Food Storage Recipes: Catalina Chicken

This is a recipe that Julie taught me one Mother’s Day several years ago. We were planning a dinner for my mom (the infamous Grandma Lori) and she popped out this way easy and way delicious recipe that his since become a staple in my family. In fact, last night when I made it my kids snarfed it up without one single complaint (if you know my kids you will know how rare that is). Without further ado … here is the recipe!

Catalina Chicken (from the kitchen of Julie)

Ingredients:
1 small jar of apricot/pineapple preserves
1 small bottle of catalina salad dressing
1 1/2 – 2 lbs diced chicken

Directions:
Mix the sauce in a 9×13 pan. Add in the diced chicken. Let marinade for several hours if you can, but it’s not necessary. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Serve over rice.

IMG_0196

I TOLD YOU IT WAS EASY!!!!

Variations

Meat
The only problem with this recipe is it calls for diced chicken. In my current state (5 months pregnant) I find it completely nauseating and cumbersome to have to thaw, trim, and chop raw chicken. It dawned on me that if I had some bottled chicken on hand, I could just open up a bottle and have this recipe ready to go in less than 5 minutes. This re-motivated me to work on one of my New Year’s Resolutions and break open my new pressure canner as soon as chicken goes on sale again.

Jam
While I used some jam from the LDS cannery, you can use any apricot preserves but it’s definitely the best with pineapple. If I have cans of pineapple on hand it’s also yummy to add in a few pineapple chunks too.

Rice
I am ashamed to admit this, but even though I have tried Julie’s magical tips on How to Cook Rice it STILL never works very well for me. In an emergency I will suffer through crunchy or mushy rice … but for day to day cooking I have admitted my failings and have started to use the rice cooker I got for Christmas (apparently my husband was a bit disappointed in my rice cooking skills too). I figure at least it’s better than relying on Minute Rice πŸ™‚

Keep these few ingredients on hand and next time you are in a crunch for a quick and easy meal, you will have everything you need!


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  • EriDri

    One of my roommates showed me this but she just used the Catalina dressing (or Russian, I think they are the same flavor). Now my husband and I will often make this. We heat the oven to 350, put some frozen (yes frozen) chicken tenders from Costco into a pan and then pour the dressing over it. I’ve made it with Italian and Raspberry Vinnagrette dressing as well, it’s a fun and easy way to cook chicken and it stays good in the fridge much better than just plain grilled chicken (we like to have cooked chicken on hand for salads and this is fun and easy to do and much cheaper than buying precooked chicken at the store.)

  • May I share a never-failed-me-yet recipe for rice?
    The trick is two-fold.

    First measure ACCURATELY because you want enough water/broth to rehydrate and cook the rice, but not so much that there is water left in the pot. You should measure out 1 measure of rice and 2 measures of water – doesn't matter what size measure you use. Me I use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water/broth. That's a lot of rice, but I want extras and have a teenage son who is over 6' and still growing. I think that the number one reason people have bad rice is that they get careless with measuring out the rice and water and end up with either too much rice for the water they have or too much water for the amount of rice they have. This is one of the few times where you REALLY need to measure accurately!

    The second trick is very simple. Bring the water/stock to a boil, add the rice (an any seasonings you want or leave plain. Even though I don't cook with much salt, rice is one of those things that seems to need a little bit in it to have it taste good.) and bring it back to a boil. Turn down heat to SIMMER. You don't want it on the lowest setting because it won't cook, but you don't want it boiling either. Just a nice simmer. For my electric stove, that is a 3 on a scale of 1 to 9. Stir the rice well and place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Set a timer for 14 minutes AND DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! When the timer dings, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the eye, BUT DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Set timer for 10 minutes. When the timer dings you open the pot, stir the rice and serve it or cool and store however you'd like to store it. It can be portioned out and frozen. I've also let it sit on the stove with the lid on (and the eye off) for about 20 minutes while the rest of the supper finishes.

    So from the time you stir the rice, lower the flame and put the lid on, until it's ready to eat you DO NOT REMOVE the lid. After it's done, you do want to open and stir it. It will let out some of the steam.

  • May I share a never-failed-me-yet recipe for rice?
    The trick is two-fold.

    First measure ACCURATELY because you want enough water/broth to rehydrate and cook the rice, but not so much that there is water left in the pot. You should measure out 1 measure of rice and 2 measures of water – doesn’t matter what size measure you use. Me I use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water/broth. That’s a lot of rice, but I want extras and have a teenage son who is over 6′ and still growing. I think that the number one reason people have bad rice is that they get careless with measuring out the rice and water and end up with either too much rice for the water they have or too much water for the amount of rice they have. This is one of the few times where you REALLY need to measure accurately!

    The second trick is very simple. Bring the water/stock to a boil, add the rice (an any seasonings you want or leave plain. Even though I don’t cook with much salt, rice is one of those things that seems to need a little bit in it to have it taste good.) and bring it back to a boil. Turn down heat to SIMMER. You don’t want it on the lowest setting because it won’t cook, but you don’t want it boiling either. Just a nice simmer. For my electric stove, that is a 3 on a scale of 1 to 9. Stir the rice well and place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Set a timer for 14 minutes AND DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! When the timer dings, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the eye, BUT DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Set timer for 10 minutes. When the timer dings you open the pot, stir the rice and serve it or cool and store however you’d like to store it. It can be portioned out and frozen. I’ve also let it sit on the stove with the lid on (and the eye off) for about 20 minutes while the rest of the supper finishes.

    So from the time you stir the rice, lower the flame and put the lid on, until it’s ready to eat you DO NOT REMOVE the lid. After it’s done, you do want to open and stir it. It will let out some of the steam.

    • Deana Wade

      thank you !!!!!!!!!!

  • May I share a never-failed-me-yet recipe for rice?
    The trick is two-fold.

    First measure ACCURATELY because you want enough water/broth to rehydrate and cook the rice, but not so much that there is water left in the pot. You should measure out 1 measure of rice and 2 measures of water – doesn't matter what size measure you use. Me I use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water/broth. That's a lot of rice, but I want extras and have a teenage son who is over 6' and still growing. I think that the number one reason people have bad rice is that they get careless with measuring out the rice and water and end up with either too much rice for the water they have or too much water for the amount of rice they have. This is one of the few times where you REALLY need to measure accurately!

    The second trick is very simple. Bring the water/stock to a boil, add the rice (an any seasonings you want or leave plain. Even though I don't cook with much salt, rice is one of those things that seems to need a little bit in it to have it taste good.) and bring it back to a boil. Turn down heat to SIMMER. You don't want it on the lowest setting because it won't cook, but you don't want it boiling either. Just a nice simmer. For my electric stove, that is a 3 on a scale of 1 to 9. Stir the rice well and place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Set a timer for 14 minutes AND DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! When the timer dings, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the eye, BUT DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Set timer for 10 minutes. When the timer dings you open the pot, stir the rice and serve it or cool and store however you'd like to store it. It can be portioned out and frozen. I've also let it sit on the stove with the lid on (and the eye off) for about 20 minutes while the rest of the supper finishes.

    So from the time you stir the rice, lower the flame and put the lid on, until it's ready to eat you DO NOT REMOVE the lid. After it's done, you do want to open and stir it. It will let out some of the steam.

  • Claudia

    Here’s a couple of things you can do to help your rice cooker make perfect rice every time. First, only fill with water til it touches the bottom of the line for the number of cups you have in there. Add a capful of white vinegar – it helps make the rice white and tightens it up for a less sticky grain.
    If your cooker tends to burn the rice at the bottom, unplug it after the 15 minutes of steam time.

  • Claudia

    Here's a couple of things you can do to help your rice cooker make perfect rice every time. First, only fill with water til it touches the bottom of the line for the number of cups you have in there. Add a capful of white vinegar – it helps make the rice white and tightens it up for a less sticky grain.
    If your cooker tends to burn the rice at the bottom, unplug it after the 15 minutes of steam time.

  • Sarah H

    I’d suggest doing this in the slow cooker i’d say on high 4-5 or low 8-9. It saves money on electricity, you can do it in the morning when you have energy (or throw it together in a plastic bag at night and throw in in the crock in the morning) and you don’t have to chop the chicken, it’ll shred when you are done. I’ll have to try this.

  • Sarah H

    I'd suggest doing this in the slow cooker i'd say on high 4-5 or low 8-9. It saves money on electricity, you can do it in the morning when you have energy (or throw it together in a plastic bag at night and throw in in the crock in the morning) and you don't have to chop the chicken, it'll shred when you are done. I'll have to try this.

  • Anonymous

    I really liked this recipe. Even my husband, who doesn’t like apricots, liked it. I couldn’t please everyone. Only one of my kids didn’t like it very well, but she is my picky eater.

  • kareneden

    I really liked this recipe. Even my husband, who doesn't like apricots, liked it. I couldn't please everyone. Only one of my kids didn't like it very well, but she is my picky eater.

  • Anonymous

    great recipe! here is a similar one.

    1 small bottle catalina salad dressing
    1 can whole cranberries
    1 envelope onion soup mix
    8 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts

    mix first three ingredients together, set aside
    place chicken breasts in cassarole dish and pour cranberry mixture over the top. bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 mins (until chicken is cooked through)
    I serve it with baked sweet potatoes and wild rice. Enjoy!

  • stephaniehughes

    great recipe! here is a similar one.

    1 small bottle catalina salad dressing
    1 can whole cranberries
    1 envelope onion soup mix
    8 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts

    mix first three ingredients together, set aside
    place chicken breasts in cassarole dish and pour cranberry mixture over the top. bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 mins (until chicken is cooked through)
    I serve it with baked sweet potatoes and wild rice. Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Liz – I bake my rice all the time. Usually I will bake several cups of rice with twice the amount of water and a little salt. I bake it at 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until water is absorbed. I let it sit on the hot pad on the counter for 10 minutes before fluffing and adding the butter. Any leftover rice is spread on the leather tray of my dehydrator and dried overnight until it is easy to break into the individual grains and stored in canning jars. You have your own “instant rice” – which is easy to rehydrate by boiling water in a small pot and adding equal portions of rice, covering and letting set for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Drying the extra rice helps save time and save freezer space.

  • sheilaVa

    I agree with Liz – I bake my rice all the time. Usually I will bake several cups of rice with twice the amount of water and a little salt. I bake it at 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until water is absorbed. I let it sit on the hot pad on the counter for 10 minutes before fluffing and adding the butter. Any leftover rice is spread on the leather tray of my dehydrator and dried overnight until it is easy to break into the individual grains and stored in canning jars. You have your own “instant rice” – which is easy to rehydrate by boiling water in a small pot and adding equal portions of rice, covering and letting set for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Drying the extra rice helps save time and save freezer space.

  • Liz

    When I’m making a meal in the oven, I love to bake my rice also. Grease a bowl, add 1 cup rice, 1 TBSP butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 cups water. Cover tightly, bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Perfect every time, and really good flavor. On the stove top, bring your rice, water, salt, and butter to a boil. Turn off the burner and leave it sitting on the stove with the lid on tightly. You’ll probably have to vent it a few times to prevent boil over. Let sit for 30 to 45 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Again, perfect every time! Hint: if you have a tightly sealing pot like I do (my wonderful Lifetime cookware), put a twist-tie between the lid and the pan – stick it out the side. It allows the lid to remain tight without sealing shut.

  • Liz

    When I'm making a meal in the oven, I love to bake my rice also. Grease a bowl, add 1 cup rice, 1 TBSP butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 cups water. Cover tightly, bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Perfect every time, and really good flavor. On the stove top, bring your rice, water, salt, and butter to a boil. Turn off the burner and leave it sitting on the stove with the lid on tightly. You'll probably have to vent it a few times to prevent boil over. Let sit for 30 to 45 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Again, perfect every time! Hint: if you have a tightly sealing pot like I do (my wonderful Lifetime cookware), put a twist-tie between the lid and the pan – stick it out the side. It allows the lid to remain tight without sealing shut.

  • Dochiny

    I agree with judyahs, add the onion soup mix. And make it in the crockpot, the meat is more tender. I’m glad you posted this, it’s a favorite.

  • Dochiny

    I agree with judyahs, add the onion soup mix. And make it in the crockpot, the meat is more tender. I'm glad you posted this, it's a favorite.

  • TuxGirl

    my mom taught me a recipe very similar to this. she uses russian dressing instead of catalina (i use whichever is cheaper), and she adds a packet of onion soup mix as well (i use a handful of chopped onion from the cannery). we’ve never tried it with pineapple preserves, though. my mom has never diced the chicken. she usually just does full chicken breasts (we had drumsticks a lot when i was little), so that eliminates one of your complaints… πŸ™‚

  • TuxGirl

    my mom taught me a recipe very similar to this. she uses russian dressing instead of catalina (i use whichever is cheaper), and she adds a packet of onion soup mix as well (i use a handful of chopped onion from the cannery). we've never tried it with pineapple preserves, though. my mom has never diced the chicken. she usually just does full chicken breasts (we had drumsticks a lot when i was little), so that eliminates one of your complaints… πŸ™‚

  • I grow cranberries, can I say cranberries would make it even better? lol…..

  • I grow cranberries, can I say cranberries would make it even better? lol…..

  • Anonymous

    I love this recipe! You can also add in a packet of dried onion soup mix and it also tastes soo good.

  • judyahs

    I love this recipe! You can also add in a packet of dried onion soup mix and it also tastes soo good.

  • I love this recipe! I have been making it for years!!

  • I love this recipe! I have been making it for years!!

  • Ashley

    Hey Jodi. It’s Ashley from your ward growing up. Your site is fun and helpful. I have been subscribed to the rss feed for quite a while now.

    It would be super great to have bottled chicken. I still need to try doing that. Here is what I do so I don’t have to work with gross raw chicken…
    http://lanenga.com/familyblog/?p=2762

    I love rice cookers. We got a small one when we were married and I use it all the time, so quick and easy. It’s nice that you can leave it on or even leave the house with out a worry.

  • Annette

    Jodi- One of my new year’s resolutions was to learn how to pressure can meats. I’m happy to report I have 19 jars of chicken breast, and 18 jars of beef in my food storage. I also only can when the meat is on sale for a good price. I fully understand NOT wanting to cut chicken while you’re pregnant and have the queezies. I can’t wait to try your recipe, Thanks!

  • Ashley

    Hey Jodi. It's Ashley from your ward growing up. Your site is fun and helpful. I have been subscribed to the rss feed for quite a while now.

    It would be super great to have bottled chicken. I still need to try doing that. Here is what I do so I don't have to work with gross raw chicken…
    http://lanenga.com/familyblog/?p=2762

    I love rice cookers. We got a small one when we were married and I use it all the time, so quick and easy. It's nice that you can leave it on or even leave the house with out a worry.

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE my rice cooker – it’s the only way I can make decent rice, too! Plus it’s nice that I don’t have to babysit another pot, but can plug it in next to the stove and let it do its thing while I make the rest of dinner.

  • I make the same type thing but instead I cook it in my crock pot & use Russian dressing & dry onion soup packet along with the preserves. Pretty tasty.

  • I make the same type thing but instead I cook it in my crock pot & use Russian dressing & dry onion soup packet along with the preserves. Pretty tasty.

  • Using a rice cooker is alright. I always use twice as much water to rice. You can soak your rice first, if you like.

  • Using a rice cooker is alright. I always use twice as much water to rice. You can soak your rice first, if you like.

  • Using a rice cooker is alright. I always use twice as much water to rice. You can soak your rice first, if you like.

  • Using a rice cooker is alright. I always use twice as much water to rice. You can soak your rice first, if you like.

  • Annette

    Jodi- One of my new year's resolutions was to learn how to pressure can meats. I'm happy to report I have 19 jars of chicken breast, and 18 jars of beef in my food storage. I also only can when the meat is on sale for a good price. I fully understand NOT wanting to cut chicken while you're pregnant and have the queezies. I can't wait to try your recipe, Thanks!

  • I am going to have to try this! I do a Catalina chicken where you marinate chicken breasts in catalina dressing & gill until chicken is done. Most divine! I am excited to try this!

  • I am going to have to try this! I do a Catalina chicken where you marinate chicken breasts in catalina dressing & gill until chicken is done. Most divine! I am excited to try this!

  • MargueriteTO

    I LOVE my rice cooker – it's the only way I can make decent rice, too! Plus it's nice that I don't have to babysit another pot, but can plug it in next to the stove and let it do its thing while I make the rest of dinner.

  • Anonymous

    Jodi — use your pressure cooker to do the rice – perfect everytime!!!! Same with your chicken. So easy!

  • suwheat

    Jodi — use your pressure cooker to do the rice – perfect everytime!!!! Same with your chicken. So easy!