Thursday, August 28, 2008

Poppyseed Chicken and Poppyseed Bread

One of my newest favorite ingredients: Poppy seeds!
About a year ago, my grandma passed on an awesome recipe for poppy seed chicken, which Norris and I both love love love, and Norris probably ten times loves it actually.
Then, Marc's mom finally passed down the recipe of her famous poppyseed bread that I have been enjoying as long as we have known their family. I made it last weekend for the Fantasy draft thing at our house and it was awesome, so I was excited to have another excuse to make it this weekend (going to the lake for Labor Day weekend!)
Recipes: (oh, and they both only take about 10-20 minutes to put together!)

Poppy Seed Chicken
8 chicken breasts, baked or boiled, deboned, cut into bite-size pieces
1-1/2 C. sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
40 Ritz crackers, crushed
6 T. butter, melted
2 T. poppy seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix soup & sour cream, pour over chicken in 9 x 13 dish.
Mix crackers and poppy seeds with butter, sprinkle over chickenmixture.
Season with salt & pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (may take a little longer to heateverything)
**I use reduced sodium, reduced fat, and fat free versions of everything, a little less butter (I actually just crush the crackers, mix them with poppy seeds--more like 3 or 4 T, and spray some spray margarine on top rather than use the melted buter), and it turns out awesome! You can sub cream of mushroom for cream of chicken if that's all you have. Whatever you do, don't leave out the sour cream!!

Poppy Seed Bread (it's worth buying the ingredients that you probably don't already have in your kitchen!!!)
2 1/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t almond flavoring
3 c flour
1 c oil
1 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 t butter flavoring

Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Add flour, milk, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder, vanilla, almond flavoring, and butter flavoring. Beat until smooth and pour into two greased and floured bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour (I find it done after about 50 minutes) or until the top is not runny. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then pour glaze over loaves and let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.

3/4 c sugar
1/4 c orange juice
1/2 t butter flavoring
1/2 t almond flavoring
1/2 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients well.
**It's best to make glaze first and to stir it frequently while bread is baking, but it also works to make it right before the bread comes out of the oven. Put it on 5 minutes after taking bread out, while bread is still in pan.

**My notes:
you can use skim milk for sure, and Splenda is a maybe (I am experimenting with the loaf in the oven right now)
I am going to use Splenda for the glaze part, and I used about 1/2 c Splenda and 1 3/4 c sugar in the bread. I don't particularly like to bake with Splenda personally. Probably because I'm not so hot at baking to start with, and that makes everything look and taste even worse, normally!!

Hope you enjoy these like I do! No pictures--didn't have time to photograph the last loaves and these are in the oven.
Time to go do laundry and pack so we can leave tomorrow after work for some relaxation at the lake. Have a great, SAFE Labor Day weekend!!