#Sicilian Chicken Soup

One of our favorite date night spots is Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Unfortunately, being parents & NOT being made of money, date nights don’t happen as often as I’d like. Yesterday, I felt like doing a little experimenting in the kitchen & after doing a little searching, I ran across a copycat recipe for one of our favorite Carrabba’s recipes Sicilian Chicken Soup from A Dash of Sanity. Dinner idea? Yes please! Now before I share the recipe, I have a little confession to make. I am extremely OCD. Anyways, after hours of waiting for the soup to be ready, smelling the delicious aromas, I may have had a meltdown when it didn’t turn out right, dump the whole pot into the garbage disposal, & head to Wal-Mart (aka hell on Earth) at 10:30 at night to re-buy the ingredients & try again. Not one of my proudest moments, crying over soup… my significant other & best friend might now think I need counseling lol… but I am pleased to say the 2nd attempt was a wonderful success & everyone gobbled it up! Don’t worry; I know where I went wrong & will pass the knowledge on so you will not make the same mistake & end up with delicious soup the FIRST time!

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Sicilian Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (4 to 5lbs)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 celery stalks (diced)
  • 3 carrots (peeled & diced)
  • 2 red bell peppers (diced)
  • 2 medium potatoes (peeled & cut into chunks)
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 5 garlic cloves (minced or squished with garlic press)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ lb. ditalini pasta
  • 1 T. of cayenne pepper (my addition)
  • chicken broth or water (about 64 ounces)

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Directions

  • In a large soup pot place whole chicken, onion, red peppers, celery, carrots, potatoes, diced tomatoes with their juices and then add enough cold water or broth to cover chicken. Over high heat bring to a boil.
  • Then add parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially with a lid. Let it simmer for 2 hours, or until chicken is falling off the bone.
  • Remove chicken and let it cool, for 30 minutes or until cool to the touch.
  • Reduce heat to low and let the soup continue to simmer.
  • Remove all the meat from the chicken and shred the chicken into large pieces. Discard the skin and bones.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the soup around a few times.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the pot.
  • In a medium sauce pan cook pasta as directed on box. Drain well and set aside in a bowl.
  • Original recipe says to add noodles at this time… I made 2 mistakes here. First I thought we’d like a few extra noodles & made a whole box. Secondly I put them into the hot soup & they swelled up like nobody’s business soaking up most of the delicious broth & turning into complete mush. Please learn from my mistakes & wait until you are to serve! The 2nd attempt I made the soup but didn’t add the noodles to the pot instead I scooped some noodles into the individual soup bowls & added the soup on top, worked like a charm! The 1/2 lb was plenty as well!

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I served our soup with some homemade cheddar biscuits. I definitely will be adding this recipe to our family favorites, especially when we haven’t gotten a date night in in awhile! As for failing, it’s part of cooking & life in general! All we can do is realize we aren’t perfect, grab a spoon, & TRY AGAIN! Hope you give this one a shot! 🙂

 

 

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#Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Being a mom is a full-time job! With a part-time job as well, life can get crazy busy! While I enjoy cooking, sometimes dinner just needs to be quick & easy! Often a way to accomplish this is semi-homemade cooking! A wonderful example of this concept is my chicken enchilada recipe! The family loves it, but I knock a lot of the work & time by using a deli rotisserie chicken so it’s a win-win!

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What you need: rotisserie chicken (any flavor), 2 cans of enchilada sauce, taco or fajita seasoning (I tend to use whichever I have on hand), 2 cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese, pkg. of flour tortillas (sometime the smaller size fit better in the pan), & rice (forgot to put that in the picture – to save on time I usually use a pkg. of Uncle Ben’s microwaveable Ready Rice, but forgot to grab it at the store so just made a cup & a half in the rice maker)

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While the rice is cooking/microwaving, I pull all the chicken off the bone & shred it a bit. Be real careful of the little bones, don’t want anyone to find one of those in an enchilada! Mix in the rice, about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, the seasoning packet, & one can of the enchilada sauce. Looks about like this when it is done!

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I usually make 6 enchiladas since that’s what will fit in my baking dish. lol I evenly split up the chicken mixture between the tortillas, roll them up, & put them seam down in the pan so they won’t try to unroll! Then I pour the 2nd can of enchilada sauce over them & sprinkle with about a 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Already looking good aren’t they?!

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I bake them at 350 for about 30 minutes. Don’t forget to coat your pan with cooking spray; I did that today & the bottom stuck a bit 😦 Also let them rest a bit before trying to serve them because they come out much easier!

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Added a veggie & a little sour cream! Usually us girls add diced tomato & shredded lettuce on top as well, but I was very forgetful this shopping trip! Anyways, dinner is served!

Now for those of you who follow my blog or know me personally, you know I cook for a veggie-hater! But if that wasn’t the case, I would definitely add some diced onions & peppers to the chicken mixture! This dinner only took 45 minutes start to finish, quick & easy, and the family literally inhaled it so I’ll take that as a compliment! Let me know if your family liked it!