It’s Football Season- Time to eat Hot Wing Sliders!

Hot Wing Sliders

Summer is on its way out and it’s time for my favorite season of the year. I’m not talking about Fall, although Fall is pretty awesome in its own right. No, my favorite season has less to do with great weather and falling leaves, and more to do with an increase in trash talking, wearing a particular set of colors every Saturday, and eating some delicious, nerve-calming food. That’s right, it’s FOOTBALL SEASON!! We made it!

Football season is not great for eating healthy food, but when your nerves are shot watching your team go for it on 4th and inches during a tied ballgame, who wants to be dipping celery in some ranch? Not me, certainly not my husband, and I’m guessing not you, either. I laughed as I overheard BJ giving our little boy a heads up last weekend.

“Kellan, next weekend starts the beginning of staying inside all day, yelling at the TV, and eating lots of yummy food. Are you ready?” Kellan is. Granted, he will be over it in about ten minutes and I’ll be the bad mom who puts Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad to babysit him for a few, but I’m confident he’ll still turn out alright.

BJ and his brothers always use football season as an excuse to ask their mom to make her famous hot wings. They are so good. They will set you on fire and have you begging for a gallon of milk to guzzle, but that’s the point of hot wings, isn’t it? The only problem is, it can be a drag to make hot wings. It is A LOT of work unless you have an indoor deep fryer. Masterbuilt makes some incredible fryers that make everything, including clean up, easier. If you love making hot wings, you need one!

But let’s say you don’t have an indoor fryer, you don’t want the mess and hassle of homemade hot wings, but you DO want the delicious, melt-your-face off, I’m-crying-real-tears, essence of a hot wing. That’s when Hot Wing Sliders become your new best friend.

Three Hot Wing Sliders

These little gems are super easy and will give you EXACTLY what you’re looking for in hot wing flavor. Honestly, I think I like them just as much…maybe better.  I’m a girl after all, and the idea of gnawing on a chicken wing, especially given my dislike for chicken in general, is kind of unappealing. Especially when there are other people around, which there inevitably are on game day. Yep, this is easier. Easier to make and easier to eat. You can feed an army with this recipe, just double or triple it as your crowd grows. You can even toss it all in a slow cooker if you really want a hands-off experience. I love that idea on a busy game day!

Give these Hot Wing Sliders a try this weekend. Win or lose, at least you’ll be eating well.

Happy football season!

Happy cooking!

Oh– and WAR EAGLE!

Hot wing slider on a plate

Hot Wing Sliders (makes 12 sliders)

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
18 oz. Lousiana Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing, for garnish
Pack of 12 Hawaiian Rolls, halved into slider buns

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup hot sauce and garlic powder with 2 cups of water. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan like a Dutch oven or braiser. Sear chicken, about two minutes per side. Reduce heat to low, and hot sauce-water mixture until it goes a little over half way up the sides of the chicken, cover with a lid and let cook on low for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have.
  3. Meanwhile, combine remaining hot sauce and dry ranch dressing seasoning. Remove chicken from pot and shred. Drain cooking liquid from pot. Add chicken back to pot and pour in hot sauce-ranch mixture. Cover and keep on low heat.
  4. To serve, top one side of Hawaiian bun with a heap of chicken mixture. Top with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Top with other side of Hawaiian bun. Eat!!!

holding hot wing slider

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Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna

cheesy Mexican lasagna

Can I appoint myself Loryn the Lasagna Queen, or is that bad form? I really love making lasagna! The more I make it, the easier I find it to be.  Make a sauce of some kind, layer it with no-boil noodles and cheese, and bake until it’s bubbly. Simple. No-boil noodles are the secret. They remove an annoying step from the whole process, and I don’t think anyone can tell the difference. You just have to make sure the sauce you are using has enough liquid to cook the noodles, and make sure you take that sauce all the way out to the edges so you don’t end up with a crispy, uber-al dente edge. That would just be a pity. I’ve made several delicious lasagnas using this method, and they are always crowd-pleasers. Check them out on the blog if you haven’t already…Tuscan Lasagna, Buffalo-Ranch Chicken Lasagna, and Mega-Meaty Pizza Lasagna. Today I took my love for lasagna in a new direction and tried my first Mexican version. It was incredible. Cheesy, spicy, and tangy…all of the flavor profiles you expect from Mexican food, but all wrapped up in a lasagna. So fun!

mexican lasagna

This Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna could not have been easier to throw together. It really took me only 20-25 minutes to have the whole thing in the oven. You can’t beat that when it comes to homemade lasagna!

whole-mexican-lasagna

I boiled three chicken breasts until they were cooked through, and then shredded them up. Combined the chicken with a jar of salsa verde, fire-roasted green chiles, queso quesadilla cheese, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Then I layered that Mexicany-goodness with the no-boil noodles, Crema Mexicana, more queso quesadilla cheese, and Monterrey jack cheese. Repeat, repeat, and keep repeating until you run out of the chicken mixture. Then top the whole thing with all of the remaining cheese and bake. Now you can call yourself the Lasagna Queen…or King. Serve this next time you have a hankering for Mexican but are over tacos and burritos. It has all of the flavors of your favorite Mexican restaurant, but with an unexpected twist. You’ll love it!

Happy cooking!

mexican lasagna slice

Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of ickiness
1 jar of salsa verde
10 oz. can fire roasted chiles (could substitute Rotel if you want some tomatoes too)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper
no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded Cacique Queso Quesadilla, shredded
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
15 oz container Cacique Crema Mexicana

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and boil until cooked through. Shred.
  3. In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in fire roasted green chilies, salsa verde and one cup of the Queso Quesadilla and 1/2 cup of jack cheese. Combine well.
  4. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chili-chicken mixture.
  5. Top with layer of lasagna noodles. Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture, making sure to go all the way to the edge with the liquid. Pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, again paying close attention to the edges. Top with a layer of shredded jack and Queso Quesadilla.
  6. Continue building casserole alternating between layers of lasagna noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana and shredded cheeses.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375(F) oven for 30 minutes. It’s a good idea to spray the bottom side of the foil with nonstick spray so that the cheese doesn’t stick to it.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.
  9. Allow the casserole to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve alongside sliced avocados and a sprinkle of cilantro.

 

More Chicken I Don’t Hate…Who Knew?

Buffalo Lime Chicken

I kind of knew that the moment I went public with my hatred for chicken, chicken recipes galore would flood my brain. I was right. So maybe I don’t hate chicken at all. Maybe I just hate chicken done wrong. Yes, we’ll go with that. Chicken done wrong is gross, but THIS chicken was done right!

Say hello to buffalo-lime chicken. This is perfect for a quick weeknight meal and yet tasty enough for a weekend cook-out. The key to chewy-piece-free chicken is to cut away all of the icky-ness before you ever begin cooking. That’s right, don’t just pull the the chicken out of the plastic wrapped styrofoam and cook it as is. Yuck! That’s how you end up with the yucky bite that makes you want to dump the whole breast in the trash. It’s happened to me one too many times- usually at a restaurant. Maybe that’s why I tend to like chicken I prepare a little better. I can control it. I’m a bit of a control freak anyway so that makes sense. For this recipe I used three chicken breasts to make enough for three people. First cut away all of the slimy, nasty, stringy bits, then slice the breasts into 3 tenders each. Season the tenders with salt and pepper, marinate in the hot sauce-lime mixture, then simply grill to perfection. So easy and so yummy!

Happy cooking!

Buffalo Lime Chicken 

1 cup of your favorite hot sauce (I prefer Louisiana)
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  1. In a bowl, combine hot sauce, garlic salt, lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir to combine.
  2. Toss trimmed chicken tenders with hot sauce mixture and let marinate one hour or overnight.
  3. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates to keep chicken from sticking.
  4. Grill chicken for 3 minutes per side or until cooked throughout. If need be, place seared chicken on the top rack away from direct heat to keep outside from burning while allowing the inside to cook.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and hot sauce, ranch dressing and/or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Buffalo Lime Chicken Tenders

I hate chicken.

chickenmarsala_forweb

I wish I liked chicken. People who like chicken have an easier life. Their restaurant orders are easier, the bill is cheaper, and they’re eating healthier than me by default. I’m never going to go for the chicken on the menu, (unless of course I’m at Chick-Fil-A or Zaxby’s, that’s a whole different kind of chicken). I’m going for the steak, the king crab legs or the pasta. In my humble opinion, ordering chicken at a restaurant is giving up on the meal before it has even begun. Ick. Chicken is boring. Bland. Dry. And there’s always a fear of landing the mysterious chewy piece that you have to spit out into your napkin and hope no one saw. Gross. Nope, no chicken for me please. I do, however, make it for my family all the time, and I always put a chicken dish or two on each week’s meal plan since most people do, in fact, like it. I also ALWAYS try the dishes that I’m asking others to eat so I run into a chicken preparation that I actually like every now and then. What kind of cook would I be if I didn’t? This recipe is one such preparation.

Maybe it’s the Italian inspiration behind this Chicken Marsala with Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes that makes my tastebuds sing, or perhaps it’s simply the umami-richness of the mushrooms and marsala wine sauce. Whatever it is, this dish is a winner. It will please the chicken-eaters and the chicken-haters in your life, although it’s quite possible that of the latter I am the only one. It’s quick, easy and tasty…perfect for a weeknight dinner. I served this chicken alongside parmesan smashed red potatoes that were par-boiled, smashed down onto a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven. YUM!

Chicken Marsala with Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

16 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
6 chicken cutlets
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes
fresh parsley

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Add the garlic and wine – let the mixture simmer gently to reduce the wine, stirring occasionally. After 15-20 minutes, add the cornstarch, cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the marsala mixture – it should start to thicken slightly
  3. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Toss the chicken in the flour mixture until coated. Shake off excess.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Pan-fry the coated chicken for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Add sauce and mushrooms to the skillet with the chicken. Top with tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are beginning to burst. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

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