Chicken Française (lemon chicken)

This recipe originally came from here, but has lived in a binder in my kitchen for years now. This is good chicken. Man catching chicken even. It’s crispy and juicy and lemony and fabulous. I gave this recipe to my sister a few years back and she’s married now. SEE?? Try this:

Chicken Française (lemon chicken)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds boneless chicken breast halves or thin chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus 1 whole lemon, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. If using chicken breasts, pound to 1/4 inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap (I hate pounding chicken so I use the thin cutlets)
  2. Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a shallow dish, and dredge chicken, patting to evenly coat with flour mix; set aside
  3. Beat eggs in another dish and set aside
  4. Heat oil in heavy skillet (preferably cast iron, of course) over medium heat until hot but not yet smoking
  5. Working in batches, dip floured chicken into eggs, making sure chicken is well coated, then let excess drip back into bowl; carefully ease chicken into hot oil and cook, turning once, till both sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked through — this will take about three minutes a side or so
  6. When cooked, transfer chicken to paper towel lined plate and tent with foil or put in the oven set at its lowest setting (i.e. a very slow oven — does anyone still say that?)
  7. After all chicken is fried and set to keep warm, pour oil out of skillet (I use an old coffee can for the oil), then set the pan over low heat and melt the butter in the skillet
  8. When butter is melted and stops foaming add wine, chicken broth and lemon juice. Crank the heat up a bit and boil, uncovered, stirring to release all the yummy brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of your pan. Season with remaining salt and pepper (1/4 tsp. of each)
  9. Remove paper towels from chicken plate, then spoon sauce over chicken; top with sliced lemon and serve

Skillet apples

This is another one of those recipes that I have written down on a scrap of paper and tucked away. I have no idea where it came from, but it’s so yummy.

It’s also what I had for breakfast this morning. Is that wrong? It’s fruit, people.

Try this. Seriously. Gather:

  • 1 skillet (I used my smallest cast iron)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg

And then:

  1. Core and slice apples (uniformly sized pieces are your friends so they’ll cook evenly; you can also peel them if your little heart desires, but I dig the peels)
  2. Melt butter in skillet
  3. Add apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to skillet and stir to combine and coat apples (note: the mixture will look a little dry at first and you’ll be tempted to add more butter, but don’t; as the apples cook down they’ll get nice and juicy and everything will be great)
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until apples are nice and tender and sauce is starting to thicken
  5. Serve for breakfast

I can neither confirm nor deny that these are crazy good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just sayin.

Mojo fajitas

Hungry yet?

This was one of the prettiest dishes! We had a couple straggler peppers in the garden and some yummy skirt steak in the fridge.  Add in some shrimp, some onions, some mojo sauce and a squeeze of lime, and life is good.

It was the weekend so the Yankee and I made this together. Into a large bowl we put:

  • Thinly-sliced skirt steak (cut against the grain, not with it)
  • Sliced red peppers
  • Sliced green peppers
  • Chopped jalapeños
  • Enough mojo marinade to cover
  • Shrimp in mojo marinade in a separate bowl

And let that sit a couple hours. Then you’re ready to cook!

  1. Put a large skillet over medium heat and add about a tablespoon of oil
  2. Pour off most of the marinade (you don’t want things swimming in the skillet), then pour the meat/peppers mix into the skillet
  3. Cook and stir until meat is almost cooked and vegetables are starting to get tender
  4. Add in shrimp (you’re doing this last so it won’t overcook) and continue to cook the whole mix until everything is done
  5. Squeeze a lime over the whole thing and eat up! Serve with homemade tortillas, mashed black beans and fire roasted salsa or salsa roja.

Chili

This, like a lot of my recipes, is cobbled together from so many different recipes and word of mouth that I’m not even sure where it started. It involves my Mama’s concoction of spices, though, so it’s awesome. And spicy. Feel free to tone down the spices and add more later if it looks like too much!

  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage
  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can dark kidney beans
  • 1 can light kidney beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Water or beer

To assemble:

  1. Brown the meats and onion together till the meat is cooked through
  2. Add all the cans and all the spices and stir well
  3. Adjust consistency as you like it — add a little beer or water till it looks just right
  4. Simmer at will. I love this cooked all day in the slow cooker, or on the stove top in a heavy pan (such as a cast iron dutch oven)
  5. Serve with cheese, Fritos, and cornbread!

Homemade corn tortillas

I have a new toy! After doing a few batches of flour tortillas rolled out by hand, I realized that, um, I’m not very good at rolling out an actual circle. I bought this cast iron tortilla press from Amazon and I love it! I went with cast iron rather than lighter weight aluminum because the weight of the press does a lot of the work for me, and because I just have a thing for cast iron. It makes me happy.

I started by watching this clip — Alton Brown making tortillas. The step of lining the tortilla press with a ziploc bag is not one to be skipped! The negative reviews of the tortilla press on Amazon were folks complaining that the masa sticks to the press, but the dough should actually never come in direct contact with the press. Issue solved!

I used the recipe on the back of the Maseca bag The Cousin bought when she was here for salsapalooza — for four tortillas:

  • 1/2 cup Maseca
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch of salt

Really, could that be any easier? Mix the ingredients for about 2 minutes to form a soft dough, then divide into four equal portions.

After lightly pressing the tortillas (the first time I pressed too hard and ended up with paper-thin tortillas — not good!), I slapped them on a hot griddle for about 45 seconds on each side. Since these tortillas were destined for quesadillas I didn’t want to cook them all the way through, since they’d be meeting the heat again:

See how they’re just barely cooked? And already yummy?

Then I added last night’s leftover steak, sliced thin against the grain, with some tomatoes from the garden and some cheese. Sandwiched between two tortillas, this all went in the quesadilla maker (which gets a ridiculous amount of use in our house).

End result:

Love it! Crispy outsides, warm gooey/cheesy insides. Served with sliced tomatoes, this was fantastic. And quick. And easy! Definitely give this one a try.

BBQ chicken pizza

This is a perfect meal to throw together during the middle of the week. Quick, easy, and so delicious!

You will need:

  • chicken — I used three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • dough — your refrigerator dough, homemade dough, or even store bought
  • barbecue sauce
  • cheese

And then:

  1. Start with the chicken: three chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, thrown into the slow cooker set to low in the morning — no barbecue sauce yet because you don’t want the sugar in it to cook as long as the chicken
  2. About two hours before supper time you’re ready to shred the chicken; since it’s in a crock pot this may be as easy as breaking it up with a wooden spoon, but you can take it out and shred it if need be. Return the meat to the slow cooker set to low and add in enough barbecue sauce to fully coat all the meat
  3. About an hour before baking time pull out some refrigerated dough, form it into a ball and set it in a olive oil brushed cast iron skillet to rise for about 45 minutes
  4. After 45 minutes, start your oven preheating to 400 degrees
  5. Now assemble your pizza! Pat out the dough, then top with barbecue chicken, extra sauce, and whatever else your little heart desires: onions, garlic, pineapple, you name it. Then sprinkle on the cheese and bake at 400F till the cheese is melted and the crust is done — this probably won’t take more than ten minutes or so

Enjoy!

Life changing icebox dough

A couple months ago I bought the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It’s nigh onto life changing.

Have you ever looked at the clock and realized it’s 5:00 and you were going to make a loaf of crusty bread for supper but now it’s too late? Never again.

Have you ever wished you could have really good homemade pizza at home but didn’t want to knead bread forever, and didn’t start no-knead pizza dough the night before? No problem.

Wish you could serve homemade yeast rolls to the family for supper tonight without calling on Sister Shubert? Done.

This is such an easy solution that it’s almost ridiculous: keep dough in the fridge. The end. It takes five minutes to mix it up, and keeps for two weeks. So what are you waiting for?

If you’re not sure you’ll use it all in two weeks, you can make a half portion of the recipe. I do this because only The Yankee and I will eat it (The Kiddo not so much), and I don’t want any to go to waste:

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*
  • 3/4 tbsp. yeast
  • 3/4 tbsp. salt

*If you’ve been straining yogurt and have some whey left you can use whey in place of water — a great way to add some protein and a little sourdough-like tang to the bread.

Mix all that together with a dough whisk, a wooden spoon, a mixer, or whatever. No kneading — you just want everything to be well combined. Put it in a container that’s not quite airtight: this 14 cup produce container with the insert removed is perfect for a half portion of the recipe, and is designed to let produce breathe a bit, so it’s become my designated dough container. After two hours at room temperature, move it to the fridge to chill.

Now go bread crazy! I use the dough for pizza, for crusty bread, for buttery dinner rolls, for hamburger buns, even monkey bread! Maybe some barbecue chicken pizza? Dust a little flour on a corner of your chilled dough and pull off a piece as big as you need. Shape it into a ball and let it rise for at least half an hour, but an hour is great if you have the time. Then bake and enjoy! No harder than cracking open a tube of bread with questionable ingredients, and worlds healthier.

Most configurations of the dough will do great at 400 degrees in the oven. Baking time will obviously depend on the size of the bread, but you want the internal temp to be about 190 degrees and the bread to be nicely browned.

I really do recommend picking up the book. It has many different variations of the recipe, and many uses for each recipe. It’s about $17 at Amazon right now, and well worth the price.

Enjoy it, and let me know what you make with it!