My family has never been the type for daily dinners-around-the-table. Even though our current dining room is a room away from the front door, which we rarely use, and several rooms away from the back door we usually opt for, it is still the stereotypical catch-all piece of furniture. In addition to the standard scraps of mail and packaging from Amazon orders, our table typically holds half-folded bath towels, a fork someone finally picked up off the floor after it sat there for three weeks, some spare die, scattered bits of Mom’s newest hobby, a power cord for the odd electronic device, some lip gloss, and a cat.
Honestly, we use the table for more card games than family dinners, if that tells you anything about our household culture.
In place of a table, we tend to eat our meals in the living room while half-heartedly watching Mom’s newest TV show obsession. (Her period dramas are never longer than a couple of seasons and she and Dad have taken to rewatching Lost in their room, thankfully, so now we get a Canadian show.) Yes, we are all aware of the fact that, culturally speaking, meals around the TV is not the healthiest habit. But it works for us and it’s too late to try and change things.
With most of us off and working during the day, it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time for dinner anyway. Jo has a social life, Dad works odd hours, Mom often has photo sessions after work, Nina has a boy who lives less than three miles away, and by the time the rest of the family is grabbing plates of leftovers I’m already onto my dessert bowl of Cap’n Crunch.
Then I got back on Pinterest after trying to stay away and I started finding delicious recipes I wanted to try. The catch: if you try to make good food in our house and refuse to share it, you stand a good chance of being strung up by your toenails in the chicken coop. There was nearly a riot when I said I was keeping the leftover chili for lunches at work.
Solution? Family dinner night. Near the start of every week, I’ll pick a day for dinner and throw out a couple of choices for people to vote on.
Some recipes have been great (Chava loved the chicken parm), and some are less than stellar (nothing beats Mom’s potato soup). I’ve learned a few things, like remembering to check the serving amounts because a) most recipes are for four and, b) my family doesn’t adhere to recommended serving sizes.
This blog post is turning into me telling you how unhealthy my entire family is.
Now that I’ve taken 500 hundred words to preface my blog post, I’ll get to the point: sharing recipes. My kitchen remains as unphotogenic as ever (I swear a pretty kitchen is a priority in my hypothetical first house), so there aren’t many pictures. It’s more like a recipe review, really. But since Family Dinner night is usually on Tuesday, I’ll take the next few Wednesdays to tell you what I made.
Who doesn’t love food?
Now I’m doing what I hate food bloggers for doing: blathering on and waiting until the end of the post to share the recipe.
I’ve been on a cast iron skillet kick lately. We finally dug ours out of long-term packed boxes and have returned it to the kitchen rotation. My favorite part of using one is getting to put it in the oven. Such a novelty for me. Next up I want a Dutch oven.
Even though I had sent out texts earlier in the day regarding dinner, I nearly went straight home rather than going to the store for ingredients. Thankfully the grocery trip was easy, though I probably terrified several shoppers with my very determined walk with the manic arm swinging (I wanted to make sure my Fitbit was counting those steps).
Once home, I put on the Christmas music and got to work. I also got in more steps because I kept having to dart back to the living room to check my phone for recipe instructions.
This recipe is probably the easiest I’ve made since introducing family dinners. Yes, even more than throwing things into a crock pot for Chava to stir throughout the day. (What’m I gonna do without that girl?) In future I’ll use my brain and buy canned veggies that don’t include yucky mushed peas, and I’ll probably buy a larger can of cream of chicken soup and biscuits that aren’t the jumbo size.
Trying to shred rotisserie chicken had to be my least favorite part of this recipe. I don’t like shredding chicken on the best of days, and rotisserie chicken has a different consistency than what I usually pull out of the crock pot. The nice part about using rotisserie is that the chicken was already seasoned.
Our oven cooks unevenly, so the biscuits got a little darker on top than I would have liked, but they weren’t soggy on the bottom like some reviews of the original recipe noted.
And no, I do not have a picture of the finished product. I was too hungry to take pictures.
One can of refrigerator biscuits (flaky is good, jumbo messes up the portions)
One rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
One can of mixed veggies (don’t get the peas!)
One can of cream of chicken soup (or a little more, or a large can if they make those)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish if you’re feeling fancy
Preheat oven to 425.
Spray cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
Add shredded chicken, veggies, soup (no water), and salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix well.
Add mix to skilled and pat to even out.
Open can of biscuits, separate, and add to top of mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
Add parsley for the gourmets among you.
Enjoy (minus the random chicken bone Jo found in a bite).