Potluck Chicken

Some people call them basket dinners, others fellowship meals, but our church calls them potlucks and we have one the last Sunday of every month.

We love them!

But I’ve struggled through the years finding something to bring. The oven at church was always full – so it needed to be something in a crock pot.

It also needed to be fast, cheap, and easy to make.

And – after that one embarrassing potluck when my meatballs where raw in the center – it had to be fully cooked.

Enter – Potluck Chicken!

I developed this recipe one Saturday afternoon in desperation. It proved to be a big hit – especially with the kids – and has become my signature potluck dish.

The ingredients are simple – just thawed chicken legs and some Montreal seasoning (I use my homemade version which can be found here).

The secret is time management.

The night before, I line a sheet cake pan with aluminum foil. This helps with clean up.

Then I take the thawed chicken legs and sprinkle them liberally with the Montreal seasoning mix and lay them on the tray.

I cover the tray with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

First thing the next morning, I remove the plastic and put the pan of chicken in the oven at 350 while I shower, eat breakfast, and get dressed.

Then – Just before I leave for church – I take the chicken from the oven and put the legs and any juice in my crock pot on warm. I throw away the aluminum foil and quickly wash the pan.

That’s it!

The chicken legs bake for about 90 minutes to 2 hours and are fall of the bone tender.

They could be eaten immediately, but will stay warm and wonderful for hours in the crock pot.

You could bake them immediately and skip the whole refrigerator step, but there’s something wonderful that happens when the spices sit on the chicken overnight!

Either way they are yummy!

Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash Pie

spaghetti squash pieWould you believe we still have spaghetti squash from last year’s garden? I’m amazed at how well and how long they have kept!

We’re eating it at least once a week – using it to replace pasta, or as a yummy side, and sometimes as a main dish.

Speaking of main dishes – this is one of our favorites! I used my spaghetti pie recipe to create it and served it to rave reviews.

It’s easy to make ahead and refrigerate. I’ve even made it in the crock pot (just heat on high for about 4 hours or low for 6.)

Spaghetti Squash Pie

spaghetti squash (3-4 cups of cooked squash)
1/4 cup butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Greek or Italian spice mix
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti squash until soft. (Click here for my tutorial.)

Use a fork to “string” it into the noodles.

Melt butter in a pan with the chopped garlic clove. Add cream cheese, Parmesan and spice mix.

Pour over spaghetti squash. Use a fork to gently toss together. Set aside.

Brown sausage and drain. Add spaghetti sauce.

Place spaghetti squash mixture in the bottom of a greased 11 x 7 inch pan.

Cover with the cottage cheese followed by the spaghetti sauce and sausage mixture.

Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Serve hot and bubbly to an appreciative family!

All of the amounts are flexible. Use more spaghetti sauce if you want it saucier. Add more cheese.  Use more or less spaghetti squash. Try hamburger instead of sausage. Add mushrooms or peppers. This recipe is versatile enough to make it your own!

Enjoy!