Easy Cook: Chicken Taco Soup

“Chicken Taco Soup” is a hearty and satisfying soup to cook for a hurry-up lunch or supper meal. It is a quick recipe and doesn’t require much of effort — just open several cans — which is very nice once in awhile. I used left-over rotisserie chicken in the soup along with several canned and frozen vegetable ingredients and a packet of dry taco seasoning. That’s it; this recipe made a very tasty soup–entrée. Sometimes I will purchase a rotisserie chicken for a meal and find that about half of the chicken is left-over after we eat. Rather than let the chicken go to waste (which can easily happen), I have several recipes which make good use of the chicken. This is one such recipe. Plus, by reading the labels, I have found ways to cut down on the sodium in the soup.

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Kansas City PlowBoys Dry Rub Roast Chicken

My blog post this week is about a delicious Oven Roast Chicken recipe inspired by a cross-country road trip. Several weeks ago my daughter and I took a marathon auto trip — driving from Boston, Massachusetts, to Aspen, Colorado, where she was going to live for the summer. Let us just say, it was a long — and boring — drive! We listened to lots of murder-mystery podcasts and watched the scenery go by. Kansas was interesting — this state must have the record for most windmills; a sight that you don’t see in Louisiana. The huge, silent and futuristic windmills filled the countryside and provided lots of photo opportunities for the passenger. Clean energy and our future, I presume!

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Steamed Oriental-Style Chicken with Kale and Sticky Rice

I sent my husband to the grocery market to purchase rice and he returned home with a bamboo steamer. I certainly don’t need another “kitchen appliance.” However, since my husband was kind enough to run an errand for me, how could I ask him to return the bamboo steamer? Steaming vegetables and other foods is such a healthy way to cook things; I decided to give the bamboo steamer a trial run. Today I cooked “Steamed Oriental-Style Chicken with Kale” in the two layer steamer. I served it with sticky rice (also cooked in the steamer) and a simple dressing. It was an interesting experiment, really a meal-in-one, and my husband liked the resulting dish!

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Instant Pot Magic: Coconut Curry Chicken with Potatoes & Carrots

Can you cook oriental cuisine in an Instant Pot? I decided to find out by cooking “Coconut Curry Chicken with Potatoes & Carrots” in my new kitchen appliance. And I was pleased with the results of my “Americanized” dish. The flavors of coconut milk, yellow curry and chicken combine to make a nicely seasoned main dish. The recipe comes from a college roommate and is one of my favorite oriental-inspired dishes. Typically potatoes are included in this recipe. My roommate, Lucy, also added carrots and onions. Serve the chicken with rice — even though it contains potatoes. Had I known that cooking with an Instant Pot was so incredibly easy, I might have purchased this kitchen appliance several years ago.

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Instant Pot Magic: Chicken Marsala with Bow Tie Pasta

I am excited that I received an Instant Pot as a Christmas present this past December. I love new kitchen gadgets and this gives me a great opportunity (or excuse) to test out new recipes. The Instant Pot fad has been around for several years now, so I’ll admit that I’m a little behind the trend. But rather late than never at all. “One-pot meals” seem like the perfect dish to make in an Instant Pot and so I initiated this little this pressure cooker by making “Chicken Marsala with Bow Tie Pasta.” The marsala cooking wine gave a nice flavor to this classic dish.

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Nathan’s Mini Chicken Pot Pies and Variations

What does a Google software specialist do in his spare time when he is working from home close Palo Alto, California, during the pandemic? Well, this Google employee creates and cooks. My nephew, Nathan, has been making pot pies in his kitchen as his group of Google employees continue their jobs from home. He baked the pies in mini-muffin tins so that the pot pies could easily be frozen and reheated as a single serving snack. I liked the idea and found a unique mini-pie tin which made twelve very small chicken pot pies. I made slightly larger individual pot pies, too, which were perfect for a dinner. And I loved the idea of freezing the pot pies; they made a tasty and quick homemade meal when I was was too busy to cook. Now I’m hooked on pot pies!

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Crawfish or Chicken Tetrazzini — Your Choice

Peeled crawfish tails blend very nicely with pasta to create some mighty tasty entrees and pasta salads. Springtime is when crawfish are in season, so I thought I’d adapt one of my favorite pasta dishes, “Chicken Tetrazzini,” substituting crawfish tails. Tetrazzini is a chicken or seafood pasta dish with mushrooms in a rich cream and cheese sauce. It is one of the first casserole dishes which I learned to make and is still one of my favorites. The crawfish recipe is a slight adaption to enhance the dish. I included my original chicken tetrazzini recipe and also a crawfish variation. Both are delicious and fitting for a springtime dinner!

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Let’s Make a Chicken Shawarma-Style Bowl

Let’s try to make a Chicken Shawarma-style lunch bowl. I’d like to find a chicken shawarma recipe which is close to the real thing. For lunch, we love to eat at the nearby Greek and Lebanese Serop’s Express Cafe with a cafeteria-style lunch line. The chicken shawarma plate or bowl with chicken, rice, salad and feta cheese is my favorite. I could eat at this restaurant every day for lunch. (For the quick service and tasty food!) Continue reading

Louisiana Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Incredibly, we’re headed into several more days of freezing sleet and snow here in Louisiana. Haven’t seen this much icy weather in several years. Schools and businesses are closed; so we’re basically on lock-down. At least it would be wise to stay home and warm today and tomorrow.  Start a fire in the fireplace, do some cooking, check the blogs.

Looking around my kitchen for things to cook in this cold weather, hearty stews and gumbos come to mind. Gumbo is uniquely Louisiana; every cook probably their own recipe variation. It’s origin really isn’t know; to me it represents a melting pot of all the cultures and foods that were brought to Louisiana. Gumbo is served in southern Louisiana at about every social event–weddings, parties, church gatherings, buffets lines–I even went to a funeral in a very rural area for an deseased employee and found gumbo served at the wake!

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Gumbo is essentially a dark brown meaty, flavorful soup/stew served with rice; some cooks prefer thin soups, some like thicker. It’s adaptable to many ingredients that a person may have on hand in their kitchen. My favorite is Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

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