Tag Archives: frugal meals

Hearty Homestead Meals: Crispy Tangy Chicken

Yesterday, The Mister discovered a flourishing grape-vine at an unoccupied property near ours. I’m sincerely hoping that the home is still unoccupied this winter when the vine goes dormant, so I can collect a few canes to plant next spring! The Mister thinks it’s some kind of wine grape – they’re small, sweet, and plentiful. I’m already envisioning grapevines as living shade for the chicken run!

Anyway, the task at hand – delicious chicken. Most of the meat we eat around here is chicken, mostly because it’s so cheap. I buy 10-pound bags of leg quarters for $7 at my closest WinCo. The bag usually makes 3-4 meals for us (although that will change as the children and their appetites grow!).

Chicken can get boring quickly, so the key is to have a variety of ways to prepare the same cut of meat. Without further ado, here’s a recipe for crispy, cheesy, tangy chicken that takes 5 minutes to prepare.

Crispy Tangy Chicken

6 servings

6 pieces bone-in chicken, skinned and trimmed

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Arrange chicken pieces in a greased pan. Take the mayonnaise out of the jar and put it into a separate dish so that the entire jar doesn’t get contaminated by the raw chicken.

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Using a knife, spread about 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise onto each piece of chicken. This seems like a lot, but a lot of it will melt off. The purpose of the mayonnaise is to seal the juices into the meat to keep it moist.

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Next, sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese over the chicken pieces. I don’t really measure, I just make sure there’s a fair amount on each piece of chicken. It’s probably about 2 teaspoons per piece of chicken.

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Last, sprinkle the seasoned bread crumbs over the chicken. The bread crumbs need to be in a fairly thin layer, or they will stay dry and crumbly.

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Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes, or until juices run clear. Enjoy!

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We think this chicken is particularly good when served with rice and a spinach salad.

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How to make Creamy Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is a staple breakfast around here – rich, filling, and slightly sweet, it always makes the kids happy! I usually make a fish and rice dinner on Friday evenings, so I just make extra rice to use on Saturday morning!
We prefer our rice pudding chilled, but it is just as delicious when it’s hot. Depending on your preferences, you can make it right when you want to eat it, or you can make it the night before and have it ready to go in the fridge.

Start with leftover or freshly cooked rice. I use about 1/2 cup cooked rice per person. Dump the rice in a heavy pot. For 6 servings, I usually use a 3-quart pot.

Add enough milk to cover the rice.

It doesn’t look like much right now, but it will be delicious and creamy soon! Add sugar or honey next.

My ratio of rice:milk:sugar is 2:4:1. That’s 2 parts rice, 4 parts milk, 1 part white sugar.

Next, add cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes, until the rice is nice and soft. This usually takes about half an hour.  If you’re using freshly made rice, it may take less time. Be careful not to scorch the bottom!

While you wait, prepare your eggs. My rule of thumb is 1 egg per cup of milk. You could certainly add more if you want a more custard-like pudding. In case you haven’t noticed, this is an extremely flexible recipe!

(Optional: separate and set aside whites. They can be beaten into meringue at the end to make your rice pudding extra creamy and light!)Whisk eggs thoroughly or run them through a blender. Slimy strings are to be avoided at all costs!

When your rice mixture is soft and warm, you’ll need to temper the eggs. This means slowly bringing the temperature up so that the eggs don’t scramble. Do this by adding one spoonful of hot milk/rice at a time.

 

When the eggs are hot, slowly pour them into the pudding, stirring the entire time. (Pretend I’m stirring. I didn’t have enough hands to do this and take pictures at the same time!)

Continue cooking and stirring until the pudding thickens. It will be the consistency of thin oatmeal when it’s done. You can continue cooking liquid off or even add a bit of cornstarch if you’d like it to be thicker.

At this point, you can consider yourself done! Cool and serve.

OR, if you separated your egg whites, dump them into a stand mixer. You could also use a hand mixer. Beat the whites until frothy, then add a tablespoon of sugar for every 2 egg whites. 4 eggs = 2 tbsp sugar. Continue beating at high speed until peaks form. Carefully fold the meringue into the cooled pudding and enjoy!

Note: If you include the meringue, there  will be some raw egg white in your finished pudding. If you’re not comfortable with this, don’t separate the eggs before adding them to the pudding.