Friday, July 25, 2014

Chicken Bake

Cheesy, chickeny, deliciousness wrapped in bread and baked. 

You guys. This recipe. It’s amazing. I’m just going to get down to the details because you should be making it tonight.

You'll need:

Frozen Chicken Breast – Tyson
Frozen Bread Loaf – Rhodes
Italian Dressing – Olive Garden * The dressing makes this bake, so get some good Italian dressing!
Pepper Jack Cheese – Castle Wood

Ingredients: Chicken, Bread, Italian Dressing & Pepper Jack Cheese

First, pull a loaf of frozen bread dough out of the freezer. Place it on some parchment paper and spray it down with some Pam. I suggest pulling out the dough at least 4 hours before you want to start your chicken. We usually eat dinner around 6 p.m., so on Chicken Bake nights, I pull it out around 1 p.m. so it's ready to use around 5 p.m.

After you get your bread out, it’s time to deal with the chicken. You can do this a few different ways:
  •  BBQ: De-thaw the chicken by running five pieces under water to get rid the ice, and marinate it in Italian dressing. Then follow basic chicken bbq instructions.
  • Bake: De-thaw the chicken by running five pieces under water to get rid the ice, put it in a glass pan, pour about half a cup of Italian dressing over it, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until juices run clear.
  • Crockpot: (My Favorite) De-thaw the chicken by running five pieces under water to get rid the ice and place them in the crockpot. Add ½ to 1 cup of Italian Dressing; enough to cover most of the pieces. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Take a whisk and pull apart the chicken into small pieces.

Now the fun part!

Roll out the bread dough so it looks something like this:

Next, is my super special secret tip for making pretty bakes! Grab yourself the nearest ruler and press it gently down onto the tip of the bread making an indentation in the loaf. Using the line you just made as a guide, move the ruler down and make another indentation, and another, and another. Keep going until you have even lines down the entire loaf. 

Use a ruler to make even lines for braided bread.

Use a knife to make slits on both sides of the bread, about an inch or two deep.

Italian dressing, shredded chicken & pepper jack cheese. 

Next, measure out a cap of dressing and spread it even over the bread. The dressing will help the bread stick together better and it's also super yummy. Then add pepper jack cheese, your cooked, shredded chicken, more pepper jack cheese and finally, top with another cap of dressing.

Start from one end and braid it up altering sides. Make sure to really tuck the sides in so they don't pop out. The dressing helps them stick too. Did I say that already? Whatever. It's important. After it is braided, add another cap of dressing on the top, spreading a small layer evenly over the entire bake.

Put it in the oven and bake it! 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown. When it's done, you have something that looks like this:


Wait a few minutes for it to cool (if you can) because melted cheese burns the mouth. I've learned this the hard way. Multiple times. 

Use honey mustard to dip it in.
I'm a huge fan of honey mustard so I like dipping it in that. We've also used ranch. French's makes this honey mustard dipping sauce and I'm a huge fan.

If you're so lucky to have leftovers, wrap it in foil for tomorrow. I throw mine in the toaster and it re-heats wonderfully! Makes for a fantastic lunch the next day. 



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