Babysitting with helpers equals dinner that is not pizza (boudin stuffed chicken and zucchini and tomato gratin)

Whenever I babysit my first little sister's girls, we make pizza and a chocolate dessert.  While I love those things and their involvement of my Kitchen Aid Mixer, I like to have fancy cheat day meals on the weekend.  I was watching the little ladies for my sister and brother-in-law to go to a wedding.  As luck would have it, my brother-in-law's brother and his wife were in town and wanted to have the cousins hang out. It was perfect, adult interaction, fancy meal, pizza made not by me for the kids and a balloon party for the ages!  Looking back at these pictures makes me miss those little ladies and have me longing for the day I get a pretty kitchen back!

I made my own boudin and froze a few batches.  There are establishments all around the state of Louisiana that stuff chickens with boudin and other scrumptious things.  Sometimes they even stuff another bird inside a bird!  I am sure they actually cut open the chicken and stuff it everywhere, but they also aren't looking after kids and dogs and trying to catch the end of the LSU game!  I got a Hollygrove Market Box that had, amongst other things, squash and basil, so I thought this recipe I pinned would be perfect because I had some feta laying around from the shakshouka I made the week before.  It was so delicious! Even the kids wanted to try chicken for dessert.  Full recipe after the montage.

The ingredients.  I only wish all of my posts could be this pretty. 
I won a kazoo and balloon party the night before which was a no brainer to bring over...
I instantly regretted it, well maybe not until after these cute pics were snapped. 
I got them as occupied as I could so I could attend to this lady.  I spared you the pics of removing her innards.  You're welcome.
I stuffed as much boudin as humanly possible in there.  This guarantees deliciousness in my book!
Tie her all up and rub her with seasoned salt and butter.  Cue this song 
Just leave all the butter remnants and put her on a rack and salt and pepper her.
Meanwhile, I am chopping up the last of the season zucchini and draining it.  Goodbye friend, until next summer!
I deviated from the normal recipe,  I needed some sauteed onion and garlic.
Not only was this pan too big, it was harmed in the process of cleaning and I owe my sister a new one.  Sorry! 
Mix up your topping. 
Abby and froglovie helped me by sprinkling basil.  She almost pushed it over the counter after this, great foreshadowing!
After a very rowdy balloon party, roller coaster riding and time, the chicken came out. 
So did this side dish that refused to photograph well.  Again, fabulous foreshadowing.
I cannot reiterate how delish this was!  If you are in an area where boudin is not easy to get, just throwing some rice and sausage in there would probably work just to keep the chicken so juicy! Or making up some of my pal Kristen's Jambalaya Rice Mix and stuff it in there.  The side was so good and you all need to make it soon before zucchini is out of season!

Stuffed Chicken:
One chicken
Stuffing (I used about a cup and a half of boudin, other ideas are stove top stuffing, jambalaya or herbs and onion and garlic)
2 tbsp. butter
seasoned salt
salt and pepper

Preheat oven at 425.  Remove the innards and gizzards (that's a family term but you know what I mean) from the chicken. Stuff it with as much stuffing as you can stuff in the cavity. Tie up the legs with string to keep the stuffing in there or secure with toothpics.  Rub the skin with butter and seasoned salt.  Place in a roasting rack and season generously with salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven for 2 hours or until thigh registers 165 degrees F.

Tomato Squash and Feta Gratin (borrowed from Haystacks and Champagne)
I will call it two large zucchinis cut into rounds (or equivalent)
4-5 smallish tomatoes sliced (I used "tomatoes on the vine")
3 cloves garlic, minced
half a medium onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (I used reduced fat feta cheese)
2 green onions chopped
handful of basil, cut into ribbons
shredded parm for topping
salt & pepper to taste

If cooking not with chicken, preheat oven to 350.  Heat olive oil in a non stick skillet.  Heat onions for 3 minutes then add garlic and heat for two more, remove from heat.  Lightly oil (or spray with Pam) a baking dish. Toss zucchini with salt & pepper in a bowl and set aside. In a bowl mix green onion, garlic and onions, oregano, & feta.  Lay your tomato and zucchini, alternating in layers in the pan. Sprinkle with feta mixture and then sprinkle with basil.  Place in oven and cook for 25 minutes or until cheese is browned.

Happy Cooking!


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