Tonight’s dinner was good.
It was better than good . . . it was delicious.
It tastes like a fancy schmancy restaurant kind of dinner!
I incorporated the sauce for my Favorite Pasta dish and simply poured it over Browned Chicken Breasts. An hour in the oven (covered with foil) and you have a meal fit for a king! Under our chicken is a bed of brown rice, but you could also use Pasta, mashed potatoes, vegetables or just eat the chicken as is. The chicken is fall apart tender and the sauce is scrumptious! You could toss in sauteed mushrooms, onions, veggies or a number of other ingredients to the sauce before baking as well.
1. Start by tossing 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a bag of seasoned flour and coat well. I just use salt & pepper to season. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter or margarine and a few tablespoons of olive oil over med/high heat in a skillet. Lay the floured breasts in the hot oil and brown very well on both sides.
2. Lay the browned breasts in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish. Make sure that you drain the leftover oil away from the chicken, but KEEP all the browned bits. You’ll want to add all those crispy bits to your baking dish as well. Set aside, while you make the sauce.
3. I wanted to put crisp bacon in my sauce, as well as on top of the chicken when it was all baked. Just line a large baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Place the strips of bacon on top of the foil. Place in oven for about 20 minutes or until it’s done enough for your liking. You could also wrap the bacon around each browned chicken breast if you like. (If you make bacon, you can reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease to use for the roux)
Note: Keep in mind that you have so many options with this dish. You could pound the chicken breasts flat, lay a slice of smoked ham and a slice of cheese on top and roll the chicken up. Secure the chicken with a toothpick so that it stays in a nice rolled shape while baking. The sauce also has grated Parmesan and cheese in it, so it is delicious on it’s own.
Yes . . . the sauce is so much better than canned soup!
Make the sauce. Make sure that you do not let the sauce boil. Remember: If the sauce seems too thick for you, simply add a touch more milk, cream or chicken broth.
Pour the sauce over the chicken.
Note: You could skip the step of browning the chicken, but all those crispy browned bits really add flavor to the sauce.
I also sprinkled a bit of parsley, salt & pepper and crumbled about 4 pieces of crisp bacon over the top.
Cover the baking dish with foil.
Let bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
Note: The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts. You will want the chicken to be fall apart tender. Take a fork and if the chicken falls apart easily, then it’s ready. Serve the chicken as is, or lay it on a bed of rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or cooked vegetables. Spoon additional sauce over the top as desired.
CHICKEN BREASTS GOURMET
- 6 to 8 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 to 8 pieces of crisp fried bacon
Directions for Chicken:
Toss each boneless, skinless chicken breast in a bag of flour that has been seasoned with salt & pepper Coat well. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter along with a few tablespoons of olive or Crisco oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the grease is hot, place the floured breasts in the skillet, and brown very well on both sides. Lay the browned chicken in a 9×13 ” glass baking dish and set aside.
Directions for cooking bacon the easy way:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Lay the strips of bacon on top of the foil. Place the pan in the center of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is done as you desire. I like mine pretty crisp. Note: If you prefer to wrap the bacon around each browned chicken breast, you will need to leave the bacon a bit flexible! Drain the grease away from the bacon, and reserve 1 tablespoon for the roux.
For the sauce:
- 1 cup milk
- 1cup whipping cream or half & half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups Cheddar, Swiss or Colby cheese – grated
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter or use 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- 2 heaping tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or use sauteed onions instead
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
Directions for sauce:
Over medium heat, melt butter and add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes, onion powder and the sugar. Whisk together. Add the flour, and stir quickly until the roux is bubbly and smooth. Continue whisking and slowly add the milk, cream, chicken broth. ( I combine all of this together, then just pour it all in at once)
Continue whisking over medium heat until it has thickened – about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn heat to low!
Add the grated cheeses. (Cheddar, Colby, Swiss & Parmesan) Stir well until nice and smooth and creamy. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice if desired.
Note: If the sauce seems a bit too thick after all the cheese has been added, simply add a bit of chicken broth or milk and stir well. This sauce should not be as thick as pancake batter. You will want it a bit thinner. If you want additional seasonings add them.
Pour the sauce over top the browned chicken in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish. Toss in about 4 pieces of crumbled bacon. Reserve some for the top as garnish.
Cover the chicken with foil, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 -60 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the THICKNESS of your chicken breasts. When it pulls apart easily with a fork, it’s ready and tender. Place a chicken breast on top of pasta, mashed potatoes, rice or cooked veggies or eat the chicken as is. (That is still my favorite way!)
Spoon extra sauce over the top of each breast and crumble additional bacon on top if desired.