Cook the Cover: Skillet Fried Chicken

When the February issue of bon appetite arrived in the mail last week, I knew that the flaky, crunchy, delectable fried chicken that was featured on the cover, had to be first on my list. This fried chicken was everything that they promised it would be. Filled with flavor, due to marinating overnight, tender, juicy white meat chicken that had the perfect crispy shell. I might be able to give Bojangles' a run for their money with this bad boy!

Source: bon appetite February 2012

You Will Need:
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tsp plus 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 3–4-lb. chicken (not kosher), cut into 10 pieces, backbone and wing tips removed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cup sall-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Peanut oil (for frying)

Here We Go:
  • Whisk 1 Tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl
  • Season chicken with spices
  • Place chicken in a medium bowl, cover, and chill overnight
  • Let chicken stand covered at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Whisk buttermilk, egg, and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl
  • Whisk flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 Tbsp. salt, and remaining 1 Tbsp. pepper in a 9x13x2" baking dish
  • Pour oil into a 10"–12" cast-iron skillet or other heavy straight-sided skillet (not nonstick) to a depth of 3/4"
  • Prop deep-fry thermometer in oil so bulb is submerged
  • Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°
  • Meanwhile, set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet
  • Working with 1 piece at a time (use 1 hand for wet ingredients and the other for dry ingredients), dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl
  • Dredge in flour mixture; tap against bowl to shake off excess
  • Place 5 pieces of chicken in skillet
  • Fry chicken, turning with tongs every 1–2 minutes and adjusting heat to maintain a steady temperature of 300°–325°, until skin is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165°, about 10 minutes for wings and 12 minutes for thighs, legs, and breasts
  • Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet, allowing excess oil to drip back into skillet; transfer chicken to prepared rack
  • Repeat with remaining chicken pieces; let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving

Serves 4
Happy Feasting!



Picnic Chicken Salad

I know that the idea of a spring picnic seems months away, but this mild January weather has me dreaming of flip flops and shorts. Since we might not be having any picnics in the near future, this chicken salad is perfect for baby and bridal showers or even for an easy weekday lunch option. I love to make this chicken salad over the weekend and have lunch for the rest of the week!

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups pulled white meat chicken (buy a cooked rotisserie chicken to make it easier!)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise or miracle whip
  • 2 Tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp Craisins
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 tsp minced tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sat
  • Leaf lettuce and tomato slices for topping
  • 2 slices of wheat bread, toasted

Here We Go:
  • Place the chicken in a bowl and add mayonnaise, almonds, Craisins, celery, tarragon, salt, pepper and toss well
  • To assemble, top toasted bread with chicken salad, leaf lettuce and two slices of tomato
  • Cut in half and serve

Makes 2 Sandwiches
Happy Feasting!


Tri-Berry Muffins

I was given several new cookbooks for Christmas and one of the books was Barefoot Contessa at Home. I have three other books of Ina's and I refer to them all of the time. With that being said, I knew that this cookbook would probably be no different than the others as far as having a plethora of tasty "go-to" options. Sure enough, this book is filled with fabulous ideas for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. When I cam across these tri-berry muffins I was sold. Muffins chock full of assorted berries had to be delicious, right? Well, they were definitely just that. The sugar gives the muffins a delicious crunchy shell and make them even more delectable with every bite

You Will Need:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line muffin tins with paper liners
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl
  • Stir with a wooden spoon
  • In another bowl, combine the milk,eggs,and melted butter
  • make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, pour the wet mixture into the well, and stir until just combined
  • Add blueberries, raspberries,strawberries, and sugar
  • Stir gently to combine
  • Spoon the better into the muffin cups to fill the liners
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes,until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are browned

Makes 16-18 Muffins
Happy Feasting!


Slow Cooker Korean BBQ Beef

When I used to live in New York, I would frequent K-town for their extra crispy, flavorful, Korean fried chicken and their famous Korean BBQ beef. Since I can no longer jump in a cab and have these divine dishes at my fingertips, I figured the next best thing would be to try to re-create them in my slow cooker. This Korean BBQ might not be as good as a K-town original, but it is definitely a close second. Serve this shredded beef over rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh green onions if desired.

Source: Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes

You Will Need:
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions with tops
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or water
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • Brown or white rice
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Here We Go:
  • Place ribs in 5-quart crock pot slow cooker
  • Combine green onions,tamari,broth,brown sugar,ginger, garlic and pepper in medium bowl;mix well and pour over ribs
  • Cover; cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until ribs are fork-tender
  • Remove ribs from cooking liquid
  • Cool slightly
  • Trim excess fat and discard
  • Cut rib meat into bite-size pieces, discarding bones and fat
  • Let cooking liquid stand 5 minutes to allow fat to rise
  • Skim off fat and discard
  • Stir sesame oil into cooking liquid
  • Return beef to crock pot slow cooker
  • Cover; cook for 15 to 30 minutes or until hot
  • Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds

Makes 2-3 Servings
Happy Feasting!


Baked Chicken Nuggets

The New Year means healthy eating for a majority of people. Most people like to think of January as giving them a fresh start. A fresh start for eating better, exercising more or spending more time with family and friends - the list goes on and on.

I know that we all love a good ole' chicken nugget. Crispy, deep fried and with lots of dipping sauce is usually how I prefer my nugget. Well, this recipe still packs in the flavor but manages to be friendlier for our waistlines (aka. New Year approved). These bite sized morsels are baked in the oven until golden brown and make quite the easy weeknight meal. Pair them with sweet potato fries and a salad and you can still enjoy that crispy crunch without feeling guilty after your plate is clean.

You Will Need:

  • 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 6 Tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 
  • 2 Tbsp panko 
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Various dipping sauces

 Here We Go:
  • Preheat
    oven to 425°
  • Spray
    a baking sheet with olive oil spray
  • Put t
    he olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another
  • Season
    chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and
    mix well s
    o that the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken
  • Put
    a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet
  • Lightly 
    the top with olive oil spray then
    8 - 10 minutes
  • Turn
    over then
    another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though
  • Serve with ranch, honey mustard, ketchup or bbq sauce

Happy Feasting!


TC's Apple Cake with Caramel Butterscotch Frosting

If you are like me, then the past few weeks have been filled with Christmas cookies, breakfast casseroles and too much wine. With that being said, I am sure that your New Year's resolution is too eat less, drink less and maybe even to get more sleep. Well, before the New Year is in full swing,  I had to post this scrumptious apple cake that has been in my family for years. This was my grandmother's apple cake that has since been passed down to my mom and now subsequently me. It is heaven in a cake and the butterscotch,caramel frosting puts this cake in a category of it's own. I know that technically your New Year's resolution probably does not include this indulgent cake, but if you make an exception you will not be disappointed. This will be worth each additional calorie and you can start your health kick tomorrow!

You Will Need:

For the Apple Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you like for taste)
  • 1 cup broken walnut pieces (optional)

For the Frosting
  • 1 lb light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Here We Go:

For the Apple Cake
  • Combine sugar and apples and let stand for 3 hours or overnight
  • Add oil, eggs, and vanilla to apple mixture
  • Sift flour, soda, salt and cinnamon together
  • Add second mixture to first
  • Fold in nuts with wooden spoon, if desired
  • Pour into 2  greased and floured  9 X 13-inch baking pans
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center toothpick test comes out clean

For the Frosting
  • Combine sugar, milk, sour cream and vanilla
  • Cook over medium temperature stirring constantly
  • Add chips as mixture cools
  • Watch carefully as mixture can stick or burn easily
  • Be sure all ingredients come to full boil
  • Pour hot liquid on warm cakes that have been punctured with a toothpick
Makes 2 Cakes
Happy Feasting!