This is an amalgamated version of the two recipes that were very similar from The Best Of The Best Of Texas ll Cookbook.
The main differences in the two recipes:
One called for crushed cheese crackers and the other called for crushed crackers.
One called for 4oz. of velveeta and one cup of Monterrey Jack and the other called for 2 cups of Monterrey Jack only.
1 stick of butter or margarine, divided (I don't believe in margarine)
1-2 cups of crushed crackers ( I used both)
2 T. taco seasoning
chicken breasts boned and flattened. They called for 8. Seems like a lot to me!
5 green onions, chopped
4 oz. chopped green chilies
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups of cheese (I used both velveeta and Monterrey Jack)
I used my food processor to crush the crackers and I discovered that about 1/2 tube of saltines is about the right amount. I added the taco seasoning to the cracker mix and gave it a few pulses to ensure it mixed well.
I put one piece of chicken in a large ziplock bag at a time and pound it with a meat mallet. I find it completely contains the mess.
After all the chicken has been tenderized I went ahead and salt& Peppered the chicken even though the recipe didn't tell me to. Bland is unacceptable!
First I dipped the chicken in an egg wash (instead of using the butter the recipe called for). My standard egg wash is 2 eggs, beaten, with 1 tablespoon of water.
Then I dredged the chicken in the cracker mixture shown in this picture.
While I was preparing my chicken I warmed half of a stick of butter in my skillet over low heat. Turn off heat when just melted.
After dredging chicken and coating it place it in the pan.
Then take a saucepan and melt the other half of the stick of butter. Add the chopped green onions and sautee until just tender. You don't want them to change color. Then add the green chilies, cream, and finally cheese. Heat on low heat until the cheese is melted.
Pour the sauce over the chicken in the pan making sure that each piece is coated.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 45-50 min. I had to cover my dish lightly with foil because the cheese was browning too fast. I use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly because I'm a freak about food poisoning. It's the nurse in me.
The end result is a tender piece of chicken in a creamy decadent sauce that is slightly cheesy and has a hint of green chilies. Very yummy!
After trying this Joe and I agreed that we would change a couple of things:
I don't really care for the cheese crackers in the coating mix. It has a fake cheese taste and it doesn't seem right for a dish this nice. I would stick with saltines. The other thing I would do differently is skip the velveeta. I would use extra Monterrey Jack if I needed to. And finally, we both agreed that another can of green chilies would be great. Perhaps top it off with a jalepeno slice.
One final note about the recipe in the book: One of the recipes called for the chicken to be cooked at 350 for 15-20 minutes. I had to re-read that 3 times to make sure I was seeing that right. That cannot be safe. I would definitely make sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Sam's club sells a 3 pack of chef's instant read thermometers. (little ones that you can stick in the pocket of your chef's smock). Go get some! I love mine. They are just as fast as digital read thermometers and feel so much more "cheffy".
I hope you guys will try this. It's worth the calories! When is cream ever not worth it?
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!
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