December 1, 2010


12 broiler-fryer chicken thighs
6 tbsp. flour, divided
1 (1.25 oz.) env. taco seasoning mix
1/4 c. butter
1 c. crushed tortilla chips
1 tbsp. cooking oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c. sliced, pitted ripe olives
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a plastic bag, mix 4 tablespoons flour and taco seasoning mix. Melt butter in a large shallow baking pan. Place crushed tortilla chips in a shallow dish. Place chicken a few pieces at a time in the flour mixture, shaking to coat. Dip chicken first in melted butter, then in crushed chips, turning to coat.Return chicken to remaining butter in pan.

 Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until fork tender. In frying pan, make sauce by heating oil to medium temperature. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons flour and salt, add milk and cook, stirring constantly until thick.

 Add cheese, olives and lemon juice. Cook, stirring until cheese melts. To serve, place on lettuce-lined platter. Spoon 1/2 sauce over chicken. Garnish with additional tortilla chips and ripe olives. Pass remaining sauce. Serves 6.

Ranch Taco Chicken Salad

1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Sliced
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Pkg. (16oz) Salad Greens
1 jar Taco Bell Salsa
1 bottle (8oz) Kraft Ranch Dressing
1 C. Kraft Cheddar Cheese
Crushed Tortilla Chips

    Cook chicken, oil and chili powder in large skillet on medium-high heat 8 minutes or until  chicken is cooked through. Toss chicken mixture, greens, salsa, dressing and cheese in large bowl. Top with crushed chips just before serving. Makes 6 ( 1 1/2 Cups)

Festive Cheese Beach Ball

Prep time: 25 mins. - Yield: 7 cups.

6 pkgs. (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened, divided
2 cups (8oz.) crumbled blue cheese
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup. chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced


1/4 cup. cooked tiny shrimp
2 tbsp. chopped pimiento - stuffed olives
2 tbsp. crumbled cooked bacon
2 tbsp. chopped sweet yellow pepper
2 tbsp. chopped green onions
2 tbsp. chopped ripe olives
2 tbsp. chopped pimientos
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
           assorted crackers

    In a large mixing bowl. combine 2 packages of cream cheese and the blue cheese. In another mixing bowl, combine 2 packages of cream cheese and the cheddar cheese; set aside. In a third bowl, beat the remaining  cream cheese; add the onions and garlic.
    In a 2-qt. bowl lined with plastic wrap, layer each portion of cream cheese, Invert onto a serving platter; remove plastic wrap and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, score eight sections on the ball. Sprinkle each section with one of the toppings and press lightly. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with crackers.

options: chopped red peppers or nuts.