Archive for Italian

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken


So, if I follow a recipe, it fails. When I make it up? Success!

Make Italian Dressing, or something resembling it. I used Marsala Wine, Olive Oil, and some Vinegar, and Italian Seasoning spices. (I got the latter from the bulk bins at Whole Foods in Austin, but I am sure a packet would work.)

My slow cooker is a Rival 5.5-qt. Crock Pot, and the recipe was fine for it.

Place four chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. My chicken breasts were frozen. This is an issue for some people, because frozen chicken breasts may spend more time in the “danger zone,” and it is not recommended to do this with frozen meats. Use at your own risk.

Top with Italian Dressing. Add a 14.5oz can of tomatoes (mine were Italian style with spices already in the can.)

I cooked on high for 5 hours, then shredded the chicken to let it cook in the juices while I cooked rice.


If I had to write a recipe?

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

One packet Italian Dressing mix
1/2 to 3/4 cup Marsala Wine (or whatever wine you like to cook with.)
1/4th cup olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 chicken breasts
1 14.5oz can tomatoes
Rice (optional)

Mix Italian Dressing mix with Wine and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the Olive Oil while whisking.

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Pour dressing over the breasts, and top with can of tomatoes.

High for 4 hours (5-6 if chicken breasts are frozen). I am sure you can do low for 8-10 or so, but I have not tried it yet.

Leave a Comment

Chicken Marsala

My partner asked me to learn to make Chicken Marsala. I do not like to drink wine, so I had never cooked with it. But, I like cooking for other people, so I attempted it.

It was actually easy! It was almost like making gravy, but easier and not as thick. There are a few different varying recipes out there, so this is how I did it. I took my inspiration from recipes by Emeril Lagasse and Tyler Florence.

I took two chicken breasts, and cut them in quarters. (Once down the middle, and then once again to split them in half long ways, so I had 1/4ths, and not strips). I lightly pounded them with the heel of my hand. (Fun!) I put salt and pepper on the breasts, then dredged them in seasoned flour. I then browned them in a large saute pan in some olive oil. I wanted them to be done with this step, as opposed to browned then finished cooking in the sauce.

I sliced the mushrooms, then sauteed them in the leftover oil, but added a tablespoon of butter. I added salt towards then end. The mushrooms soaked up all of the butter, so I added half a tablespoon of butter, and some extra flour. We like a lot of sauce, so I turned off the burner and added 1 cup of Marsala wine. I turned the burner back on, and stirred the wine around to scrape up the bottom of the pan. When the wine had reduced, I added 1 cup of homemade chicken broth (straight from the crock pot), and reduced it slightly. I added back in the browned chicken breasts, and let it simmer and cook for a few minutes.

Served over pasta. Yum!

Leave a Comment

Lasagna Ingredients and Recipe


Italian Sausage: 6 links at 2.99 a pound = 5.35  (Sale at Whole Foods)

Garlic Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasonings, Garlic, Onion

Pasta Sauce Jar = 1.50 (Target)

Diced Tomatoes = 2 at $1 = $2 (Target)

Half a box of Lasagna Noodles = 1.25  (Im not sure :)

Cheese, Sliced Mozzarella, .5 pounds at 5.99 a pound = 2.98

Cheese, Romano .25 pounds at 9.99 a pound = 2.50

Basic Recipe:

Cook Italian Sausage, with onion and garlic.  I tend to add red pepper flakes, but I like really spicy food. Drain sausage.

Combine Jarred Pasta Sauce (yeah, im cheating, so what?) with diced tomatoes.  I like how the jarred sauce is almost spiced correctly, but I like the chunkyness that diced tomatoes add.  I have attempted to make my own tomato sauce, with tomatoes and tomato paste, and it never quite comes out right.  I even attempted Alton Brown’s Pantry Tomato Sauce;.  (The tomatoes never roasted.  They got hot, and that was about it.  Utter waste of two hours of oven time.)

Add spices and cook (very slow simmer) for a while, taste to see if spice is right, and cook more.

Boil the lasagna noodles, and lay out on foil or parchment paper to cool.

Micrograte the Romano.

Put Italian Sausage into the tomato sauce, and let cook for a few.

I use 2 pound disposable foil containers, because I like to freeze my lasagnas.  Spoon some sauce into the bottom of the container.   Lay a noodle on top, and spoon on more sauce, then cheese, then noodle, then sauce, then cheese, then noodle, then sauce.

(So, noodle sauce cheese, except the last layer, you want to be just sauce on top, as cheese on top can burn.)

Stay tuned for how it turned out! :)

Comments (1)

Lasagna Background

Today’s attempt will be lasagna.

Yeah, though, I have already made lasagna in the past.  And, its turned out pretty good.  Meat, tomato sauce, pasta, and cheese, it can be hard to mess up.

Though, I have messed it up in the past.  Typically, I make lasagna to freeze.  I used no boil noodles, which do not handle freezing and reheating well.  After eating crunchy noodle lasagna once, I always cook my noodles.

I think my best attempt was using marinated mozzarella as the middle layer.  It was excellent, and I must do that again sometime.

My secret is using Italian Sausage in my meat sauce.  I tend to use turkey Italian sausage, as it seems more healthy than pork sausage.  Then again, I used pork sausage once to make Italian Sausage soup, which was the time that I found out about my gallstones, so I might be biased against it.

Leave a Comment