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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No Fuss Summer Dinner .... Chicken & Fixin'

Tea-Brined Fried Chicken
A marriage of Southern favorites: Our salty-sweet brine of brown sugar and freshly brewed tea infuses this picnic-perfect chicken with juicy flavor before frying. Bonus: The tannins in tea act as a natural tenderizer.

2            family-size tea bags
1/2        cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4        cup kosher salt
1           small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1           lemon, thinly sliced
4           garlic cloves, halved
1           tablespoon cracked black pepper
2           cups ice cubes
1          (3-1/2-lb.) cut-up whole chicken
2          cups self-rising flour
1          cup self-rising white cornmeal mix
2          tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2          teaspoons table salt
1          teaspoon ground red pepper
Vegetable oil

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.

2. Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar and next 5 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. (Mixture should be cold before adding to chicken.)

3. Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise. Place tea mixture and all chicken pieces in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish, and chill 24 hours.

4. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Drain chicken well.

5. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon 1 cup flour mixture into a brown paper bag or large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place one piece of chicken in bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken, and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, adding more flour mixture to bag as needed. Let chicken stand 30 minutes to form a crust.

6. Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a cast-iron Dutch oven; heat over medium heat to 325°. Fry chicken, in batches, 15 to 22 minutes or until browned and done, turning occasionally. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.

TIP: If using a 12-inch-wide (2 1/4-inch-deep) cast-iron skillet, pour oil to depth of 1 inch.

Tomato-and-Fruit Salad
This colorful dish captures the best flavors of summer on one cool platter. A fresh basil dressing spiked with orange marmalade merges the sweet with the savory.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
2          pounds watermelon, sliced
2          pounds honeydew melon, sliced
1         fresh peach, sliced
2         nectarines, sliced
2        red plums, cut into wedges
1        green tomato, sliced
1         pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced or cubed
1        (12-ounce) package baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
8         fresh basil leaves, torn
Basil-Orange Vinaigrette ----recipe below----

Arrange first 9 ingredients on a serving platter. Serve with Basil-Basil-Orange Vinaigrette
Impress guests with this simple, homemade Basil-Orange Vinaigrette, This citrusy dressing will be a favorite.
Makes 1-1/3 cups
1/2          cup sweet orange marmalade (such as Smucker's)
1/3          cup red wine vinegar
6            fresh basil leaves, torn
1            tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1            garlic clove, sliced
1/2        teaspoon kosher salt
1/2        teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2         cup canola oil
Pulse orange marmalade, vinegar, basil, ginger, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor until blended. With blender running, pour canola oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream, processing until smooth.

Orange Rolls
Your family will definitely want to rise, shine, and dine when they smell these baking in the oven.
Yield: Makes 11 rolls
1/2            (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4            cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1-1/2         teaspoons orange zest
1              (11-oz.) can refrigerated French bread dough
2               tablespoons granulated sugar
1              tablespoon butter, melted
1/2           cup powdered sugar
1               tablespoon orange juice

1 . Preheat oven to 375°. Beat cream cheese, light brown sugar, and orange zest at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Unroll French bread dough onto a lightly floured surface. 2 . Spread cream cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Gently roll up dough, starting at 1 long side. Cut into 11 (1 1/4-inch) slices. Place slices in a lightly greased 8-inch round cake pan. Brush top of dough with melted butter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Stir together powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over hot rolls. Serve immediately.

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