Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Squash, Zucchini and Chicken Dinner

Alternate title: Probably the Only Recipe I'll Ever Post on Here

I don't really love to cook. I don't hate it, but I also don't get any pleasure from it. Weirdly enough, I love the show Top Chef, which is kind of a tease for my husband, since I watch a show portraying amazing cooking with exotic ingredients and then I'm like, "What do you want for dinner? Peanut butter and jelly or canned soup?" (Slight exaggeration... kind of.)

Anyway, when I do cook, I typically stick to recipes that I know we both like, because if I'm going to put effort into dinner, I don't want us to hate it. I also like things that are easy and don't require a ton of weird ingredients. 

Our friends Teri and Ryan have a garden, and all the rain we've been getting is resulting in a bumper crop of zucchini and squash, so they brought some over to our house yesterday. I was going to cook some today to eat with leftover pizza (classy AND nutritious), but then at the last minute, I decided to actually make dinner. I kind of just threw things together based on what we had in our cupboard, and it turned out surprisingly well. Dan and I both thought it was good, and Lucas ate a few bites of chicken, which is kind of miraculous, since he hasn't been eating much today (the joys of teething.)

So this may be the only time that I have a kind of absurdly simplistic recipe that I MADE UP MYSELF to share with the world (unless you count "throw whatever veggies you already have lying around into the crock pot with some meat and hope for the best" as a recipe.) If you've already seen this recipe 400 times before, please don't burst my bubble by telling me. Thank you.

And so without further ado, I present:

Bethany's Very Own Chicken Recipe that She Made Up Herself. No, Seriously.
(Except that, giving credit where credit is due, the cream of chicken was Dan's idea.)

I didn't take this picture until after we had eaten some, because I didn't know yet if it would be good.  Also, there's a light bulb in the background. I should totally be a food photographer.

- 1-2 pounds of chicken tenderloins
- 2-3 squash and/or zucchini cut into slices (I used one large zucchini and two medium-ish squash) Bonus points if your friend grew them in her garden. Double bonus points if you grew them yourself.
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning (I used Pampered Chef because I already had some on hand.)
- salt (if you think it needs it. I put some on mine, Dan thought it was fine without.)

1. Put some olive oil on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Unless you don't want to. I'm not your boss.
2. Lay the chicken tenderloins in a single layer on the bottom of the dish.
3. Empty the can of cream of chicken soup into a bowl, then mix it with just enough water so that you can pour it over top of the chicken instead of it just falling into the dish in a big can-shaped blob.
4. Pour the cream of chicken soup over the chicken (see why step 3 was so important? You're welcome.)
5. Spread the cut up squash and zucchini over the top of the chicken. It's ok if it's not in a single layer. We're all friends here.
6. Drizzle some olive oil over top of the veggies, then sprinkle the Italian seasoning on top of the veggies. (Maybe that should've been two steps.)
7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45-ish minutes (I should've put "preheat the oven to 400" as step one, but I forgot, and now I don't feel like re-numbering all of the steps. Sorry.)

Ta da! If you try it and like it, let me know! If you try it and DON'T like it, remember the words of my former elementary school principal: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Also, if you made any changes that made it even better, feel free to share! But don't be one of those people who's like, "I loved it, but I used beef instead of chicken, and broccoli and shallots instead of squash, and teriyaki sauce instead of cream of chicken soup, and I grilled it." Because, come on, that's a different recipe.


  1. i love top chef and all of its variants. my husband and i watch them all. i like the desserts and original ones best but he, for some odd reason, likes the top chef masters. i just feel like it's not as exciting when they don't have to prove themselves, because yes, we all know that you are an amazing chef. and i will stop with the sharing of information that no one probably cares about now.

    i will also try that recipe and let you know how it turns out, because i am a huge fan of simple dishes that taste good.

  2. Oo, yeah, the dessert Top Chefs are fantastic too! I always watch while eating some really sophisticated dessert... like gummibears.

  3. I'm a Master Chef person myself, but this recipe does sound simple and delicious; however, I will probably never make it because 1) I have never in my life bought a squash and probably won't start now; and 2) I'm hoping maybe your mom will make it and bring me a taste! Thanks for the good read this morning - and good call on the 'changing the recipe' people - they are very annoying. I'm glad 'the Bean' suggested it to me. p.s. Who am I??

  4. Is Master Chef the one where there is a sound of two knives scraping together at various intervals throughout the show? Because that's my least favorite sound in the world, and I can't watch that show for that reason. True story.

    And I'm going to guess... Janet??

  5. Um - I don't think so - or I just never noticed. It's the one with the home cooks. Although, the sound of a metal spoon in a metal pot (or silverware clinking against someones teeth) puts me over the edge - also a true story, and one which my children will verify. And yes, yes it is me. :)

  6. Anonymous July 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Interesting comment anonymous #1 on the changing the recipe people, I think you have changed an ingredient or two, haha! Great read and great receipe!!

  7. Janet - My second guess was going to be Tania. :)

    And thanks, Anonymous #2! :)

  8. Ok, this was completely hilarious! And I would totally try the recipe except, as you probably recall from our childhood, I HATE SQUASH! It was still worth reading though, because it made me laugh. :-)

  9. Ginny -Thanks! Also, I hated squash, too. I don't know when that changed. Come join me in squash-eating!

  10. Anonymous #2 - LOL - of course I have; I just don't publicly take someone's recipe and rearrange it to become a completely different dish. And good call on Tania Bethany - perhaps she is A#2 - or maybe it's JB - I'm thinking JB.

  11. i made this last night! well, sort of. i did switch out the squash with potatoes, because my husband never grew out of his i hate squash phase. i also added a couple of tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese to the soup. (i have this thing where i think everything tastes better with cheddar cheese even if you can't even tell it's in there.) oh, and a salted the chicken a bit before pouring the soup on it. it was delicious!

  12. I'm glad you liked it, Sarah! As is the case with just about every food, ever, I'm sure cheese made it even better!

  13. I love everything about your step by step instructions! It made me laugh, and I'm definitely going to try your recipe!! Thanks!

  14. Glad you liked it! And I hope it turns out well for you!