By People Staff
March 11, 2009 12:00 PM

One-Dish Dinner

Named for the famous South Texas ranch, this baked blend of chicken, tortillas, tomatoes and canned soup is the ultimate comfort food in the Lone Star State

KING RANCH CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Serves: 8 to 10

Hands-on time: 45 min.

Total time: 1 hr. 55 min.

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

¾ cup chicken broth

1 (10¾-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (10¾-oz.) can cream of chicken soup

2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Mexican-style chili powder

1 (2-lb.) deli-roasted chicken

3 cups (12 oz.) grated sharp Cheddar cheese

12 (6-in.) fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into ½-inch strips

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 6 to 7 min. or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic; sauté 3 to 4 min. Stir in chicken broth and next 6 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 min.

2. Skin and bone chicken; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13″x 9″ baking dish. Top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with half of corn tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

3. Bake at 350° for 55 min. to 1 hr. or until bubbly. Let stand 10 min. before serving.

Slow Cooker Supper

ROSEMARY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Serves: 10

Hands-on time: 20 min.

Total time: 4 hrs. 45 min.

12 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

2 teaspoons salt

1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 (8-oz.) package presliced mushrooms

3½ cups whole-wheat-blend wide egg noodles

1 (10-oz.) package shredded carrots

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 (6-oz.) package fresh baby spinach

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine chicken broth and next 6 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 4 hrs. Remove chicken from slow cooker; cool slightly. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set side.

2. Add mushrooms to slow cooker and simmer 10 min. Add egg noodles and cook 15 min. or until done. Stir in carrots and remaining ingredients; cook 3 min. or until spinach wilts. Serve immediately.

20 Minute Meal

Taking its name from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, this dish is an easy twist on the classic ham-and-cheese stuffed chicken breast

EASY SKILLET CORDON BLEU

Serves: 4 to 6

Hands-on time: 10 min.

Total time: 20 min.

½ cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

8 chicken tenders (about 1 lb.)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 Canadian bacon slices, cut into thin strips

4 Swiss cheese slices, halved

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Combine bread crumbs, pepper and salt in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Rinse chicken and add to freezer bag. Seal bag and shake to coat.

2. Melt butter with oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 3½ to 4 min. on each side or until done. Arrange bacon strips over chicken in skillet and top each with ½ cheese slice. Broil 5½ inches from heat for 2 min. or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Country Lite 270 fewer calories!

CHAMPION CHICKEN PARMESAN

A traditional Chicken Parmesan dish has 829 calories—our version has just 559.

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 45 min.

Total time: 1 hr. 30 min.

1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil (about ¼ cup)

1 cup boiling water

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

2 cups chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped onion

2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 (4-oz.) skinned, boned chicken breast halves

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

vegetable cooking spray

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

3 cups hot cooked linguine (about 6 oz. uncooked pasta)

1. Combine sun-dried tomatoes and water in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 min. or until soft. Drain and finely chop tomatoes.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper and onion; sauté 7 min. Stir in canned tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, basil, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and garlic. Cover and keep warm.

3. Combine flour, Parmesan and remaining black pepper in a shallow dish. Place each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to ¼-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dip each piece of chicken in egg white; dredge in flour mixture. Heat remaining olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min. on each side or until golden. Arrange in a 13″x9″ baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour the tomato mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 350° for 15 min. Serve over linguine.

Restaurant Recipe

T.G.I. FRIDAY’S ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUSAGE & CHICKEN PENNE

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 20 min.

Total time: 20 min.

1 (12-oz.) package penne pasta

½ pound hot Italian link sausage

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch cubes

1 small red onion, sliced

1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped

1 (16-oz.) jar marinara sauce

2 green onions, sliced

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions in large Dutch oven. Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons cooking water in Dutch oven. Set aside.

2. Remove sausage casings; crumble sausage into large nonstick skillet. Cook over high heat 1 min.; reduce heat to medium-high and cook, breaking sausage into bite-size pieces, until sausage is no longer pink. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings in skillet.

3. Add chicken to skillet; cook chicken until browned on all sides.

4. Add sausage, red onion and roasted red peppers to skillet; cook for 2 min. Stir in marinara sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low; add green onion, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

5. Return pasta to Dutch oven. Toss sausage mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

This pasta dish is one of the top three ordered entrees at the chain’s 600-plus U.S. locations. Make it your own by adding crushed red pepper flakes or subbing in whole wheat penne pasta for an extra boost of fiber.

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