Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Recipe

If one positive thing came from being unemployed for a year, it was that it gave me time to teach myself how to cook. I've come up with a number of recipes over the past year, including my famous Tex Mex Casserole Bake. That was a big hit! Hopefully this will be, too...

Kenn's Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole!


1 lb. Baked Chicken, Shredded

1 26 Oz. Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 7 Oz. Can Mushrooms Pieces & Stems (Drained)

1 12 Oz. Bag Broccoli, Frozen, Chopped

1 14.5 Oz. Box of Farfale Pasta (Or Rotini or Penne)

1 8 Oz. Bag Shredded Cheese (Cheddar or Colby Jack)

1 2.75 Oz. Packet Pioneer Brand Peppered Gravy Mix

  • Remove the baked chicken from the bones, shred, put in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large pot, start the water boiling for the pasta.
  • In a separate medium sized pot, make the Pepper Gravy as directed with two cups of hot water. Add in the shredded chicken, cream of mushroom soup and the drained mushrooms and cook over medium heat.
  • Start cooking the pasta noodles in the boiling water (takes about ten minutes).
  • While the pasta is cooking, put the frozen broccoli in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water in the sink for a few minutes to defrost, then drain.
  • Add the broccoli to the gravy/soup/chicken/mushroom mixture and stir in over medium heat.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Drain the pasta noodles and return them to the large pot. Add the contents of the medium pot to the noodles in the large pot and mix together thoroughly.
  • Spread the combined gravy and noodle mixture evenly in a large, glass baking dish. Top evenly with shredded cheese.
  • Cover baking dish with tinfoil and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.
  • Serve hot with Pillsbury biscuits (Optional) and enjoy!

Let me know how you like it!

Happy 72nd Birthday, George A. Romero!

It's after Midnight, I realize, but "today," February 4th, 2012 was George A. Romero's 72nd birthday! George and his films have been a big influence on me (as most of you know) over the years, so to celebrate the milestone, I watched the European cut of DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) and followed it up with DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007) tonight!

I think my first exposure to George's movies was probably CREEPSHOW (1982). This was followed by DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978), which I also saw in the early 1980's on VHS. I absolutely loved it. I loved the idea of survivors barricading themselves in a shopping mall and trying to make what passes as a normal life for themselves while the world outside was anything but. A memorable, powerful film...

DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) followed. I admit I wasn't super impressed with it when I first saw it, but over the years I've come to realize it's one of the better films in the series. It helped cement my status as a Zombie fan for life. I watched the Romero produced TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE in high school and I was ecstatic in 1990 when the modern NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD came along.

I so enjoyed the Tom Savini directed NIGHT remake that it led me to watch the original 1968 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for the first time in 1991. It was George's original Zombie masterpiece that showed me that older, black & white films could be a great source of entertainment, story, imagination and inspiration. I saw horror (and film in general) in a whole new light.

I admit I wasn't impressed with LAND OF THE DEAD (2005), but I did enjoy DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007) and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009) tremendously. THE CRAZIES (1973) and KNIGHTRIDERS (1981) also have a special place in my heart's shrine to Romero.

Nowadays, Zombies are everywhere. Quite frankly, Max Brooks can kiss my ass with his bullshit survival guide and WORLD WAR Z nonsense and so can the people who make THE WALKING DEAD comics and TV show. More to the point, they can kiss George's ass. I guess that makes me a bit of a hipster when it comes to Zombies. I can honestly say I liked Zombies before they were cool...

Happy birthday, George! Cheers and best wishes for many, many more...

Now someone pass me a flannel shirt, a stupid looking beret and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, I've got an ironic poetry reading to attend at Starbucks!