September is National Poultry Month, and we Alabamians are no strangers to chicken. In fact, poultry is Alabama’s largest agricultural industry. It employs more than 86,000 people on farms, in processing plants and within associated industries. Poultry also generates more than $15 billion in revenue annually. It’s big business here.
That’s why this month is the perfect opportunity to share some delicious chicken recipes. This incredibly versatile protein can be roasted, fried, grilled, broiled, boiled and used in countless soups, stews and casseroles.
I grew up eating Chicken Bog. While the name might seem odd to some, it’s a delicious and thick chicken and rice dish that gets extra flavor from smoked sausage. The low-country favorite goes by a couple different names depending on the exact ingredients and the amount of liquid used. My mom picked up the recipe when she lived in South Carolina. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods.
My mom is also to credit for this Ranch Chicken Cheese Ball. It’s one of those recipes she’s known for. She makes it often, and folks always ask for the recipe. In fact, I found it in my random collection of printed recipes I have in a large three-ring binder where someone typed the recipe out and called it “Belinda’s Chicken Ball.” Serve it up with a collection of crackers and veggies, and watch it disappear.
My Chicken Noodle Stir Fry is one of those easy recipes perfect for busy weeknights but delicious enough for any time. The chicken, noodles and sauce are the stars of the dish, but you can customize it by using your favorite veggies or, in my case, the ones your kids will actually eat.
One of my favorite grocery store shortcuts is buying a rotisserie chicken for recipes that call for shredded, cooked chicken. Chicken Enchilada Cornbread Casserole is the perfect place to do just that. Rotisserie chicken saves you a ton of time and adds more delicious flavor. Another component of this dish that adds great flavor is the enchilada sauce — so make sure you grab a good one. There are quite a few on the market that don’t have much flavor. I really like the Hatch brand, if you can find it.
As an appetizer, snack or entree, chicken adds protein to your diet and delicious flavor to your dishes no matter how you use it. Help celebrate Alabama’s poultry farmers and put some chicken on tonight’s menu!