Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No Fuss Chicken Cordon Bleu - freezer meal

This was rather simple to assemble on the big cooking day. But, there are a few modifications we made. The recipe is found here.

First off, we would be fine leaving the ham out. Next time I will probably not make it with ham.

Second, we used 8" cake pans, and I think somehow in the conversion process things got confused. The original recipe says to use 2 cups sliced carrots for a 9x13 pan, and I thought the recipe at OAMM (once a month mom) said to use 2 cups of sliced carrots in each 8" pan. Needless to say, we had tons of extra saucy stuff, and since we had extra chicken breasts thanks to a great sale on them, we used some frozen green beans to make a couple extra. We ended up with 8 8" pans of the stuff, and honestly we like the kind with green beans much better.

Third, maybe I was in pregnant brain, but we didn't bread the chicken at all, and it was totally fine. So here is the modified recipe.

Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe
* no cooking before freezing*
Makes 4 8" casseroles (3 if using deep dish) or 1 9x13 casserole in a lasagna pan because it makes a LOT.

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
8 cups sliced vegetables (frozen green beans are our fave, or sliced carrots)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp paprika (paprika went MIA in the middle of assembling so I used white pepper, but in the future I will use paprika)
1 1/4 c shredded swiss cheese (accidentally used mozerella since we had more than one bowl of white cheese out during cooking day, tastes fine)
1/3 cup sliced ham (if using diced see instructions)

Put 2 cups vegetables in the bottom of each of the 8" pans.
Mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, lemon juice and paprika together. If using diced ham, add it to the mix. Divide among the pans (about 1 cup in each). Top with 1-2 chicken breasts (frozen is fine) ham (if used slices) and shredded cheese.

Plastic wrap then foil. Keeps for 2+ months in the freezer.

To serve: Thaw in fridge (takes mine about 2 days to thaw completely). Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes* until chicken is cooked.

*Perhaps if I had not used frozen chicken and pounded the chicken flat I could have baked it in less time, but since I used frozen breasts they were not pounded flat.

Hmmm...less than steller updating here

Yes, its been the holidays. And I am 39 weeks pregnant. Can you imagine hosting Christmas during a blizzard while 38 weeks pregnant? I did it, and thankfully didn't go into labor.

We haven't been following a specific menu lately, but I have done a crazy cooking day with the assistance of my sisters back when I was only 37 weeks pregnant. I know, I was pushing it. Next time I will make sure to do it earlier, then I will only need a mini session to boost the freezer before having a baby.

I pretty much used the plan from http://onceamonthmom.com except not the entire menu. You see, I didn't send any food home with anyone because both of my sisters were/are moving during December. I have tried several of the things and am glad we made some of the changes we did. I also wish we would have made other changes, but I had never made the recipes before so its not a surprise that it was a little hard going.

Anyway, we expect the baby to come in the next week. And we have enough meals for about 2 months in our family, so we have started eating from the freezer. Not all the food we used was bought at Aldi, in fact the majority was bought elsewhere or we already had on hand. We spent about $200 (plus food we already had) to make 36 casserole dishes, 8 loaves of quick breads (chocolate chip cream cheese and banana breads), and 24 hot pockets. After we ran out of freezer room (we have a 20lb turkey and we had a ham in there at the time) we bagged and froze the rest of the cooked meat, and nixed a couple more dishes. The biggest thing was that many of the meals made much more than we expected.