Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Buttered Leek Chicken

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a huge hit in our home, but I have never taken the time to make them from scratch until today.  Today was a low key day so while the boys were playing and doing workbooks beside me I decided to take advantage of getting dinner started early, refrigerate it and heat about an hour before dinner.  

I had bought a bag of russet potatoes with high hopes of making potato soup ... considering the temperature has remained over 100 degrees every day that wasn't an option- so instead, scalloped potatoes it would be. 

Wash, peel and thinly slice your potatoes (5 or 6) and set aside.  

Over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter and saute one onion that has been peeled and sliced until the onion has softened.

In a large measuring cup combine 1 cup of fat free half and half with 1 cup of milk, stir to mix together.

I sprayed a 9x13 dish with oil and coated the bottom with a little of the cream mixture.  Cover the bottom of the dish with 1/3 c of potatoes, sprinkling them with some pepper, a dash of salt, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Layer half of the sauteed onions as well.   

Top with 1 cup of cheese of your choice (I used cheddar and jack) and with 1/3 of the cream mixture.  

Repeat these steps.  Top with the remaining potatoes, cheese and cream mixture.  Season with pepper.  Thinly slice 1 tbsp of butter into small pieces and evenly distribute over the top.  

I covered the potatoes and placed them in the refrigerator until an hour before dinner.  When ready to serve remove from refrigerator and let sit for about 10 minutes before cooking.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cook for 50 minutes until the top is golden and the cream is bubbling.  The potatoes will be tender when tested.  Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Buttered Leek Chicken

After having my side dish complete, I needed to get started on the main dish.  I took inventory of my ingredients and decided to use a few stalks of leek I had.  I sliced and washed them- and let them caramelize on the stove with a few tbsp of butter.

I wanted to allow all the flavors to play off one another and marinate throughout the afternoon so I cranked our AC and plugged in the crock pot.  I placed 3 chicken breasts in the crock pot with about 4 tbsp of butter, 2 c chicken stock, 1 1/2 tbsp of Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute, 2 tsp of dijon mustard, my caramelized leeks (2 stalks in all), and a handful of parsley.

After looking at what I had put together I added about 1/3 c fat free half and half to give the sauce a creamier texture.  

Let cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.  The sauce will thicken and be a wonderful topper to your chicken along side your cheesy scalloped potatoes.  A yummy, hearty and flavorful meal!

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