Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour
Isn't chicken wonderful? Each little bird has so many edible parts that there is something for everybody. How nice that chicken is a very inexpensive source of protein. The least expensive way to buy chicken is to purchase the whole bird because when all is said and done, the giblets and the back and any part of the bird's anatomy that your family doesn't particularly care for, can be turned into chicken soup.
Chicken soup is of course, the first thing we are allowed to eat when recovering from a stomach upset (probably caused by overeating chicken in the first place). Just gather the gizzards, hearts, and bones together and let it simmer for a bit before adding salt, pepper and whatever other herbs you like, plus some noodles and perhaps a bullion cube to fortify the flavor. The result is a free meal.
Chicken Breast with Olives and Almonds
You can create this festive dish in just 35 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Dry chicken breasts and then cut a 2-inch long slit in each breast. Fill the slits with 1 heaping teaspoon olives, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then toast almonds, stirring often, until they turn a few shades darker, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool but do not clean the skillet. Increase heat to moderately high, then add chicken breasts, skin sides down, to butter remaining in skillet and sprinkle with remaining olives. Sauté chicken breasts until skins are golden brown. Turn breasts over, cover and cook until just cooked through (about 5 minutes). While chicken in cooking, chop almonds. Add remaining tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons water to skillet and heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Stir in almonds, parsley and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemons
Chicken loves lemon. Try spraying a bit of lemon juice on the chicken while it is being grilled or broiled. Makes 3 or 4 servings.
6 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
Dry chicken, trim and discard fat. In a bowl, mix vinegar, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add thighs, turn to coat. Cover and chill one hour. Set an ovenproof pan with lid over medium high heat. Lift thighs from marinade (keep the marinade) and arrange in a single layer in pan. Turn as necessary to brown on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a rimmed plate and lower heat under pan. Add shallots and garlic to pan and stir frequently until shallots are limp. Return chicken to pan and add marinade, lemons slices, wine and herbes de Provence.
Cover pan and transfer to oven. Bake until chicken is very tender when pierced, 30 to 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and spoon into bowls to serve.
There are so few ingredients in this dish that you wouldn't guess it could be company fare. It can be finished on the grill or under the oven's broiler. Usually served with cooked rice which you might jazz up a bit by adding fresh green peas, diced red pepper, or olives. Makes 4 servings.
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Stir together vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl, and then pour into a sealable plastic bag. Dry the chicken and add to bag then seal bag, pressing out the air. Turn to coat pieces thoroughly, then put bag in baking pan and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for about 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let chicken stand in marinade at room temperature for 45 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 425 F. Remove chicken from marinade but save marinade. Arrange chicken, skin side up, in 1 layer in metal baking pan and pour marinade over pieces. Bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Preheat broiler or grill. Transfer chicken to a broiler pan or grill with skin side facing the heat. Pour marinade into a small saucepan and skim away any fat. Broil chicken about 4-inches from heat until skin is golden and crisp. While chicken is broiling, bring marinade to a boil and discard bay leaf. Serve chicken with the sauce.
Chicken Wing Drumettes
If you like the tender slivers of meat on chicken wings you will love this inexpensive way to turn them into a cocktail delicacy. Serve with Creamy Horseradish Sauce. Makes 3 dozen.
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
Discard the tips of the wings. Wash and wipe the remaining 2 portions of the wing and place in a shallow dish. Combine the buttermilk with salt and pepper; stir well. Pour over the chicken wings to cover; let stand 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Drain well. Dredge chicken in flour. Pour oil to a depth of 2-inches in a Dutch oven or heavy frying pan. Heat to 325 F. Turn once. When nicely browned drain on paper towels. Serve with Creamy Horseradish Sauce (see below).
* If self-rising flour isn't available use regular flour adding 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
This is equally as good served with roast beef or with burgers. Makes 1 1/4 cups.
1 carton (8 ounces) commercial sour cream
Combine ingredients well and serve as a dipping sauce or condiment.
Chicken are like the buffalo, every part has a use. (Slight difference in size, however.)