June 3, 2010

Jen's Cream Cheese Chicken

Jen is my good friend and college room mate.. many hours of our relationship thru the years has revolved around food. Sharing recipes and talking about food, eating together, cooking together, our college dinners that almost always included brownies and/or frozen coffee drinks, parties, holidays, late night chat sessions with sweets.... we like to eat, talk and laugh together!

Here's photo from our college days!

So, when I kept hearing rave reviews for her Cream Cheese Chicken I knew it was a must in the menu plan! Jen found the recipe on the 30 Meals in One Day site, which focuses on Once A Month Cooking menu plans. This recipe is great for making in bulk and freezing in portions - you can grab a bag for a quick dinner for yourself, or combine with a box of pasta & loaf of bread to make a great house-warming gift or care package. For example, a new mommy or sick friend.

Now... in my true fashion... I didn't follow the recipe exactly. But only because I knew I was making it for one meal; no make ahead and freezing this time! So, first is the make-ahead-freeze recipe:

Jen's Cream Cheese Chicken

  • 1 .7-ounce envelope Italian Dressing mix

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 1 10.75-ounce can cream of chicken soup

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese

  1. Turn your slow cooker on high and add butter. While butter is melting, cut chicken breasts in 1 inch strips. When the butter has completely melted, add dressing mix and stir until well mixed. Then add chicken strips; stir to coat strips with the butter and dressing mix. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.

  2. Remove chicken to plate to cool, leaving the butter mixture in your slow cooker. Add soup and cream cheese; stir to melt and mix well until smooth and creamy. Remove sauce from cooker and allow to cool.

  3. Combine chicken and sauce; pour in a gallon re-sealable freezer bag. Seal. I would put it in another bag (just to be safe!) Label & date; place in freezer. Start the bag in your freezer laying completely flat - once it is frozen solid you can stand it up, move around, etc. without worrying about spillage.

  4. To serve: Thaw. Heat in a saucepan until pipping hot and bubbly. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

See? Doesn't that sound wonderful?!?

Here is how I made the dish for a 'eat now' meal:

  1. The ingredient list and measurements are exactly the same.

  2. Melt butter in a large pan; once melted add Italian dressing mix and stir until combined.

  3. I cut the chicken breasts into chunks, approx 1" x 1". Add chunks to butter mixture and cook on medium-high heat until cooked through.

  4. While chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta; once pasta is ready, drain and set aside.

  5. Remove chicken from pan (I put them in a bowl and set in my microwave to stay warm). At this point my pasta was ready and strained - I removed a couple spoonfuls of that delicious butter and tossed with the pasta to keep it from sticking to itself.

  6. To the rest of your butter - still in the pan - add the soup and cream cheese. Stir well until melted, smooth and creamy; this takes just a few moments. Remove from heat.

  • Now from here you have a couple options: 1) Shred up the chicken and mix into sauce; toss with pasta. 2) Keep the chicken chunky, mix into sauce and toss with pasta. 3) My route- keep it all separate and let people do what they will!

  • Another option: add mushrooms (fresh or canned) when you add the soup and cream cheese. Yum! I had mushrooms on hand, but kept them separate too since some present think they're yucky.

  • This makes several servings: safely 8, easily 6. I say that because everyone at dinner went back for seconds, and I had enough left over for my lunch! Since it is such a large portion, in the future I will make for dinner and then freeze the remaining chicken & sauce for future use.

Jen's dish was a big hit and will definitely find it's way into my menu again!

This recipe is linked to Foodie Friday - click over for great summer recipes!

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Red Couch Recipes said...

That sounds like something that my family would love. Your post brought me back to my college days; that's when I learned how to cook. Am bookmarking this one! Joni

Jerri said...

This looks right up my alley! I'm definitely bookmarking this for later!

Michelle said...

You've got to love those easy recipes like that. I did my five minute lemon chicken today which worked out perfectly with my timing since I unexpectedly had to take my son to the doctor and then pick up a precription - and dinner was still ready on time! :)

Really Rainey said...

that looks SSSSSSooo good!


Our Treasured Home said...

This was so good, I plan to make it next week.

Vaughnde said...

Yummy! I've got this bookmarked! At the moment I have a small portion of Corned Beef cooking in the crockpot. I bought one corned beef brisket and cut it in thirds, the other two thirds are in the freezer for later during the month. Being single, I'd go the cook ahead and freeze route, portioning out into individual meals :)

Melinda said...

Sounds and looks yummy! Can't wait to try it!

Melinda said...

I love friends who are fellow foodies! I appreciate the two sets of instructions - one for freezing and one for snarfing! :)

Charlene said...

This sounds like something I'd like--chicken, mushrooms, butter and cream cheese--what's not to like?

Thanks for the inspiration!

Crystal said...

Officially adding you to my blogroll! Love your site and this dish is making it on my meal plan for next week!

Check out my site sometime: