The Closet Kitchen

When I was first married, my wife was a Hall Director at a university. This meant we lived in a dorm. In fact, we did that for a total of four years before we moved on. There were a lot of good things about it.

First – no rent or mortgage! Second – We had a crew that would come in and clean our bathroom (and yes, as the Hall Director and spouse, we had our own bathroom). Lastly, we each had a meal plan that we could eat on campus, so we didn’t have to cook if we didn’t want to.

That last perk was a very good thing as the “kitchen” in these rooms was very small. Think studio Manhattan apartment kitchenette and then cut it in half. We were in one hall for three years and the kitchen for that room was actually built into a closet across the hall. It had a half sized refrigerator, a tiny sink, a counter not much bigger than a piece of paper and a stove with two burners. As the hall I had to cross was the main one for the residents to go to get their own meals, I had to keep the door closed behind me or everyone would stop and want to know what was cooking (and ask if they could have some).

That is where I learned to love the one pan recipe. While it is fun to have multiple burners going at the same time, it can also be a little hectic in a normal sized kitchen, let alone a closet. This recipe fits the bill (one pan and then into the oven).

Creamy salsa chicken goodness.

I used two different types of mushrooms, and uncooked chicken.

Cut up the chicken and saute.

Set aside, then the mushrooms.


In and out of the oven.

Oh-So-Good Chicken

Prep Time:5 min|  Cook Time: 40min  | Servings: 4 – 6 servings | Difficulty: easy


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 8 ounces boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and diced


In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. If chicken is not already cooked, saute the chicken. Remove and keep warm and saute the mushrooms.

Combine mushrooms, sour cream, cheese, salsa, rice, and chicken. Place in a greased casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 35 minutes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 357 | Total Fat: 18.7g | Cholesterol: 65mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking, Cheese, Chicken, Fried, Low Carb, Main Dish, Mexican, Recipes, Vegetable

Author:The Ranting Chef

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20 Comments on “The Closet Kitchen”

  1. June 9, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Definitely looking forward to trying this!


  2. June 9, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I love one pan recipes! I also like to have multiple burners going at one time 🙂


  3. June 9, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Nice recipe…I like multiple burners, too, but that usually means I then have to clean multiple pots. Back when I lived in a one bedroom, we had a bunch of one-pan meals in the repertoire.


  4. June 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Love the story and the recipe! Thanks for sharing!


  5. June 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Looks delicious


  6. June 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    As a speed-scratch cook at home, I love one pan recipes. Just add a salad or veggie and you’re good to go! I like your description of residence halls – hope your dining services was good. Recipe looks tasty.


  7. June 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Sounds like a great rainy day meal. We’ll keep this one the “to try soon” list!


  8. June 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I love the closet kitchen story. Amazing. I would not have lasted as long as you did. I could have probably done it for four months!

    Even though I have four burners I often do a one skillet meal. I don’t take anything out of the pan though. I just cook whatever needs to cook the longest first. With mushrooms, I cook them first, then just add the raw chicken — cook the chicken until it is almost done then add any greens.

    If adding cooked rice like this recipe calls for, I would put it in the pan before the greens.

    I don’t usually cook with sour cream and salsa. I need to try this. I know my hubby would love it. Thanks! I have been needing different ways to cook chicken!


  9. June 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Some of the old weatherboard houses here would still be using a kitchenette today…I guess as myself in our ‘younger’ years the want of a kitchen and all those magical utensils of today just weren’t on our top of the list back then! The one pot wonder dishes are always good…and are always on my list of weekly cooking recipes! Bon appetit! x


  10. June 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Applause for coming up with amazing meals in such a small space! I’m glad that you managed to keep the students away 🙂


  11. Sue Orfila
    June 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    I made this recipe today. It’s in the oven now and sure smells good!


  12. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman
    June 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    I’ve nominated you for the Reader Appreciation Award! You can see it here: Thanks for reading my blog and a big thank you for these tempting recipes!


  13. June 10, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Oh my goodness that looks AMAZING! I am definitely going to try this ♥


  14. June 10, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    This looks good. Gonna give it a try.


  15. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman
    June 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    With a hectic lifestyle I also like one pot meals – you are going to spoil my family, they are not used to me cooking a lot any more. 🙂 Patty


  16. June 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    One pan recipes are great, especially if you’re like me and just don’t own a lot of pans! 🙂


  17. June 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Looks and sounds awesome can’t wait to try it.


  18. August 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I just had to come back to say how much I LOVED this recipe :-). I made it through the week, and have already passed it on to friends who have also made it. It was so incredibly yummy and easy. Although I cheated a little and used a bbq chicken which I stripped off the bones. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂



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