Supper in a Skillet
Well okay…..dinner in a skillet……evening meal in skillet….you know what I mean))) But, here at our house….the evening meal is “supper.”
I found this recipe in the Southern Living magazine a while back. A new recipe featured was “King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese.” Enough ingredients in this recipe to provide a hearty meal practically all by itself……and…cooked in a skillet no less…….it sure sounded like my kind of recipe.
So, I tried it, we liked it …. and even the grandchildren did…..this is always a plus))) So here’s the recipe……..then all you need is a cast iron skillet.
King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
Makes: 6 Servings
1/2 (16 oz) package cellentani pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced ( I used green onions including the tops)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro-Tel)
1 (8 oz) package pasteurized prepared cheese product cubed (Velveeta)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 /2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and green chilies and prepared cheese product; cook, stirring constantly 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 11 x 7 inch baking dish; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Super easy and super good! Just serve right from the skillet. Add a green salad, some rolls and sweet iced tea and you have a good old fashioned Southern “supper.”
Tip from Southern Living for seasoning a cast-iron skillet:
Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water. rinse.
Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375 degrees. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.
To keep your skillet seasoned, just run under hot water for cleaning and avoid using soap, dry well before putting away. (Southern Living Jan. 2012)
My grandmother’s instructions on seasoning a cast-iron skillet:
Build a fire, put the skillet in the fire to burn off all the buildup, then re-season with a coating of lard or bacon fat.
My tips on a cast iron skillet……just use it for cornbread. If you use it for anything else, like frying chicken or something, it will make the cornbread stick the next time. Rinse it out immediately after taking up the bread and wipe dry. Never wash it in a dishwasher. Heat your oil in the skillet before pouring corn bread in. Make cornbread from meal, not a mix, they are too sweet.
My recipe for cornbread:
1 scoop of cornmeal (about 1 1/2 cups probably, I never measure).
Buttermilk – enough to make about the consistency of cake batter – you can use plain milk also.
Dash of salt and pepper.
Heat about 1/8 c. of oil in your skillet and swish around. Pour excess into the batter and stir. Bake at about 400 degree until top is brown. Turn out on a plate and cut. You can always check the bottom before you try to turn it out to see if it’s stuck or not using a narrow spatula. Sometimes bread will stick no matter what you do. I swear, my husband’s cornbread will slide out of the pan when he tilts it. Mine….usually a straggler of stuck bread here and there, but we always manage to eat it.
This make a thin pan of cornbread which is what my family likes, thin and crusty. You can serve with butter too…..add on a few more calories….it’s worth it.