This ranch style chicken is smothered with bacon and cheddar cheese and marinaded in a honey dijon mustard sauce. Unbelievably delicious and easy.

All super buttery, fat laden, sugar coma good things must eventually come to an end and that’s where we’re at with PW Wednesdays.

Rachel had the last pick and I think her indecisiveness on what recipe to choose speaks to how “done” we all are with this cookbook.

I could flip through the 200+ pages and literally not get excited enough about any other recipe to want to make it, a sure sign it’s time to move on.

Ranch-style chicken

This recipe is definitely one I would’ve skimmed over and ignored if Rachel didn’t pick it for our last hurrah.

It’s basically smothered chicken like you see on every Applebees, Chilis, Outback kind of menu. In other words, played out.

So I didn’t have high expectations. Sure smothered chicken tastes good, but it’s just kind of “eh” as far as creativity.

Cheese and bacon are nothing original. I looked at the ingredients in this one and my initial thought was “boring”.

Ranch chicken

I was wrong.

It’s all about the marinade in this recipe, a simple honey dijon mustard mixture that takes it from boring chain restaurant quality smothered chicken to perfectly flavored, moist, cookbook worthy chicken.

Pioneer Woman's Ranch Chicken

For once, I didn’t sub out any of the ingredients (besides using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika) and I’m glad to know there’s at least one recipe in this book that keeps the excessiveness in check (and also forgoes sugar or butter).

I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if Ree somehow snuck sugar into a chicken recipe. If anyone can do it, my vote goes to her.

I did take the marinade, throw it in a sauce pot, boil the heck out of it because of that whole raw chicken thing and reduce it to a sauce though which was not part of the recipe.

Kind of the best decision ever.

Don’t get me wrong, a topping of cheese and bacon is delicious, but the honey and dijon mustard sauce steals the show.

Ranch style chicken

And with a simple American chicken dinner, PW Wednesday comes to a close. It’s been real folks.

For the recipe, check out Rachel’s post.

And as usual, check out Julie and Megan’s take on it as well.

Julie-Table for Two 

Megan-Wanna Be a Country Cleaver

The run down of all the other PW Wednesday recipes:

Fried chicken tacos

Mushroom swiss sliders

Carnitas pizza

Breakfast pizza

White chicken enchiladas

Billie’s Italian cream cake

Orange Sweet Rolls

Honey Plum Soy Chicken

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. this looks fabulous + i love y’alls honest approach to reviewing the cookbook. one of my favorite things about the PW Wednesdays series was seeing how everyone changed, adapted + made each recipe their own. That’s the coolest part of the whole series, in my opinion!

  2. Dang, you girls are HARSH on the PW’s recipes!!! After reading that I feel like I need to let out a claw-exposed kitty-kitty RAAAR! Love her cookbooks and her more positive personality approach to someone else’s tastes. Goodness, me.

    1. I don’t look at it like harsh as much as I do truthful. After making 9 recipes from this book I can pretty confidently say what I have about it and not feel like it’s in the least bit harsh. It is what it is and to me, it’s excessive. Sometimes delicious, sometimes not, but 90%+ of the time, excessive. Personally, I can’t stand when all I read is glowing review after glowing review of something that’s just said to be “nice”. I try to keep it real over here even if that means some honest opinions instead of fluffy, gushing statements. That being said though, I did love this last recipe! No complaints on this one :)

      1. It’s hard to come by REAL content now-a-days. It’s always sugarcoated and everyone giving everyone high fives on dishes that might not be that great. Gina is right, it gets old. You want real reviews. That’s why we started this anyway, to cook out of the book and put our experiences down on paper.

        We’re just being honest and telling the truth through our experience. I don’t think it’s mean, we aren’t saying she sucks and that her recipes are worthless. We’re saying how we think the recipes are, how they taste..everyone has an opinion, as you do you about our approach, but I think honesty is key.

    2. I agree with Jenny. I usually really do enjoy your blog, Gina, but this series has just struck me as so negative and critical. I don’t care for recipes full of butter and sugar either, but I wouldn’t buy Paula Deen’s cookbook and then tear it apart because it’s not my preference. Everyone tastes are different, and I don’t think a recipe is considered bad just because it’s not to your liking. I don’t read the PW blog, and have only seen a couple of her shows, and know that I would not care for her style of cooking. So it makes me confused as to why you would take part in this series in the first place.
      Anyway – glad it’s over, because I usually really enjoy your posts!

      1. Sorry you feel that way, Katie. I don’t consider my thoughts, negative or critical, but as I said in response to Jenny, honest. I don’t think I ever specifically referred to the recipes as “bad” either but maybe I’m forgetting something. I took on the series knowing it wasn’t necessarily my “style” of cooking but interested to see what I could make out of it by trying to substitute healthier options when possible which I believe I explained in the Mushroom Sliders post. I have no problem with recipes filled with butter, sugar, oil, whatever when/if they taste good (not always something I’d choose, but I understand their place). But what occurred more times than not in these recipes (which surprised me) was that the amounts/combinations did not necessarily lead to a delicious end result. A lot of my commentary within this series was just relaying that.

  3. yes! i COMPLETELY agree!! it’s definitely all about the marinade!! i was going to do the same thing as you and reduce the sauce but then it all just smelled too good so i devoured it ;) yours looks sooo good, Gina!! i want to eat the screen!

  4. Wow your tough on the cookbook! But I get it! The chicken looks good and I know my husband would love it if I put bacon on top of chicken. :)

  5. wow yes the sauce sounds like the best part, other than the bacon. I’ve been making maple mustard sauce (its really just maple syrup and mustard mixed) for literally everything I eat lately, so that sounds especially good to me right now.

  6. Going to be so sad and weird to not be doing this every other week anymore. Where’s the diet cookbook we’re all suppose to cook from now? lol ;)