WHY IT WORKS: This recipe works because it is simple, week night friendly, flavor packed and PURE comfort food. It also makes a great addition to a backyard BBQ or church pot luck supper.

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders, cut into 1 inch strips
1/3 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
6 cups diced hash brown potatoes, thawed*
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup seasoned Panko crumbs**
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 bunch green onions, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 13×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the chicken strips and hot sauce, tossing to coat well.
  • In a LARGE mixing bowl whisk together the undiluted soup and ranch dressing.
  • Fold potatoes into the soup mixture.
  • Spoon potato mixture into baking dish.
  • Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on top of potatoes, drizzling any excess sauce evenly over top.
  • Evenly top with grated cheese.
  • In a small bowl combine Panko Crumbs and butter until a coarse mixture.
  • Sprinkle Panko crumbs mixture over chicken pieces.
  • Cover and bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through.
  • Top with green onions.
  • Cool slightly and serve warm.

NOTE 1: * The original recipe called for a southwestern style hash browns.  Tater tots in a single layer work in a pinch also, but make sure everything is COMPLETELY thawed and drained of all moisture.

NOTE 2: ** The original recipe called for corn flakes crumbs.



I’ve been making these recipes for years.  I originally found them in AMISH & MENNONITE KITCHEN (1995).

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS and what doesn’t:

The Creamed chicken works as a comfort food that is satisfying and rib sticking too. I made a few “small” changes over the years to add some additional flavor. It can be made quickly and easily on a week night.

The marinated carrots add tons of color and a bit of acidic tang too. You just have to plan ahead on the carrots since this recipe requires marinating and chilling overnight. I’ve included my next best marinated carrot salad recipe (given to me by a very sweet old lady) that I’ve been using since the 80’s. Both recipes keep well in the fridge and taste better several days later.

The cookbook called for the creamed chicken to be served over “FLOATING ISLANDS”. I tried making them twice, but they were VERY bland and terribly horribly full of fat and cholesterol.


2 tablespoons GHEE or butter
1 shallot, sliced or diced thin
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pink Himalayan salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves
1 cup whole milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups diced, cooked chicken*

  • In a large skillet melt ghee.
  • Saute’ shallot until translucent.
  • Add flour, salt, pepper and celery leaves, stirring until smooth.
  • Add milk and chicken broth, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil and and boil slowly for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add chicken pieces and heat through.
  • Serve over toast, wide egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

NOTE: *I use rotisserie chicken quite often, but usually just brown and shred 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts.


1 pound baby carrots
1 small onion, sliced into rings
1/ green pepper, sliced
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Bring a pot of water to boiling.
  • Add carrots cooking JUST until softened. DRAIN.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss together the carrots, onion rings and bell pepper slices.
  • In another mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables.
  • Chill and marinate overnight.
  • Serve chilled.

An alternate recipe for this type of marinated carrot salad is:

40 ounces +/- canned sliced carrots, drained
14 ounces +/- canned baby peas, drained
1 medium red onion, chopped small
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup**
3/4 cup vinegar (I sometimes use apple cider and it is just as good)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup salad oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Whisk together soup, salad oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Add carrots, peas and onions.
  • Chill overnight so flavors blend.
  • Serve cold.

**I replaced the canned soup with the following recipe:

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups milk
dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, and oregano.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour and seasonings and cook until bubbly.
  • Add tomato puree’ and blend well.
  • Remove from heat and gradually whisk in liquid.
  • Return to heat and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened to desired consistency.





I originally found this recipe when we were living in the mountains and needed some hearty rib sticking meals in the long cold winters.  I found it in an old (1990) cook book called in Sarah Leah Chase’s Cold Weather Cooking. She called this chapter Stormy Weather and Magic Mountains. The recipes were all from the New England area, but really spoke to me as all around cold weather YUM!

According to Ms. Chase the original recipe was one her grandmother concocted for her grandfather to be able to make hearty food on hunting and fishing trips. While her family debated whose version was the best, I have adapted it to my family’s likes.

Serves 4

4 slices bacon, diced
1 small Vidalia onion, halved root to tip and sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 Portabella mushroom, cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery hearts and leaves
2-3 tablespoons SWEET Hungarian Paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup homemade chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken pieces**
1/4 cup Wondra flour
1 cup sour cream
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Prepared egg noodles***

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown bacon until crisp and crumbly.
  • With a slotted spoon remove bacon pieces to drain on paper towels.
  • Add onions and shallot to hot bacon grease and saute’  JUST until soft and beginning to brown.
  • Add mushrooms to pan and saute’ JUST until mushrooms are cooked through.
  • With a slotted spoon remove onions and mushrooms to paper towels also to drain.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken breasts to bacon grease and sear well on both sides.
  • Remove chicken (it will not be cooked through yet and that is okay!)
  • Whisk together the chicken broth, paprika and tomato paste until well blended.
  • Add tomato mixture to pan along with celery pieces.
  • Return chicken, onions and mushrooms to the pan making sure to spoon sauce over top of everything.
  • Reduce heat, cover and SLOW simmer, basting frequently, until chicken is tender and cooked through 30-45 minutes or more depending on breast thickness.
  • Remove chicken pieces and keep warm.
  • Whisk sour cream and flour together until smooth.
  • SLOWLY (so as not to curdle your sour cream) add the sour cream mixture to the tomato mixture until well blended.
  • Heat though, stirring constantly, but DO NOT BOIL!
  • Return chicken to pan and coat well with sauce.
  • Serve over wide egg noodles.

**NOTE: I have also cut the chicken into chunks to make more of a stew with great success. Doing it this way will reduce your simmer time considerably.

***NOTE: Also quite good over mashed potatoes for a more rib sticking comfort feel.


Recipe Yield: 6 servings

1 whole chicken or 3 cups chicken pieces**
1 cup homemade concentrated chicken broth
7 cups hot water
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup quality butter
1 cup scant Wondra flour
1 small jar chopped pimento, optional
Fresh flat parsley for garnish
Garlic Butter croutons

  • If starting from scratch: Place chicken pieces in large pot and cover with water, about 10 cups. Add vegetables and simmer until chicken almost falls off the bone. Strain off enough liquid to make 8 cups of stock. Cut cooled chicken into bite sized pieces and be sure to pick all the little chicken bits off the bones. Set chicken aside.
  • If not starting from scratch:
  • In a stock pot, whisk together the hot water and concentrated broth.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add vegetables and simmer 1 hour.
  • When vegetables are tender, use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables to a food processor. DO NOT DISCARD.
  • The vegetables are a crucial flavor component. Process vegetables until smooth and then whisk back into the broth.
  • Bring to a very LOW boil.
  • In a small sauce pan melt butter.
  • Whisk in Wondra flour until golden in color making a yummy roux.
  • Gradually add the roux, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Simmer 10-15 minutes until desired thickness.
  • Add the chopped chicken*** and 1 small jar of diced pimento.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve in warmed soup bowls.
  • Garnish each serving with homemade Garlic Butter croutons and chopped parsley.

**I used rotisserie chicken pieces.

***Since my chicken was fresh and hot from Costco, I chopped about 3/4 cup rotisserie chicken per person and put it into the bottom of each bowl instead, then poured the hot thickened bisque over the chunky parts. This way the remaining bisque stores in a jar easier. I also just used the pimento as a garnish with the croutons.

Cooks Notes: Whenever I bring home a Costco rotisserie chicken I use the skin, drippings and bones (where all the flavor is) to make a pot of broth. I then portion it into 1 cup containers for the freezer. This really makes things easier for those quick weeknight meals.




1 cup diced shallot
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 sprigs fresh basil
2 sprigs fresh oregano
4 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese – garnish

  • Remove the leaves from the basil and oregano, chopping each.  Reserve half of the basil for garnish.
  • Lay chicken in bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle the onions and peppers all around the chicken.
  • Top with the tomatoes, half the basil and all the oregano.
  • Pour chicken broth  over it all.
  • Cook on high for 3 hours.
  • Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred. Keep warm.
  • Add pasta to crock pot and cook another 35-40 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  • Stir shredded chicken back in and heat through.
  • Season to taste.
  • Top each serving with fresh basil and some of the Parmesan shredded cheese.






4-6 bone in chicken thighs
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup Bertolli balsamic reduction glaze

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  • Arrange chicken thighs in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle onion pieces around chicken.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Add garlic and blend well.
  • Pour over chicken and onions.
  • Cook 5-6 hours on low.
  • Heat Balsamic glaze to a slow simmer in a small sauce pan.
  • Serve over Jasmine Rice.
  • Pour glaze over chicken and rice.


This recipe was designed after one of hubby’s favorite dishes at the Cheesecake Factory, SWEET & SOUR CRISPY PINEAPPLE CHICKEN & SHRIMP.

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained well
4 chicken breasts
Rice flour for dredging
Avocado oil
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 brunch green onions or a small shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet red mini peppers, sliced thin
1/2 cup snow peas
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup Sesame Ginger Dressing
1/4 cup Bertolli Balsamic glaze
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup lukewarm water
Jasmine rice

  • In a saucepan combine the orange juice, pineapple juice,  and sesame ginger dressing bringing to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and add balsamic glaze and honey, cooking until slightly reduced.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Dredge chicken  and shrimp pieces in rice flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Heat avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat until sizzling.
  • Saute’ chicken pieces until cooked through. The add shrimp pieces and cook through.
  • Remove chicken and shrimp pieces and keep warm.
  • Whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce and cook through until slightly thickened.
  • Add green onions, peppers, snow peas and mushrooms to the pan you just took the chicken from sautéing until softened.
  • Add pineapple and sauce to vegetables, stirring to coat.
  • Add in chicken pieces, tossing to coat.
  • Serve over rice.

NOTE: Use the drained juice to make yourself a cocktail.


CELEBRATION CHICKEN an OLD family favorite A.K.A. as Chicken S.O.S.

I believe this wonderful recipe came from the 1950’s or 1960’s, but the chicken scratch writing of my grandmother with all her changes and then mine too make it a bit hard to tell.  I think this recipe probably came as a promotional recipe on a soup can, box of Philly cheese or even the jar of beef, but who really knows? This is a wonderful recipe for a large family gathering or having company.  It looks and tastes like you worked all day!  Hubby calls it Chicken S.O.S. I add small pasta shells and toss those with the excess sauce. The chicken turns out so tender and juicy you could cut it with a fork and it will melt in your mouth. The pasta work well for a pot luck dish, but the chicken is also tasty with mashed potatoes for a home meal.

1 jar dried beef
8 skinless chicken breasts
8 slices bacon
2 packages cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cans undiluted cream of mushroom soup
Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Layer dried beef slices on the bottom of the baking dish slight overlapping each piece.* / **
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each chicken breast and place on top of beef in a single layer.
  • In a medium saucepan combine the cream cheese, soup and sour cream stirring until smooth and heated through.  DO NOT BOIL – will burn easily!
  • Pour sauce over chicken.
  • Sprinkle with paprika.
  • Cover and bake 2 hours.
  • Spoon some of the soup mixture over each piece of chicken as you serve it.
  • Garnish and serve immediately.

COOK’S NOTE 1: *When cooking for just the 2 of us I have much more dried beef than I need so I layer it on the bottom as well as use it on the chicken and then chop the last 2 pieces to add on top of the sauce – YUMMY!

COOK’S NOTE 2: **An alternative method is to wrap each chicken breast with the beef and then the bacon.

COOK’S NOTE 3: This recipe works well in the slow cooker on low also making it good for church suppers or potlucks.






The beauty of this recipe is that you can change the flavor just by changing out one ingredient!  Today I used Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar, but I have also made it with Champagne vinegar, Cinnamon Pear vinegar, etc… This chicken is always plump, juicy and delectable.


1/2 cup Avocado oil*
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar – flavor of your choice
1/4 cup Bragg’s Amino Acids
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh ground Pink Himalayan salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 chicken breasts

  • Whisk together all the ingredients except the chicken.
  • Remove 1 half cup of marinade and reserve for basting chicken while it grills.
  • Wash and dry chicken pieces.
  • Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in an airtight container and cover with marinade. I use a Tupperware marinade that can be turned over ever little while.  Marinade at least 4 hours, but I prefer overnight.
  • Preheat grill to medium and lightly oil your grates.
  • remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off.
  • Grill chicken 6 minutes per side or until cooked all through.
  • Baste chicken with reserve marinade while grilling.
  • Let chicken rest under foil tent for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • While chicken is resting, bring reserve marinade to boil and simmer until thickened for a sauce.*NOTE: If you prefer you can use olive oil.  I just don’t like it.


1 small Russset potato per person
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Ranch seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Wash potatoes and dry well.
  • Slice potatoes into even size sticks.
  • Toss potato sticks with avocado oil and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • Arrange potato sticks in a single layer on the cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
  • Toss again with 1 teaspoon of Ranch seasoning and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  • While frites are baking, prepare chicken.






We love this recipe because it is so easy to personalize it.  Hubby LOVES Bleu Cheese, me not so much so I can make mine with cheddar or Jack.

2 russet potatoes
2 medium carrots, sliced on an angle thinly
1 large celery stalk, sliced on an angle thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced on an angle thinly
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bit sized pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
1/8 cup Bleu Cheese crumbles
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 cup rice flour
1 +  1 teaspoon Ranch seasoning
2 tablespoons Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
2 +1  tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
Fresh ground Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Line cookie sheet with foil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Wash potatoes and dry well.
  • Slice potatoes into even size sticks.
  • Toss potato sticks with avocado oil and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • Arrange potato sticks in a single layer on the cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
  • Toss again with 1 teaspoon of Ranch seasoning and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  • While frites are baking, prepare chicken.
  • In a ziplock bag combine the rice flour and 1 teaspoon of Ranch Seasoning.
  • Add chicken pieces and coat well.
  • In a cast iron skillet melt the butter.
  • Add chicken pieces and brown well on all sides.
  • When chicken is almost done move to outer edges of pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter more to center along with onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.
  • Mix together veggies and chicken pieces.
  • Drain in a colander of any excess oil.
  • Toss chicken mixture with sour cream mixture.
  • Plate crisp frites.
  • Top with a scoop of chicken mixture.
  • Top with cheese crumbles and ENJOY!



Do you like those rotisserie chicken from the market?  I do, but on average they are only 2-3 pounds and cost anywhere from $5-$8 or even more.  My local grocer ran a unadvertised special the other day and I got this 5.86 pound beauty for 97 cents a pound.

I love my cast iron skillet too!  There is nothing better for even cooking heat!  I like to roast my chicken in there so the sides are always radiating an even heat to whole chicken. 

1 5-6 pound roasting chicken
4 tablespoons butter, softened
salt & pepper
1/2 onion, wedged small
1 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
  • Wash chicken and dry.
  • Spread butter along the inside of the cast iron pan and all over the chicken.
  • Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
  • Place onions along side the chicken.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the preserves and syrup.  Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Roast at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  • With a pastry brush spread preserve mixture all over the chicken every 10-15 minutes until skin is crisp and chicken is cooked through. This should be from 30-45 minutes based on the actual weight of your chicken.


CHICKEN CAESAR SAMMIES ala Rotisserie OR Slow Cooker

I love this recipe!  It can be made one of 2 ways, slow cooker or quick and easy. It just depends on whether I’ve just gotten home from Costco with a batch of their rotisserie chicken parts or in the slow cooker when thighs are on sale. Yep, they now sell just leg quarters from yesterday’s rotisserie chickens at a much reduced price.

You can also choose to use bottle dressing or make your own.  I tend to use bottle when I’m using the Costco chicken to make it quick and easy. Using the Costco chicken also gives you the added option of making the recipe cold OR hot.

CHICKEN CAESAR SAMMIES ala Rotisserie OR Slow Cooker

6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Caesar dressing
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Kaiser Rolls

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in slow cooker skin side up.
  • Cook on low 5-6 hours.
  • Remove from slow cooker.
  • Remove skin and bones, shredding the chicken into a bowl.
  • Add dressing and cheese, mixing until well incorporated.
  • Serve on rolls.

CAESAR DRESSING  makes 1 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, whisking until well combined.
  • Taste and adjust to taste. Use immediately.

NOTE: Since I’m deathly allergic to mustard I make this recipe without the mustard, split the batch and then add ALL the mustard to my husband’s half. He loves it.