Tag Archives: crispy

Sneak Preview ~ Diced! Competition

4 Dec
Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

I have just found out (because I am so behind on my emails) that my entry for the Diced! online food cooking competition will be posted on Friday. So stay tuned. The most “Likes” on each recipe’s post for the week will move on to the next round. So I will wait until Friday to post that recipe and the link to the blog that you must “Like” in order for me to gain a vote. Please vote for me! This is an unabashed self-promoting post, lol.

Back story on this: I had to write a few sentences in an email to the host of this why I wanted to enter the competition. In short, I was selected to be a contestant. You are given three ingredients to cook a specified genre of food. The first was an appetizer, soup, or salad. The three ingredients to make something out of were Corned Beef, Corn Kernels, and Corn Flakes. So that is how I was inspired to make these Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups. And they were actually quite good! But you will have to wait for the Friday contest post to “read all about it.” ūüôā

But do not go to that website and “like” any posts until you have reviewed all the recipes after Saturday, which is when the last recipe for the contest is posted. I mean, fair is fair, right? If you like someone else’s recipe better then by all means vote for that one. But, hey¬† c’mon. Vote for mine? XO


Crunchy Tortilla Chip Baked Chicken Strips

15 Jun
Crispy Tortilla Chip Baked Chicken

Crunchy Tortilla Chip Baked Chicken

My go-to recipe when I want to make a quick chicken dinner is Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Tenders. I defrosted a pound of chicken breasts and got them marinating in the garlic mixture, went to the pantry and… no cornflakes! Hmmm. With no time to go to the store, I almost panicked, until I spied a partial bag of Juanita’s Tortilla Chips hiding behind the oatmeal. My pantry is not exactly organized. My brain then switched gears and thought Mexican Chicken! I figured I could easily sub out the crushed cornflakes with crushed tortilla chips, add a little chile powder to the mix, and serve it with Roasted Tomato Salsa. I got two thumbs up from the family for this one!

Tortilla Chips and Marinating Chicken

Tortilla Chips and Marinating Chicken

Crunchy Tortilla Chip Baked Chicken Strips

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon New Mexico Chile powder
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil cooking spray

Pound the chicken breasts  until they are about 1/4 inch thick. If they are very thick to start with, slice them in half lengthwise. Cut the chicken into strips and set aside. Add the garlic, egg, milk,  black pepper, and chile powder to a bowl. The chile powder went in after the fact for me but you can add it now. Whisk until well combined, then add the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about a half an hour.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the coating. Fill a quart zip-top bag with tortilla chips and close. Crush the chips finely using a pestle (or the palm of your hand).  After crushing them, measure how much you have, and crush more if needed. Pour the crushed chips onto a large plate, then add the seasoned bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well and set aside.

Chicken Strips Ready for Oven

Chicken Strips Ready for Oven

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with crumpled aluminum foil and spray with olive oil. When the chicken is done marinating, dredge each piece through the coating and place them evenly apart on the baking sheet. If you have Juanita’s Tortilla Chips in your area (look for the signature red and green bag) you will know how greasy they are. That’s what makes them so gosh darned good. Anyways, these chips had enough oil in them that I did not spray the chicken at all with oil, but if you are using less greasy tortilla chips then you might want to do a light spray over the top. Cook for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from oven and serve immediately with condiment of choice and a salad or vegetable.

Crispy Tortilla Chip Baked Chicken

Crispy Tortilla Chip Baked Chicken

p.s. I am leaving the day after Father’s Day with my daughter for a week to Texas for a family reunion, and will not be taking my laptop. I know, whatever will¬† I do? I will have camera in hand in case I end up cooking anything, but I’m thinking I’ll be eating a lot of Tex-Mex at some of the great restaurants in Austin. See you when I get back!

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

24 Apr
Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

This was a quick and easy meal I threw together last week that my family inhaled. I was going to do the traditional method by frying the chicken in oil, but at the last minute decided to healthy it up a bit and bake it. I can tell you we did not miss the extra oil, and they came out so crispy and very tender! I was excited at first to have some leftovers to take to work the next day, but then my dear daughter decided she wanted a second helping and the entire meal was finished off. Next time I will double the batch. This recipe feeds three if you have a really hungry person in the household, or four if not. I thought a quarter pound of chicken on top of a mound of spaghetti with a meat sauce would be plenty for each person, but apparently not.  :/

My basil plants are but wee seedlings at the moment, and I totally spaced that I had some dried sweet basil in the spice cabinet when I took the photos. By the time I remembered that fact, the dinner was pretty much a done deal. I did remember it for my leftover portion, as shown later down below in my lunch container all ready for work, but my lunch went by the wayside, alas. But I’m happy my daughter is healthy and active and growing and I can provide enough nourishment!

Baked Chicken Ready to Flip

Baked Chicken Ready to Flip

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan (or Parmigiana if you want to sound Italian)

1 pound chicken breast meat
1 egg
Splash of milk
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt, to taste
About a 3/4-inch round of dried spaghetti
3 or 4 cups of prepared spaghetti sauce, any kind, heated
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used low-fat variety)
Fresh or dried basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, get your water on to boil in a pot for the spaghetti, and heat up your spaghetti sauce, either stovetop or microwave.  I only had rather large bone-in chicken breasts, so deboned one and got two filets plus the chicken tenderloin out of it. If you have small chicken breasts, just pound them with a mallet until about 1/4-inch thin. If large, then butterfly in half, and pound a little, if needed. The tenderloin did not need it, of course.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and a splash of milk. On a plate, mix the crushed cornflakes, Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Dip the chicken in the egg wash, then dredge it on both sides through the cornflake/breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking pan lined with crumpled aluminum foil sprayed with oil. If you have a baking rack, that would work too, but I don’t. Spray the top of the chicken with oil.

Add the pasta to your pot now as your water should be boiling. Now pop the chicken in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, then flip over, spray with more oil, then bake 10 minutes more. Remove and drain your pasta at some point in those 20 minutes when it’s done and mix it in with about three-quarters of the heated spaghetti sauce, and divide into bowls or on plates. Now carefully spread a large spoonful of the spaghetti sauce to each piece of chicken, then top with some shredded Mozzarella cheese, turn the oven to broil, and bake until the cheese is gooey and starting to bubble, just a few minutes.

Chicken Parmesan Leftovers - NOT

Chicken Parmesan Leftovers – NOT

I wanted to get some nice browned bubbly spots on the cheese, but the fam was starving and had to please. Place each chicken filet atop each mound of spaghetti (or cut pieces off if they are large) then garnish with fresh or dried basil. We ate this with a small green salad. We skipped doing the garlic bread thing with this, as there are enough carbs with everything else. Enjoy!

Crispy Fried Chicken Livers with Cream Gravy

3 Feb
Frying the Chicken Livers

Frying the Chicken Livers

Oh my word, my tastebuds and thoughts are oozing Texas right now! I took the opportunity while my hubby and daughter were gone to make a decadent mound of crispy fried chicken livers with homemade cream gravy that just made my heart sing. (It’s probably also about go into cardiac arrest, but I’ll worry about that later.) I almost always ordered these at Threadgills when I lived in Austin, and I’ve been craving them for quite some time now. The only problem is my family can’t stand chicken livers and I’m forbade to stinky up the house with this little indulgence of mine when they are around.¬† Now I know, just like cilantro, you are either in the liver-lover or liver-hater camp. I’m sure I already lost those in the latter camp when they read the title, but they are forgiven. (Hey I wonder if there is a correlation between cilantro haters and liver haters? Something to ponder…)

Frying up a batch of chicken livers and cream gravy is another one of those things that just comes to you naturally when you’re from the South Texas. I didn’t have to look up a recipe, I eyeballed the amounts, and just cooked them as surely as putting on a pair of shoes. I wanted to say boots, but my poor feet can’t fit into them anymore. Anyways, I pretty much danced around the kitchen when I made these, literally. I forgot how much they pop and splatter! I started out by using my splatter screen, but even that was not enough to prevent a major grease event on my countertop and pinging me in the face and arms a few times. I quickly put on a solid pan lid after fearing for my camera as I was trying to set it up on my tripod for a shot. I took the chance and quickly snapped off two shots of them frying, and luckily the camera survived and the photos came out OK. Actually they ended up being the best shots! One of my other shots includes a very suspect chicken liver, reduced in size so as not to gross you out too much. All the other chicken livers were a nice vibrant reddish color, and this one just looked pale and anemic. That chicken must not have eaten his vitamins. I didn’t even bother giving it to my dog, it kind of scared me. It went down the disposal.

Anemic Chicken Liver

Anemic Chicken Liver in Front

I had every intention to make some smashed taters with these and wilt up some baby spinach as sides, but seeing as I was in an indulgent mood, I skipped them altogether and gorged myself silly on these instead. I promised myself to eat nothing but greens for lunch the next day and double up my morning shower exercises. I felt better already just thinking that!

Fried Chicken Livers with Cream Gravy

1 pound chicken livers
1/2 cup or so of flour
1/8 cup (or so) of cornmeal
Lots of ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 egg
Splash of milk
Vegetable oil, for frying, about a 1/4-inch deep in skillet
1 cup milk

First, rinse off the chicken livers then drain and pat dry as much as possible. The drier they are the less they will pop and spit at you, but that won’t prevent them from splattering once they start frying, let me tell you! Next add the flour, cornmeal and seasonings to a plate and mix’em up. The cornmeal was an afterthought. I like to use it with my chicken-fried steak and said, what the heck, and grabbed the box and tumped some into the mix. My husband thinks “tump” is a funny word. He’s not from Texas, obviously.

In a bowl, whisk the egg and a glurg of milk. By glurg, I mean just pour a quick bit in and it goes “glurg” if your milk container is full. If not, it will just be a splash. At this point, you can start heating up the oil to medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or another sturdy one. Put the chicken livers in the egg/milk wash, then one by one dredge them through the flour/cornmeal mixture and set them on another plate. Once you’ve got them all coated, your oil should be good and hot and ready. Using tongs, slowly add them to the hot oil. (Don’t throw that extra flour out on the plate yet! You’ll need it for the gravy.) Have a lid ready to cover them up as soon as they are all in. Trust me! At your own risk, peek in at them around three to four minutes later. These puppies don’t take that long to cook up! Now comes the scary part. Uncover, shield your eyes, and quickly flip them over using your tongs and cover right up again. Don’t be surprised if the lid actually pops up a bit. For a spell it sounded like firecrackers in my house! Another three to four minutes later, turn off the heat and slide the pan off the burner. Uncover, and remove to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.

Fried Chicken Livers with Cream Gravy

Fried Chicken Livers with Cream Gravy

While the chicken livers are draining, whisk up the cup of milk with about a tablespoon of the flour/cornmeal mixture left on the plate I told you to keep. Forgot to save it or didn’t have enough? No worries, just add a tablespoon of fresh flour. Pour off all about a tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and keep all those crispy bits in the bottom of the pan. Put the skillet back on the burner and turn to medium heat. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture, stirring constantly, until all the oil is combined and it’s thickened and bubbly‚ÄĒ it takes just a few minutes for this. Season with lots of additional pepper and a little salt, if you want. Since hubby was gone I also added some salt seeing as I was in a risky mood anyways. Serve the chicken livers with the gravy, and dip them liberally into the gravy and eat with your fingers and be in heaven.

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