Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunday dinner- "Exclusive Beach" Chicken, and yellow rice from scratch

A couple of posts back, I said I'd share a couple more recipes with you all- so how about Sunday dinner?

See that salad? Yup, that's homemade ranch on there. (It is so very, very good. See this post for how to make it!) The kids and hubby have requested that we make this, exclusively, from now on. And they're serious ranch fanatics!) To the right is That Chicken That Shall Not Be Named Aloud, Casa Rodman version. And up in front, yellow rice!

Thing Two has a deep and abiding love for yellow rice!

First, the chicken Whose Name is Probably Patented. We'll call it "Exclusive Beach Chicken", OK? It's pretty simple, and you can make it very, very quickly, if you do a little prep ahead of time.

Take a couple of chicken breasts, layer them in plastic wrap, and pound them flat- somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/8"- 1/2" thick- this will both tenderize them, and make them cook faster. If they're really large, cut 'em in half, and make a couple of servings out of 'em.


At this point, I cover my largest cutting board with plastic wrap- this gives me a surface on which to dump dredged chicken right on the board. It also spares me from some of the serious cleanup, after everything's done- spill a little bit of egg? Ha, no worries! Scatter some crumbs or flour? No biggie.)

Dredge them in some seasoned flour, or take the easy way out, and use some Pride of the West, or Louisiana Fry flour mix. Shake off the excess, and dip in a couple of beaten eggs with a bit of water thrown in. Now dredge them in some panko crumbs- season the panko to your tastes, but remember- there will be ham and cheese involved, so go light on the salt!

And now, another HINT ALERT!

If you have the time to plan this out, do all of the above the day before- and store your breaded chicken until you need it. Here's what I do:

I layer them, breading and all, in layers of plastic wrap in a large, deep tupper-type container. The layering keeps them from sticking to each other, and sets the breading beautifully. Really, just bread 'em, layer, and use within three days. This is what many of your local restaurants are doing- and you can even freeze them this way. I do this with my chicken fried steaks all the time- someday soon, I'll have to share that, and my country gravy recipe. Boy howdy, is that some good stuff, and will it ever feed a crowd! Let me know, folks, if you'd like to see that in an upcoming post.

Alrighty, so, back on track.

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Fry your chicken pieces, preferably in peanut oil:

When they're nice and golden, add 2 slices of deli ham, and a couple of nice thick slices of Swiss cheese...

And bake them in the oven for about 10 minutes. And you will have this:

Fast, easy, and really, really tasty!

Now, for your side dish- ready for that rice?

In a saucepan, dump:

1 c. rice (basmati or jasmine is preferred, but not necessary)
3 t. chicken soup base, or 3 cubes bullion
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. freshly ground cumin (or regular is fine)
1/4 t. turmeric
1/4 t. coriander

Stir the dry ingredients to mix. Now add 1 3/4 - 2 c. cold water, and 1 T. of either butter, or olive oil. And let it sit for at least an hour, before cooking. Yes, you read that right, an hour.

Oh, look, another HINT!
If you want your rice to come out perfectly every time, soak it ahead of time, especially with sushi rice or basmati- it will benefit from the soaking, and you'll never have uncooked centers to your grains.

So when the time comes, get the rice to a rolling boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes. Alternately, get it to a boil, and stick the (fully ovenproof) pot in the oven, lid on, and let it cook off while you're doing your chicken. Fluff with a rice paddle or fork, and dish up!

The fam really enjoyed this one.

OK, Thing One didn't look too enthused in that shot, but he really did enjoy it.

Thing Two definitely had some enthusiasm!

And the grownups ate and ate, until they had to be rolled away from the table, like Verucca Salt in Willy Wonka. It was just too good.

Give it a whirl- this is a great one for the whole family, and planned ahead, it's easy enough for a weeknight!

Until next time....

Linking up to the Craft-O-Maniac Monday Link Party!

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