Thursday, December 31, 2020

Southern-Style Smothered Chicken

I don't know what it is about this recipe for Southern-Style Smothered Chicken. There's nothing earth-shattering about the ingredients or the cooking method but it is one of the coziest, tastiest meals I make. And I've made it a lot since I discovered it this spring. For some reason it reminds us of egg-foo yung, which makes zero sense but we all love it so we just go with it.

It's an easy recipe but since we prefer to eat saucy chicken dishes off the bone it does take some time management and prep work to get dinner on the table quickly. We like this with rice and steamed broccoli.

Southern-Style Smothered Chicken
As seen on Cook's Country

3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half crosswise, drumsticks, and/or thighs)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped fine
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves (1/4 teaspoon ground sage)
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put 1/2 cup flour in a plastic food storage bag and add all the chicken. Seal the bag and toss to coat. 

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken to pot, skin side down, and cook until deep golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes per side; transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adjusting heat if flour begins to burn. 

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat and return pot to medium heat. Add onions, celery, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, sage, and remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cook until vegetables are well coated with flour and garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits. 

Nestle chicken into sauce, add any accumulated juices from plate, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. 

If you want to remove the chicken from the bone like we do, transfer chicken to a plate and place in the fridge to cool before removing the skin and bones. While the chicken is cooling, stir vinegar into sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Either add chicken pieces back to the pot and toss to coat or pour sauce over chicken. Serve over white rice.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Biscuits and Gravy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

We love biscuits and gravy around here. If we see it on a restaurant menu, we order it. Since we live in the Northeast that doesn't happen often, so I usually just make it at home using this excellent recipe I've had for years. It's savory and sweet and very addictive. 

But then I saw this recipe for Biscuits and Gravy Egg Bake on Pinch of Yum and knew it would end up being a family favorite. I was particularly excited for the chiles in the gravy.

The recipe calls for canned dough, but making your own biscuit dough is ridiculously easy so I went that route. I did a quick Google search and found this one from Sally's Baking Addiction and I will never use another recipe. So, so good. I was just sad we didn't have any jam or jelly in the house for the leftover biscuits.

What I love about this recipe is that you can make it ahead and then bake it the next morning. It's perfect for the holidays - a few friends made it for Christmas after I raved about it on Facebook - or to keep in the fridge for busy weekday mornings.

Biscuits and Gravy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole
As seen on Pinch of Yum

Green Chile Sausage Gravy
1 lb. breakfast sausage
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (4oz) chopped green chiles

8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 jumbo buttermilk biscuits (from a can or make your own, recipe below), cut into cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

If making your own biscuits, do that first using the recipe below. Save 6-8 biscuits for this recipe and bake off the rest.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you're making the casserole in advance, do this the next morning. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet then remove to a plate. Melt the butter in the now-empty skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the 2 1/2 cups milk, salt, and diced green chiles, then add the sausage. Stir to combine.

Whisk the eggs, 1/2 cup milk and salt in a 4-cup measuring cup or large bowl. Place half the biscuits in the greased 9 x13 pan. Pour the eggs over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese, then dollop some of the gravy (be sure to save some gravy for later) on top. Add the rest of the biscuit cubes.

At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven, and warm up the extra gravy while you bake the casserole for 35-45 minutes, until the eggs are set. It will take longer to cook if the casserole is cold.

Serve slices warm from the oven, with a scoop of sausage gravy over the top (thin it out with a little more milk

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
As seen on Sally's Baking Addiction

2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick very cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup cold buttermilk
2 teaspoons honey

Preheat oven to 425.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a large food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until you have coarse crumbs form. Pour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the buttermilk and honey. Fold together with a rubber spatula until it begins to come together. Do not overwork the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently bring together with generously floured hands. The dough will be sticky so have extra flour nearby. Flatten the dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle, fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough horizontally, flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle again. Repeat three more times.

Cut the dough into circles with a biscuit cutter or glass. (Tip: Do not twist the biscuit cutter when pressing down into the dough– this seals off the edges of the biscuit which prevents them from fully rising.) Re-roll scraps and cut more biscuits until all the dough is used.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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