Light Italian Chicken

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The only way this dish could be any easier would be if someone else put it together for you and then fed it to you. It’s a light dish, great for a summer evening when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. The good ole Crock-Pot comes into service once again. In the lower photo I have my 2-quart along with the few ingredients, but you’ll actually need to use a 6-quart.

What you’ll need:

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cans of Italian type diced tomatoes. If you can’t find these tomatoes, using regular diced will work perfect, add 1 tablespoon of basil and 1 teaspoon of oregano.

1 large white onion, julienned

2 green bell peppers, also julienned

2 tablespoons of crushed garlic

Package of Angel Hair pasta, prepare following package directions

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In your Crock-Pot, put in the chicken, next the onion and bell pepper, and the garlic. Pour the two cans of tomatoes over it all. I normally add a bit more basil. Salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 8 hours. Once the chicken is “fall apart tender”, you are ready for dinner. I pour the goodness over the prepared pasta and serve. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. This will taste even better the next day. If you’re a left over snob, you are so missing out.

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This is a great dish to add zucchini to, experiment.

Chicken Lasagna

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I’m a bit of a “throw it in there” cook. I go by look, smell and taste when I’m coming up with something. I’ve been asked for this recipe, but forgive me if the quantities on the ingredients are vague. Trust me, you’d have to be trying to mess this up, it’s that easy. 🙂 You may, of course make your sauce from scratch. Raise that chicken, butcher it, cook and move forward, or cheat, this is one of those dishes where cutting corners truly is the fun of it. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone and if Martha Stewart shows up, just let her prepare a meal and you take the night off…. moving on…

This may be prepared in a 6 qrt. Crock Pot for a care free meal, or prepare in a 13 x 9 baking dish and put in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. All the ingredients need to melt and blend. I’ve only prepared this in a Crock Pot, it may be more than what a 13 x9 baking dish can handle, so be prepared to fill a second smaller dish J

What you need:

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1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and pieces cut into bite size

1 medium size pkg. of broccoli florets, or 5 fresh broccoli florets, stems removed and cut into bite size pieces (fresh spinach may be used instead, I would stick with fresh instead of bothering with frozen)

1 can of artichoke hearts drained and cut into bite size pieces

2 jars of Bartolli Alfredo Sauce (I use the low-fat option, it taste great and a good way to cut back in this recipe)

1 box of bow-tie pasta

2 eggs

1 large container of ricotta cheese

2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese (may use a blend, just don’t use the nasty powder stuff)

2 T of Italian Seasoning or ¾ t of oregano and 1 ¼ t of basil

Salt and pepper, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic (to taste)

Olive oil

Prepare pasta per package instructions, rinse and drain thoroughly

With a fork, beat the eggs, in a medium size bowl, add the eggs to the ricotta and to this, add the Italian seasoning. Blend well. Set aside.

If you are using frozen broccoli, steam it or microwave it just enough to get it out of the frozen/raw stage. Drain and pat dry before using in recipe.

If using either a Crock Pot or the baking dish, oil both on the inside using the olive oil, just to prevent sticking, you may use butter or other oil, even a spray, but I always use olive oil.

Pour a quarter of a jar of the Alfredo sauce in the bottom of the Crock Pot or baking dish. Roll the dish around to coat the bottom.

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I don’t know the exact amounts of each item per layer, just remember you’re layering and use your ingredients accordingly.

Layer on top of that a semi thin layer of the pasta; this is your first layer. Add some of the chicken, then the broccoli, and artichoke hearts, the garlic (this is by your preference. If you like a lot of garlic, load it up, not so much, leave out or go sparingly) salt and pepper (possibly a little Cajun.) “Spread” some of the ricotta mixture over the chicken/broccoli. Next; a bit of the mozzarella, followed by a good sprinkle of the Parmesan.

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Cover that layer with some of the Alfredo sauce.

Next, a layer of the pasta, and the same steps as above. Do this to complete using your ingredients. For the very finish and you have covered the last layer with sauce, top this off with more mozzarella and a sprinkle more parmesan.

An added, possibility if I were making this for myself, I sprinkle a bit of the Cajun seasoning in with the layers. Otherwise I add this to my individual serving… it’s an addiction 😉

Put the lid on the Crock Pot and it will cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for six. The objective is to melt all this yumminess together. If you’re baking it in the oven, watch it, as it begins to bubble and the top is getting browned you have a completed Masterpiece.

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Perfect with garlic bread and a fresh salad. I would recommend a nice crisp Chardonnay to accompany this.

Enjoy!