Tuesday, June 1, 2010

::Betsey's Shells::

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and was able to not just enjoy perhaps a long weekend, but remember those near and dear to your heart and the everlasting memories that you shared with them.
Do you ever type, then erase it all and do that same thing over and over again? Well that's what I keep doing! Where do I start with this post? I guess I'll start here. When Jamyson and I were dating, he would "make fun" of me when we would go out to eat and I would order something chicken. "Chicken? You are getting chicken? Do you have something against beef?" And actually, keeping that dating "flame," he still does it. It's all fun and games (until someone gets hurt of course) and we get a good laugh out of it. Cause of course, I love beef, and most every meal I cook is made with it, so when we go out to eat it seems like I order chicken most of the time. Not to mention the fact that we live on a ranch and should support our livelihood! Anyways, with this recipe the table is turned. This is Jamyson's favorite (favorite being an understatement) meal made with chicken. Just to show you how much he likes this, and mind you it makes quite a bit, here is an example. So I was going to be making dinner for the guys and the night before I said I was thinking about making the stuffed shells. About as soon as I said "stuffed....." Jamyson says "Don't make stuffed shells, because then they will eat them all and there won't be any left over and I want to eat them all week!" On a more serious note, I have made these multiple (about 5-8) times and they turned out each time. So, this recipe is in fact "tried & true" and is liked by all (if they have nothing against chicken of course :) ) Enjoy!

This recipe comes from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church cookbook. I use this cookbook all the time. Thank you to Liz Schumacher for the wonderful recipe!

Shredded chicken. I usually just use the frozen chicken breasts (4 of them). The recipe says to boil in 1 cup of water but I'm not sure how that is possible. Anyways, I just boil the chicken breasts in a big pot of water, drain, and shred. I usually don't let them cool that much.

Sour cream and cheese. Recipe calls for cheddar but it always seems like I use shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese. Whatever works!

Stuffing all ready. I usually start boiling the chicken and while that is cooking I make the stuffing according to the box and then mix up the cheese and sour cream. After I have removed the chicken from the water I add the shells to it and boil. While the shells are boiling I shred the chicken and mix everything together.


Boil shells until "al dente." Don't know what that means? Don't boil them until they are super soft, but until they are a little tender still. I usually drain them and drizzle a little olive oil over them and toss them up a little. Some shells will be inside each other (you will know what I mean when you make them) so I usually try to go through them all and separate them.

We got this as a wedding gift. We had registered at Macy's and this was one of the Martha Stewart pieces. I use it ALL THE TIME, I love it, and would highly recommend it!

Okay, so here's the deal. I boil 1 box of the jumbo shells and I still have left over shells. The problem, I just stuff the shells too full and can't get out of that habit. So, you don't have to stuff the shells like I do! Also, it usually makes a full 9x13 pan plus another small pan.

Before the sauce is poured over! Yums in my tums (I just made that up).

Sauce to go over top! And then on top of this goes the cheese, which I didn't get a picture of...must have been too excited. Also, if you only use 1/2 cup of cheese like the recipe calls for; you are officially no fun! I never measure I just sprinkle about.

Final product! For some reason, the picture doesn't make it look like what it really does in person. It must be the lighting or something because it looks like there is hamburger and carrots in it....can light do that to a dish? Add carrots and hamburger? hehe....

Notice the tin foil things in the back? I baked potatoes (baking & sweet) to go with this.

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