I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

Pike's Chicken (aka "The Stuff that Kids are Guaranteed to Like")

How can you go wrong with a name like "the stuff that kids are guaranteed to like"?! That's what the Pike family called it when they gave us the recipe. We went for the simpler name of "Pike's Chicken" because I'm fairly sure that Mama Pike invented this one. Regardless, it's fast, easy, and yes, the kids like it.
It is not one I make very often because it's made with canned soups which are highly processed, so they're both expensive and unhealthy...but it is quick and easy, and every once in a while that's what counts.

serves 4-6, depending how much chicken you use, and it's easy to stretch it by adding some milk to the sauce, or an extra can of one of the soups

Some cut-up chicken (however much your family eats)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (cream of something else will work in a pinch)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can tomato soup

Combine the soups to make a sauce. Put the chicken in a 9x13 pan and pour the sauce over the top. Bake at 350* for about 1 hour (less for boneless or small pieces--see time guides from Chicken in Mushroom Sauce)
Serve over pasta.

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

If you're a mushroom-hater like me, don't let the title scare you! Honestly it's a lot like a stronganoff, only with chicken. In college I used to make a big batch (sometimes meatless) and eat it all week. I think meat tastes odd if reheated in a microwave, but it's fine on the stove or in the oven, and if you make it meatless then the microwave works great.

serves 4-6, depending how much chicken you use

  • 1-2 lbs chicken (if you do cut up pieces it's easy to get away with less, which is cheaper, but it also works fine with whole breasts, thighs, or drumsticks) (I usually do 1-2 breasts cut up)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 c sour cream or plain (unflavored) yogurt
  • parmesan cheese (cheddar is a nice variation if you don't have parmesan)
  • extra mushrooms, if desired
Cut up chicken into 1-inch pieces and spread in a 9x13 baking pan. (If using larger pieces, either precook them for 30 min, or plan to cook the final dish for longer).
Spread soup/sour cream mixture over the meat, and sprinkle enough cheese to cover the top. Bake at 350* for 30-45 min (1hr or a little more for larger pieces).
Serve over noodles or rice.

I prefer to cut up the chicken, and if you use leftover chicken (or even canned) then it is pre-cooked and you only need to put it in the oven long enough to get everything warm--about 10-15min. That is a very fast dinner!
However, if you use whole thighs/breasts, and sprinkle it all with some extra parmesan when serving over a nice bed of noodles, it can be quite a fancy looking meal. Throw some steamed veggies on the side and voila!

The Good Stuff (aka Homemade Hamburger Helper)

I think in the official family recipe book this is called "Hamburger Cheese Macaroni Dish" but everyone in the family just calls it "The Good Stuff."
The original recipe calls for american cheese--the processed junk like velveeta. That will give it more of an "out of the box" taste, but if you like classier food I'd recommend using grated cheddar. ☺

serves about 6

About 1 lb ground beef
4 cups cooked *macaroni noodles (about 3 c uncooked)
1 10.5 oz can tomato soup
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
About 1/2 lb cheese (diced american, or grated cheddar)

*shell noodles work fine, but I don't recommend trying penne or spaghetti or something too different...

Cook noodles. Meanwhile brown the hamburger in a large saucepan and drain off the grease. Mix in tomato sauce, soup, and noodles. Melt in the cheese.
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