We're sharing recipes now!
If you have eyes and have read anything on this blog for more than 5 seconds you probably know that we like food. A lot. To the point that one of us used to be obese and has nothing left to show for it but budding A-cup man-boobs.
Lindsay didn't used to be fat.
Anyways, we thought we'd share our love of food and cooking with you on our new food page! Here we'll post recipes, ideas for entertaining, restaurant reviews, and other ramblings that you probably have no interest in. Up first....
Crispy Dredged Chicken
This is the easiest method in the WORLD, and you can change it up and serve it 1,904,948,847 different ways depending on your mood and how many people you're cooking for. Don't think I'm insulting your intelligence by telling you how to do this - it's just a method I enjoy using for cooking chicken and I want you to know about it too if you don't already!
I'm not joking when I say this is easy.
First, you need some boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs. For the pictures in this recipe I used one breast that was about a C-cup and cut it in half THROUGH the boob so I ended up with two thin, flat pieces of chicken. I didn't take a picture of that because 1. my hands were covered in raw chicken, 2. you are an adult and know what chicken you like and can buy it without assistance from a bossy crazy person. I cut the chicken in half because thinner pieces cook quicker and I was hungry. Feel free to DREDGE any cut, shape, or size of chicken that makes you happy in your heart - you'll just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
At this point, get a skillet (nonstick, cast iron, or stainless steel - it doesn't matter!) that is big enough for ALL OF THE CHICKEN WITH ROOM TO SPARE, add about 1/4 inch of light oil (not olive oil, it burns too quickly. Use canola, vegetable, or some sort of overpriced, heart-healthy blend) and turn the stove on to medium-high.
Once the chicken is thawed, cut, ready to be abused into deliciousness, and the oil is heating, I make my dredging powder:
Note the pretty dishes that my Uncle Jim gave me for Christmas the year I graduated from college. Pretty!
Anyways, dredging mixture: Flour, Seasoned Salt, and Italian Seasoning are what I used for this demonstration. The flour is imperative, because it's the star here, but other seasonings can depend on what you're making! You can use salt, pepper, and lemon zest for Chicken Picatta, just salt and pepper and go nuts with sauces and condiments, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and cumin for a taco flavor - you name it! For about 1/2 cup of flour use about 1 teaspoon of whatever salt you use (here I used seasoning salt, commonly called Lawry's, but I'm way too cheap to buy a national brand like that) and about the same amount of flavoring. Once you have all that crap on a plate, lightly mix it together with a fork, whisk, or your fingers until its all incorporated.
So, we have our oil heating and we have our chicken ready and we have our dredging mixture all ready. YAY! This is going really well.
Now, get your chicken and lightly set it on all sides in the flour mixture. Be a grown up and do this next to the stove so when you put the chicken in the oil you don't drip nasty chicken-salmonella-death-flour on your kitchen floor. Also, try not to trip over any dogs, boyfriends, or small children that may be nipping at your heels hoping you drop some raw chicken:
Awwww the dogs are so cute! Let's move past that and get on with our lives.
The chicken is now dredged next to the oil. Now, CHECK YOUR OIL. The oil should be very shiny on top and ever so slightly rippling - if it's smoking, it's too hot. If nothing happens when you drop some of the extra flour in it, it's too cold. If you sprinkle a teeny bit of flour into the oil it should bubble and get all hot and bothered.
When you determine that your oil is ready, put the chicken in!
YUM. That is chicken, flour, and salt in oil. If that doesn't make you hungry you are dead on the inside. When you put the chicken in it should sizzle pretty loudly - I'd recommend turning on the fan at this point or having a dishtowel nearby to fan the smoke alarm when it starts going off.
Wait, does your smoke alarm not do that every time you cook even if nothing is burning?
Leave the chicken on the first side for 5-7 minutes depending on how thick it is. The idea with the oil temperature (around 350 if you feel like being an adult and taking the oil's temperature) is that we want the flour to get crispy and golden, but not before the inside cooks. Monitor the chicken by peeking under it after three minutes - if the outside looks done turn your oil down so the chicken can keep cooking.
After 5-7 minutes, check to see that side one of your chicken is golden brown. The edges of the chicken should be turning white, like COOKED CHICKEN TENDS TO DO. See in the picture? That's what we're looking for.
Then, using a kitchen tool of your choice, carefully flip the chicken to side numero dos.
I know. It makes you want to eat it.
Let the chicken go 4-6 more minutes (the chicken should have cooked more than halfway on the first side) and then....check it.
Here's where we get really technical. You know how I tell if the chicken is done?
I cut a tiny slit in one and look.
That's all. Sorry, it's how I do things. I don't want underdone or overdone chicken, and so far this is the best way I know to achieve that. There's some sort of hand-texture test you can do too where you push on it and it should feel like .... something, but I don't use that method.
So you cut a slit in your chicken. It should be VERY juicy but almost totally white. If it isn't, let it keep cooking, flipping as needed to make sure both sides are similarly brown when you're done.
Look! It's a meal. That you made. Well, I made this one, but you can definitely do this. I paired this with Mediterranean Orzo, which you can learn how to make in a separate post. This chicken is versatile, fool-proof, and can be dressed up for entertaining. You could ALSO cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces before you dredge it, get it brown and sexy on all sides, and serve the bites at a party with toothpicks and some fabulous dipping sauce on the side.
That would be fabulous.
But for now, we have this dredged chicken. I hope you make it soon and tell me how it worked out and what you paired it with!
That's what the comments section is for. Please make me feel like I'm not just writing into dead air here.
Want to mix it up a little bit? Add some parmesan cheese to the flour mixture and top with my marinara sauce like Chicken Parm. Yum!