Poultry

Honey-Mustard Chicken Strips

Ingredients:
½ cup dijon, whole grain or spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
2 to 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove excess fat, silver skin and tendons from chicken breast.  Cut trimmed chicken into desired sizes of strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, tarragon, salt and cayenne pepper.  Add chicken, tossing to coat.
Put Panko bread crumbs in bowl or on parchment paper.  Dip chicken in the crumbs, pressing to coat.
Transfer chicken strips to lightly greased (or sprayed) baking tray and drizzle with the oil.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is set and golden brown and chicken is cooked through.
Serve hot.  (Optional – you can mix more of the honey mustard coating for dipping.)
Serves 6
From prep to table 25 to 30 minutes

Shirley’s Chicken Surprise

Ingredients:
Three or four boneless skinless chicken breasts
One can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup
¼ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 ounces shredded medium or sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 box (10 oz) frz broccoli cuts
2/3 cup mayonnaise
salt & ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Trim chicken breast, removing fat and silver skins. Cut or pound breasts so that they are the same thickness so that they bake uniformly.
Place the frozen broccoli cuts in a 8×8 square glass baking dish, evenly spread them out
Next place the chicken breast on the broccoli.
Mix the can of cream of chicken soup (do not add milk nor water), mayonnaise, curry powder and lemon juice, salt & pepper.  Spread over the chicken breast.
Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the creamed mixture.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese.  Lightly shake the baking pan so that the bread crumbs filter down into the cheese.
Bake covered at 400 degrees until the chicken is tender.  Usually  40 to 60 minutes.  To test chicken doneness, a paring knife should easily cut through one of the fillets to the bottom of the baking dish.
Remove the aluminum foil and allow the chicken surprise to rest for about 5 minutes.
Cut into the desired serving sizes and serve immediately.
This chicken dish is excellent served with your favorite rice side dish.
Serves 4 easily
From prep to table 80-90 minutes

About Cooking a Fresh Thanksgiving Turkey

We get questions every day about cooking a fresh turkey versus a frozen turkey. There is a huge difference between a frozen turkey and a fresh turkey, both in quality and in price, but there isn’t much difference in cooking a fresh turkey and a frozen (thawed before cooking) turkey. Following is an easy “recipe” for cooking a plain fresh turkey. We’ll leave the fixin’s to you.

Remove the giblet pack from the neck cavity. To add a lot of flavor to your gravy, add the giblets and cook thoroughly.
Wash the turkey cavity and the outside of the bird – pat dry.
Allow the turkey to get to room temperature.
If you are stuffing the turkey – always stuff it loosely – about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey in the cavity. Tie the drumsticks together if you are using stuffing.
Spread unmelted butter under the skin, next to the flesh of the turkey. Gently pull the skin away from the meat and find areas that you can get to the meat to spread the unmelted butter. (Best to use salted butter for this task.) You can add flavorings to the butter if you wish – mix the room temperature butter with your favorite spices or herbs before spreading under the skin. You can also add sliced mushrooms to the mixture.
Brush the skin with melted butter. If you use spices or herbs to the butter for under the skin, we suggest that you put the same herbs or spices in your melted butter.
Now is the time to make a decision on whether you want a beautiful turkey or a delicous, moist turkey. If you want a beautiful turkey, you will cook it breast up (whatever part is up will brown while cooking). If you want a delicious, moist turkey, you will cook it breast down (cooking with the breast down will allow the juices that naturally flow with gravity to flow into the breast, keeping it moist).
Preheat your oven no more than 300 to 325 degrees F. Remember that low and slow is the preferred method to cooking most meats in the oven.
Place the bird on a rack (you don’t want it resting in the liquid that it will create while cooking) in a roasting pan and into the preheated oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body and should not touch the bone.
Bake until the skin is a light golden color and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but helps promote even browning. Use melted butter if you want to baste.
All turkeys will cook much faster if you don’t stuff it. So if you have a deadline, then you can cook the stuffing in a casserole dish and that will speed up the process of cooking the bird (there are new “instant pots” that cook the outside crispy, which would be great for the stuffing – frees up some oven space).
The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thigh.
Most turkey labels have a cooking time chart. Mert’s suggests the following chart be considered, but always use a meat thermometer to determine whether your turkey is cooked sufficiently.
10 to 18 pounds unstuffed 3.5 to 4 hours stuffed 4.5 to 5 hours
18 to 22 pounds unstuffed 4 to 4.5 hours stuffed 5 to 5.5 hours
22 to 24 pounds unstuffed 4.5 to 5 hours stuffed 5.5 to 6 hours
24 to 29 pounds unstuffed 5.5 to 6 hours stuffed 6.25 to 6.75 hours
Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Garlic Chicken with Herbs

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breast) about 1 pound
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
10 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 cup chicken broth
Hot cooked rice of your choice, or mashed potatoes

Directions:
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.  In a large skillet, heat butter over medium high heat; brown chicken on both sides.  Remove from pan, reserving drippings.
In the same skillet, sauté garlic in drippings over medium-high heat until light golden brown.  Add wine and herbs; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.  Cook until the mixture is almost evaporated.  Add broth and chicken; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads at least 170 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.
To serve, spoon pan juices over chicken.
Serve with cooked, hot rice.
Serves 4
From prep to table 30 minutes

Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:
1 ½ lb potatoes, peeled (optional) and cut into large chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised (mashed, but still in one piece)
¼ cup half & half creamer
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons real butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
In a saucepan of boiling water, cook potatoes and garlic cloves until tender; drain.  With a potato masher, mash potatoes, garlic, cream and ½ teaspoon of the salt until smooth; set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large frying pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes, or until soft.  Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until tender.  Add chicken and sauté for 4 minutes, or until no longer pink.
Sprinkle flour over chicken mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until no streaks of flour remain.  Gradually add stock and remaining salt – bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir in peas and parsley.
Spoon mixture into a deep dish pie dish (9 inch).  Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until potato topping is golden brown and crusty.  Serve hot.
Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking/baking time 1 hour

Chicken Garden Medley

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup butter, divided
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
½ cup julienned red pepper
½ cup julienned green pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup chicken broth
½ cup half & half creamer
8 oz angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
In a skillet, sauté chicken and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter until juices run clear, 10-12 minutes.  Add vegetables.  Cook until crisp-tender; remove.  In same skillet, melt remaining butter.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper to form a paste.  Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; stir until thickened, 2 minutes.  Stir in cream and heat through.  Add chicken and vegetables; stir until well mixed.
Place pasta in a greased 2 quart baking dish.  Pour chicken mixture over top.  Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes; uncover and bake 5 minutes longer.
Serves 4
Prep time 25 minutes
Bake time 20 minutes

Easy Southern Fried Chicken

Easy Southern Fried Chicken
Ingredients:
1 ½ cups buttermilk
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon  ground black pepper
4 fresh bone-in/skin-on drumsticks and 4 thighs or your preferred chicken parts
1 cup plain flour
½ cup vegetable oil

Directions:
In a large bowl, stir together buttermilk, pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.  Add chicken pieces and mix them around to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours, or at least 30 minutes.
In a large shallow bowl, mix together flour and another ¼ teaspoon of the salt.  Lift chicken from marinade and dip into the flour, patting it onto the chicken.  Place chicken on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours, for the coating to set.
Divide oil among two large, deep frying pans and heat over medium-low heat.  The oil is ready for frying when a piece of bread sizzles as it hits the surface.
Add chicken and cook, carefully turning pieces as they color, for 30 minutes, or until richly browned and cooked through.
Transfer chicken to paper towels to drain.  Sprinkle remaining salt over chicken and serve.
Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes plus at least 30 minutes marinating time and 30 minutes chilling time
Cooking time 30 minutes

Marinated Chicken Breast (or other chicken)

Ingredients:
Marinade:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar or other vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup lemon juice
¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons Dijon or Spicy Brown mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder

6 chicken breasts or 3.5 pounds other chicken

Directions:
Whisk together all ingredients except the chicken.
Remove half cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pour marinade over the top.  Close securely and turn the bag a couple of times to cover.
Marinade for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning the bag periodically.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil.  Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
• Optional – if you bring the reserved marinade up to a boil, let simmer until slightly reduced – it makes a wonderful sauce to go on top of the chicken when served.
Serves 6 to 8
Prep time 45 minutes; Cook Time 10 to 18 minutes
Marinade time 4 hours to 24 hours

Grilled Asian Bone-In Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspon Dijon style mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 bone-in chicken thighs

Directions:
Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Mix all ingredients except chicken; brush over chicken.
Cover and grill chicken, bone side down 15 to 20 minutes; turn.  Cover and grill until done, turning 2 or 3 times.  Internal chicken should be 165 degrees – ensure thermometer does not touch the bone.
Serves 4
From prep to table 1 hour

Asparagus Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons prepared mustard
½ teaspoon salt
8 oz sliced grilled chicken breast
4 English muffins, split & toasted
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
paprika (optional)

Directions:
In a large saucepan, bring ½ inch of water to a boil.  Add asparagus; cover and boil for 3 minutes.  Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water.  Drain & pat dry.
In the same pan, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, mustard and salt; cook on low until heated through.  Remove from the heat.
If grilled chicken is cold, warm in microwave for 30 to 40 seconds.
Place two English muffin halves on each serving plate.  Top with the chicken, tomatoes, asparagus and sauce.  Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
Serves 4

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