Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mediterranean Chicken & Sausage (Reinvented) During a Rough Week

It is only Wednesday and I am done!!  My poor family has had to deal with my crankiness for three straight days and I don't see an end in sight.  My hormone level is extremely high and patience level is beyond low.   I just want to go hibernate for the next three months, like our neighbor bears.

I had my first neurotic "mother-in-law" moment and stirred up my attitude (sorry, Tyler and Rachel).  I will make it up to all of you and send out another Nana Care Package for everyone.

My truck had to go in for repairs on Monday and I still don't have it back.  My husband has been gracious enough to help me with my 30 minute commute each way, but the poor soul has to listen to me the entire way with my rantings.

It is -7 degrees and we haven't seen much of the sun this week.  It snows, gets warm, freezes, black ice everywhere, and then it starts it's trend all over again...just can't get a break.

Dogs need to keep dodging our ice daggers on the patio.
  Then tonight my daughter says she needs my help with math.  Now mind you, I was an "A" math student, but my Freshman Algebra topics, my kids were learning in 4th grade - times have most definitely changed.  She is working on a math story problem from the book The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe.  Now what this story has to do with math is beyond me, but I went along with it.

Essentially they needed to figure the rate of the pendulum and if the prisoner had a reasonable amount of time to escape.  I said, "Of course he had a reasonable amount of time, he escaped didn't he?".  She thought that was pretty funny after she pondered on it for a minute.

Then she said as part of her assignment, she has to make a pendulum from household objects...of course she does, because it is due tomorrow and it's 8:00 pm on a weeknight and once again I have been given no warning of another major school project due.

After my blood pressure calmed down, I thought - I got this!!!  Two item pendulum:  Banana Hanger and Pizza Cutter !!  Thank God for kitchen gadgets.

The "pizza" pendulum - Genius!!
Yes, I know this recipe says it is from 2005, I have an archive of recipes from magazines, family, friends and now websites.  You just can't toss away the classics.  Since I wanted to clean up the refrigerator from the weekend, I reinvented it by changing up some of the ingredients.

Mediterranean Chicken & Sausage
from Kraft Food & Family Magazine, Winter 2005

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (I used my turkey smoked sausage kielbasa)
1/2 cup Kraft Creek Vinaigrette Dressing (I used my Red Wine and Olive Oil Dressing)
3 lb. chicken pieces (I used 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces)
5-6 slices of bacon, cut into pieces (this is my addition, since everything is better with bacon)
1/2 lb. medium mushrooms, halved
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3- 4 dashes of balsamic vinegar (I added this for flavor and color)
3-4 dashes of Worsteshire sauce (I added this to give a little richness and depth)
6 cups cooked Minute White Rice (I made a box of our Rice-A-Roni, Rice Pilaf)

PIERCE sausage with fork. Cook in large skillet on medium-high heat 15 to 20 min. or until browned. Remove from skillet. Cut into pieces; set aside. Cook bacon in same pan, until just getting crispy; remove from pan and set aside.

ADD 1/4 cup of the dressing and chicken to skillet; cook 10 min. or until chicken is browned on both sides. Stir in sausage, bacon, mushrooms, broth, balsamic vinegar, Worsteshire sauce and remaining 1/4 cup dressing.

DISSOLVE cornstarch in water; add to skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 15 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.

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