When I set out to do this blog two years ago, I really didn't expect much to come of it. I really didn't even expect to stick with it. And I really really never expected to have over 500,000 page views. But it is becoming something (I hope), I am sticking with, and I have as of today almost 530,000 page views. And it all blew up because of one recipe...Smothered Chicken.
When I made that Smothered Chicken, it was sort of on a whim. My husband and I enjoy creamed spinach and sauteed mushrooms with steaks. So we sat in the living room and briefly tossed around the idea of piling them on top of some chicken and adding some cheese. We ate it, and it was good. We took the pictures. My husband says all the time that he didn't even like the picture that much. But you did. You visited my site in droves and still are visiting. I have had so many people message me that they tried the Smothered Chicken and loved it. It was such a proud moment for me. Something I did, just an ordinary woman, is being noticed...a lot.
Of course, now people are viewing all of my recipes and enjoying those too. But that Smothered Chicken kick-started what has become something I really enjoy, blogging. I love to write, and it's obvious that I love to cook. But now I get to share it with people. It's almost like I'm cooking for you, which I love to cook for people and share.
So, in honor of hitting the 500,000 page view mark and in honor of that Smothered Chicken, I thought it was apropos to do another smother. Some of the ingredients are similar, but the taste is different. This time I smothered the chicken with artichoke spinach dip and smoked gouda. And it was good. I hope you all love it as much as you love the Smothered Chicken. I am so grateful to you, my fans and followers, for giving me the courage to keep going and sharing. I thank you all so much for believing in an ordinary woman living an ordinary life.
ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP SMOTHERED CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C frozen spinach (the loose kind in a bag, not the block)
7 ounces of artichoke hearts (half of a 14-ounce can, drained)
1/4 C mayonnaise
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces smoked gouda, sliced
Seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
NOTE: I cook chicken in the oven at the restaurant I work in, and for me it never takes more than 40 minutes to get done. I have had some recipes in the past where people say their chicken takes much longer to cook. I strongly urge you to use a meat thermometer and make sure your chicken is done that way. If you find that it isn't cooking as fast, hold off on putting the topping on the chicken until you have about 10-12 minutes left of cook time.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the seasoned salt, black pepper and garlic powder on both sides of each chicken breast. Lay them on a sheet pan and cook for 16 minutes.
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, mayonnaise and garlic cloves. Mix until well combined. Stir in the spinach.
Take the chicken out of the oven and flip the breasts over. Divide the dip mixture into four and layer on top of the chicken. Lay the gouda slices over the dip mixture. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12-14 minutes or until the chicken is done (165 degrees internally) and the cheese is melted and browned.