Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner! (and green beans)

I love cooking chicken. Well, that's not totally true. To be honest, I don't love cooking - at all! I am very easily flustered in the kitchen with 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a bird all vying for my attention. And, suddenly they all crawl out of the woodwork at the same time . . . as soon as I start dinner!
Anyway, I digress, as usual. 
Back to the chicken. I really do prefer cooking chicken. Must be because it can be cooked so many different ways. Tonight, it was breaded and pan-fried. I'm sure you have all done this, it's nothing new. I am just so proud because I have FINALLY gotten it right, and the family likes it, too!  Somehow, adding the ranch mix to it gives it a bit of a lemon, or tart taste. Very surprising and yummy!
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup bread plain crumbs
2 tbs ranch dressing mix
About 1/4 cup Canola oil
1 egg
1 tbs Water
The chicken breasts I buy are very thick. I don't have the patience to pound them, so I just filet them in half the entire length of the breasts. I also cut them across (angled with the grain). This size piece is perfect for the kids and adults can have 2 or 3.
Begin by mixing the breadcrumbs and ranch mix in a bowl and the egg and water in a separate bowl.
Go ahead and put all of the chicken in the egg mixture and work them around until all are coated. I guess I needed a bigger bowl.
Heat half of the oil in the pan on medium heat, you can add more as needed.
One at a time, coat the chicken pieces in the breadcrumb mixture and set aside. You can start with what will fit in your pan. Then coat the remaining pieces while the first batch are cooking.
Carefully place the chicken in the pan and cook to a golden brown on both sides. Do not overcook! I have done this so many times. These pieces are thin enough, you won't have a problem with undercooking them. I won't set an amount of time because every stove is different. Just be sure your pan is hot enough to sizzle without splattering oil everywhere (that would be too hot and cook them too fast). Once finished, transfer them to a warming pan and place in the oven (or toaster oven in my case - don't want to heat up the kitchen this time of year!) on low. Add oil if needed and cook up the second batch, and then third if needed.
Allow chicken to sit for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

I also want to include my recipe for Green Beans.  It's as close as I can get to my grandmother's Green Beans.  Certainly not exact, but no one could make em like her!

By the way, I start these before the chicken so they can have enough time to cook.

I large can Green Beans (15+ ounces)
2 slices of bacon, diced
1/4 cup onions, roughly chopped
1 tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbs sugar
Salt (optional) and Pepper to taste

Begin by cooking the bacon in a pan until almost done. Don't undercook it or it will be rubbery. Add the onion and cook until translucent and beginning to caramelize. Pour in the red wine vinegar and cook for a minute. This is a good time to scrape the brown goodness from the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar, salt, and pepper.  I noted the salt is optional because the can of beans is salted and the bacon adds a lot of salt, so I don't use any extra. Then pour in the juice from the can of green beans. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar and salt. Then pour in the green beans. Bring to a simmer and cook on low for 30+ minutes stirring occasionally. Yes, they are nearly mush, but this allows them to take on all of the flavors. Enjoy!

This meal finished off with our favorite side of pasta.  Add your favorite.  Tell me how your turns out, ours is . . . gone!

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