Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chicken Thighs - A Family Recipe Guest Blog by Wendy

Wendy and I had the great pleasure of enjoying a girls' weekend together while she was here. Zach was away at a conference so we pulled out all the stops.

MASSAGES: I was hoping we could treat ourselves to a blissful hour of relaxation and peace. This experience was not as delightful as I would have hoped. My massage was more like a good beating from a middle school bully. I was literally jabbed and slapped around for 60 minutes. It may or may not have been a bad thing for me (maybe it was good for the muscles), but I was really hoping to kick back and relax. That was not this. I think Wendy's experience was a little better than mine so I am glad about that!

DINNER: We dined al fresco at The Waffle, which has been climbing towards the top of list when it comes to oh-so-good-for-the-soul restaurants in Hollywood. They have perfected the waffle fry; step aside Chic-Fil-A.

MOVIE: We strolled across the street to the beautiful, yet still overpriced ($16), Arclight Movie Theater to catch a flick: Sex and the City 2. We were both seeing the movie for the 2nd time. I know the movie has seen its share of bad reviews, but I liked it. It made me laugh and it was fun to look at; basically, it was the movie equivalent of thumbing through a magazine. That is really all I can ask for when I go see a movie like that, and I was satisfied.

SHOPPING: We made it out to the fabric store Sunday. I am making another apron, and that is all I'll say about that for now!

LUNCH: "California Chicken Cafe is now open on Sundays at their Venice location," is all you hear when you are on hold to order take out from there (something I too often find myself doing). I think I have gushed about this place before, but in case you missed it...yummmmmmm. We dipped on over to them to enjoy a healthy bite.

MORE SHOPPING: Groceries, that is. I realize none of this shopping is the "girls' weekend" kind of shopping you may be thinking, but we managed to have a good time.

COOKING: We decided to prepare a dish that I have had the pleasure of enjoying when I have visited Zach and Wendy's home in Orlando. It is a recipe that has been in their family for years, and I can see why. It is completely satisfying and delicious. Wendy said, "it is like comfort food." That could not be more true about these chicken thighs. She showed me exactly how to make them. They came out perfectly. I will let her share the recipe with you herself.

But first...a couple things you should know about Wendy:

She is a really amazing musician. She is a girl-and-a-guitar kind of gal. We have been lucky enough to hear some of her original music.

She is really good at calming people down. She welcomes the challenge of dealing with angry guests at her job (yes, the kind of people most employees run away from). This is a skill of hers I truly admire because it is something I cannot even begin to imagine being good at.

She has an adorable hamster named Athena. Athena apparently has quite the personality as far is a hamster is concerned. She is a brave lil' lady, rolling right up to Wendy's parents' Boston Terries (within the protection of her plastic ball, of course).

She has a really sweet quality about her that can put you at ease. She is a really great listener and the kind of friend you want to have on your side.

She eats pop tarts for dessert sometimes.

And now for what you've been waiting for...Here's Wendy:

One of my fondest childhood memories is a dish that my grandmother use to make for
all of us when we would go and visit her in South Florida. It was simply known as chicken thighs which was enough information for me to automatically love them. It was a standard dish for her to make them and I think back at how filling they would be on those “cold” Florida nights. What it consisted of was cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese, a pinch of Parmesan cheese, can of mushrooms, and of course chicken thighs. It was best served with rice and green beans.

This tradition of making this dish has carried on into my mom’s hat of things to make. She makes it every once in awhile knowing that it is one of my favorite things to eat. This dish has now been passed down to me and I make it every once in awhile at my college apartment thrilling my roommates for chances to have some leftovers of this great meal. I always have plenty to share with them so they can have a taste of my home style cooking.

I had the opportunity to introduce this dish to Lindsey while I was having a lovely stay in California for the summer. We were in the grocery store one afternoon in the midst of a girls weekend when we were trying to decide what to make for dinner that night. I then suggested that we make my grandmother’s chicken thighs given that I knew how to make them. So we put on our thinking caps as I tried to remember what exactly went into them. After gathering all that was needed we headed to the check out loot in tow ready to start the makings of this dish.

To make this it is rather simple you just have to find a bowl to mix the cream of mushroom soup with the Parmesan cheese a little cheddar and of course more mushrooms!
Then you spread this mixture on top of the chicken thighs and top it with a lot of cheddar cheese. You cook it for about an hour and a half at 350 degrees F then it should be ready to eat.

This is a nice comfort food that has been in my family for many years. I hope to one day pass this down to my kids and hopefully it will go on for there. It was fun being able to share this with a close friend!

6-8 chicken thighs (bone-in - skin removed)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
generous pinch of Parmesan cheese
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 can or jar of mushrooms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 C of the cheddar cheese and the jar/can of mushrooms.
Place the chicken thighs in a large casserole dish.
Pour the mixture over the chicken thighs.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the mixture evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 90 minutes.

UPDATE: Don't forget to remove the skin from the chicken thighs first!

Serve over rice with some green veggies and be happy!


Alan said...

The problem with reading your blog is that it always makes me hungry :) I enjoyed your guest blogger and I enjoy your blog as well.

The Boston Lady said...

Oh my. My mother would love to know that her go-to meal was being enjoyed coast to coast, by different generations! She would remind me, though, don't forget to take the skin off those thighs! Just the smell of this simple dish brings back a lot of memories and how nice to know that Wendy, her roomies, perhaps The Writer and you, Sammy are able to enjoy this simple, yet delicious dish.

And, I have to agree that SATC 2 was exactly like thumbing through a magazine. And I think I had a massage just like yours about a month ago - but, my shoulder pain went away! Guess it must have paled in comparison to the "deep" massage pain...

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