Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nut So Fried Chicken

As you well know, I am from the south. And in the south, we eat fried chicken. In fact, we consider good fried chicken to be a form of art! And I happened to grow up with the cookin-est southern momma you can imagine. So we frequently ate fried chicken. I happen to believe hers is the best you can find anywhere and I’d place that bet for any amount of money on any day. We gamble in the south too….you’ve probably heard of the Kentucky Derby! That said, I must admit that I absolutely looooove fried chicken. Well, let me amend that. I love my momma’s fried chicken. This chicken and waffle trend up here in New England is fine, but the chicken just aint the same!

The problem is that…oh yeah….it’s FRIED CHICKEN! And besides the fact that I won’t make it because it’ll never taste like my momma’s, its just BAD BAD BAD for your heart, no matter how good it may be for your soul! So I’m regularly thinking of making yummy oven baked “fried” chicken. Unfortunately, I usually feel pretty luke warm about the end result and I’m so partial to the grill that I usually just don’t bother.

However, last week in my organics box, I added some locally grown pecans! I’m a nut freak so there you go. And what we ended up with friends was a spectacular, yes, spectacular oven “fried” chicken BREAST. Finally!

Here’s the breakdown:

½ cup pecans
¼ cup bread crumbs
*toast some wheat bread to make them
¼ tsp crushed red peppers
zest of one Clementine
½ tsp salt

2 chicken breasts
1 egg white
2 Tbsp water
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put the first 5 ingredients into a food processor and process it until it is thin. Pour into a pie pan or something similar. Mix the egg white and water also into a pie pan. Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally to make two thin pieces. Dip the chicken in the egg mix and then the pecan mix. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray, place the chicken on the cookie sheet and spray a little of the olive oil on top of the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes flipping them half way through.

I also received in this box some locally grown baby brussel sprouts. If they are big sprouts, I usually cut them in half, but not the babies. I typically roast my brussel sprouts with olive oil and a little s&p. I adore them and can pretty much eat them anyway you wanna serve them to me. Josh on the other hand, does not like my recipe! Don’t kill him friends, he eats them anyway because of my insistence that they’re super good for you. However, my friend Gregory fed them to him one night and he came home raving. Ok Gregory, what did you do? The secret….herbs de provence. Gregory lets them sit in olive oil, s&p and herbs de provence for a while before he roasts them. Well that’s easy, please and thank you!

So that’s what I did and booooy was Josh right. They were so amazing! If you think you don’t like brussel sprouts, I challenge you to try these and not like them! Rule of thumb, roast ALL vegetables at 425 degrees for 18 minutes! The will ALWAYS come out perfect. Promise! So this works out perfectly, just put them in at the same time as the chicken. I also served this with a bit of greens. 

Now let me push the brussel sprouts to you for another reason. They are GOOD FOR YOU!

Brussels sprouts are high in protein, accounting for more than a quarter of their calories. They are loaded with vitamin A, folacin, potassium, and calcium. They are high in fiber making them one of those foods that will fill you up and keep you trim. Brussels sprouts are also rich in vitamin C, an anti-cancer agent.

One of My Fab Christmas Presents!
So eat ‘em up friends and buy them locally if you can!  

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