Monday, January 31, 2011


So the other night I had decided to spend the day at my parents and bake away and make us dinner (my sisters both had plans and who wants to eat alone?!) My parents were very excited about this - dinner would be ready when they got home from work.  My mom had said that chicken was what she had in the fridge to use and that was my only guideline - the pressure was on.  I wasn't worried about my mom, I was worried about my dad.  He can be a little picky sometimes....he likes extra sauce on things and if there isn't enough rice or pasta or whatever side we made he asks why there isn't more.  So he was the one I was worried about.  I went over armed with some left over Homemade Thin Mint cookies (he was asking repeatedly for them the night before), my dads favorite beer bread mix (from Tastefully Simple) and no idea what to make for dinner.

Chicken.  You can do a million things with chicken, and I didn't want to do the same old thing with it.  I decided that my back up plan would be to make Chicken Parm (my personal fav) if I couldn't decide/find anything to make.  I started by making dessert (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes - post about those bad boys will be up soon) and once that was all done I had to figure out what to do about dinner.  Beer bread - 2 seconds to make and then put it in the oven - easiest thing ever.  And I was surprised when my dad said that he loved that bread when I first brought it over for dinner one night last year.  Some sort of chicken - I started looking through my moms cookbooks to get an idea of what to make.  Towards the end I finally found one - and it was so easy.  Jackpot.  Chicken Au Gratin.  It was perfect.  Then I found Garlic and Herb rice in the house - this dinner was coming together nicely.

Beer Bread....check

soooo good :)
 Garlic and Herb rice....check

Now chicken - the hardest part of this was cutting it all up into bite size chunks.  You get to cook everything in one pan and then put it in a baking dish, top with bread crumbs and brown....super easy.  I started off by sauteing mushrooms until they were nice and brown.  Then I added onions and garlic.  Once those were good, time for the chicken and salt and pepper.  5 minutes later, time to add some chicken stock and heavy cream to make a sauce.  Let that sauce thicken (and I added a little cornstarch because it didn't get as thick as I wanted it) and then transfer to baking dish.  Top it with a bread crumb and parmesan cheese mixture and put some small pats of butter on top and put it into the oven to brown.

i let it get a little too brown :(
Dinner was done - and it was delicious! Both of my parents had seconds - which doesn't really happen that often.  Super easy and tasty.  I will definatley be making this one again.   

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