The Best Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs bone-in chicken breasts

8 cans chicken broth

1 onion, chopped and divided

3 ribs celery, divided

4 carrots, divided

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp parsley

½ tsp tarragon

1 whole clove (Flavors the broth tremendously.  Don’t forget to remove it before serving.  It will float)

1 bay leaf  (Remove before serving.  It will float, so will be easy to find.

PREPARATION:

     Rip that fatty skin right off the chicken and discard. (It makes the soup greasy).  In an 8 quart saucepan, simmer chicken for two hours with ½ of a chopped onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery which you’re going to break into three or four pieces.  Cover the pan, but leave cover askew.  You want the broth to cook down.

     Remove chicken from pan.  I always tear the bones off and throw them back in the pot while I’m peeling and chopping vegetables.  Put chicken in the fridge. Before adding carrots, celery, garlic and reserved onion to the pan, strain the broth to remove the bones and vegetables.  

      To strain the broth, use a large pan or bowl to catch the broth.  Line the bottom of a colander with cheesecloth. (In a pinch you can use a new Wet Wipe and/or some paper toweling.  I’m such a fraidy cat about chemicals, so if I have to use a Wet Wipe, I wash it in dish water and rinse it well before I strain my broth).  Slowly pour the broth over the cheesecloth and it will filter out any small pieces of fat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.  Let it drain well so you don’t lose a drop of that liquid gold.

     Now it’s time to add 2 ribs of celery, and 3 carrots, which you will chop, dice, or roll cut.  I always do a diagonal cut because I think it’s pretty.  Starting at the tapered end of the carrot or celery, make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.  Turn the carrot a quarter of a turn and cut again, moving up the carrot as you go.  This cut gives you a pretty uniform size.  Simmer for another hour with cover askew.  Add some of the chicken to the pan.  This recipe makes a lot and I use the extra chicken for other meals.  i.e. chicken pot pie, chicken and biscuits, chicken chimichangas, chicken burritos, chicken and dumplings, Buffalo chicken dip, etc. About fifteen minutes before serving, add the seasonings.

     You will note that I have not added any noodles to the recipe ingredients, although there is ditalini in the photo.  Here’s why.  Noodles do NOT hold up after they’ve been cooked and frozen.  Since we normally don’t eat this as a meal, (the main reason I make my soup is for when people are feeling sicky).  I always have containers of it in the freezer and everyone knows it.  This is why they all want the recipe since I’m not in NY any more to give them what I’ve made.  Ha ha.  OK, so you have a few choices.  Add rice and let it simmer in the soup.  Rice freezes great.  Or add your noodles when you’re heating up the soup.  If you add a sturdier pasta such as ditalini or farfalle, and you won’t have the problem.

     At this point you can eat some soup and freeze the rest, or save some of the broth, and leftover chicken to make other meals. (Which I most always do.  It saves a lot of work later and you know how we love our Westover’s Leftovers).

      Feel free to add a can of tomatoes or some fresh tomatoes if you want to.

Why this soup is so good:

     Starting out with chicken broth instead of water gives instant flavor and you’ll end up with a fabulously flavorful soup. 

     Using bone-in chicken enriches the broth even more and is incredibly healthy.

     Adding a little poultry seasoning, 1 whole clove, 1 bay leaf, and tarragon gives the soup another layer of flavor.  Remove the clove and bay leaf before serving.  They’ll be easy to find because they’ll float.

     If you’re making this for sickies, freeze small batches in quart freezer bags.  You know when you’re sick you don’t want a lot of solids, so don’t put too much chicken or vegetables in it.  The broth is the ticket. If you’re freezing containers for future meals, load it up with chicken and vegetables.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Crab Alfredo over Pasta

CRAB ALFREDO OVER PASTA

Creamy, Cheesy, and on the table in about 15 minutes.

INGREDIENTS: Yields 3 servings

Drizzle Olive Oil

6 TBSP Butter

6 Garlic Cloves, chopped or minced

2 oz Cream Cheese

1 cup Half and Half

One 8 oz bottle Clam Juice

1/3 cup White Wine

2 TBSP AP Flour

½ -3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

Dash each of Nutmeg, Chipotle Chili Powder or Red Pepper, White Pepper, Basil


One 1 lb can of Crab Meat

One 6 oz can of Crab Meat

Optional: Broccoli, Peas, Asparagus, Mushrooms


PREPARATION:
Drizzle a bit of Olive Oil in a large skillet. Add the Butter. Once the Butter is melted, add the Garlic and cook for 2 minutes being careful not to burn it.


Add Cream Cheese. Break it up and allow it to melt. Add Half and Half, Clam Juice, White Wine, and Flour. Bring to a simmer and stir until slightly thickened.


Slowly add the Parmesan Cheese while stirring constantly. Add Seasonings and taste. If it isn’t thick enough, add a little more Cheese.


Add Crab Meat last and heat through.


Serve over your favorite Pasta and garnish with additional grated Parmesan.


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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

SEAFOOD ALFREDO WITH Lobster, Crab & Shrimp

Seafood Alfredo (5)

   I love seafood, specifically shellfish.  It is my absolute favorite thing to eat in the whole world.  I might even love seafood more than I love my sweets.  Consequently, I cook it a lot.  Sometimes I even get treated to a dinner out.  If I have leftovers, I might create something at home and share.  Then again, I usually scarf them down without sharing.  OK, part of the seafood in the following recipe was dinner out and the rest was in the freezer.  Either way, I shared!  That was good, right?

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 6 servings
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 large King Crab Legs, meat removed from shells
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped (1 ½ TBSP)
1/3 cup Chardonnay or dry Sherry
1 cup chicken broth
3 TBSP flour
3 ½ cups half and half
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp Parsley
¾ cup Italian blend grated cheese
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
½ cup fresh grated Romano
Extra cheese for garnish
Pasta: Linguine, Fettuccini, Angel hair, Penne

PREPARATION:

Preheat a large pan of salted water and cook your pasta while preparing the seafood.
Place 1 TBSP butter in bottom of a large skillet which has been preheated on low/medium heat. Add cut up lobster and shrimp (or cook them separately). Sautee until lobster is opaque and shrimp is pink. It won’t take any more than 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked seafood. Place in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place olive oil and remaining butter in the bottom of the same skillet. Sauté garlic on low heat for 1 minute. Add Chardonnay, chicken broth, and flour, stirring continuously until flour is well incorporated and sauce begins to thicken a bit. You want the mixture to be at a slow simmer.

Add white pepper, Parsley, and slowly add the half and half. When mixture comes to a very slow simmer begin adding the grated cheeses a little at a time, stirring until cheese is melted. (Do not let it come to a full boil or the cheese may curdle.) Let it continue cooking for a few minutes.

Add crab meat, lobster, and shrimp. Stir well and wait until mixture returns to a simmer. (No need to cook the crab, it is always pre-cooked. You only need to warm it). Plate and sprinkle with a little extra grated cheese for garnish.

NOTE: Top secret tip. We’ve all done this, so beware. Adding the cheese to a very hot mixture will most likely cause it to curdle. Slowly adding the cheese while whisking will prevent this.

Everything can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. All you need to do is warm it and plate. Never reheat seafood in the microwave. Use a saucepan or skillet.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Seafood Alfredo

Seafood Alfredo (2)

Seafood Alfredo (3)

Seafood Alfredo (4)

Seafood Alfredo (5)

BABY CLAMS, BACON, TOMATOES & MUSHROOMS OVER PASTA

IMG_3827

Twenty minutes from pantry to table? What could be easier!  Baby clams, bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes over your choice of pasta.  Something incredibly quick to make that is surprisingly delicious.

INGREDIENTS:   YIELDS 3 – 4 SERVINGS

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

¾ cup sliced mushrooms

2 TBSP olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

One 16 oz can Diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion

1/3 cup Chardonnay

½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Pepper to taste

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBSP Parsley

One 10 oz can Baby clams

 

PREPARATION:

In a 3 qt saucepan, brown mushrooms and garlic over low heat with olive oil.  Add tomatoes with juice, Chardonnay and ¼ tsp pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Add Parsley and stir.  Add clams with juice and bacon, just heating through.

Serve over linguine or your favorite pasta with extra grated cheese.

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IMG_3827

WHITE LASAGNA WITH CHICKEN & BROCCOLI

white-lasagna-with-chicken

A new Westover Leftover!  You could use chicken or turkey, and the vegetables are customizable!

INGREDIENTS:     for 6 -8 servings 

9 lasagna noodles, cooked for 8 minutes

1 stick butter

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

3-5 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (2 cups) chicken broth

½ cup white wine

½ cup flour

2 ¼ cups milk

2 ½ – 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chunked

1 ½ cups frozen broccoli

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 Eight ounce package Italian style grated cheese

Seasonings:  1 tsp each of Italian, parsley, basil

quick dash nutmeg,

 

PREPARATION:

Cook the noodles, drain, and set aside.  While they’re boiling, start the sauce.

Sauce:  In 2 or 3 qt saucepan: Add butter, onion, mushrooms, and garlic.  Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Add 2 cups chick broth, and ½ cup white wine.  Stir in ½ cup flour and simmer over low heat until mixture begins to thicken.  Add 2 ½ cups milk, and slowly add approximately 1 ½ cups cheese, stirring constantly.  (add the cheese slowly to avoid curdling).  Stir until well blended and simmer until thickened.  Add seasonings.  You can remove from heat and set aside.  It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Cook broccoli for 1 minute in the microwave.  Drain the water.  Set aside.

Ladle enough sauce to cover the bottom of a pretty, oven-safe 9” x 13” dish, place a layer of cooked noodles, sprinkle the broccoli on and a good couple ladles of sauce.  Add a second layer of noodles, chicken and more sauce.  Add final layer of noodles, covering top layer with sauce.  Sprinkle remainder of grated cheese on top.

375 ° F   for 30-35 min Uncovered.  Let sit ten minutes before cutting it.

NOTES:  If you’d rather not have the mushrooms, substitute with asparagus, spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, corn or a mixture of two or more.

If you have a nice high sided dish and a large family, you can cook 3 extra noodles and make a fourth layer.  It really doesn’t matter how you add the meat, ricotta, and vegetables to your layers as long as they are in there, it will be fine.   There is plenty of sauce for an extra layer.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

 

 

CREAMY WHITE CLAM SAUCE

creamy-white-clam-sauce-5

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 4 servings

One 10 0z can whole baby clams

Two 6 ¾ oz minced or chopped clams

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup chopped mushrooms

1 ½ “ anchovy paste

2 TBSP flour

½ tsp Parsley, ½ tsp Italian Seasoning, ¼ tsp Basil

Pepper to taste

Pinch Crushed red pepper

1/3 cup Chardonnay

¼ cup half and half

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese

¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh grated Romano cheese

 

PREPARATION:

In a 4 qt sauce pan, melt butter and olive oil together.  Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and anchovy paste.  Sauté 5 minutes on low heat.  Add flour and cook another 3 – 4 minutes.  Add Chardonnay and seasonings.  Let simmer for a few minutes.

Drain clams, reserving liquid.  You should end up with 1 ½ cups.  Add to pan, stirring until slightly thickened.  Slowly begin  adding cheeses, stirring as you go. When cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, add half and half and clams. Cook only long enough to heat them.

Serve over cooked pasta and sprinkle with more grated cheese.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

CHICKEN PARMESAN

Chicken Parm (9)

     I think chicken parmesan is one dish that everybody loves.  Breaded tender chicken, lots of homemade sauce and cheese . . . what’s not to like?  I am really surprised that I haven’t posted this before.  It’s one of Bob’s very favorite meals.  Here’s how I make it:

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ lbs of chicken, boneless and skinless

2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs

¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan

¼ cup fresh grated Romano

2 eggs, beaten with 1 TBSP water

About 2 cups grated Italian cheese blend

PREPARATION:

You can either butterfly or pound your chicken until it’s about ½” thick.  Set out two bowls.  One with the beaten eggs, and the other with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and Romano cheeses.  Dip the chicken in the egg, and then dip it in the breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet, drizzle olive oil over the bottom and preheat over low/medium heat.  While it’s browning, I normally sprinkle on a little pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Brown the chicken until golden on both sides, and place in a casserole dish.  The pan will lose its oil, so you’ll have to add a bit here and there.  Pour your spaghetti sauce over the top, and sprinkle on more cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°   F for about 30 minutes.

Remove the foil, and sprinkle cheese over the top.  I like to use the four or five cheese pre-grated packages because it has everything in it.  You can use plain mozzarella if you’d rather.  Return to oven uncovered and bake for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted nicely and slightly browned.

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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parm (2)

Chicken Parm (3)

Chicken Parm (4)

Chicken Parm (6)

Chicken Parm (5)

Chicken Parm (7)

CHICKEN PARM (8)

Chicken Parm (10)

Chicken Parm (11)

Chicken Parm (9)Chicken Parm (12)

 

SEAFOOD STUFFED SHELLS WITH ALFREDO

Seafood Stuffed Shells with Alfredo (5)

     An outstanding seafood and pasta dish that you can prepare ahead of time.  YIELDS 4 – 5 servings

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz bag of shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 can crabmeat, drained

20 Jumbo shells

2 TBSP butter

Drizzle of olive oil

2 sweet mini peppers, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped (1 TBSP)

1/3 cup Chardonnay

3 ½ cups half and half

½ tsp white pepper

1 ½ cups Italian blend grated cheese

½ cup fresh grated Parmesan

½ cup fresh grated Romano

Extra cheese for sprinkling during baking

 

PREPARATION:

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a 3 quart saucepan.  Add butter.  Melt.  Sauté garlic and mini peppers until soft.  Slowly add half and half and wine.  Bring to a very slow simmer.  Cook for 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes.  Slowly add grated cheeses, stirring continuously.

Return to heat and let cook at a slow simmer for about 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  Stir frequently.  It will thicken more later, so no worries.

In a 4 quart pan, bring salted water to a boil and add the shells.  Stir.  When water returns to a boil, cook for 10 minutes.  Drain.  In the same pan, again fill about half way with salted water.  When it comes to a boil, cook the shrimp for 3 minutes.  Drain them and place in a small bowl.

Cut some of the cooked shrimp in half.  Each shell will hold 1 ½ shrimp.  Mix the crabmeat with the shrimp and add a bit of parsley for more color. Fill each shell and place in a baking dish open side up.  Pour Alfredo sauce over the top, cover with foil and bake at 350° F until sauce is bubbly.  The time will vary, depending on whether you’ve chilled the sauce and shrimp before baking.  If so, allow approximately 25 minutes.

Remove foil, sprinkle additional grated cheese on top and return to oven for approximately 10 minutes.

NOTE:  Top secret tip.  We’ve all done this, so beware.  Adding the cheese to a very hot mixture will most likely cause it to curdle.  Letting the mixture cool before slowly adding the cheese while stirring will prevent this.

Everything can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to assemble and bake.  Know that if it’s been chilled for a long time, it will take a little longer to bake.

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Seafood Stuffed Shells with Alfredo (2)

Seafood Stuffed Shells with Alfredo

Seafood Stuffed Shells with Alfredo (3)

Seafood Stuffed Shells with Alfredo (4)

Seafood Stuffed Shelld with Alfredo

 

SHRIMP MARINARA, BY BOB

Shrimp Marinara (2)

     Love marinara? We do too.  Here’s a quick and very tasty Shrimp Marinara created by Bob, for Chew Wanna Eat?  He served it over angel hair pasta, but choose your favorite!

 Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced (~3 tablespoons)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (or diced whole tomatoes)

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

3 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon white sugar

½ cup Red Wine

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil; about 10 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes to the pan along with the Wine, basil, sugar. (salt and pepper to taste if desired) Cover and simmer 40 minutes, stir occasionally.
  3. Add raw shrimp and cook for 3-5 minutes until shrimp is no longer pink..

Shrimp MarinaraShrimp Marinara (2)

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON

GRILLED SALMON WITH AVOCADO SALSA
GRILLED SALMON WITH AVOCADO SALSA

Here is another healthy and fabulous dinner recipe contributed by Debra Slater-Manter. Oh, she’s just so good. Look at this! Thank you, Debra!  NOTE:  Also pictured is Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa which you will find in another post.

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 cups Orzo pasta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus cut into bite size pieces

Instructions:
1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan.
2. Add Orzo and cook until slightly tender. About 15 minutes.
3. Toss asparagus into water with the Orzo.
4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
5. Drain and pour pasta and asparagus back into pan.

6. Add lemon juice and zest, parmesan and butter.

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 cups Orzo pasta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus cut into bite size pieces

Instructions:
1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan.
2. Add Orzo and cook until slightly tender. About 15 minutes.
3. Toss asparagus into water with the Orzo.
4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
5. Drain and pour pasta and asparagus back into pan.

6. Add lemon juice and zest, parmesan and butter.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015