Monday, February 21, 2011
I cook smothered chicken often. For me it's quick and easy. I hope you find it that way too.
First, I rinse my chicken, blot it dry and lay it on waxed paper. I season the chicken on one side, cover it with flour and pat the flour on the chicken to help it stick. Flip the chicken and repeat the seasoning and flouring. Use the flour that has accumulated on the waxed paper to cover the sides of the chicken. If you have alternatives to how you'd like the chicken, perhaps using a favorite fried chicken coating, feel free.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and place in a baking dish. Next, make your gravy. I drain most of the oil from the skillet leaving just enough to moisten the bottom of the skillet. I use gravy flour and sprinkle it over the bottom of the skillet. Gravy flour is fine and doesn't clump. Let the flour turn the color brown you would like for your gravy. Add seasoning now or later when it boils. While the flour is browning I turn on the hot water and let it run then fill a glass with the hot water. When the flour has turned the color brown you want slowly add in the hot water, stirring it with a spatula.
It's better to start out with half a glass of water and add water as needed for the consistency you want. As it boils the flour will thicken. Add water OR more flour as needed for the consistency you want. My sister uses chicken broth. I've heard some people use milk.
For this recipe I used sliced onion, bell peppers and some sweet peppers in a jar I found at the 99 Cent Store. It added a spicy kick to the chicken. Cook the gravy for a while and season to taste. I use seasoning salt, pepper and garlic powder.
When the gravy is nice and gravy look (smile), pour it over the chicken in the baking dish. Cover and bake.
I'll admit I never know how long to cook chicken and usually tend to over-cook it but it the gravy it doesn't matter and is still nice and moist.
You can serve the smothered chicken with whatever sides you like. In this instance I made a fresh salad and some Rice A Roni.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Another quick item to cook is Chicken and Cheese Tortelloni. This is another "cheat" recipe. The market sells pre-made shells with just cheese or chicken and cheese. You can also buy a jar of whatever sauce you like. I chose a jar of garlic and onion pasta sauce but I "doctored it up."
I chopped a little onion, red and green bell pepper and a mushroom as well as an olive. I sauteed it in a little olive oil and then added it to the sauce in a sauce pan to cook while the tortelloni was cooking. For cooking the tortelloni just follow the instruction on the package. One thing I do is add a little seasoning, a little salt and garlic powder to the water. I also add a little seasoning the the pasta sauce.
I can never stress enough that to me cooking is all about taste. Don't be afraid to taste and season while you're cooking. By the way, that's seasoning salt sprinkled on the tortelloni in the photo above.
Make it yours and make it what YOU like. Add a garnish, add a little parmesan cheese, whatever.