Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ranch style chicken

I've got bags of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which cut down on the amount of work I have to do when I want to make chicken.
Unfortunately, I often run out of recipes. This one was really good, and I'm sure I'll be making it again. Ernie and I think it'd be just as good with just the marinated chicken, but he insists everything is made better by bacon.

from the Pioneer Woman
(my adaptations in bold)

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used boneless, skinless thighs. so everwhere she says breasts, think thighs)
Thick cut bacon
1/4 c. Bacon grease
1/2 c. Honey
1/2 c. Dijon Mustard
Lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Paprika
Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 c. Canola oil

To begin, mix together 1/2 cup Dijon or country/grainy mustard with 1/2 cup honey. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. And have some fun here! Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like things a little spicy. (I left the spicy out, so Gaby would eat it)
Whisk it together until smooth.
Next, rinse the chicken breasts under cool water and pat them dry.
We’re going to pound the chicken breasts so they have a more uniform thickness, which means they’ll cook more evenly and won’t be dry around the edges.
Place one chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper…Lightly pat the waxed paper so it adheres to the chicken.
With a mallet or a rolling pin (you can also use a heavy can!) lightly pound the chicken breast so that the thickness is uniform. By the time it all evens up, it’s usually around 1/2 to 3/4″ thick. (I skipped this step altogether, because the thighs weren't that thick)
Next, just add all the chicken to the bowl with the marinade. You’ll want to cover this with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. (I marinated mine for about 4 hours.)
While the chicken is marinating, go ahead and fry up some bacon. Next, and this is important, reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease, and go ahead and clean out the skillet. Otherwise, it’ll get too smoky.
When you’re ready to prepare the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade into the sink. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of Canola Oil in the clean skillet over medium-high to high heat. (We want to sear the chicken, not cook it completely.) When the grease is sufficiently heated, add a batch of chicken to the skillet. Don’t overcrowd the skillet—just 3 pieces is usually enough.
Each side should cook for a maximum of 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
Repeat with all the chicken breasts, then set them on a large baking sheet.
Go ahead and throw the pan of chicken into the hot oven for about ten minutes to continue cooking. Then remove the pan from the oven, and lay a couple of bacon slices over each chicken breast.
Next, grab some grated sharp cheddar and sprinkle it over the top as generously as you’d like.
Just return the pan to the oven for an additional five minutes, or until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling.

No comments: