Upgrade basic baked chicken with high-quality ranch dressing, wine, bacon and cheddar for a recipe the whole family will love.
I, like many of you, regularly rely on easy menus like these by our friends at Cooking Light to give me inspiration to answer that question "What's for dinner tonight?" And as much as I think meal planning is the right way to go, some days life just doesn't "go" that way. Even the best laid meal plans can get sidelined by sick kids, last minute conference calls or just that fatigue that sets in when "adulting" gets hard.
For those nights, you really need a back-pocket recipe... you know, the kind you can whip out of your back pocket on a moment's notice. You've got all the ingredients on hand and you know it will be a family favorite.
That's the inspiration behind today's recipe
Just look at that melted cheese and those happy little bits o'bacon hiding underneath. This is a dish that can go from freezer, to pan, to oven and be on your dinner table in the amount of time it would take to call for pizza delivery.
In fact, I prepped this dish from frozen chicken breasts. I used the individual frozen breasts (mine were from Costco and wrapped in individual packaging) and simply thawed them under running water until they were thawed enough to saute. (You may be surprised to know that you can, in fact, cook frozen chicken breasts. Just be sure to read the directions on the back of your package and by all means, please use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature once you think they're done.)
Beyond the ease of frozen chicken and the crowd appeal of bacon and cheddar, this recipe also has one defining difference from your run of the mill ranch chicken -- Tessemae's Ranch Dressing. I first tasted their dressings at FNCE last year and could NOT get over how good they were! Super simple ingredient list, but restaurant quality taste. While I'm sure any old ranch would do, I highly recommend keeping an assortment of these dressings on hand. They make everything you add them to so much better. (And no, I don't work for them. I just like there stuff!)
Still need convincing this is the recipe for you? See how simple it is to make!
Upgrade basic baked chicken via @ReganJonesRD. Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken - the whole family will love it! Tweet this
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium-size chicken breasts
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing (I prefer Tessemae's)
- 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes on each side.
- Transfer to an oven-safe dish. Top with wine and dressing.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with bacon and cheese. Continue cooking 5 to 10 additional minutes or until cheese is melted.