By Beverly Barbour
Chicken comes up to scratch
A chicken in every pot used to be an impossible dream, now chicken is one of the least expensive and most versatile things that we can cook. Thank the Great Spirit for its versatility because when we were children chicken, at least in our house, strutted to the table either roasted or fried. Period. Now delicious chicken dishes can take hours or the can be quick and easy. These recipes won't put a dent in either your clock or your budget. Donna Evans of Turpin, OK, makes Apricot Chicken with a recipe which must have been adapted from one that originally came from the dry onion soup mix kitchens. That mix is a great addition to any emergency chef...it is handy stuff.
This can also be made using orange marmalade and almost any kind of salad dressing that you have on hand. Toasted sliced almonds sprinkled over the top before serving gives the dish the crunch and a touch of glamour. The juice can be thickened and served as a sauce with rice or noodles.
6 to 8 chicken breasts
Combine preserves, dressing and soup mix. Layer breasts in greased casserole dish. Spread with mixture. Marinate over night. Bake uncovered at 350F. for one hour. Top with toasted almonds before serving, if desired. (Toast almond slices in the oven while the chicken is baking.) Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Another recipe from a reader's kitchen comes from Marlene Neufueld of Buhler, KS. To save time when you are preparing dinner put the chicken in the marinade and prepare the flour mixture the night before. The recipe calls for chicken breasts but thighs can also be used.
Quick and easy to fry it is the marinade that makes the strips tender and juicy.
6 boneless chicken breast halves, or about 10 thighs
Cut chicken into 1/2-inch strips; place in large resealable bag or a bowl. Combine egg, buttermilk, and garlic powder; pour over chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Combine flour, breadcrumbs, salt and baking powder. Drain chicken, discarding buttermilk mixture. Place chicken in bag with flour mixture and shake to coat well. Heat oil to 375F. and fry in batches until it is a golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Makes 6 portions.
Adella Andrijeski of Pierce, CO, says "At our house we try to omit fat as much as possible due to hubby's heart troubles. So I always omit the fat (butter or sour cream). Fat is what makes things taste so good but OH? the calories. Now we don't even notice that the fat is missing." Adella is right, fat does carry flavor. And, she is right that when you cut down you find that you don't miss cooking with it. Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream and cook with olive oil or vegetable oil to help cut down on saturated fats.
SHARON'S WITH OR WITHOUT RICE CHICKEN
Two versions of a tasty recipe.
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
Preheat oven to 325F. Melt butter in covered roaster and then mix in the other ingredients; arrange chicken pieces in the roaster, cover and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Makes 4 generous servings.
Mary Ann Helland of Devils Lake, ND, has a quick and delicious recipe for chicken fried in the oven. You can, of course, make your own croutons from you own stale bread.
THAT GOOD OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
Mary says DO NOT use cheap croutons, ad they don't taste good.
4 boneless chicken breasts or 6 thighs
1 cup salad dressing, Italian is a favorite but oil and vinegar is good, too
1 tablespoon garlic salt or 1 clove fresh garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 bag seasoned (Italian) croutons, crushed
Combine dressing, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Dip each piece of chicken into this mixture and coat with crushed croutons. Bake in 350F oven until cooked through and nicely browned. Makes 4 servings.
GOOD CHICKEN IS SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT