Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Recipe Roundup-The Chicken Cranberry Ring

In my efforts to spend a little more quality time in the ole bloggy world this year, I decided to start adding some new features to the mix-up first is the recipe roundup.  So many of my recipes come from other people's blogs, and let's face it I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  Luckily, I do love cooking and baking and trying new recipes so figured I should give something back to the interwebs.  I'll be posting something that is part of our weekly meal plan-and for those interested, I do meal plan weekly.  I grocery shop once a week on Sundays and plan typically 5 meals for a week.  Thursday night is always leftover night, and we have one pizza/out night that we can substitute in when we need to.  Also, 3 nights a week I work until about 6:00 and since Johnny serves as nanny while I'm working and hasn't quite mastered the whole making dinner while wrangling 3 children thing--I have to work ahead-usually one night is crock pot, one is something that is easily made ahead and he just has to throw in the oven, and Thursday is always leftovers.

So moving onto tonight's dinner--the chicken cranberry ring, this is a recipe I've been making for years and is a huge hit.  It is an old pampered chef recipe I think, but I see it everywhere now in the world of pinterest etc.  The idea is that you use leftover turkey/chicken which is actually what I've done tonight since I did a whole chicken in the crock pot yesterday.  Sometimes though, I just crave this and end up cooking a few chicken breasts just so I can make this one or a rotisserie chicken works great too. This is def one of my winter recipes, and is very much a winter chicken salad.  

A disclaimer for my readers-recipes are merely suggestions in my kitchen, I rarely make the same dish exactly the same way twice.  Maybe I've watched too much Rachael Ray, but spices are more of a dash or pinch and often I add what's in the fridge or leave out what was pitched from the cart unknowingly by some disgruntled toddler in my shopping cart.  Onward....

As my blog/recipe hero The Pioneer Woman would say-the cast of characters...

Here's that yummy 2ish cups of leftover chicken, shredded.  Bonus that this is a budget friendly/uses leftover meal-major husband points on the "meat ring" as J calls it. 
 And here it is with all the other yummies-1/2 cup-3 stalks of celery, 1/2 cup craisins, 1 cup shredded swiss (only ever found this at Kroger), 1/2 cup mayo, 2 Tbsp dijon mustard, spices to taste-s&p, garlic salt, and onion salt today oh and I had some fresh dill leftover in the fridge that I chopped up and threw in.
 Onward to the ring.  I remember the first time I made this recipe I didn't have visuals and was reading my way through this and had no clue what I was trying to achieve.

2 cups chicken  shredded
1-1/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbl. Dijon style mustard
salt & pepper to taste
2 tubes crescent rolls
1 egg white, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a bowl combine the chicken, 1 cup of the cheese, celery, cranberries, mayo, mustard, salt & pepper.  Mix well and set aside.

Arrange triangles of crescent dough in a circle with the wide ends of the triangles overlapping in the center and the tips pointing outward.  Smush together the inside pieces of the crescents where they are overlapping.  There should be a 6" circle in the center of the baking stone.

Scoop the filling evenly in a circle closest to the inside edge and bring point of crescent up and over the filling and tuck under to seal. 

Brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.  I usually serve with fruit salad

Getting real: 
How easy is this actually? I hate when I"m reading recipe blogs or asking someone for a recipe and you see/hear "oh its soooo easy" when in reality its 800 steps with no less than 34 random ingredients that no one has on hand and requires dirtying 8 bowls, 3 pots, and chopping 1/2 a cup of 9 different ingredients.

The leftover "meat ring" is in the moderate category for me-I judge a recipe based on above listed requirements and how easily I can get something made with 3 children crawling around underfoot asking me to wipe various things and get them snacks etc.  This is a keeper for me #1 b/c its delicious, #2 budget friendly, #3 uses leftover ingredients and I usually have what I need on hand (with the exception of crescent rolls), #4 can be made ahead, #5 minimal clean up required, which in my mind makes up for slightly more work in the prep.  

What were the kids doing while I made this? well I usually try to cook when at least one child is sleeping (june this time) and Hank was entertained with the ipad, and Lucy was contained at least part of the time. 

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