If your house is like my house – you hear the words “What’s for Dinner?” as soon as the kids start coming in the door from school! Now when the boys were home they would start asking as soon as they finished breakfast – guess they wanted to dream about what they would be enjoying for dinner while they were at school?!?!?!
Many of you emailed me how much you enjoyed the recipes I shared with you last week (I know a few of you have already even tried them:) ) so I decided to share a new recipe or two with you each week – so maybe answering the question “What’s for Dinner?” will be a little easier.
Well fall is definitely here in the Northwest – chilly and rainy days. What better than a pot of soup simmering on the stove and the smell of fresh baked bread coming from the oven. Love it but think it’s too much work? Not with these two recipes I’m going to share.
The thing I love about soup is -you can make it ahead of time, first thing in the morning or even the night before and then just pop it in the refrigerator until you are ready to heat it up and serve. There is no better peace of mind than to know what is for dinner and even have it ready to go before lunchtime. This week I fixed this yummy soup that is a recipe shared with me by a neighbor – everyone needs to have a recipe sharing neighbor! The recipe originally came from Portland’s famous Elephant’s Deli. I serve this every year at our annual New Year’s Eve Soup night and everyone loves it! Like I said, I get it ready to go first thing in the morning and then add the chicken when I heat it up for dinner.
I love home baked bread but really how often do you have time to bake bread? Well the recipe I’m going to share with you is a simple, easy way to get the same results with just a few minutes work! Every time I serve them they get rave reviews and everyone wants the recipe! I first had these rolls at a wonderful restaurant in Provo, Utah – Magleby’s. My niece gave me the recipe – yum! The ingredients may sound a little strange but I promise you they are wonderful!! Remember the rolls need to rise 5-6 hours so do them early in the day too (while the soup is simmering). At dinner time you will be so relaxed you will be hoping someone asks you “What’s for Dinner?”
Elephant’s Chicken Soup
2 cups cooked chicken (see tip below for preparing chicken)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp butter
2 medium onions, diced (I buy the pre chopped and frozen onion in the freezer section – I hate to chop onion!)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. paprika (can use less if you want it less spicy)
1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour
8 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes in juice. I use crushed as my kids don’t like big chuncks of tomato.
3/4 cup whipping cream.
Put oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery until onion is transparent, 6-7 minutes. Add tarragon, oregano, garlic, and paprika, salt and pepper.
Cook and stir 3-4 minutes. Slowly add flour. You will get a thick roux like mixture. Once combined, slowly stir in chicken broth, stirring well as you pour in. Bring to a boil and it will thicken. Add tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer 10 minutes more (this last step can be done right before serving if you have made the soup ahead of time)
Chicken Tip: I buy the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This tip was shared with me by one of the wonderful women I have met through my direct sales business! Fill a 9 x 9 or 9 x 13 (depending on how many chicken breasts you are cooking) with about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of water. Place chicken breasts in water. Cover with wax paper. Place in microwave. For two chicken breasts (this will make about 2 cups of chicken) I cook them about 10 minutes (will vary depending on the size of the breast and the strength of your microwave, mine is old!) If they are not quite cooked all the way let them sit and “steam” for a few minutes and they will continue cooking. It makes the meat nice and moist and it is quick and easy method!
1 package frozen Rhodes Rolls
Place 1/2 cup mayo in a bowl, 1/2 cup melted butter in a bowl and 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (not the stuff in the green Kraft can). I buy the grated parmesan from Coscto and just keep a container of it in the freezer and pull it out as needed.
Take the frozen ball of dough, dip the top half into each bowl starting with the mayo, then the butter and finally the cheese.
Place roll into a well greased muffin tin (cheese side up). Sprinkle with garlic salt and dried parsley and let rise according to the directions (usually 5-6 hours so you need to do this early on in the day) Bake according to the directions on roll package.
Enjoy your dinner!