Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homemade Chicken Breading - A Healthy Twist

Last winter I had a loaf of bread that needed to be used, a bag of chicken, and some extra time. I decided to make a breading that was healthy and full of flavor. Warning: Making this takes a bit of time, so it's not a quick 10 minute meal. However, you can store it to whip out later. Here's what you need:

Half a loaf of your choice of sandwich bread
1/4 cup olive oil (the higher quality, the better)
1 clove of garlic (Add more or less depending on your preferences)
Black pepper
Sea salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons of diced tomato
Chopped Onion to taste

To dry out bread without making it stale, line up the bread on cookie sheets, turn the oven on low, and place in oven for a few minutes. The time will depend upon the thickness of the bread.

While bread is drying, pour olive oil in skillet, put heat on medium low. When oil is heated up, saute the onions for 2 minutes, add tomatoes. They are really for color, not flavor. Add garlic, black pepper, sea salt, and basil. The flavor will kind of hit you in the face. Don't worry, it's much more subtle when cooled off and used with chicken.

Heat up olive oil mixture until it's simmering, simmer on low for a little over 5 minutes. While this is simmering, break up and grind the bread into small crumbs. Place in large bowl.

When the Olive oil mixture has simmered, take it off the heat and let it cool a bit. You don't want it to get to room temperature, but it shouldn't still be simmering when you pour it in with the crumbs. Pour the olive oil mixture in with the bread crumbs, and stir it in until they are thoroughly intermixed. Spread mixture on cookie sheet and put in warmed oven for ten minutes. Let cool, and you're ready to bread some chicken!

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chicken Curry and Rice

Curry... I can't get enough of it. It's flavorful, smells wonderful, and is my favorite color. This is my personal recipe that I have used many times to bring color to my day and my dinner plate.


Chicken (perferably boneless)
Black ground pepper
Olive oil
Green and red bell peppers
Milk, cream, or coconut milk
Pinch of flour

While rice is cooking, saute the onions and bell peppers in a frying pan for two minutes, add some curry and black pepper. Feel free to experiment with different spices. I usually add something different every time. Notice how I didn't include measurements? This is the kind of recipe that is completely up to taste. So fly free and make it your own.

After about 3 minutes of sauteing the vegetables and spices, add pieces of chicken, cut up in one-inch pieces. Add more delicious curry and pepper to make sure it is seasoned thoroughly. You may need to add more olive oil to the mix. You practically have to babysit the chicken to make sure it is cooked just right. Stir often, and don't make the heat too high.

When the chicken is done, take it out of the pan and put it aside in a covered bowl. Now for the curry sauce. You have a pan full of flavor right in front of you, so you need not add to much. Here at the Catchpenny Kitchen I use whatever I have in the fridge. This usually includes milk, or on a good day, cream. Either work beautifully. You can also find inexpensive coconut milk at your local Asian or Indian market.

Alright, for the sauce, turn the heat on low, and add your milk/cream/coconut milk and stir constantly. Add more curry and pepper to give it a full flavor. If you like that extra zing you can also put a diced hot pepper to your taste in the mix. My secret to extra spice but not something that will give you 3rd degree burns? Chili powder. Add it to taste to the cooking sauce. There will be onions, peppers, and juice left over from cooking the chicken to make this sauce perfect. Heat and stir until all of the ingredients have combined and your sauce is a good, creamy consistency. Take note that it will thicken when it sits. If you find that it is still to thin, add a tiny bit of flour and that should do the trick.

Next step? Serve it up. You may prefer to mix the rice, chicken and sauce in one beautiful pile, or you may want to keep the chicken to the side and pour sauce on the rice. It's up to you. Either way,

Buon Appetito!