Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Artichoke and Spinach Dip Chicken with Couscous

Last night, as I am often in the habit of doing, I threw together a dinner from some things I had on hand. I am the queen of unexpected casseroles. This time, though, I remembered to write my version down. Or at least blog about it.

This is a good recipe if you have chicken breasts and chopped spinach in your freezer.

Whenever we go to a new American-style restaurant or sports bar, we almost invariably always try out the eatery's version of hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip. When we were first married we used to play team trivia (much more often than we do these days), and one of our favorite spots had an A&S Dip with a unique flavor, which I detected to be a package of Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix and cream cheese. From that, I developed a great dip using a variation of some knockoff Olive Garden recipe and those ingredients. It's been quite a hit.

So last night, when I realized that even though I'd left the chicken breasts in the fridge overnight and they still hadn't thawed, I knew I needed a way to bake them and still infuse them with flavor. And vegetables. I also didn't have time to just boil them and chop them and then add them to a casserole like I sometimes do. So, here are the results of my dip-inspired experiment. Tasty.

Artichoke and Spinach Dip Chicken with Couscous

cooking spray
2-3 large chicken breasts, partially thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of mushroom will work, too)
1 cup sour cream, low or non-fat
1 package Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix (there are usually 2 per box now)
1/2 pkg bagged frozen spinach, unthawed but chopped lightly with a fork
1 can Artichoke Hearts, quartered
shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
bread or cracker crumbs
Tri-color or plain CousCous (Tri-color is prettier)

1. Spray a square baking dish with PAM and lay the chicken breasts in it. If they are still frozen, it will be okay, you just need to adjust the baking time.

2. In a bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, soup mix, frozen spinach, and artichokes together until spinach is well-blended.

3. Spoon mixture on top of chicken breasts, completely covering them on all sides.

4. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, if chicken is partially frozen. For fresh chicken, you'd probably only need 30 minutes of baking time.

5. Add bread/cracker crumbs to the top for the last 10 minutes of baking.

6. After adding crumbs, prepare couscous as directed on the package. Usually, the only requires boiling water and then adding the couscous, covering, and letting sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

7. Enjoy! Serve over couscous in a bowl or pasta dish. Serves at least 4, or two with leftovers.

I can't be certain of the sodium levels, but this is a relatively healthy comfort food dish. And so you know, it's just as good the next day!


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