing ingredients equally between breasts: place spinach on bottom half, followed by mozzarella and a spread of basil paste; fold top half over bottom

3) Wrap each chicken breast in two slices of prosciutto and place in large casserole dish; bake in oven 20-25 minutes until chicken is just done all the way through

4) Meanwhile, in medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cooking wine and marinara sauce

5) Pour wine-marinara sauce over chicken and bake additional 5 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle shaved parmesan and parsley over top, and serve with a garden salad

Servings: 4