Thursday, February 13, 2014

Taco Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

 Thanks to public transportation, I don't typically mind commuting in the snow, but today's commute was absolutely brutal.  The wind gusts were so strong that my umbrella flipped out on me, and the snow hurt as it hit my exposed skin! I keep telling myself this means there will be fresh snow on the ground when KK and I go skiing this weekend (first time in 2+ years) with friends at Gore Mountain.  With all this snow, I should also mention how very thankful I am for the Hunter Boots that I got for my birthday last year (thanks dad!!).  If this is what winters are going to be like from here on out, I need to find a pair of manly snow boots for KK - anyone have any brands they recommend?

I realize this isn’t necessarily one of the healthiest meals I’ve prepared for you, but it is certainly one of the more tasty ones.  KK decided we’d increase the amount of chicken from the original recipe to make each sandwich meatier and more filling.  When assembling the biscuit sandwiches, make sure to leave free a small edge so you have enough space to seal the sandwiches.  I didn’t properly seal one of mine, and some of the filling escaped while the biscuits were cooking.  You can get fancy while sealing the sandwiches by using a fork or even scissors to crimp around the edges, or you can go my route and just close them off with your fingers.  Because we increased the amount of chicken, I was unable to fit all of the filling into the sandwiches, so we just ate the leftover filling on the side.  To reheat any leftovers, cut each sandwich into fourths, microwave for 20 seconds, and then heat in the toaster oven to avoid soggy biscuits.  The dressing will stay fresh for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  I liked the combination of ranch dressing and taco seasoning so much that I might start adding it to regular salads as well!

 Taco Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from Pillsbury
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Cooking spray
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 ½ Tbsp taco seasoning, divided
1 ½ cups ranch dressing
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 medium plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16.3 oz. Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Lettuce, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 375; lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Combine chicken, onion, and 1 teaspoon taco seasoning in the skillet.  Cook 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently until chicken is cooked through and onions are soft.  Remove skillet from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly.

3.  Combine ranch dressing and 2 tablespoons taco seasoning in a medium bowl.  Reserve 1 cup of the dressing for dipping in a small bowl.  Add cheese, tomato, garlic, and chicken mixture to the medium bowl.  Stir to coat the mixture with the remaining ranch dressing.

4. Separate dough into 8 biscuits.  Place 4 biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet; use fingers to press each biscuit into a 5-inch round.  Divide the chicken mixture evenly onto the center of each biscuits.  Press remaining 4 biscuits over top of the chicken mixture, pressing the top and bottom edges together firmly to seal the sandwiches.

5. Mix together Parmesan cheese and ⅛ teaspoon taco seasoning in a small bowl.  Rub mixture on top of biscuit sandwiches. 

6. Bake 16-20 minutes until sandwiches are deep golden brown, allowing time for inside of biscuits to cook.  Cool 3-5 minutes prior to serving.  Serve on a bed of lettuce, with dipping sauce on the side.

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