Quicker, cleaner, and more healthy than deep fried chicken... this is a recipe that I used frequently when I was a young newly-married girl. By girl, I really mean girl. I was only 19 years old when Dave and I were married. Although I would never recommend marrying so extremely young, so far our marriage has been a 22 year success. Funny thing, I haven't made this chicken for years and I guess I should have because last night my kids all raved about it during dinner.
Fill three pie plates: 1) 3/4 cup flour, salt, pepper 2) 3 eggs and 2 T milk 3) 2 cups of either seasoned crumbs, crushed croutons, or dried bread stuffing (such as Pepperidge Farms) and 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Rinse and dry full chicken cut up. Take the skin off the chicken (optional). Dip the chicken pieces in the pans in order: 1, 2, 3. Place on an oiled cookie sheet.
Cover with foil and bake in a 400ºF oven for 1 1/4 hours. Remove foil, top with 1/4 cup melted butter (or olive oil) and bake another 15 minutes.
Portobello mushrooms are in a class all by themselves. They are rich and "meaty" and the texture is fabulous. I'm not much of a "casserole" person, but the Chianti and fresh basil in this dish blend perfectly with the mushrooms, onions, Gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts.
Cook 1 package of dried whole wheat lasagna pasta.
Chop 3 large sweet onions and saute for 25 minutes in 3 T of olive oil. In the meantime, remove the stems from 4 large portobello mushrooms and cut them into small chunks. Add about 3/4 cup of Chianti to the onions along with salt and pepper to taste, then add the mushrooms. Cook a few more minutes until mushrooms are tender.
Chop about 4 cups of fresh spinach and mix with 2 cups of ricotta cheese, salt and 1/3 cup of fresh basil (or to taste).
In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, make a roux of 2T of flour and 3T of olive oil. Whisk in 2 cups of whole milk (or half & half), 3-4T crumbled gorgonzola, and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, and fresh chopped basil and salt & pepper to taste.
In a 9 X 13" baking pan, pour 1/2 cup of white sauce into bottom and top with lasagna noodles.
Top with 1/2 spinach mixture and 1/3 mushroom mixture.
Repeat layers, ending with last 1/3 of onion mix, sauce and a sprinkle of walnuts. Bake at 375ºF for about 35 minutes or until bubbly and hot.
The problem with making homemade tortillas is that once you've tasted them, you'll never want to go back to the conveniently packaged ones from the store. They are somewhat time-consuming, but the flavor and texture make up for the effort.
Tortillas: 4 cups of flour (I use a mixture of brown flour and white bread flour) 1 tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder 2 T olive oil (or lard) 1 1/2 cups water
Whisk together dry ingredients, add oil with hands until crumbly, add water and knead until blended. Divide into 20 pieces:
Roll each piece as thin as you can
Fry each tortilla in canola oil until bubbly and brown on both sides
I used brown basmati rice. The nutty flavor and texture are fabulous, but you should use your favorite type of rice. Cook a couple of cups of rice according to directions.
The portions on the following are "to taste":
Cook a small chopped onion in olive oil with two cloves of crushed garlic. Add three chopped tomatoes, one can of drained black beans, chili powder, cumin, chopped fresh cilantro, oregano, and enough cooked rice to create a good texture.
Slice two large chicken breasts and stir-fry them in olive oil with chili powder, crushed garlic, cilantro, and fresh lime juice.
Top each tortilla with rice & bean mixture and chicken.
This loaded bread was really popular with my family... or at least I assume it was, because it disappeared when I wasn't looking for a few minutes. The pears look like they might overwhelm it, but actually they add just a touch of sweetness to the beautiful aromatic combination of sage, onions, leeks and gorgonzola. The walnuts add fullness and texture and the whole wheat bread is hearty and nutty.
This topings for this recipe are adapted from one I found online at EatingWell. The flatbread recipe is from a collection of recipes a relative of mine gave me years ago.
Bread: 1 1/2 cups warm water 2 T sugar 1 T dry yeast 1 1/2 tsp salt 2 T olive oil 4 cups flour
Heat oven to 450ºF In a large bowl combine water, sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit until yeast starts to bubble. Add salt, oil and slowly add flour until dough feels thick, but workable. Kneed for about 5 to 8 minutes. Place in bowl, cover with thin coat of olive oil and allow to rise for an hour. Punch down, and measure about 20 oz of dough to use for this recipe.
Roll out dough and using a peel covered in cornmeal, place dough on baking stone (or baking sheet) and cook for about 8 minutes until it bubbles up as in the photo below.
Topping: 2 tsp olive oil 1 large onion 1 large leek 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 2 tsp balsamic vinegar 1 Tblsp chopped sage Pepper 2 pears 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
Thinly slice onions and leeks. Toast walnuts in a skillet, remove and set aside. Add olive oil and onions & leeks. Cook until starting to brown, set heat on low, cover and allow to cook 8 minutes more.
Chop and add sage to onions. Add vinegar and pepper.
spread onion mixture over bread. Top with pears, walnuts and gorgonzola.
Dave Latour is my guest chef for this post. He is a great cook, which is one of the many reasons I married him. He specializes in baking bread, but can cook just about anything. Last night he made salmon and I followed him around shooting photos.
He took a salmon filet and cooked it in olive oil for about 6 minutes on each side. While cooking he topped the salmon with 1 glove garlic, a bit of chopped fresh sage, chopped fresh rosemary, and covered it with a few tablespoons of white wine.
Dave says the key to good salmon (aside from buying it fresh), is to make sure it's not overcooked.
Hopefully Dave will be my guest again and bake some of his fabulous bread. He tries a new recipe almost every evening, so it shouldn't be too hard to catch him cooking. Dave recommends using King Arthur Flour and adjusting the amount according to look and feel, as the temperature of the room, humidity, and other factors change the bread recipe daily.