Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chicken Crescent Rolls with Cheddar Cheese Sauce

“Getting old is not for sissies,” my partner, John, says, when the aches and pains of aging take their toll.  I recently stumbled on a comment by “Pastor Ryan” (Detzel), senior pastor at Vineyard Westside Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. On getting older he says:  "I don’t get it…when people struggle with getting older. This is a moment for us to be a little more experienced, a little more connected to what’s really going on, a little more thankful for what you’ve learned, and a little more excited about what you’ll do tomorrow."

Pastor Ryan is a young man, a fellow foodie, a photographer, a handsome man with a lot of tattoos, a spiritual man sharing God’s love. Nice. I stumbled upon him in my search for a recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara. I like his recipes and I like the bits of writing he has posted on the Internet. I wish there was more.  His busy physical life has supplanted his previously active “virtual” life.

What struck me, however, is how excited I am about where I am in my life today. For a long time I struggled with life. God was absent. It was all about me. And it wasn’t enough. Today, I am comfortable with myself, and I am comfortable with the idea of having a Higher Power, who I choose to call God, guiding me and loving me no matter what. It’s a nice feeling to have!

I look forward to the future. It’s a gift that I have only just begun to unwrap.

Today’s recipe is one I served at Second Sunday Brunch at St. John the Apostle, MCC, Church  in January, 2014. It’s very easy to prepare and looks very elegant if you are having company.

We did a taste test before I made the recipe for Second Sunday Brunch. 

Chicken Crescent Rolls with Cheddar Cheese Sauce

1 can Grands® Big and Flaky Crescent Rolls (8 crescent rolls)
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup half and half

4 ounces cream cheese (very soft)
4 tablespoons butter (very soft but not melted)
1/2 teaspoon Montreal Chicken spice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups cooked chicken breasts; finely chopped (I use rotisserie chicken from the Deli)
3/4 cup finely grated Italian blend cheese or cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Set oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cream of chicken soup and the half and half till smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, butter, and mayonnaise until very smooth.  Add in the chopped chicken, onion, cheddar cheese, Montreal Chicken spice, and garlic power. Mix well.  Season with additional salt or black pepper to taste.

Unroll the crescent rolls.

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture (or a little more) on top of each crescent triangle, then roll up starting at the thicker end. Be sure to seal the filling inside the dough.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with butter flavored spray. Drizzle a small amount of soup mixture on the bottom. Place the crescent rolls seam-side down in the casserole.

Lightly brush tops with melted butter.

Drizzle the remaining sauce on top and around crescent rolls.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese.

Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

This dish just needs a simple salad to make a complete meal. For Second Sunday Brunch I combined apples, mandarin oranges, and broccoli florets with a dressing made from Marie’s Coleslaw dressing, mayonnaise, and a touch of curry powder and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

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