I love community cookbooks.
Whether a city, school, business, or League it seems that when asked to contribute, people pull out all the best recipes in their cache.
Almost without exception, you can count on the recipes being great! Every so often you might come across a dud, but I account this to the fact that everyone has at least one bizarre family 'treasure' that they have no idea is actually kinda weird.
Case in point:
My dad used to make 'french omelette's' every Christmas morning and we'd eat them topped with tomato sauce straight out of a can. I loved this family tradition and so of course I pulled it out one Christmas after we had kids, wanting to continue on with it. Needless to say, I got some puzzled looks and had plenty of leftovers, if you know what I mean!
I'm not going to lie though, I sometimes get a wicked craving for those thin eggy pancakes with warm tomato on top!
This recipe came right out of one of those cookbooks. A compilation of recipes from the families in our church group. There are recipes in this book that are GOLD I tell you! I think this is one of them. Originally dubbed 'Keele's Favorite Chicken', this dish's original instructions require cooking three hours in a crock pot which comes in super handy if you belong to my church, as our meetings last three hours exactly each Sunday. Perfect!
Not being crock pot proficient, I let mine bake in a 9x13 pyrex in the oven. Takes less time and I have better luck keeping the chicken tender.
Sometimes you just need something simple and delicious, and I think this should be in everybody's recipe box under that heading. The sauce comes together in a slightly sweet, slightly sour, slightly creamy way, and gives the chicken a nice flavor. I serve it over rice, but it could easily be served with noodles or potatoes. Add a vegetable, and you're good to go!
Island Ranch Chicken (aka Keele's Favorite Chicken)
3-4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
(brine chicken breasts if needed)
1 jar apricot preserves (12 oz)
8 oz. ranch dressing--you can use bottled, but I make my own:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 T. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix: original,dry
After brining chicken, rinse it off and place in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Mix together the sauce ingredients, mixing dressing ingredients together separately if making your own. Pour over chicken and cover dish with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken, making sure your chicken is cooked thoroughly
Remove chicken from dish and set aside. If desired, thicken sauce with approx. a tablespoon of corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
Serve over rice.