Home Cooking Recipes
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Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


Chicken so quick and easy you'll crow about it

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, chicken was a treat reserved for Sunday or when company came. Now it is the biggest bargain in the meat department. True, it isn't as tasty as it was when chickens had the run of the barnyard and fended for themselves but there are so many tasty ways of preparing our feathered friends that it doesn't really matter.

Another advantage of today's chicken is that you can buy only the parts the family prefers. We are no longer forced to make chicken soup on a regular basis to use those backs and necks and whatevers that most people don't have time to mess around with these days. So keep that in mind when you check out these recipes - your favorite parts of the bird can replace a whole bird in any of them.


CHICKEN IN ITALIAN DRESS

Italian salad dressing with its oil, vinegar and seasoning is an ideal flavoring for chicken. And, it comes ready-made in a bottle...all you need is a pastry or barbecue brush and you're in the easy-cooking business.

1 fryer-broiler, cut up
8 ounce bottle of Italian salad dressing

Preheat broiler or grill. Brush the chicken parts with dressing before putting on the grill or in the oven and again every 8 minutes. Turn over each time you brush them. Cook until brown and beautiful.


CHICKEN WITH YOGURT AND MUSTARD

Marion Cunningham deserves the credit for this dish. It is delicious served with steamed or baked potatoes, noodles or rice.

3/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds chicken pieces

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together yogurt, mustard, salt and pepper. Spoon into a glass baking dish which will hold the chicken parts. Add parts and turn coat with the yogurt mixture. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the pieces are golden brown and the juices run clear. Remove chicken and scrape out the curdled yogurt mixture left in the baking pan. You can make this mixture smooth with a few swipes from a wire whip or by pouring it into a blender and blending until smooth. Serve the tasty sauce with the chicken. Makes 4 servings.


QUICK CHICKEN PROVENCAL

If you don't have herbes de Provence, by all means get or make this wondrous mixture which flatters everything from scrambled eggs to soup to stew. It is one of the French cooks' best gifts to the cooking pot.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon (more if fresh is used)
salt and pepper

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Pound lightly to achieve fairly uniform thickness (a rolling pin works well for this if you don't have an old-fashioned pounder. Combine mayonnaise with lemon juice, mustard and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Place breasts, smooth-side down, on a glass pie plate or other pan suitable for the microwave. Divide and spread mixture over each piece of chicken. Cover loosely with waxed paper and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Or, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Place glass pan on a rack or inverted saucer in the microwave, loosely covered with waxed paper and cook at medium-high for 2 minutes. Turn plate a quarter turn and cook 3 minutes at medium power. Check to see if inside is cooked. If center is still raw, cook in 30-second increments at medium until chicken is just done; it continues cooking as it stands. Let chicken stand, still covered with wax paper, for 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon liquid from dish over chicken when serving. Makes 4 servings.


EASY TO DO, AND KIDS LOVE IT, CHICKEN

My friend Kay Hastings once sent this to me. Her kids have since made her a grandmother. So I guess it didn't hurt them any.

1 chicken, cut up, or chicken parts
1 package dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 cup milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter dish heavily and sprinkle with soup mix and rice. Combine milk and mushroom soup and pour over the rice. Arrange chicken pieces on top and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


PICNIC DRUMSTICKS

Another quickie that can be done in a microwave.

2 pounds chicken drumsticks or other parts
1 package chicken coating mix
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika

Rinse chicken parts and keep wet. To coat evenly shake 4 pieces at a time in a bag with the remaining 3 ingredients. Arrange coated pieces in a glass baking dish and cover loosely with waxed paper. Cook 7 minutes on high and then turn each piece. Cook another 7 minutes and turn again. Cover with plastic wrap and cook another 7 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Makes 4 to 6 hot or cold servings.

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