Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention... - Julie's Journal Blog at - 243762

Julie's Journal

Necessity is the Mother of Invention... 
Jul. 18, 2011 7:41 am 
Updated: Jul. 18, 2011 9:01 am
Having just moved out of state, waiting on our former home to close, and needing $15,000 of repairs to our new home, my grocery bill is hurting.  I had to throw out or give away so much of my pantry and perishables before I left my former home and it's been tight cooking without much on hand.

So last night I needed to cook some bone-in chicken thighs and legs I'd purchased for my hubby when he was in the extended-stay hotel.  He never cooked them because without an oven, it was difficult.

I've also been in the mood for green chile anything. We're now so close to New Mexico that I was sure I could find the real thing - not just a can of chopped up chiles.  I have found a place to get real Hatch, NM, frozen, roasted green chiles.  Fresh ones aren't available yet, although a local tree farm has a sign that they have them.  I had to settle for the canned variety as I was stocked up with them, along with canned serranos & chipoltes.

So, what to do with some chicken and a can of chopped chiles?  I'm not a big fan of bone-in chicken, opting usually for boneless, skinless thighs (cheaper than breasts & more nutritious).  Since I can't have any canned soups and have to make them all from scratch, and I didn't have any chicken stock save for some Coconut Thai stock (from Big Lots - 25 cents/quart and so good!), I didn't think I could whip up a cream soup base to make them baked.

Then I had a revelation.  Also from Big Lots, there's a wonderful, dry potato soup mix I can actually have (I'm allergic to many food additives) - Laurie's Bistro.  It's $5 and makes 30 servings.  My guys don't care much for potato soup, so I like this because I can make one bowl if I want to.  It's also great when souped up (pun intended) with other ingredients - chicken, cheese, fresh chives, etc.

So I wondered how the soup with a can of chiles thrown in would be.  I figured I'd throw some Mexican cheese blend on top.  Well, since I just can't settle for simple, my brain really started rocking.  Plus, I've finally organized my huge spice rack and seasoning cabinets and wanted to make good use of them. ;-)

I kept the skin on the chicken which I normally don't do.  But I didn't want to mess with it and had to get this meal going.  I threw it on top of non-stick foil in a Pyrex pan, seasoned it with granulated garlic, seasoned salt, and white pepper, and stuck it in my wonderful new oven at 425 on convection.  I wanted it to get a bit crispy before I added the soup to it.  It did wonderfully and had some great drippings.

Back to the soup.  I made it with milk, added some homemade yogurt (which was from the longer batch - it's more like sour cream), the chiles, powdered cumin (wish I would have gone with seeds), fresh garlic, chopped onion, oregano, & white pepper.  Then I remembered a dish I used to make when we were first married and I worked full time - the chicken, mushroom soup, and rice casserole.  Man, that sounds so disgusting now!  So I added some instant rice (not sure why I had it as I rarely use it) and the cheese.  While the chicken was browning, I warmed up the gloopy mess in the microwave to give it a head start.

When the chicken was browned, I added the soup mix, keeping the top of each piece exposed so they'd stay crispy.  I turned down the heat to 350 and set the oven to cook for 15 minutes (love that feature - it's why I use my huge counter oven most of the time).  We went on an errand and came back to the perfect meal - comfort food and all.

I can't wait to duplicate it with freshly roasted, fresh chiles.  I can smell it already!

Jul. 18, 2011 8:25 am
This sounds really good. :) The reason you had instant rice on hand is because you don't use it very often. :) I have a box too - comes in really handy sometimes.
Jul. 18, 2011 9:01 am
Sounds good! I love the idea how you kept the tops exposed so you'd have crispy chicken, yummy!
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Wichita, Kansas, USA
Living In
Parker, Colorado, USA

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Sep. 2006

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian

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About Me
As a child, I wanted to be a Home Economics teacher. Instead, I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. I've worked as a contract food service manager, and a restaurant/grocery/tobacco sanitarian ("health inspector"). I'm a breast cancer survivor. At age 40 I was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of Interductal Carcinoma, Stage 2/3. I had a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and now 10 years of hormonal suppression therapy. I do mystery shopping and am a "professional" volunteer.
My favorite things to cook
I love anything spicy or as a minimum with lots of garlic and pepper. I've been on a green chile kick lately (2009) and planted several types of peppers in my garden this year.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We have chocolate chip pancakes on Christmas morning. On birthdays, the kids get to select what food they want for dinner. My son loves to use AllRecipes to find recipes with ingredients he's in the mood to eat.
My cooking triumphs
Anytime my husband & son exclaim "This is great!" or "This is better than ---- restaurant's version!"
My cooking tragedies
I once tried to make a fried onion blossum in my small fryer. I forgot to allow for the displacement of oil the onion would do, and about how the moisture would make the oil bubble up. I made a giant mess! Just as it was happening, the Welcome Wagon lady showed up at our door (we'd just purchased our first home). She didn't seem to have a clue that she should come back at a different time, as I was busy cleaning up fryer oil from the outside and inside of cabinets, between the stove and the cabinets, under the stove, etc. She just kept talking away!
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