OK, so here we are at day 2 of my cooking through January series. For my second meal I decided to do something that required a bit more effort, so I opted for this recipe I found on Bakerette.com. I didn’t have the exact ingredients she used but I figured I had it close enough to be able make it.
Oven Fried Chicken
Here are the ingredients I used:
Boneless skinless chicken breasts (your desired amount)
2 cups milk (whatever kind you like)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of your favorite seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
Non-stick cooking spray
The recipe calls for the use of buttermilk, and I am sure it is delicious with it, but considering I just got serious about cooking 2 days ago I hardly have buttermilk sitting in my fridge, so I figured that good old fashioned 2% would have to do. But if you have buttermilk, use it instead.
First, put the chicken in a bowl and cover it with the milk. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for around 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray (you can also cover it thoroughly with melted butter) and put it in the oven so the pan can preheat.
Combine the remaining ingredients (minus the cooking spray) in a large bowl and mix well. For this step I used a large tupperware bowl so that I could utilize the lid in the next step, but if you don’t have one large enough with a lid then you can put the mixture in a 1 gallon ziploc bag once it has been mixed together well.
Take the chicken out of the fridge, shake any excess milk from them and put them in the flour mixture. Either put the lid on your tupperware bowl or tightly close the Ziploc bag and shake, shake, shake! Keep shaking until the chicken breasts are thoroughly coated with the flour mixture.
Place the breasts on the preheated pan and bake for twenty minutes. Flip the chicken and bake for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
Roasted Butternut Squash
While the chicken was marinating in the fridge I decided to attempt making some roasted butternut squash to go with the chicken via this recipe found on allrecipes.com. I have no idea what possessed me to buy a vegetable that I had never eaten before (or heard of for that matter) but when I was walking through the produce aisle at the grocery store it was like it was just calling to me. So with no plan in mind I bought my very first butternut squash. I then had to Google what to do with it and came to two conclusions: either roast it or make soup with it. I am no where near the soup making stage yet so roasting it wins. Here’s what I used:
1 butternut squash (size of your choice)
3 tablespoons oil (vegetable, olive, etc)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
First I went to cut the bottom stem off the squash and discovered that it has seeds.
I knew those would have to go but I have never de-seeded anything before so luckily my buddy Google brought me to simplyrecipes.com which has instructions on how to peel, de-seed, and cut up a butternut squash. Extremely helpful.
The first thing you need to know is that cutting a butternut squash is hard work. You will need a big knife and a lot of elbow grease. I spent a good amount of time wrestling with it but I finally was able to cut off both stems, peel it, cut it lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and guts, and cut it into semi 1 inch cubed pieces. The butternut squash is now my nemesis.
Once that is done it is pretty simple from there, just put the oil into a large bowl, add the cut up squash, sprinkle liberally with the garlic powder, and toss until the squash is well coated. Then put the squash on a baking sheet and salt and pepper as desired. Pop it into the oven at 400 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes until the squash is tender.
I chose to do these together because they have the same cooking temperature and the same cooking time so I could have them in the oven together.
This meal took over an hour to prepare, but the chicken was moist and had good flavor. But the big surprise of the meal was the butternut squash which was absolutely delicious. It has a sweet, pumpkin-like taste and was soooo good. My family really liked it and dinner was a huge success!
2 meals down 29 more to go!